VES Eagle Express Newsletter

APRIL 15, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #33

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

I hope everyone had a great week. I want to remind all of our families that each school day when your child is due to come to Veterans Elementary School, we ask you to do an in home health check. This involves checking your child for Covid-19 like symptoms and checking their temperatures. Children are to remain home at the onset of Covid-19 like symptoms and the school should be contacted. This helps to prevent a classroom outbreak and exposing our students and staff to severe illness. Of course, these symptoms may also remind you of allergies, it is wise to keep your child home until a doctor has verified their illness. Please know that if any Covid-19 like symptoms are found in school we have to follow certain protocol in regard to sending your child home to quarantine for a prescribed amount of time. Any questions about Home Health Checks can be run by our cluster nurse; Ms. Brenda Gregor.


Report cards for the third quarter will be issued on Thursday April 22nd. Special Education Progress Reports will be available on Monday April 29th. Our staff has worked hard to give you the best assessment they can of your child's progress.


School Pictures- It has been a while since we have taken school pictures, thanks to Covid-19. We have been working with our picture company on protocol for taking school pictures. The week of May 10th, we will take school pictures. A schedule will come out the week before. Your child will have pictures taken on either May 10th or May 15th. We will identify times for our virtual students to come and have their pictures taken as well. School picture funds are used by the school for student and staff activities.


Robert C. Bruce
Principal- Veterans Elementary School
410-313-1700

SCHOOL CALENDAR

APRIL:

22 - Q3 Report Cards Issued


MAY:

3 thru 7 - Teacher Appreciation Week

5 - MAP Reading Test: Gr. 1 thru 5, 10:00 a.m. - Noon

12 - MAP Math Test: Gr. 1 thru 5, 10:00 a.m. - Noon
13 - Schools Closed to Students: Professional Learning/Articulation Day

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

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.

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.

Send Dismissal Change Notifications by 2:00pm: vestransportation@hcpss.org

Please send any dismissal changes for the day no later than 2:00 p.m. to vestransportation@hcpss.org. 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.

VES CURRENT NEWS AND UPDATES

REMINDER DAILY CHECKLIST TO PARENTS AND STUDENTS

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.

VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION and TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS

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.

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

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.

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.

Budget Basics Workshop

Saturday, April 17, 9-10:30 a.m., virtual session

Students in grades 3-12 and their families are invited to learn about electronic and virtual financial transactions and key financial principles at this virtual workshop, co-sponsored by HCPSS and The Council of Elders. Register online to receive a confirmation email with login information.


The State of the School System

On Wednesday, May 5, Superintendent Michael J. Martirano will reflect on HCPSS’ unique challenges over the last year and discuss plans and priorities for the year ahead. This virtual event is sponsored by Bright Minds, the educational foundation supporting HCPSS students and schools. Registration is $20 and proceeds benefit the programs of Bright Minds.

Learn more


2021 Summer Programs Registration Reopens April 15

Registration window: Thursday, April 15, 6 p.m. through Thursday, April 29

The window for online enrollment requests will reopen for currently enrolled HCPSS students for the 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.

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

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.

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.

TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT CENTER

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

VES PTA NEWS AND UPDATES

Hi, 5th Grade Families!

This is a friendly reminder to purchase your 5th grade T-Shirt.

The Fifth grade T shirt is a long standing VES 5th Grade tradition. Please consider purchasing one for your child, as it is a great way to commemorate their last year of Elementary School.
We have extended the order deadline Friday, April 23rd and most likely will not be able to extend it after that. Teachers who work with 5th graders will be sporting these shirts later this Spring!

Also, please consider donating a few dollars to help support the 5th grade PTA, so we have funds to plan some possible special end of year treats/activities for our 5th graders.


All form and payment submission information can be found on these links.

T-shirt link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17Y-lI-LoHlicra_SzwIsvrkEVZnNe1zpmIHvt6E3kkc/edit

https://veterans.memberhub.store/store/items/699577

Donation Link:

https://veterans.memberhub.store/store?category=5th%20Grade%20Committee


Thank you and we are looking forward to a great rest of the year!

The 5th Grade PTA Committee


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

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

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.

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.

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.
Big picture

FOOD ACCESS

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
410-313-1700
Julie_Wentz@hcpss.org

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!