VES Eagle Express Newletter

NOVEMBER 7, 2020 - Volume 14, Issue #13

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular

Veterans Elementary

Robert Bruce, Principal -

Amy Green, Assistant Principal -

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern -

The office has coverage from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on
days when school is in session.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700


They are available to assist you during this time:

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

Send Student Attendance-related notifications directly to:

(i.e. student will be absent due to illness, appointments, religious, or travel obligations)


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.


November 5th is the end of the first quarter. I must stress it is crucial for all students to attend every class and fully participate in their learning. Participation can impact your grades. Frankly, I prefer students to keep their cameras on, there may be reasons parents want them off. Please know that for students whose cameras are off, there is still an expectation of their participation. We know there are a few cases where students turn the camera off and do not engage in the lesson. I have recommended to teachers to include some synchronous assignment to verify a student's participation. We can not force a student to keep their camera on but we can expect assignments completed that are assigned during virtual learning time. Of course completion of assignments help teachers to assess student progress. If there is nothing to assess then there is no progress.

Several parents have contacted me about the amount of asynchronous assignments assigned for students to complete. I have pursued this issue with Central Office and the curriculum offices are reconsidering the amount of assignments. They should get back to me and soon and I will get back to you.

School Calendar

Make sure you know important dates on the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar. There are no printed calendars; you may view the online calendar and/or download printable calendar PDFs on our website. The calendar is subject to change.

SY2020-21 HCPSS Calendar list view of Event Dates

November Early Dismissal Schedules

The HCPSS 2020-2021 calendar includes several upcoming 3-hour early dismissal days on: Friday, November 6, Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24. Click on the above link for more detailed information.


National Native American Heritage Month

9 - 2nd Quarter Begins

9 thru 13 - Virtual Spirit Week: Celebrating World Kindness Day

9 - Spirit Day #1: Hats off to Kindness - Wear your favorite Hat
10 - Spirit Day #2: Ride the Kindness Wave - Wear Beach Attire
12 - Spirit Day #3: Kindness Rocks - Dress like a Rock Star

13 - Spirit Day #4: Dream of Kindness - Wear Pajamas

13 - Parent-Teacher Conference scheduling Window Opens via HCPSS ParentConnect

16 - Q1 Report Cards Issued

20 - Parent-Teacher Conference schedulingWindow Closes

23 - 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

24 - 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

25 - School Closed to Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

26& 27 - Schools and Offices Closed: THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY (State Mandated Holiday)

Important Current Events

Veterans Day

On November 11th, Veterans Elementary School has a rich tradition of saluting our school community's veterans who have served our nation. This year, due to Co-VID, we will be unable to salute our nation's true heroes. While we recognize the members of VFW Post 7472, we also want to recognize the efforts of veterans across the school community. Many of student's parents, grandparents, and other relatives have valiantly served our country. Likewise, we have several staff members who have also served our nation. We salute each and every veteran who has fought to make our nation safe. This time of the year, it is crucial to remember that our armed forces have done so much to protect our rights, that includes the right to cast a vote in an election. Protecting our way of life and our freedom has been the bedrock of military service for our country. Even if they don't agree with our individual views, they know that our founding fathers expected our military to protect the rights guaranteed to us by the United States Constitution. They see it as a sacred duty and in return, we should exercise those rights respectfully and honorably. We hope to gather next year and resume our recognition of our heroes. Veterans Elementary School proudly salutes the true heroes- our nation's veterans!

1st Quarter Grading for Virtual Learning

This has been a challenging 1st quarter of school for many of our families. Due to the negative impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and transition to virtual learning, the Howard County Public School System has made some changes to 1st quarter grading that you may see reflected on your child’s report card.

Students in primary grades will earn an I (Independent) or W (With assistance) if they have engaged in synchronous instruction. Students in intermediate grades will receive A, B or C grades if they have engaged in synchronous instruction. As a result, Canvas grades may not align with quarter 1 report card grades.

These changes are in place for 1st quarter report card grades only. Asynchronous assignments complement and support synchronous learning, please support your child with task completion and with attending support sessions as needed.

HCPSS Connect Online Parent-Teacher Fall Conference Scheduling Window

Opens Nov 13 - 12:01am

Closes Nov 20 - 11:59pm

Fall Conferences will be with Homeroom teachers with the focus on Language Arts.
To schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect.
Here is a link to the HCPSS Connect video on "how to" schedule conference slots:

The link below will help you keep track of a number of things your child experiences on Canvas. One important piece is a way to keep track of assignments due to his or her teacher. Please download and make use of this app.

Parent Canvas Mobile App

To: Parents of Special Needs Population

Recently we announced that Veterans Elementary will soon offer in-person support programs for small groups of HCPSS students. Although you may have expressed interest in having your child participate, we will not be able to include your child in the in-person program/service delivery model at this time. Unfortunately, our ability to offer these programs/services is dependent on staff availability, which is currently not sufficient to meet the level of family interest, and thus we are able to begin transitioning a very limited number of children for this level of face-to-face service and support. We continue to use the survey responses you provided to identify other options for serving additional children in small groups. Again, the availability of staff will help us determine when we can safely open for additional small groups.

As a reminder, any child may interact with their teacher, related services provider, or assigned support staff individually or in small groups at mutually agreed-upon times during the synchronous support times built into the daily school schedule. Please contact your child's case manager to ensure this opportunity.

Please know that we are fully committed to providing services to your child to the greatest extent possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Amy Green, Kelly Ryan or any other staff member if there is anything else that we can do to help support your child.

Robert C. Bruce
Principal- Veterans Elementary School

From the VES Counseling Department:

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We will be celebrating World Kindness Day by participating in a Kindness Spirit Week!

Monday, November 9: Hats off to Kindness - Wear Your Favorite Hat

Tuesday, November 10: Ride the Kindness Wave - Wear Beach Attire

Thursday, November 12: Kindness ROCKS - Dress like a Rockstar

Friday, November 13: Dream of Kindness - Wear Pajamas

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We are currently in the process of updating our database for families in need.
Please submit all information by Friday, November 20, 2020.

Please let us know if you are interested in receiving food by filling out the google form below. We will try our best to honor your request, however it is not guaranteed. The food pickup location is at St. Peter’s Church in Ellicott City.

Please fill out the Pete’s Packs Sign Up form to receive more information.

Please fill out the google form below if you are in need of gift cards for the holidays. We will put all names in a raffle and you will be notified if you are selected.

Please fill out the Holiday Gift Card Raffle form to be entered.

Mensaje del consejeros escolar:

Nos gustaría saber si su familia necesita apoyar. Por favor envie toda la información antes del viernes 20 de noviembre de 2020.

La iglesia de San Pedro en Ellicott City está proporcionando alimentos a las familias. La familia recogería la comida en la iglesia. Si está interesado en recibir alimentos, completa la encuesta.

Vamos a tener una rifa de tarjetas de regalo para las navideñas. Para una oportunidad para ganar, completa la encuesta.

If you have an immediate need for help with depression, suicidal thoughts, or other serious

mental health issues, please contact:

Grassroots Crisis Intervention at 410-531-6677

The Maryland Crisis Hotline: Dial 211 and then choose option 1

The Crisis Text Line: Text 741741 and a trained counselor will respond.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

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Message from HCPSS Superintendent

November 6, 2020 Updates: Hybrid Model Proposal, Athletics and SRO Town Hall

Dear HCPSS Community:

I want to give you an update on our ongoing planning regarding the potential move to a hybrid or other instructional model. On October 22, the Board approved the health metrics that would allow students and staff to safely return to school buildings in a hybrid format or signal the need to revert to a virtual model. At the Board meeting yesterday, November 5, we presented a detailed proposal for a hybrid instructional delivery model that would give students significant opportunities to learn in the classroom, retain the flexibility to move between hybrid and virtual as circumstances evolve, and maintain safety for students and staff to the greatest extent possible. The full presentation, and additional context provided during my preliminary remarks, are available online.

The Board is scheduled to take action on a hybrid model no later than the November 19 Board meeting. I want to stress that approving a hybrid model is separate from determining if students and staff will transition to a hybrid model in the second semester. The approved metrics and hybrid model, once approved by the Board, will provide the tools to make a decision regarding the second semester instructional model, which will be communicated on November 19. I want to emphasize that all decisions about the second semester will be dependent on where our metrics stand and the guidance of the Howard County Health Department, and with careful consideration for the well-being and safety of our students and staff.

The input of parents/guardians, students, staff are important to inform the Board's decisions.

  • A virtual Town Hall will take place on Monday, November 9, from 7-9 p.m, where a panel of HCPSS leaders and central office staff will respond to as many pre-submitted questions as possible within the two-hour period. Questions for the Town Hall may be submitted by 7 a.m. Monday, November 9, by completing this form.
  • If you wish to provide input to the Board regarding the proposed hybrid model, please email

The well-being of our students, staff and families is always uppermost in my thoughts and heart. Unfortunately, COVID-19 positivity cases have been rising, and our collective well-being depends heavily on the continued vigilance of us all. Please, help to keep yourself and your loved ones safe by wearing a mask and always following social distancing guidelines.

Best wishes for a relaxing and healthful weekend.


Michael J. Martirano, Ed.D.


Community News

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

Board of Education Virtual Town Hall on Spring Semester, Nov. 9

As part of ongoing efforts to receive stakeholder feedback and answer questions related to the 2020-2021 spring semester, the Howard County Board of Education will host a virtual town hall, Monday, November 9 from 7-9 p.m. The event will be streamed live and may be viewed on the HCPSS website, or on Comcast channel 95/Verizon 42 in Howard County.

The town hall will feature a panel of HCPSS leadership and Central Office staff, who will respond to pre-submitted questions. Panelists will address as many of the submitted questions as possible within the two-hour time period.

Any staff, students, parents/guardians or community members may submit questions via Google form, which closes at 7 a.m., Monday, November 9.

Please note, there is a scheduled Board of Education meeting Thursday, November 5, during which a proposed hybrid model for the spring semester will be presented. That proposal will be available on the BoardDocs website by the start of the presentation. Stakeholders may find it useful to submit questions after reviewing the proposed hybrid model.

Additionally, all stakeholders may continue to provide input to the Board of Education by emailing

Second Quarter Begins November 9

The HCPSS second quarter begins Monday, November 9. Middle and high school students who registered for quarter-duration courses and/or their parents/guardians can view schedules in Synergy and the class calendar on Canvas and for Google Meet codes. View the HCPSS calendar online.

HCPSS Mental Health Resources: Community Advisory Council Meeting

Wednesday, November 11, 7 p.m., Virtual meeting

HCPSS staff will discuss and answer questions about mental health resources. CAC meetings are open to the public. Interested participants may request the virtual meeting link by emailing The link will be sent one day prior to the meeting. Learn more about CAC.


Residency Reminder: HCPSS SCHOOL LOCATOR
Even though HCPSS is currently operating in a virtual learning environment, families need to alert their school if they move, especially if they move to another attendance area. While in the spring transfers between schools were minimized, it is now the 2020-2021 school year and all students should be enrolled at the school for their assigned attendance area.

Spring Semester: Share Your Input

Parents/guardians, students, staff and other stakeholders may provide input and feedback to the Board of Education regarding the spring semester instructional model by emailing The Board will review all emails; however, due to the anticipated volume, individual responses should not be expected.

School Resource Officer Program: Share Your Input

HCPSS is conducting a review of the School Resource Officer (SRO) program. Students, parents/guardians, staff and community members may provide feedback about the SRO program by emailing

Project SEARCH Information Session

At this virtual information session on Tuesday, November 10, families of youth with disabilities can learn about Project SEARCH, an internship program that prepares young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their last year of high school for competitive employment.

Free Student Meals

Grab-and-Go meals are served every day school is in session, Monday through Friday from 8-9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and are free of charge for all students and any child under age 18. All meals include breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Find details about pre-ordering, weekend meals and more information online.

Google Meet Expectations

To ensure a positive and productive virtual learning experience, it is important that all students and parents/guardians adhere to these Google Meet expectations, and review the virtual instruction responsibilities, expectations and best practices provided online.

2020-21 School Year Updates

Find updated information about the 2020-2021 school year on the HCPSS website. Answers to frequently-asked questions are provided on the HCPSS Help site.

HCPSS News Subscriptions

HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and delivers real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File and have been automatically updated for the 2020-2021 school year.
Parents/guardians new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification, however must opt in to receive text alerts.



Two weeks to order!!!
Online Orders Only

The PTA is happy to announce our new online Spirit Wear Shop!

Need a cozy sweatshirt for hanging out by the firepit or a
T-shirt for Spirit week at school?

We have you covered!! We have PJ pants and even VES masks this year! All merchandise will be available for curbside pick before Winter break. You only have 2 weeks to order so get those orders in soon! Online orders only this year!

You can join the PTA at the same time!

Use this link:

You can join the PTA at the same time!

Membership still open!

Join while you pick up your spiritwear and help support assemblies and school events for the kids!

Family Fun Nights
coming soon via Zoom!

Reflections Art Contest Chair Needed

Do you love art and want to manage the annual Reflections contest participants from Veterans Elem school? Reflections is an annual contest run by the National PTA. Students enter at their local PTA level and submit entries in the categories of Dance, Film, Literature, Music, Photography, and Visual Arts. There is a handbook to guide you.
This year's theme is "I Matter Because...". Email Cara at if you would like more info about this opportunity.

Become a PTA Member:

Follow us on Facebook:

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.

COMCAST Internet

To help connect more families to the internet at home, Comcast is offering two months of free internet to new Internet Essential customers. more information

Greetings from your VES School Psychologists!

Our school psychologist team at VES has grown this school year. We are here to help you!

Debra Moniodis (School Psychologist, Infants and Toddlers):

Michal Boyars (School Psychologist, RECC):

Katie Burkhouse (School Psychologist, K-5):

Kristen Marsico (School Psychologist Intern, K-5):

School psychologists are available for parent and staff consultation by level. Please reach out via email to schedule an appointment!

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.


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More Than Karate! This after-school program, typically offered by our business partner - Okinawan Karate Dojo - now available ON-LINE on the ZOOM platform! It is the perfect way to keep YOUR CHILD(REN) (ages 6 -10...K-5th) engaged in exercise and character development during this season of limited options for youth! Registration is OPEN, and classes are offered every Wednesday, beginning Wed. Nov 4th. Fun and enjoy this awesome introduction to the benefits of martial arts training! All classes will be held on-line via ZOOM! The Instructors have been teaching on ZOOM for a long time, and have a truly engaging format for classes! The results are AMAZING! So convenient for your family...10 WEEK/class package is only $119. Led by adult Instructors from THE OKINAWAN KARATE DOJO, students will gain improved focus, more respect, and sound self-defense skills! For Information and Registration:; call: 443-574-8999; or email: Also ask about our Virtual School Support program, Dojo During the Day!!


Are you a girl looking to have fun and adventures with new friends? VES Girl Scout troops have openings in all grade levels, and a new kindergarten troop is forming!

For more information, contact Lauren Oviatt at

Cub Scout Pack 305

For information, please contact Heidi Potter at

Please Continue to Return Media Books

A bin is located right inside the front door of our school for book drop off. You don't need to go inside the school, just drop the books off in the bin. We would like for all media books to be returned by November 1st, so we can clear our student accounts and make plans for a possible contactless media book check out later on this year. If you have books from another school, you may drop those off in the bin as well and we will send them to your old school.
If you have any questions, please email your media specialist, or

Howard County Library Resources

  • Created While Isolated: Students ages 13 and up and adults are invited to share photographs, art, music, creative writing, and personal stories from this unprecedented time in acollaborative creativity journal.
  • TumbleMath is a fun and engaging way to learn math concepts through stories. Students can access this and many other learning resources with their A+ student accounts by selecting HC Library.

Send all attendance notes directly to:

During Virtual Learning, attendance will be taken daily by teachers for

Homeroom (.5 day) and Math (.5 day) to account for a full school day.

Each HCPSS school now has an attendance email for parents to send notes pertaining to their child missing any time out from school, even during virtual learning
(ie. sick, appointment, travel, etc.)

Please take the time to review: HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY


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.

Privacy Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

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To maintain a positive, productive learning environment and assure confidentiality for students and teachers during distance learning, all parents/guardians are asked to follow the following privacy guidelines.

  • Google Meet virtual instruction is designed for students. To prevent disruptions to the learning environment, parents/guardians should not actively participate in check-in sessions, although parents/guardians may assist their child with technology and/or remain nearby.
  • Do not video record, audio record, photograph, live stream, or transmit in any other way any part of a Google Meet, including not posting on any social media platform.
  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to students participating during Google Meets should not be collected, discussed or shared.
  • Parents/guardians should not engage with students during Google Meets. If you need to speak with your child during a check-in session, first mute your child’s microphone.
  • If a parent/guardian has a question, please email your child’s teacher.

Parents/guardians should email your child’s principal with any questions or concerns regarding privacy or virtual classroom expectations.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring that distance learning is a positive, productive and enjoyable experience for all participants