Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

June 2, 2017 - Volume 38, Issue 19

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit This now includes the approved 2017-18 HCPSS calendar.


  • 2 - 4th Grade Field Trip - Mary's Land Farm
  • 5 - 4th Grade - Days of Taste Presentation
  • 6 - Volunteer Breakfast, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
  • 7 - 5th Grade - Simulated Congressional Hearing
  • 7 - Spirit Day - Patriotic Day
  • 8 - End of Year Kindergarten Program, 10:00 a.m.
  • 9 - 3rd Grade Picnic, 12:00 p.m.
  • 9 - 4th Grade Picnic, 1:00 p.m.
  • 12 - 5th Grade Farewell Ceremony
  • 13 - 1st Grade Author's Celebration and Picnic, 11:00a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • 13 - 2nd Grade Picnic, 12:00 p.m.
  • 13 - Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.
  • 14 - Last Day of School - Early Dismissal, 12:45 p.m.
  • 15 - 4th Quarter Report Cards mailed

2017-18 School Year


  • 31 - Open House - Kindergarten , 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.
  • 31 - Open House Grades 1-5 , 2:30 p.m.


  • 4 - Labor Day - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 5 - First Day of School
  • 8 - PTA Back-to-School Family Picnic, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • 13 - PTA Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • 18 - Back-to-School Night for Grades K, 1 & 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Gifted & Talented Information Session, 6:00 p.m.
  • 19 - Back-to-School Night for Grades 3, 4, & 5 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 21 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 22 - School Closed for Students - Professional Learning Day

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID

From Administration

We want to take a moment to express our sincere appreciation to the staff, students, and families of Clemens Crossing Elementary School for all their efforts this year. This has been an incredible year for our school. It is great to be able to see students grow from year to year and throughout elementary school. So many people have been instrumental in the growth and development of children in elementary school.

The conclusion of each school year brings changes to schools. This year we wish a few staff members the very best as they transition to new places in their lives and career.

We would like to wish Mrs. Cathy Hartman well and congratulate her on her retirement from the Howard County Public School System. Mrs. Hartman has been a para-educator at Clemens Crossing for the past 28 years. Her positive and upbeat character helped to create a welcoming environment for our students. We wish her the best as she starts a new chapter of her life.

Mrs. Semanti Gangopadhyay, ESOL teacher, will be moving to Mt. Hebron High School to serve in the same role as an ESOL teacher. Mrs. Gangopadhyay has served the Clemens Crossing community for eleven years. She supported students as they transitioned to our school and learned the English language. Her care and support have been so important. We wish her best in her new school.

Mrs. Jane Viojan, special education teacher, will be moving to Fulton Elementary School next year. Over the past two years, Mrs. Viojan provided support to students in fifth grade. We wish her the best in her new placement.

Finally, we wish all the best to students who are moving on to different schools as well as a safe, exciting summer for those who are returning. During the summer, please encourage your children to continue reading, learning, and wondering. Time at the park, the pool, in the backyard, or at the beach can be a great place to get lost in a book or let the imagination run wild. Have a fantastic summer!

Important Notice from the Health Room

If your child currently has medication in the health room, please pick up these medications by the close of business on June 14, 2017 (last day of school or sooner). Medication remaining at the end of the day on the 14th will be disposed of.

Please contact the Health Room at 410-313-5609 to make other arrangements if you are not able to pick up your child’s medication.

In addition, medication order forms for the 2017 – 2018 school year are being sent home this week. If your child will have medication next year, make sure the orders are dated AFTER July 1, 2017. If you are in need of additional medication order forms, you may pick them up in the front office during summer office hours or go to the Howard County Public Schools website and download from the Health Services page (

Thank you for your cooperation and have a safe and healthy summer!

Giant Food A+ School Rewards Success

Thank you goes out to Giant Food for donating $4,600 to Clemens Crossing ES through the A+ School Rewards program. Additionally, thank you to our community for signing up for the rewards program this year. This will help purchase needed supplies for instruction for next year. The new A+ Rewards program will resume again in September.

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. Students returning to CCES for the 2017-18 school year will have continuous access to their iXL account without interruption. We encourage students to practice iXL Language Arts and Math throughout the summer! If you forget your iXL login information, please email Mr. Cosentino and/or Mrs. Rausch.
  • 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.

Are You Moving and Not Returning to CCES for the 2017-18 School Year?

If you know that you will be relocating over the summer, please notify CCES Front Office as soon as possible at 410-313-6866 or email Mrs. Barnhouse at During the summer, CCES transfer packets and records may take longer to get to the new school(s) as we do not have a full registration staff.
At your earliest opportunity, go to the new school to fill out a Request for Records form to ensure that your child’s new school receives the records from CCES before the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

Toys in School

We've had a number of students bring spinners and other "fidget" items to school recently. These are classified as toys and should not be brought to school. Students needing the support of this type must have a specific need documented on an IEP or 504 plan. Teachers will provide "fidgets" to students needing them at school.

As a reminder, students are not to bring to school anything such as toys, electronic games, sports equipment, trading cards, iPods, MP3 players, etc., unless their teachers have instructed them to do so for a specific purpose. If an item is brought to school, the student and parent/guardian assume all responsibility for that item.

Dangerous Social Media Game

We would like to make you aware of a social media game called "Blue Whale Challenge" that originated in Russia and is gaining popularity in the United States. It is a dangerous game that targets tweens and teenagers and encourages the player to participate in challenges or tasks over the course of 50 days that gradually increase in intensity. The last challenge to "win" the game is for the participant to die by suicide.

There have been no incidents of the Blue Whale Challenge reported in Howard County. However, the Maryland Center for School Safety recently released a statement stating that the game is beginning to gain popularity among pre-teens and teenagers throughout the United States. One incident has been noted in the National Capital Region. The University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health has released the following guidance for parents and guardians:

● Provide guidance to youth about the challenge. If you know someone is engaging in the Blue Whale Challenge, it is possible that their device may be compromised. Share that you can help with the device and send the message that adults are there to help. If youth express signs of distress, it is important to connect them to mental health professionals.

● Monitor youth’s use of electronic devices. Discuss the websites, links, and social media apps they are using. Caregivers can monitor media use by looking through browsers and search histories.

● Know the warning signs of psychological distress. Observable signs include changes in behavior (e.g. outbursts or being withdrawn) or physical health (e.g. weight loss or gain; loss of appetite), hopelessness, sadness, boredom and depression. If you see signs of distress, ask if they are considering suicide. Asking about suicide does not increase risk of suicide.

● Have discussions with your child about distress. When having conversations with children, listen to their thoughts, remain calm, and be nonjudgmental. Avoid statements like “you should get over it.” Talk to community or school mental health professionals if you are concerned about someone’s health or safety.

● Call for help. If someone makes an immediate threat to hurt or kill themselves, call 911. If a person shows warning signs of distress, but does not make an immediate threat, you can encourage him/her to:

○ Call Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center: 410-531-6677

○ Call Maryland Suicide Hotline: 1-800-422-0009

○ Call National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

○ Text Crisis Text Line at 741741

With summer on the horizon, continued vigilance of the numerous games, movies, television series and other influences is paramount. If you have concerns about the mental or emotional well-being of your child this summer, seek help from a community-based mental health provider or contact the school counselor, school psychologist or other student services staff at your child’s school. Some additional resources are listed below:

● Talking to Kids When They Need Help

● Parent Guides from Connect Safely

● Prevention of Cyberbullying

Howard County Library System - Kindergarten, Here We Come!

Howard County Library System - Kindergarten, Here We Come! is a 45-60 minute class for children entering Kindergarten this fall. The class features stories and activities to help mark that important first day, including boarding a real school bus. Registration is required. Cosponsored by Friends of HCLS and Howard County Public School System. Call your local branch to register. For more information see the HCLS website:


Please visit the Community News and Programs page at for announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.

Adding CCES's Google Calendar to Your Personal Online/Email Calendar

Did you know you can subscribe to CCES's Calendar and see events on your computer and/or smartphone? Why subscribe to the calendar? You will have all of CCES's events embedded in your calendar. If events change, the calendar will be updated immediately.

The calendar ID is: There are many "how to" tutorials online you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar. It depends on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.