Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

November 12, 2021 - Volume 43, Issue 13

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


  • 15 - American Education Week
  • 18 - Conference Scheduling Closes
  • 22 - School Closes 3 hours early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 23 - School Closes 3 hours early for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 24 - School Closed for Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 25 - School Closed for Thanksgiving
  • 26 - School Closed for Thanksgiving Weekend


  • 8 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 14 - PTA Restaurant Day - Chick-Fil-A (Johns Hopkins Road location).
  • 15 - School Closes 3 hours Early for a Professional Work Day - JUST ADDED
  • 16 - Winter Chorus Concert
  • 23 - Winter Break Begins

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


Celebrating American Education Week

Each year in November, we celebrate American Education Week prior to Thanksgiving week. Every year we look forward to honoring public education and the many individuals who make a difference in ensuring that every student receives a quality education. American Education Week is a wonderful opportunity to encourage our collaboration and partnership with families. Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold all of our traditional American Education Week activities again this year. We hope American Education Week traditions will return in 2022!

During this challenging and stressful school year, it is even more important that we celebrate the team of people at our schools including our teachers, administrative and support staff, food and nutrition employees, substitute/guest teachers, and so many more.
As part of American Education Week, Wednesday, November 17 is Educational Support Personnel Day (ESP). ESP staff includes secretaries, health room staff, paraeducators, custodians, and food service staff. We are encouraging families to email a message of thanks to the Clemens Crossing Elementary School ESP staff. Additionally, Friday, November 19 is Substitute Teacher Day. We could not possibly operate our school without the dedication of our cadre of amazing substitute teachers. We look forward to our families getting involved in the spirit of the week. Together, we can move forward in empowering each of our students to achieve and thrive.

As of today, 75% of our students have a scheduled Parent-Teacher Conference. This is great news! If you have not signed up for a parent-teacher conference, please do so by Thursday, November 18. The scheduling program closes on November 18.
Parents who have not signed up for a conference will receive a personal email from me as a reminder and an offer to help.

Have a great weekend!

Mr. Cosentino, Principal

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Updated Calendar for 2021-22

On Tuesday, November 2, the Board of Education approve modifying the 2021-22 school calendar. The days listed below are now 3-hour early dismissal days. Our school will close at 12:45 p.m. each day.
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Bus Evacuation Drills

Clemens Crossing Elementary students conducted a bus evacuation drill upon arrival on Tuesday, November 9.
Students practiced safely exiting the back of the bus, so they are prepared to do so in case of an emergency. CCES staff and bus drivers supported students throughout the evacuation to ensure student safety and understanding. All students complied with the expectations of the drill and evacuated safely.

The following directions were provided to bus drivers to announce to the students during the drill:

  1. To begin the drill, the driver will give the command "EVACUATE BY THE REAR DOOR”.
  2. Students should leave all loose belongings such as books, backpacks, etc., on the bus.
  3. A word of caution: When leaving through the rear door, students should step down from the bus to the pavement. Jumping could cause a fall, resulting in serious injury. Students may sit on the floor at the rear exit and scoot out the door if they prefer.
  4. Upon leaving the bus, students will form a line at the front door or a compact group to await further instructions.
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Accessing Report Cards Starting November 10

Access the Family File
  1. Launch your Internet browser, e.g., Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari. NOTE: Ensure that your browser is set to allow for pop-up windows.
  2. In your browser’s Address Bar, type
  3. Enter your HCPSS Connect Login ID and Password in the fields provided.
  4. Click Log in.
  5. Click the last icon on the left-hand side panel list titled, More Options (Family File, Report Cards, etc.)
  6. Click the Report Card link to access this quarter's report card.

Accessing MAP Reports for grades 1 - 5

MAP test results are entered in Synergy the Friday after a student takes the test. It can take up to 24 hours to become viewable for an individual student.

To access previous test scores:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Standardized Test Scores from the middle

Detailed PDF home reports are available in Synergy. To access home reports:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Report Cards from the middle
  4. Select the applicable report from the Student's MAP Reports section.

Measure of Academic Progress (MAP)

Measurements of Academic Progress Assessments (MAP)

Weather Guidelines for Outdoor Recess

Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to run off excess energy.

If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five-minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning. Children are expected to wear warm clothing to protect them during cold weather when participating in recess or outside activities.

The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the Administrator at individual schools. However, the following are to be considered in determining whether recess is to be held outside:

  • Temperature and Windchill
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary.

Unscheduled Weather-Related Late Openings and Early Closings

Now that we are approaching the colder weather part of the year, it is important to be ready for unscheduled early closings and later openings. There may be occasions when unscheduled closings or delays take place. If you have subscribed to HCPSS School Messenger, you will receive official school system notifications of school closings, delayed openings, or early closings. Please review the phone numbers attached to your School Messenger account to ensure that they are up to date. Be sure to OPT IN to text messaging by providing your mobile phone number. To check your account settings on School Messenger, click here.

Our students’ safety is tremendously important. Although early dismissals rarely occur, it is important that plans for this type of dismissal be updated as they change. Please check your child's Family File found in HCPSS Connect to make sure that the information that you have entered is correct. To access Family File on HCPSS Connect, click here. In addition to checking for updated unscheduled early dismissal plans (located under the Arrival/Departure section), please be sure that phone numbers and emergency contacts are current. This extra step on your part will provide assurance to us that we may follow your directives knowing that you will have discussed this with all parties involved.
Please share these procedures with your child(ren) so that they are aware of the plans for unscheduled early dismissals.

For more information on HCPSS emergency/weather closings, click here.

Sign-up Closes 11/18 - Fall Parent/Teacher Conference Instructions

Please take the time to schedule your conference while the conference scheduling window is open. It is very difficult to accommodate last-minute appointments once the scheduling window closes.

Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled to take place on November 22, 23, and 24.

Conferences will be with homeroom teachers and will focus on Language Arts.
To schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect.

HCPSS Connect will be open for all schools to schedule conferences from Monday, November 8 through Thursday, November 18.

To access the instructions, click the button link below or download the instructions below.

If you have any questions, please call the front office at 410-313-6866.

Please note: This is the first of two conference periods for the school year. There will be conferences following the end of the second quarter in February. The focus of those conferences will Math where you will be able to meet with your child's math teacher.

Thankful Thursdays

The PTA would like your help saying “Thank You” to our teachers and staff by signing up to provide snacks on Thursdays for the months of October and November. Use the Sign-up Genius below to be 1 of 5 volunteers per week to send in a snack big enough for about 15 people.
It could be salty or sweet, but store-bought/pre-packaged items only at this time, please. You or your child can drop it off in the main office on Thursday or earlier in the week. Don’t have time but still want to participate? Donate money to our PTA PayPal account and we will pick something up for you! (Indicate using Sign-up Genius what week the donation is for and write “PayPal” in the comments.) Questions? Email Rachael Kelly at

Reporting Absences

Absence Notes

All students are required to have a note explaining why they were absent. Please send an email to your child's teacher as well as

CCES Breakfast and Lunch Menus

This will take you to the nutrislice website.

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Community News and Programs

The Howard County Public School System's policy has a process for non-HCPSS community organizations to distribute information and announcements. These organizations are typically located in the Howard County Community and are focused on serving students, parents, and families in our county community.

Please click the Community News and Program button link below to access a wide range of programs based in our area.

Programs on the HCPSS website are grouped in the following way:

  • Academic Enrichment
  • Afterschool and Camps
  • Arts & Music
  • Child Care
  • Culture/Diversity
  • Environment/Nature
  • Health
  • Sports/Recreation
  • Tutoring/Mentoring
  • Volunteering
  • Other

The website lists the activity or event, the organization's sponsor, and the ages that the activity or event is geared to serve.

This link will remain in our Cougar Comments newsletter throughout the school year. Programs and events expire and are added regularly. Feel free to check it regularly to learn about area programs and events.