Bushy Bear Tales

Volume 10 - January 18, 2019

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From Mrs. Ketterer:

Thank you for your support during the different schedules needed to respond to inclement weather events! We have had two snow days, and two delayed openings.

There is plenty of winter weather ahead so we have prepared our schedules to maximize consistency of instructional time. We also have worked on our procedures for early closing. Thank you for your feedback, it helps us continue to improve our response!

Information for Schedules for Two-Hour Delayed Openings:
We have created a Master Schedule that ensures that mathematics and reading instruction take place. Our staff collaborated on the schedule and academic specialists have adapted their schedules to provide instructional support.

Our lunch and recess times remain the same on two-hour delayed opening days as they do for our regular schedule. Recess is indoors.

Related Arts classes are 30 minutes long and will only include the second class on your child's schedule (if they had two that day.) The times for Related Arts are:
  • Kindergarten- 2:25-2:55 p.m.
  • 1st Grade- 2:55-3:25 p.m.
  • 2nd Grade- 1:25-1:55 p.m.
  • 3rd Grade- 11:25-11:55 a.m.
  • 4th Grade- 11:55-12:25 p.m.
  • 5th Grade- 12:25-12:55 p.m.

Information for Future Early Closings

As soon as we learn that HCPSS is closing early, we will send a customized message of the exact time BPES closes. We will also work on the following:

  • Give teachers an updated copy of Emergency Closing dismissal option parents have noted on HCPSS Connect.
  • Contact parents who sent in green notes to verify the choice for their child's dismissal
  • Inform all students of the way they will go home.
  • Increase staff support at dismissal to continue verification of correct dismissal procedures.
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  • 21 SCHOOLS CLOSED-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • 24 International Night 6:00-8:00 p.m. throughout 1st Floor and in Cafeteria
  • 28 End of 3rd Quarter: SCHOOLS CLOSE 3 Hours Early- Professional Work Day
  • 28 FQMS 6th Grade Parent Information Night @ 6:00 p.m.
  • 29 4th Grade Winter Concert: Chorus/Band/Strings @ 7:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria


  • 5 SCHOOLS CLOSED- Countywide Professional Learning Day
  • 6 2nd Quarter Report Cards Issued
  • 7 First Grade Snow Day @ 9:30 a.m. in the Cafeteria
  • 7 GMS 6th Grade Parent Information Night @ 6:30 p.m. GT Info Session @ 5:30 p.m.(RESCHEDULED from 1.17.19)
  • 8 Sweetheart Dance in the Cafeteria (Time TBD)
  • 12 PTA Meeting @ 7:00 p.m. in the Media Center
  • 13 Fifth Grade Field Trip to Baltimore Aquarium @ 9:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m.
  • 14 Valentine Celebrations AM (Times- TBD)
  • 14 Parent/Teacher Conferences @ 1:00-7:30 p.m.
  • 15 Parent/Teacher Conferences @ 1:00-7:30 p.m.
  • 18 SCHOOLS CLOSED-Presidents' Day
  • 21 Junior Achievement Day

Families Affected by the Government Shutdown

Howard County families who have lost pay due to the shutdown may immediately apply for the Free and Reduced-Priced Meals (FARMs) program, the HCPSS Food and Nutrition Office will determine your eligibility status within 24-48 hours. Families that would not ordinarily qualify for the FARMs program could be eligible for the remainder of the school year because of the current loss of income.

Families that are adversely impacted, including those who do not receive FARMs assistance, will have the remainder of the school year to pay off any meal balances incurred during the government shutdown.

Request from the Art Department

Our art teachers are requesting empty cereal boxes and large tissue boxes for an upcoming project! Thank you for saving those and sending them in!

Request for Indoor Recess Games

In your winter cleaning, If you come across board games or legos that are in need to a good home, please send them in. Since we have had many indoor recess days, we are looking to refresh game, puzzles and lego choices for the students. Thank you for your consideration!
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Strengthening Communication When Your Child Is Absent

When your child is absent, there is an option within Synergy to ensure that you are notified that they are not in school. This is a helpful checks and balances measure, especially when combined with writing a green note and/or doctor's note for an excused absence.

This option needs to be activated by each parent within their account. The instructions are below. Thank you for taking the time to activate that.

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Parent Volunteers Needed

The Carson Reading Room sign up is now available for January. We encourage you to sign up for consecutive times with different grade levels. Thank you for your support!

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Message for Parents of Future 3-Year Olds

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Message for Parents of our Future Kindergarteners

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Do you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, 2019?

Do you have a neighbor who has a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, 2019?

If you said yes, to either question above, please review and/or share this information.

Please join us for an information session about kindergarten

in the Howard County Public School System.

At this workshop you will learn:

  • Expectations for school readiness (and receive a Ready for Kindergarten toolkit).
  • Details about the kindergarten program.
  • Information about HCPSS kindergarten registration.
  • Ways that families and children can be supported during the transition to kindergarten.

Sessions are designed for adults only. Child care is available for children ages 2 and older. Doors will open at 6 p.m. to allow time for parking, child care drop off, and check-in. Sessions begin promptly at 6:30. We anticipate large crowds so please allow yourself ample time.

Choose a session that is convenient for you. No registration required.

All sessions will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 23
Oakland Mills High School, 9410 Kilimanjaro Road, Columbia

Thursday, January 24
Centennial High School, 4300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City

Wednesday, January 30
Hammond High School, 8800 Guilford Road, Columbia

If Howard County public schools are closed for inclement weather, that day’s session is canceled.

To learn more information about preparing for Kindergarten, visit the following page on the HCPSS website: https://www.hcpss.org/enroll/kindergarten/

Kindergarten registration begins Monday, March 11 in person and online.

Message for Parents of our Future 6th Graders

Recently you received a letter from your child’s future administrator welcoming them and you to middle school next year! The communication you received included:

· A Welcome Letter with details and explanation.

· A handout sharing the Middle School Schedule in Detail.

· A Music Performance Enrollment Form for Rising 6th Grade Students

As part of the transition process, the middle schools are hosting a 6th Grade Parent Orientation Night. Each school will hold a collaborative information session. You will have an opportunity to learn about the middle school program and ask questions.

The dates for each school are:

· Folly Quarter Middle School Monday, January 28th @ 6:00 p.m.

· Glenwood Middle School Thursday, February 7th @ 6:30 p.m.

Prior to the Parent Orientation Nights, you are asked to please return the Music Performance Enrollment Form to your child’s homeroom teacher. These forms need to be returned no later than Friday, January 18th.

· Even if your child will be opting out of any music performance class options, we need you to return the form indicating that.

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Leo Club Thanks!

We would like to take a moment to thank everyone that helped out with the bake sale this past Friday evening at BINGO NIGHT. It was a HUGE success. The club made $415.00. This money will be used to pay for the 10 fleece blankets that the students just made and donated to John Hopkin's Hospital. It will also be used to help with the cost of the benches that we will be getting this summer from our bottle cap drive.

The extra baked goods that we had leftover (which wasn't that much compared with what we started with) were donated to the Glenwood and Lisbon fire departments and our BPES staff.

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Weather Guidelines for Outdoor Recess

Exercise outdoors is healthy and is strongly encouraged. It provides a break from the regular school routine, a chance to get some outside air, and an opportunity to run off excess energy.

If conditions preclude the full recess time, even a five-minute break can revitalize children and prepare them for more sitting and academic learning. Children are expected to wear warm clothing to protect them during cold weather when participating in recess or outside activities.

The decision to go out or stay in for recess is the decision of the Administrator at individual schools. However, the following are to be considered in determining if recess is to be held outside:

  • Temperature and Windchill
  • Age of students
  • Length of time outdoors
  • Adequacy of the children’s clothing
  • Condition of the playground
  • Falling precipitation (more than a sprinkle or mist)

Generally, it is assumed that students will be outside for recess when the temperature combined with the wind chill is not less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Children with certain health conditions may need special accommodations during extremely cold weather. Parents of those children should provide medical documentation and may be consulted to determine if other arrangements are necessary.

Upcoming PTA Events

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BPES Spirit Days 2018-2019

Flag Day: Friday, June 14

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HCPSS Community News and Programs

This link contains community notices which are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Howard County Public School System.