Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 6, 2019 - Volume 41, Issue 2

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 6 - Spirit Day - Wear school colors
  • 6 - PTA Welcome Back Family Picnic, 5:00p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • 9 - Back-to-School Night for Grades K, 1 & 2 in Cafeteria at 6:30 p.m.
  • 10 - Band/Strings Information Night, Cafeteria 6:30 p.m.
  • 11 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, Media Center 6:30 p.m.
  • 12 - WLMS Back-to-School Night
  • 13 - RAIN DATE for the PTA Welcome Back Family Picnic, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • 15 - National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month Begins
  • 25 - In-School Banking, 9:00-9:30 a.m.
  • 27 - Student Picture Day
  • 30 - Schools and Offices Closed

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

HCPSS Calendars

There will be no printed 2019-2020 calendars. Staff, students, and families may add our online calendar to their own mobile/online calendar by

  1. Going to
  2. Scrolling down to subscribe to a Calendar
  3. Right-clicking on the calendar you wish to subscribe to
  4. Selecting Copy Link Location/Address/Shortcut
  5. Adding to your calendar of choice (See your calendar for specifics on adding a new calendar)

You also may view and/or download printable PDFs of the full calendar and/or important dates only. Updates to the PDFs will be noted on the HCPSS calendar page.

PLEASE NOTE! The calendar is subject to change. The online calendar reflects the most recent version.

From Mr. Cosentino

We had a wonderful opening week of school! Our first week went smoothly as we welcomed 510 enthusiastic students back to Clemens Crossing. Everyone seems to be getting used to the routines that the new school year brings.

As Mrs. Hurd and I have walked throughout the building, we are pleased to see students engaged in learning in their new classrooms. Mrs. Hurd and I had a meeting with the students from each grade level. We discussed behavioral expectations, our school rules, and some important school policies.

It is great to see such an engaged school community.

Communication is a vital skill in this day and age. At Clemens Crossing, we aim to communicate in a variety of ways. Please keep an eye out for our newsletter. We are going to publish the Cougar Comments every Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. throughout the school year. The newsletter is also posted on our website and can be found on Twitter and Facebook. It is very important for parents to read this newsletter as it contains a great deal of important school, school system, and community news.

As times have changed and communication has evolved, we are keeping pace with the times.

Twitter helps us keep you informed in real-time. I encourage you to keep informed by following CCES on Twitter. Follow us @hcpss_cces. Tweets also automatically post on our Facebook at
Mrs. Hurd and I will be tweeting reminders about upcoming activities as well as highlights that are taking place around the building. It will also be a great way to get a “behind the scenes” look at Clemens Crossing.

I hope the first week of school went well for you and your family. We all look forward to an incredible school year!

Ed Cosentino, Principal

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New Learning Behaviors for 2019-20 Report Cards

Revised Learning Behaviors will be reported on all K-5 report cards beginning this school year. Learning Behaviors are learned actions that enable students to access learning and interact with others productively in the community. These behaviors are developed in and outside of school.

The report card will now include information on the degree to which your child demonstrates interpersonal skills, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration, and initiative.

Additionally, Learning Behaviors help with understanding and managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and making responsible decisions which are essential life skills. They complement the curriculum content taught in the elementary grades and are a natural part of learning about oneself while interacting with others.

These behaviors were drafted and revised several times based on feedback from teachers, administrators, curriculum staff, and parent advisory committees. For details on the new learning behaviors, report card language, and indicators, please click on the button below.

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Parents of students in Grades 3, 4, and 5

It’s time to register your child(ren) in Band or Strings! Students will attend sessions with Ms. DeSantis over the next two weeks. Click on the link to go directly to the registration form. More information can be found on Ms. DeSantis’ website: Please register your child by Wednesday, September 18th. A parent informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 10th at 6:30pm in the Media Center. (See flyer)


You may hear teachers or students discuss PBIS this year. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. The teachers and staff are using the PBIS framework to help set expectations for student behavior at school and reward students when they meet or exceed these expectations.
Throughout the school, students are expected to exhibit R.O.A.R. behaviors in school.

R.O.A.R. stands for Respectful, Organized, Achieving, and Responsible. Teachers and administrators are spending time ensuring that students know and understand these expectations. Students have the opportunity to earn ROAR Tickets on a daily basis. When they earn 50+ R.O.A.R. tickets, they get a certificate and their picture on the "Climbing Cougar" Mountain bulletin board across from the Cafeteria. Another way we recognize students is through ACE Awards. ACE stands for Achievement, Citizenship, and Effort. Students earn an ACE charm and get their picture taken as a group. Pictures are displayed on a bulletin board across from the Front Office. The ACE award winners are also posted on Twitter and on our website.

Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The purpose of schoolwide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

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Free and Reduced Meals Program

HCPSS participates in the Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARMs) program. Qualification is based on family size and income, and enrollment is confidential.

Participation in FARMs qualifies students for a wide range of opportunities and resources beyond breakfast and lunch, including free college applications, free or reduced JumpStart tuition, discounted internet through the Comcast Internet Essentials program, and more.

Families must submit a new application every school year. During the first 30 school days, students with FARMs eligibility from the prior school year will be carried over. Any student who has not filled out an application up to the 30th school day will have their prior-year status changed to full pay status until a new application is received.

Parents/guardians are highly encouraged to fill out the applications as soon as possible. It is very important that applications are filled out correctly.

  • Apply online

  • Apply by mail: Paper applications are sent home with students on the first day of school. Paper applications can also be picked up in the Food and Nutrition Service Office (5451 Beaverkill Rd, Columbia, MD 21044). Applications can be returned to your child’s school or mailed to the Food and Nutrition Service Office: HCPSS Food & Nutrition Service Office, 10910 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042.

If you have questions regarding the program, please visit or call Food and Nutrition Services at 410-313-6743.

Arrival & Dismissal Updates


Now that we are establishing the morning routines and fine-tuning times, please know that students should be seated in their classroom at 9:15 a.m., not being dropped off at that time. Students usually need 3-5 minutes to get from the front door to their classrooms, so please plan your arrival accordingly. If students are late, they must be signed in by an adult in the Front Office.


Car Riders and Walkers Are Two Different Dismissal Groups

Car Riders are students who are picked up in a vehicle in the car loop. Car riders are dismissed first. All car riders are dismissed from the side of the building and are to be picked up in the car loop. Walkers should not be part of this group, and parents should not walk children out of the car loop line.

Walkers are dismissed last, after our car and bus traffic subsides. We do this for safety reasons. Parents/guardians of walkers meet children in the front of the building when walkers are dismissed.

If you park a car along Quarterstaff Road, students are considered walkers even though they may ride a car home. Those students will be dismissed with walkers.

Visiting or Picking-up Students at CCES

All visitors to Clemens Crossing must bring a driver’s license and sign in with our LobbyGuard visitor management system.

Additionally, we require a picture ID when you or someone on your emergency contact comes to pick-up your child early from school.

Please make sure to indicate on your Family File Emergency Form who you are allowing the school to release your child to by checking the box "☑ release to".

Parent Volunteer Procedures at CCES

We value our volunteers and the contributions they make to our students and schools. Parents who wish to volunteer must complete a brief training course online and submit a certificate of completion to their school. This also includes anyone who chaperones a field trip.

Details are available on our website.

Birthdays at CCES

Student birthdays are announced during the morning announcements. In addition to students receiving a birthday pencil and ribbon as they have for the past four years, students will also get a book.

Celebrations are encouraged outside of the school building. Birthday lists are not provided to parents. Staff members do not participate in disseminating birthday party invitations. Balloons, helium or latex are discouraged in the school building.

Birthday food celebrations are appropriate outside of the school day.

Early Release of a Student

In order to minimize disruptions to the classroom, the early release of students should be limited to emergency situations and unavoidable circumstances. Parents are asked to avoid scheduling non-related school activities that conflict or interfere with CCES’s regular dismissal times.

Students may not be released from the office after 3:20 p.m.

Once dismissal starts, your child will depart as scheduled by either taking their assigned bus home or exiting the building as a walker or car rider.

In order for your child to be released to anyone other than the parent/guardian, that person MUST be listed on the emergency card and present photo identification to the Front Office. Please make sure to indicate on your Family File Emergency Form who you are allowing the school to release your child to by checking the box "☑ release to".

Parents of student bus riders must provide WRITTEN NOTIFICATION to have their children dismissed with the walkers or car riders.
Everyone’s cooperation in this regard is important to ensure safe and smooth school operations.

Photographing, Video Taping or Audiotaping

Parents have a right to expect a certain level of protection and privacy for their children while they are in the care of HCPSS. As a protective measure, parents and others who are not school employees who intend to photograph, videotape or audiotape students in school or on school grounds during the regular instructional day using smart phones, cell phones or other devices must have prior approval from the building administrator. This does not apply to photographing, videotaping or audiotaping during extracurricular activities, such as public concerts and athletic events.

No Dogs Permitted on School Property

As much as we enjoy seeing family dogs at arrival and dismissal, all HCPSS schools are expected to adhere to the following policy:

Animals in schools or offices, leashed or not, present safety, environmental, and liability issues. Students and staff may be exposed to potential physical hazards, such as bites, and/or allergy related health problems. As a result, animals are prohibited within HCPSS buildings. Animals are also prohibited on school system property during arrival, dismissal, recess or other HCPSS sponsored outdoor activities. Service animals or service animals in training per MD Annotated Code Section 7-705 (Service Animals) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as animals approved for instructional purposes are exempt from this prohibition.

Parents who bring dogs on their walks to school must wait for students off school property. We want to ensure the safety of our students as they arrive and leave school. Thank you for adhering to this policy.

Visiting During Lunch Times

We strive to be a welcoming place for parents and visitors. At the same time, we have to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning.

While we do allow siblings to accompany parents during Lunch, we do not recommend that.
Younger children should be closely monitored by the parent at all times and they should not interfere with the operations of the Lunch shift.

Siblings are not permitted at Recess or in the Classrooms.

CCES Lunch Times

  • 11:05 a.m. - Kindergarten
  • 11:35 a.m. - 2nd Grade
  • 12:05 p.m. - 1st Grade
  • 12:35 p.m. - 3rd Grade
  • 1:05 p.m. - 4th Grade
  • 1:35 p.m. - 5th Grade

From the Health Room: Parent Responsibilities for Medication Administration at School

  • Obtains written, signed medication orders from an authorized prescriber.
  • Assures that all portions of the Health Services Medication Form are complete.
  • Delivers the written order with parent signature and the medication labeled as required to the school health room.
  • Acknowledges receipt of medication at school and signs the Medication Receiving/Disposing Record.
  • Provides sufficient medication for a full course of administration of fewer than 60 days, when possible and reasonable.
  • Provides medication in the proper form and in the ordered dosage, such as half tablets.
  • Replenishes medication supply as needed.
  • Submits to the school a new order from the physician/prescriber for any change in medication, dosage, or frequency of administration.
  • Gives the first dose of any medication at home and observes for adverse reactions.
  • Retrieves all medication from the school premises one week after the expiration date, upon appropriate notification of medication being discontinued, or at the end of the school year (by the end of staff hours on the last day of school).

Cultural Awareness Committee

Again this year, we will be using our display case in the front lobby to celebrate the different cultures in our community. Our first display will be for National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. If you would like to participate, please contribute anything that represents this culture (such as crafts, photos, and objects from family traditions, pictures of foods and recipes, etc.). Please send them in with your child next week, and be sure to label with your child’s name and homeroom so we may return it. Thanks in advance!

  • Mid-Sept/Oct: Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month
  • Nov: American Indian Heritage Month
  • Dec: Holidays Around the World
  • Feb: Black History Month
  • March: Women's History Month
  • March: Youth Art Month
  • April: Arab American Heritage Month
  • May: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Mrs. Hodgins

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Don't Delay, Join Your PTA

After trying a lot of different 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 candles or other merchandise, we ask each family to contribute $50 (or whatever you can afford) in addition to their membership dues to support the programs we sponsor throughout the year.

Our PTA membership rates are $15 for a family and $10 for an individual.

Consider all the programs your PTA brings to the school -- Cultural Arts assemblies, after-school classes, field trip support, the Science Fair, International Night, Visiting Author, Talent Show, Spring Carnival, etc., etc., etc. Support your PTA!

You can sign up online at

Or, you can print the membership form attached below, and write a check payable to CCES PTA. Send the form and check back to school with your child.

Thank you so much!!

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Back to School Picnic

Join us Friday, September 6 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the CCES school grounds!

We will have playground games for the kids. Bring a picnic dinner, blanket, chairs, frisbees, and balls and enjoy your community. This fun event is for both families and staff. There will be a snowball truck, so bring cash if you choose to get a snowball.

NOTE: Rain Date is September 13

PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Wednesday, Sep. 11th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Clemens Crossing Elementary School Media Center.

Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!

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Shop Amazon and Help CCES

Amazon will donate a percentage of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to CCES! Last school year, Amazon donated $200 to CCES!

Simply go to and select Clemens Crossing Elementary School as your charity or click on the link The same products and prices are available through this portal but every purchase you make will deliver .5% of the purchase price to the CCES PTA to help fund our programs. Only purchases at (not ) support charity.

Remember to use this link each time you make an Amazon purchase and tell your family and friends!

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Box Tops for Education

Thank you for sending your Box Tops for Education into school. Last year, CCES earned over $700. This money is divided so individual grade levels have extra funds to purchase items that they need.

The Box Tops for Education program is changing this year. There are two ways we can earn cash for our school!

Clip: If your package has a traditional Box Top clip, cut it out and send it to school (each grade level has a collection bin). We earn cash for all clipped Box Tops until they expire.

Scan: If your package has the new Box Tops label, use the Box Tops app to scan your store receipt within 14 days of purchase. The app will instantly add Box Tops to our school's earnings online.

Questions? Contact Julia Griffiths,

Grade Level Closed Facebook Groups

Did you know that each grade at Clemens Crossing has a class Facebook page? PTA helps facilitate these pages. The pages are "closed" groups (requiring approval to join the group) and intended only for parents of children in that particular grade. It's a great way to converse and interact with other parents and hear about activities and events in your child's grade.

These pages are supplemental to the schools Twitter feed and Facebook page, so please be sure to use those social media tools as well.

Class of 2025 Kindergarten

Class of 2024 1st grade

Class of 2023 2nd grade

Class of 2022 3rd grade

Class of 2021 4th grade

Class of 2020 5th grade

CCES Cub Scout Pack 618

Interested in Cub Scouts? CCES Cub Scout Pack 618 now includes Girls and Boys in grades K-5. All CCES families are invited to join us for our Join Scouting Night, Tuesday, Sept 10th at 6:30pm in the CCES Media Center. You can learn about Cub Scouts and all about our wonderful Pack. We have great things planned for this year, camping, model rocket building and launching, campfires and more. For more information, please visit, or email

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 you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar. It depends on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.