Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

August 31, 2018 - Volume 40, Issue 1

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the 2018-2019 school year. We hope you have been able to relax and spend quality time with your families. We have so much to be excited for and the energy in our school building this last week has been contagious. We have been interviewing and hiring new staff all summer. We are excited to welcome our new staff with a variety of different experiences to join our CCES family. In addition, our office staff has been hard at work registering new families this summer. Each year, we are reminded that each school year brings positive change, and we must always embrace the constancy of change, especially in education. Change is the only constant, and we must decide to disrupt ourselves to embrace it. A new school year offers endless possibilities for growth.

As we enter into our new school year, we have been reviewing what a caring school community looks like and planning lessons to build strong relationships with our children. We all have been focusing our time and energy on fostering a positive school culture, as we start a new year. Building strong relationships with our entire school community and ensuring we have a warm and welcoming environment is very important. These areas will drive our professional development for staff and support our instructional initiatives for our children.

We have so many exciting things to share with you that have occurred this summer:

  • The custodians have done a phenomenal job getting our building ready. They have been putting in endless hours to make sure Clemens Crossing is clean and ready for our students.
  • We have had the grounds department come out and take care of landscaping around our grounds.
  • We had numerous staff work throughout the county in various academic programs.
  • We established school improvement goals and set our instructional strategies for the new school year.
  • We have been learning and implementing changes to our emergency operations plan.
  • We have been learning about new resources that we will use for teaching social-emotional learning objectives and new resources that align with our writing standards.

Mrs. Hurd and I are confident we will continue to foster an inclusive environment that ensures excellence for ALL students academically and socially. We look forward to seeing you in a few days. We cannot wait to see the personal growth each and every child will show socially and academically this school year.

Mr. Cosentino, Principal

Mrs. Hurd, Assistant Princpal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 3 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 4 - First Day of School
  • 5 - Gifted & Talented Information Session, 6:00 p.m.
  • 5 - Back-to-School Night for Grades 3, 4, & 5 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 7 - PTA Back-to-School Family Picnic, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • 10 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 11 - Back-to-School Night for Grades K, 1 & 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 12 - Band and Strings Parent Information Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 17 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Schools and Offices Closed

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.

First Day

It is very important to put your child on the bus on the first day. Students who ride buses will have their bus number tagged on their backpack with a wristband strip. Please leave the bus tag on their backpack. This helps us help students get on their buses in the afternoon throughout the school year. Additionally, students in Kindergarten will have a luggage tag attached to their backpack. The luggage tag helps bus drivers know which students are kindergarten students so they can help them situate on the bus in the morning and get off the bus in the afternoon at the correct bus stop.

We ask parents to say goodbye at home and at the front door of the school. We do not permit parents in the building during the drop off times. The only exception is the first three days of school where kindergarten students assemble in the cafeteria.

Please do not drop your child off without supervision prior to 9:00 a.m.
There is no supervision of students before 9:00 a.m.

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Visiting or Picking-up Students at CCES

All visitors to Clemens Crossing must bring a driver’s license and sign in with our LobbyGuard visitor management system.

Additionally, we require a picture ID when you pick-up your child early from school.

Bus Services

Howard County Public School System provides safe, reliable, and efficient transportation to and from school for enrolled students living beyond a one-mile walking distance from elementary school.

The school & bus locator features an efficient, mobile friendly and informative format. The locator offers an enhanced map, pop-up messaging, same day updating capability, and additional school information. Type in your address to see your child’s school, bus schedule, and location of their bus stop.

For the first week of school, parents are asked to ensure students arrive at bus stops earlier than the usual five minutes.

We encourage parents to send their children to school on the first day the same way they would each day.

Bus Responsibilities for Parents and Students


HCPSS works with parents to further the safety of all children by making certain that students know the bus rules that are there to provide a safe and enjoyable bus ride for everyone. Parents ensure that students know their bus number which is located on each side of the bus. For younger children (elementary students), HCPSS recommends that parents/guardians or another trusted adult wait at the bus stop with the students to supervise their behavior and to help with any problems that may arise, such as a delayed bus or injury while waiting. Both adults and students should stand at a safe distance from the roadway.

Bus stops are chosen to provide both safety and convenience for students as well as to economize on fuel and minimize the time that students spend on the bus.
Parents, please do not request bus drivers to make additional stops. This puts our drivers in a difficult position as our regulations prohibit bus drivers from making extra stops between the designated bus stops in place. Many bus routes are designed so that students do not need to cross a major roadway to use the bus. Parents should never allow their students to bypass this safety measure by walking across the street to use a different bus stop.

Helpful tips

  • Remind children that playing near or running toward a moving bus is dangerous.
  • Remind children to never retrieve items that fall under the bus or next to the bus wheels.
  • Make sure children are at the bus stop at least five minutes prior to the established pick-up time.
  • Emphasize the need to follow the bus driver’s directions and to follow all bus rules.
  • Help children remember landmarks that identify their bus stop.
  • Make sure children do not have any hanging objects or materials that potentially could become caught or lodged in handrails or other tight spaces.
  • Provide morning and afternoon supervision at bus stops, particularly for primary-aged children.

Before the First Day Checklist:

  • I have discussed basic safety practices with my child.
  • I have reinforced the importance of using extra caution during bad weather.
  • I am aware of proper procedures for use of parent pick-up and drop-off area.
  • I have made a visit to the bus stop with my child.
  • I have checked and selected the safest and most direct route to and from the bus stop.
  • My child is aware of the danger zone.
  • My child is aware of where he/she needs to go when leaving the bus.
  • I have discussed with my child what to do if she/he misses the bus.
  • My child knows the location of his or her bus stop.


Students are responsible for their behavior while on the bus and at bus stops.

School buses are an extension of school. As such, students are expected to adhere to the same standards of behavior on a school bus as they do the classroom. And just like students obey teachers and instructors while at school, so also are they expected to obey the bus driver who are their instructors while on the way to and back from school.
Remember, riding the school bus is a privilege for most students, but it is not a right. That privilege can and will be revoked if the student fails to observe the basic standards of conduct and safety required of them.

Helpful Tips

  • Leave home early enough to arrive at your bus stop at least five minutes prior to the expected pick up time.
  • Wait for your bus in a safe place, well off the roadway.
  • Enter the bus in an orderly manner and take your seat.
  • Follow the instructions of the school bus driver.
  • Remain in your seat while the bus is in motion.
  • Keep the center aisle clear at all times.
  • Remain quiet and orderly.
  • Be courteous to your school bus driver and fellow passengers.
  • Be alert to traffic when leaving the bus.

Avoid the Danger Zone

  • Take 10 giant steps away from the bus when getting off.
  • Always cross in front of the bus.
  • Look at the bus driver and wait for the driver’s signal before crossing the road.
  • If you drop something outside the bus, leave it. Get permission from the driver before picking it up. Never go under the bus, the driver will help you.

This information is located on the HCPSS Transportation page.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

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.

Each family in the car loop will receive a copy of these directions along with our new name tag on the reverse side in order to help facilitate a quick pick-up.

Please note: 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.

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Parent Volunteer Procedures at CCES

We value our volunteers and the contributions they make to our students and schools. Parents who wish to volunteer must complete a brief training course online and submit a certificate of completion to their school. This also includes anyone who chaperones a field trip. Details are available on our website.
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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.


  • 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.


  • Wakelet is a storyboard that pulls together social media content into one story. If you do not want to be on Twitter or Facebook, you can still see the content from those social media platforms at We will send storyboards through email periodically.

Back-To-School Nights

Please save the dates for our annual back-to-school nights.
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Student Hanbook

Click to download the HCPSS Student Handbook. The handbook is also available in Spanish, Korean, and Chineese.

HCPSS Student and Parent Handbook

Families will receive a paper copy of the 2018-2019 HCPSS Student and Parent Handbook which is available online.

Food Services at CCES

Our Food and Nutrition Services web page has information parents/guardians may find helpful, including meal prices, how to pay for meals, where to view menus, nutritional and allergen information, and more.

Parents of students who qualify for Free and Reduced Meals must submit a new application every school year. Details on the HCPSS FARMs program is online, including how to apply.

At Clemens Crossing, we serve breakfast each morning from 9:00 am to 9:20 am. Students who wish to purchase breakfast simply need to go to the cafeteria when they arrive in the morning. Lunches are scheduled between 11:05 am and 1:35 pm.

To view the menus for breakfast and lunch at Clemens Crossing, please visit the Nutrislice website on the Food Servies page on the HCPSS website. There is also a Nutrisclice app you can download from iOS and Android platforms. If you have any questions about Food Services at Clemens Crossing, please feel free to contact our Cafeteria Manager, Ms. Kelly Turner.

Band and Strings Information Night

Third grade students can select a stringed instrument to learn this year, while fourth and fifth grade students can choose to learn either a stringed instrument or a band instrument.
The students will have an opportunity at school to test out some of the instruments they would like to consider playing this year.

There will be a parent informational meeting on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m.
in the Media Center. You will have an opportunity to meet Ms. DeSantis and find out more about the Band and Strings program here at Clemens Crossing.

Here’s how you can register your child for the program:

  1. Online
  2. Go to or go to
  3. Pick up a hard copy registration form from outside the band/string room door.

Questions? Contact Ms. DeSantis at

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Message from the PTA President

Hello Clemens Crossing Families!

I hope you are having a wonderful summer vacation! When we go back to school, the PTA helps the school feel like home by having many community-building events planned. Here are a few things to know about:

  • Back to School Family Picnic: Friday, September 7 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 and buy frozen ice treats from Go Melvo Snoballs. We will have bouncy house inflatables this year, too! This fun event is for both families and staff.
  • PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner: Monday, September 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Media Center. Please come learn more about the PTA and share your knowledge and ideas!
  • Student Directory: The PTA does not collect contact information for the student directory. HCPSS provides PTAs with this information. When you are providing your emergency contact information in Family File, be sure to opt in to receive communications in the “PTA/PTSA School Directory Information” section, to have your information included in the student directory.

We need you!! The PTA has several open positions for the upcoming year. New Families, Younger Families, even Older and Wiser families – don’t be shy – please volunteer! Some of the positions needing a leader are: Diversity, Bingo Night, Spring Carnival, Talent Show, and Room Parent for Related Arts Teachers. We could also use volunteers to serve on Advisory Committees like the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education (CAC) Representative, Gifted and Talented Advisory Committee (GTAC) Representative, and Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee (SECAC) Representative.

If you are interested in helping out in any way, on any level, please email me at We understand that people are able to be involved at different levels and appreciate any support you can provide – big or small. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions or suggestions throughout the year. I would love to hear from you!

I’m looking forward to a great year!

Karen Pang, CCES PTA President

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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Back to School Picnic

Friday, September 7 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the school grounds. We will have playground games for the kids. Please bring a picnic dinner. Please note, there is not a food truck this year. This fun event is for both families and staff.

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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!

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