Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

January 6, 2023 - Volume 44, Issue 18

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Jaime Gittleson, Assistant Principal

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دوسری زبانوں کے لئے ، نیوزلیٹر کا ترجمہ کریں پر کلک کریں اور اپنی پسند کی زبان کا انتخاب کریں۔



Important Upcoming Dates and Events


  • 6 - School Spirit Day - Hat Day
  • 11 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 13 - Pajama Day (make-up from 12/23)
  • 16 - No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 18 - Schools close 3 hours early, 12:45 p.m. (Professional Work and Wellness Day)
  • 19 - Spelling Bee, 2:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Wilde Lake Middle School New Student & Parent Orientation/Information Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Road To Kindergarten workshop at Centennial High School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • 20 - End of 2nd Marking Period
  • 20 - Cougar Pride Spirit Day - wear CCES apparel
  • 20 - PTA Bingo Night
  • 23 - No School for students - Professional Work Day
  • 24 - The Great Kindness Challenge begins - Spirit day #1 - Kindness Day
  • 24 - Road to Kindergarten workshop at Wilde Lake High School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • 25 - The Great Kindness Challenge Spirit day #2 - Color Day
  • 25 - Harper's Choice Middle School New Student & Parent Orientation/Information Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 26 - The Great Kindness Challenge Spirit day #3 - Mix & Match Day
  • 26 - Road to Kindergarten workshop at Oakland Mills High School, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • 27 - The Great Kindness Challenge Spirit day #4 - Workout Day
  • 30 - Report Cards issued in Family File

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID

From School Administration

Happy New Year! I know that 2023 will bring great things to Clemens Crossing Elementary School Community. Hopefully, everyone had a great Winter Break making many fond memories and spending time with family and friends. I know our crazy weather put a hiccup in holiday plans for some families, I can only imagine how frustrating that would be for those families affected.

A new year signifies the ability to make new goals for ourselves, it is always a good idea to set goals with your children, perhaps something that they want to improve on, such as: improving on math, reading more books, using fewer electronics, etc. When goals are set, children can work hard to accomplish their goals and feel good about what they have done! With two more weeks left in the second quarter, it is an excellent time to set those goals and end the quarter strong!

Mr. Cosentino, Principal


CCES PTA Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 11th, 7pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD


Google Meet joining info

Video call link:

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 347-450-3914‬ PIN: ‪433 929 359‬#

More phone numbers:

Upcoming Spirit Days

We have several spirit days coming up. We just added pajama day to the schedule in January because we were closed on 12/23.
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Parent/Guardian Information About Use of Electronic Devices

Setting Limits on Electronic Device Use

Media use on devices like computers, tablets, smartphones, and TVs can be a source of learning and entertainment for kids. But too much can take away from other activities, such as sleeping, exercising, playing with friends, and doing homework.

Studies show that kids who watch too much TV are more likely to be overweight and, depending on the content of what they see, more aggressive. Too much media use is also linked to poor grades, sleep problems, and behavior problems.

What's Recommended?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) created these guidelines for media use:

  • Babies and toddlers up to 18 months old: No screen time except for video chatting with family and friends.
  • Toddlers 18 months to 24 months: Some screen time with a parent or caregiver.
  • Preschoolers: No more than 1 hour a day of educational programming, together with a parent or other caregiver who can help them understand what they're seeing.
  • Kids and teens 5 to 18 years: Parents should figure out what media limits work best for their kids. Consider things like their age, health, and personality. Media should not take the place of enough sleep or being physically active.
  • Kids should have a wide variety of free-time activities, like spending time with friends and playing sports, which can help develop a healthy body and mind.

What Else Should I Know?

The quality of the media kids use is as important as the quantity, if not more so. That's why experts recommend that parents screen content and set time limits for media use. These limits can vary depending on the age, health, and personality of your kids, and also on your family’s lifestyle and values.

Parents can help kids choose media content that is meaningful, educational, and social. They can also actively engage with their children as they use media to help guide them and teach them safe practices.

These online resources can help:

The AAP's family media plan tool lets parents create a media plan for their family

Common Sense Media has information about age and content appropriateness of video games and other media

Social Media and Elementary Aged Children

We all know that as much as technology has opened new worlds to our children, it has also put them at risk of predators and of growing up too soon through exposure to things they shouldn’t see, especially among elementary-aged children. The risks associated with social media and online platforms are compounded by the fact that those platforms are on mobile devices and can be used anywhere.

Recently, even with all of the technology classroom lessons focused on the cautions about online activity and social media, we became aware that students at Clemens Crossing have social media accounts such as TikTok. The content involved other students and school business in a negative manner. While most social media platforms have terms of service age restrictions of 13 years of age or older, TikTok has a “Younger Users” provision allowing children younger than 13 years of age on their social media site. Because of TikTok's emphasis on popular music, many videos include swearing and sexual lyrics, so it may not be age-appropriate for kids to use on their own. It's also easy to find people wearing revealing clothing and dancing suggestively, although TikTok won't let you search for objectionable content. If you supervise your kids and stick to songs you already know from the radio, TikTok can be a kid-friendly experience. In 2019, after settling with the Federal Trade Commission for child privacy violations due to all the children under 13 on the site, the developers created a separate section of the app for kids that only allows them to access curated, clean videos. They can't comment, search, or post their own videos. However, bypassing that section only requires entering a false birthdate.

The decision to allow your child to participate in social media platforms under the age of 13 is a parental decision. Most social media platforms require users to be 13 years old or older. If you allow your child to be on social media, consider information from the Common Sense Media - Elementary-aged Children on Social Media website Elementary-aged Children on Social Media and Parents’ Ulitmate Guide to Tik Tok. We also encourage you to review the school system’s policies; Responsible Use of Technology, Social Media (Policy 8080), Safe and Supportive Schools (Policy 1040), and Bullying/Cyberbullying (Policy 1060). It’s important for parents and caregivers to do all we can to help our children use technology safely and wisely. If social media spills into school on the elementary level, accounts will be reported as violations of terms of service to the social media platform. Furthermore, depending on the situation, school-based disciplinary actions could result in violations of school system policies.

It is extremely important for parents and guardians to learn about how and what online content children access. Supervision is essential at this age. This includes social media, online searches, and gaming. We want to make sure students are safe and responsible at school and at home while online.


Road to Kindergarten

The Road to Kindergarten information sessions will be held for families of children who will begin kindergarten in Fall 2023.

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Possible Change in CCES Start Time for 2023-24

The Howard County Board of Education is considering making a significant change in start times for schools. How does that impact our CCES community? One scenario has Clemens Crossing Elementary School starting school at 8:00 a.m. This means doors open at 7:45 a.m., and the late bell would be 8:00 a.m. Our school would dismiss at 2:30 p.m. in that scenario.

The communication office sent the following email to the community on 12/20/22 outlining the entire plan and process. It is recommended to review the information and be part of the process if you feel necessary.

The Howard County Board of Education is offering multiple opportunities for all stakeholders to engage in the decision about whether to shift school start times for the 2023-2024 school year. Information related to this process and the Board’s upcoming decision may be found on the school system’s website. Additionally, two potential school-by-school start times charts are available online for community members to review.

The Board has scheduled public hearings on January 17, 2023, and January 26, 2023. Both hearings will begin at 7 p.m. and community members wishing to testify at public hearings must pre-register via online form. Registration opens three weeks prior to a hearing and closes at 4:30 p.m. on the last working day prior to a meeting.

Individuals may also submit written testimony via USPS mail (Board of Education, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042) or via email to All testimony submitted for public hearings via email or regular mail will be uploaded as submitted to BoardDocs.

Additionally, the Board will hold public work sessions on January 19, 2023, and February 15, 2023. Members of the community may watch work sessions online or in person but may not participate. The Board is scheduled to make a final decision on whether to change school start times for the 2023-2024 school year on February 23, 2023.

Middle School Parent Orientation and Information Nights

Our two feeder middle schools, Harper's Choice Middle and Wilde Lake Middle will host parent information nights in January. Please save the dates below.

Approximately 80% of our 5th graders are assigned to go to Wilde Lake Middle School, and 20% are assigned to Harper's Choice. What middle school are you assigned to? You can look up your assigned school based on your address. Please use the following school locator link for your middle school assignment.

Parent University

My name is Mr. Allen, and I am a 4th-grade teacher at Clemens Crossing! I will host an after-school program for you to attend called Parent University. Parent University is designed to help you, the parent, help your child at Clemens Crossing and in their time in the Howard County Public School System. During the sessions, I will be able to provide you with resources that will allow your child to receive the best education possible here at Clemens Crossing. These sessions will take place in February and March.

Session 1 (February 23rd, 2023, 7 pm-8 pm) - Overview of K-5 Curriculum with a preview of what to expect in middle and high school - This session will allow you to prepare for what is to come throughout your child's experience at HCPSS.

Session 2 (March 9th, 2023, 7 pm-8 pm) - Navigate Canvas and the many online resources - This session will provide you with an opportunity to explore the available resources our county has available for you to use.

Session 3 (March 16th, 2023, 7 pm-8 pm) - Digging Deeper into Math Standards - This session will allow you to take a look at the math common core standards that your child is and will be working on.

Session 4 (March 23rd, 2023, 7 pm-8 pm)- The Importance of English Language Arts - This session will develop your understanding of the English Language Arts common core standards that your child is and will be working on.

Don’t miss these sessions, as they will be essential to giving your child the best possible education. Please fill out this survey to RSVP for the sessions. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at

Thank you so much!

Mr. Allen

Keep Family File Up-To-Date

Recently, we have had several situations where we have been trying to reach parents and found that either their voice mailbox was full or not set up receive messages. We also have several cases where the emergency number(s) we have on file is/are no longer in service.

We would appreciate it if you could take a moment and make sure of the following:

  1. Please have a voice mailbox in place that can receive messages. If need be, please clear the messages in your mailbox so that your mailbox can receive new notifications.
  2. Please take a moment and update any emergency numbers that may need to be updated in Family File.

This is very important, especially if we have an unscheduled emergency closing.

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PTA - Parent Teacher Association


Don't forget to renew your annual PTA membership, or join if you haven't already:



The following announcements have been approved by the Public Information Office for distribution.