Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 17, 2021 - Volume 43, Issue 5

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

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

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 22 - Fall Individual Picture Day


  • 13 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - Schools Closed for Students
  • 21 - Flu Clinic
  • 29 - Pumpkin Run (Grades 3-5)
  • 29 - PTA Halloween Family Fun Night & Fall Festival

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

From School Administration

Clemens Crossing Gratitude

One important aspect of creating a caring community is to take time to express gratitude. While the past three weeks may have been challenging, we can look at the start of school and declare there were so many successful moments. I want to express my gratitude to the many people who contributed to the successful reopening of CCES! A huge shout-out goes to...

  • Our amazing families for their support, patience, and flexibility!
  • Our custodial team, Mrs. Goode, Mrs. Crenshaw, Ms. Costly, and Ms. Zhang, for hustling to keep the school clean and looking fabulous!
  • Our front office staff, Ms. Wells, Mrs. Aballo, and Mrs. Boyer, for the myriad of tasks they do to manage our school office and their care and attention to students and families.
  • Our teachers spent SO much time setting up welcoming classroom environments and greeting new students with a supportive and welcoming smile.
  • Our school nurse, Mrs. Schrumm, continues to care for our students when they are ill and managing the procedures related to COVID and contact tracing.
  • Our counselors, service providers, technology department, and paraprofessionals for always being there to help wherever they are needed.
  • Our incredible PTA who helps contribute to enhancing our school community.
  • And...Assistant Principal, Mrs. Hurd, who worked tirelessly and has done such an excellent job preparing for the opening of school (arrival, dismissal, lunch, recess, buses, testing schedules, etc.).

We have so much to be grateful for in our Clemens Crossing community. I recommend focusing on all of the good things that take place each day. We try to highlight the amazing things going on in our school with frequent social media posts so you can see what is going on in our school. I also recommend asking your child, "What were three good things that happened in school today?" Recent studies indicate that gratitude practices like talking about three positive experiences in school can actually improve your physical and mental health.

Below, you will also find information about our PBIS program. The PBIS program focuses on positive behaviors and reinforces student's good choices.

Thank you for your continued support!

Mr. Cosentino, Principal


Meet Our Cougars - 5th Grade

Mrs. Samantha Antunez: I am excited to be joining the CCES staff this year! After three years on child-rearing leave, I am returning for my 11th year in the classroom. I am an LSU graduate, Geaux Tigers! In my free time, you can catch me reading, crafting, or playing with my three kids.

Mrs. Kelly McKim:
I have been a teacher for 17 years in Howard County. I have taught at Bryant Woods, Running Brook, and Clemens Crossing. I have taught in many grade levels as well as a technology teacher K-5. My family and I enjoy hiking, swimming, and going on adventures. Baking and cake decorating are a passion of mine. I also love reading! :)

Mr. Ryan Toland: Hi! My name is Ryan Toland and this is my first year at CCES. I taught third grade at Elkridge Elementary School for three years prior to coming to CCES. I have been part of HCPSS for 7 years in all, having interned and substitute taught in the county prior to becoming a full-time classroom teacher. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina and a Master's of Education from the University of Maryland. I am an avid sports fan, and in my free time love traveling, spending time with friends and family, and playing and attending sporting events.

Mr. Hallie Greenlee: My name is Hallie Greenlee. This is my 12th year teaching. I am married and have a son who is a senior at Mt. Hebron High School and a daughter who is a freshman at Mt. Hebron. We have a very happy dog named Gus. I am originally from New Jersey and I am a career changer. In my spare time, I love spending time with family and friends, reading, going to the movies, and relaxing.

Mrs. Amanda Rausch: My name is Amanda Rausch and this is my 18th year as a teacher. I am lucky enough to have been teaching at Clemens since 2010. My first nine years here were spent as a technology teacher before moving to fourth grade and now fifth grade. Originally from Missouri, both my undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of Missouri (Go Tigers!). When I have free time, I enjoy traveling and watching college sports

Pictured below:

Top row: Mr. Toland. Front row: Mrs. Walls, Mrs. McKim, Mrs. Antunez, Mrs. Greenlee, Mrs. Rausch.

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Students will begin using their Chromebooks in Technology as well as other parts of their day. Please send in a pair of ear buds or headphones for your child to use. If you don't have any to send in, we have some for students to share.

Strawbridge Picture Day

Fall individual picture day is Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Paper order forms went home on Wednesday, September 15.

You may also order pictures using the online option below.

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Clemens Crossing Spirit Wear Store Is Open

This year’s online store will remain open throughout the entire school year and items will be shipped directly to your home!

In addition to promotional discounts that will occur periodically throughout the year, you can also save 10% by joining the 1st Place Spiritwear VIP Club.

You can browse the large selection and place your orders by visiting

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What is PBIS? PBIS is a research-based behavior system that uses incentives and acknowledgments to motivate students to make positive choices. Each PBIS school identifies three to five easy-to-remember behavioral expectations for students which are communicated frequently and reinforced with student acknowledgments. Staff members make it a point to call attention to moments when a student demonstrates desired behaviors. This positive reinforcement is for all students and also provides an excellent model for students who need extra encouragement in making appropriate choices.

PBIS is an important aspect of Clemens Crossing. The staff of Clemens Crossing Elementary School is committed to working with students and their families to promote a safe and nurturing environment in all school settings.

Below are the guiding principles of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS):

  • PBIS is a behavioral support system to promote and recognize positive behavior.
  • The program rewards students for exhibiting positive behavior.
  • Expectations, language, and consequences concerning behavior are consistent throughout the school.
  • The program promotes the development of intrinsic motivation.

We have three school expectations that are reinforced daily.:

Our expectations are:

  • Perform Resiliently
  • Act Respectfully
  • Work Responsibly

Consequences for Inappropriate Behavior

Students are taught the school rules for classroom and non-classroom settings. All students are told what the expected behaviors or tasks are in each classroom. If a child does not exhibit the expected behavior, any of the following strategies may be used to help redirect and reteach that behavior:

  • Individual verbal warning with an explanation about expected behavior.
  • Time out in the classroom.
  • Time out in a different classroom or the pod area.
  • Students are given an opportunity to calm down using a Self-Calming Kit.
  • Minor Incident Report/Reflection Form (MIR) is completed and sent home to parents/guardians to be signed and returned the following day.
  • If the behavior still does not improve, an administrator will be called in to intervene.

*Certain actions, such as fighting, using inappropriate language, harassment and threats warrant immediate administrative involvement.

We recognize students may have situations or incidents at school that requires consequences. As adults, it is our responsibility to help teach children acceptable and appropriate behavior in our school setting. These are teachable moments to reiterate and reinforce our expectations in a school community of learners. Overall, this helps to create a positive learning environment and maximize children's opportunities to learn. We know a strong home and school connection will help reinforce those expectations.

How Can You Help at Home?
Please review the information on this page with your child.

  • Ask your child to tell you the school rules.
  • Ask your child to discuss ways that he or she can use these rules to help them to learn and participate at school.
  • Ask your child how his/her behavior affects others.
  • Discuss ways that your child can be a helpful and kind classmate.
  • Discuss ways that these rules can be used at home and in the community.

If you have any questions about our PBIS Program, please ask your child's teacher, Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Hurd, or Mr. Cosentino.

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Paw Print Tickets

Students who are following the school rules and displaying appropriate behavior may be recognized for their efforts by receiving ROAR Tickets from any member of the school staff.

  • Staff members distribute tickets to students to recognize their positive behavior.
  • Once received, the students collect their tickets to trade in for various rewards.
  • Rewards are special privileges the students can earn. A few examples are sitting in a special seat for the day, being first to pick classroom jobs, or lunch with a staff member or administrator.
  • Students are also recognized when they earn 25, 50, 75, and 100 ROAR tickets. At 25, they receive a certificate and have their picture taken and displayed on the bulletin board. At 75, they earn a coupon for the school store, and at 100, they earn a wristband and are recognized at a PEP rally.
  • Students with exemplary behavior will participate in quarterly celebrations!

State of Maryland Assessments for Fall 2021

As part of continued COVID-19 recovery efforts, the Maryland State Department of Education is conducting an early all student assessment. The Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) is the overarching term used for all state assessments.

MSDE will administer assessments in the Early Fall for English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L), Mathematics, and Science (Maryland Integrated Science Assessment- MISA), as well as the Alternate Assessments in ELA, Mathematics and Science, and the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA). See the attached MSDE flyer for more information and a general testing schedule.




The HCPSS Curricular Office created choice board packets for each grade level (kindergarten through fifth grade) to include content-specific instructional activities to help keep students intellectually active while at home when schools are closed for inclement weather, during quarantine, or other unexpected events.

The tasks that students complete at home will not be used for assessment purposes or counted as part of the students’ grades. Each instructional area included has a “choice board” of task options. During each day of quarantine or when we are closed for inclement weather, students should select and complete a variety of tasks from each instructional area “choice board”.

We wanted to ensure you had access to these instructional packets; however, in the event your child has to quarantine or we close for inclement weather, we will share your child's grade level packet with you:


Beginning Monday, September 13, HCPSS will charge families for lost, stolen, or damaged devices per the following parameters.

  • Families will be charged for any devices that are lost, stolen or damaged while in their care.
  • If devices are lost, stolen or damaged during school hours and in the school building, school administrators will conduct an investigation to determine if the incident was the result of neglect on the part of the assigned student.

Please access more information HERE.

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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

From the Heath Room


When should students stay home and what health checks should families conduct?

Returning to School

Please be sure to communicate directly with the CCES school nurse,, to receive clearance prior to your child's return to the school building if they were sent home for COVID-like symptoms.

Dress Code

Please help your child come to school prepared for learning. HCPSS Policy 9210 provides information about the dress code in all Howard County Schools. Please review the policy here. Here are a couple of highlights:

  • Hats, hoods, headwear are permitted as long as the face is visible, and it does not interfere with instruction.
  • Tank tops and tops with spaghetti straps are okay but....
  • Clothing that exposes or reveals the chest, midriff, pelvic/groin area, and buttocks is not permitted.

We encourage students to wear sneakers to school. They are the safest shoe for PE and for recess.

We are seeing an increase in spinner and popper toys being brought to school. These items should be kept at home or in your child's backpack during the school day.

Before and After School Activities

The PTA invites you to sign your child up for Before and After School activities at CCES. Just make sure you always send your child with a note for the homeroom teacher to remind them that your child stays after school for the activity.

None of the activities require any experience and all materials are included.

Register here:

  • Tennis (age 6-11) - Fridays starting 9/17
  • Soccer (age 8-10) - Mondays starting 9/20
  • Adventures in Science with Club SciKidz (Grades K-3) - Wednesdays after school starting 9/29
  • KidzArt (Grades K-5) - Thursdays after school starting 10/7
  • Chess with Silver Knights (Grades K-5, no experience required!) - Before School on Fridays at 8:10 am starting 10/8 (
  • Learn Now Music, Violin or Drums (Grades K-5) - Mondays after school starting 10/11
  • Minecraft Modding with CyberTek Academy (Grades 1-3) - Mondays after school starting 11/8

Cub Scout Pack 618 - Updates

Clemens Crossing Cub Scout Pack 618 is open to all Girls and Boys Grades K - 5. We have a fun year planned with campouts, rocket launches, campfires, and more! Our next Pack meeting is Wednesday, October 6th at 6:30pm in the CCES Cafeteria. Perspective members are welcome to join us!

Please visit our website at or contact

Text Messages from CCES

As parents/guardians, you do not need to sign-up for CCES and HCPSS email. That is done through the registration process and can be updated by you through Family File. We monitor email communication delivery rates to ensure our families are not inadvertently blocked from our email system. We typically have 99-100% delivery rate for email through our SchoolMessenger email system.

Text Messages

To comply with wireless carrier requirements, parents/guardians must opt into receiving CCES and HCPSS text message alerts. Standard data fees and text messaging rates may apply based on your mobile plan. If you are unsure if you have already opted in, text the word “YES” to 67587 from the cell phone number on file in HCPSS Connect.

Please contact your child’s school if you have questions regarding your information in HCPSS Connect.

We monitor this means of communication too and notice that less than 50% have accurate cell phone numbers with this means of communication. We will send text message alerts for emergencies, but this is not our primary means of communication since the accuracy and delivery rate is poor.


Chromebook Expectations:

Please continue to remind students and families that it is our expectation that students in grades 2-12 bring the Chromebook that was issued to them to school daily. Schools have a limited number of devices to loan to students. Information related to HCPSS technology and devices is online and may be shared with families.

Flu Clinic

HCPSS and CCES will be hosting a Flu Clinic on Thursday, October 21. More information will be coming out soon.

Food Services Menus at CCES

Each day, we provide free meals to students. If you want your child to have breakfast, they simply need to go to the cafeteria as soon as they arrive at school. They will have time to eat in the cafeteria before they go to their classroom.

Lunch is free to all students again this year. There is no pre-ordering or any need for adding funds to your account.

The breakfast and lunch menu website can be found on the main page of the CCES website under Food Services. The direct link is below.

CCES Breakfast and Lunch Menus

This will take you to the nutrislice website.

Free Student Meals for 2021-2022 School Year

Beginning Monday, August 30, breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to all students through the entire 2021-2022 school year, on days schools are open.

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Join the CCES PTA (Parent Teacher Association) – Family Membership

PTA membership will allow you to be active with the PTA and enjoy discounts with Maryland PTA partners. Most of all, your membership dues support the many programs we offer to the CCES community. While we encourage all of our families to be involved with PTA, membership does not obligate you to volunteer your time.

After trying many 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 wrapping paper or other merchandise, we ask each family to contribute $50 in addition to their membership dues to support the programs we sponsor throughout the year.

To join the Clemens Crossing PTA, please fill out the form below and pay the membership dues (plus any donation you choose to give) through the PayPal link that follows. If you prefer to pay by check, please contact our membership chair, c/o
To report a problem with this form, contact