Clemens Crossing Cougar Comments

April 27, 2018 - VOLUME 39, ISSUE 29

Events Coming Up

For a complete list of dates and events or to subscribe to the CCES Calendar,


  • 1 - Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Begins
  • 1 - Girls Night Out, 6:30 p.m.
  • 3 - Boys Night Out, 6:30 p.m.
  • 7 - Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week Begins
  • 9 - National School Nurse's Day
  • 9 - Visiting Author: Chris Barton
  • 9 - Screenagers Movie, 6:30 p.m. (see information below)
  • 10 - Kindergarten Field Trip to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
  • 10 - Spring Strings Concert, 6:30 p.m.
  • 10 - Spring Band Concert, 7:30 p.m.
  • 14 - Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, 2:30 p.m.
  • 15 - Rube Goldberg Celebration
  • 16 - PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
  • 17 - Interim Progress Reports Issued
  • 17 - Spring Carnival, 5:00 p.m.
  • 18 - Crazy Hair Day
  • 18 - Schools are Open for a Half Day- Inclement Weather Make-up Day #4
  • 18 - CCES dismisses at 12:45 p.m.
  • 21 - Schoolwide Showcase (Science Fair, Enrichment Fair, PTA Reflections, and Classroom displays), 6:30 p.m.
  • 22 - Middle School Visitation, 9:30 a.m.
  • 23 - Spring Chorus Concert, 7:00 p.m.
  • 24 - Field Day (Rain Date on 5/25)
  • 25 - WLHS Graduation, 2:30 p.m.
  • 28 - Schools Closed - Memorial Day
  • 30 - 5th Grade - Simulated Congressional Hearing
  • 30 - In-School Banking (final for the year)
  • 31 - AHS Graduation, 11:00 a.m.


  • 5 - PTA Restaurant Night - Chick-fil-a - Profits will support our Green School Initiative
  • 8 - Kindergarten End of Year Program and Picnic
  • 12 - REVISION - Full School Day
  • 13 - REVISION - Full School Day
  • 14 - REVISION - Full School Day
  • 14 - Flag Day - Wear red, white, and blue
  • 14 - 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony, 9:30 a.m.
  • 15 - Early Dismissal - All schools close 3-hours early. CCES dismisses at 12:45 p.m.
  • 18 - Early Dismissal - All schools close 3-hours early. CCES dismisses at 12:45 p.m.
  • 19 - Last Day of School - Schools are Open for a Half Day.
    CCES Dismissal at 12:45 p.m. Inclement Weather Make-up Day #5.

From School Administration

As the Fourth Quarter continues, the Clemens Crossing staff is looking ahead to the 2018-19 School Year. As part of this process, we would like to give you the opportunity to share some information that you would like for us to consider about your child(ren) as we begin to make class groupings for the next school year. This consideration form is for you, as parents, to relate specific information about your child that you feel would be beneficial as our teachers meet to determine next year's placement.

When placing students, the staff and administration utilize a wide range of criteria, which are supportive of the Howard County philosophy of heterogeneous grouping. Some of these criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • the personality of the child
  • the balance of female and male students
  • racial diversity
  • written output
  • test results
  • reading strengths and needs
  • Special Education requirements; IEP goals
  • structured versus non-structured needs
  • information from previous teachers and school counselor

There are certain concerns that we cannot consider as part of this Consideration Form: therefore we ask that you not use this form to propose the following:

  • specific teacher requests,
  • grouping based on siblings’ experience,
  • grouping based on friends,
  • grouping based on hearsay.

Your input on this form will be used in our planning for your child rather than a letter requesting a specific teacher. Your response is OPTIONAL but is a very valuable source of information to the school staff and to the next teacher.

The form closes on May 18th. Thank you for your help at this busy time of year.
The time, thought, and commitment put into the completion of this forms is appreciated.

To access the consideration form, click this link or complete the form below.

Final Updated Calendar for 2017-18

The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) will extend its school year by two days to make up for inclement weather closings. The last day of school for students will now be Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

HCPSS schools were closed seven days this year due to inclement weather, two more than were accounted for in the school calendar. The Maryland State Board of Education (MSDE) voted on April 24 to deny a request by HCPSS to waive the two make-up days. Subsequently, the Howard County Board of Education voted on April 24 to extend the school year by two days.

The final, updated calendar for June includes:

  • Monday, June 11 - Thursday, June 14: Full days of school for all students.
    • High school exams:
      • June 11: 1 exam
      • June 12 – 14: 2 exams
  • Friday, June 15 - Tuesday, June 19: All schools dismiss three-hours early. No half-day Pre-K/RECC.
  • Tuesday, June 19: Last Day of School for students.

No new graded work will be assigned at any level June 15–19.

An updated version of the HCPSS calendar is available at

Spring Concerts on Twitter and Periscope

If you cannot attend the Spring Concerts in person, we have the next best thing. You can listen to and see the concerts live on Periscope through our Twitter feed. Simply visit at the respective times to listen and see the concert. Feel free to share the information with family and friends.

  • Strings - May 10 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Band - May 10 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Chorus - May 23 at 7:00 p.m.

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Visiting Author, Chris Barton, Coming to CCES

Thanks to the generous support of our PTA, author, Chris Barton, will be visiting CCES on Wednesday, May 9. Chris has worked on more than a dozen books for children.
He will be presenting to all grades during his visit.

This year, we invite you to purchase books on your own and send them to the school for Chris to autograph. The books will be returned to the students the afternoon of his visit or the following Thursday.

Please attach a copy of this form (link below) when you send a book, or books, to the school. Media staff will respond with an email confirmation when we receive the books. The deadline is Friday, May 4.

Thank you,

Christy Marshall, Lauren Farrelly, and Lisa Lang

Library Media Center


About the Author

Chris Barton has been writing stories since he was in elementary school in Texas. At that time, his inspirations were Star Wars, the Muppets, and a collection of monster books he checked out from the school library. He continued writing through high school and college. Chris lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, kids, and dog.

Arrival Reminder

Please be sure students arrive on time. Students should be in their seats by 9:15 a.m. Students who arrive after 9:15 a.m. are considered late and must be signed in by an adult in the office.

Arrival and Dismissal Safety is Everyone's Responsibility

Please be sure to follow our arrival and dismissal procedures. We have noticed people rushing and not following these procedures. We are concerned for our students' safety when these procedures are not followed. Arrival and dismissal safety is everyone's responsibility.
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Lost and Found

Are you missing a jacket or sweatshirt? There is a very good chance your child's missing clothing is in our Lost & Found. The Lost & Found is located in the front hallway across from the Music Room. Please be sure to check the Lost & Found soon.
We will donate all items to a local charity if they are not claimed. The donation date will be May 17.

Are You Moving and Not Returning to CCES for the 2018-19 School Year?

If you know that you will be relocating over the Summer, please notify CCES Front Office as soon as possible at 410-313-6866 or email Mrs. Aballo at You will need to sign a release of records form to ensure that your child’s new school receives the records before the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. During the school year, transfer packets take a minimum of 24 hours to prepare. As we do not have a full registration staff during the summer, transfer packets and records may take longer to get to you and new school(s).

Elementary Solo and Ensemble Festival

We would like to congratulate the students who performed at the Howard County Elementary Solo and Ensemble Festival on Saturday, April 21. The students either prepared a solo, played in duets, or trios. They received valuable feedback on their performance. We are very proud of the following students who represented our school:

  • Matthew Cambridge
  • Dominic Cruz
  • Mamie Curran
  • Catherine Fischer
  • Felicia Freund
  • Michael Hanshaw
  • Cedric Hotopp
  • Daniel Huang
  • Brandon Jeon
  • Galvin Lah
  • Andrew Manney
  • Christina Nelson
  • Lily Pang
  • Sarah Pang
  • Allison Patrick
  • Emma Riggin
  • Magnolia Rinehart
  • Veronica Rivera
  • Jackson Rosenblum
  • Emily Rowe
  • Sean Tiffany
  • AnnaBeth Tsai-Turton
  • Bryan Wang
  • Keira Wilkie
  • Sophia Xu

A Friendly Reminder for Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade Parents

With the warmer Spring weather finally here, the Clemens Crossing Health Room asks that you please provide a climate appropriate change of clothes for your student to be available during the day. We ask that each Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade student have an extra pair of pants, underwear, socks, and a shirt that will be kept in their classroom cubbies. Please place the clothes in a zip lock bag with your student's name clearly printed on the front of the bag. Thank you in advance and have a happy and healthy Spring!

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Yearbook Pre-order

It’s time to pre-order the 2017-18 CCES Yearbook! It is a full color soft cover book that was created by CCES 5th Graders with the help of Mrs. Rausch and Mrs. Register.
The price is $20 until May 5th. After May 5th, it goes up to $24.
Please order using the link below. If you are unable to order online, contact

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Screenagers Movie

Wednesday, May 9th, 6:30pm

10320 Quarterstaff Road

Columbia, MD

As part of the Whole Child, Whole Health PTA School of Excellent Initiative, the PTA is sponsoring the viewing of the Screenagers Movie. This event is reserved for all parents of CCES students, as well as students in Grades 4 and 5 who attend CCES. Older siblings of CCES students are welcome as well. The event will take place in the Cafeteria at Clemens Crossing ES on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. To view the movie trailer, click the link below.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

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Screen Free Week - April 30-May 6, 2018*

From April 30-May 6, 2018, children, families, entire schools, and communities will rediscover the joys of life beyond the screen. Plan to unplug from digital entertainment and spend all that free time playing, reading, daydreaming, creating, exploring, and connecting with family and friends!

Please find 101 Screen-Free activities and an activity log below. If you participate in the Screen-Free Week, complete the activity log and turn it into your teacher to get a ROARing event.
*except for work and school assignments

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Planning for the 2018-19 School Year

The Clemens Crossing PTA needs your help! The PTA is looking for volunteers to fill several open positions for the 2018-2019 school year. Many committees are short-term commitments (planning one event) and several can be done on your own time, without having to come to regular meetings or events. In fact, many positions are filled by several people who work as a team to plan the event. We warmly welcome all who may be interested -- it can be lots of fun to be more involved! Currently, the PTA is looking for volunteers for the positions/events described below.

If you have questions about any of the positions, please contact a member of our nominating committee (Risa Carlson --, Hyung Chang --, or Dani Gardner --

Board Positions:

1st Vice President - Work closely with the PTA president to set annual priorities and goals; Represents president at events or meetings if necessary; Plans PTA social activities including Family Fun Night, back to school family picnic, roller-skating night.

Treasurer - Deposits money received from events. Manages accounts, fills out tax documentation, end-of-the year audit.

Recording Secretary - Responsible for recording minutes and meeting attendance at PTA meetings and preparing minutes to be presented for approval at the following meeting.

Corresponding Secretary - Sends thank you notes to all event sponsors and teachers, get well cards, birthday cards, condolence cards as necessary.

PTA Council of Howard County Representative - PTA Council delegates are the all-important communication link between the CCES PTA and the PTA Council. CCES’ representative attends monthly PTACHC meetings and relays information at CCES PTA meetings.

SIT Representative - Each school has a School Improvement Team made up of school staff, parents and/or other community members, which oversees the process of improving instruction and academic performance in that school. The SIT is charged with developing a school improvement plan that serves as a tool for reviewing school progress, appropriately adjusting instruction, and delineating responsibility for implementation. The CCES PTA's SIT representative acts as a liaison between the PTA and the SIT. The SIT representative attends meetings with the SIT and provides updates on the schools progress against established goals at PTA meetings.

Committee Chairperson Positions:

Bingo Night – Coordinates Bingo night in the Fall -- organizes volunteers and staff member mystery callers, purchases refreshments and prizes.

Bulletin Board - Designs, decorates and updates the PTA Bulletin Board in the front lobby of the school.

CAC Representative - The CAC is the Community Advisory Council to the Board of Education of Howard County. The CAC meets one evening a month and facilitates communication between the Board and the community on issues of concern and matters involving education. The CAC Representative is a liaison between the CCES PTA and the Board of Education.

Career Day - Supports the guidance counselor during Career Day for Grades 3 to 5. Needs to be on-site for the entire career day (8:15 am to 2:00 pm). Guidance counselor recruits speakers and develops the schedule for the day. Committee Chairperson organizes volunteers for the day, orders and sets up breakfast and lunch for the speakers, helps volunteers check in speakers and direct them to the appropriate classroom, and cleans up at the conclusion of the event.

Communications - Oversees communication of PTA information to parents, teachers, and community including: creating/editing PTA new for Cougar Comments, helping update PTA bulletin board, coordinating the management of content with Website and Social Media Chairs. Creativity and writing skills are great skills for this position.

Diversity- - Maintains the showcase at the entrance of the school with displays for Black History Month, Native American Heritage Month, Women's History Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, etc. Creates opportunities to involve and support the diverse international backgrounds and religions in our CCES community.

Fitness and Health - Organizes a team from CCES to run in the Howard County 5K. Plans and organizes Family Fit Night in January. Arranges a possible CCES Orioles Night at Camden Yards.

Newcomers - Coordinates the Family Mentoring Program: identifies volunteers at each grade level who would be willing to host playdates and answer questions for new families joining our CCES Community.

Policy - Advises the PTA on policies and legal issues and facilitates bylaw update process (bylaws are updated every three years).

School Supplies - In early April, receive school supply list for the following year from the Secretary. E-mail representative from a supplier and begin the process for new school supply packages. Kick off online ordering and advertise in CCES Cougar Comments.
In August, coordinate arrival of packs for distribution on Open House in late August.

Spirit Wear - Coordinates sale of spirit wear including identifying merchandise to be included in sale and working with vendor, collecting orders and payments, and distributing merchandise.

Spring Carnival - Coordinates annual school carnival which includes securing food/entertainment vendors, purchasing prizes, coordinating games and mobilizing volunteers (parents and local high school students) to run the games.

Talent Show - Organizes school talent show including creating and distributing flier, overseeing auditions, creating program schedule, advertising event to CCES community, and overseeing activities on event night.

Volunteer Coordinator - Oversees CCES volunteer activity. Creates a spreadsheet of who volunteers for which committee at the beginning of the year, answers questions about volunteer opportunities within the PTA and coordinates the assembly of the first day folders. Also, serves as POC for Room Parents. Works with President and administration to schedule Fall and Spring Room Parent Meetings

Teacher Appreciation Week

Staff Appreciation Week (May 7-11) is coming up soon! This is a fun week where we get to say, “thank you” for all that our amazing teachers and staff do for our children. The PTA and room parents have organized a number of activities for the staff throughout the week and there are many ways for students and families to participate.

Here are three ways to be involved and help shower our staff with appreciation!

Homeroom Teachers: Look for a message from your room parent with details about activities for your child’s homeroom teacher. This will likely include collecting for a class gift, and organizing days for your child to bring in a flower, a note, a treat, etc. Also, each class is “adopting” another staff member or two, to bring a flower, note, treat, etc. daily. If you don’t know your room parent please look here!

Related Arts and other teachers: Help show non-homeroom teachers some love by offering to buy a gift card and send a note to them. Sign up here.

All CCES Staff: The PTA organizes daily activities for the entire CCES staff. Follow this link to see the planned activities for this year and sign up to donate meals and prizes and/or volunteer your time.

We have A LOT planned and wanted to make it easy to participate —in any way that works for your family. Please do not feel obligated to participate in every planned activity. If your family would prefer to give an individual gift or some other kind gesture to show your appreciation to a homeroom teacher or other staff member, that is wonderful, too!

Cereal Collection for Grassroots

What's your favorite cereal? Next time you're at the grocery store, pick up an extra box of your favorite cereal to donate to Grassroots*. The collection will be May 14-18. (For questions, contact

*Grassroots provides supportive and professional 24-hour crisis intervention, suicide prevention, shelter, and outreach services to individuals and families experiencing a personal, situational, mental health, or shelter crisis.

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HCPSS Community News and Programs on the HCPSS website

Announcements of upcoming events and programs sponsored by non-profit organizations.

Note: The Public Information Office encourages all community organizations to distribute notices electronically through this online resource. However, organizations may choose to distribute printed documents, such as the 2018 Parent Guide, through student backpacks, etc. per the provisions of HCPSS Policy 10010. For more information, please refer to Distribution Guidelines for Schools. Contact the Public Information Office with any questions, at 410-313-6682 or

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