Cougar Comments

Back to School 2017

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

CCES Newsletter - Cougar Comments

Welcome to the "Back-to-School" edition of the Cougar Comments Newsletter.
The Cougar Comments will be published weekly throughout the school year through email and social media. PTA will now have a section in the weekly newsletter, and they will no longer publish their own monthly newsletter. If you ever miss an edition of the newsletter or need to review a previous edition of the newsletter, all editions will be available on the main page of the CCES website. The changes to the frequency of the newsletter and the changes with the PTA newsletter were a result of the great feedback we received in our communication survey this past spring. We hope you find the information helpful.

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 28 - Postcards mailed for class assignments
  • 31 - Open House - Kindergarten, 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  • 31 - Open House - Grades 1-5, 2:30 pm - 3:15 pm


  • 4 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 5 - First Day of School
  • 8 - PTA Back-to-School Family Picnic, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • 13 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 pm
  • 18 - Back-to-School Night for Grades K, 1 & 2 at 6:30 pm
  • 19 - Gifted & Talented Information Session, 6:00 pm
  • 19 - Back-to-School Night for Grades 3, 4, & 5 at 6:30 pm
  • 21 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 22 - Schools Closed for Students - Professional Learning Day

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

HCPSS Calendar

All families will receive one hard copy of the 2017-2018 HCPSS calendar at the start of the school year.

HCPSS Student and Parent Handbook

Families will also receive a paper copy of the 2017-2018 HCPSS Student and Parent Handbook which is also available online.

Staffing Updates

Welcome back, Mrs. Jane Viojan. She will be returning to our Special Education Department. In the spring, she was originally reassigned to Fulton Elementary due to enrollment changes with our special education caseload.

Please welcome Ms. Shelly Alban the additional fourth-grade team here at Clemens Crossing Elementary. We will have four fourth grade teachers. Ms. Alban recently graduated from UMBC after student teaching at Talbott Springs Elementary last year.

Welcome, Mrs. Trisha Weinig, long-term substitute for Mrs. Hodgins.

Mrs. Hodgins will be on child-rearing leave for the first quarter of the school year.
Mrs. Weinig is familiar with Clemens Crossing and the kindergarten team where she frequently served as a substitute teacher last year.

We also have additional staffing in the media center. We are in the process of hiring a .4 media specialist who will work with Mrs. Marshall.

School Floor Plan Changes

Due to the recent addition of our fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Leach's class will be located in one of the three portables in the back of the building.

Family File Emergency Form is Open in HCPSS Connect

We currently have 20% of our Family File information up-to-date. Please complete your family file before the start of school.

HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child and can do so by logging in to HCPSS Connect, selecting the Family File tab, then clicking on Family File.
Login instructions for both new and existing parents are available online.

Connect with CCES!

  • 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 site is used to share special events from our school via our Twitter feed.
  • Please use Facebook to share the good news from CCES with your friends and families.


  • 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 school district.
  • Even if you don't use Twitter, you will see our tweets on our website and on Facebook.


  • Email is still our main form of communication along with our website.
  • You will receive news and information automatically to the email address you provide in your Family File.
  • If you would like notifications sent to different email addresses, sign up each year for e-alerts at
  • 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.

Classroom Placement Postcard

We are in the process of finalizing class groupings. With new students registering throughout the summer, and some students moving out of Clemens Crossing, we have to adjust our initial class groupings.

Please be on the lookout for your Classroom Placement Postcard which will be mailed no later than August 28.


If, for some reason, you do not get your classroom placement post card, you will be able to access your child's homeroom class in HCPSS Connect on August 30 at 9:00 am.

Please note: You will only be able to get this information if your Family File is completed (see information below).

Food Services at CCES

Our Food and Nutrition Services web page has a lot of 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.

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. Details regarding this mandatory process are explained in Interim Superintendent Michael Martirano’s blog.

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

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.

Bus Information

We are excited to have a new online school & bus locator that features an efficient, mobile friendly and informative format. The new 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.

Report to Parents - Boost Bus Safety

Get your child on board with school bus safety! To avoid dangerous situations and accidents, students must follow bus safety rules and procedures. Read the full NAESP Report to Parents to Boost Bus Safety.

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.

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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Supply List for 2017-18

The supply list for the 2017-18 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 31. Please be sure to clearly label your child's supplies.

Important Information Regarding Immunizations

Please read this important information regarding immunizations for all students. Students are expected to have their immunizations up-to-date by the first day of school, or they will be excluded from school.

This year the Howard County Health Department will be holding three walk-in clinics at local schools where students can receive required vaccines. If a parent indicates to Health Room staff that they will attend one of the clinics that week, the student will be allowed to remain in school. Should the student NOT attend the clinic and remains out of compliance, they MUST be excluded from school until the immunization is up-to-date.

Please call our health room if you have any questions.

PTA Supply Kit Order CANCELLED

If you ordered school supply kits through the PTA, please be aware the order has been cancelled due to the vendor's inability to guarantee delivery before the first day of school. Refunds are being processed. Please contact Irma Oliver ( with any questions.

Don't Delay, Join Your PTA and Get Your CCES Car Magnet!

Why wait for first day folders? Print the membership form attached here, fill it out and bring it with you to the Open House on August 31. Get a free CCES car magnet with an individual PTA membership. When you join as a family, you'll get two. And you'll get the magnet(s) the moment you turn in the form -- no wait! The 2017-18 membership rates are $15 for a family and $10 for an individual. Show off your school spirit!

Consider all the programs your PTA brings to the school -- Cultural Arts assemblies, after school classes, field trip support, the science fair, International Night, Talent Show, Carnival, etc., etc., etc., and support your PTA! This year we are encouraging families to pay their membership and/or direct donation with a check payable to CCES PTA. We pay a fee for every electronic transaction processing, and the fees add up fast. Please consider writing a check so all of your contributions support students and programs here at school.

When you join PTA, you will receive one magnet for individual membership and two magnets for family membership.

A PTA membership table will be set-up at kindergarten Open House on August 31. You can drop off your membership form and payment to the front office during the Open House for grades 1-5 to receive your magnet.

PTA Membership Form

Type and print (Word Document) Print and handwrite (PDF Version)

PTA Needs Help with First Day FOlders

We will be assembling first-day folders (folders filled with forms and other important information that your child will bring home on the first day of school) on Tuesday, August 29 at 8:30 am in the school cafeteria. Kids are welcome to attend this event and we will have a movie for them to watch and some snacks. Middle and high school children can also help and can receive credit for community service hours. If you are able to volunteer, please email Cristina Linsenmeyer at The more help we have, the faster we finish! Thank you!

PTA Supporting Related Arts

If you were planning to bring some extra supplies for your teachers at the Open House -- tissues, post-its, etc. -- please consider bringing some for the Related Arts teachers (art, media, music, P.E., technology), too. The PTA will have a collection box in the lobby for classroom supplies for specials teachers.

PTA Help Wanted

Your PTA needs you! We still have several open positions this year. Please contact PTA President Karen Pang ( if you are interested in chairing (or co-chairing) any of the following committees:

  • Communications
  • Publicity
  • Social Media & Website Content
  • Student Directory
  • Awards
  • STEM Activities
  • Talent Show
  • JA in a Day
  • Patriotic Activities (Hero Day, Veterans Day, Flag Day programs)

PTA Back to School Picnic

Friday, September 8th from 5:00 pm 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 Bullhead Pit Beef and Go Melvo Snoballs. This fun event is for both families and staff.

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PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Wednesday, Sep. 13th, 6:30pm

Clemens Crossing ES - Media Center, 10320 Quarterstaff Road, Columbia, MD, United States

Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!

PTA Directory Information

The PTA no longer collects contact information for the student directory. HCPSS provides our PTA 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.

Adding the CCES Google Calendar to Your Personal Online/Email Calendar

Did you know you can subscribe to the CCES Calendar and see events on your computer and/or smartphone?
Why subscribe to the calendar? You will have all of CCES's events embedded in your calendar. If events change, the calendar will be updated immediately.

The calendar ID is: There are many "how to" tutorials online you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar. It depends on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.