Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

March 29, 2019 - Volume 40, Issue 27

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Events


29 *postponed - PTA sponsored DIY Wood Pallet Paint Night Fundraiser, 6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


  • National Arab American History -and- World Autism Awareness Month
  • 1 - Casey Cares Starts - See below
  • 3 - Kindergarten Field Trip to Library, 9:30 a.m.
  • 4 - SPIRIT DAY - Baseball Day!
  • 4 - Boy's Night Out
  • 5 - Professional Work Day/End of Marking Period - Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.
  • 5 - Battle of the Books (5th grade teams) at Long Reach HS tickets required, 7:00 p.m.
  • 10 - Columbia Mall Art Show Begins
  • 10 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 11 - SPIRIT DAY - BEACH DAY! Wear Beach Clothes
  • 12 - Casey Cares Ends - See below
  • 12 - Third Grade Bread Bake
  • 12 - Fifth Grade - Field Trip to Washington DC
  • 15 thru 22 - Schools Closed: SPRING BREAK
  • 23 - Fourth Grade art field trip to Washington D.C.
  • 24 - In-School Banking
  • 24 - Fourth Grade Days of Taste Chef Presentation
  • 24 - Report cards issued
  • 25 - National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • 26 - PTA Talent Show (NEW DATE! Moved from the end of March) - 7:00 p.m.


  • 1 - Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month Starts
  • 1 - Chick-fil-a PTA Restaurant Night (All Day)
  • 6 - Fourth Grade Days of Taste Farm Field Trip
  • 8 - Fourth Grade Days of Taste In-School Presentation (part 2)
  • 9 - Kindergarten Field Trip to Baltimore's B&O Museum
  • 11 - PTA sponsored DIY Wood Pallet Paint Night Fundraiser, 6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
    (NEW DATE moved from 3/29)
  • 13 - Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, 2:30 p.m.
  • 14 - Spring Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 15 - Schoolwide Showcase (GT Enrichment Fair, Science Fair, Classroom Displays), 6:30 p.m.
  • 16 - Interim Reports Issued
  • 17 - Professional Learning/Articulation Day - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 17 - PTA Spring Carnival
  • 21 - Fifth Grade visits Wilde Lake Middle School, 9:15 a.m.
  • 23 - Field Day (May 24 - Field Day rain date)
  • 27 - Memorial Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 29 - In-School Banking

June - Adjusted Final Days of School

  • 3 - Fifth Grade Simulated Congressional Hearings
  • 4 - Early Dismissal, Professional Work Day, 12:45 p.m.
  • 5 - Career Day (Grades 3-5) Morning Only
  • 17 - Full Day of School
  • 18 - Full Day of School
  • 19 - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.m.
  • 20 - School Closes 3-Hours Early, 12:45 p.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

“March Madness"

While most people think of March Madness in regards to basketball, for schools it is a time where administrators start having their feet in two different places. Principals ALWAYS have their feet in the current school year working with teachers, parents, and students to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for students. This means we're thinking about equitable learning opportunities for all children, providing support and extensions for students so that we've differentiated learning experiences, and supporting teachers as they deliver curriculum to students in engaging and meaningful ways. March is a time where we begin planning for student placements for the upcoming year. We use our existing information about students to begin thinking about placement and we formally start asking parents for input around the middle of April.

The "foot in the other place" is where we start looking at enrollment projections and thinking about how many classes/teachers we will need, planning and refining school improvement initiatives, collaborating on calendar logistics, thinking about schedules and how those will best meet the needs of student learning, which new hires we need and where we need them, and how our budget will support students, teachers, and staff throughout the school (this isn't an exhaustive list, but a short list of some immediate items). Some of this early work gets done after school, during conference days, and in small bits of time when there are a few minutes.

This other "March Madness" is not particular to just Clemens Crossing or me, but is a reality for principals across Howard County, throughout Maryland, and around the country. What is particular to Clemens Crossing (and I believe other schools in the HCPSS) is the attention to detail and thoughtfulness that takes place as we all work to ensure the continued success of our students for the school year we are in and beyond. It is definitely a balancing act and one that we reflect on each year thinking about how we can always improve and do better!

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.

Science Fair

In order to do a well-designed Investigation or Science Fair Project, it is important to have time to do it. Although our annual Science Fair is less than two months away, it is important to start planning and executing your plan within the next two weeks. The deadline to enter the Science Fair is fast approaching. April 15 is the deadline to register for the Science Fair.
The complete information about the Science Fair can be found on the CCES website.
The registration link is below.
Science Fair Registration

There is plenty of time to sign up for the science fair. Information is located on the main page of the CCES website.

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states developing assessments to measure student achievement in English Language Arts (ELA)/ Literacy and Mathematics for grades 3-8 and high school. The primary purpose of PARCC is to provide high-quality assessments of students’ progression toward postsecondary readiness and success.

The PARCC tests are designed to match the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards and assess whether students are meeting grade-level expectations.

In contrast to other assessments, the PARCC is an extension to regular instruction, because students experience engaging, real-life texts and solve meaningful problems based on high-quality classroom work. In addition, built-in accessibility features help all students do their best and expand access for students with disabilities.

PARCC Testing Dates at Clemens Crossing, Grades 3-5 Only

Grade 3

ELA: May 6th, 7th, 8th

Math: May 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st

Grade 4

ELA: May 1st, May 2nd, May 3rd
Math: May 16th, May 20th, May 21st, May 22nd

Grade 5

ELA: April 26th, April 29th, April 30th

Math: May 10th, 13th, 14th, 15th

Gifted and Talented – 2019 Summer Institutes for Talent Development

The G/T Summer Institutes provide interested students with advanced-level instruction and enrichment experiences not regularly available during the academic school year.

Registration by mail only. Registration forms are available in the catalog. Completed registration forms can be mailed to the GT Office beginning February 1.

  • Session I: July 1–July 12, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Tuition: $288 per student
  • Session II: July 15–July 26, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Tuition: $320 per student

Location: Wilde Lake Middle School

Before and After Care available for additional cost.

  • Howard County Recreation and Parks Fun Zone at Wilde Lake Middle School, learn more →

For additional questions, please contact LaDonna Norjen, 410-313-6671

Casey Cares

Dear Clemens Crossing Families,

My name is Sarah Eber, I am a senior at Towson University working as an intern with Casey Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides uplifting programs for critically ill children and their families. I am a former Clemens Crossing student and also the daughter of Ms. Marybeth DeSantis, the band and string teacher at Clemens Crossing Elementary.

An important part of my internship is developing relationships with communities as well as the families directly involved in the Casey Cares program. Clemens Crossing is a community well known for supporting and nurturing the needs of children and a community of mine as well. Before going into the details of my internship project, I would like to share with you why Casey Cares Foundation and this internship is important to me. When I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with a critical illness spending 3 months in Johns Hopkins and Kennedy Krieger Institute. I not only received medical care, but emotional care as well so my family and I could cope with the challenges and begin healing to move forward. I chose to go into a Family Studies field with an Introduction to Child Life so I can make a difference in the lives of other families with sick children.

I am inviting you to make a difference in the lives of these families by participating in the fourth annual Pajama Party sponsored by the Casey Cares Foundation! I am hosting a drive to collect new pajamas and gift cards to provide cozy at home movie kits that give families the opportunity to spend time together. Have your child wear their favorite pair of pajamas to school on Friday, April 12th! There will be donation bins inside the front door of the school from April 1st through April 12th.

We are collecting:

~ new two-piece PJs (Infant to Adult sizes),

~ $10 gift cards (Fandango, Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.)

~ Pizza gift cards (Ledo Pizza, Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, Domino’s, etc.)

There are also other Drop off locations for donations throughout April, and they, along with information about how the pajama donations began, can be found on their website:

I look forward to working with you to make this program a successful and fun for everyone. I will be at Clemens Crossing Friday, April 12th to participate with Clemens Crossing community. You can reach me at 443-878-5960 or for any questions or to request more information on the amazing programs Casey Cares provides.


Sarah Eber

Family and Human Service Major

Towson University

8000 York Road

Towson, Maryland 21252

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Upcoming Spirit Days

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Congratulations, Mr. Cosentino!

We are excited to announce that Mr. Cosentino has been named the National Distinguished Principal for 2019 by the Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals!

The National Distinguished Principal Program was established in 1984 to recognize elementary and middle school principals who set high standards for instruction, student achievement, and character for the students, families and staff in their schools and learning communities. This is a tremendous honor and we couldn’t be more proud! Please give Mr. Cosentino a high five the next time you see him!

Andrea Nelson - Chair, CCES Awards Committee

Karen Pang – CCES PTA President

Calling all performers!

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The CCES Talent Show is coming Friday, April 26!!

* Acts can be solo or group numbers

* Acts must be three minutes or less

* Mandatory Dress Rehearsal will be the week of April 8-12 (specific dates coming soon)

* Registration Deadline -- Thursday April 4

Please register using this link:

The Talent Show is organized by Christine Porras. Please email with any questions!

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ANGST, the Movie


Parents and guardians are invited to a free documentary screening and panel discussion around anxiety in youth. This 55-minute film features candid interviews with children and young adults who struggle, or have struggled, with anxiety — including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. This film explores the causes, symptoms and effects of anxiety and stress, and encourages youth and their families to seek help. Middle and high school students are invited to attend with a parent or guardian. Each film screening will be followed by a discussion with local experts.


Join us at one of four events. Film begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by discussion.

  • Howard High School – Tues. April 2, 6:30 p.m. 8700 Old Annapolis Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21043
  • Hammond High School – Thurs. April 4, 6:30 p.m. 8800 Guilford Rd, Columbia, MD 21046
  • Glenelg High School – Tues. April 9, 6:30 p.m. 14025 Burntwoods Rd, Glenelg, MD 21737
  • Mt. Hebron High School – Wed. April 10, 6:30 p.m. 9440 Old Frederick Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21042

If you need Interpreting Services, please contact Rashel Taylor at

For more information about the film "Angst," please visit

Register for Angst the Move


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Guest Speaker for PTA Meeting on April 10th

We are very excited to announce that we will be joined by a special guest speaker for our April 10th PTA meeting. Noreen Naroo-Pucci, a leader of the Howard County Chapter of Start School Later, will be speaking to us about the importance of sleep for children and the scientific studies showing the connection between hours of sleep and school start times. She will also discuss the proposals for starting high schools later that were presented to the Howard County Board of Education, most recently in December 2017. Join us at 6:30 in the media center for this informational session. A modified PTA meeting will follow at 7:15. Please be sure to make time in your schedule to attend this great event!

PTA Executive Board Open Seats for 2019-2020

Nominees for all Executive Board positions will be presented at the PTA meeting on April 10.

The following positions have no candidates of yet:

  • 1st Vice President
  • 2nd Vice President
  • Recording Secretary
  • Corresponding Secretary

Anyone interested in running for these positions is welcome to do so! For more information, please contact the Nominating Committee: Hyung Chang (, Chris McDonald (, Christy Pine (


The Clemens Crossing Elementary School PTA Nominating Committee is looking for volunteers to chair several positions during the 2019-2020 academic year. PTA position descriptions and contact information can be found below. Most of these positions do not require regular attendance at monthly PTA board meetings. Updates to the board can be communicated through email.

We welcome anyone who would like to be involved. If you have time to help in any capacity, please contact any or all of the Nominating Committee:
Hyung Chang (
Chris McDonald (
Christy Pine (


CAC Representative

The CAC is the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education of Howard County. The CAC meets one evening a month and facilitates communication between the Board and the community on issues of concern and matters involving education. The CAC Representative is a liaison between the CCES PTA and the Board of Education.

PTA Council Rep (2 volunteers)

PTA Council delegates and PTA Presidents are the all-important communication link between the local PTA unit and the PTA Council. Representatives attend monthly PTACHC and relay information at CCES PTA meetings.

SECAC Representative

Under the law, Howard County Special Education Citizens Advisory Committee advises the school system on the needs of students with disabilities. We collaborate with other community disability advocacy groups to improve special education and the lives of our students in Howard County, MD.

SIT Representative

Each school has a School Improvement Team made up of school staff, parents and other community members, which oversees the process of improving instruction and academic performance in that school. The SIT is charged with developing a school improvement plan that serves as a tool for reviewing school progress, appropriately adjusting instruction, and delineating responsibility for implementation. The CCES PTA's SIT representative acts as a liaison between the PTA and the SIT. The SIT representative attends three annual meetings with the SIT and provides updates on the school’s progress against established goals at PTA meetings.

Audit Committee (2 volunteers)

A three-member committee that periodically examines the financial books of the CCES PTA. At the end of the year, or anytime there is a change of treasurers, the audit committee will examine the treasurer's financial report and certify that it is correct.

Bulletin Board

Designs, decorates, and updates the PTA Bulletin Board in the front lobby of the school.


Coordinates welcoming new families to CCES: identifies volunteers at each grade level who would be willing to host playdates and answer questions for new families joining our CCES Community. May choose to host a new families picnic/playdate at the CCES playground in the fall.

Paw Print Press

Coordinates volunteers and production of Paw Print Press books.

Play Coordinator

The play coordinator serves as a liaison between the School House Theater Arts and parents. The coordinator works together with STA in arranging the school play, serving as the liaison between parents and STA, and coordinating the cast party on the final night of the performance.

Special Education Liaison

Individual works w/ Special Education staff to promote, support and recognize best practices in meeting the needs of students receiving Special Education services. This position is fairly flexible depending on the needs of the Special Education team and what the individual would like to emphasize and promote. In the past, we have purchased equipment for the Special Education team (iPad, books), worked w/ Parent Partners, and promoted disability awareness activities.

Spirit Wear

Coordinates sale of spirit wear including identifying merchandise to be included in the sale and working with the vendor, collecting orders and payments, and distributing merchandise.

Staff Appreciation

Coordinates staff appreciation events and activities including, Back to School Luncheon (the week before school starts), November and February conference dinners, and teacher appreciation week luncheon/events (early May). Recruits volunteers. Events are scheduled both during the school day and evenings. This is a great position for two people to co-chair.

Talent Show

Organizes school talent show including creating and distributing flier, overseeing auditions, creating program schedule, advertising event to CCES community, and overseeing activities on event night.

Visiting Author

Coordinates the annual author visit by working with the school media instructor to select author, decide on a date, advertise the event to families, coordinate book orders, and be present on the day of the event.

Web Master

Manages website functionality and design adaptation. Coordinates with Website Chair to present content in the most user-friendly way.

Web Site

Works with Communication Chair and President to manage and post web site content. Coordinates with Web Master to address functionality issues or re-design.

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.