Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

June 7, 2019 - Volume 40, Issue 35

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


  • 7 - Kindergarten End of Year Celebration 10:00 a.m.; Picnic 11:00 a.m.
  • 10 - Volunteer Tea Appreciation Celebration, 2:30 p.m.
  • 10 - Howard County Library Visits all grades for Summer Reading Program
  • 17 - 2nd Grade Picnic, 12:35 p.m.
  • 17 - Full Day of School
  • 18 - Full Day of School
  • 18 - 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 9:30 a.m.
  • 19 - 3rd Grade Picnic, 10:30 a.m.
  • 19 - 1st Grade Picnic, 11:00 a.m.
  • 19 - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 20 - 4th Grade Picnic, 12:05 p.m.
  • 20 - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 21 - 5th Grade Picnic, 11:30 a.m.
  • 21- LAST DAY OF SCHOOL: School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.

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

Can you believe it is June? This time of year gets busy both in-school (with events, celebrations, field trips,...) and out-of-school (spring sports, graduations, family celebrations,...) and more! While most of these activities are positive and exciting, they can create stress for students as they try to balance "normal" with very different schedules as well as some anxiety that comes with the end of the school year and leaving their teachers and classmates. If you are able to take some time to reflect as a family, you may want to consider some of these questions:

  • What were your favorite memories of this past year?
  • What can you do now that you couldn't do in September?
  • What goals did you accomplish?
  • What do you hope for your summer? For next year?
  • What goals do you have for yourself next June?

It may be that your child is counting the days until summer, sad about the days they have left, or both! Either way, it is a great time to pause, process, and reflect.

Staying Sharp During the Summer

What can children do during the summer to sharpen their skills for school? The goal is not to make the summer turn into school at home, but rather to give students a variety of opportunities to continue learning and growing while still enjoying themselves.

  • All current CCES students will have access to their iXL account through the end of the summer. This includes fifth graders and students in kindergarten through fourth grade who are moving to new schools next year. If you forget your iXL login information, please email
    Mr. Cosentino.
  • Nothing is more important than reading and a visit to the public library is the best way to help your child find books that (s)he will like. The library has books at all reading levels, including leveled books for beginning readers. The Howard County Public Library offers a wide variety of activities during the summer, too.
    Visit the HCPL website to learn about what they have to offer.
  • When students write, they are practicing so many skills. Encourage your child to keep a summer journal and document some of the things that happen this summer.
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Summer Reading Cougars

We know our students will enjoy many books and stories during summer vacation. Let’s celebrate our summer reading! Students and families are invited to color, decorate, and cut out the Clemens Crossing cougar. Then take a photo of yourself or your family reading with the cougar! Email your photos to Mrs. Marshall at Photos will be shared when we return to school in September. All families are invited to participate, even if students will attend a different school next year. Read in your backyard! Read on vacation! Read at the pool! We can't wait to see where you're reading!

Summer Learning

Summer Reading Lists

As part of the A+ Partnership with the Howard County Library System, summer reading lists developed by HCPSS library media specialists and Howard County Library System Children’s Instruction and Research staff are available for students in all grade levels. Books included are just a sampling of what students may enjoy reading during the summer. Students are encouraged to check out other books by the authors included as well as explore additional book topics at the library.

Recommended lists for all grade levels are available both in schools and online. Don’t forget to sign up for the library system’s Summer Reading Club online or at your nearest branch.

A+ Student Card

All HCPSS students received an A+ Student Card account number at the beginning of the 2018–2019 school year. With it, they have access to all HCLS eContent by using their account number to login via Using their A+ Student Card, students can place holds and check out physical materials, as well as take advantage of all the library’s digital resources.


All students have access to their school’s digital MackinVIA eBook and audiobook collection all summer long by logging in through with their active directory credentials.

Students continue to have access to all the digital tools they used during the school year. This includes databases available from the “Databases” tab in MackinVIA, such as:

  • CultureGrams, which offers country reports on over 200 cultures of the world.
  • World Book Online Reference Center, which includes encyclopedia, multimedia, e-book and primary source databases.

Summer Activities

Students can use their digital tools, available at, to document and celebrate their summer activities. Elementary students can use Wixie to create a summer postcard or travel journal. All students can utilize G-Suite to create a slideshow of their favorite summer day.

Contact Melissa Daggett at with questions or for more information.

Media Books

We have over 700 books checked-out of our Library. Please look for any books and return them to our Library Media Center.

Simulated Congressional Hearings

The Simulated Congressional Hearing (SCH) is the culminating activity for Fifth Grade Social Studies in the Howard County Public School System. Throughout the year, students study four units of instruction: The American Revolution, Building a New Nation, Challenges of a New Nation, and We the People. The SCH is an authentic, performance-based assessment where students demonstrate their understanding of the founding of U.S. Constitution and the impact of its creation. While preparing for the SCH, in addition to showing off their content knowledge, students are able to transfer the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills they learned in Language Arts to this authentic experience.

During the SCH, students assume the role of constitutional experts. The students present prepared oral testimony before a panel of simulated congressional committee members (“judges”). Following the formal presentations, students respond to follow-up questions from the panel. Student groups are evaluated on these criteria: understanding, constitutional application, reasoning, supporting evidence, responsiveness, and participation.

The original format and content of the SCH was developed as a culminating activity by the Center for Civic Education in 1987 as part of the national acclaimed We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program. The SCH was introduced to the Howard County Public School System in 2003 with one school and has now grown to 100% implementation across HCPSS elementary schools.

Fifth graders held their SCH this past week. Here are some pictures of the event below.

Upcoming HCPSS Boundary Review Process

This past January, the Board of Education directed that HCPSS initiate a systemwide school boundary review, which could potentially impact any or all of the 74 comprehensive schools in our county beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. This review will begin on June 13 with the presentation of the 2019 Feasibility Study and is critical due to population growth that has resulted in crowding at many schools while schools in other areas are underutilized.

Families are encouraged to remain informed and engaged throughout the process and there will be multiple opportunities for you to participate. As Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano said earlier this week, a successful outcome for this process depends directly on the level of respect, empathy and careful listening that we as adults model for our children. We must remember that they will follow our lead in responding positively to the challenges and changes that are inevitable throughout life. I ask our community to practice civility during what can be an emotional process.

Please be sure to visit the boundary review page on the HCPSS website for more information, resources, a timeline, and ways to participate. Additionally, HCPSS staff would like your questions related specifically to the way the boundary review process is being conducted and communication and engagement efforts.

Medication Pick-Up

If your child has a medication(s) in the Health Room, it must be picked up by the Parent/Guardian before the end of staff hours on the last day of school, 1:00 pm on Friday, June 21st.
We are not permitted to send home medication with your child. Any medication not picked up will be destroyed. You are welcome to pick up the medication sooner. Thank you!

Medication at School

Most medications, whether prescription or Over-The-Counter, require a Medication Form signed by an authorized prescriber. Please call the Nurse at 410-313-5609, or email to discuss these options. Teachers are not permitted to administer medication to students.
Students may not administer their own medication unless they have a doctor's order and the nurse approves it. If you would like your student or the nurse to administer medication to your student during school, please do the following before sending a medication into school with your student:

  1. Obtain a blank HCPSS Medication Form (HS6401-01-39513035) from the nurse.
  2. Obtain an authorized prescriber's signature on the Medication Form.
  3. Please administer the first dose of any medication at home and observe for adverse reactions.
  4. Bring the signed form and the medication, labeled with your student's name, to the Health Room in person.
    Please do not send medication to school with your student.

The Summer Food Service Program

The Summer Food Service Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and is an extension of the National School Lunch Program, which is designed to guarantee eligible children free and nutritious breakfasts and lunches during the school year. Meals served will be healthy and will follow USDA nutrition guidelines.

All meals will be served on a first-come first-served basis and all meals must be eaten on site.
No portion of the meal may be taken out of the meal serving area(s) and adults may not eat any portion of a child’s meal. Small children must have adult supervision. The days/hours of operation and start/end dates may vary based on participation levels.

For more information, please contact the Howard County Public School System, Food and Nutrition Service at 410-313-6743.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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HCPSS Summer Meals FAQs

What is the summer meals program?

The summer meals program is one way to fill the nutrition gap for many of our children when school is closed during the summer. Hunger does not take a summer vacation.

Can any child participate?

Yes! All children ages 18 years and under can receive free meals at any HCPSS Open Site. There are no other qualifications needed. Meals will be provided without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of meal service.

Do children or parents need to register in order to participate in the Open Site

Summer Meals Program?

No registration or application is required. You can simply bring your child to the summer meal site.

How do I know where the serving sites are located and the times for the meals?

Serving sites and times will be on June’s menu for all schools. We will be sending out flyers and posters will be displayed throughout the community. Site locations, meal times and the summer menu will also posted on our district website.

Will there be activities?

We are scheduling activities at some sites in conjunction with the Howard County Police Department. We will post the time and locations of these activities on the district website.

May we take the food home?

ALL food must be consumed at the site, with the exception of fresh fruit and prepackaged items. This is to ensure that the children do not eat or drink food that may spoil because of improper refrigeration or reheating.

May I come to the site with my children?

Yes! We love having the parents involved. The children love it too! We do ask that children under 4 years of age have an older child with them if you cannot accompany them.

Are the meals nutritious?

Yes! We serve 1% and fat-free milk, fruit, vegetables and all of our meals meet the nutrition guidelines for children.

Is there a place I can call if I have additional questions?

Yes. You may call Howard County Public School System, Food and Nutrition Service at 410-313-6743.

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5th Grade Promotion Ceremony June 18

5th Grade Promotion Ceremony
Our 5th Graders have worked so hard this year! Our 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 18 at 9:30 a.m. Promotion Ceremony guests will be able to enter the school after the arrival of our students at 9:15 a.m.

Due to limited seating, school-aged siblings are not permitted to attend the ceremony.

ARRIVAL: Please plan on arriving by 9:20 a.m. in order to find parking in the neighborhood, enter the building, and find a seat.
Parking is very limited. Guests need to follow the signage along Quarterstaff Road. Additional parking is available at the Clemens Crossing Pool off Martin Road. We encourage people to walk if you live close by.

CAKE CELEBRATION: Immediately following the ceremony, we invite you to join your child in the Cafeteria for cake and pictures.
If you wish to take your 5th grade student home after the cake and pictures, please be prepared to show your state issued ID to your child’s homeroom teacher.
All students need to be signed-out before leaving.

We look forward to celebrating with you! Please contact the CCES Front Office if you have any questions.

Are You Moving?

If you have moved or are moving soon, please notify us as soon as possible.

We are available to assist you with transitioning to your child's new school. Whether it be another HCPSS school, private school, or to a school out of the HCPSS district, we are here to help. If you are transferring to another HCPSS school, our registrars will partner to make the transition as smooth as possible.

If you have an address change, bring your new residency documents to the Front Office and we will update your address in the system. If you have any questions, call Jennifer Aballo, our Registrar.

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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.

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