Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

February 21, 2020 - Volume 41, Issue 23

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 25 - Vision & Hearing Screening
  • 26 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.
  • 28 - CCES School Play: Aladdin Kids - (held at Wilde Lake Middle School), 7:30 p.m.


  • 1 - National Women's History Month
  • 6 - 3rd Quarter Interim Reports Issued
  • 6 - 1st Grade Field Trip to Toby's, 9:30 a.m.
  • 8 - Daylight Savings Begins
  • 11 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 13 - Class Picture Day
  • 13 - PTA International Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 18 - Cultural Arts During School: Author Visit - Duncan Tonatiuh (during Related Arts)
  • 18 - Restaurant Night - On the Border
  • 19 - Boys' Night Out, 6:30 p.m. (Grades 3-5)
  • 20 - World Down Syndrome Day
  • 25 - In-School Banking Day
  • 25 - Maryland Day
  • 26 - Cultural Arts During School: Andes Manta - Music from the Andes Mountains


  • 1 - Arab American Heritage Month
  • 2 - Makers Faire and Math Night (rescheduled from January), 6:15 p.m.
  • 3 - World Autism Day
  • 3 - Schools Close 3 Hours Early: Professional Work Day, 12:45 p.m.
  • 3 - End of 3rd Quarter
  • 4 thru 13 - SPRING BREAK
  • 14 - School Reopens
  • 23 - Take Your Child to Work Day
  • 23 - CCES Talent Show (moved from 3/27)
  • 28 - Schools and Offices Closed: Primary Election Day
  • 29 - In-School Banking, 9:00 a.m.

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID

From School Administration

It is hard to believe that we are at the end of February already. Parent/teacher conferences were a great success last week. Thank you for the continued home-school collaboration. I also want to thank our amazing PTA for providing dinner last Thursday night for our staff. It means so much to have such a supportive community.

Around this time each year, I always feel like I have one foot in this school year and one foot in the next school year. We are already starting to plan for next year! On that note, I want to share information about the school system's operating budget and the budget process overall, because the school system's budget affects us at CCES. Please find information about the school system's budget along with how it impacts our school below. I encourage you to click the links that direct you to the HCPSS website detailing the HCPSS budget and process and read the information. I also encourage you to be involved in the budget process and advocate where you see fit. We have a very involved community that cares about education. That was evident during the redistricting process. How can we be as impassioned about the budget process as we were about the redistricting process? Both processes deeply affect how we move forward. Finally, as we are in the beginning stages of planning for next year, I would like feedback from you. Please take the time to complete the survey below about our annual open house and back-to-school night times along with ideas for engaging school community events.

HCPSS Operating Budget

Last Thursday, the Howard County Board of Education adopted its operating budget for the 2020-21 school year. The budget will be submitted to County Executive Calvin Ball in March. In April, he will present his countywide budget to the County Council. The County Council will approve the budget in May. If there is a gap between the final county appropriate funds and the Board of Education's requested budget, the school system could face further cuts beyond the cuts made last Thursday. Prior to the adoption of the Board of Education's operating budget on Thursday, the Board of Education made cuts to the Superintendent's requested budget. I encourage you to learn about the state of our school system's budget and the budget process.

How will this impact Clemens Crossing Elementary? Our class size ratios will increase next year in grades 1 through 5. Currently, we operate with three class size ratios (Kindergarten, first & second grades, and third through fifth grades). In kindergarten, the class ratio is 1 teacher for every 22 students with an upper limit of 24 students per class. That ratio will not change. The current class size ratio in first and second grade is 1 teacher for every 20 students. Next year, grades 1 and 2 will have a class size ratio of 1 teacher for every 21 students with an upper limit of 26 students per class. Grades 3 through 5 currently have a class size ratio of 1 teacher per 26 students. Next year the ratio will be 1:27 with an upper limit of 32 students per class. Extra teachers will be allocated when all classes in a particular grade level reach the upper limit. There is a very good chance that your child will be in a class with 25 students in first or second grade and over 30 students in third, fourth, or fifth grade.

CCES Staffing Allocations for 2020-21

This week, I received our staffing allocations for next year. With the implementation of the redistricting plan approved in November, our enrollment will increase from 500 students to 570 students. We are projected to have 5 kindergarten classrooms, 4 first grade classrooms, 5 second grade classrooms, 4 third grade classrooms, 4 fourth grade classrooms, and 3 fifth grade classrooms. Overall, we will have 25 classes next year, and we will most likely utilize two of our three portable classrooms for homerooms next year. With the increased number of homeroom classrooms, our related arts teaching staff will increase too.

I will continue to provide the community with updates to the HCPSS budget process and our school's staffing in the coming months.

Mr. Cosentino, Principal

New Information

Art News

Congratulations go out to the following students who have work on display in current and upcoming exhibitions:

Exhibit: First Grade Showcase

Location: HCPSS Central Office

Reception: 2/19, 5-6:30pm

Time Frame: 2/6-4/11

Students: James Nwosu, Olive Pine, Avery Seidman, Ashray Vir

Exhibit: Youth Art Month Showcase

Location: Miller Branch, HoCo Library

Reception: 3/11, 5-6:30pm

Time Frame: 2/29-3/30

Students: Sadie Dardeck-K, Elisha Yim-2nd

Exhibit: Food for Thought

Location: Howard County Center for the Arts, Ellicott City

Reception: 3/18, 5-7pm

Time Frame: 2/28-3/2

Students: 5th graders: Eva Alston, Adiela Medina, Lucia Nava-Blake

A Story Called Kindness Poster Contest - Entries Due April 1

All students in grades K–12 are invited to design a poster to illustrate a scene from your life story where you’ve shown someone kindness or offered a helping hand. Students may enter as an individual or as part of a group. Full details, including entry criteria and submission information, are available online.

Crafty Cougars

Do you love to do crafts? Does making posters, pamphlets, or decorations sound fun? Then join the new group called the Crafty Cougars! The PTA runs many amazing events all year round, but they need help with things such as decorations and posters. The Crafty Cougars will get requests from the PTA and help out as needed. No commitment is required, help out when you can! Please email Rachael Kelly at if you are interested in helping out.

Supplies Needed

It has been a rough few weeks with the flu and other illnesses. Classrooms are in need of hand sanitizer and tissues. Please consider donating those items to your child's class.

Additionally, please discuss any personal classroom supply needs with your child (pencils, erasers, glue sticks, notebooks, etc.) and replenish supplies as needed.

Women in Aerospace Science & Engineering

WHEN: Thursday, February 27, 2020

TIME: 6:45 P.M.
LOCATION: Miller Library Ellicott City 9421 Frederick Rd., Ellicott City, MD

Women panelists from the University of Maryland Aerospace Engineering will present their studies and careers in this exciting industry of aerospace-related science and engineering panel.

Information Worth Repeating

CCES School Play - Aladdin Kids

Friday, Feb. 28th, 7:30pm

10481 Cross Fox Lane

Columbia, MD


Kindergarten Registration begins Monday, March 9 through Friday, March 13 at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. Children who will be five years old as of September 1, 2020, must enroll in Kindergarten for the 2020-2021 school year. Registration will take place daily from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at CCES Front Office. No appointment is necessary. We will have one evening registration time available, by appointment only, on March 11 prior to our PTA meeting.

You will need to bring the following documents:

  1. Birth certificate, birth registration or passport. Note: If presenting a passport, you will need to also provide proof of parental relationship.
  2. Current immunization record - must be a print out from the pediatrician and signed.
  3. Deed or lease to your home
  4. Current utility bill
  5. Photo ID of parent/guardian registering the student

Please visit the Howard County Public School System website for complete information about enrollment and registration. Please follow steps 1-4 at home and online before finalizing the process in step 5 at the school. You may begin the online registration now.

Message from the Media Center About Visiting Author Duncan Tonatiuh

Dear CCES families:

Thanks to the generous support of our PTA, author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh will be visiting CCES on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Students will be learning about Duncan’s books and illustrations for the next few weeks in Library Media class. His work is inspired by ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec codex. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past, but that are relevant to people, especially children, nowadays.

We invite you to purchase books on your own and send them to the Media Center for the author to autograph. The books will be returned to students the afternoon of his visit or the following day. Feel free to click the author information below to find out more about Duncan Tonatiuh.

Please attach a copy of this form (see link below) when your child sends a book, or books, to the Media Center. The media staff will respond with an email confirmation when we receive the books. The deadline to send books to the Media Center is Friday, March 13.

Thank you,

Christy Marshall and Kristi Seamonson

Library Media Staff


Order Your 2019-20 CCES Yearbook

Your Online Code is: YB100057 Deadline to order - April 15, 2020

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Calling All Coders and Female Engineers!

How Girls Code is looking for female members of the community to come talk to our How Girls Code students, grades 1st-3rd, about being a coder or engineer. We would love for you to share how you became interested in your career, how you use coding, math, and STEM-related skills and what it is like working in your field. We are looking for 15-20 minutes time slots on any Wednesday afternoon between 4:15-5:15 pm the weeks of February 26th- April 22nd. Please email Mrs. Gelinas, if you or someone you know would be interested in coming to chat with our girls.
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CCES International Night

CCES PTA’s International Night will be held on Friday, March 13th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Join us for an evening of food, fun, craft, the music of Irish Bagpiper, Kevin O'Brien, and a performance by the amazing dancers from Teelin Irish Dance School as we take a trip around the world and discover the many different cultures and countries that represent our students, family and faculty at Clemens Crossing Elementary!

To make our biggest cultural event of the year a success, we need your help! Please sign up to be a ‘Country Host’ during the event. ‘Country Hosts’ are provided space to display any items you would like to bring to represent your country – a trifold of facts, books, clothing, artifacts, and, of course, food! We have space for approximately 20 different countries to be represented.

We are also in need of a few volunteers to help with set up and clean up. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these opportunities, please click on the link below to sign up.

CCES International Night

Friday, March 13th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

SPONSOR NEEDED for Student Planner/Datebooks for 20-21

Up until this year, the Howard County Public School System provided students with school planners in grades 2 through 5. Due recent budget cuts, the school system will no longer fund this expense.

It is up to us, as a school, to fund and purchase the student planner/date books. The approximate cost for our school is $1,000. Since we are not permitted to charge families the cost of the student planners, we are looking to get a funding sponsor. The sponsor will get credit and a page in the book to advertise. If you know of a company willing to sponsor this expense, please email Ms. Stacey Wells, the principal's secretary.

If we do not get funding, we will no longer provide student planners.

Makers Faire - New Date!

Thursday, April 2nd, 6:15pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

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Upcoming Regional Activities for Families

Two regional events for families are coming up over the next two months. We thought you would like to plan ahead and save the dates for these two great events in Baltimore and Washington.

B'More Healthy Expo

Saturday, March 7th, 10am-4pm

1 West Pratt Street

Baltimore, MD

Are you looking for fun things to do on the weekend?

Check out the 11th Annual B'More Healthy Expo. The largest health event in Maryland is free!

USA Science & Engineering Festival

Saturday, April 25th, 9am to Sunday, April 26th, 4pm

801 Mount Vernon Place Northwest

Washington, DC


Kids: Free

Adults: $15 Ahead of time, $20 at the door

Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Cougar Feedback

Feel free to leave comments about CCES using the form below.
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PTA Meeting w/Board of Education Candidate Sezin Palmer

Wednesday, March 11th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

On the Border - PTA Restaurant Night

Wednesday, March 18th, 11am-10pm

8230 Gateway Overlook Drive

Elkridge, MD

CCES Talent Show

Thursday, April 23rd, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD