December 17, 2020 Newsletter

Thu, 12/17/2020 - 10:49am

Important Dates

December 18 PLES Spirit Day: Pajamas Day!!!

December 24 Winter Break Starts

January 4 School Reopens (Virtual Learning)

January 6 7pm PTA Meeting

January 8 PLES Spirit Day: Blue Day!!!

January 18 No School – MLK Jr. Day

January 22 PLES Spirit Day: Green Day!!!

January 28 End of Quarter 2

January 29 No School – Professional Work Day



From the Principal. . .

Dear Phelps Luck Families,

As the year 2020 comes to a close, I would like to thank our wonderful parents for their partnership

with us as we work together for each child’s success. I know this school year has been very different

and challenging. I feel fortunate to be a part of this amazing Phelps Luck community. I would like to thank all of our parents for your amazing support during virtual learning!!! I would also like to thank all of our teachers and staff. We truly have the best staff in Howard County who work tirelessly for our students!

I am genuinely proud to work at Phelps Luck every day and appreciate all of their efforts!


Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!



Michelle M. Leader



School News


Student Absences: If your child needs to be absent, please send an email to and include the

student’s first and last name, date of absence, and reason for absence. Like when we are in the school building, an absence note is required for all absences. Thank you!


Computer Support:

If you are experiencing issues with your child’s Chromebook, please use the link below to submit the issue to our PLES staff. A staff member will contact you to support you with the issue.

PLES Technology Support


Updates about Asynchronous Assignments:

Families, particularly of primary students, have expressed concerns about the virtual elementary workload including the complexity of asynchronous lessons, the number of content areas taught, and the number of weekly asynchronous assignments. In order to support elementary students with successfully navigating during virtual instruction, the following adjustments have been made:

· Students will only have asynchronous assignments in social studies, science, or health during a given week. There will not be an overlap of instruction or assignments for these content areas.

· Health lessons will be taught for one week during the marking period and include two synchronous lessons and two asynchronous lessons instead of five asynchronous lessons as assigned in the first quarter.

· The length and complexity of social studies, science, and health asynchronous assignments have been reduced.

· Related arts asynchronous assignments have been streamlined.


PLES Title I Schoolwide Program:

Phelps Luck is a Title I Schoolwide Program school. Title I is a federally funded program designed to close achievement gaps and ensure all children have an opportunity to access a high-quality education by providing funding for supplemental academic services and supports. A Family-School Compact & Plan is an agreement between families, students, and teachers that is jointly developed and distributed to all families. It explains how families, students, and teachers will work as a team to make sure all students meet with success and get the support they need to achieve grade level goals. The PLES Family School Compact and Calendar of Events can be found HERE. If you have any questions, please ask your child’s teacher at your upcoming parent teacher conference. If you have any input or feedback, please contact Karen Simcock at or Isaac Clark at


PLES Lunch Bunches:

During this unprecedented time, many of our students are in need of additional social interactions. If you feel your child could benefit from a lunch bunch with Mrs. Jones, School Counselor, or Mrs. Croushler, Social Emotional Learning Lead Teacher, please feel free to email them with your request. These lunch bunches would be a time for a few students to “hang out” together, talk and relax with other students from their grade. Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Croushler will work with you to determine a time that best fits your schedule and your child's needs. We know that our students are seeking these interactions and we are here to help! Please email them at or if you wish to schedule one for your child!


Young Author’s Contest Winners & Participants:

Congratulations to the following students for participating in our Young Author’s Contest!!! We were

excited to have so many students participate. *** denotes the winner for each grade.


Grade 1 – Short Stories:

Aviana O*** Coco's Amazing Day

Habiba M - Traveling to New Jersey

Sarena S-My Puppy and I


Grade 3 – Short Stories:

Juhyeon S - Bun Bon

Tess M -Desert and Death

Emma C - The Animal Rescue

Sage M -  The Autobiography of a Penguin


Grade 3 - Poetry:

Eleanor M -  Sounds of Jackson Pond

Lexi N - Christmas Tree


Grade 4 – Short Stories:

Piper B -  Finding Stuffy

Kakra A -  A Day At The Beach

Gianna C - The Snow Day

Joanna L - The Fish's Point of View

William B - The Magic Chest

Abigail D - The Dragon That Didn't Listen

PLEASE COMPLETE: Family File Information:

Every year HCPSS parents must complete a Family File (electronic emergency card) for each child. HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. Parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child, and can do so by logging in to HCPSS Connect and selecting the “More Options” tab on the left and then clicking on “Family File” from the list. If your child was in an HCPSS school in previous years, you only need to update any changes. Please update/provide the info ASAP. Thank you!!!

PLEASE COMPLETE: Free and Reduced Meal Application: Once you have completed your Family File Information, a screen will pop up asking you to complete the Free and Reduced Meal application. Please complete the FARM application if you think you will qualify or if you have qualified in the past. Qualifying for FARMs provides benefits for meals, reduced Comcast internet fees and much more! Please find the FARM application here.

FREE Grab-and-Go Meals

Grab-and–Go breakfasts and lunches are served Monday through Friday from 8-9am and 10:45am-12:45pm respectively at Phelps Luck. All breakfast and lunch grab-and-go meals are FREE to all students!! Free meals will be provided through the end of the 2020-2021 school year for all children 18 and under.


Weekly Tip from the Instructional Intervention Team:

Many of us have likely noticed changes in our children’s behavior over the past 8 months. Being cooped up at home with an abundance of "together time" can be wonderful, and trying, for all of us at times. Fears and anxiety can also be playing a part in your child's mood and behavior. Here's a recent article from that you may find helpful as you help your child(ren) navigate their emotions. Once you click on the link, you can also access the Spanish version.


News from the Media Center!

Come one, come all...BOOKS that is! Please take a moment to look around your homes for any PLES Media Center books. We would love to get them ready for other students to read when they check them out with our Contact-less Book Check Out system. That's right!! YOU CAN STILL CHECK OUT BOOKS from the PLES Media Center. Cozy up with a good book from our Media Center by following the directions on this link: Requesting Books at PLES You may also take advantage of the great books at the HC Library by clicking on this link: HC Library 2020 Book Lists

Happy Reading!!


Social Emotional Learning Corner:

Positive Language

We all know the way we say something makes a big difference. You can tell when someone says “Hello” to you if they are really happy to see you, or if they are not. Well, our young people can tell how we feel by the words we choose and by the tone we use. Simple changes in our language and tone will increase the positive message we send.


If there is one message, I can send you, it's keep your language as positive as possible! Now, I don’t mean to praise and only praise. Rather:

· Use your young person’s name. Call them by their name, “Damon, would you bring me your schoolwork?” Hearing our name soothes us.

· Say what you want to see or hear. “Crystal, we walk in the house.” Often, we say, “Don't run!” It’s more effective to tell them exactly what you want to see.

· Keep it simple and look at your young person when you are talking with them.

· Think about how your voice sounds when you are saying things. We can say nice things in a rough voice, and that will change how our young people hear it. Try to match the sound your voice makes to the message you want to give.

· Show you accept their feelings, which might be heavy right now. “Ryan, I hear you feel scared to go to bed. We can leave your door open.” Offer something you can do to help soothe them.

· Try to hear them out. OHHH this is hard! Let them finish their sentence before you share.

· Offer alternatives to their behavior: “When I feel frustrated, I like to squeeze a pillow.”

· Tell them you love them, care about them. Use the words because they need to hear it.


Our young people are like sponges looking to us to learn so much. When we talk to them, and talk with them, they learn how to talk to others. They also develop an idea of who they are. If we keep it as positive as possible, they learn we can talk about lots of things, and they can try many things. You are doing great things! Keep up the hard work. We are in this together.


Be well.

Mrs. Croushler


News from the PTA:


Clothing Bin:

Our Clothing Bin is still accessible during the school closure. Please feel free to donate any items to our Clothing Bin in our school parking lot. This is a fundraiser and supports our PTA! Please place all items in a closed trash bag before placing the bag in the bin. Thank you!!!


From the Community


Here is a list of food sources for you to access:


COVID 19 Rent Assistance:

Beginning October 5, 2020, Howard County residents may contact one of the participating providers to complete an application for assistance to pay past due rent and/or mortgage payments and/or to prevent eviction. Maximum assistance per household is 3 months of housing expense. Click here for details.


OMHS Food Pantry

OMHS Food Pantry will be open next week for distribution. For the foreseeable future, we will be distributing on the last WEDNESDAY of every month from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Our upcoming dates are:

Friday, December 18 (3:30-5:30pm)

Wednesday, January 27

Wednesday, February 24

Wednesday, March 31


Columbia Community Care:

This group gives out food at Howard High, Swansfield Elementary, and Oakland Mills Middle on Wednesdays from 5-8pm and Saturdays 10:30am-1:30pm. You can also fill out their form for food and they can deliver as well. Website:

Form for food:


HCC Kids on Campus:

Please share with your school community: HCC’s well-known Kids on Campus program provides enrichment education for youth ages 8 to 17. Topics range from Art from Around the World, Roblox, Nature Explorers, Math enrichment, World Languages, and SAT Prep. HCC Kids on Campus has something for every interest! This could be a great opportunity for students to supplement around content areas they want to learn more about or need support in! Upcoming available courses can be found here. A limited number of scholarships are available for families who need financial aid. If you believe you may be eligible for financial aid, please complete this application and submit it via email to as soon as possible.


More Than Karate!

During the Day!! The solution for virtual school assistance for your kids!

Now Enrolling for 2021! Our business partner, The Okinawan Karate Dojo, is a fully-licensed ChildCare Center by the Maryland State Department of Education. Voted as the #1 Martial Arts School and (one of) The Best ChildCare Facilities in Howard County, they are excited to provide your

kids (kindergarten thru 8th grade) a healthy, safe, and enriching environment where they can receive virtual schooling assistance, spend time with peers, stay physically active, AND have fun! Most important, the dojo's COVID-cautious practices and reviews from current parents who use this service are - EXCELLENT!! Program hours are 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. After Care is available from 4 to 6 pm. In order to keep group sizes small, enrollment is limited. Secure your child’s spot NOW! Email: Call: 443 574 8999 Website: