VES Eagle Express Newletter

JANUARY 16, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #20

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular


Robert Bruce, Principal -

Amy Green, Assistant Principal -

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern -

    The Howard County Board of Education voted to continue HCPSS in a virtual instructional model through the third academic quarter, which ends April 14, 2021.

→ Full Statement

The office has coverage from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on
days when school is in session.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700


They are available to assist you during this time:

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

Send Student Attendance-related notifications directly to:

(i.e. student will be absent due to illness, appointments, religious, or travel obligations)


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.


Monday January 18th

On Monday we will recognize the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a wonderful time to remind our students of the legacy left by his life and reflect on his "I Have A Dream" speech.
Dr. King was an inspiration to many of us and his life is still meaningful today. It may seem like "just another day off" but it is much more than that. It is a great opportunity to reflect on how far we still have to go to become a nation where equality is achieved for all.

I have asked my staff to notify parents of students who could receive a failing grade due to work completion by the end of next week. This is a great time for all parents to check up on their childrens' Canvas page to learn if the student has any outstanding work. This would be a great time for you to check it with them. On January 28th the first semester or second quarter will end. Report cards will be based on assignments from the second quarter for all classroom teachers and from assignments assigned the first semester from Related Arts. Soon it will be conference time and our teachers will hold conferences with you. For Grades K and 1, these conferences will be general in nature and for Grades 2-5 they will focus on Mathematics.

Any parent who will want to have a conference with any of their child's related arts teachers, can email them directly for a conference time. If you have any problems contacting them, please contact me.

Conference time offers us a great opportunity to collaborate to ensure your child's success. You will be able to sign up for a conference time beginning at 6:00 am on Friday January 29th and you may sign up for conferences until 10:00 pm on Friday February 5th. Beyond that date , you will need to email teachers directly. Directions for signing up for conferences will come in a future newsletter.


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.

SY2020-21 HCPSS Calendar list view of Event Dates

Board Approves 2021-2022 Academic Calendar

The next school year will begin on August 30, 2021, for students and on August 19, 2021, for school staff. Winter break will be December 23-31, 2021, with schools reopening on Monday, January 3, 2022. Spring Break will run from April 11-18, 2022. The last day of school is scheduled for June 14, 2022.

Learn more


18 - Schools and Offices Closed: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (State Mandated Holiday)

29 - Schools Closed to Students: Professional Work Day

29 - End of Second Quarter
29 - Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduling Window OPENS 6:00 a.m. (info to follow)


3 - MAP Math Testing: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (SAVE THE DATE - info to follow)

5 - Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduling Window CLOSES 10:00 p.m.

10 - MAP ELA Testing: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. (SAVE THE DATE - info to follow)

10 - Parent-Teacher Conferences

11 - Half Day Schedule: Parent-Teacher Conferences

12 - Schools Closed to Students: Professional Work Day

15 - Schools and Offices Closed: President's Day (State Mandated Holiday)


Big picture

Dunloggin Middle School New Student Orientation - January 19 and 20

Annual New Student/Family Orientation and GT Information Night

Tuesday, January 19 -and- Wednesday, January 20

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.


  • 6:00pm – Welcome/New Student Orientation Presentation
  • 6:25pm – Questions & Answer Session
  • 6:40pm – GT Information Session

Please note! You will need to be logged in with your child's HCPSS account to access these Google Meets.

The meeting code: DMS Orientation

Dunloggin Middle School Virtual New Student Orientation 1/19 & 1/20

Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 6pm

9129 Northfield Road

Ellicott City, MD

Dunloggin Middle School will be hosting our annual New Student/Family Orientation and GT Information Night on Tuesday, January 19 and Wednesday, January 20, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

Please join us for this event as we welcome our new students and their families to DMS. Parents, you will have an opportunity to meet the staff and become familiar with your child's new school, learn about school programs, and hear ways you can get involved.

Please note, an additional session has been offered for your convenience. Parents, please select the night that works best for you and your family. The same information will be presented on both nights. You do not have to attend both events.

The agenda, New Student Orientation Presentation and google meeting links will be accessible on our school website: next week.

Thanks so much,

Antoinette Roberson, Principal

Ellicott Mills Middle School Rising-6th Grade Information Night - January 19

EMMS has a new date for its VIRTUAL rising 6th grade information night of January 19th 6:30-7:30pm. We will update our calendar ( and main page with access information as soon as it is available.

Ellicott Mills Middle School Rising-6th Grade Information Night

Tuesday, Jan. 19th, 6:30pm

4445 Montgomery Road

Ellicott City, MD

Annual Celebration of Academic Achievement 2019-20 by TCOE of Howard County

Celebration of The Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County (TCOE) in partnership with the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) hosts an annual Celebration of Academic Achievement to acknowledge and honor students of African and African-American heritage across the county.

  • This year’s Celebration of Academic Achievement will honor approximately 2,813 students who are currently in grades 4 - 9 and have achieved the following levels of academic success during the 2019-2020 school year:

    • Grades 4 – 6: Students must earn As or Bs in all areas under language arts AND mathematics for all four marking periods. Students cannot earn Ds or Es in any of the following subjects: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and health education for all four quarters.

Here at Veterans Elementary School, we are proud that ten of our students will be recognized for their achievement and hard work on January 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. via a Zoom meeting. Honorees and their families will receive sign up information for the event.

These students have worked hard and deserve our recognition

for their continued commitment to their future!

The students to be recognized from Veterans Elementary School

on January 19th include the following Fourth Graders:

Oluwatobi Adebo

Lauren Bolling

Amna Iqba

Ava Wynn

The following Fifth Graders will also be recognized:

Trinity Brown

Deborah Ikoghode

*Zoe Kuria

Adekemi Otolorin

Justin Rogers

Rezena Russom

Rayka Service

*Zoe Kuria was added to the list. We are sorry for the oversight and congratulate her as well!!!

VES Hosting Virtual Guest Speaker, Dr. Brigette Hesman for Grade 4: Thursday, January 21 - 1:00pm

On Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 1:00 PM, we will host a virtual guest speaker for our Fourth-Grade students and team. We are privileged to have a female scientist speak to our students, Dr. Brigette Hesman, from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. She will speak to the students (give a presentation) about our solar system along with a question-and-answer session about her career, guidance on what paths students can/should take when interested in such a profession along with general questions that the students may have about space.
Here is a bio from Dr. Hesman:

From The VES Counseling Department

If you have an immediate need for help with depression, suicidal thoughts, or other serious

mental health issues, please contact:

Grassroots Crisis Intervention at 410-531-6677

The Maryland Crisis Hotline: Dial 211 and then choose option 1

The Crisis Text Line: Text 741741 and a trained counselor will respond.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

Greetings from your VES School Psychologists!

We are here to help you!

Debra Moniodis (School Psychologist, Infants and Toddlers):

Michal Boyars (School Psychologist, RECC):

Katie Burkhouse (School Psychologist, K-5):

Kristen Marsico (School Psychologist Intern, K-5):

School psychologists are available for parent and staff consultation by level. Please reach out via email to schedule an appointment!

Books and "Bundts" Reading Program 1/15/2021 thru 3/31/2021

Who: Pre-K thru Elementary School Students

What: Students will receive a FREE Bundtlet for each month that they read for 400+ minutes.

When: January 15, 2020 - to - March 31, 2021

Why: Reading at an early age enriches children's brains, increases vocabulary and test scores, introduces readers to the world around them, and helps develop their imaginations.

A Youth Reading Program by Nothing Bundt Cakes

Columbia, MD Location

10730 Little Patuxent Pkwy

Columbia, MD 21044

(410) 587-0670


Whooos Reading Read-A-Thon & Fundraiser IS HERE!

Thursday, January 14 we jumped into reading with such excitement!

Before the first day was even over we had raised over $400 and logged over 8000 minutes. Keep going VES Eagles! You are soaring!

Parents: Teachers should have emailed log in information to your child for Whooo's Reading so your child can log their minutes. Once logged in you can click on "invite sponsors" to invite your family and friends to sponsor your reader! Fundraising is not necessary to participate. We want everyone reading!

Students will be able to see what their friends are reading and communicate with their friends through the Whooo's Reading website. This is a great way to stay connected while activities are limited this winter.

Please email Nelly or Heidi, our Whooo's Reading Committee Chairs, if you have any questions: ,

Coming up on Saturday February 20 at 7pm - Family Trivia Night via Zoom & Kahoot. Save the date and look out for the sign up sheet.

Any questions or want to volunteer, contact Cara Adornetto,
PTA President:

Follow us on Facebook:


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

Board Approves 2021-2022 Academic Calendar

The next school year will begin on August 30, 2021, for students and on August 19, 2021, for school staff. Winter break will be December 23-31, 2021, with schools reopening on Monday, January 3, 2022. Spring Break will run from April 11-18, 2022. The last day of school is scheduled for June 14, 2022.

Learn more

More News

Third-Quarter Timeline for In-Person Small Groups

At the January 7 Board meeting, Dr. Martirano presented a timeline for the return and expansion of in-person small groups, which is dependent on the health environment allowing a return of students and staff based on the metrics approved by the Board. The timeline provides for a gradual increase of students in schools, in preparation for a possible hybrid model for the 4th quarter.

Learn more


Workshop for Spanish-Speaking Families of Children with Disabilities

Sunday, January 31, 2-4:30 p.m., virtual session on Google Meet

Learn how to help your child with virtual learning during this Spanish-language workshop, which will focus on using Google Meet and Canvas.

Taller para Familias de Habla Hispana de Niños con Discapacidades

Domingo, 31 de enero de 2 a 4:30 p.m., Sesión virtual en Google Meet

Aprenda a ayudarle a su niño/a con el aprendizaje virtual durante este taller en español que se enfocará en el uso de Google Meet y Canvas.

Virtual Public Hearing: Superintendent’s Proposed FY22 Operating Budget

Tuesday, February 2 at 7 p.m., virtual meeting

Registration is open for the Board of Education virtual public hearing on the Superintendent's Proposed FY22 Operating Budget. Community members who wish to testify are required to register online by January 29. Instructions on testifying virtually will be emailed to each registrant prior to the public hearing. Dr. Martirano will present his proposed budget during the January 21 Board meeting, which will be streamed live and may viewed on the HCPSS website, or on Comcast channel 95/Verizon 42 in Howard County.


Technology Support Centers

HCPSS is currently operating two Technology Support Centers for device exchanges, returns and support: Old Bushy Park Elementary School, Room E2 and Applications Research Laboratory (ARL), Room B37. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 2-5 p.m. The Technology Support Centers are closed any day that HCPSS offices are closed. The HCPSS Logistics Center and Ascend One facility are no longer available for technology.

Online Safety

While HCPSS continues to invest in information security efforts, upgrade equipment and ensure that the network is secure, it is critical that all students, staff and parents/guardians do their part to maintain a safe virtual learning environment. View safety guidelines and additional resources.

Winter Athletics Season Canceled

Due to continuing high rates of COVID-19 infection in Howard County, the 2020-21 winter athletics season has been canceled. Winter athletic coaches will continue to engage and support student-athletes virtually through the scheduled conclusion of the season on February 13.

HCPSS News Subscriptions: HCPSS News emails and text alerts keep families up-to-date on news and events, and delivers real-time notices of emergency closings and information. All HCPSS News subscriptions are generated from the information provided in Family File and have been automatically updated for the 2020-2021 school year.
Parents/guardians new to the system are automatically enrolled for email notification, however must opt in to receive text alerts.

2020-2021 School Year Information

Find updated information about the 2020-2021 school year on the HCPSS website, now
with a spring planning page. Answers to frequently-asked questions are provided on the HCPSS Help site, including a recent topic on handling connectivity or logon problems during virtual instruction.



Free Student Meals

Grab-and-Go meals are served every day school is in session, Monday through Friday from 8-9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., and are free of charge for all students and any child under age 18. All meals include breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Find details about pre-ordering, weekend meals and more information online.

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.

COMCAST Internet

To help connect more families to the internet at home, Comcast is offering two months of free internet to new Internet Essential customers. more information

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 by selecting HC Library.

Message from Media Center:


Your child will be able to check out from our Media Center with no contact.

You can request books from the VES PAC and pick them up on
Wednesdays 11AM - 3PM.
All the information about the procedures, how to set up your child's account, how to request books, and how to see if books are ready for pick up are in your child's Canvas Media Course in the module named Check Out.

If you have any questions, please email your media specialist,

Send all attendance notes directly to:

During Virtual Learning, attendance will be taken daily by teachers for

Homeroom/ELA (.5 day) and Homeroom/Math (.5 day)
to account for a full school day.

Each HCPSS school now has 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.)

Please take the time to review: HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY


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.


[Go to VES webiste, for complete archive]

Click to review information presented in previous Issues:

Issue #19 - January 9, 2021

Issue #18 - December 19, 2020

Issue #17 - December 12, 2020
Issue #16 - December 5, 2020

NEED VES TECH ASSISTANCE? Fill out this VES Student Device and Tech Support Request Form

HCPSS Google Meets:

Students are reminded that they may not participate in a google meet unless a staff member set it up and is present. If you enter a google meet and staff are not present, leave immediately. Our students have worked hard to use technology appropriately and we applaud this. There are a few students that have abused technology. Please remember that an abuse of HCPSS Technology is a discipline issue, even virtually. Please use the technology as intended. Please know that our Technology department has the ability to trace usage to specific IP addresses.

Asynchronous Assignments:

Families, particularly of primary students, have expressed concerns about the virtual elementary workload including the complexity of asynchronous lessons, the number of content areas taught, and the number of weekly asynchronous assignments. In order to support elementary students with successfully navigating during virtual instruction, the following adjustments have been made:

  • Students will only have asynchronous assignments in social studies, science, or health during a given week. There will not be an overlap of instruction or assignments for these content areas.
  • Health lessons will be taught for one week during the marking period and include two synchronous lessons and two asynchronous lessons instead of five asynchronous lessons as assigned in the first quarter.
  • The length and complexity of social studies, science, and health asynchronous assignments have been reduced.
  • Related arts asynchronous assignments have been streamlined.