Newsletter 1/21/21

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 2:16am

Important Dates

January 21 7pm BBMS 6th Grade Orientation (see info below)

January 22 PLES Spirit Day: Green Day!!!

January 27 12-4pm Distribution Day at PLES!!! (see info below)

January 28 End of Quarter 2

January 29 No School – Professional Work Day

Conference Scheduling Opens for Parents (see below)

February 3 9-11am Reading MAP (see below)

February 10 9-11am Math MAP (see below)

Parent Conferences

February 11 Parent Conferences – 3 Hour Early Dismissal

February 12 No School – Staff Work Day

February 15 No School – Presidents’ Day



From the Principal. . .

Dear Phelps Luck Families,


There are many upcoming events in the next several weeks. Please review the dates above and info included in our newsletter carefully. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at



Michelle M. Leader



School News


BBMS 6th Grade Orientation:

BBMS will hold their virtual 6th grade orientation and GT info night on Thursday, January 21st at 7pm


Please join using the google info below.

Phone Numbers

(US)+1 956-363-6071

PIN: 519 863 412#



Distribution Day – Wednesday, January 27th:

We are excited to share that we have additional instructional materials and supplies for ALL grades. The main items we will distribute are math manipulatives/kits to support your child’s daily math instruction.

We have scheduled a distribution day for Wednesday, January 27th from 12-4pm.

ALL families need to come to PLES to pick up materials on this day.

Please know that our number one priority is to ensure safety. We ask that you adhere to the following guidelines:

1. Students and parents/guardians should remain in their cars during the pick-up of materials. Please have a paper to hold up that states your child’s first and last name and grade. We will put items in your backseat or your trunk.

2. Students and parents/guardians who will walk/bike to the school should also adhere to social distancing expectations throughout the process and will be directed by PLES staff upon arrival.

3. Students and parents/guardians must wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times.

Materials Pick Up

Please follow the directions of the staff assisting. You will come down Oldstone Court, go into the car loop and then follow around to go into the bus loop to receive your materials. Please come to PLES according to the schedule below based on your child(ren)’s last name. If you are unable to come at your designated time, please come at a time one of the times below that fits your schedule.

12:00 - 1:00 A – D

1:00 – 2:00 E – K

2:00 – 3:00 L – P

3:00 – 4:00 Q - Z


Coat Drive

In addition, we have gently used coats, gloves and hats to give out. We have sizes 2T through adult sizes. If you and/or your child(ren) are in need of these items, please have a piece of paper with the requested coat size and gender of the person needing the coat. You will be directed to an area of the bus loop where we will be distributing these. Coats, gloves, and hats will be distributed based on availability.


Conference Scheduling:

February 10th and 11th are designated for Parent Teacher Conferences. We will be holding 20 minute conferences. Parent Teacher Conferences are a terrific opportunity for staff and parents to partner together for each child’s success. All conferences will be held virtually with your child’s Math teacher. Your child’s Math teacher will be sending out specifics about this. We encourage you to use your child’s chromebook and login using your child’s credentials.


Once you click on the link, you will be put in a “holding space” until the teacher admits you. Because many conferences will be back-to-back, please only log on one minute before your designated time. If you have technology challenges, check Dojo or email as your child’s teacher will reach out to you that way.

Beginning Friday, January 29th at 8am, you can log into HCPSS Connect to view and select from the time slots provided by the teacher for the conference. If you do not have access to HCPSS Connect, please call the school for assistance at 410-313-6886.


Directions to Select a Conference Time: Login to

Select More Options

Select Conference Scheduling

Select a time slot for your conference.


You will have access through Friday, February 5th at 11:59pm to schedule your child’s conference by logging into HCPSS Connect.


In addition, if you wish to conference with one of your child’s related arts teachers (Media, Music, PE, Art, and Technology), please email the teacher directly to set up a time to conference.


We look forward to conferencing with you about your child’s progress!


MAP Assessment – February 3 and 10

All students in Grades 1-5 will take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Reading Assessment on Wednesday, February 3rd, and the MAP Math Assessment on Wednesday, February 10th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The data from the MAP assessment will help us to measure mid-year academic growth. It may appear that the test is too hard or too easy, but it will adjust to your student’s level as they continue to answer questions on the assessment. The MAP assessment does not affect your child’s grades. It is normal for

students to only answer about half the questions correctly. To learn more about the MAP assessment, please visit:


The Reading and Math MAP Assessments will only be given in the morning, and we ask that parents make plans for your child to attend. Students should be encouraged to stay focused and should answer questions independently. For students who receive accommodations, parents/guardians will be contacted prior to the assessments. Please note the MAP assessment dates with your child's Reading and Math teachers and plan accordingly:


· Reading MAP - Wednesday, February 3rd: 9:00am-11:00am

· Math MAP - Wednesday, February 10th: 9:00am-11:00am


Teachers will share Google Meet information and your student’s testing group as we get closer to the February 3rd.


Telemedicine During Virtual Learning:

On January 4, the School Based Wellness Centers (SBWC) Telemedicine Program reopened. The program focuses on children who do not have health insurance and/or a medical provider. Since the children and students are in their homes, we will not have the use of the telemedicine carts and will be unable to examine ears or perform throat cultures. Parents and guardians may call our office or send an email and program staff will determine if the health complaint can be safely evaluated and if not, assist them in finding a medical provider to see the child in person. There will be no charge for any of the SBWC Telemedicine visits. However, children must be enrolled or willing to enroll in the SBWC Program. Information in English Information in Spanish Enrollment Packet in English Enrollment Packet in Spanish


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.

Link: PLES Technology Support


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!


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.


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:

What is a Calming Corner or Cool Down Place?

A calming corner or cool down place is an area for a young person - or anyone really - to go to when they need a minute. A minute to reorganize themselves, or to settle themselves; maybe a minute to gain control of overwhelming emotions or get some wiggles out. As adults, we have more opportunities to self-advocate for this, and it’s a life skill to teach our young people.


The area will be a space away from learning in a quiet corner or space. In that space, there might be a few fidgets, something soothing like a pillow or stuffed animal, maybe some music or drawing supplies. Some young people may enjoy a specific book or emotion cards to looks at.


Clearly define the rules of this space. These might be some to consider:

· Reason for use

· Amount of time for using

· Only 1 person to use at a time


Here are some ideas to include:

· Squishy toy, stress ball, stuffed animal

· Flip sequin fabric, fuzzy fabric

· large pipe cleaner, chenille steam

· Flat, smooth stone

· Pictures, postcards, or printouts of a favored place and/or images with feeling words

· Pillow, bean bag, soft blanket

· A means to dim the light


Occasionally the adult in the space may need to encourage a young person to use the space. This should not be as a consequence, but a suggestion to help a student clam, soothe or self-organize. You may want to discuss what the adult may say to the young person: “It seems you might need a time to cool down.” or “Would you like a minute to use the cool down space?” Often the young person will know they need the space, and may simply go there, or you may have an agreed upon phrase “It’s cool down time.” or “I think I need to step away for a minute.”


Give yourself, your young person, and your family some grace during this time. Everyone is trying hard.

Be well.

Mrs. Croushler


News from the PTA:


Maryland Green School Certification:

We are very excited to announce that PLES will be applying for Maryland Green Schools certification! "Green Schools" is an in-depth application process to show that our school is dedicated to including environmental education and practicing environmentally-friendly behaviors. We will be kicking off this endeavor with the students on January 22nd - Spirit Day will be Green Day! Help celebrate Green Day with us and your child by completing some simple sustainable practices from our Green Day choice board! (Be on the lookout for this on Green Day!) You may also have seen an invitation to join a Virtual GT Seminar for the GREEN TEAM! Please complete the signup form if your child is interested in learning more and ensuring that PLES goes GREEN. While we are limited to virtual and at-home green activities for now, we are looking forward to getting our hands dirty when we return to school!


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:

Wednesday, January 27

Wednesday, February 24

Wednesday, March 31

Wednesday, April 28


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:

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 via email to as soon as possible.


More Than Karate!

More Than Karate! This program, typically offered by our business partner - Okinawan Karate Dojo - after school at Phelps Luck back again for another session ON-LINE on the ZOOM platform! It is the perfect way to keep YOU and YOUR CHILD(REN) engaged in exercise and character development during this season of recovery! Registration is OPEN until Jan 26th. The 10-class sessions begin Wed Jan 27th...or Mon Feb 1st. Do a 20-class session for the BEST VALUE...beginning Jan 27th. Fun and Structured...enjoy this awesome introduction to the benefits of martial arts training! All classes will be held on-line via ZOOM! Classes on Mondays 4-4:45 or classes on Wednesdays from 3:30-4:15pm. Kids and Adults can participate in up to 2 classes each week!! So convenient for your family! All classes are led by adult Instructors from THE OKINAWAN KARATE DOJO, students will gain improved focus, more respect, and sound self-defense skills! This is available for KIDS and ADULTS! More information and registration is available at:; call: 443-574-8999; or email: For details on their 2021 Virtual Assistance program and year-round FITNESS NINJA CAMP Services, go to - or