Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 14, 2018 - Volume 40, Issue 3

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 15 - National Hispanic Heritage Month Begins
  • 17 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 21 - PTA Back-to-School Picnic, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. (NEW DATE)
  • 26 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.
  • 27 - Fall Individual Portraits


  • 3 - Three-hour Early Dismissal - School closes at 12:45 p.m.
  • 9 - Interim Reports Issued
  • 10 - PTA Meeting
  • 17 - PTA Restaurant Night - Chick-fil-a
  • 19 - Schools Closed - Professional Work Day
  • 24 - JA in a Day

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID By subscribing to the calendar, school events and activities will always be up-to-date.

From School Administration

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. The current weather event with Hurricane Florence illustrates how natural disasters can significantly impact a region. Whether a disaster is natural or not, we all need to be prepared at any time for the challenges that an emergency might cause. How we prepare for and react to situations as adults will help reassure and keep our children safe.

We encourage you to visit and take advantage of so many planning resources for families. Additionally, please review how we prepare for a variety of emergency situations as a school community.

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Emergency Preparedness at Clemens Crossing ES

As a school, we take emergency preparedness seriously. In addition to evacuation drills, we conduct emergency drills to prepare for an emergency situation.

Our Clemens Crossing ES Emergency Preparedness Team meets regularly to review our school-based emergency plan. During our initial meeting, staff members had an opportunity to learn their roll in our plan. Furthermore, different scenarios were discussed so we can respond in a coordinated manner in the event of an emergency. Our primary goal is to keep all students and staff safe.

Protective actions below are used in times of emergency.

Shelter-In-Place – The purpose of a shelter in place emergency response is to protect the inhabitants of a building from dangerous fumes or other environmental poisons that are outside the building. This means moving students into the school building if they are outside. In some situations, the school’s HVAC system would be shut down and doors and windows would be sealed and locked. Shelter-in-Place emergency procedures would be initiated in the event of a hazardous materials spill in the area (especially with our close proximity to MD Route 29 or 32) or in the event of some type of bioterrorism in the region.

Modified Lockdown – This command would be given if there were a potential for violent or criminal activity but not an imminent threat to our school. The day-to-day operation of the school would continue but with modifications. Students would not be permitted to go outside for recess or physical education, and classes in the portable classrooms would be relocated.

Lockdown – This emergency command would be given in the most extreme and threatening situation such as violence or criminal activity inside the school or in the surrounding area. Students, staff, parents, and any visitor to the building are expected to stay where they are and follow instructions given.

Duck, Cover, and Hold On - The “Duck, Cover, and Hold On” command would be given in the event of an explosion (bomb, mechanical malfunction), severe winds (tornado, extreme weather), earthquake, or other situations that might cause significant structural damage to the school. Students, staff, parents, and any visitor to the building should drop to the ground where they are and cover their heads until the extreme activity subsides.

Off-Site Evacuation – In the event that our building is no longer safe, we may determine that we need to evacuate the students. We have designated locations for our off-site evacuation. If necessary, transportation to those sites may be provided by HCPSS. Students will be released to parents or other individuals listed on the student's emergency form.
Please keep in mind that no student is released to any individual who is not specifically listed on the student's emergency form including an older sibling.
All adults must show photo I.D. when picking up a student.

Parents can help by:

  • Giving and updating the most accurate, up-to-date health and emergency information on your child to our school office and your child’s teacher.
  • Ensuring your own safety.
  • Do not call the school during an emergency situation; it jams the phone lines.
  • Do not rush to the school to pick up your child in the event of an emergency. It creates congestion which can delay the tasks of emergency responders and school staff in responding to the emergency.
  • Tuning in to local radio and television stations and checking the HCPSS website.

ACE Awards

ACE Awards are part of our PBIS program. ACE Awards are awarded weekly on Fridays for students who are Achieving, displaying good Citizenship, and putting forth great Effort.

Students who earn the ACE Award will receive a charm to wear. They will also be part of a group picture with other ACE Award recipients.
Two pictures are taken each week; one for social media and one for the bulletin board in the front hallway. Parents who opt out of photography in their Family File will not see their child in the picture posted on social media.
All students who earn the ACE Award will be part of the front hallway picture. Finally, parents/guardians of students who earn the ACE Award will receive a positive phone call explaining why their child earned the ACE Award.

Birthdays at CCES

Student birthdays are announced on the morning announcements via the PA. Students receive a birthday pencil and ribbon in recognition of their day. Deeper 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.

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.

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. - First Grade
  • 12:05 p.m. - Third Grade
  • 12:35 p.m. - Second Grade
  • 1:05 p.m. - Fourth Grade
  • 1:35 p.m. - Fifth Grade
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CCES Continues Educational Partnership with First National Bank

CCES teamed up with First National Bank to provide banking opportunities for our students. In-School Banking takes place once a month on the last Wednesday of each month. You can find all of the dates on our school calendar.
Our first In-School Banking date for the school year is September 26 between 9:00-9:30 a.m. in the Cafeteria.

Students can start banking at any time during the year. Please find a letter from First National Bank below. In addition, the In-School Banking form is required to open an account with First National Bank.

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.

G/T Testing - Fourth and Fifth Grade Students NEW to Howard County

The Howard County Public School System is currently in the process of identifying students new to Howard County Public Schools for possible placement in the G/T Mathematics Program.

If you have a child new to the Howard County Public School System whom you wish to have tested as part of the G/T placement process, please submit your request in writing to the G/T Resource Teacher by Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Laura Register, G/T Resource Teacher, at 410.313.6866 or email her at

Howard County G/T Program Parent Academy

Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 7-8:30pm

8700 Old Annapolis Rd

Ellicott City, MD

HCPSS families interested in the Gifted and Talented (G/T) Program are invited to come to Howard High School to learn about the advanced-level offerings available through the G/T Education Program and how their students can become involved.

The evening will begin with an overview of G/T Education Program offerings at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. These overviews will be presented by both G/T staff and Howard County students.

Following the General Session, parents and community members will have an opportunity to meet by school level for a question and answer session.

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., G/T Education Program Overview Presentation – Auditorium

8:05 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Question and Answer Sessions:

  • Elementary G/T Program Offerings: Auditorium
  • Middle G/T Program Offerings: Classroom F124
  • High School G/T and AP Courses: Classroom F126

For more information, please email or or call 410-­313­‐6800.

Testing for Lead in Drinking Water

HCPSS is will begin to test all schools for the presence of lead in school drinking water during September 2018. The testing is being conducted to comply with a new state regulation requiring lead testing of drinking water outlets in all Maryland schools and not because of any concerns with drinking water in Howard County schools. The state regulations apply to all Maryland school systems.

The testing applies only to water outlets where water is intended for consumption including drinking fountains, cafeteria sinks, etc. Signs will be displayed on any non-drinking water outlets not subject to the water sampling such as those in custodial sinks or science classrooms. The presence of a sign indicates only that a particular faucet has not been sampled; it does not indicate that a particular water supply is, or suspected of, lead contamination.

HCPSS will sample and analyze water from all drinking water outlets in every school during the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years. Schools serviced by well water are not required by the state to be tested; however, these schools will be included in HCPSS testing.

Details about the test process, schedule, sampling, reporting procedures, other information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions, are provided on the HCPSS website.

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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, after-school classes, Talent Show, Spring Carnival, etc., etc., etc., and 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!!

Clemens Crossing Apparel

The CCES Spirit Wear Sale is open and will continue through October 1. Purchases made will be delivered to school the week of October 22nd and distributed soon after. Flyers will go home in the first day folders. All orders must be placed online.

You can choose a unisex t-shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt, or ladies t-shirt with a special 40th Anniversary logo in Navy or a traditional CCES logo in grey. Better yet, why not order one item with each design! Traditional designs are also available on a light blue tie-dye t-shirt, a hoodie, and a cinch bag. Prices range from $11-$24. Check out the site, select Clemens Crossing ES, select items to add to your shopping cart and order what you’d like.

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PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Monday, Sep. 17th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Clemens Crossing Elementary School Media Center.

Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!

Giant Food A+ Rewards

Clemens Crossing Elementary earns cash every time you shop at Giant Food Grocery Stores and use your Giant card. In fact, CCES earned $4,900 for our school last year from this program. Money earned helps to pay for online subscriptions such as iXL.

The A+ Rewards program starts September 7 and runs through March 16. CCES will automatically start earning money from your purchases once the program begins on September 7.

All you need to do is register your Giant Food Card and designate CCES as your school of choice (school ID: 01008) through Giant's A+ School Rewards Program.

Follow the steps below to register your card and designate CCES as your school today:

  1. Visit Giant Food's website
  2. You will need to register your Giant Food Card and login to your Giant Food account.
  3. Click Savings next to the Giant logo. Another menu will pop-up then click Rewards and Programs.
  4. Click Register Now under the A+ Give Back to Local Schools.
  5. From there, search for CCES or enter our ID number 01008 to link your card to our school.

If you need assistance, Call Customer Care at 877-366-2668 OPTION #1.

NOTE: If you registered your Giant card last year it is suggested to check your account to make sure your card is properly linked.

Don't forget to encourage your friends and family members to register their cards for CCES too!

Destination Imagination

Are you interested in becoming a parent volunteer manager for one of our Destination Imagination teams at CCES? Is your child interested in joining one of our teams? Destination Imagination is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students' creativity, courage, and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of STEM, fine arts, and service learning. The challenges for the current DI season can be found here:

Managers will run weekly meetings with their team of students (between 4 and 7) and work towards performing a season-long challenge at the regional tournament in February. Students in grades K-2 will participate in a developmental "Rising Stars" team, and students in grades 3-5 will participate on a competitive team.

If you are interested in being a team manager or if your child is interested in participating, please email Chris McDonald at

Clemens Crossing PTA Family Mentoring Program

If you are new to Clemens Crossing and would like to be paired with a more established Clemens Crossing family, please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at The Committee will arrange a playdate for your child with a child in the same class and will help your family adjust to the school and the area.

We are also looking for established Clemens Crossing families willing to mentor a new family. Volunteers are needed for every grade and every class, so please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at if you would like to participate.

Thank you for your help!


Clemens Crossing receives cash for your Box Tops! Remember to cut them out and send them in with your child. Each grade level has a collection bin -- the more Box Tops your grade brings in, the more cash your child's class receives! Box Tops are collected all year-round.

Grade-Level Facebook Pages

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 2024 Kindergarten

Class of 2023 1st grade

Class of 2022 2nd grade

Class of 2021 3rd grade

Class of 2020 4th grade

Class of 2019 5th grade

Community News and Programs

In alignment with Howard County Board of Education Policy 10010, Distribution and Display of Materials and Announcements, the following announcements have been approved by the Public Information Office for distribution. Please visit Distributing Community Information through the School System or contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6682 if you have any questions.
Community News and Programs

Community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.