VES Eagle Express Newletter

MARCH 20, 2021 - Vol.14, Issue #29

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)


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.


Our younger students in PreKgn thru Grade 2 had a successful week of school attendance. We are hopeful that all of our virtual learners are actively engaged and learning as well.
The week of March 29th we will welcome back our 3rd-5th graders with Cohort A attending on March 29th and 30th. Cohort B will attend on April 1st. The school will be closed to all students including virtual learners from Friday April 2nd through Tuesday April 6th for Spring Break. School will resume on Wednesday April 7th for Cohort E and Thursday April 8th for Cohort B.

The third marking period will end on Wednesday April 14th. Report Cards will be issued on Thursday April 22nd. A reminder that Related Arts grades will not be a part of the third quarter report card but will be graded as a second semester grade on the June report card.

Please continue to perform student health checks before your child leaves for school every morning.

Robert Bruce

Principal- Veterans Elementary School


March into Women's History Month


1- New Hybrid Schedule for Student Begin: 9:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

1 - Phase 1 Hybrid: Group E Students Begin In-School Hybrid

8 - Begin SY2021-22 Online Registration for NEW HCPSS and VES Students Grade K&1

15 - Phase 2 Hybrid: Grades PK, K, 1, 2 Students Begin In-School Hybrid

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

MARCH Phase-In Model (see below)


2 thru 6 - SPRING BREAK Schools and Offices Closed

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


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.

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 ( Please contact the summer program lead with additional questions.

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.



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

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

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:

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.

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

Send all Absence notes directly to:

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

* 9:45 a.m. 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.

Each HCPSS school now has an attendance email for parents to send notes pertaining to their child missing any time out from school, even during virtual learning
(ie. sick, appointment, travel, etc.)

Please take the time to review: HCPSS ATTENDANCE POLICY

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.


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


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An Important Message from HCPSS Health Services

With the return of students and staff to classrooms and extracurricular activities, it is critical that everyone strictly follows the health guidance in place to keep HCPSS students and staff safe and able to continue to provide in-person opportunities. It is important that open communication exists between households and the school.

HCPSS developed protocols for responding to positive cases in schools in conjunction with the Howard County Health Department (HCHD). HCHD performs contact tracings on Howard County residents who test positive for COVID-19, and HCPSS is notified of a positive case if there is a public health risk to the school community as determined through the contact tracing process. A Health Department Investigator is assigned to each case and informs close contacts who may have been exposed.

If you believe your child has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or your child is a close contact with someone with COVID-19 symptoms, including anyone who lives in your home, please keep your child home from school and contact your child's School Nurse or Principal immediately.

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) defines a COVID-19-like illness as when a person has any one of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell; OR at least two of the following: fever of 100.4 degrees or higher (measured or subjective), chills or shaking chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and congestion or runny nose.

Parents/guardians should review this checklist with your child every morning before school, and by sending your child to school, you are attesting to the fact that they do not have any of these symptoms.

In alignment with guidance from MDH, should your child become symptomatic during the school day, they will be evaluated by the nurse and sent home if needed with direction regarding isolation and quarantine. If your child is a close contact of a symptomatic child or staff member, they will be sent home and provided guidance regarding quarantine. In addition to phone contact, students sent home from school may receive letters from the Howard County Health Department regarding their particular situation.

HCPSS Health Services staff members work closely with HCHD to ensure that anyone who may have been exposed is contacted. Additionally, school administrators collaborate with staff from the HCPSS Health Services, School Management and Instructional Leadership, and Communications offices to issue communications to the appropriate communities. This messaging is guided by HCHD recommendations and is strictly aligned with regulations defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, to protect the medical privacy of individuals.

If your student becomes ill during the day and it is determined that they need to be picked up and taken home from school, it is extremely important that the student be picked up as soon as possible, and definitely within an hour. To make this process easier, we are asking all parents/guardians to take these steps now:

  1. Please be sure that your Family File is updated with your most CURRENT contact information. It is imperative that we have a means to get in touch with you in a timely manner.
  2. Also in your Family File, please make sure your emergency contacts are up to date, with current contact information. Please remind those people that you have indicated them as emergency contacts and that if they get a phone call to pick your child up from school, they will need to be able to get there within an hour.

There is nothing more important to us than the safety and health of our students, our staff, and their families. These guidelines were developed in conjunction with the State of Maryland and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thank you for working with us to keep our students safe.

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Update on the Impact of In-Person Instruction on the HCPSS Network Bandwidth

Dear HCPSS Families:

We are writing to provide you with an update on the impact of hybrid instruction on the HCPSS network bandwidth.

As HCPSS continues the staggered return of students to in-person instruction, HCPSS Information Technology (IT), in partnership with HCPSS' area network (WAN) provider, Howard County Government, have been continuously monitoring bandwidth usage on the County's network. We have seen a substantial increase in bandwidth usage due to a large volume of in-person students using the HCPSS network to log in to Google Meet sessions.

To mitigate the impact on network performance, HCPSS has begun the process of acquiring additional network bandwidth. In the meantime, immediate action is necessary to prevent a disruption in network reliability for HCPSS staff and students and resolve the issue in the short term.

Teachers will be supporting this effort by asking students who attend school in person not to log in to Google Meet sessions and instead streaming videos for in-person students using the classroom LCD projector when possible. Additional measures include encouraging students attending in person to turn off their cameras if they need to be logged in to Google Meet, and providing links through the Canvas course rather than through the Google Meet chat function.

Additionally, effective Monday, March 22, HCPSS will take these actions:

  • Adjust the Google Meet default video quality setting to a lower video quality setting.
  • Block students' access to Facebook and monitor the impact of other social media and streaming sites to determine if additional restrictions are needed.

We recognize there may be times the applications HCPSS is using for virtual learning may not work as anticipated. If your child has difficulty, have them send their teacher a Canvas message or email to make them aware. We know this may be stressful for both you and your child, and ask for your patience as we work through any challenges that may arise. HCPSS teachers and administrators will be understanding and flexible if interruptions to technology services cause delays in assignment submissions and missed virtual learning sessions.

Thank you.

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

HCPSS Students Named 2021 Carson Scholars

Thirty students in Grades 4-11 have been recognized as 2021 Carson Scholars. To be selected as a Carson Scholar, students must demonstrate high levels of academic achievement and humanitarianism. Each will receive a $1,000 college scholarship award, and will be honored during a regional celebration this fall.

Learn more

Apply for Pre-K and Register for Kindergarten Now

Children must be four years old by September 1 to be eligible to apply for Pre-K, and must be 5 years old by September 1 to enroll in kindergarten. See FAQs about enrollment (kindergarten and general).

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.

More News | Events | Reminders

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.

Find Answers to Questions Online

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


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:

5th Grade Activities

5th Grade T-Shirt & Donation Forms were sent out last week through Canvas. Please submit items by Friday, March 19th. If you have any questions or concerns please email Tina David

T-shirt link:

Donation Link:

Thank you!

5th Grade 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.

Join a PTA meeting - April 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.

Thursday April 8 - 7pm

Meeting ID: 922 2540 1436
Passcode: 321002

Join the PTA:

Follow us on Facebook:


Council of Elders/BSAP Workshops:

TCOE Workshops: (The Council of Elders)

  • March 20 9-10:30 a.m. -Family Financial Education Series
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BSAP Workshops: (Black Student Achievement Programs)

  • March 20 6:30-8:00 p.m. - BCAP CCON Webinar – Virtually Expanding Your Horizons – Jumpstart (more details to follow)

If you have any questions regarding any of these TCOE/BSAP events, please contact
Nicole Brown,

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Message from Media Center:


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,

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.

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


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!