Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

BACK-TO-SCHOOL ISSUE - 8/23/22 - Volume 44, Issue 2

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Jaime Gittleson, Assistant Principal

For another language, click "Translate Newsletter" tab and select the language of choice in the upper right-hand corner.


Para otros idiomas, haga clic en Traducir Newsletter y elija el idioma que prefiera.


다른 언어의 경우 뉴스 레터 번역을 클릭하고 원하는 언어를 선택합니다.




دوسری زبانوں کے لئے ، نیوزلیٹر کا ترجمہ کریں پر کلک کریں اور اپنی پسند کی زبان کا انتخاب کریں۔

Big picture

Welcome from School Administration

It's finally here! We cannot wait to see our students back at school! Our teachers and staff have been working incredibly hard to prepare for the first day and the school year overall. We are ready for an amazing school year! A lot of planning and preparation goes into a suCCESsful start!

This week's newsletter is packed full of a lot of information. Please pay particular attention to arrival and dismissal procedures so we can establish safe routines on the first day of school. Please expect lengthy arrivals and dismissals for the first few days. If everyone follows the procedures, we can have a very safe, efficient, and speedy arrival and dismissal time. Please be patient with us during the first few days of school.

On that note, we highly recommend sending your child to school on the first day in the same way as will be their normal daily routine. Save the goodbyes for home, and make sure kids are in the school building by 9:13 a.m. and in their classroom seats at 9:15 a.m.

I want to thank our community for the excellent response rate for completing your Family File. At the start of this week, we had 92% of our Family Files complete. This is outstanding!

We want to remind you that Open Houses are this Friday during the following times:

  • Kindergarten - 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • First and Second Grades - 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
  • Third, Fourth and Fifth Grades - 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Open House is a time for students to meet their teachers, classmates, and to drop off school supplies.

We look forward to seeing parents/guardians on Back-to-School Nights:
Tuesday, August 30 for Grades 3, 4, & 5

Tuesday, September 6 for Grades K, 1, & 2

If you have any questions or need any help, please reach out to us. We look forward to a great partnership this year!

Mr. Cosentino, Principal

Mrs. Gittleson, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events, visit


  • 24 - Class Assignments open in Family File
  • 26 - Open House - Kindergarten 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • 26 - Open House - First and Second Grades 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
  • 26 - Open House - Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades 2:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • 29 - First Day of School
  • 30 - Gifted & Talented Information Session 6:00-6:30 p.m.
  • 30 - Back-to-School Night for Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades 6:30 p.m.
  • 30 - Band & Strings Information Session 7:30 p.m.


  • 1 - AHS & WLHS Back-to-School Night (feeder high schools)
  • 5 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 6 - Band/Strings Information Session 6:00 p.m.
  • 6 - Back-to-School Night for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade 6:30 p.m.
  • 8 - HCMS & WLMS Back-to-School Night (feeder middle school)
  • 9 - PTA Welcome Back Family Picnic 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • 14 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting: Social& Dinner at 6:30 p.m.; Meeting 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month Begins
  • 22 - Fall Individual Picture Day
  • 26 - Rosh Hashanah - 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 2022-2023 calendars. Staff, students, and families may add our online calendar to their own mobile/online calendar by

  1. Going to
  2. Scrolling down to Subscribing 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.

Calendars in Spanish, Chinese, and Korean

Calendario en español


스페인어로 된 달력

Related Arts

Related Arts and the Color Calendar Schedule

Students participate in Related Arts daily for one hour. There are five related arts classes: Art, Media, Music, Physical Education, and Technology. During the pandemic year, we moved from a set or fixed daily related arts schedule to a rotating related arts schedule. The rotating schedule is called the Related Arts Color Calendar. We rotate days using the color calendar because there are a disproportional number of days off on Mondays and Fridays. This used to mean students would have up to 6 fewer Monday or Friday related arts versus the other classes and days of the week. Your child's teacher will share their specific color calendar schedule with you and your child. You can refer to the color calendar below. It is very important to make sure your child dresses appropriately for the classes he/she has for related arts, especially for physical education.



We are fortunate to be part of a dynamic community, and we strive for inclusive excellence every day. When you visit Clemens Crossing, you will see this Inclusive Excellence graphic. It is a reminder that we honor and value diversity, equity, and inclusion. We also constantly evaluate how we take steps against bias. Together, we will all build a world-class educational community for our students.
Big picture

Chromebooks Changes

The current HCPSS device deployment implementation plan is:

For the past two years, we have been a one-to-one school with Chromebook computer devices.

This year, students will be sharing devices in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Chromebooks that were assigned to students in the past have been unassigned.

If your child had an assigned Chromebook to use during a HCPSS summer program, please return the Chromebook and charger to Mrs. Gelinas, Instructional Technology Teacher, at Open House or the first day of school.


Arrival and Dismissal Information

With 550 students at Clemens Crossing Elementary, it is important to be patient during arrival and dismissal. The carefully planned logistics of arrival and dismissal help us keep our students, staff, parents, and visitors safe. If you are in a non-transportation zone (walker or car rider) it is extremely important to familiarize yourself with our routines for arrival and dismissal.

As adults, we must follow predictable patterns and routines, because children can be unpredictable. Parking in a wrong or illegal place creates unpredictable situations, and those types of situations can put students at risk during arrival and dismissal.

Arrival and dismissal safety is everyone's responsibility. Please review the map below and listen to our staff members who are outside to assist your children when they enter and leave school daily.

NOTE: Please follow the posted signs along Quarterstaff Road. Traffic engineers studied the road and placed signs to help maximize sight lines for drivers. This helps to reduce risks and provide a safe crossing of Quarterstaff Road for walkers who live on the other side of the road.

Do not park along Quarterstaff Road where signs state "No Parking or Standing." Howard County Police will ticket drivers who park or drop-off/pick-up students where no parking signs are posted.

Car Riders - All car riders are dismissed on the parking lot side of the building.
Car riders are expected to be dropped off and picked up in the car loop (school parking lot). We do not allow students to cross the bus parking lot and load into their car along Quarterstaff Road. Please do not tell your children to meet you along Quarterstaff Road.

  • During arrival and dismissal, we expect car traffic to enter the car loop from the Martin Road side of Quarterstaff Road (right turn only into the parking lot). Exiting the car loop is a right turn only as well. Please plan your trip accordingly (see information below). Left-hand turns into the car loop are not permitted during arrival and dismissal. Left-hand turning traffic creates back-ups in addition to making it difficult to see blind spots.
  • It is suggested that you enter Quarterstaff Road from Martin Road.
  • If you do park legally along Quarterstaff Road, your child is considered a walker and will be dismissed with walkers.

Walkers - Walkers who cross Quarterstaff Road must cross the street with the crossing guard.
Please never cross Quarterstaff Road near the car rider traffic. It is unsafe!

It is everyone’s responsibility to be safe during arrivals and dismissals.

Below, you will find a helpful graphic for arrival and dismissal.

Big picture


Please complete this form if your child will be dismissed differently than what we have in our records. We do not need you to complete this form if your child is riding a bus that is assigned to your house.

For example, if you are in the transportation zone, but your child will be a car rider or going to after care, please share that information here.

This dismissal change is their daily routine. If their dismissal routine changes temporarily for a day, please notify your child's teacher and the front office.


Bus Routes

We highly encourage you to send your child to school by bus if you are in the transportation zone. Utilizing the bus helps reduce the number of cars in our car loop. Bus routes are available using the following link

Once you click the link above, click the Bus Stop Locator link, and then enter your child/children’s grade, and your home address. The bus number, bus stop location, and pick-up/drop-off time will be listed.

Students who receive specialized transportation through their IEPs will be contacted by their bus driver with bus numbers and pick-up/drop-off times.

For all bus riders, please plan to arrive at the bus stop 10-15 minutes early during the first two weeks of school, to allow the bus the flexibility needed to pick up and drop off all students.

Bus Luggage Tags

As stated above, we highly recommend sending your child to school on the bus if that is his/her normal routine. This is particularly important on the first day because that is when we assign luggage tags to backpacks when they get off the bus.

The luggage tags will be color-coded with their bus number written on it.


Big picture

Car Loop Visors

The car loop procedures above help facilitate a smooth arrival and dismissal each day. Again this year, we will identify cars with
Car Loop Visor Name Tags as shown here.

If your child is a regular car rider, please make sure you have a visor sign. Use a permanent marker to write your child’s last name in the orange section and the grade in the white section. When not in use the sign can be moved to the inside of the closed visor. For families with more than one student, please write all grade levels on the sign. Feel free to pick up the visor at Open House or in the car loop on the first day of school.

Parking Along Quarterstaff Road

Please pay attention to the signage along Quaryterstaff Road. Parking is only permitted past the crossing guard in front of the school. This is NOT a drop-off location.

The only drop-off location is through the car loop. Never drop off your child along Quarterstaff Road. This is extremely dangerous.

If you choose to park legally along Quarterstaff Road, you must walk your child to the front doors of the school in the morning and meet him or her at the front doors in the afternoon. Your child will be dismissed as a walker in the afternoon.

Crossing Guard and Cross Walk

There is only one location to cross Quarterstaff Road during arrival and dismissal. Always cross Quarterstaff Road at the crosswalk under the guidance of our crossing guard.

Lunch Information


For the 2022-2023 school year, students whose families do not qualify for free or reduced lunch will be required to pay the daily meal price.

  • Breakfast - $2.00
  • Lunch - $2.80


The menu for Clemens Crossing is located on the HCPSS Food Services website.

Outdoor Seating

We are fortunate to have a tent adjacent to our cafeteria for students to eat outside. If students want to eat outside, they simply need to go out there with their lunch. We are not reserving spaces outside like we did last year. Please note, we only have 36 seats outside, and outdoor seating is on a first-come first-serve basis. Outdoor eating is contingent upon the weather and proper staffing. We will not be notifying families by email if the tent is closed due to inclement weather or insufficient staffing. When the tent is closed, all students will eat in the cafeteria.

Visitors During Lunch

Due to limited seating in the cafeteria, we will not have visitors during lunch this year.

Information and Application for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs)

Over the past two years, all students were able to access meals through the school. Federal Funding for free meals for all students ended on June 30. Therefore, to qualify for Free and Reduced Meals, families will need to apply for that benefit.

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 lunch pay $0.10 and breakfast is free.

Free and Reduced Meals eligibility provides discounts for summer programs, SAT, recreation programs, Maryland Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and internet programs

Health & Safety

Currently, protective face masks are voluntary in all HCPSS buildings and on school buses. The state does not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for public school students nor is the school system providing mass COVID-19 testing opportunities for staff or students.

The most up-to-date health and safety information can be found online and will be continually updated. Please note that health and safety protocols are subject to change, pending guidance and recommendations from federal, state, and local health officials, among other sources.

Parent View App. & A Tool to Help Pronounce Names

Access Family File Contents

Did you know that our student management system, Synergy, has a parent app? You can access Family File, Report Cards, School Directory, Conference Schedules, and Test Scores all through the app. Simply go to the Apple Store or Google Store to download Synergy ParentVue to install it on your smartphone.

Tool to Help Pronounce Names

In addition to those functions listed above, the app has a special function that can only be found on the app. When you log in to the app and access your child's information, there is a place where you can record the correct pronunciation of your child's name. Simply click on the megaphone/volume icon in each student's profile and record your child's name.

We value pronouncing student and family names correctly. We believe this is essential in welcoming students and their families to our school and classrooms. This is so important to us as a school to get it right. Help us by recording your child's name using the ParentVUE App. Having this tool helps us clearly and accurately pronounce names.

Big picture

Water Bottles & Filling Station

Students are permitted to bring a water bottle or refillable containers to school.

No other beverage is permitted in the classroom. *No glass containers allowed.

This summer, we installed a new water bottle filling station in the main hallway. Students are welcome to refill their water bottle there.

Please be sure you write your child's name on the water bottle or container.

Free Back to School Vaccination Clinics

Big picture


Family Guide - The ABCs of CCES

The Family Guide - The ABCs of CCES is a lengthy document that provides information about our school. Click below to download the CCES Family Guide. The guide is also located on the main page of the CCES website.

HCPSS Student & Parent Handbook

The Student & Parent Handbook can be found online and outlines districtwide practices and policies related to parents and students, including the Student Code of Conduct, school procedures, student responsibilities and more.

Job Opportunities at CCES

Temporary Employee Positions

We are looking for caring and compassionate individuals to assist students with disabilities who require direct adult supervision throughout the school day. The position works under the daily supervision of the school administration and the direction of a special education teacher and/or a classroom teacher. Some experience working with children or individuals with disabilities preferred. Below, please are details regarding the position.

  • Temporary Employee (TE) positions are with Social Service Consultants, Ltd.

  • Compensation is $15.00 per hour

  • The hours are 9:15 AM – 3:45 PM Monday-Friday.

To apply, please email Robert Tencher at to request an application packet. Please specify the school you are interested in. You can also apply using this link. Please contact Jaime Gittleson at or at 410-313-6866 when you have completed all parts of the application.

Long Term Special Education Para Needed

Para supports and promotes student learning and well-being. Provides assistance in implementing plans and programs related to the academic and/or functional skill attainment for students with learning challenges. Works individually and in small groups to reinforce instruction, monitor performance, and support learning. Please contact Jaime Gittleson at or at 410-313-6866 if you are interested.

Back-To-School Nights

Please save the dates for our annual back-to-school nights.
Big picture
Big picture

Supply List for 2022-23

The supply list for the 2022-23 school year can be found on the main page of our school's website.

We encourage you to drop off your school supplies during Open House on August 26. Please be sure to clearly label your child's supplies with his/her name.

Big picture

“What Your Child Will Learn” Guides

What Your Child Will Learn guides provide an overview of the instructional program for your child’s grade as well as student goals and expectations. The guides include information to help parents monitor and support their child’s progress during the school year.

Individual guides are provided for each grade level. Each grade level guide provides information categorized by curriculum area, e.g., Language Arts, Science, etc.

The guides are available online only; print versions are no longer distributed. Specific guide webpages may be printed from the website.

Specific student programs may differ depending on instructional needs.

*These may not be available. The HCPSS Curricular Offices are updating the guide.

Our Weekly Newsletter, The Cougar Comments

The Cougar Comments school newsletter will be published weekly throughout the school year through email and social media. Be sure to look for this newsletter on Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m. in your email inbox starting in September. Please be sure not to mark emails from CCES or HCPSS as junk or spam. We find out that a number of people get blocked from all CCES and HCPSS communication when you mark the email as spam or junk. In addition to important school information, our PTA has a section in the weekly newsletter. They do not publish their own newsletter, so please be sure to look for PTA information in each newsletter. If you ever miss an issue of the newsletter or need to review a previous issue, all Cougar Comments will be available on the main page of the CCES website. We hope you find the information helpful. Additionally, be sure to follow CCES on Facebook and Twitter. We often post information and reminders on social media in addition to fun posts sharing what's going on in our school.

Connect with CCES and Stay Informed

Listed below are the many ways to stay informed at Clemens Crossing Elementary School.


  • Follow us on Twitter at
  • We use Twitter to inform, celebrate, and engage our community.
  • Twitter is used to share what is going on in our school, our community, and throughout the Howard County Public School System.
  • Turn on notifications to get information the second it is tweeted.
  • We live-stream our concerts on Periscope through Twitter.


  • Like us on Facebook at
  • We have found that Facebook is the social media most used by our parents so we are now on Facebook, too!
  • Our Facebook page is updated automatically from our Twitter feed.
  • Please use Facebook to share the good news from CCES with your friends and families.


  • We use Instagram periodically. We do post pictures and information there.


  • Our website,, is updated regularly.
  • Important news and information is located on the main page of the site including an archive of our weekly newsletter, Cougar Comments.
  • Staff information and email is located under the "Our Staff" tab.
  • A subscribable google calendar is located on the "Calendar" tab.


  • Email is our main form of communication.
  • You will receive news and information automatically to the email address you provide in your Family File. We will not inundate your inbox with email. Look for the weekly Cougar Comments on Friday mornings.
  • If you would like email sent to different email addresses, update your email in Family File with the email address you prefer.
  • You can subscribe additional email addresses by visiting the HCPSS News site here.
  • Weekly announcements, important information and updates, and more will primarily be sent through email.
  • You also have the opportunity to opt-in for text messaging
Big picture
Big picture

Message from the PTA President

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer. The PTA has been working hard this summer to plan activities for you once school begins. We hope to see you at all of our school events this year!

We have several open positions for the upcoming year. The Clemens Crossing PTA is a warm, open, friendly, and relaxed group of people. New families, new members, and new ideas are always most welcome. Don’t be shy – please volunteer! We welcome all levels of involvement, big or small - whether it’s joining the occasional signup genius, giving an hour of your time here or there; or rolling up your sleeves and getting really involved in running an event - and everything in-between.

Join the Clemens PTA here:

If you are interested in getting more involved please email me at to find out more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions or suggestions throughout the year. I would love to hear from you!

Jen Nwosu, CCES PTA President

Back to School Picnic

Friday, September 9 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on the school grounds. We will have playground games for the kids. You can pack a picnic dinner or buy food from our food vendors. This fun event is for both families and staff.

Big picture
Big picture

PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Wednesday, Sep. 14th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Clemens Crossing Elementary School Media Center.

Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!



The following announcements have been approved by the Public Information Office for distribution.

Cub Scout Pack 618

Clemens Crossing Cub Scout Pack 618 is open to all Girls and Boys in grades K - 5. We have a fun year planned with campouts, rocket launches, campfires and more! Please join us Sat, Sept 10th at 5pm at Martin Rd Park for our Fall Picnic. There will be food and fun. We will also be having an Information Night at CCES on Wed, Sept 7th at 6:30. Join us and learn all about Cub Scouting and our Pack. Please visit our website at or contact