Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

December 7, 2018 - Volume 40, Issue 13

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


  • 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 - Spirit Day #1: Wacky Tacky Day
  • 17 - PTA Holiday Shoppe, 4:30 p.m.
  • 18 - Spirit Day #2: Blizzard Day
  • 19 - Spirit Day #3: Holiday Sock Day
  • 19 - In-School Banking
  • 19 - Interim Reports Issued
  • 19 - Winter Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 20 - Spirit Day #4: Holiday Hat Day
  • 21 - Spirit Day #5: Pajama Day
  • 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


Just around the Thanksgiving Day holiday, I received a link to an article ( from a colleague, sharing with me the benefits of showing gratitude, and then also highlighting 25 reasons to give thanks to teachers. According to the short article, the following were some scientifically proven benefits of showing gratitude:

  1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships

  2. Gratitude improves physical health

  3. Gratitude improves psychological health

  4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression

  5. Grateful people sleep better

  6. Gratitude improves self-esteem

  7. Gratitude increases mental strength

I want to share with parents and families how many amazing things I see the Clemens Crossing Staff do with students on a daily basis that, along with your partnership, helps students grow into thriving young people both academically and socially. The work is not always easy, and as our world evolves and becomes more complicated at times, so does teaching and parenting.

As I closely watch the work and commitment of the Clemens Crossing Elementary School Staff, I can’t help but also extend my gratitude to parents and families in the Clemens Crossing Elementary School Community. The amount of support we receive is always unparalleled in regards to time, financial support, commitment, and dedication to providing students with the best education possible. As I looked over the list of 25 reasons to give thanks to teachers, I also saw where many of those reasons would be applicable to parents as well.

With the holiday season upon us, I want to be sure to take the opportunity to publicly thank ALL of the Clemens Crossing Elementary School staff for their work in creating an environment for students to thrive and grow. At the same time, I want to be sure to thank all of our families for their continued support and dedication to our partnership together on behalf of our students. I’m truly grateful to work in such a dynamic school community!

MSDE Report Card Released This Week

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) released a revised school accountability measure this past week. The new MSDE School Report Card was created in alignment with ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) – a federal accountability standard initiated in 2015. The MSDE School Report Card considers multiple data points before ultimately assigning a star ranking (1-5) for every school in the state.

The Report Card provides broad insights into 4 categories of school measures…

  • Academic Achievement
  • Academic Progress
  • English Language Proficiency
  • School Quality and Student Success

Overall school performance is determined by a formulaic combination of these 4 categories. The combination of points, assigned by the state in each category, results in a percentage that is then associated with a school’s star ranking.

  • 75-100% = 5 Stars
  • 60-74% = 4 Stars
  • 45-59% = 3 Stars
  • 30-44% = 2 Stars
  • >30% = 1 Star

Clemens Crossing Elementary School earned a 74% and was thus designated as a 4-star school by MSDE on the 2017-18 School Report Card. The 74% percent rate placed CCES in the 82nd percentile among all elementary schools in Maryland.

The information ascertained from the Maryland Accountability Program is a snapshot of the dedicated efforts put forth every day by our staff to enhance an environment conducive to teaching and learning at Clemens Crossing. As with other data points, we will be intentional with how we use this information to build upon successes and address areas needing improvement. We are on the cusp of the 5-Star rating (less than a half percentage point away)! This presents us with a great opportunity to improve and grow as a school in the coming years.

More information about Every Student Succeeds Act is located on the HCPSS website. Additional details about Clemens Crossing's Report Card, and report cards from other schools/districts throughout the state if interested, please visit
Additionally, the copy of the report is available below the video from the Maryland State Superintendent, Dr. Karen Sammons.

CCES Spirit Week - December 17-21

Our Cougar Council and PBIS have collaborated to bring a little fun and excitement during the final week before Winter Break. They have planned the following Spirit Days for the week leading up to Winter Break from December 17 through December 21.

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Winter Concerts

If you cannot attend the Winter Concerts in person, we have the next best thing. You can listen to and see the concerts live on Periscope through our Twitter feed. Simply visit at the respective times to listen and see the concert. Feel free to share the information with family and friends.

  • Chorus - December 19 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Strings - January 17 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Band - January 17 at 7:30 p.m.

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Makers Faire is Coming Soon

Calling all Makers!

We are looking for Makers to display items at our 1st Annual Maker Faire on January 10, 2019!

What is a Maker Faire?

A Maker Faire is a gathering of people interested in Science, Technology, Math, Art, Sustainability, Creativity, and Innovation. The Faire will consist of hands-on activities centered around unique solutions, creativity, and construction.

Who is a maker?

Anyone can be a maker! All you have to do is use your creativity and skill to make something that solves a problem.

We are looking for student makers interested in displaying and sharing items they have created!

Items could include, but are not limited to:

  • A model using Lego
  • A handmade musical instrument
  • A tool to solve a problem
  • Crochet/knitting project
  • Origami
  • Handmade toy

If your student/family is interested in sharing items at the Maker Faire, please complete the information below.

Makers Faire Sign-Up

If you would like to participate in our Makers Fair, please complete this form.

SHREK The Musical Auditions for Young Cast Members

You can be a SHREK Younger Cast Member (YCM) at Atholton High School!

Auditions are Sunday, Dec. 9, 1:30-2:15 PM.

Children who are ready to be YCMs will stay until 4:15 PM

Not in high school yet but want to perform on the Atholton High school stage with high school students, a full orchestra, costumes, sound and lighting?

SHREK The Musical

This year we are inviting students, grades 3-8 to join us as part of our spring musical.

If interested, please send an email to Stephanie Gurwitz Zurier

with Shrek YCM in the subject line.

Parents, we want to meet your child on Sunday, Dec. 9, 1:30-2:15.

There’s a good chance that we will invite your YCM to stay and rehearse until 4:15.


Information and Application for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs)

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 meals pay $0.30 for breakfast and $0.40 for lunch.

More information about Free and Reduced Meals is located on the HCPSS website here.

Apply Now

Free and Reduced Meals Application

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Holiday Shoppe

The CCES PTA Holiday Shoppe is returning on December 13th, 14th, and 17th from
4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. in the CCES Library. The Holiday Shoppe provides kids with the opportunity to purchase gifts for their family and friends that cost between $0.25 and $12. Please note that the gifts are not specific to the holidays and can be given for any occasion like birthdays or just because. The PTA can also provide assistance so that children with a financial need are able to shop. For more information about financial assistance, please contact Mr. Cosentino at If you are interested in volunteering at the Holiday Shoppe, there are several slots available to assist the shoppers with their purchases and help wrap their gifts:

Also, if you have spare wrapping or tissue paper that you no longer have a use for, please consider donating it to the Holiday Shoppe so our kids can spruce up their wrapping. You can drop it off in the school office or contact Nicole Bellows at to arrange for pickup! If you have questions or suggestions, please contact Nicole.

While the kids are shopping the Holiday Shoppe, Parents can wait in the hallway as not to spoil your surprises! Thanks in advance! We apologize to our families celebrating Hanukkah; scheduling complications made it impossible to hold the Holiday Shoppe before Hanukkah this year (Hanukkah is very early this year!).

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Giant Food

Have you connected Clemens Crossing ES to your Giant Food card? By designating CCES on your Giant Food card, Giant will donate money to our school. This helps purchase resources for student use in the classrooms. All purchases made using your Giant Food card through March 16, 2019 will help contribute to a cash donation to our school from Giant.

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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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:

  • 3 drawstring bags, $11
  • 2 Youth small long-sleeve tee-shirts, $16
  • 1 Youth small short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • Youth medium short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 1 Youth large short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 4 Adult small short sleeve tee-shirts, $11
  • 1 Adult large short sleeve tie-dye tee-shirt, $14
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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:

Calling All Singers

This is for grown-ups, not kids. Did you sing in a choir in high school or college? Do you miss singing with other people in 4-part harmony? We are looking to find a group of singers who want to sing holiday music and go caroling around a Clemens Crossing neighborhood. We're planning to meet Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 and Tuesday, December 18 at 7:00 in the music room of CCES (Mrs. Ritchie will be singing, too!) and go caroling on Friday evening, December 21. You are welcome to come to as many nights or as few as you can work into your schedule!
Please contact Karen Pang,, if you are interested!

Community News and Programs

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Community News and Programs

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