Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 4, 2020 - Volume 42, Issue 4

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

We're Here to Help You!

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Stacey Wells, Principal's Secretary

Jennifer Aballo, Teachers' Secretary

Dulce Boyer, Teachers' Secretary

From School Administration

We are so excited to get the 2020-21 school year started on Tuesday! As of today, all of our students have a HCPSS issued Chromebook. This is great news. Thank you for helping us make sure that 100% of our students have their device so they are ready for Tuesday.

Additionally, 96% of our students have their school-issued supplies. Please do not use those supplies until your teacher asks you to do so. If you still need to get those supplies, they are in the front of the school building in our old lost and found bin. Simply drive up, look in the bin for your child's bag, and you are on your way.

Please continue to look for and review these Cougar Comments each Friday. We hope the information will help you navigate through this semester and year.

Mr. Cosentino, Principal

Mrs. Hurd, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 7 - No School - Labor Day
  • 8 - First Day of School
  • 15 - Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month Begins
  • 21 - Kindergarten Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 21 - 1st Grade Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 21 - 2nd Grade Back to School Night, 7:00 p.m.
  • 22 - 3rd Grade Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
  • 22 - 4th Grade Back to School Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 22 - 5th Grade Back to School Night, 7:00 p.m.
  • 28 - No School - Yom Kippur


Attendance During 2020-2021 Fall Semester

Active student participation is the key to student achievement, both in the classroom and during distance learning. Teachers will design engaging lessons and activities, both for virtual live classes and online assignments. Regular participation is essential for student growth, and students are expected to engage in learning activities every week.

Student attendance for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday instruction will occur as follows:

  • At the elementary level, both the Homeroom teacher and Mathematics teacher will take attendance, noting whether students were present online for synchronous instruction.
  • Daily attendance will be based on teacher-recorded attendance for the entire school day.
  • If there is a technical difficulty, a student may submit asynchronous work for a particular day to receive credit for attendance.

Student attendance for Wednesday instruction will occur as follows:

  • A student will be counted as present if they do one or more of the following since the previous Wednesday:
    • Submit an assignment to one of their teachers
    • Engage in synchronous instruction with an HCPSS teacher
    • Complete work in the Canvas learning management system, DreamBox or Lexia Core5

If your child is absent, please send a note explaining the absence to this email address:

Related Arts Orientation

Related Arts consist of Art, Media, Music, PE, and Technology. The CCES Related Arts team created a slide show for you to review.

There are two ways to review the CCES Related Arts Orientation:

Option 1 - Click the button below. That will take you to a Google Slides presentation.

Option 2 - Click the 12 slides below to learn about related arts in the virtual environment.

CCES Related Arts Orientation Slide

Option 1 - This will take you to a Google Slides presentation.

HCPSS Connect Orientation

Please take the time to learn about Canvas and Synergy. Canvas pages for each child will be available on Saturday, September 5. Please become familiar with Canvas and explore the dashboard, calendars, and set up notifications.
Synergy - Connect Video Orientation

Google Meet Expectations for Students and Parents/Guardians

Behavioral Expectations for Students

Students at all levels are now engaging in virtual class check-in sessions on Google Meet. To ensure a positive and productive learning environment during these sessions, it is important that all students adhere to the following behavioral expectations.

  • Always be respectful and courteous to other students and teachers during Google Meet virtual check-in sessions. Inappropriate, offensive or threatening comments; misrepresentation of identity, and/or disruptive behavior by any participants during Google Meet virtual check-in sessions will not be tolerated.
  • Students must use their HCPSS email account to log into a Google Meet virtual check-in session.
  • Login credentials must not be shared. Sharing of login information violates other students’ and teachers’ rights to confidentiality and could allow class participation by unauthorized persons and/or lead to disruptive behaviors that detract from a productive and positive learning environment.
  • Students who are disruptive and/or “trespass” Google Meet virtual check-in sessions will receive appropriate consequences in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct. Consequences may result in temporary or permanent loss of technology access, which would prevent the student from participating in Google Meet virtual check-in sessions. Students receiving this consequence would have assignments provided to the student’s parent/guardian.
  • Students should adhere to the provisions identified under Individual Responsibilities in Board of Education Policy 8080 Responsible Use Technology and Social Media. Other applicable policies include:

Privacy Guidelines for Parents/Guardians

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 check-ins are 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 virtual check-in, including not posting on any social media platform.
  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to students participating during Google Meet virtual check-ins should not be collected, discussed or shared.
  • Parents/guardians should not engage with students during Google Meet virtual check-ins. 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

From Mrs. Rogers, School Counselor

Would your child like to meet with Mrs. Rogers, our School Counselor?

I am available to meet with students during their asynchronous (independent) learning times.

If your child is feeling worried or anxious, is missing friends, is struggling with virtual learning, or just wants to check-in, click here to request a meeting with Mrs. Rogers.

You can also access my Canvas page from your child’s Canvas dashboard.

I really look forward to talking to your child!!

Band and Strings Information for Grades 3 through 5


Students in grades 3 - 5 have the opportunity to join band or strings this year. Students in grade 3 may join Strings, and students in grades 4 and 5 can join Band OR Strings.

Please join me in a Google Meet so that I can share information with you and answer your questions. Feel free to come to one or more of these meets.

Wednesday, September 9th

  • 9:15am – 10:15am
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm
  • 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Google Meet Code: CCESBandStrings

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Ms. Marybeth DeSantis, CCES Band and Strings Teacher

Food Services Information

Meals will be provided at no cost to all students through December 31, 2020, subject to U.S. Department of Agriculture funding availability.

The food services program during the 2020-2021 first semester (Sept. 8, 2020-Jan. 28, 2021) will consist of Grab-and-Go meals served Monday through Friday from 8–9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m., beginning Tuesday, September 8. Breakfast and lunch can be picked up at either mealtime.


CCES is a site for meals. Grab-and-Go meals will be distributed at the front of the school building. For convenience, meals may be picked up at any location where meals are being served.

Details and updated information on meal service for all school locations is provided on the HCPSS Nutrislice website and mobile application.


Children do not need to be present; parents/guardians may pick up meals for their child(ren). Those with children attending multiple schools may do a single-stop meal pickup.
Parents must indicate their child(ren)’s name(s) when picking up meals.


Some families may find it difficult to pick up meals for their children at the locations or times when meals are served. Parents/guardians may pick up meals for their children and up to one other family without completing a request form. Families also may authorize a designee, who may pick up meals for up to three families, by submitting an online or paper form.
See guidelines for meal pickup by designees for detailed information.

Visit the Food Services website for all the information about Food Distribution during the first semester.

Information and Application for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMs)

HCPSS participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which provide families with significant benefits to help save money. Qualification is based on family size and income, and enrollment is confidential. All children in households receiving benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can get free meals regardless of income, and students from households that meet federal income guidelines are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals. Those eligible for reduced-price meals pay $0.10 for breakfast and $0.20 for lunch. More information is on the HCPSS Website.

The application is also on the last page of the Family File when you update your emergency contact information.

From the PTA

The PTA wants to welcome back all of our returning families, and give a big hello to everyone new to CCES this year. We are excited for another great year. Our teachers, admin, and staff have worked so hard this summer to be ready for next week and we are very grateful for them. This year isn't what we all expected, but we know that we can still make it wonderful.

We have lots of PTA news to share this year. Please watch our Facebook pages as well as our website for updates ( We have teacher wish lists posted, as well as information for after school activities. If you ever have any questions, concerns, or ideas, please contact me at And don't forget to "come" to our virtual PTA meeting on Wednesday, September 9 at 7 pm.

Information Worth Repeating

Canvas Orientation Videos

Canvas orientation videos, along with student and family guides, are now available for you to explore as we prepare for the 20-21 school year. Please take some time to review prior to September 8th. There are 2 parts to the video. Part 1 reviews the global navigation settings and Part 2 reviews the course structure. Translations of the videos will be available soon. Please ensure that your student is logged in with his/her login credentials and visit

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CCES Student Schedules

Below you will find those schedules for each grade level. This will help you plan for learning times for each grade level.

Did your child forget his/her login information?

Visit the account self-service website to help you with login information. You can also view the Student Self-Service Password Reset YouTube video below.

Student Self Service Password Reset

Learning at Home Tips

Below are some tips that you may find helpful or useful as you prepare your child for this year of learning. We recognize that all families are at a different place at this time in terms of school readiness, but for those of you who are curious as to ways you can support your child, we have compiled a beginning list for you.

  • Provide a designated learning space for your child. This will help your child with understanding that school is important. If your child has their own area that is strictly for their schooling, they are less likely to be distracted and it will help your child get in the zone for learning. This can be a small table, a small tv tray, a corner table in a kitchen, etc. Please do whatever works best for you, however, we recommend that this area is a “permanent” designated spot in the house.
  • Within the designated space, have organized items that your child will be able to find, put away, and use. This will allow students to work in their area without needing to leave it to find needed materials.
  • Schoolbox or bin for crayons, pencils, scissors, glue and markers.
  • Headphones are helpful to avoid distractions to others AND they will block out distractions from the house.
  • Small whiteboard or thick paper in sheet protectors and black expo markers. Often teacher will ask your child to hold up their work as paper can be hard to see in an online format.
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Family File Emergency Form is Open in HCPSS Connect

It is time to update your child's Emergency Contact information in HCPSS Connect even though we are starting the school year online. This is the most important step as we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 School Year. Your Family File needs to be updated at the beginning of every school year.

Families that update and complete their Family File will be able to view teacher assignments prior to the start of school. In addition, having this information is critical to us as soon as the first day of school: HCPSS Connect

You will be asked to update or provide the following information:

  • Parent/guardian contact information.
  • Emergency contacts.
  • Medical information
  • Arrival and Dismissal procedures.
  • Media coverage.
  • Data confidentiality.
  • PTA Directory.

You can access HCPSS Connect here

Parents who have forgotten their login credentials for Family File may click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page.
If you need additional assistance, please fill out this Connect Help Form.

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Connect with CCES and Stay Informed

Listed below are the many ways to stay informed at Clemens Crossing Elementary School:


  • Follow us on Twitter at
  • We use Twitter to inform, celebrate, and engage our community.
  • Twitter is used to share what is going on in our school, our community, and throughout the Howard County Public School System.
  • Turn on notifications to get information the second it is tweeted.
  • We live-stream our concerts on Periscope through Twitter.


  • Like us on Facebook at
  • We have found that Facebook is the social media most used by our parents so, we are now on Facebook, too!
  • Our Facebook page is updated automatically from our Twitter feed.
  • Please use Facebook to share the good news from CCES with your friends and families.


  • We use Instagram periodically. We do post pictures and information there.


  • Our website,, is updated regularly.
  • Important news and information is located on the main page of the site including an archive of our weekly newsletter, Cougar Comments.
  • Staff information and email is located under the "Our Staff" tab.
  • A subscribeable google calendar is located on the "Calendar" tab.


  • Email is our main form of communication.
  • You will receive news and information automatically to the email address you provide in your Family File. We will not inundate your inbox with email. Look for the weekly Cougar Comments on Friday mornings.
  • If you would like email sent to different email addresses, update your email in Family File with the email address you prefer.
  • You can subscribe additional email addresses by visiting the HCPSS News site here.
  • Weekly announcements, important information, updates, and more will primarily be sent through email.
  • You also have the opportunity to opt-in for text messaging

Back-To-School Nights

Back-to-School Nights are coming up. Please look for instructions from your child's teacher about Back-to-School Nights.
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From the PTA

Supporting Our Teachers

This year we have asked teachers to submit their Amazon wish lists for families who wish to send a gift of school supplies to start the school year. These lists are being published on our PTA Facebook pages. If you are not on Facebook and would like access to a wish list, please email with the name of the teacher. Thank you!

PTA Facebook Page and Private Class Groups

PTA Facebook Page

Please follow the CCES PTA -

This is an open page for families of students at CCES.

Private Class Groups

The PTA organizes Facebook groups for families of students in each grade. The groups closed/private and only for parents of students in that particular class group. Membership in each group is contingent upon enrollment in the school. All content in the groups must be school related with the purpose of connecting parents and students.

Here is a list of the Facebook group by class:

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 that you can view to learn how to properly sync your calendar depending on your email provider, computer platform, and brand of smartphone.

Cub Scout Pack 618

Cub Scout Pack 618 is open for girls and boys in grades K - 5th. We are located in Hickory Ridge Village and typically meet at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. We have a great year planned with virtual museum tours, hikes, campfires, and camping in the Spring. We start the year with our model rocket launch in September.

We have a virtual Join Night Sept 16th at 6:30pm. Please email for the link and if you have any questions.

Please visit our website at