DECEMBER 18, 2021 - Vol.15 Issue #17


Para información y apoyo adicionales, por favor, llame al 410-313-1591.

欲知详情或想获得更多支持,请电 410-313-5920.

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.


Robert Bruce, Principal -

Alexcia Redd, Assistant Principal -

Jaime Gittleson, Administrative Intern -

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700

Youmi Jun, Principal Secretary -
Jane Pak, Teacher Secretary -
Maria Martinez, Teacher Secretary -
Dulce Boyer, Teacher Secretary .5 -

Weekly Message from our Principal

Dear Veterans Community,

You may have noticed an increase in positive CO-VID 19 cases in the county and here at Veterans Elementary School. While we certainly agree that keeping children in school is ideal.
It is not healthy and safe to keep students that are possibly infected in school as well. We know this is hard on our families and it is also hard on our staff who have to notify parents and plan for continued instruction. Recently the Superintendent increased the mitigation efforts to keep schools open.

The following in-person activities are suspended immediately through Jan. 15, 2022 with a reevaluation on January 7, 2022. This includes:

  • Athletic practices and contests
  • Theater rehearsals and performances
  • School concerts and performances
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Field trips

Luckily, our concert performances have always been scheduled to be virtual events without a live audience. Students will be fully masked.

We want all families to please understand that daily morning health checks for our children is another mitigation factor which is crucial for a healthy school environment. Further when a decision is made relative to close contacts, this decision is made in consultation with the the school system's health services department. Often our Cluster Nurses bear the brunt of parent anger toward the inconvenience this causes for everyone, they are just doing their job. We know it is frustrating but ask for you to understand we are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic. We recommend that you continue morning health checks, send your child with a mask for school, and get your child vaccinated. Lastly, if the call comes that your child was a close contact follow the instructions given to you by health services.

We thank those parents who have contacted the school about positive cases in their families so that we may follow protocol based on your situation. We want everyone to remain safe and healthy.

On a staffing note we need to announce some changes coming after break.

1. Mr. Christopher Oh will be stepping down from his position and will be replaced by Ms. Megan Shin. Mr. Oh has been a wonderful staff member and we wish him well.

2. Mr. DaJuan Tyler-Curtis will be pursuing other interests. He has provided a wonderful presence for our students. He will be missed but we wish him much success. Mrs. Maze has been promoted to take Mr. Tyler-Curtis' position.

3. Mrs. Jaime Gittleson- Administrative intern was promoted to Assistant Principal at Clemens Crossing Elementary. Clemens will be so fortunate to have her. She will be missed and we expect to hear about her replacement around mid-January.

Lastly, we want everyone to have a safe and restful winter break. The staff wishes you well as we end 2021 and we are extremely hopeful that 2022 will yield healthier results. The next Eagle Express will be on Saturday January 8th.

Robert C. Bruce
Principal- Veterans Elementary School

Every Day Counts !
Connectedness Strategic Responsibility Arranger Intellection

Perform Daily Health Checks

Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform daily health checks for COVID-19 symptoms before the student leaves home.


22 - Spirit Day: PJ Day

23 - Schools and Offices Closed: WINTER BREAK BEGINS


3 - First Day Back from Winter Break

7 - Spirit Day: *Camoflouge Day: Wear your favorite Camo apparel
17 - School and Offices Closed: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

19 - Schools Close 3 Hours Early/ Dismissal at 12:55 p.m. for Professional Work Day
21- End of 2nd Quarter

21 - Spirit Day: #EaglePride - Wear VES Spirit Wear or school colors
24 - No School for Students - Professional Work Day
31 - 2nd Quarter Report Cards Issued via HCPSSConnect

Mrs. Gittleson - VES Leadership Intern, Promoted to Assistant Principal at Clemens Crossing!

Dear Veterans Community,

By action of the Howard County Board of Education effective January 3, 2022

Mrs. Jaime Gittleson has been appointed Assistant Principal at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. We wish Mrs. Gittleson a hearty congratulations on her promotion. She has been a wonderful addition to our school and despite her short tenure here, will be missed. We wish Mrs. Gittleson much success in her new role.

We will introduce Mrs. Gittleson’s replacement here at Veterans soon.

Big picture

Reflections Art Contest Winners!
The PTA and the Art Reflections Committee would like to congratulate the talented winners of the Veterans Elementary School Art Reflections Contest. This year's theme was "I Will Change The World by...". Winners will now move onto the Howard County Level for the next phase of this national competition.
Visual Arts Winners
Ella Kim - Kindergarten
Adrita Mazumdar - 1st Grade
Audrey Um - 1st Grade
Sree Virha Meka - 2nd Grade
Leah Um - 3rd Grade
Ariya Sarvade - 5th Grade
Musical Composition Winners
Rhutam Kashalkar - 1st Grade
Shlok Kashalkar - 3rd Grade
Literature Winners
Parnika Madabathula - 4th Grade
Ayushman Mazumdar - 4th Grade

Thank you to our artists, parents, teachers, administrators and everyone who encouraged our artists to show their amazing art skills. Special thanks to PTA Chairperson Marche' Templeton for all her hard work to coordinate the program for the kids this year.

Veterans ES needs some help replenishing games used for indoor recess located in each grade level's game closet. The PTA will use its full recess budget to purchase some of the games, but does not have enough to cover the cost of all the games needed. Please see sign up for more information and to see the game list. This is a request for new games. If you have used games you would like to donate, please reach out to your child's teacher directly.
Deadline: January 10, 2022.


Are you great with numbers? Do you know how to do taxes? We are in need of a treasurer for the PTA next school year. Reach out if you would be interested in chatting with our current treasurer about this opportunity. Email Kim at for more info.

Use this link to see your other volunteer options:

Follow us on Facebook

Collection for Mt. Hebron HS Canned Food Drive

Calling all students, staff, and families!

Mount Hebron’s Annual Canned Food Drive is underway. Mt. Hebron High School is running this drive until December 22nd.

They are collecting cans, toiletry items, money, and other canned food donations which go towards feeding those who struggle during the harsh winter months. Their goal is to help support our community, to ultimately collect over 75,000 cans county-wide!

Veterans Elementary will be collecting cans in a designated box for Mt. Hebron in the VES lobby which will be collected weekly until the 20th!

The collection is being conducted by classes assigned to various regions of Howard County.
For more information about the canned food drive, please email Jasmine Sonpar at, and to learn more about neighborhood collection please email
Mr. Tittsworth at

The OSP link for digital donations: ductid=DA010-VAR47

Feel free to write “Leadership Period 3” in the description box for the transaction to attribute the donations towards our class’s efforts!

Families wishing to donate cash to the collection effort may contact Ms.Youmi Jun, Principal's Secretary and get the money to her.

VES REMINDERS: Worth Repeating...

Weather Guidelines/Recess

Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to burn off excess energy. If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning. Children are expected to wear clothing appropriate for forecasted conditions when participating in recess or outside activities.

The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the administrator at individual schools. On rare occasions due to extreme weather, a decision may be made at the school system level.
The following factors are considered in determining if recess is to be held outside:

  • Temperature and humidity
  • Wind chill
  • Heat index and air quality
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)
  • Thunder and lightning

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit or the heat index reading is less than 95. Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely hot or cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary. During hot weather, teachers should provide students a water break before and after recess. Additionally, any student who shows signs of heat exhaustion or overheating should be allowed a water break during recess.

Will attendance be taken when students are quarantining?

HCPSS Update: Nov. 8, 2021

The Maryland State Department of Education recently released additional attendance guidance for students who are required to quarantine but who are otherwise able to participate in academic activities.

Students will be counted as present for the school day if they engage in at least a half day of meaningful academic activities. These activities include synchronous check-ins with teachers, virtual tutoring services via the Evening School program, and access to instructional materials in Canvas, and for elementary students include 20 minutes of work in Lexia Core5 and/or 20 minutes in DreamBox each school day.

HCPSS Link to view other frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 Student Quarantine

Academic Resources for Quarantined Students

If your child needs to quarantine, we have instructional materials for them to stay engaged in academics while they are away from the classroom. These materials include the following:

  • Robust Instructional Packets - These large packets will be sent home with students are on quarantine. These packets are grade level specific.

  • Synchronous Support Sessions - Each ELA and Math teacher will offer synchronous sessions that quarantine students can access. Teachers will send the dates/times and login information for these sessions.

  • Canvas Materials - There may be activities on Canvas that students can complete. Your child's teacher will communicate this to parents when a student is quarantined.

  • Dreambox, Typing Agent and LexiaCore will be available for students to utilize.

  • Evening School - This program offers academic enrichment for those students who are put on quarantine. If you want your child to participate in this, please email Alexcia Redd. Her email address is

If your child is quarantined and left their Chromebook at school, please call the front office to arrange a pick-up time to get your child's device. This will allow them to access the above supports. If your child does not have a Chromebook assigned to them, a Chromebook will be assigned to them if they need to be quarantined. In the event that your child is not in school when they are placed on quarantine, you can contact the front office to arrange a pick-up time to get a device.

Please contact your child's teacher or the front office if you have any questions or concerns.

Below are the SY2021-22 standardized testing window dates:

Grade specific dates and testing details are communicated in advance of each assessment. Dates subject to change.

Grades 1-8 MAP Reading/Math: Oct. 18 - Nov. 5

Grades 3 & 5 CogAT: Jan 18 - Feb. 4
Grades K-5 Access for ELLS: Jan. 10 - Feb. 18

Grade 5 MISA: March 14 - 25

Grades 1-8 MAP Reading/Math: April 4 - April 29

Grades 3-5 MCAP ELA/Math: May 4 - June 3

Early Dismissals must be prior to 3:30 pm

* Please bring your phone to scan the QR code to sign out student(s) for Early Dismissal.

** Please also be prepared to present your Photo ID

Please plan accordingly. Students are dismissed from class upon parents' arrival after they are signed out from the office.

At this time, we can't allow students to take a different bus other than their assigned bus due to COVID.

After 3:30pm, students will be dismissed at VES normal 3:55pm dismissal with the Car Riders.


For the safety and security of the children - parents/guardians are not allowed to board and pull their child/children from a school bus at any time, especially during our dismissal.


See an Administrator or Front Office Secretary for assistance!

No Transportation Changes can be accommodated During Dismissal

*Please reserve any last minute requests for

~Help us keep your children safe ~

Making these requests causes confusion and leaves a lot of room for errors during the mass exodus!

Any transportation changes made after 3:30pm is disruptive to the VES dismissal process.

Please do not call or enter the school building requesting a staff member to pull your child from their normal dismissal plan.


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.

Nominate a Principal or Teacher today!

Nominations are now open for the annual HCPSS Principal and Teacher of the Year awards, and are due no later than 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. Submission information and full details can be found online.

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for Students Ages 5-11

Through a partnership with the Howard County Health Department and several local pharmacies, HCPSS is pleased to provide students ages 5-11 the opportunity to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Visit the HCPSS website to view upcoming clinic information and make an appointment.

Health & Safety Reminders

Families are reminded to follow all HCPSS health and safety protocols and conduct daily at-home health checks. Answers to health and safety frequently asked questions are available online.

HCPSS Emergency Closing Notifications

In times of emergency/weather closings or delays, information is shared through our website, email and text, Twitter and the HCPSS weather hotline. The school system’s operating status can always be found on the HCPSS Status website. More information about emergency closings and information sources is provided online.

Impact Aid Forms Due Dec. 31

Parents/guardians who work on a federal property in Maryland and/or are a member of a uniformed service can qualify HCPSS to receive additional federal funding by completing an Impact Aid form by Dec. 31. Impact Aid supplements the HCPSS operating budget to enhance the teaching and learning that takes place in Howard County classrooms.

FARMS Applications: Applications for the Free and Reduced Meals program for the school year 2020-2021 are available online in multiple languages and paper copies are available at all meal sites, effective 9/8/20. Please use this document for strategies for increasing FARMs awareness and participation.

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.

Stay Informed:

HCPSS electronic School Messenger

Once you have created an HCPSS Login Account/ ParentVue upon completing the student registration, you will automatically be part of our email communication, School Messenger.

We are “green” and do not send hard copies of newsletters and other notices, so your electronic connection to the school is important even over the summer.

Email & Text Alerts

HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and deliver real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File. Parents/guardians of previously enrolled HCPSS students do not need to sign up for, or manage an HCPSS News account. Parents/guardians who are new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification and must opt in to text alerts.

Emergency Notifications

In times of emergency situations, information will be shared with the community through our website, social media, text, email and weather hotline. All parents automatically receive email messaging and new parents need to opt in to text messaging (see above). Unsubscribing from any school or district email or text will unsubscribe a user from all messaging, including emergency notifications.

Volunteer/Observer Vaccine Requirements

All volunteers and chaperones who interact with students, as well as current HCPSS students who attend a field trip or volunteer at a different school during the school day, are required to use the PinPoint platform to show proof of full vaccination at least five school days in advance. This requirement does not apply to HCPSS students who are going to another school as part of their academic schedule. Vaccination and testing requirements for other community stakeholders are outlined online.

COVID-19 Self-Screenings

All parents/guardians are to perform a COVID-19 health check every day before your student leaves home. Students are not to come to school if they are experiencing any symptom(s) associated with COVID-19 or other communicable disease.


Please visit the HCPSS website Community News and Programs site for upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.