VES Eagle Express Newsletter

MAY 15, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #37

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular

Veterans Elementary Student Day Hybrid Schedule 9:45a.m - 4:15p.m.


Robert Bruce, Principal -

Amy Green, Assistant Principal -

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern -

Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:25 p.m.
Please call ahead 410-313-1700


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)

Send Dismissal Change Notifications by 2:00pm:

Please send any dismissal changes for the day no later than 2:00 p.m. to Include the student's name, date(s), and the details of the changes (ex: will be a car rider instead of the bus).

Please also cc the homeroom teacher on the email.


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.


Please understand that the Howard County Public School System in the best interests of our students and staff are still adhering to the six feet social distancing guidelines and mask wearing at school. The exceptions will be outdoor recess and outdoor physical education classes. While we will continue to use zones for recess, I am happy to report that students who wish to remove their masks may do so while at outdoor recess. Unless otherwise directed please continue to do home health checks with your children, send them to school with a mask, and stress the importance of safe practices on the bus and during school. We still have isolated cases occurring throughout the school system of positive CO-VID 19 cases. We also ask that students be sent to school with a non-glass refillable water containers to help with hydration as our fountains remain closed to direct student drinking. We continue to strive to keep the school a safe place but we need everyone's help. I want to praise the student body here at Veterans for their commitment to keeping themselves, their classmates, and their teachers safe.

May 7th was the deadline for this school year for requesting space available for hybrid or 5 day in-school learning. We received over 160 requests. We have responded to every request received. If you did not receive a response, please email Mr. Bruce at and let him know.

We are looking forward toward the new school year being as close to normal as possible. Everyone knows how trying this year has been for our families, staff, and especially our students. It is our hope that metrics will continue to improve and our lives can resume at least close to normal operation in the new year.

Robert C. Bruce
Principal- Veterans Elementary School

* Masks and School:

Effective on Monday May 17th whenever students are outside for outdoor recess or outdoor physical education classes they may choose whether or not they will wear a mask. There will still be social distancing requirements and zones at recess for the benefit of contact tracers. Masks will be on for PE classes occurring inside the building. Masks must still be worn while on bus transportation and when they are located anywhere in the building. Parents may want to send a baggie with your child's name on it for storage of the mask during recess or PE classes. The masks may also be kept in a child's pocket. The school will have extra masks for students who lose their mask.

Carloop Etiquette

If you are choosing to drive your child to school and participate in the carloop, we ask that you adhere to the following in order to keep our students safe and keep the line moving along:

· Pull all the way forward

· Parents are to remain in the vehicle at all times

· Children are to exit and enter the vehicle from the passenger side (closest to the curb)

· Children should be able to buckle and unbuckle themselves from car seats/ seatbelts (practice having your child do this at home). If your child is unable to do so, please park in a parking space to unbuckle your child and walk them to the portico

· Stay in line – do not pass to jump in front of other cars while waiting or make a u-turn out of the line

· Avoid blocking the intersection where buses turn into their loop

Thank you for following these guidelines in order to have our carloop run efficiently and safely.


MAY: Mental Health Awareness


20 - PTA Election Meeting: VES Front Lawn, 7:00 p.m.

31 - Schools and Offices Closed: Memorial Day (State mandated holiday)


8 - Last Day of School for half-day PreK/RECC Students

10 thru 15 - 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: Staff Professional Work Days

15 - Last Day for All Student: Staff Professional Work Day

Perform Daily Health Checks

Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform daily health checks for COVID-19 symptoms before the student leaves home.


Parents, remember to send a BACKPACK daily with the following items:

  1. assigned chromebook
  2. charger
  3. headphones
  4. a refillable water bottle closed tightly

    Please remember to send your child to school with a refillable non-glass water container. Due to Co-VID guidelines, bottles may be filled at fountains but students may not drink from the fountains to help limit the spread of germs. With the weather getting hotter in the coming weeks, this is also essential at recess. Thank you for all you are doing with student health checks in the morning.

  5. child's *MASK for the day

*Reminder to wash these everyday when they come home.

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Hello VES Families!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

This last year has amplified the importance of focusing on mental health, increasing awareness, and reducing stigma. Staying connected and being intentional about taking care of ourselves and each other is what’s going to see us through life’s challenges. We’ve put together a VES Mental Health Awareness Calendar which has a new self care idea for each day in the month of May. We would love to hear how the ideas work out for you!

Also, we would like to remind the community that we are here for you if you need support. Sometimes, life gets hard. If you need to talk, please let us know!

Julie Wentz and Jessica Wilson-Carr

School Counselors


PTA Elections - Tues, May 18 - 7pm - Front Grass outside school - All PTA members please attend - We need 20 min of your time!

All positions are open for nominations. You may nominate yourself on the night of the meeting. If interested or just want to learn more please contact

Current Nominees:

President: Cara Adornetto

Vice Presidents (2): Heidi Potter, Kimberly Davis

Treasurer: Tomi Adebo

Recording Secretary: Nicole Tsang

Corresponding Secretary: Ajoy Karikkineth

Delegates (attend How Co PTA meetings): Ana Maldonado, Janey Mathew


Thank you to all the families that donated items for last week’s Staff Appreciation Celebration - We “CAMP” do it without you!

Aarti Rane, Kristine Moreno, Aman Sarai, Deepa Katragunta, Alison Burkowske, Holly Georgetti, Paige Luneburg, Ana Maldonado, Carlen Miller, Nicole Tsang, Kim Meah, Reena Rambharat, Kelly Chase, Joanne Roby, Hedgi Chao, Julie Hegarty, Shareba Kuria, Cathy Lucarelli, Annie Prodoehl, Lauren Oviatt, Charu Jain, Tina David

Special thanks to Heidi Potter for chairing this committee and organizing such a great week!

Join a Committee for next year!

Wondering what committees the PTA has here at Veterans? Want to inquire more about one of them? Take a peek and email Kim Davis at if you want to learn more.

Join a PTA meeting - June 8- 7pm

We meet once a month to discuss community building events, fundraising, and county wide school updates. If you are interested in learning more about the PTA, please join us. You must be a member to attend meetings. Need to join, here is the link:

Our next meeting is via Zoom.

Tuesday June 8 - 7pm

Meeting ID: 968 5653 3528
Passcode: 810631


Do not buy a yearbook from TreeRing unless you are a 5th grader. There will only be a 5th grade memory book this year. No other grades will purchase yearbooks this year.

Join the PTA:

Follow us on Facebook:

ATTENTION 5th Grade Parents - MIDDLE SCHOOL PTA need your help next year!


For a list of all open roles and responsibilities visit If you don’t want to join the board, consider taking on a coordinator role for an event (Fall Social/Fun Day, Movie night, Talent Show, Diversity Night, Restaurant Night). We need you! If you have any questions about the open positions or responsibilities, feel free to contact one of the Nominating Committee members listed below or email Thank you for your participation in this process and your willingness to serve. Our kids deserve the best educational experience we can provide them.

Ellicott Mills Middle School PTA

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Find Answers to Questions Online

HCPSS’ Help site provides answers to hundreds of questions about hybrid learning, health and safety, transportation, and more.

May 14, 2021 Update from the Superintendent: Graduations, Athletics Attendance and Outdoor Mask Requirements

Community Use of Facilities Update

HCPSS is phasing in spring and summer community usage of school facilities for childcare, school-related support groups (PTAs, booster clubs, etc), and Howard County Government and nonprofit organization events. Details and schedule.

2020-2021 End of Year Updates

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, with the last day of school for students being Tuesday, June 15. Details about graduations, grades, testing, and more are available online to help you plan ahead.

Learn more

Provide Consent for Voluntary Student COVID-19 Testing

HCPSS now offers a voluntary K-12 COVID-19 Testing Program that provides free tests for students and school-based staff who develop COVID-like symptoms or are identified as close contacts while they are in a school building. Parents/guardians of students under age 18 can provide consent via HCPSS Connect. Students age 18 years or older are considered “eligible students” and must complete a print version of the consent form.

Health and Communications Protocols

HCPSS has developed protocols for responding to positive cases in schools in conjunction with the Howard County Health Department. These protocols outline how parents should communicate with school staff in instances of suspected or confirmed exposure, as well as how staff communicate with their school communities in those instances.


In addition to a location at Old Bushy Park Elementary School, a new support center will open at the nearby Old Cedar Lane building in Columbia.

Full details


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Mobile Testing Sites

Howard County is dedicated to expanding COVID-19 testing to residents in our community who many not have adequate access. First Call Urgent Care and Centennial Medical Group are implementing four mobile testing units in the following locations:

  • Long Reach Village Center (Monday, 3pm-7pm)
  • North Laurel Community Center (Tuesday, 3pm-7pm)
  • Recreation and Parks Headquarters (Thursday, 3pm-7pm)
  • The Elkridge 50+ Center (Friday, 3pm-7pm)

Rapid testing and PCR testing will be available to residents at no cost. These new testing sites will help us promote more equitable healthcare and ensuring our most vulnerable populations have access to COVID-19 testing.

Message from Media Center:

  • Thursday April 29 is the last day for virtual students to pick up book requests in the vestibule.
  • Please return any media books you have at home to the media center as soon as possible.
  • Books from last year are no longer listed on your child's account, but we still need them returned. If you find a VES media book, please drop it off in the bin in the vestibule any day of the week.
  • Hybrid students can return books any day of the week and do not need to wait for their media day.

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

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.

Cub Scout Pack #305 Open House

Cub Scout Pack 305 invites all families interested in scouting to our Spring Open House on Thursday, May 20, from 7-8 PM at St. John's Episcopal Church. Pack 305 is open to all boys and girls who will be entering Kindergarten through 4th grade in the fall. This is an outdoor meeting, but we will move indoors if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Masks must be worn by all in attendance and we ask that only potential scout(s) and a single guardian attend (no siblings) to help keep numbers low. We hope that you are able to join us!

Contact Heidi Potter at with any questions or if you are unable to attend but would still like to hear about scouting!


Hello VES Community!! One of our local partners is looking for families to provide food to. Food can be picked up at St. Peter's Episcopal in Ellicott City. If you are interested, please fill out the Pete's Packs Sign Up and we will be in touch with more details. Thank you!!

Julie Chang Wentz, M.Ed, NCC
School Counselor
Veterans Elementary School

2021 HCPSS Meal Service

Meals are provided at no cost to any HCPSS student or any child under age 18. More information about 2020-2021 meal services is provided 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.

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


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.

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.

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!

VES School Counseling Department

School Counselors:

Ms. Wilson (K and 4th):

Ms. Wentz (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th):

We are available to support the school community.

Please reach out to schedule consultation time.

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

Learning Together Program (LTP)– Prekindergarten

Learning Together Program – Prekindergarten

The Veterans Regional Early Childhood Center (RECC) prekindergarten programs are making preparations for classes for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. These classes include children with and without disabilities. The program’s focus is helping all children develop communication, literacy, math, problem solving, motor, and social skills. Parents of children who will be 3 by September 1st or are already 4 may learn more about the program by reviewing the Learning Together Program (LTP) Flyer (English).
Online applications will be accepted starting February 22, 2021 and priority will be given to applications received by April 1st. Link to application:

If you need assistance to complete the application, please contact Early Intervention Services at or at 410-313-7017.

HCPSS is committed to providing instruction based on the statewide Early Learning Standards which are in alignment with Kindergarten Readiness. The fees listed in the application will be collected monthly regardless of the learning model determined by HCPSS throughout the upcoming school year (virtual, hybrid, or in person). If you have any additional questions , please contact Mary Jens at (410) 313-1700 or .

Helping Your Child Get Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten teachers are prepared for children to enter school with varying abilities, strengths and needs. Each child is taught at their appropriate level through differentiated instruction. Learn more what your child will learn in kindergarten.

Review the 2021 Road to Kindergarten slideshow for information about kindergarten readiness, the kindergarten program, and registering your child for school. Prior to kindergarten there are many things parents can do to support their child’s transition to school. From making sure appropriate documentation is gathered, to playing with, reading with and listening to their child, the year before kindergarten is a great opportunity to develop school readiness!

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    Devices may be picked up, exchanged or returned at either of the following Technology Support Centers:

    • Old Bushy Park Elementary School, Room E2 (door to the left of the front entrance), 2690 Route 97, Glenwood (Building is between Glenwood Middle School and Bushy Park Elementary School)
    • Old Cedar Lane, Gymnasium (door on the left side of the building; follow the signs), 5451 Beaverkill Road, Columbia (Building shares a parking lot with Harper’s Choice Middle School)

    Note! Both locations are in old school buildings that are not located at the same sites as the new schools with similar names. Anyone seeking assistance should go to the locations listed above and not go to or call the current schools regarding the Technology Support Center.

    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. Please note that Technology Support Centers are closed any day that HCPSS offices are closed.

Full details


New Chromebook Care webpage:
Please be aware of a new webpage for students, Chromebook Care, which includes tips on caring for and transporting Chromebooks, as well as student mobile technology duties and obligations and additional resources.

The following digital tools do not require consent because they are already available to students in HCPSS computer labs:

Book Room, Word Work, Scratch BluBot, Scratch JR, Sketch-Up, Collector Classic, JamBoard, and Google Earth.

These supplemental digital tools are approved by HCPSS and comply with federal, state and Howard County Board of Education student data privacy policies.

Please note that your student(s) will have access to these digital tools when the second semester starts through the Google Play Store icon on the Chromebook when logged in with an HCPSS account.

If your elementary school aged child has not been issued a Chromebook, one can be picked up at a Technology Support Center.

Student Headphones

Headphones- The school has a limited supply of headphones. If you can, send in any pair the system has already secured for your child if they are hybrid students. If you bought a pair that your child is comfortable with, please send these in for your child’s use, well labeled.
These may go back and forth to home with the child.

Please note:

  • HCPSS cannot guarantee that apps are available on devices other than HCPSS Chromebooks.
  • Teachers may or may not choose to use any or all of these apps during instruction. Students will be notified when a particular app will be used for instruction.
  • In addition to these Google tools, HCPSS has approved a robust set of supplemental digital tools. Your child’s teacher will notify you of the particular supplemental digital tools being used in each class via email or on their Canvas course page.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Webb at

HCPSS Employment Application Link