VES Eagle Express Newletter
SY2020-2021 SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 - Volume 14, Issue #3
The building is closed due to the State Superintendent's decision regarding the COVID-19.
TEACHER SECRETARIES ARE WORKING REMOTELY.
They are available to assist you during this time with attendance, student records, new student registrations/withdrawals:
INTERNATIONAL AND FAMILY SERVICE LINKS:
Para información y apoyo adicionales, por favor, llame al 410-313-1591.
보다 자세한 문의와 지원을 원하시면, 410-313-1592 로 연락 주시기 바랍니다.
For all other language needs please contact Monica Ranta at 410-313-7102.
Looking Forward to the New School Year
Dear HCPSS Community,
On August 25, I was privileged to welcome back our teachers to the start of the 2020-2021 school year and in just a few days I look forward to welcoming back our students.
I wish that I could continue the tradition of visiting as many schools as possible on the first day of school to greet students, staff and families in person. Instead, I hope that you will watch the video message that I created specifically for families and community members.
Virtual Learning This Fall
While our students will not be returning to the classrooms, I appreciate our families' efforts to cultivate a learning space at home to the best extent possible and am grateful for your partnership in nurturing and guiding your children to be successful this fall.
HCPSS staff have benefitted from lessons learned from the spring model to develop a more robust and engaging learning experience for the fall. We must still operate in a far from ideal state as the pandemic continues, and we ask that HCPSS staff, students and families continue to be flexible and understanding as we begin the new school year in a virtual format.
When students return to virtual school this fall, they are going to engage in live instruction and support on most days and have access to school staff five days a week. Parents/guardians now have access to view student's schedules in Synergy and students will be able to view their schedules in Canvas on Saturday, Sept. 5. Schedules include opportunities each week for students to receive 1-on-1 or small group instructional support if they are absent or require additional instruction to ensure understanding. Additionally, these are times when students can access the many student services that continue to be available with counselors, school psychologists, and other student services staff.
When students enter the virtual classroom, they will have a teacher and classmates to engage with and learn from. Students will have the ability to ask questions, provide answers to the teacher's questions, and learn from one another. Students will also be expected to participate fully in their virtual class discussions and learning activities. I encourage families to view the Google Meet Expectations for virtual learning for more details about helping to ensure all virtual classrooms operate smoothly and effectively.
Mostly, I want to emphasize that your child is going to be supported and challenged academically and continue to have access to the many student services available from our schools and school staff. Our school system's stated mission to ensure academic success and social-emotional well-being for each student in an inclusive and nurturing environment that closes opportunity gaps does not pause because we must function virtually for the time being. There will be bumps in the road along this journey but I am confident that students will experience levels of growth, stimulation, development and support that families have come to expect from HCPSS.
There are a number of items on which I would like to provide greater details to prepare for the start of the school year.
- Student Participation Expectations
One important difference this fall as compared to the spring Continuity of Learning program is that students are expected to take an active part in synchronous learning activities throughout each week. For example, students may be called on by their teachers to respond to a question or asked to share feedback by using the chat box. The use of the video camera will still be primarily optional for students but teachers may ask students to turn the video camera on for short periods of time in order to engage in an activity or assessment.
- Chromebook and Internet Access
All students in grades prekindergarten through five have been provided with a device. Chromebook distribution to middle and high school students is ongoing. Families may request Chromebooks and internet access by notifying the school system.
- Attendance and Grading
Attendance will be taken daily and more details can be found on the website. Your child's grade level will determine when attendance will be taken and what constitutes being present. Changes to the HCPSS grading policy will be discussed at the September 10 Board of Education meeting. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
- Fall Meal Distribution
Meals will be provided at no cost to all students through December 31, 2020, subject to U.S. Department of Agriculture funding availability. Families are encouraged to complete the Free and Reduced-price Meals (FARMs) program application as soon as possible to ensure they will have access to free and reduced meals throughout the school year along with a wide range of resources and discounts, including testing fees, tuition, internet and more. Learn more about the meal locations, pick up procedures, FARMs information and more.
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
The HCPSS Help site is grouped by subject to allow quicker and easier navigation, and includes a keyword search function, making it easier to quickly find answers to frequently asked questions.
Again, welcome back to the start of the school year. Please don't hesitate to reach out to staff at your child's school with questions or if there are any supports required by your child that they are not currently receiving.
I look forward to leading our school system with grace, courage and kindness, and I wish each of you a joyous beginning to another wonderful school year.
Dr. Michael J. Martirano
Parents/guardians new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification, however must opt in to receive text alerts.
From the Principal
Welcome To the 2020-2021 School Year
IMPORTANT CALENDAR DATES
7 - Labor Day
8 - First Day of School for Student K thru 5
10 - First Day of School for PK/RECC
28- No School - Yom Kippur
Make sure you know important dates on the 2020-2021 academic calendar. There are no printed calendars; you may view the online calendar and/or download printable calendar PDFs on our website. The calendar is subject to change.
Get Ready for the 2020-2021 School Year!
Student Log Ins Required for all Google Meet Sessions.
The codes for a meeting are pretty simple usually ves-rbruce-gr6 is the general set up.
If you are not in Google Meet you can add a link for direct access which is Example:
http://g.co/meet/ves-rbruce-gr6 , the code would be added as the example shows.
NEW STUDENT ORIENTATIONS
New Student Orientation is for any student from Grades 1-5. If you attended a Redistricted New Student Orientation in the Spring, you do not need to attend this session.
New Student Orientation / Meet & Greets Fri. 9/4
Here is the schedule for Meet & Greets for Friday September 4th, including the Veterans New Student Orientation:
9:30-10:30- New Student Orientation for Grades 1-5
(Note: PK/RECC and Kindergarten will attend on Wed. Sept. 9th at 1:00 pm)
The Google Code for the New Student Orientation will be:
Join by phone
(US) +1 415-855-1222 PIN: 848 310 525#
Teacher Meet and Greets are listed below:
1. Find your child's grade and assigned teacher (from HCPSS Connect)
2. Locate the time the assigned teacher's Meet & Greet will occur on Friday Sept. 4th
3. Go To Google Meet and enter the code which start with "ves" into the join google meeting tab.
Kindergarten Meet & Greets
Friday 9/4 10:30-11:00 am
Friday 9/4 11:00-11:30 am
Friday 9/4 11:30-12:00
Chance to meet Band and Strings Teachers who will also be at the Related Arts Meeting at the end of the day.
1:00-1:30 Band ves-tviets-band
1:00-1:30 Strings ves-cmclagan-strings
Friday 9/4 1:30-2:00 pm
Friday 9/4 2:00-2:30 pm
Friday 9/4 2:30-3:00 pm
Friday 9/4 3:00 pm
Related Arts Teachers- ves-relatedarts-k-5
Please note that PreK and RECC classes Meet & Greets will occur on Weds. Sept. 9th, codes will be sent by Tuesday Sept. 8th.
Grade 3,4,5 for Orchestra and Grades 4 & 5 for Band Interested in playing in Band or Orchestra?
Band & Strings will have a Google Meet Today at 1:00 pm
Mr. Viets, Band Teacher will hold a Google Meet at 1:00 pm for all current and future band students at 1:00 pm. ves-tviets-band
Mrs. McLagan will hold a Google Meet at 1:00 pm for all current and future strings/orchestra members at 1:00 pm. ves-cmclagan-strings
Back to School Nights
2020-2021 Back to School Nights will be held via Google Meet. Parents/guardians will receive details and information from their child's school. All dates are subject to change. Please check with your child's school prior to the event to verify the event date and time.
HCPSSConnect Family File Update Directions:
Update your Family File in HCPSSConnect to view Teacher Assignments when they are available!!!
Looking forward to a great year. It will be what we make it !!!
Emergency Card Procedures with Family File
HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Regardless of virtual or in-person learning, parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child. Parents/guardians can complete Family File by logging in to
HCPSS Connect, selecting the More Options tab on the left, and then selecting Family File in the center column. Family File guides are available online.
STUDENT CANVAS ORIENTATION AND VIDEO
Please take some time to go through the Canvas Orientation with your child. Included is a list of topics that will help you use Canvas in their classes. Click on each topic to learn how to use that feature in Canvas. When you are finished, you will have mastered the Canvas basics and be ready to navigate smoothly within their courses. Remember you can always refer back to this guide throughout the school year.
Student Canvas Account Self-Service
Student Technology Devices
All elementary school students will be provided with a Chromebook prior to the first day of school. Parents of middle and high school students currently in need of a device may request one. All families may indicate a need for internet access. Full details online.
Virtual Instruction Responsibilities, Expectations and Best Practices
A successful virtual instruction program for the 2020-2021 school year requires collaboration and shared responsibilities among students, educators and families.
The Howard County School System is acutely aware of how the pandemic has affected family budgets. It has reviewed school supply lists and released one general supply list for families which I am attaching to this special announcement . The number of items have been reduced to the most needed items based on knowledge of curriculum to be covered. I hope you find this helpful.
STUDENT VIRTUAL LUNCH BUNCHES
Hello, students! Welcome back to school! We are so excited to have you back!!
If you are new to VES, know that we are so happy to have you. We will be hosting new student welcome lunch bunches to introduce ourselves, get to know each of you, and play a few games. If you are new to VES and you want to come, log into google meet using the code VESNEWSTUDENTLUNCH at 12:00 p.m. on the following dates:
First Grade - Tuesday, September 15
Second Grade - Wednesday, September 16
Third Grade - Friday, September 18
Fourth Grade - Tuesday, September 22
Fifth Grade - Friday, September 25
Send all attendance notes directly to: email@example.com
Each HCPSS school now as an attendance email for parents to send notes pertaining to their child missing any time out from school, even during virtual learning (ie. sick, appointment, travel, etc.)
During Virtual Learning, attendance will be taken daily by Homeroom and Math teachers.
Please take the time to review the HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY
School NEW STUDENT Enrollment 2020-21
THE REGISTRATION PROCESS for the SY2020-2021 BEGINS ONLINE for all new students Grades PK thru 5. Please use the following link: https://www.hcpss.org/enroll
*Once a new registration is filled out online, a school registrar will be in contact with you.
Start Online Enrollment process here, Step-by-Step instructions: https://www.hcpss.org/enroll/
Follow steps 1-4 Online. Step 5, registrar will coordinate a virtual GoogleMeeting to complete the enrollment with you.
* You will need to upload the following documents during online registration:
Birth certificate, birth registration or passport
Current immunization record - must be from the pediatrician and signed
Deed or Lease to your residence
Current utility bill
Photo ID of registering parent/guardian - this MUST be shown during virtual meeting at time of registration.
ADDRESS CHANGE FORM: FILLABLE_Change_of_Address.pdf
MOVING into VES: FILLABLE_VES RequestforRecords.pdf
We can assist you to obtain student records from their prior school by filling out the
Request for Records form and emailing it back to the registrar.
MOVING AWAY/ Withdraw from VES: FILLABE_Withdrawal form
Please initiate the process by filling out the HCPSS Withdrawal Form and email it back to the registrar.
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*Parents/guardians who have already registered online, please remember that registration is not complete until a registrar reviews/verifies uploaded required documents (see list below). A registrar will coordinate a virtual GoogleMeeting with the parent/guardian to complete the enrollment.
Grab-and-Go School Meals
The food services program during the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year will consist of Grab-and-Go breakfasts and lunches served Monday through Friday from 8–9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m., beginning Tuesday, September 8.
Parents of students who qualify for Free and Reduced-Price Meals (FARMs) must submit a new application every school year. View program details and learn how to apply.
LOCAL COMMUNITY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY POSTS
Meals & Nutrition Assistance Program
- The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) recently expanded its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It is possible that families may qualify now for SNAP benefits, based on the economic downturn due to COVID-19. Visit the DHS website to learn more. All children in households already 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.
- All Maryland students who qualify for FARMs are eligible for the new P-EBT program, or Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, which provides benefits on a debit-style EBT card to help families with children purchase healthy food during the school closure. Families can apply for the Free and Reduced-Price Meals (FARMs) program until June 1, 2020. Visit the HCPSS web site to learn more about the opportunities and how to apply.
Howard County Library Resources
- Created While Isolated: Students ages 13 and up and adults are invited to share photographs, art, music, creative writing, and personal stories from this unprecedented time in acollaborative creativity journal.
- TumbleMath is a fun and engaging way to learn math concepts through stories. Students can access this and many other learning resources with their A+ student accounts throughhcpss.me by selecting HC Library.
HCPSS COUNSELING SERVICES for Students, Families, and Staff
The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an especially stressful time for many, especially those already impacted by mental health concerns. Find information about local and online resources for counseling and mental health supports for you and your family on our website.