Veterans Elementary Eagle Express

February, 2020 - Volume 13, Issue 20

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.


Dear Parents and Community Members,

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity typically peaks between December and February and can continue into May. School custodians do a wonderful job of keeping our schools clean, but the spread of flu and other illnesses in a school building is a concern for all parents and school staff.

Additionally, there has been a lot of attention in the news and on social media related to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This is an evolving situation, and HCPSS will follow the guidance of the CDC and Howard County Health Department who will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.

The school system recently posted information on the website related to the spread of Influenza and ILI viruses as well as information from the CDC related to the Coronavirus.

If you have concerns regarding your child’s health, please contact the school Nurse.

Parent Conferences:

Next week on February 13th and 14th, teachers will offer Math Conferences for Grades 1-5 and General Conferences for Kindergarten. Most teachers will conference from about 1:15 pm on Thursday until 7:15 pm or so. If teachers do not do Thursday evening conferences, they will be available on Friday from 1:15 pm until 4:00 pm. Parents may sign up for conferences based on the schedule for their child's math teacher for Grades 1-5 and Kindergarten homerooms. Please remember that if you wish to conference with your child's teacher at other times during the year, please email your child's teacher directly. Phone conferences are also an option.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • 3 - Q2 Report Cards 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


  • 9 thru 13 - Registration SY2020 - 2021 Kindergarten and In-coming New Grade1 (info to follow)

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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Register for Parent/Teacher Conferences - Open!

  • Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for February 13 and 14.
  • Conferences will be with your child's Math Teacher.
  • In order to schedule conferences, you will need to login to HCPSS Connect.
  • HCPSS Connect will open to schedule your conferences on Thursday, January 30.
  • Conference scheduling will be open until Tuesday, February 11.
  • The directions for parent conference registration linked here from the HCPSS website. You can also download the directions from the icon below.
  • If you have any questions, please call the front office at 410-313-1700.
  • Please note: This is the second of two conference periods for the school year.
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The VES Staff Social/Wellness Committee invites students to join in a few activities

Wellness Wednesdays

We invite students to join their teachers in wearing athletic clothing on Wednesdays to help promote movement into our school day.

Thoughtful Thursdays

On Thursdays in February, please send your child wearing shirts with positive sayings on them. Please join us in spreading encouraging words and good vibes all around our school!

School Spirit Fridays

Starting Friday, February 28th, we will have school spirit days on the final Friday of the month. Please send your kids wearing red/white/blue or in any spirit wear you have purchased.

Mark your calendars for Feb 28th, March 27th, April 24th, and May 29th.



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


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, 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.