Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

October 13, 2017 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 5

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Elizabeth Yankle, Assistant Principal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events or to subscribe to the CCES calendar visit


  • 18 - 2nd Grade Fire Safety House
  • 19 - 4th Grade Annapolis Field Trip
  • 19 - PTA Family Fun Night, 6:30 pm
  • 20 - Schools Closed for students
  • 24 - JA in a Day Parent Volunteer Training, 4:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
  • 25 - In-School Banking
  • 27 - 1st Grade Field Trip Howard County Conservancy
  • 31 - Halloween Parade, 2:45 pm


  • 1 - National American Indian Heritage Month starts
  • 1 - Pumpkin Run during PE for grades 3-5
  • 3 - Bingo Night, 7:00 pm
  • 8 - 5th Grade Field Trip - Living Classroom (Haube/Lee)
  • 9 - 5th Grade Field Trip - Living Classroom (Halvorson/Greenlee)
  • 10 - End of Marking Period
  • 10 - Veterans Day Celebration, 9:30 am

From School Administration

This week marks the mid-point of the first quarter. Your child’s interim report is your first glance at how your child is performing in school. Most importantly, it gives you an opportunity to reinforce your child’s learning behaviors. Strong learning behaviors are essential for school success. Please take some time to review the interim report with your child to celebrate successes and plan for areas of improvement.

Staff Spotlight - Alicia Tyler, Health Assistant

Our health room assistant, Mrs. Alicia Tyler, is our spotlight on staff for the week. This year marks Mrs. Tyler's sixth year in the Howard County Public School System and her third year at Clemens Crossing ES. She is from Michigan where she attended the University of Detroit, Mercy. Mrs. Tyler has a great interest in helping students with medical concerns so they are available to learn in school. We are very fortunate to have her here at CCES! Before her time in health services in HCPSS, she was in the airline industry working for Continental Airlines. In her spare time, she enjoys crocheting and dance fitness. She lives in Columbia with her husband Jay and two children Kayla and Neal.

Halloween Celebration - October 31

The Annual Halloween Parade and parties are scheduled for Tuesday, October 31. The parade will begin at 2:45 p.m. with our kindergarten students leading us out the kindergarten side doors onto the blacktop. We will proceed to the blacktop, to the sidewalk in front of the building, and then back in through the 5th-grade doors.
Parent viewing areas will be in the center of the blacktop or the bus loop area. Please see the Halloween Parade Route & Viewing Area map below.

Each grade level will communicate their party times and needs through their room parent. Due to space limitations, only two predetermined parent volunteers per class will be permitted in the building during classroom parties.
Parents/visitors will not be permitted in the school building after the parade.

We ask that you avoid any costumes that perpetuate violence, have any blood, gore, scary masks, or contain any type of weapons. Props that come with costumes that are play weapons are not allowed in school. This includes but is not limited to toy guns, knives, swords, sickles, pitchforks, etc. Please send costumes in a bag for the students to put on independently over their clothing before the parade.
Students are not allowed to wear their costumes to school.

Parking will be limited. Parking will be permitted in the bus loop until 3:10 p.m.
All cars must be gone from that area so our buses can park when they arrive for dismissal.
Please park at the Clemens Crossing Pool or walk to the parade.

If there is rain, there will not be a rain date for the parade, but the classroom parties will proceed.

As always, if you prefer that your child does not take part in the Halloween Parade and/or party, please send a note to your child’s teacher or contact Mr. Cosentino or Mrs. Yankle.

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Upcoming School Spirit Days

Periodically, we will celebrate school spirit days. The purpose of school spirit days is to get kids enthused, supportive, and excited about their school community. In order to maximize full participation, we want to help you plan ahead for school spirit days.
Below, you will find information about school spirit days through the end of December.
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JA in a Day Volunteer Sign-up

We need over 50 parent volunteers to run a successful JA in a Day.

JA In a Day Training

Each volunteer for JA In a Day needs to attend a parent volunteer training. The training date is October 24 at either 4:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
If you've volunteered in the past for JA in the Day, you are not required to attend the training again.

Save the Date - JA in a Day is November 2

What is JA in a Day?

JA stands for Junior Achievement. JA in a Day is a common core-aligned program that introduces K-12 students to a lifetime of learning about finance and career success.
The program aims to inspire and prepare students to succeed in our world’s economy by delivering grade appropriate real-world experiences and material to the classroom.

What types of skills can students learn from JA?

The JA program helps students to explore, experience, and realize both opportunities and realities of work life. Students can begin to develop skills in work readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and how to face real-world challenges.

When is JA at Clemens Crossing?

JA In a Day is scheduled for November 2, 2017 for grades K-5.

Who teaches Junior Achievement?

The JA program is solely reliant on school/community volunteers to teach the program in classrooms. The idea is to attract parents and/or work force volunteers (past or present) to deliver the JA material from their own unique and diverse perspectives. Any adult can be a JA volunteer, because the program focuses on real world skills.

What exactly does a JA volunteer need to do?

Volunteers receive a comprehensive lesson plan that they are responsible for reviewing and then teaching to the class. All lessons, materials, and activities are provided in the instructional material provided by the JA program. Volunteers are also given an in-person training meeting at the school. JA volunteers teach in the classroom for the day, with the classroom teacher there for support as needed.

What are the time commitments?

Volunteers need to attend a training meeting, pick up their teaching packets, and prepare to teach the material prior to the actual JA day. Our goal is to have at least two volunteers per classroom to share the responsibility. Grade specific information is provided below, but JA volunteers ARE the teachers for the day, and need to accept the responsibility as such.

What can I expect to gain from volunteering?

Being a JA volunteer is so rewarding! The material is easy to follow and the activities are all set up and planned out. This is a fantastic opportunity to support your kids, your school, and the students love seeing parents in their classroom. The experience last year was very positive and the program is just invaluable to the students. You are almost guaranteed to walk away with not only some personal satisfaction but some smiles and some laughs as well!

How can I get more information?

You can read more about Junior Achievement by going online to:

You can also feel free to ask more detailed questions by contacting Dani Garner or
Ed Cosentino directly.

How can I volunteer?

More information will be coming out soon. We need two parents per classroom!

September Storify

Don't miss what's going on. This is a summary of CCES's Twitter feed for September 2017

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National PTA Reflections Creative Arts & Writing Contest

Sponsored by: PTA Reflections, 40 Years of Achievement in the Arts

2017-2018 Theme:

“Within Reach”

Last year, a Clemens Crossing student advanced to the State Level, and

two Howard County students won prizes at the National Level!

This year, it could be you.

Reflections is a National PTA program to encourage all children to participate in the arts for fun and recognition. Students work independently to present their artistic interpretation of this year's theme. Works can be


including prose, poetry, drama, reflective essay, narrative, short story;

visual art

such as drawing, painting, collage; and musical composition.

There is also a Special Artist Division

for students with disabilities who receive services under IDEA or Section 504.

Reflect on the theme above & create an original work

in one (or more!) of the following categories: Literature, Music, Visual Arts

Winners in each category in three divisions:

Primary (K-2nd grade)

Intermediate (3rd-5th grade)

Special Artist (for students with challenges as covered in the ADA)


Students may publish their Reflections Literature Entries in the Paw Print Press!

If students wish to create a piece of writing based on the theme “Within Reach”, they can then illustrate it for their Paw Print Press book this year!


Turn in entries to the front office.

ALL entries will be displayed and celebrated at the Enrichment Fair!

Entries will be reviewed by experienced arts and education judges. All participants will be celebrated with certificates of participation, the top three entries will receive ribbons and the first place entry will receive a medal. The top three entries in each category will move on to the Howard County Reflections Contest, the top three county entries will move on to the Maryland State Reflections Contest, and state winners in each category will compete in the National PTA Reflections Contest.


Summary of Rules and link to Entry Form:

Contact Risa Carlson, Reflections Chair


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Reminder: Send in those Box Tops!

Clemens Crossing receives cash for your Box Tops! Remember to cut them out and send them in with your child. Each grade level has a collection bin -- the more Box Tops your grade brings in, the more cash your child's class receives! Box Tops are collected all year-round.
The first shipment will go out in mid-October, so please send in what you have by Oct. 10 and then keep sending them in as the year goes on for the next one.

Questions? Contact Angela Stark,

PTA Membership

Join Your PTA! So far, we have 262 PTA memberships out of 434 families at Clemens Crossing -- that's 60%. A full 100% of our staff has joined the PTA (yay!), so certainly families can match that! Every family that joins the PTA gets a car magnet! PTA members can take advantage of a discounted room rate at Great Wolf Lodge the weekend of March 9-11 -- contact Alice Pax ( for more information!! The membership form can be found on the main page of the CCES website.

PTA Student Directory

The 2017-2018 student directory was distributed electronically -- only to CCES families -- earlier this week. Paper copies will only be available upon request. To request a paper copy of the directory, please email Include your child's name and grade in your email, so the directory can be sent home in your child's communication folder. This directory is only for the use of CCES families -- it cannot be shared on social media or other websites, with outside vendors or third parties. Please help maintain everyone's privacy.


It is time to get those read-a-thon forms turned in! The grade with the most participation in the read-a-thon will get a popsicle party at recess! And ALL students who turn in their read-a-thon form will get a coupon worth $1 to spend at the book fair!! Let's meet our fundraising goal and give Mr. Cosentino a pie in the face! All read-a-thon forms must be turned in by THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19.

Parent Partners

Parent Partners is seeking volunteers available during the school day to work with individual students once a week throughout the year. Please contact Dani Gardner ( if you are interested.

Community Advisory Council (CAC)

The Community Advisory Council (CAC) to the Board of Education (BOE) of Howard County is open to all community members who are interested in improving the educational experience for the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) children, families, and staff. The CAC has meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, during which they provide feedback, insight, and community views to the BOE on issues of concern. Please find attached a brochure which also provides additional information about the CAC.
From the CAC: "Because we are guaranteed a seat on every policy under review by the BOE, we have been able to make critical improvements to many policies over the years, such as those policies involving the school academic calendar, special education, the student code of conduct, outdoor education, digital education, Common Core and PARCC testing, disparities in school discipline, Advanced Placement (A/P)/Gifted and Talented (G/T) issues, and a myriad of other topics. "

We are looking for a representative from Clemens Crossing to serve on the CAC. Their next meeting is Wednesday, October 18, about homework policy. If you are interested, please contact PTA president Karen Pang at Thank you!

HCPSS Homework Guidelines

The Howard County Public School system is working on preparing homework guidelines -- the amount, purpose, expectations, grading, etc. of homework. There is a page on the HCPSS website about it,, where they are soliciting feedback from the community. If you would like to express an opinion on homework, please make your thoughts known!

PTA Coat and Winter Accessory Drive

October 1st to October 25th

The CCES PTA (along with Personnel Pupil Workers (PPW) of HCPSS) will be conducting an Annual Coat Drive from October 1st to October 25th. PPW provides supplies, clothing and other necessities to at risk children in the county. Please consider donating your gently used coats and cold weather accessories and help keep some needy children warm this winter. Adult sizes accepted too. The drop off box will be at the front entrance of the school.

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On Tuesday, October 3, Interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano presented his recommendations for attendance area adjustments to the Board of Education. This is only a recommendation at this point. Between now and mid-November, the Board of Education will hold two public hearings and conduct four work sessions before they make a final vote on redistricting. The final vote will take place on November 16. Changes due to redistricting will begin in September 2018.

The current plan impacts Clemens Crossing Elementary as it will send 192 students to Pointers Run Elementary. Students who live south of Freetown Road (egress off Cedar Lane and Harriet Tubman Road) and the neighborhood of River's Edge would be affected. Additionally, students who would be redistricted to Pointers Run Elementary would also matriculate to Clarksville Middle after elementary school.

For students who remain at Clemens Crossing Elementary, the plan calls for our school to be a 100% feed to Wilde Lake Middle.

If you are interested in learning more about this process along with the various plans, please visit the School Planning section of the HCPSS website.

Additionally, the Board of Education is now accepting testimony in writing and in person on the Superintendent's redistricting plan.

For testimony to be considered official, email the Board of Education by using this email address - Emails sent to individual board members are not required and will not be considered as official testimony.

All written testimony will be uploaded to the Board Docs on the Board of Education's section of the HCPSS website and become publicly available.


  • In written testimony, include your name only - no other personal information such as a residential address.
  • If sending email, include testimony as an attachment with your name only (no other personal info). If testimony is included in the body of the email the entire email including your email address will be posted.

Pre-registration for the first hearing on October 26 opens on Thursday, October 5 at 8:00 a.m. Call the Board of Education office at 410-313-7346 to schedule testimony.
HCPSS Community News and Programs

This link contains community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.

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