Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

September 7, 2018 - Volume 40, Issue 2

Clemens Crossing Elementary School

Edward Cosentino, Principal

Sonia Hurd, Assistant Principal

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events visit


  • 10 - Schools and Offices Closed
  • 11 - Back-to-School Night for Grades K, 1 & 2 at 6:30 p.m.
  • 12 - Band and Strings Parent Information Night, 6:30 p.m.
  • 17 - PTA Kick-Off Meeting, 6:30 p.m.
  • 19 - Schools and Offices Closed

To subscribe to the CCES calendar on your smartphone, electronic device, or email system use the calendar ID By subscribing to the calendar, school events and activities will always be up-to-date.

From School Administration

We had a wonderful opening week of school! Our first week went smoothly as we welcomed 490 enthusiastic students back to Clemens Crossing. Everyone seems to be getting used to the routines that the new school year brings.

As Mrs. Hurd and I have walked throughout the building, we are pleased to see students engaged in learning in their new classrooms. Mrs. Hurd and I had a meeting with the students from each grade level. We discussed behavioral expectations, our school rules, and some important school policies. It is great to see such an engaged school community.

Communication is a vital skill in this day and age. At Clemens Crossing, we aim to communicate in a variety of ways. Please keep an eye out for our newsletter. We are going to publish the Cougar Comments every Friday morning throughout the school year. The newsletter is also posted on our website and can be found on Twitter and Facebook. It is very important for parents to read this newsletter as it contains a great deal of important school, school system, and community news.

As times have changed and communication has evolved, we are keeping pace with the times.

Twitter helps us keep you informed in real time. I encourage you to keep informed by following CCES on Twitter. Follow us @hcpss_cces. Tweets also automatically post on our Facebook at
Mrs. Hurd and I will be tweeting reminders about upcoming activities as well as highlights that are taking place around the building. It will also be a great way to get a “behind the scenes” look at Clemens Crossing.

I hope the first week of school went well for you and your family. We all look forward to an incredible school year!

Ed Cosentino, Principal


You may hear teachers or students discuss PBIS this year. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. The teachers and staff are using the PBIS framework to help set expectations for student behavior at school and reward students when they meet or exceed these expectations.
Throughout the school, students are expected to exhibit R.O.A.R.behaviors in school. R.O.A.R. stands for Respectful, Organized, Achieving, and Responsible. Teachers and administrators are spending time ensuring that students know and understand these expectations. Students have the opportunity to earn ROAR Tickets on a daily basis. When they earn 50+ R.O.A.R. tickets, they get a certificate and their picture on the "Climbing Cougar" Mountain bulletin board across from the Cafeteria. Another way we recognize students is through ACE Awards. ACE stands for Achievement, Citizenship, and Effort. Students earn an ACE charm and get their picture taken as a group. Pictures are displayed on a bulletin board across from the Front Office. The ACE award winners are also posted on Twitter and on our website.

Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The purpose of schoolwide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

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Arrival & Dismissal Updates


Now that we are establishing the morning routines and fine-tuning times, please know that students should be seated in their classroom at 9:15 a.m., not being dropped off at that time. Students usually need 3-5 minutes to get from the front door to their classrooms, so please plan your arrival accordingly. If students are late, they must be signed in by an adult in the Front Office.


Car Riders and Walkers Are Two Different Dismissal Groups

Car Riders are students who are picked up in a vehicle in the car loop. Car riders are dismissed first. All car riders are dismissed from the side of the building and are to be picked up in the car loop. Walkers should not be part of this group, and parents should not walk children out of the car loop line.

Walkers are dismissed last, after our car and bus traffic subsides. We do this for safety reasons. Parents/guardians of walkers meet children in the front of the building when walkers are dismissed.

If you park a car along Quarterstaff Road, students are considered walkers even though they may ride a car home. Those students will be dismissed with walkers.

No Dogs Permitted on School Property

As much as we enjoy seeing family dogs at arrival and dismissal, all HCPSS schools are expected to adhere to the following policy:

Animals in schools or offices, leashed or not, present safety, environmental, and liability issues. Students and staff may be exposed to potential physical hazards, such as bites, and/or allergy related health problems. As a result, animals are prohibited within HCPSS buildings. Animals are also prohibited on school system property during arrival, dismissal, recess or other HCPSS sponsored outdoor activities. Service animals or service animals in training per MD Annotated Code Section 7-705 (Service Animals) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as animals approved for instructional purposes are exempt from this prohibition.

Parents who bring dogs on their walks to school must wait for students off school property. We want to ensure the safety of our students as they arrive and leave school. Thank you for adhering to this policy.

Cultural Awareness Committee

This school year, we will be using our display case in the front lobby to celebrate the different cultures in our community. Our first display will be for National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. If you would like to participate, please contribute anything that represents this culture (such as crafts, photos and objects from family traditions, pictures of foods and recipes, etc.). Please send them in with your child next week, and be sure to label with your child’s name and homeroom so we may return it. Thanks in advance!

  • Mid-Sept/Oct: Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month
  • Nov: American Indian Heritage Month
  • Dec: Holidays Around the World
  • Jan/Feb: Black History Month through 2/15
  • Feb: Black History (cont)/CCES 40th
  • March: Women's History Month
  • March: Youth Art Month
  • April: Arab American Heritage Month
  • May: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

The Cultural Awareness Committee members are:

Mrs. Shaw, Mr. Schmitt, Mrs. Hodgins, Mrs. Lang, and Mrs. Moraff (PTA Rep.)

G/T Testing - Fourth and Fifth Grade Students NEW to Howard County

The Howard County Public School System is currently in the process of identifying students new to Howard County Public Schools for possible placement in the G/T Mathematics Program.

If you have a child new to the Howard County Public School System whom you wish to have tested as part of the G/T placement process, please submit your request in writing to the G/T Resource Teacher by Wednesday, September 12, 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Laura Register, G/T Resource Teacher, at 410.313.6866 or email her at

Parent Volunteer Procedures at CCES

We value our volunteers and the contributions they make to our students and schools. Parents who wish to volunteer must complete a brief training course online and submit a certificate of completion to their school. This also includes anyone who chaperones a field trip. Details are available on our website.

Evacuation Drill This Week

An evacuation drill was practiced with all students and staff this week on Wednesday morning. An announcement explaining what to expect and how to respond was made prior to the drill.

Our students and staff did an excellent job responding quickly and appropriately to the announced drill.

Throughout the year we will continue to practice various emergency drills. We will inform you as drills occur so that you have the opportunity to debrief with your child at home. You can find detailed information about what occurs during protective actions and during emergencies at the Howard County Public School System's website

Our goal each and every day is to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for all students and staff at Clemens Crossing ES. Please contact us at any time regarding matters of school safety or security.

Howard County G/T Program Parent Academy, Oct. 17

Howard County G/T Program Parent Academy

Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 7pm

8700 Old Annapolis Rd

Ellicott City, MD

HCPSS families interested in the Gifted and Talented (G/T) Program are invited to come learn about the advanced-level offerings available through the G/T Education Program and how their students can become involved.

The evening will begin with an overview of G/T Education Program offerings at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. These overviews will be presented by both G/T staff and Howard County students.

Following the general session, parents and community members will have an opportunity to meet by school level for a question and answer session.

Full Schedule:

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., G/T Education Program Overview Presentation – Auditorium

8:05 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Question and Answer Sessions:

  • Elementary G/T Program Offerings: Auditorium
  • Middle G/T Program Offerings: Classroom F124
  • High School G/T and AP Courses: Classroom F126

For more information, please email or or call 410-­313­‐6800.

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Band and Strings Information Night

Third Grade students can select a stringed instrument to learn this year, while Fourth and Fifth Grade students can choose to learn either a stringed instrument or a band instrument.
The students will have an opportunity at school to test out some of the instruments they would like to consider playing this year.

There will be a Parent Informational Meeting on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30 p.m.
in the Media Center. You will have an opportunity to meet Ms. DeSantis and find out more about the Band and Strings program here at Clemens Crossing.

Here’s how you can register your child for the program:

  1. Online
  2. Go to or go to
  3. Pick up a hard copy registration form from outside the Band/Strings Room door.

Questions? Contact Ms. DeSantis at

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Don't Delay, Join Your PTA

After trying a lot of different 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 candles or other merchandise, we ask each family to contribute $50 (or whatever you can afford) in addition to their membership dues to support the programs we sponsor throughout the year.

Our PTA membership rates are $15 for a family and $10 for an individual.

Consider all the programs your PTA brings to the school -- Cultural Arts assemblies, after-school classes, field trip support, the Science Fair, International Night, Visiting Author, after-school classes, Talent Show, Spring Carnival, etc., etc., etc., and support your PTA!

You can sign up online at

Or, you can print the membership form attached below, and write a check payable to CCES PTA. Send the form and check back to school with your child.

Thank you so much!!

Clemens Crossing Apparel

The CCES Spirit Wear Sale is open and will continue through October 1. Purchases made will be delivered to school the week of October 22nd and distributed soon after. Flyers will go home in the first day folders. All orders must be placed online.

You can choose a unisex t-shirt, long-sleeved t-shirt, or ladies t-shirt with a special 40th Anniversary logo in Navy or a traditional CCES logo in grey. Better yet, why not order one item with each design! Traditional designs are also available on a light blue tie-dye t-shirt, a hoodie, and a cinch bag. Prices range from $11-$24. Check out the site, select Clemens Crossing ES, select items to add to your shopping cart and order what you’d like.

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PTA Kickoff Meeting and Dinner

Monday, Sep. 17th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

Clemens Crossing Elementary School Media Center.

Please come and share your knowledge and ideas!

Giant Food A+ Rewards

Clemens Crossing Elementary earns cash every time you shop at Giant Food Grocery Stores and use your Giant card. In fact, CCES earned $4,900 for our school last year from this program. Money earned helps to pay for online subscriptions such as iXL.

The A+ Rewards program starts September 7 and runs through March 16. CCES will automatically start earning money from your purchases once the program begins on September 7.

All you need to do is register your Giant Food Card and designate CCES as your school of choice (school ID: 01008) through Giant's A+ School Rewards Program.

Follow the steps below to register your card and designate CCES as your school today:

  1. Visit Giant Food's website
  2. You will need to register your Giant Food Card and login to your Giant Food account.
  3. Click Savings next to the Giant logo. Another menu will pop-up then click Rewards and Programs.
  4. Click Register Now under the A+ Give Back to Local Schools.
  5. From there, search for CCES or enter our ID number 01008 to link your card to our school.

If you need assistance, Call Customer Care at 877-366-2668 OPTION #1.

NOTE: If you registered your Giant card last year it is suggested to check your account to make sure your card is properly linked.

Don't forget to encourage your friends and family members to register their cards for CCES too!

Clemens Crossing PTA Family Mentoring Program

If you are new to Clemens Crossing and would like to be paired with a more established Clemens Crossing family, please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at The Committee will arrange a playdate for your child with a child in the same class and will help your family adjust to the school and the area.

We are also looking for established Clemens Crossing families willing to mentor a new family. Volunteers are needed for every grade and every class, so please contact the Family Mentoring Committee at if you would like to participate.

Thank you for your help!

Grade-Level Facebook Pages

Did you know that each grade at Clemens Crossing has a class Facebook page? PTA helps facilitate these pages. The pages are "closed" groups (requiring approval to join the group) and intended only for parents of children in that particular grade. It's a great way to converse and interact with other parents and hear about activities and events in your child's grade.

These pages are supplemental to the schools Twitter feed and Facebook page, so please be sure to use those social media tools as well.

Class of 2024 Kindergarten

Class of 2023 1st grade

Class of 2022 2nd grade

Class of 2021 3rd grade

Class of 2020 4th grade

Class of 2019 5th grade

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.
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Community notices are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.