Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 11, 2020 - Volume 42, Issue 5

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

We're Here to Help You!

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Stacey Wells, Principal's Secretary

Jennifer Aballo, Teachers' Secretary

Dulce Boyer, Teachers' Secretary

From School Administration

Successful First Week of Virtual Learning

I want to say thank you to all of our teachers, students, and families for such a successful first week of virtual learning. On Tuesday, we welcomed over 550 students to our virtual school. Additionally, 22% of our students in grades 1 through 5 were new to Clemens Crossing. I am thrilled to have so many amazing students! I cannot wait to get to know our new students and become reacquainted with our returning students in the coming weeks and months. Although we had some difficulties with technology, I am glad we were able to resolve issues quickly. We received a great deal of communication from families last week and we were so appreciative, as it allowed us to ensure that we were able to support everyone with virtual learning. Throughout virtual learning, continue to communicate with your classroom teachers or reach out to Mrs. Hurd or me, so we can continue to support you.

I am so proud of our teachers at Clemens Crossing! They work tirelessly day in and day out to re-learn their profession and deliver instruction and in this virtual setting. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated teachers!

I am very proud that 100% of our students had their HCPSS issued Chromebooks on day 1, so technology was not a barrier for our students. We were also able to give out over 550 supply bags in preparation for the first day of school. This incredible response reflects such a high level of dedication from all our families to support our students. Thank you!

This past week, we had our first PTA meeting. Please visit the Clemens Crossing PTA website to learn more about our PTA. There is a link in this newsletter for you to join the PTA. Please take a moment to join our PTA.

Finally, please take the time to complete your Family File through HCPSS Connect if you have not done so already. We still have 200 students who do not have completed Family Files. Please take some time to complete it this weekend. We will send an individual email to you next week if you need to complete it. Directions are below in the Information Worth Repeating section.

We are looking forward to our second week of virtual learning and hope that it is even more successful than last week. Thank you for your continued support!

Mr. Cosentino, Princpal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 15 - Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month Begins
  • 16 - Calming COVID Chaos - Virtual Parent Workshop -see PTA section below
  • 21 - Kindergarten Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 21 - 1st Grade Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 21 - 2nd Grade Back to School Night, 7:00 p.m.
  • 22 - 3rd Grade Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 22 - 4th Grade Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 22 - 5th Grade Back to School Night, 7:00 p.m.
  • 23 - Gifted & Talented Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 28 - No School - Yom Kippur


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Gifted and Talented Information Night

CCES invites you to a google meet titled “Gifted and Talented in the Virtual Classroom” on September 23 at 6:30 pm. During this time, our Gifted and Talented teachers will provide an overview of the GT opportunities that CCES has to offer. The session will focus on Instructional Seminars, Curriculum Extension Units, and Primary Talented Development. We look forward to seeing you then!

Back-To-School Nights

Back-to-School Nights are coming up. Please look for instructions from your child's teacher about Back-to-School Nights.
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Related Arts

What are Related Arts? Related Arts is what we call PE, Art, Music, Media, and Technology.

When does my child have Related Arts? Your child will have this twice a week either on Mondays & Thursdays or Tuesdays & Fridays depending on your child's grade level.

Do I need to remember my child's Related Arts schedule and rotation? No, you do not need to remember your child's related arts schedule or rotation.

When we have school in person, the five related arts classes are set on a regular schedule and are held on the same days each week.

In this virtual setting, we had to figure out a way to have all five related arts classes during the synchronous schedule. Instead of days of the week, related arts classes are assigned on color days; red, orange, yellow, green, and blue days. Those color days and related arts classes rotate on the assigned days (Mon/Thurs or Tues/Fri). It takes two and a half weeks to rotate through all five related arts classes once and five weeks to make each class twice.

Homeroom teachers will tell students what related arts they will have each week. The best place to see your child's schedule is by looking at the Canvas calendar. The same Google Meet code will work for each homeroom's related arts classes, and that code will be in the Canvas calendar.

What assignments will there be for Related Arts? Each week your child should have a combination of 5 total related arts experiences (PE, Music, Technology, Media, and Art), either live (with the teacher on a Google Meet) or asynchronous (on their own). If your child participates in two live related arts subjects, they will complete three asynchronous assignments on Wednesdays.

Although you do not need to remember the related arts schedule and rotation, we are providing a calendar that shows color days and corresponding grids outlining each homeroom's rotation.

September's Related Arts Color Days Rotation

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Schedules

What is Content?

On your child’s Canvas calendar, you will see that they will have live Content twice a week. Content is Science and Social Studies. While Health is also considered content, it is being done asynchronously this semester. Content is during the same hour block as a student's Related Arts. If your child has related arts on Monday/Thursday, she/he will have Content on Tuesday/Friday (or vice-versa).

During Quarter 1, Science will be taught between September 14 and October 9. Social Studies will be taught from October 12 through November 8. Health will be asynchronous.

What are Synchronous Supports?

This time will eventually be used and you will be informed by the classroom teachers when it starts. It may be used for reading groups, interventions, math groups, special education, etc. So for now, students can use this time for independent reading or math.

What Does My Child Do On Wednesdays?

All students will participate in asynchronous independent learning via Canvas assignments each Wednesday. Students should check their Canvas portal for classroom and Related Arts assignments, as well as Dreambox and LexiaCore.
Assignments could be listed on the main course page or under assignments and/or modules on the left-hand side.

Why Do Calendar Colors Sometimes No Longer Show Up?

As of now, the maximum number of courses that can be visible on Canas is set to ten. Please be sure to have ELA, Math, Science, and current week's related arts clicked on. This will help you find the codes and assignments for the week. Our hope is that Canvas will no longer limit it to 10 calendars at a time.

Coffee With the Counselor - Mrs. Rogers

Hi, Parents/Guardians of our new friends!

Welcome to Clemens Crossing!! Getting to know others and learning about CCES is a little more challenging this year. I am offering an opportunity to have a casual conversation about the challenges and unique opportunities that this year is bringing. I can also answer questions that you might have about Clemens Crossing (but not about technology J.) We will meet via Google Meet.

I have scheduled two options:

  • Tuesday 9/15 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 9/17 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

The Google Meet code for either meeting is:

No need to RSVP, just drop in and say hello! I look forward to meeting you!

I will have more opportunities for returning families later in the year.

Question? Email me at

Ann Rogers, School Counselor

Join the PTA – Family Membership

PTA membership will allow you to be active with the PTA and enjoy discounts with Maryland PTA partners. Most of all, your membership dues support the many programs we offer to the CCES community. While we encourage all of our families to be involved with PTA, membership does not obligate you to volunteer your time.

After trying many fundraisers over the years, the CCES PTA’s major fundraiser is a direct donation program (and later in the fall, a Read-a-thon). Rather than sell wrapping paper or other merchandise, we ask each family to contribute $50 in addition to their membership dues to support the programs we sponsor throughout the year.

To join the Clemens Crossing PTA, please fill out the form below and pay the membership dues (plus any donation you choose to give) through the PayPal link that follows. If you prefer to pay by check, please contact our membership chair, c/o
To report a problem with this form, contact

Technology Help

As time progresses, ease of use of the platforms should increase. If you are still experiencing issues with connectivity, ability to access Google Meets, accessing Canvas or using the platforms for learning, please use the resources that are found on

Student Technology Resources: Provides guides, resources, and videos for HCPSS student technology. Below are some direct links to commonly used resources:

HCPSS Student and Parent Handbook 2020-21

The Student & Parent Handbook will no longer be printed and instead will be available online. The 2020-21 Student & Parent Handbook is available here.

The handbook outlines districtwide practices and policies related to students and parents. It additionally features sub-topics that describe various services, procedures, and protocols implemented in Howard County Public Schools.

The 2020-21 Student Code of Conduct can be found within the Student & Parent Handbook and also is available online.

Information Worth Repeating

Attendance During 2020-2021 Fall Semester

Active student participation is the key to student achievement, both in the classroom and during distance learning. Teachers will design engaging lessons and activities, both for virtual live classes and online assignments. Regular participation is essential for student growth, and students are expected to engage in learning activities every week.

Student attendance for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday instruction will occur as follows:

  • At the elementary level, both the Homeroom teacher and Mathematics teacher will take attendance, noting whether students were present online for synchronous instruction.
  • Daily attendance will be based on teacher-recorded attendance for the entire school day.
  • If there is a technical difficulty, a student may submit asynchronous work for a particular day to receive credit for attendance.

Student attendance for Wednesday instruction will occur as follows:

  • A student will be counted as present if they do one or more of the following since the previous Wednesday:
    • Submit an assignment to one of their teachers
    • Engage in synchronous instruction with a HCPSS teacher
    • Complete work in the Canvas learning management system, DreamBox or Lexia Core5

If your child is absent, please send a note explaining the absence to this email address:

Related Arts Orientation

Related Arts consist of Art, Media, Music, PE, and Technology. The CCES Related Arts team created a slide show for you to review.

There are two ways to review the CCES Related Arts Orientation:

Option 1 - Click the button below. That will take you to a Google Slides presentation.

Option 2 - Click the 12 slides below to learn about related arts in the virtual environment.

Google Meet Expectations for Students and Parents/Guardians

Behavioral Expectations for Students

Students at all levels are now engaging in virtual class check-in sessions on Google Meet. To ensure a positive and productive learning environment during these sessions, it is important that all students adhere to the following behavioral expectations:

  • Always be respectful and courteous to other students and teachers during Google Meet virtual check-in sessions. Inappropriate, offensive or threatening comments; misrepresentation of identity, and/or disruptive behavior by any participants during Google Meet virtual check-in sessions will not be tolerated.
  • Students must use their HCPSS email account to log into a Google Meet virtual check-in session.
  • Login credentials must not be shared. Sharing of login information violates other students’ and teachers’ rights to confidentiality and could allow class participation by unauthorized persons and/or lead to disruptive behaviors that detract from a productive and positive learning environment.
  • Students who are disruptive and/or “trespass” Google Meet virtual check-in sessions will receive appropriate consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Consequences may result in temporary or permanent loss of technology access, which would prevent the student from participating in Google Meet virtual check-in sessions. Students receiving this consequence would have assignments provided to the student’s parent/guardian.
  • Students should adhere to the provisions identified under Individual Responsibilities in Board of Education Policy 8080 Responsible Use Technology and Social Media.
    Other applicable policies include:

Privacy Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

To maintain a positive, productive learning environment and assure confidentiality for students and teachers during distance learning, all parents/guardians are asked to follow the following privacy guidelines:

  • Google Meet virtual check-ins are designed for students. To prevent disruptions to the learning environment, parents/guardians should not actively participate in check-in sessions, although parents/guardians may assist their child with technology and/or remain nearby.
  • Do not video record, audio record, photograph, live stream, or transmit in any other way any part of a Google Meet virtual check-in, including not posting on any social media platform.
  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to students participating during Google Meet virtual check-ins should not be collected, discussed or shared.
  • Parents/guardians should not engage with students during Google Meet virtual check-ins. If you need to speak with your child during a check-in session, first mute your child’s microphone.
  • If a parent/guardian has a question, please email your child’s teacher.

Parents/guardians should email your child’s principal with any questions or concerns regarding privacy or virtual classroom expectations.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring that distance learning is a positive, productive, and enjoyable experience for all participants.

From Mrs. Rogers, School Counselor

Would your child like to meet with Mrs. Rogers, our School Counselor?

I am available to meet with students during their asynchronous (independent) learning times.

If your child is feeling worried or anxious, is missing friends, is struggling with virtual learning, or just wants to check-in, click here to request a meeting with Mrs. Rogers.

You can also access my Canvas page from your child’s Canvas dashboard.

I really look forward to talking to your child!!

Food Services Information

Meals will be provided at no cost to all students through December 31, 2020, subject to U.S. Department of Agriculture funding availability.

The food services program during the 2020-2021 first semester (Sept. 8, 2020-Jan. 28, 2021) will consist of Grab-and-Go meals served Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. and
10:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m. beginning Tuesday, September 8.
Breakfast and lunch can be picked up at either mealtime.


CCES is a site for meals. Grab-and-Go meals will be distributed at the blacktop side of the school building (follow arrow signs).
For your convenience, meals may be picked up at any location where meals are being served.

Details and updated information on meal service for all school locations is provided on the HCPSS Nutrislice website and mobile application.


Children do not need to be present; parents/guardians may pick up meals for their child(ren). Those with children attending multiple schools may do a single-stop meal pickup.
Parents must indicate their child(ren)’s name(s) when picking up meals.


Some families may find it difficult to pick up meals for their children at the locations or times when meals are served. Parents/guardians may pick up meals for their children and up to one other family's meals without completing a request form. Families may also authorize a designee, who may pick up meals for up to three families, by submitting an online or paper form.
See guidelines for meal pickup by designees for detailed information.

Visit the Food Services website for all the information about Food Distribution during the first semester.

Information and Application for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs)

HCPSS participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which provide families with significant benefits to help save money. Qualification is based on family size and income, and enrollment is confidential. All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get free meals regardless of income, and students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals. Those eligible for reduced-price meals pay $0.10 for breakfast and $0.20 for lunch. More information is on the HCPSS Website.

The application is also on the last page of the Family File when you update your emergency contact information.

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Family File Emergency Form is Open in HCPSS Connect

It is time to update your child's Emergency Contact information in HCPSS Connect even though we are starting the school year online. This is the most important step as we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 School Year. Your Family File needs to be updated at the beginning of every school year.

Families that update and complete their Family File will be able to view teacher assignments prior to the start of school. In addition, having this information is critical to us as soon as the first day of school: HCPSS Connect

You will be asked to update or provide the following information:

  • Parent/guardian contact information.
  • Emergency contacts.
  • Medical information
  • Arrival and Dismissal procedures.
  • Media coverage.
  • Data confidentiality.
  • PTA Directory.

You can access HCPSS Connect here

Parents who have forgotten their login credentials for Family File may click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page.
If you need additional assistance, please fill out this Connect Help Form.

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From the PTA

Supporting Our Teachers

This year we have asked teachers to submit their Amazon wish lists for families who wish to send a gift of school supplies to start the school year. These lists are being published on our PTA Facebook pages. If you are not on Facebook and would like access to a wish list, please email with the name of the teacher. Thank you!

Calming the COVID Chaos: a Virtual Parent Support Workshop

This free parent support workshop is to help you deal with the stress and issues that come from living through a pandemic and virtual schooling. Most children have been experiencing bouts of frustration and anxiety. They miss their friends. They can’t play sports. They have to sit and do schoolwork all day long… AT HOME! You are not alone. All of us are going through this, and all of us could use some additional support.

During this workshop, you will gain new skills to add to your current ones that will help you and

your children handle this extraordinary time. We will discuss such topics as grief (the loss of

what could have/should have been). We will also address stress reduction and proactive

parenting. You will learn about ANTs (Automatic Non-supportive Thoughts) and how to tap into

PETs (Positive Empowering Tools). Parents will even be given several resource lists and take-

home activities for you and your children.

Speaker: Nancy Sheain, LGPC, NCC is a Board-Certified Licensed Professional Counselor who has been serving the Howard County School Community in several ways. She is most known for the creation of the Smashing ANTs Kid Empowerment programs, (more currently known as PET Power: Kid Empowerment programs). These programs teach children how to use PETs, Positive Empowering Tools to chase away ANTs, Automatic Non-supportive Thoughts. It’s a great way to help children with anxiety reduction, self-management, and success-mentality. Visit for more info.

For a virtual Parent Workshop

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020

From 8:00 –9:00pm

Zoom Meeting:nvr-xzdb-jjs

Adding CCES's Google Calendar to Your Personal Online/Email Calendar

Did you know you can subscribe to CCES's Calendar and see events on your computer and/or smartphone? Why subscribe to the calendar? You will have all of CCES's events embedded in your calendar. If events change, the calendar will be updated immediately.

The Calendar ID is:
There are many "how to" tutorials online that you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar depending on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.