Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

November 16, 2018 - Volume 40, Issue 11

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


  • 16 - PTA Reflections: Heroes Around Me - Entries Due
  • 19 - Parent Teacher Conferences - Schools Close 3-hours Early, Dismissal 12:45 p.m.
  • 20 - Parent Teacher Conferences - Schools Close 3-hours early, Dismissal 12:45 p.m.
  • 21 - Parent Teacher Conferences - Schools Closed
  • 22 - Thanksgiving - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 23 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 28 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.


  • 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 - PTA Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m.
  • 19 - In-school Banking
  • 19 - Interim Reports Issued
  • 19 - Winter Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 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

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here and our school year is moving along quickly. At this time each year, we often reflect on all of the things that we are thankful for. We are grateful for all of the wonderful people at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. We have wonderful students, amazing staff, and supportive parents. Our school is such a wonderful place because all of these people are willing to work together towards achieving the goal of success.

American Education Week was a huge success this past week. We had so many parents visit our classrooms to see first-hand how hard students and teachers work each day. We were so pleased with the level of participation this year. More importantly, your children were so happy that you could take part in their school day. We appreciate the compliments shared by so many of our guests. Our students are working hard in our thriving environment.

Parent Conferences will be held next week. The school will dismiss three-hours early on Monday and Tuesday. We are very pleased with your response in scheduling these important meetings with your child’s teacher. We are eager to describe our programs of instruction and provide information about your child’s progress.

On behalf of the entire Clemens Crossing Staff, we wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Report Cards and MAP Reports

First Quarter Report Cards and Fall MAP Progress Report went home this week.

Students in Grades 1-5 recently participated in the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in mathematics and reading. MAP is an untimed computer-adaptive assessment that measures student growth and achievement independent of grade level or age. On the back of your child’s MAP Progress Report is a quick reference that provides more details about the information on the report.

Over the next few weeks, teachers will be meeting with each student to review a variety of performance indicators, including their MAP Progress Report, in order to establish academic goals. By establishing goals, students have the opportunity to take greater ownership of their education. When they meet their goals, they raise their grades and build greater self-esteem. We hope this will help students feel successful in school.

With all of this information, it is a great time to sit down with your child, discuss their report card, and set goals for the second quarter and beyond. Focus on the positives and set goals for areas in need. Keep the conversation going.

If you have any questions about your child's overall academic performance, please contact your child's teacher.

Attendance Report for 1st Quarter - Everyday Counts!

In an earlier issue of the Cougar Comments, we shared the importance of regular attendance in school. The attendance rate is important because students are more likely to succeed in academics when they attend school consistently.

As of the end of the first quarter, CCES has a 96.5% attendance rate for the school year. This represents 710.5 days absent among our 493 students.

Attendance by grade level:

  • Kindergarten, 95.99%
  • First Grade, 96.98%
  • Second Grade, 96.7%
  • Third Grade, 97.81
  • Fourth Grade, 96.52%
  • Fifth Grade, 97.30%

We appreciate emphasizing the importance of regular attendance at school in your household.

Lost and Found

Are you missing a jacket or sweatshirt? There is a very good chance your child's missing clothing is in our Lost & Found. The Lost & Found is located in the front hallway across from the Music Room. Please be sure to check the Lost & Found soon. We will donate all items to a local charity on December 21.

CCES Little Free Library

The Clemens Crossing Little Free Library (LFL) is now open! Special thanks go to Girl Scout Troop 168 for creating and painting our beautiful Little Free Library that is in the front of the school. Students and community members are welcome to take a book and leave a book. Our LFL is meant for elementary age children - any older age books that are left will be donated to other schools or the public library. If you have a handful of books to donate, please put them right into the LFL. If you have a bag or box, please email and we can arrange a drop-off. We will also be setting up an official charter for our LFL that will place us on the world map at Thank you very much for supporting our love of reading in the community!

Unscheduled Weather Related Late Openings and Early Closings

It’s hard to believe that winter is upon us already. With the threat of inclement weather, there may be occasions when unscheduled closings or delays take place. If you have subscribed to HCPSS School Messenger, you will receive official school system notifications of school closings, delayed openings, or early closings. Please review the phone numbers attached to your School Messenger account to ensure that they are up to date. Be sure to OPT IN to text messaging by providing your mobile phone number. To check your account settings on School Messenger, click here.

Our students’ safety is tremendously important. Although early dismissals rarely occur, it is important that plans for this type of dismissal be updated as they change. Please check your child's Family File found in HCPSS Connect to make sure that the information that you have entered is correct. To access Family File on HCPSS Connect, click here. In addition to checking for updated unscheduled early dismissal plans (located under the Arrival/Departure section), please be sure that phone numbers and emergency contacts are current. This extra step on your part will provide assurance to us that we may follow your directives, knowing that you will have discussed this with all parties involved. Please share these procedures with your child(ren) so that they are aware of the plans for unscheduled early dismissals.

For more information on HCPSS emergency/weather closings, click here.

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.

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. 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.

All students in Grades 3 and 5 will participate in the testing. The CogAT will be administered to students in Grade 3 during the first week of December. 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.

No Shave November

This month is known as No Shave November. No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. Here at CCES, our male staff members are participating by not shaving for the month and donating money to charities supported by No Shave November. Although it may be late for dads and guardians in the community to participate, everyone can participate by making a donation. You can donate directly through their website, or you can send in a check (made out to CCES) or cash, and bring it straight to the office. Our goal of $1,000 is only a few dollars per household in our community. Thank you!

Suggested No-Shave-November Charities are listed below.

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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
  • 4 Youth small long-sleeve tee-shirts, $16
  • 2 Youth small short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 6 Youth medium short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 2 Youth large short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 5 Adult small short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 1 Youth large tie-dye tee-shirt, $14

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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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:

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.