VES Eagle Express Newletter

MARCH 27, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #30

SY2020-2021: Saturday Weekly Circular

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

VETERANS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Robert Bruce, Principal - robert_bruce@hcpss.org

Amy Green, Assistant Principal - amy_green@hcpss.org

Kelly Ryan, Administrative Intern - kelly_ryan@hcpss.org


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

NO WALK-IN VISITORS DURING THIS TIME

https://www.hcpss.org/schools/emergency-closings/


Youmi Jun, Principal Secretary - youmi_jun@hcpss.org
Jane Pak, Teacher Secretary - jane_pak@hcpss.org
Maria Martinez, Teacher Secretary - maria_martinez@hcpss.org
Dulce Boyer, Teacher Secretary .5 - dulce_boyer@hcpss.org


Send Student Attendance-related notifications directly to: VESabsence@hcpss.org

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

INTERNATIONAL AND FAMILY SERVICE LINKS:

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.

FROM THE PRINCIPAL

As our parents prepare to send our Grade 3 thru Grade 5 students back next week, I wanted to include some reminders. Students in Cohort A in Grades 3 thru 5 will attend in-person on Monday and Tuesday beginning Monday March 29th . Students in Cohort B in Grades 3 thru 5 will attend in-person on Thursday and Friday beginning on Thursday April 1st. Please keep in mind that school is closed from Friday April 2nd through Tuesday April 6th.

Backpacks-

  1. Please send school issued chromebooks, chargers, and headphones to school every day.
  2. Please include a refillable water bottle with the cap closed tightly.
  3. Please send a mask, all students are required to wear a mask in hybrid learning.
  4. Send writing utencils and notebook with the backpack, whatever students have been using at home.

    Optional: If your child was not issued headphones, please send a pair in case they are distracted, the school has a limited supply.

    When students exit the bus, they should look for the red and blue circles on the sidewalk and they should walk from dot to dot into the school building. Remember to socially distance and wear your mask.

    Watch the signs and markings on the floor, walls, and doors. If you are a 3rd, 4th or 5th grader you will go up the first set of stairs right after the lobby and turn right and walk down the hall to your classroom, Pay close attention because traffic is generally one way. Remember to socially distance.

Robert Bruce

Principal- Veterans Elementary School
410-313-1700

Before sending your child to school... Please do a home health check each morning

  1. It is crucial that before sending your child off to school, please do a home health check each morning. If a child displays Co-VID like symptoms they will have to be picked up and may need to quarantine for 10 days at home before returning.

    To ensure students are healthy enough to attend in-person instruction, 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 the following COVID-19 health check every day before the student leaves home. A student having any of the following symptoms may not be sent to school:
  • 1 of the following:
    • New onset cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing;
    • New loss of taste or smell; OR
  • 2 of the following:
    • Fever over 100.4 or chills within the past 24 hours;
    • Fatigue;
    • Muscle or body aches;
    • Headache;
    • Sore throat;
    • Congestion or runny nose;
    • Chills or shaking chills;
    • Nausea or vomiting;
    • Diarrhea.

      Staff and students who travel out of state should review and follow the most recent travel advisories in Maryland.
      https://www.visitmaryland.org/article/travel-alerts


SCHOOL CALENDAR

March into Women's History Month

MARCH:

29 - Phase 3: Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 9,12, and ARL Students Begin In-School Hybrid

MARCH Phase-In Model (see below)


APRIL:

2 thru 6 - SPRING BREAK Schools and Offices Closed

8 - PTA Meeting - 7pm (see PTA info below)

12 - Grades 7, 8, 10, 11 Students Begin In-School Hybrid

14 - Schools Close 3-Hour Early Dismissal for Students: End of Q3 Marking Period

22 - Q3 Report Cards Issued

Send all Absence notifications directly to: vesabsence@hcpss.org

Please take the time to review: HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY

UPDATE: Attendance will be taken daily by HR, ELA, & MATH teachers:

* Class begins 9:45 a.m. by Homeroom for In-School students only
All student groups for ELA (.5 day) and Math (.5 day) sections
to account for a full school day.

Dismissal at 4:15 p.m.

VES CURRENT NEWS AND UPDATES

Teacher Accommodations:

We have informed parents of cases where teachers received an accomodation to teach virtually. We are working hard to find classroom monitors for most of these positions. The teacher will still teach from home but a classroom monitor will cover the day to day needs of students. Until we secure classroom monitors our existing staff will cover these classes. If you did not receive a letter than your child's teacher is not affected. We did send them out by grade level in case the child had the teacher for another subject. If your child did not have the teacher in question, please disregard the communication.

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.

Retention & Acceleration

Retention & Acceleration- Some students have done well in a virtual education format and some have not. This summer, The Howard County Public School System will expand summer school opportunities for parents who wish to take advantage of the ½ day program over the summer. Obviously we expect that many of our students will begin the new year slightly behind so while we are addressing some of those weaknesses now, we will also be ready to address these weaknesses when we return in the Fall.

Parents who wish to recommend their child for retention or acceleration should have a conversation with their child’s teacher before April 30th. If a parent still feels that retention and/or acceleration is a consideration, an email or letter should be sent to the school principal requesting a meeting with the Retention/Acceleration Committee no later than April 30th. Meetings will be set up for mid-May.

Virtual Q & A - How to support Social/Emotional Needs for our 3-8 year olds

Virtual Q & A - How to support Social/Emotional Needs for our 3-8 year olds

With changing times, many families are looking for new strategies! JOIN US for an open Q & A with one of Veterans psychologists and behavior interventionists. They'll help help tailor tried-and-true strategies for routines, emotional needs, and behavior for your specific family. This event will focus on strategies that help all children from ages 3-8.


Time: Thursday April 8th, at 6:30 p.m. Children are welcome to attend with their parents.

Google Meet Link: https://meet.google.com/izf-ixcw-vsk

Contact: Feel free to bring your questions or email them in advance to michal_boyars@hcpss.org

HCPSS Summer Programs Registration

HCPSS Summer Programs Registration: Online enrollment requests for currently enrolled HCPSS students will open at 6:00 p.m., Monday, March 15 for BSAP Summer Institute, Gifted and Talented Summer Institutes for Talent Development, Innovative Pathways High School (Math and Science only), and STARTALK Chinese Language Summer Camp. Please reference the HCPSS News posting. Families can find up-to-date course information and enrollment directions on the Summer Programs web page (https://www.hcpss.org/summer-programs/). Please contact the summer program lead with additional questions.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Howard County and Veterans Elementary School will be partnering to offer a parent support night on Tuesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. During our time together, we will be discussing mental health and it’s impacts on various aspects of children’s lives. We will learn how to spot the warning signs of mental illness in comparison to normal developmental challenges as well as share strategies parents can use to support their child during challenging times, seek support from the community, and access mental health resources.


If you are interested in joining us, please log in using the link below on March 30 at 7:00 p.m.


Google Meet joining info

https://meet.google.com/bbg-pjwm-dua

Or dial: +​1​ ​2​4​0​-​5​1​6​-​6​3​1​5 PIN: 4​5​2​ ​1​1​4​ ​6​2​0​#

More phone numbers

First time using Meet? Learn more

If you requested Art Supplies and RECEIVED a confirmation from the Art Dept...

If you have requested art supplies from Mr. Sanz or Ms. Wolf and have received a confirmation email, your art supplies are ready to be picked up in the front doorway of the school.

If you need drawing paper or construction paper you may also come a pick that up in the cart in the front doorway.

PICK UP HOURS ARE BETWEEN 9:00 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.

Please contact Mr. Sanz or Ms. Wolf if you have any questions.

<Daniel_Sanz@hcpss.org>

<Laura_Wolf@hcpss.org>

Still Hiring Classroom Monitors and Classroom Substitutes

Classroom Monitors and classroom substitutes- We are still in the process of hiring classroom monitors and classroom substitutes for our classrooms. If interested please go to this site and apply:

https://www.hcpss.org/employment/


Employment – HCPSS

Seeking Substitute and Temporary Employees. In preparation for students and staff returning to hybrid in-person instruction beginning March 1, 2021, the Howard County Public School System is currently hiring substitute teachers, classroom monitors, and lunch and recess monitors.

www.hcpss.org


If you apply, please inform Mr. Bruce so he can keep an eye on your application process.

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.


Opt-In Update:

Dear Families,

The purpose of this message is to update you on the availability of digital tools on HCPSS Chromebooks. Recently an Opt-In letter was sent home requesting parent/guardian consent in order for students to have access to the HCPSS authorized set of digital tools used for virtual instruction.


Update:

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.

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 jessica_webb@hcpss.org

HCPSS REFERENCES

Find Answers to Questions Online

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

Promoting Health and Safety on HCPSS Buses

With many students returning to school on buses, HCPSS is taking extra measures to keep buses clean and help protect the health and safety of both students and bus drivers. These measures include cleaning and disinfection and protocols for seating and bus loading and dismissal. External cameras have been installed to discourage drivers from passing buses illegally. Additional information on transportation procedures for the 2020-21 school year is provided in the Bridge to Normalized Instruction resource document. General transportation information is also available online.


Digital Education Center Virtual Information Sessions

HCPSS is considering a virtual school option for students in grades K-12 who are unable to attend traditional schools or who wish to remain virtual for the 2021-2022 (upcoming) school year. Students and families are invited to attend a virtual information session on
March 31 at 1 or 7 p.m. Registration required


State Reporting of School COVID-19 Outbreaks

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) posts the definitions of classroom and school-wide COVID-19 outbreaks on its website along with school outbreak data for the state. A state-defined outbreak does not automatically necessitate closure of a classroom or school. HCHD monitors all positive cases and will notify HCPSS if a school or classroom closure is warranted. All outbreak data related to HCPSS schools is being tracked and posted on the MDH website.

Technology Support Centers

Effective Monday, March 22, the HCPSS Technology Support Center site at the ARL will be closed for device exchanges, returns and support. 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


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.


Hybrid Reopening Update

Learn the latest information about updated health protocols, building readiness, athletics spectator guidelines, graduation plans, the role of all stakeholders in keeping students and staff safe and healthy in schools, and more in Dr. Martirano’s recent update to the community.


Kindness Pantry Partnership

HCPSS’ new partnership with The Kindness Pantry will increase access to school supplies for teachers and students. The non-profit organization will coordinate the collection and distribution of school supplies and snacks by establishing online wish lists, working with community members and organizations to fulfill school requests, conducting school supply and snack drives, and organizing and distributing donated supplies.

Learn more


More News | Events | Reminders

VES PTA NEWS AND UPDATES

News from the PTA


Return to School Supply Donations

Wow, our parents rock. They have been pouring donations into the school. Our staff has been overwhelmed by and so thankful for your generosity.

We will continue to leave this list open for teachers to sign up as the kids gradually re-enter the classroom. So please check back in the coming weeks.

Sign up next to the supply you wish to donate and either mail it to the school or drop it off in the lobby in a labeled bag so the front office can put it in the mailroom. Please do not forget to put the teacher's name on the mail or bag. Thank you VES Community!

Click here to sign up:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QhMIVuFgMNzBcAUZonvHwliMREk78RXap9wqkDxnM2I/edit?usp=sharing


Join a PTA Committee!

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

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O1TRDZknWi7rx7Y0eHUp9bNf_9mt9sfX/view?usp=sharing


Our next meeting is via Zoom.

Thursday April 8 - 7pm

https://zoom.us/j/92225401436?pwd=UTkwN0JnWURWOGIwTHpWSU8rV3Bwdz09

Meeting ID: 922 2540 1436
Passcode: 321002

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: https://veterans.memberhub.store



Follow us on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/PTAatVES

LOCAL COMMUNITY RESOURCES & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY POSTS

Message from Media Center:

CONTACTLESS CHECKOUT BEGINS DECEMBER 2!

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, Carolee_Kinloch@hpcss.org.

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 throughhcpss.me by selecting HC Library.

BOOKS and "BUNDTS" Reading Program 1/15 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, 2021 - 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

Columbia-MD@nothingbundtcakes.com

FOOD ACCESS

2021 Meal Service Adjustments

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

ADDRESS CHANGE FORM: FILLABLE_Change_of_Address.pdf


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): debra_moniodis@hcpss.org

Michal Boyars (School Psychologist, RECC): michal_boyars@hcpss.org

Katie Burkhouse (School Psychologist, K-5): katie_burkhouse@hcpss.org

Kristen Marsico (School Psychologist Intern, K-5): kristen_marsico@hcpss.org


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): jessica_wilson@hcpss.org

Ms. Wentz (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th): Julie_Wentz@hcpss.org


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 earlyinterventionservcies@hcpss.org 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 mary_jens@hcpss.org .

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!