NOVEMBER 13, 2021 - Vol.15 Issue #13

Perform Daily Health Checks

Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform daily health checks for COVID-19 symptoms before the student leaves home.


Robert Bruce, Principal -

Alexcia Redd, Assistant Principal -

Jaime Gittleson, Administrative Intern -

OFFICE HOURS 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700

Youmi Jun, Principal Secretary -
Jane Pak, Teacher Secretary -
Maria Martinez, Teacher Secretary -
Dulce Boyer, Teacher Secretary .5 -


Para información y apoyo adicionales, por favor, llame al 410-313-1591.

欲知详情或想获得更多支持,请电 410-313-5920.

보다 자세한 문의와 지원을 원하시면, 410-313-1592 로 연락 주시기 바랍니다.

For all other language needs please contact Monica Ranta at 410-313-7102.

Weekly Message from our Principal

Dear Veterans Community,

The COVID-19 pandemic has created hardships for so many of our students, staff, families and neighbors, and every individual has faced unique challenges during this difficult time.

We are grateful for the return of students to our classrooms, and despite challenges, this process has been successful overall. I credit students, staff members and parents/guardians for helping to keep our school healthy and safe by taking our COVID mitigation strategies seriously.

My fellow principals and I have been made aware of many concerns regarding a decline in the level of civility during some interactions between parents/guardians and staff at our school.

Recently, HCPSS Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano reminded the community about the importance of civility during interactions with school staff, noting that the “school health team, teachers, bus drivers and other staff members are exceptionally dedicated individuals doing their best and working their hardest to nurture, educate and protect students during extremely challenging circumstances. Quite simply, they are heroes, and they deserve our gratitude and respect at all times, even when they must carry out a protocol or practice that someone doesn’t agree with.” I encourage everyone to read the Superintendent’s full statement (Links to an external site).

As Dr. Martirano mentioned in his statement, our children are watching and learning from our interactions. I encourage every parent/guardian to remain engaged with your child's teachers and school administrators, but urge that you please do so in a respectful and civil manner. It is my expectation that our staff members will extend the same level of civility to you.

Please remember that our educators have many responsibilities in the classroom as they support their students. While our expectation is that parents' inquiries and emails should be responded to within two schools days, please be patient if you do not hear back within this timeframe. If your inquiry is time sensitive and urgent, I encourage you to call the school or email me directly.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Robert C. Bruce
Principal- Veterans Elementary School

Every Day Counts !
Connectedness Strategic Responsibility Arranger Intellection

NOVEMBER: Native American Heritage Month

8 - Scheduling Window OPENS for Parent-Teacher Conference
15 thru 19: American Education Week

18 - Scheduling Window CLOSES for Parent-Teacher Conference

22 - Schools Close 3 Hours Early Dismissal at 12:55 p.m.: Parent-Teacher Conferences
23 - Schools Close 3 Hours Early Dismissal at 12:55 p.m.: Parent-Teacher Conferences

24 -NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS: Parent-Teacher Conferences
24 - Schools and Offices Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday (State mandated)
25 - Schools and Offices Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday (State mandated)

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Accessing Quarter 1 Report Cards

Report cards were issued Wednesday, Nov. 10 and accessible via HCPSS Connect Synergy. Parents/guardians may access them following the instructions for accessing report cards online. Answers to frequently asked questions on grades and testing can be found online.

Conferences will once again be Virtual!

Welcome to the end of the First Quarter of the 2021-22 school year.

Parents may now schedule their virtual parent conferences for Monday Nov. 22nd and Tuesday November 23rd. A few teachers may choose to conference on Weds. November 24th. If a parent wishes to have an in-person conference then they must email Mrs. Pak to request an in-person conference. She can be emailed at Parents wishing an in-person must be fully masked during the in-person conference. In-person conferences will be arranged based on the teacher's schedule and these conferences may or may not occur during the conference window. Ms. Pak will then communicate with the teacher to arrange for an in-person conference and get back to the parent. The in-person conference may be scheduled within a few weeks of the conference window. Synergy is now open for parents to schedule their virtual conferences :

Conference Scheduling Opens on Monday, November 8th, 8:30am.

Conference Scheduling will close for parents: Thursday, November 18th, 4:00pm

Will attendance be taken when students are quarantining?

HCPSS Update: Nov. 8, 2021

The Maryland State Department of Education recently released additional attendance guidance for students who are required to quarantine but who are otherwise able to participate in academic activities.

Students will be counted as present for the school day if they engage in at least a half day of meaningful academic activities. These activities include synchronous check-ins with teachers, virtual tutoring services via the Evening School program, and access to instructional materials in Canvas, and for elementary students include 20 minutes of work in Lexia Core5 and/or 20 minutes in DreamBox each school day.

HCPSS Link to view other frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 Student Quarantine

Academic Resources for Quarantined Students

If your child needs to quarantine, we have instructional materials for them to stay engaged in academics while they are away from the classroom. These materials include the following:

  • Robust Instructional Packets - These large packets will be sent home with students are on quarantine. These packets are grade level specific.

  • Synchronous Support Sessions - Each ELA and Math teacher will offer synchronous sessions that quarantine students can access. Teachers will send the dates/times and login information for these sessions.

  • Canvas Materials - There may be activities on Canvas that students can complete. Your child's teacher will communicate this to parents when a student is quarantined.

  • Dreambox, Typing Agent and LexiaCore will be available for students to utilize.

  • Evening School - This program offers academic enrichment for those students who are put on quarantine. If you want your child to participate in this, please email Alexcia Redd. Her email address is

If your child is quarantined and left their Chromebook at school, please call the front office to arrange a pick-up time to get your child's device. This will allow them to access the above supports. If your child does not have a Chromebook assigned to them, a Chromebook will be assigned to them if they need to be quarantined. In the event that your child is not in school when they are placed on quarantine, you can contact the front office to arrange a pick-up time to get a device.

Please contact your child's teacher or the front office if you have any questions or concerns.

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Hey, VES Family!

READ-A-THON IS ON! 1 Day Left!

We have raised over $3300 already! Get those last minute donations in!

This week Ms. Lim's class is in the lead followed by Ms. Grady-Johnson's and Ms. Kleinow's classes for fundraising!

Read-A-Thon runs till November 14

Contact Nelly if you have any questions at


Our Scholastic book fair is moving online this year! It will run from Nov 8 - Nov 21.

Refresh your home library and discover new books sure to keep kids reading. Books ship directly to your home and every purchase supports our PTA and school.


Let's start Thanksgiving Break with a little fun. 3 rounds of trivia with prizes for each round!

Sign up here so we can email you the zoom link.

You will need access to Zoom and Kahoot to participate.

Email Cara if you have any questions


We got over 80 orders! That's a lot of school spirit!

Orders will be sent home with students when they arrive.

Amie has reached out to each family who ordered online. If you ordered online, please email her your child's name and class so she may drop off orders at school and send them home with your child. They will arrive by early December at the latest.

Email Amie if you have any questions


"I Will Change the World By"... is the 2021-2022 Contest Theme

Veterans Elementary will participate in this year's "Art Reflections Contest led by the National PTA. All students are encouraged to explore and express themselves using the theme "I Will Change The World By...

Categories include: Dance Choreography, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, Visual Arts.

Submission deadline will be November 22

Submission forms were sent home last week or can be printed from here:

If you would like to participate, but art supplies are a financial burden please reach out to the PTA at

If you would like to join the Reflections Committee, we will need 2-3 more parents to help us judge the artwork and send it into the county level. Email if interested.


We have committee openings to help plan events for the kids!

Use this link to see your options.

JOIN THE PTA! Our Goal is 300 families!

We would love 100 more families to join this year! Help us hit our goal!

Parents, please join the PTA using the website above. Membership dues allow us to fund all the activities we run! You do not have to volunteer when you join.

Questions: Email Kim Davis at

Follow us on Facebook

Maryland STEM Festival THIS Saturday, 11/13 2PM-4PM

Good afternoon Howard County Elementary Schools,

All elementary and middle school HCPSS students and families are invited to attend Howard Community College’s celebration of the annual Maryland STEM Festival THIS Saturday, 11/13, 2-4 PM. A range of hands-on STEM activities will be available on HCC’s campus in the Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) building. The Maryland STEM Festival encourages all students, regardless of background or experience, to take a greater interest in STEM, with the hope they will pursue a related career. This statewide month-long festival cultivates a positive environment that inspires children to pursue lucrative STEM careers and encourages businesses to invest in Maryland. The theme for this year’s festival is “Health and Wellness”. For more information, including a listing of all events, visit

Hope to see you there,

-Science, Engineering & Technology Department at Howard Community College

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FARMS Applications: Applications for the Free and Reduced Meals program for the school year 2020-2021 are available online in multiple languages and paper copies are available at all meal sites, effective 9/8/20. Please use this document for strategies for increasing FARMs awareness and participation.

HCPSS COUNSELING SERVICES for Students, Families, and Staff

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an especially stressful time for many, especially those already impacted by mental health concerns. Find information about local and online resources for counseling and mental health supports for you and your family on our website.

VES REMINDERS: Worth Repeating...

Early Dismissals must be prior to 3:30 pm

* Please bring your phone to scan the QR code to sign out student(s) for Early Dismissal.

** Please also be prepared to present your Photo ID

Please plan accordingly. Students are dismissed from class upon parents' arrival after they are signed out from the office.

At this time, we can't allow students to take a different bus other than their assigned bus due to COVID.

After 3:30pm, students will be dismissed at VES normal 3:55pm dismissal with the Car Riders.

No Transportation Changes can be accommodated During Dismissal

*Please reserve any last minute requests for

~Help us keep your children safe ~

Making these requests causes confusion and leaves a lot of room for errors during the mass exodus!

Any transportation changes made after 3:30pm is disruptive to the VES dismissal process.

Please do not call or enter the school building requesting a staff member to pull your child from their normal dismissal plan.


For the safety and security of the children - parents/guardians are not allowed to board and pull their child/children from a school bus at any time, especially during our dismissal.


See an Administrator or Front Office Secretary for assistance!

A Message from the Counseling Office

Holiday gift card drive and raffle

We are going to be doing a holiday gift card drive and raffle this year at VES. We are looking for donations of Amazon, Target, or Walmart gift cards in a suggested amount of $25.
Gift cards that we collect will be given to families in our community who are in need this holiday season. If your family is interested in donating a gift card and have any questions, please contact Julie Wentz ( or Jessica Wilson-Carr ( Please send any gift cards to Youmi Jun in the front office by Monday, December 6, 2021.

If your family is interested in entering the raffle to receive gift cards (to either Target, Amazon, or Walmart), please let us know HERE. While we cannot guarantee that we will be able to support every family who enters the raffle, our goal is to support as many families as we can.

School Rainbow Representatives

Rainbow Representatives ensure that schools are allies and advocates for LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and families. The school Rainbow Representative attends quarterly meetings; receives and disseminates information regarding LGBTQIA+ topics of interest to the school and school community as appropriate; and provides instructional support for educators. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Veterans Elementary Rainbow Representative Ava Greene at

Safe Space Posters

Around our school, you will see some "Safe Space" posters. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a person, or certain group of people, might feel unsafe to show their true colors for fear that others might treat them differently, or refer to them in an unkind way.
At HCPSS, it is our priority to make sure every student not only is safe, but also feels safe to be their authentic and true selves. We hope our Safe Space posters serve as a reminder that there is a trusted adult you can go to who is an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, who will affirm a student's chosen name and pronouns, and who will not disclose information to others about identity and orientation if a student shares that information. Teachers who have this poster in their classrooms have declared their space a safe space for ALL students.

Below are the SY2021-22 standardized testing window dates:

Grade specific dates and testing details are communicated in advance of each assessment. Dates subject to change.

Grades 1-8 MAP Reading/Math: Oct. 18 - Nov. 5

Grades 3 & 5 CogAT: Jan 18 - Feb. 4
Grades K-5 Access for ELLS: Jan. 10 - Feb. 18

Grade 5 MISA: March 14 - 25

Grades 1-8 MAP Reading/Math: April 4 - April 29

Grades 3-5 MCAP ELA/Math: May 4 - June 3


MOVING into VES: FILLABLE_VES RequestforRecords.pdf
We can assist you to obtain student records from their prior school by filling out the

Request for Records form and emailing it back to the registrar.

MOVING AWAY/ Withdraw from VES: FILLABE_Withdrawal form

Please initiate the process by filling out the HCPSS Withdrawal Form and email it back to the registrar.

Stay Informed:

HCPSS electronic School Messenger

Once you have created an HCPSS Login Account/ ParentVue upon completing the student registration, you will automatically be part of our email communication, School Messenger.

We are “green” and do not send hard copies of newsletters and other notices, so your electronic connection to the school is important even over the summer.

Email & Text Alerts

HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and deliver real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File. Parents/guardians of previously enrolled HCPSS students do not need to sign up for, or manage an HCPSS News account. Parents/guardians who are new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification and must opt in to text alerts.

Emergency Notifications

In times of emergency situations, information will be shared with the community through our website, social media, text, email and weather hotline. All parents automatically receive email messaging and new parents need to opt in to text messaging (see above). Unsubscribing from any school or district email or text will unsubscribe a user from all messaging, including emergency notifications.

Volunteer/Observer Vaccine Requirements

All volunteers and chaperones who interact with students, as well as current HCPSS students who attend a field trip or volunteer at a different school during the school day, are required to use the PinPoint platform to show proof of full vaccination at least five school days in advance. This requirement does not apply to HCPSS students who are going to another school as part of their academic schedule. Vaccination and testing requirements for other community stakeholders are outlined online.

COVID-19 Self-Screenings

All parents/guardians are to perform a COVID-19 health check every day before your student leaves home. Students are not to come to school if they are experiencing any symptom(s) associated with COVID-19 or other communicable disease.


Please visit the HCPSS website Community News and Programs site for upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.


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