VES Eagle Express Newsletter

MAY 1, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #35

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.


From The Principal

On Monday we will send more detailed information about the Superintendent's Message about In-person Learning Days. Please know that we want to give every student who wants an opportunity to attend school, that opportunity. Parents who wish to keep their students virtual may do so.

On May 10th, 12, and 14th Veterans Elementary School and Classic Photography will offer parents the opportunity to have school pictures taken in a safe and socially distanced way. Parents of virtual students will be able to sign up online and then come to the school on Wednesday for their picture appointment. Students attending in-person will be able to have their pictures taken during the school day on Monday and Friday. School pictures are offered as an option. The proceeds are used for various school activities that benefit students.

Robert C. Bruce
Principal- Veterans Elementary School


Farewell to Mrs. Amy Green, VES Assistant Principal

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the retirement of
Mrs. Amy Green. After 34 years Mrs. Green is retiring to her new home on a lake in North Carolina, where she will relax and enjoy her family. The last three years she has served the Veterans community with true commitment and has delivered for your children an expertise that has helped them to grow.
We will truly miss her. Our very best to her as she embarks on a well-deserved retirement.

Ms. Anne Swartz, former Howard County Principal will join us three days a week to help cover for Mrs. Green. Ms. Swartz has served in the county as a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal. Ms. Swartz will be at Veterans on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

MAY: Mental Health Awareness

3 thru 7 - Teacher Appreciation Week

5 - MAP Reading Test: Gr. 1 thru 5, 10:00 a.m. - Noon
11 - PTA Meeting: via Zoom, 7:00 p.m. (see PTA section below for zoom link and code)

12 - MAP Math Test: Gr. 1 thru 5, 10:00 a.m. - Noon
13 - Schools Closed to Students: Professional Learning/Articulation Day
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 and of course
  5. child's mask for the day

Reminder to wash these everyday when they come home.

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 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

Spring MAP Testing

On Wednesday May 5th and 12th students in grades 1-5 will take the Measured Academic Progress (MAP) assessment. The data from the MAP assessment will help schools and teachers measure your student’s academic progress. The MAP test does not affect grades and the difficulty adjusts depending on how your child responds. It is normal for students to only answer about half the questions correctly. To learn more about the MAP assessment, please visit:

The reading test will be offered on May 5, 2021.The math test will be offered on May 12, 2021. If your child is unable to attend, makeup testing will be offered during asynchronous learning times. Teachers will share Google Meet information and your student’s testing group as we get closer to the May dates.


Last Friday evening many of our students participated virtually in this year's Battle of the Books competition. This quiz bowl style event was sponsored by the Howard County Public Library. VES had several teams show off their book trivia skills from a list of pre-selected books.
In addition to answering trivia questions, students came creatively dressed in team costumes and shared team posters. Thank you, parents and staff, for supporting our students.

Congratulations to all who participated!

Media Center News

  • 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.


PTA Elections - May 20 - 7pm - Front Grass outside school -
All PTA members please attend

All positions are open for nominations. You may nominate yourself. We particularly need a 2nd PTA Delegate. We will train you. Just need 1-2 hours/ month.

Descriptions are below. If interested or just want to learn more please contact

PTA Delegate

As a delegate, you would attend the monthly Howard County PTA meeting (usually the first Monday night of every month from 7-9pm) and relay the information back to the VES PTA at our monthly board meeting. There are two VES delegates so you can take turns attending the monthly meetings which makes this position very flexible to fit your schedule. If interested or just want to learn more please contact

Spring Spiritwear Sale til May 2

The Veterans PTA is excited to announce our spring Spirit Wear sale is up and running through May 5th. Need a Veterans hoodie, t-shirt, or shorts? We have those items and more on our PTA Memberhub webite. To order, please visit Once the clothes have arrived, we will send out an email with a date for a drive-by pick-up at the school. If you have any questions, please email Amie Price at
Thank you!

Join a Committee!

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

5th Grade Activities

Thank you for your t-shirt orders, we will be in touch once the t-shirts are ready for pick up. We are hoping to have them by mid May.

If you would still like to donate please do so by clicking on the link below

Donation Link:

If you have any questions/concerns or would like to have your payment confirmed please email Tina David

Thank you!

5th Grade Committee

Join a PTA Meeting - May 11 - 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 May 11 - 7pm

Meeting ID: 957 1852 5632
Passcode: 173491

Join the PTA:

Follow us on Facebook:


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HC DrugFree Updates for Parents/Guardians:

Free Parenting Classes: HC DrugFree and the Howard County State's Attorney's Office, partnering with HCPSS and the Health Department, will once again provide evidence-based classes for families to gain skills and knowledge to reduce the risk that their children will engage in risky behaviors including using drugs. This 4-class series for parents of 9-14 year olds will be held on Zoom from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, May 4, 11 and June 1, 8. Parents/guardians must register at If you have questions, email Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree’s Executive Director at

Receive HC DrugFree's Free Newsletter: To receive HC DrugFree's free electronic newsletter packed with information for parents and opportunities for students, go to

Find Answers to Questions Online

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

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.

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

Public Hearings: FY 2022 Operating and Capital Budgets; Pupil Transportation and Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Policies

Thursday, May 6, 7 p.m., and Tuesday, May 11, 7 p.m., hybrid sessions

The Board will hold the following public hearings during upcoming Board meetings. Learn about pre-registration and testimony. Specific directions will be emailed to each registrant prior to the public hearing.

  • May 6: FY22 Operating & Capital Budgets & FY23–27 Capital Improvement Program. Register by May 3
  • May 11: Policy 5200 Pupil Transportation. Register by May 7
  • May 11: Policy 9020 Students’ Rights and Responsibilities. Register by May 7

The State of the School System Event Postponed

Due to scheduling conflicts, the annual State of the Schools fundraiser, originally scheduled for May 5, has been postponed. The Bright Minds Foundation, HCPSS’ education foundation, and HCPSS hope to reschedule the annual fundraising event so that the Foundation may continue to enhance the educational experiences of all HCPSS students.

Optional Pronoun Settings

Students, staff and parents/guardians are now able to identify the pronouns they wish to have used to refer to themselves in various Canvas pages.

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.

Early Admission to Pre-K

Applications for early admission to pre-kindergarten will be accepted starting April 1. Children must be 4 by September 1 and meet other eligibility criteria.

Learn more

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


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.
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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 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


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!


    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