VES Eagle Express Newletter

NOVEMBER 14, 2020 - Volume 14, Issue #14

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular

Veterans Elementary

Robert Bruce, Principal -

Amy Green, Assistant Principal -

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern -

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.


Next week is American Education Week, November 16-20! Needless to say, all of our community has been in the role of teacher this year. We recognize and salute all of your efforts. Likewise, we salute the effort of the Veterans staff as well. Wednesday is Educational Support Personnel Day, we want to especially recognize the efforts of all the individuals that support the work of our teachers. Whether they are a paraeducator, student assistant, health assistant, nurse, cafeteria manager or custodian, all of these individuals are vital links to the educational process. There is no one visit day this year because so many of you are there or close by every day. The act of teaching takes a complex mix of skills including such skills as: motivating, planning, assessing, presentation, and even good ole parenting skills. We salute all who have made the effort with our Veterans students.

School Calendar

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

November Early Dismissal Schedules

The HCPSS 2020-2021 calendar includes several upcoming 3-hour early dismissal days on: Friday, November 6, Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24. Click on the above link for more detailed information.


National Native American Heritage Month

16 - Q1 Report Cards Issued

16 thru 20 - American Education Week

17 - VES Google Meet with Administration - Q-A on proposed HCPSS Hybrid Learning Model

18 - Educational Support Personnel Appreciation Day

20 - Parent-Teacher Conference schedulingWindow Closes

23 - 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

24 - 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

25 - School Closed to Students: Parent/Teacher Conferences

26& 27 - Schools and Offices Closed: THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY (State Mandated Holiday)

Important Current Events

VES Virtual Google Meeting re: Proposed County Hybrid Learning Model

During American Education Week, the Veterans Elementary School Administration will host a virtual google meeting on Tuesday November 17th from 7:00pm -8:00pm to answer any questions we can about the county's proposed hybrid model. Join us if you have any questions.

Join with Google Meet

Join by phone

‪(US) +1 470-227-0268‬ PIN: ‪543 447 398‬#

Let's celebrate American Education Week with some Spirit Days

American Education Week is November 16-20
Parents and Teachers Collaborating for Children

Let's celebrate the week with some Spirit Days:

Monday- Wear a shirt you can read…of course it must be elementary aged acceptable, reminding us all what great teachers prepare us to do.

Tuesday- Wear something with numbers, it’s a day to make sure education counts.

Wednesday- Have kind thoughts for Educational Support Personnel.

Thursday- Create and wear a hat or a poster telling your teacher how great they are!!!

Friday- Wear a shirt that depicts a college or university!

This week we will reflect on those who make schools work! Many thanks to our parents and community members who have made school work from home, you are awesome!!

Veterans Report Card Primer for Parents

Will students receive grades in every subject? No

Students will receive a grade for Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Grades for all Related Arts and Health will not be given until the end of the 2nd quarter.

Will there be teacher’s comments?

It is expected that there will be Language Arts and Mathematics comments but there could also be comments for each area that received a grade.

Will the teacher assign effort grades? No

Will the teacher assign learning behavior grades? No

How will attendance be calculated?

Students are marked present when they attend ELA and Mathematics. Please keep in mind that attendance impacts a student’s grades if they attend less than 60% of the expected attendance time. Always communicate attendance issues directly with your child’s teachers. The teacher may reference concerns about attendance in the comment section.

Will instructional levels be indicated on the report card?

Kindergarten- No

Grade One- Not until Quarter 3

Grades 2-5 – Yes

What if my child did not attend at least 60 % of synchronous instruction and did not submit assignments.

They are likely to receive an “N” grade in the primary grades.

They are likely to receive “D” and “E” grades.

On what data will my child’s grade be based?

If your child attended at least 60% of the expected time then their grades will be based on all synchronous, asynchronous, and observational data collected by the teacher.

How long does my child have to complete asynchronous assignments in English/Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies?

They had the entire quarter up to Friday, November 6th.

How long will my child have to complete asynchronous assignments in related arts and health?

They will have to the end of the second quarter on Thursday, January 28, 2020.

What if my child was assigned a task in one quarter but it is due the next quarter?

It will be counted in the next quarter.

When can I discuss my child’s progress with their teacher?

Please sign up for a parent conference on November 23rd or November 24th. Some teachers who do not offer after hours conferences may offer conferences during the day on November 25th.

1st Quarter Grading for Virtual Learning

This has been a challenging 1st quarter of school for many of our families. Due to the negative impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and transition to virtual learning, the Howard County Public School System has made some changes to 1st quarter grading that you may see reflected on your child’s report card.

Students in primary grades will earn an I (Independent) or W (With assistance) if they have engaged in synchronous instruction. Students in intermediate grades will receive A, B or C grades if they have engaged in synchronous instruction. As a result, Canvas grades may not align with quarter 1 report card grades.

These changes are in place for 1st quarter report card grades only. Asynchronous assignments complement and support synchronous learning, please support your child with task completion and with attending support sessions as needed.

HCPSS Connect Online Parent-Teacher Fall Conference Scheduling Window

Opens Nov 13 - 12:01am

Closes Nov 20 - 11:59pm

Fall Conferences will be with Homeroom teachers with the focus on Language Arts.
To schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect.
Here is a link to the HCPSS Connect video on "how to" schedule conference slots:

The link below will help you keep track of a number of things your child experiences on Canvas. One important piece is a way to keep track of assignments due to his or her teacher. Please download and make use of this app.

Parent Canvas Mobile App

From the VES Counseling Department:

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We are currently in the process of updating our database for families in need.
Please submit all information by Friday, November 20, 2020.

Please let us know if you are interested in receiving food by filling out the google form below. We will try our best to honor your request, however it is not guaranteed. The food pickup location is at St. Peter’s Church in Ellicott City.

Please fill out the Pete’s Packs Sign Up form to receive more information.

Please fill out the google form below if you are in need of gift cards for the holidays. We will put all names in a raffle and you will be notified if you are selected.

Please fill out the Holiday Gift Card Raffle form to be entered.

Mensaje del consejeros escolar:

Nos gustaría saber si su familia necesita apoyar. Por favor envie toda la información antes del viernes 20 de noviembre de 2020.

La iglesia de San Pedro en Ellicott City está proporcionando alimentos a las familias. La familia recogería la comida en la iglesia. Si está interesado en recibir alimentos, completa la encuesta.

Vamos a tener una rifa de tarjetas de regalo para las navideñas. Para una oportunidad para ganar, completa la encuesta.

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

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HCPSS Community News

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

COVID-19 Positive Case Communication and Parent/Guardian Expectations

COVID-19 Positive Case Communication and Parent/Guardian Expectations

As Howard County Public School System staff continue to prepare for, and work toward the return of students to our physical classrooms, it is important that parents/guardians understand when they will be notified of positive cases in their child's school community, as well as the expectations for parents/guardians to promptly notify school staff if a family member tests positive or is displaying symptoms.

Positive Case Communications

When a confirmed case of COVID-19 impacts a school community, parents/guardians can expect that the school or school system will inform them of the positive case. These notifications will include any implications for the instructional delivery model and information on how to help ensure your child remains healthy. Additionally, if your child is considered to be a close contact, as defined below, to a student or staff member who has tested positive or is displaying COVID-like symptoms, you will receive notification with instructions on how to respond.

If a classroom or school must close due to an outbreak, parents/guardians will be notified and provided with information on how instruction will continue. Additionally, parents/guardians will receive notification when the classroom or school is scheduled to reopen.

Please note that in accordance with laws protecting the confidentiality of students and staff, the name of a person who has contracted or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be released, nor will any other information that could lead to their identification. The Howard County Health Department is the health authority on all matters related to COVID-19 and will guide HCPSS and lead the response to positive cases and all identified close contacts.

Parent/Guardian Notification Expectations

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) requires HCPSS to provide the following guidance regarding the identification, reporting and quarantining of people exhibiting COVID-like symptoms and close contacts.

COVID-19-like illness is defined as:

  1. Any 1 of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, OR
  2. At least 2 of the following: fever of 100.4-degrees or higher (measured or subjective), chills or shaking chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose.

MDH defines close contacts as: Persons within 6 feet for 15 or more cumulative minutes within a 24-hour period during the last two days before the onset of symptoms of a person identified as testing positive for COVID-19 or a person experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

If you believe your child has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or your child has been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms, including anyone who lives in your home, please keep your child home from school and contact your child's school nurse or principal immediately.

In alignment with guidance from MDH, should your child become symptomatic during the school day, they will be evaluated by the nurse and sent home, if needed, with direction regarding isolation and quarantine. If your child is determined to have been in close contact with a symptomatic child or staff member, they will be sent home and parents/guardians will be provided with guidance regarding quarantine. In addition to phone contact, parents/guardians of students sent home from school may receive letters from the Howard County Health Department regarding their particular situation.

Parents/guardians will be notified and when needed, provided with instructions when a student or staff member in their child's school displays COVID-like symptoms or tests positive. Specific details will not be provided to ensure confidentiality. Parents/guardians will also be provided with guidance if your child is considered to be a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or is displaying symptoms.

If your student becomes ill during the day and it is determined that they need to go home, it is extremely important that the student be picked up as soon as possible, and within one hour. To make this process easier, we are asking all families to:

  1. Please be sure that your Family File is updated with your CURRENT contact information. It is imperative that we have a means to get in touch with you in a timely manner.
  2. Also in your Family File, please make sure your emergency contacts are updated with current contact information. Please notify everyone that you have designated as emergency contacts, that if they get a phone call to pick your child up from school, they will need to be able to get there within one hour.

There is nothing more important to us than the safety and health of our students, our staff, and their families. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with the State of Maryland and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thank you for working with us to keep our students safe.

Athletics In-Person Conditioning Canceled; Winter Athletics Scheduled to Begin December 7

Due to the recent rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases in Howard County, and in consultation with the Howard County Health Department (HCHD), in-person athletic conditioning, previously scheduled to begin on Monday, November 16, is canceled.

HCPSS will now focus efforts on preparing for a safe and successful start to the winter athletic season beginning on December 7, and in accordance with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) plan for reopening high school interscholastic athletics. While there will be no in-person conditioning opportunities at this time, coaches may continue to engage student-athletes virtually. HCPSS will continue to monitor metrics related to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide regular updates should the rising cases impact the December 7, 2020 scheduled start.

Please know that we take the safety and well-being of all of our students, staff and families very seriously, and hope that you are staying safe during this difficult time. Please visit the HCHD website for information related to the COVID-19 virus and how to remain safe.


Residency Reminder: HCPSS SCHOOL LOCATOR

Even though HCPSS is currently operating in a virtual learning environment, families need to alert their school if they move, especially if they move to another attendance area. While in the spring transfers between schools were minimized, it is now the 2020-2021 school year and all students should be enrolled at the school for their assigned attendance area.

Spring Semester: Share Your Input

Parents/guardians, students, staff and other stakeholders may provide input and feedback to the Board of Education regarding the spring semester instructional model by emailing The Board will review all emails; however, due to the anticipated volume, individual responses should not be expected.

Google Meet Expectations

To ensure a positive and productive virtual learning experience, it is important that all students and parents/guardians adhere to these Google Meet expectations, and review the virtual instruction responsibilities, expectations and best practices provided online.

2020-21 School Year Updates

Find updated information about the 2020-2021 school year on the HCPSS website. Answers to frequently-asked questions are provided on the HCPSS Help site.

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.



HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE - sponsored by RHS Young Activists

With the end of the year holidays approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic surging across the country, Young Activists is holding a toy drive for families and children in need this winter season. See the posters provided for information, and please consider donating to one of our eight locations across Howard County! For a list of accepted items, see the poster at the bottom of the page!


PTA Spirit Wear Shop extended through this weekend only!

You have 4 more days to get those orders in! We are sending our order in on Monday, Nov. 16.

Need a gift for a proud grandparent or want to donate a t-shirt to Staff Appreciation efforts? Now is the time to order!

Use this order link:

See the attached flyer to view your options.

Veterans Spiritwear Fall 2020 (1).pdf

You can join the PTA at the same time!

Become a PTA Member:

Follow us on Facebook:

Questions about Spirit wear or donations for staff contact Amie House at

Membership still open!

Join while you pick up your spiritwear and help support assemblies and school events for the kids!

Family Fun Nights coming soon via Zoom!

Reflections Art Contest Chair Needed

Do you love art and want to manage the annual Reflections contest participants from Veterans Elem school? Reflections is an annual contest run by the National PTA. Students enter at their local PTA level and submit entries in the categories of Dance, Film, Literature, Music, Photography, and Visual Arts. There is a handbook to guide you.
This year's theme is "I Matter Because...". Email Cara at if you would like more info about this opportunity.

Become a PTA Member:

Follow us on Facebook:

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.

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

Greetings from your VES School Psychologists!

Our school psychologist team at VES has grown this school year. 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!

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.


More Than Karate! This after-school program, typically offered by our business partner - Okinawan Karate Dojo - now available ON-LINE on the ZOOM platform! It is the perfect way to keep YOUR CHILD(REN) (ages 6 -10...K-5th) engaged in exercise and character development during this season of limited options for youth! Registration is OPEN, and classes are offered every Wednesday, beginning Wed. Nov 4th. Fun and enjoy this awesome introduction to the benefits of martial arts training! All classes will be held on-line via ZOOM! The Instructors have been teaching on ZOOM for a long time, and have a truly engaging format for classes! The results are AMAZING! So convenient for your family...10 WEEK/class package is only $119. Led by adult Instructors from THE OKINAWAN KARATE DOJO, students will gain improved focus, more respect, and sound self-defense skills! For Information and Registration:; call: 443-574-8999; or email: Also ask about our Virtual School Support program, Dojo During the Day!!


Are you a girl looking to have fun and adventures with new friends? VES Girl Scout troops have openings in all grade levels, and a new kindergarten troop is forming!

For more information, contact Lauren Oviatt at

Cub Scout Pack 305

For information, please contact Heidi Potter at

Please Continue to Return Media Books

A bin is located right inside the front door of our school for book drop off. You don't need to go inside the school, just drop the books off in the bin. We would like for all media books to be returned by November 1st, so we can clear our student accounts and make plans for a possible contactless media book check out later on this year. If you have books from another school, you may drop those off in the bin as well and we will send them to your old school.
If you have any questions, please email your media specialist, or

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.

Send all attendance notes directly to:

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

Homeroom (.5 day) and 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.

Privacy Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

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To maintain a positive, productive learning environment and assure confidentiality for students and teachers during distance learning, all parents/guardians are asked to follow the following privacy guidelines.

  • Google Meet virtual instruction is designed for students. To prevent disruptions to the learning environment, parents/guardians should not actively participate in check-in sessions, although parents/guardians may assist their child with technology and/or remain nearby.
  • Do not video record, audio record, photograph, live stream, or transmit in any other way any part of a Google Meet, including not posting on any social media platform.
  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to students participating during Google Meets should not be collected, discussed or shared.
  • Parents/guardians should not engage with students during Google Meets. If you need to speak with your child during a check-in session, first mute your child’s microphone.
  • If a parent/guardian has a question, please email your child’s teacher.

Parents/guardians should email your child’s principal with any questions or concerns regarding privacy or virtual classroom expectations.

Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring that distance learning is a positive, productive and enjoyable experience for all participants