Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

November 20, 2020 - Volume 42, Issue 15

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

We're Here to Help You!

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Stacey Wells, Principal's Secretary

Jennifer Aballo, Teachers' Secretary

Dulce Boyer, Teachers' Secretary

Important Upcoming Dates and Events

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 20 - National Substitute Teacher Day
  • 23 - Professional Work Day for Parent/Teacher Conferences: School ends 3-hours early at
    12:45 p.m. There will be a modified schedule. The day is designated as a YELLOW day.
  • 24 - Professional Work Day for Parent/Teacher Conferences: School ends 3-hours early at
    12:45 p.m. There will be a modified schedule. The day is designated as a YELLOW day.
  • 24 - PTA Reflections entries Due


  • 4 - PTA Virtual Bingo
  • 9 - PTA Restaurant Day - Chick-fil-A, Johns Hopkins Road

Half Day Schedule for November 23 and 24

November 23 and November 24 are YELLOW Days for Related Arts.
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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here and our school year is moving along quickly. At this time each year,

we often reflect on all of the things that we are thankful for. We are grateful for all of the wonderful people at Clemens Crossing Elementary School. We have wonderful students, amazing staff, and supportive parents. Our school is such a wonderful place because all of these people are willing to work together towards achieving the goal of success.

Parent Conferences will be held next week. School ends three-hours early on Monday and Tuesday (12:45 p.m.) and will be closed on Wednesday. We are very pleased with your response to scheduling these important meetings with your child’s teacher. We are eager to describe our programs of instruction and provide information about your child’s progress.

We will not be publishing this newsletter next week. The next newsletter will be published on December 4.

On behalf of the entire Clemens Crossing Staff, we wish you and your family a very
Happy Thanksgiving!


Thankful Notes to CCES Staff

As much as 2020 has been such a challenging year, there are still many reasons to be thankful.

Do you know a Clemens Crossing staff member who is:

  • Supporting your family with online learning?
  • Providing your family with resources?
  • Teaching engaging lessons?
  • Reaching out to check-in?
  • Making your family feel welcome and part of our Clemens Crossing family?
  • Helping your child feel safe and comfortable?
  • Making your child feel supported?

Our staff works so hard every day to make sure students and families are happy and successful. Please take a moment to recognize any staff member, by filling out the form below, who has built a relationship with you and your child.

Thank you for taking the time to make our staff feel appreciated! It will mean so much to them!

Click the direct link below or click the embedded form under this section.

Virtual Parent Conference Schedule

  • Monday, 11/23 from 1:20 p.m. - 7:20 p.m.
  • Tuesday, 11/24 from 1:20 p.m. - 7:20 p.m.
  • Wednesday, 11/25 from 8:20 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.
    • Most teachers will host conferences on the evenings of 11/23 and 11/24.
    • Teachers who do not host evening conferences will offer conferences on 11/25.
    • There is no school for students on 11/25.

Please note:

Now that the scheduling program is closed, we will not be able to schedule a conference due to the logistics and preparation to coordinate the online conference. Usually, this is done by the front office, but due to the nature of the scheduling through Family File and Google Meet, teachers are the ones who do the preparation. Once conferences begin, they will be busy and unable to accommodate any last-minute scheduling requests.

Logging onto Google Meet for your Conference

  • You will use your child’s HCPSS credentials to join the conference.
  • Google Meet Codes: You will see the meeting code for your conference in Synergy when you sign up for a conference. You will receive a reminder email with the room code from the Synergy system a few days before your conference.
  • To prevent “overlap” of conferences, teachers will be using Google Meet room joining security features.
  • You may have to wait to be admitted into the Google Meet room.

Virtual Learning Continues Through Third Quarter

During its work session on Monday, November 16, 2020, the Howard County Board of Education voted to continue the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) in a virtual instructional model through the Third Academic Quarter, which ends April 14, 2021.

Virtual Learning Reminders

As we get into the colder months and holiday season, it is important to keep persisting with virtual learning. Please work on maintaining a good routine schedule and structure at home. This includes a work/study space that is conducive to learning. Students are making great strides and progress. Let's Keep this momentum going!

Chromebook Care!

Our Chromebooks are stirdy devices, but you still need to take care of those devices. Here are some important reminders to care for your Chromebook:

  1. Make sure to hold and lift your Chromebook by the base and not by the screen. The screen is very fragile and can be easily cracked or scratched. Close your Chromebook before you carry it.
  2. Keep food and drinks away from your Chromebook and make certain your hands are clean when using the device.
  3. Keep your Chromebook charged so that it will be ready for use each day.
  4. Keep your Chromebook on a flat surface like a table or desk. If you sit on the floor when you’re using it, when you are finished put it on a table or desk to prevent someone from stepping on it.
  5. Be careful when removing the power cord from your Chromebook or wall outlet. Pulling on the cable can cause damage to the charging cable, or can cause the charging cable to break off in your Chromebook.
  6. Don't leave your Chromebook in a car. Temperature can affect its use and the chance of theft is greater when it is left in a car.
  7. Avoid placing heavy materials, such as books, on top of your Chromebook. Chromebook screens are fragile and not meant to hold any weight.
  8. To clean the screen or your Chromebook, use a dry, soft, lint-free cloth. Keep the keyboard clear and make certain nothing is on the keyboard when you close it. Pencils and other small items can damage the display screen if the laptop is shut on them.

Google Hangout Update

HCPSS has received many concerns about the inappropriate use of Google Hangouts. As a result, this app will be disabled for all students starting November 20, 2020.

Chromebook for Academic Use

Please remember that HCPSS issued Chromebooks should be used for educational, academic, and school purposes.

School staff can review files and records including internet history and Inbox content when we suspect inappropriate use of technology.


MAP Fall Home Reports

For students in Grades 2-5 who participated in the October MAP assessment, the Fall 2020 MAP test results are available to view. Here are the directions below.

Detailed PDF home reports are available in Synergy.
To access Home Reports:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Report Cards from the middle
  4. Select the applicable report from the Student's MAP Reports section.

To access previous Test Scores:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Standardized Test Scores from the middle
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National PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program

The National PTA Reflections Arts Recognition Program is a program designed to inspire and celebrate your kid’s creativity. To participate, students create a piece of art in any of 6 different categories that reflect this year’s theme, “I Matter Because…”.
Every student who enters receives a certificate celebrating their work! Each artwork is evaluated on the interpretation of the theme, creativity, and artistic merit. Reflections program is not just for “artsy” kids- it’s for EVERY kid!

And this is a great year for kids to think about why they matter! Click here for a video about Reflections at CCES this year!


Reflect on the theme “I Matter Because….” and create original work in one (or more!) of the following categories (click on the hyperlinks for more information about each):

Fill out an Entry Form, and be sure to include your Artist’s Statement, which is how your artwork connects to the theme (50% of your score from the judges).

Turn in your artwork and entry form to the box in front of Clemens Crossing ES by November 24, 2020! OR, if your submission is electronic, please email it to me:

Artwork will be judged in 3 categories:

Entries will be reviewed by experienced arts and education judges. All participants will be celebrated with certificates of participation, the top three entries will receive ribbons, and the first place entry will receive a medal. The top three entries in each category will move on to the Howard County Reflections Contest; the top three County entries will move on to the Maryland State Reflections Contest, and State winners in each category will compete in the National PTA Reflections Contest.

EVERY artwork will be celebrated!


Contact Risa Carlson, Reflections Chair


PTA Directory Available through Family File

Did you know that you can access the PTA Directory through your Family File in HCPSS Connect? This is one way to connect with families outside of school. The information is confidential and should not be shared. Please be sure you have the most up-to-date information in your Family File. If you want to update your email and contact information, simply do that in HCPSS Connect and Family File.

FINAL WEEKEND! CCES Spirit Wear On Sale Now

Clemens Crossing Elementary PTA is selling spirit wear online this year.

Grab your gear to show your Cougar pride!

Place your order at

Sale ends Sunday, November 22, 2020

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Click to access the online store to order new CCES spirit wear.

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CCES Book Fair

What are the book fair dates?

The book fair will run from Friday, November 13th to Monday, November 30th.

How do I place an order?

Books can be ordered via our school link at You can also order by logging in through the Follett website and using the School Code 8LLK3.

How do I receive my books?

Once the fair ends, the entire order will ship for free to CCES. When the order is received, they will be sorted and there will be a drive thru pickup scheduled. We expect books in mid-December. If the scheduled pickup does not work for your schedule, you can arrange a doorstep pickup from a home near CCES.

Can I buy books for teachers?

Yes! Teachers love and appreciate receiving donated books from their students. Some teachers have wish lists on the website which you can access by clicking on the icon with stars on the upper left-hand side of the web page marked "View Wish Lists." If your teacher did not list requests, you are welcome to purchase a book of your choice and let Allie McDonald know which book from your order is for a teacher. We will make sure it is delivered to them with a note sharing who it is from.

Are we charged sales tax?

Yes. Since you are purchasing from Follett (and not the school), the purchases are subject to Maryland sales tax.

What happens to proceeds from the sale?

We chose to go with Follett Book Fairs because of their great rewards offerings available this year. All proceeds we earn from the fair will go directly to the CCES Media Center!

What if I have questions?

Please contact Allie McDonald at

Chick-fil-a Day

Wednesday, Dec. 9th, 6-10pm

10975 Johns Hopkins Road

Laurel, MD


Report Cards Issued Online on November 16th

The end of the 1st quarter was Friday, November 6th and report cards will be issued on Monday, November 16. Parents/guardians may view/download report cards by taking the following steps:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy
  2. Select More Options from the left panel
  3. Select Report Cards from the middle
  4. Select the report card you wish to access

Parents of students receiving special education services can expect to receive their child's IEP progress report no later than Friday, November 20 through email. If you have any questions about your child's progress or what to expect as we fulfill requirements for progress reporting, you may contact your child's case manager.

Holiday Help

We frequently receive donations and opportunities to help families in need during the Thanksgiving and winter holiday time. If you would like to request assistance for your immediate family, please contact our school counselor, Mrs. Rogers. We cannot make any guarantees, but we will do our best to utilize resources in a way that best supports our families.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Google Play Information

In an effort to continue expanding our authorized set of digital tools for virtual instruction, HCPSS has curated a new set of supplemental digital tools that are available only through Google’s menu of additional services. These supplemental digital tools are approved by HCPSS and comply with federal, state and Howard County Board of Education student data privacy policies. Due to Google’s settings, students must access this set of tools by utilizing Google’s menu of additional services, which requires consent by a parent or guardian.

To provide consent:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect.
  2. Select More Options from the left panel.
  3. Select HCPSS Google Menu from the middle of the page.
  4. Click the check box to provide consent. Changes are saved automatically.

A parent or guardian must provide consent for each student by selecting the student’s name at the top of the page.

The digital tools currently included are: Book Room, Word Work, Scratch BluBot, Scratch JR, Sketch-Up, Collector Classic, JamBoard, Google Earth and Minecraft: Education. After a parent/guardian provides consent, students using a HCPSS Chromebook can access the tools through the Google Play Store icon on the Chromebook when logged in with an HCPSS account. There may be a delay of up to three days before the apps appear in the Google menu and some tools may automatically appear on the Chromebook once consent is provided by a parent or guardian without the need to install them. If your child has not been issued a Chromebook, please make the request following the information found online.

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.
  • If you do not provide consent for your student’s access to these digital tools, your student’s teacher will provide alternative enrichment activities.
  • 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.

Join the PTA – Family Membership

PTA Membership will allow you to be active with the PTA and enjoy discounts with Maryland PTA partners. Most of all, your membership dues support the many programs we offer to the CCES community. While we encourage all of our families to be involved with PTA, membership does not obligate you to volunteer your time.

After trying many fundraisers over the years, the CCES PTA’s major fundraiser is a direct donation program (and later in the fall, a Read-a-thon). Rather than sell wrapping paper or other merchandise, we ask each family to contribute $50 in addition to their membership dues to support the programs we sponsor throughout the year.

To join the Clemens Crossing PTA, please fill out the form below and pay the membership dues (plus any donation you choose to give) through the PayPal link that follows. If you prefer to pay by check, please contact our membership chair, c/o
To report a problem with this form, contact

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Community News and Programs

Please find the link to the Howard County Public School System's Community News and Programs page.

In alignment with Howard County Board of Education Policy 10010, Distribution and Display of Materials and Announcements, the following announcements have been approved by the Public Information Office for distribution. Please visit Distributing Community Information through the School System or contact the Public Information Office at 410-313-6682 if you have any questions.

The below community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.