Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 3, 2021 - Volume 43, Issue 3

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

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From School Administration

It sure was an eventful week at Clemens Crossing! It was great to welcome 550 students back into our school. Even though we could not see children's mouths under those masks, we could tell that there were so many happy faces!


The opening week of our school did not come without a number of challenges. Double bus routes, late buses, buses that didn't show up, excessive car loop lines, lunch logistics, and an unscheduled early closing on the third day of school were all the many challenges this past week that typically do not happen. Thank you for being patient with each other as we try to establish smooth routines.


Buses

I am pleased to share that we are managing our buses a little differently. On Wednesday, we re-tagged students' backpacks with luggage tags. Students have their names on their luggage tags. You may add the home address and phone number on the luggage tag if you choose. Each bus or route has a color associated with it, so we can quickly see if kids are on the correct bus when they are loading their bus in the afternoon. Please do not remove the luggage tag from your child's backpack. Here is what the bus tags mean:


  • Bus 69 has a blue luggage tag
  • Bus 169 has a yellow luggage tag
  • Bus 614 A has blue luggage tag and "2nd route" on it. That route leaves late.
  • Bus 614 B has a red luggage tag and "1st route" on it. They leave early.
  • Bus 823A has blue luggage tag and "2nd route" on it. That route leaves late.
  • Bus 832B has a yellow luggage tag and "1st route" on it. They leave early.
  • Students on Bus 8 will get a bus tag soon. That bus did not have a double route or another bus with a similar number like Buses 69 and 169, so it was not as urgent as the 6 other bus routes.


If your child needs a bus tag, please notify us, and we will get him or her their proper bus tag.


Car Loop

If you use the car loop, please continue to plan for right-turn in and right-turn out whether someone is out directing traffic or not. Left turns create considerable back-ups and have the potential to be unsafe.


Lunches

As I reported earlier, we have new accordion plexiglass dividers in the cafeteria. We can accommodate 63 students in the cafeteria and 36 students under the tent. This means that four grade levels will not need to eat in their classrooms since we have space in the cafeteria and outside. First grade and Fifth grade will have 10-20 students eating in a classroom space daily. We have foldable plastic dividers to use in the classroom for lunch while kids are unmasked and eating.


In the event of inclement weather, students who eat under the tent will be relocated to classrooms with additional foldable plastic dividers.


Emergency Closings and Family File

Thank you to all of you for completing your Family File before the first day of school. We had 96% of our school with completed Family File information prior to the first day of school. This is GREAT, and the early closing situation Wednesday illustrated the importance of a completed Family File!


From here on, please update your Family File with the most accurate information if it changes during the school year. Please pay attention to the section about early closing instructions and share the directions with your child. When we find out about early closings, the front office will send you a personalized detailed message reminding you what you specified in that section. Please do not change that information on the day of an emergency closing. The purpose of this section of the Family File is to eliminate phone calls and email the day of an early closing. We cannot have hundreds of calls and emails with changes and be expected to follow the wishes indicated in Family File.


Back-to-School Nights

It was great to see so many Fourth and Fifth grade parents on Back-to-School Night on Tuesday. If you missed that session, we will be posting generic grade level slide show/power point presentations on our website shortly.


Due to the emergency closing on Wednesday, we have rescheduled the Second and Third grade Back-to-School Night for Monday, September 13 at 6:30 p.m. Parents will go directly to classrooms at that time. The Kindergarten Back-to-School Night will move forward as planned on Tuesday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. Both Back-to-School Nights are in person.



Finally, I want to thank everyone for their continued flexibility during the unusually busy first week of school. It is so wonderful to see students and families return to our amazing school community. Please remember, we have a shortened week next week due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday and Rosh Hashana on Tuesday. Have a fantastic long weekend!


Mr. Cosentino, Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit cces.hcpss.org/calendar.


September

  • 6 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 7 - Rosh Hashanah - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 8 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Social and 7:00 p.m. Meeting
  • 9 - WLMS & HCMS Back-to-School Night (feeder Middle Schools)
  • 10 - PTA Welcome Back Family Picnic, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • 13 - RESCHEDULED Band/Strings Information Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 13 - RESCHEDULED Back-to-School Night for 2nd & 3rd Grades at 6:30 p.m. (In-Person)
  • 14 - Back-to-School Night for Kindergarten & 1st Grade at 6:30 p.m. (In-Person)
  • 15 - National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month Begins
  • 16 - Yom Kippur - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 22 - Fall Individual Picture Day


To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID sqspkjkbr6v6arss44js3n21eg@group.calendar.google.com.

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NEW INFORMATION

PTA Kickoff Meeting (Hybrid)

Wednesday, Sep. 8th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Clemens Crossing Elementary School Cafeteria.


Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!


Google Meet joining info

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/eqn-jpbn-xep


Or dial: ‪(US) +1 617-675-4444‬ PIN: ‪546 375 318 5825‬#

Visitors to CCES

Parents and visitors who are entering the school for a brief visit to pick up or drop off their child, or for other reasons, are not required to show proof of vaccination or testing. They are, however, required to be masked regardless of their vaccination status.


Parents are not permitted to eat lunch in the school cafeteria with students at this time. Parents who are conducting classroom visits or observations must provide proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test (within seven days of the current date) to school administration when they check in at the front office.


Visitors should perform a COVID-19 health check every day before coming to an HCPSS building and should stay home if they are experiencing any symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease.

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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.

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Band and Strings Information

Our band program is for students in grades 4 and 5. Students in grades 3 through 5 may participate in the strings program.


Our band and strings information night is rescheduled for Monday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m.


You can also preview the information in the YouTube video below and register for the instrumental music program by using the form below the video.

Band and String Program Overview

INFORMATION WORTH REPEATING

From the Health Room

Children exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 may not attend school.
These students need to be evaluated for COVID-19 or an alternate medical diagnosis by a doctor. They may not return to school until the School Nurse gives clearance. Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing:

Any ONE of the following:

  • fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • new onset of severe headache (especially with fever), or
  • new loss of taste or smell


Unvaccinated students who have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 must remain in quarantine for the designated period of time. If vaccinated and showing symptoms, students must be medically evaluated prior to entering the building.

Free Student Meals for 2021-2022 School Year

Beginning Monday, August 30, breakfast and lunch will be provided at no cost to all students through the entire 2021-2022 school year, on days schools are open.

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Free and Reduced Meals Information

Please complete the Free and Reduced Meal Application (FARM) as soon as possible! Although all students are eligible for free meals during the 2021-2022 school year, it is important that this form be completed so that we can continue to provide additional Title I programming for our students. There are additional benefits for families who qualify for FARM. Please see this link ( https://www.hcpss.org/food-services/farms/) for information and the online application. Each family needs to fill out one application and that application needs to be completed each year.

FREE AND REDUCED MEALS (FARMS) PROGRAM

Many families are eligible to participate in the FARMs program, which helps families save money and opens access to many resources and discounts, including testing fees, tuition, internet, and much more. FARMs enrollment and participation is confidential. Families must reapply each year. Find more information and apply online.

Families approved for FARMS benefits by August 27, 2021 will receive Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits for July and August in September. These benefits are intended to help families in Maryland purchase food while schools are closed due to COVID-19.

Join the CCES PTA (Parent Teacher Association) – Family Membership

PTA membership will allow you to be active with the PTA and enjoy discounts with Maryland PTA partners. Most of all, your membership dues support the many programs we offer to the CCES community. While we encourage all of our families to be involved with PTA, membership does not obligate you to volunteer your time.


After trying many fundraisers over the years, the CCES PTA’s major fundraiser is a direct donation program (and later in the fall, a Read-a-thon). Rather than sell wrapping paper or other merchandise, we ask each family to contribute $50 in addition to their membership dues to support the programs we sponsor throughout the year.

To join the Clemens Crossing PTA, please fill out the form below and pay the membership dues (plus any donation you choose to give) through the PayPal link that follows. If you prefer to pay by check, please contact our membership chair, c/o president@clemenscrossingpta.org. To report a problem with this form, contact web@clemenscrossingpta.org.

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Grade Level Closed Facebook Groups

Did you know that each grade at Clemens Crossing has a class Facebook page? PTA helps facilitate these pages. The pages are "closed" groups (requiring approval to join the group) and are intended only for parents of children in that particular grade. It's a great way to converse and interact with other parents and hear about activities and events in your child's grade.

These pages are supplemental to the school's Twitter feed and Facebook page, so please be sure to use those social media tools as well.


Class of 2027 Kindergarten

https://www.facebook.com/groups/269286714638991/

Class of 2026 1st grade

https://www.facebook.com/groups/250674462624929

Class of 2025 2nd grade

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ccesclassof2025/

Class of 2024 3rd grade

https://www.facebook.com/groups/158625774842747/

Class of 2023 4th grade

https://www.facebook.com/groups/273259629757201/

Class of 2022 5th grade

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1192490200797854/

Back to School Picnic

Friday, September 10 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on the school grounds. We will have playground games for the kids. You can pack a picnic dinner or buy food from our food vendors. This fun event is for both families and staff.