Veterans Elementary Eagle Express

January 23, 2020 - Volume 13, Issue 18

Soar to Excellence!

School Mission

Veterans Elementary School promotes life-long learning by embracing its diversity, providing students with dynamic classroom experiences and exposing them to the cultural arts in a climate that is rigorous, safe, nurturing and respectful.

Veterans Elementary School

Robert Bruce, Principal

Amy Green, Assistant Principal

Derek Lewis, Administrator

School Start and Dismissal Times: 9:25 a.m. - 3:55 p.m.


MAP Assessments:

Now is a great time to have that chat with your children about their efforts in school. In February we will administer the next round of MAP tests for all students in Grades 1-5. This is an opportunity for students to take their studies seriously and show the growth we know they have made. Your children are working hard in class, this is obvious in both our formal and informal observations in the classrooms throughout our school. MAP or Measures of Academic Progress is a great assessment for measuring growth in our students and for projecting how students should score if given the right opportunities. The school uses this data to analyze our program and teachers use this data to plan for instruction. Parents get copies of these assessments about a month after it is administered so they may share the information with their children. This test adjusts for each student while they take the assessment to see just how much material they can handle.

Parent Conferences in Math on the horizon:

On February 13th and 14th, school will close three hours early for parent-teacher conferences. Teachers who make the choice to conference on Thursday evening will not be at school on Friday February 14th to compensate for the time spent here on Thursday evening.
This conference period, all students in Grades 1-5 including GT students will have the opportunity for a Math Conference with your child's Math Teacher.
There is no way to sign up for a Language Arts conference this conference period. The exception will be that Kindergarten will have general Language Arts conferences. Conference periods will also only be 15 minutes per conference.

You do not need to sign up for a conference if you feel all is well. Conference scheduling will open on Thursday, January 30. Parents will have from Jan. 30 - Feb. 11 to sign up for Math Conferences for Grades 1-5 and General Conferences for Kindergarten. Parents are reminded that if you truly need a conference with your child's Language Arts teacher, please contact them by email for a time during the normal teacher work day. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Bruce at

The Kindness Challenge

I want to encourage all students to participate in the Kindness Challenge Week activities planned by Ms. Wentz and Ms. Wilson. These activities cover a central theme that it does not hurt to be kind to our classmates, teachers, friends, and family. This is a great opportunity to reinforce to children the value of doing kind things for people without expecting anything in return. The activities begin next week on Tuesday January 28th. There are fun Spirit Day activities planned with a focus on kind acts.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • 23 - Redistrict Orientation for in-coming VES students from Waterloo and Hollifield, 7 p.m.
  • 27 - NO SCHOOL - Profressional Development Day
  • 28 thru 31 - Great Kindness Challenge Week!
  • 28 - SPIRIT DAY: Hats Off to Kindness - Wear your favorite Hat
  • 29 - SPIRIT DAY: Ride the Kindness Wave - Wear Beach attire
  • 30 - SPIRIT DAY: Kindness Rocks - Dress like a Rockstar
  • 30 - Conference Scheduling Opens for Parents in Family File via HCPSSConnect
  • 31 - SPIRIT DAY: Dream of Kindness - Wear Pajamas


  • 3 - Q2 Report Card Issued
  • 4 - SCHOOL CLOSED - Primary Election Day
  • 11 - Conference Scheduling Closes
  • 11 - PTA Board Meeting: Media Center, 7:00 p.m.
  • 12 thru 14 - PTA sponsored Spring Book Fair (Save the date!)
  • 13 - 3-Hour Early School Closure: Parent-Teacher Conferences (Math)
  • 14 - 3-Hour Early School Closure: Parent-Teacher Conferences (Math)
  • 17 - SCHOOL CLOSED - President's Day

2019-20 HCPSS Calendar - Monthly Format

Click to download and print the HCPSS calendar in a monthly format. The calendar will no longer be distributed in first day folders. The 2019-2020 School Calendar is available to be printed online:

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Redistricting Orientation Meetings:


Redistricted Veterans Students to Northfield Orientation

Northfield Elementary on January 21st at 7:00 p.m.

Redistricted Waterloo and Hollifield Students Orientation

Veterans Elementary on January 23rd at 7:00 p.m.

VES Spirit Week January 28 – 31: GREAT KINDNESS CHALLENGE!

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Wilde Lake Middle School - Cafeteria

10481 Cross Fox Lane
Columbia, MD 21044

Upcoming meetings this school year will be:

February 12, March 11, April 15, May 13, June 10, 2020

All are held at Wilde Lake Middle School from 7-9:00pm

The topic for the SECAC meeting was IEP 101, presented by SECAC Co-Chairs Stephanie Carr and Mai Hall. Attendees learned IEP basics as well as some tips and tricks for navigating the IEP process. Anyone involved in Special Education in Howard County is invited to attend and participate in our meetings including parents, students, caregivers, educators, community partners, service provides and school administrators. We welcome your contribution and meaningful input. For more information contact or visit


HCC 2020 Kids On Campus Summer Enrollment Available Now!

The programs run from June 22 through August 14 with half-day and full-day options.

HCYC Cricket League


New HCPSS Website and System for Emergency Closings:

Effective December 1, HCPSS is launching a color-coding notification system for emergency and other non-scheduled school closings, including for inclement weather. The new system standardizes the school system’s operational status to five possibilities to enhance consistency while promoting the safety of HCPSS students and staff, and adhering to negotiated agreements on staff availability.
If Howard County public schools open two hours late, there is no morning Pre-Kindergarten/RECC.

The HCPSS operating status will be identified on a new website: The HCPSS operational color code options are:

  • Code Green – Normal Operations (in accordance with the HCPSS calendar)
  • Code Red – Schools and Offices Closed
  • Code Orange – Schools Closed; Offices Open with Liberal Leave in Effect
  • Code Blue – Schools Open Two Hours Late
  • Code Yellow – Schools Dismiss Early

All notifications regarding emergency closings will include both the code and operating status.

The emergency notification sources are:

  • HCPSS status website
  • HCPSS homepage
  • Email/text alerts
  • HCPSS Information Hotline (410-313-6666)
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Please note: HCPSS cable TV is no longer a source for inclement weather closings.

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Inclement Weather Information:

I am sure that inclement weather puts a strain on most of our families as we try to ensure that our children are cared for during needed times. Please understand that the school system determines closings based on weather forecasts and the safety of children is our number one concern. If we are closed, that is self-explanatory, we are simply not open for business. When we delay opening by an hour or even two hours like Wednesday, then all business is delayed by one or two hours. Therefore if the announcement is a Code Blue and we are delayed in opening for two hours then school opens at 11:15 a.m. Bus pick up is delayed by two hours as well. So if your child is picked up normally at 8:45 a.m. then a two hour delay moves this to 10:45 a.m. Refer to your bus normal pick up time and delay by the announced delay. If we are one hour late then delay it to one hour. If we are two hours late then delay it by two hours.

Early closings can occur as a two hour early closing or a three hour early closing. Count on your child arriving home two hours earlier or three hours earlier than the usual time. When school closes early, there is no after care program because their use of the building would also be unsafe. When school closes early everyone must leave the premises and after school activities are canceled. Any delay in picking up your children delays my ability to send all staff home. It is crucial we get students home before the conditions of the roads get worse.

These decisions are made as soon as possible and sometimes the night before. During the winter months, it is crucial that as parents we listen closely to pending weather conditions and we check the news stations or the Howard County website to verify whether school is open, closed, delayed, or closing early. Howard County does have communication mechanisms in place to ensure you get a text if you wish about whether school is in session.