Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

November 30, 2018 - Volume 40, Issue 12

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


  • 4 - Inclusive Schools Week
  • 7 - Third Grade Field Trip to Aquarium
  • 12 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 13 - PTA Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m
  • 14 - PTA Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m.
  • 17 - Spirit Day #1: Wacky Tacky Day
  • 17 - PTA Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m.
  • 18 - Spirit Day #2: Blizzard Day
  • 19 - Spirit Day #3: Holiday Sock Day
  • 19 - In-School Banking
  • 19 - Interim Reports Issued
  • 19 - Winter Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 20 - Spirit Day #4: Holiday Hat Day
  • 21 - Spirit Day #5: Pajama Day
  • 24 - Schools and Offices Closed through January 1

For a complete list of dates and events visit

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system click the +Google Calendar icon in the bottom right-hand corner to add our calendar to your personal device. By subscribing to the calendar, school events and activities will always be up-to-date.

From School Administration

We hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend. It was great to see so many of you here at school for Parent/Teacher Conferences during the week that led up to Thanksgiving.
The opportunity for parents and teachers to talk about the growth that students are making is always so valuable. Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to be here for a conference. We would also like to thank the PTA Staff Appreciation Committee for sponsoring a delicious dinner for all the staff members who were here on Monday night for conferences. The food was excellent and helped everyone make it through the long day!
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Inclusive Schools Week

Inclusive Schools Week is a national campaign that recognizes the meaningful inclusion of students with disabilities in academics, athletics, clubs, and all facets of our school community. While we recognize the importance of inclusion across gender, race, ethnicity, and culture, this particular campaign will focus primarily on celebrating the abilities of all students.

To celebrate this campaign at CCES we will be asking students to complete The Pledge to Be Inclusive project. The Pledge to Be Inclusive will be a project for students to complete at home. Students will pledge to stand up for inclusion all year long by answering one way to help ensure that everyone feels included at CCES. Answers are to be written on the inside of the heart, then decorate the hand, and cut it out. Projects are due to Mrs. Rogers no later than Friday, December 7th. It can be accessed here.

BGE Bright Ideas Teachers Grant

Congratulations to Mrs. McKim, winner of the BGE Bright Ideas Teacher Grant. She was presented with a Maryland General Assembly Official Citation for her dedication to students.

Mrs. McKim was recognized by BGE in Baltimore on Tuesday, November 27. The grant will help fund supplies for our Makers Faire on January 10.

Pictured left to right: Mr. Patrick Saunderson, Community Superintendent, Mr. Edward Cosentino, CCES Principal, Mrs. Kelly McKim, CCES 2nd Grade Teacher, and Maryland Delegate Clarance Lam.

Hour of Code

We are preparing for the official Hour of Code, which begins on Monday, December 3 and will last throughout the week.

During technology classes, all students in Grades K-5 will participate in coding activities. Students will interact with online tutorials, games, and coding courses. Students have been engaged in unplugged activities this week to introduce them to basic computer programming skills and help to develop problem-solving skills, algorithmic thinking, pattern recognition, and persistence they will need to use next week during the Hour of Code. If you would like to create a account for your student at home, you are welcome to do so. This will allow students to continue their work at home if they wish.

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.

CCES Spirit Week - December 17-21

Our Cougar Council and PBIS have collaborated to bring a little fun and excitement during the final week before winter break. They planned the following spirit days for the week leading up to winter break from December 17 through December 21.

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Winter Concerts

If you cannot attend the Winter Concerts in person, we have the next best thing. You can listen to and see the concerts live on Periscope through our Twitter feed. Simply visit at the respective times to listen and see the concert. Feel free to share the information with family and friends.

  • Chorus - December 19 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Strings - January 17 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Band - January 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

This year, the Howard County Public School System will be administering the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to all students in Grades 3 and 5. Third Grade will test on December 4 and 5 at 9:20 a.m. and Fifth Grade will test on December 5 and 6 at 10:30 a.m.

The CogAT is a group-administered abilities test that measures students’ reasoning abilities which they develop through in-school and out-of-school experiences. It is not designed to test a student’s academic achievement, but their potential.

The test is made of three batteries – Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. Each battery takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The CogAT helps educators understand a student’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses and assists with adapting instruction to meet the needs and abilities of each student.

No special preparation is required. Just send your child to school ready to learn as you do daily.

The Gifted and Talented Education Program will use the data from the CogAT as one criterion for placement into fourth grade Gifted/Talented mathematics classes and middle school Gifted/Talented content classes. Students’ individual scores will be reported to parents in late February/early March.

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Makers Faire is Coming Soon

Calling all Makers!

We are looking for Makers to display items at our 1st Annual Maker Faire on January 10, 2019!

What is a Maker Faire?

A Maker Faire is a gathering of people interested in Science, Technology, Math, Art, Sustainability, Creativity, and Innovation. The Faire will consist of hands-on activities centered around unique solutions, creativity, and construction.

Who is a maker?

Anyone can be a maker! All you have to do is use your creativity and skill to make something that solves a problem.

We are looking for student makers interested in displaying and sharing items they have created!

Items could include, but are not limited to:

  • A model using Lego
  • A handmade musical instrument
  • A tool to solve a problem
  • Crochet/knitting project
  • Origami
  • Handmade toy

If your student/family is interested in sharing items at the Maker Faire, please complete the information below.

Makers Faire Sign-Up

If you would like to participate in our Makers Fair, please complete this form.

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 $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch.

More information about Free and Reduced Meals is located on the HCPSS website here.

Apply Now

Free and Reduced Meals Application

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Holiday Shoppe

The CCES PTA Holiday Shoppe is returning on December 13th, 14th, and 17th from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the CCES Library. The Holiday Shoppe provides kids with the opportunity to purchase gifts for their family and friends that cost between $0.25 and $12. Please note that the gifts are not specific to the holidays and can be given for any occasion like birthdays or just because. The PTA can also provide assistance so that children with a financial need are able to shop. For more information about financial assistance, please contact Mr. Cosentino at If you are interested in volunteering at the Holiday Shoppe, there are several slots available to assist the shoppers with their purchases and help wrap their gifts:

Also, if you have spare wrapping or tissue paper that you no longer have a use for, please consider donating it to the Holiday Shoppe so our kids can spruce up their wrapping. You can drop it off in the school office or contact Nicole Bellows at to arrange for pickup! If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Nicole.

While the kids are shopping the Holiday Shoppe, Parents can wait in the hallway as not to spoil your surprises! Thanks in advance! We apologize to our families celebrating Hanukkah; scheduling complications made it impossible to hold the Holiday Shoppe before Hanukkah this year (Hanukkah is very early this year!).

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Giant Food

Have you connected Clemens Crossing ES to your Giant Food card? By designating CCES on your Giant Food card, Giant will donate money to our school. This helps purchase resources for student use in the classrooms. All purchases made using your Giant Food card through March 16, 2019 will help contribute to a cash donation to our school from Giant.

Holiday Shopping - Amazon Smile

Amazon will donate a percentage of the price of eligible AmazonSmile purchases 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.

Great Wolf Lodge Getaway

Interested in a getaway to Great Wolf Lodge? CCES familes (And PRES families, too!) can take advantage of a discounted room rate at Great Wolf Lodge the weekend of March 15-17 -- see the attached document for more information. Questions? Contact Alice Pax (

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Leftover Spirit Wear for Sale While Supplies Last

Our spirit wear company provided us with a few extra items in the design shown to the left. Therefore, we have the final spirit wear items to sell. If you would like to purchase the final few, please bring your exact cash or check to the front office. We are selling the items on a first-come-first-serve basis. Here is a list of items we still have along with the prices:

  • 4 drawstring bags, $11
  • 2 Youth small long-sleeve tee-shirts, $16
  • 1 Youth small short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 2 Youth medium short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 2 Youth large short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 3 Adult small short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
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Fall Mini Session of Abrakadoodle

Fall Mini Session of Abrakadoodle - Mondays! This session is 4 classes that will start the week after Thanksgiving and end before the winter break. We have some amazing projects that the kids will love that will expand their creativity. We’ve had a great time with your creative children and would love to continue with them. Registration is open and space is limited. You can register at:

Calling All Singers

This is for grown-ups, not kids. Did you sing in a choir in high school or college? Do you miss singing with other people in 4-part harmony? We are looking to find a group of singers who want to sing holiday music and go caroling around a Clemens Crossing neighborhood. We're planning to meet Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 and Tuesday, December 18 at 7:00 in the music room of CCES (Mrs. Ritchie will be singing, too!) and go caroling on Friday evening, December 21. You are welcome to come to as many nights or as few as you can work into your schedule!
Please contact Karen Pang,, if you are interested!

WLMS Boosters Barnes and Noble Holiday Pajama Party

Support the WLMS students in the Arts and please join us for our Community Holiday Pajama Party on December 6th, 4:00-8:30pm at Barnes & Noble, Columbia Mall. It's a Fundraiser benefiting Wilde Lake Middle School (WLMS) Performing Arts Boosters! Wear your favorite holiday pajamas (appropriate for public viewing of course). We will have performances from the school's performing arts groups throughout the evening, face painting, gift wrapping and holiday story time. Before the big day, make a list of your Barnes & Noble shopping needs-holiday gifts, birthday or other special occasion gifts or teacher wish list items!

Pre-order and prepay for your Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake and be the hit of your Holiday party, or most beloved guest-cheesecakes make a great hostess gift! Order form attached- email to Deadline December 6, 2018

Shop the Columbia Mall, Barnes & Noble and WLMS Performing Arts program will receive a percentage of the proceeds to support the chorus, band, orchestra and theater programs.

Use the Bookfair voucher attached in-store on December 6th, 2018.

* Also included are all Barnes & Noble Cafe sales by our supporters. Please USE BOOK FAIR ID# 12465217 (bring or show attached voucher for all purchases). Clearance items not included.

Your WLM Boosters Team

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.