Falcon Newsletter 2-2-23

Thu, 02/02/2023 - 8:55am

Important Dates

February 2                      2:00-2:45pm Virtual Family Involvement Team Meeting - see info below

                                    6-7pm Grade 2 Math Night

February 3                      Spirit Day:  Dress for Success Day

February 8                      100th Day of School!!!

February 9                      Conferences:  3 Hour Early Dismissal Day

February 10                    Conferences:  3 Hour Early Dismissal Day

February 16                    6:00-7:30pm Food Pantry

February 20                    No School - Presidents Day


From the Principal. . .

Dear Phelps Luck Families, 


Congratulations to our chorus, band and strings students!  Our concert last Thursday night at Howard High School was FANTASTIC!!!!  Our students were amazing and loved performing on the big stage!!!  Thank you to Mrs. Yi, Mrs. Strawley, and Mr. Rea for their terrific support of our students and thank you to ALL of the staff that assisted!!!  It was a great night of celebrating our students and all they have accomplished musically so far this year!!!


Thank you, 

Michelle M. Leader



School News


Parent Teacher Conferences:

February 9th and 10th are designated for Parent Teacher Conferences.  We will be holding 20 minute conferences. All conferences will be held with your child’s Math teacher.  


Conferences on February 9th in the afternoon will be in person and conferences in the evening will be virtual.  On February 10th, all conferences will be virtual. The google link code will be sent to you with your confirmation email.  Your child’s Math teacher will be sending out specifics about this google link as well. If you wish to have a conference with any of our related arts teachers, please email them directly.


For virtual conferences, once you enter the google code or 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.  You can also call the office for assistance.


From Friday, January 27th at 8:00am through Friday, February 3rd at 4:00pm, 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 hcpss.org/connect

Select Conference from the left-side choices

Select Parent Scheduled Conferences at the top right

Select a time slot for your conference.


Winter MAP Testing Dates:

To measure your student's growth during this year, we will administer the Winter MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) beginning Monday, January 30th. The Winter MAP window ends on February 24th. Regular attendance is essential for student success. Please make sure that your student is on time and present on the day their class is scheduled to take the assessment. Here are the dates:


Grade 1

Monday, 1/30 - 9:30 AM - Reading: Brogan, Eads, Dungan

Tuesday, 1/31 - 9:30 AM - Reading: Adams, Bae, Johnson

Wednesday, 2/1 - 12:30 PM - Math: Brogan, Eads, Dungan

Thursday, 2/2 - 12:30 PM - Math: Adams, Bae, Johnson


Grade 2

Monday, 1/30 - 1:20 PM - Math: Bennett, Kline, Green

Tuesday, 1/31 - 1:20 PM - Math: Crockett, Smith

Wednesday, 2/1 - 9:30 AM- Reading: Bennett, Kline, Green

Thursday, 2/2 - 9:30 AM - Reading: Crockett, Smith


Grade 3

Tuesday, Feb. 7 - 9:15 AM - Math: All 3rd Grade 

Tuesday, Feb. 14 - 9:15 AM - Reading: All 3rd Grade 


Grade 4

Thursday, Feb. 2 - 9:15 AM - GT Math: 4th Grade

Monday, Feb. 6 - 9:15 AM - Math: 4th Grade 

Monday, Feb. 13 - 9:15 AM - Reading: All 4th Grade 


Grade 5

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – 10:30 AM - Math: All 5th Grade

Wednesday, Feb. 15 – 10:15 AM - Reading: All 5th Grade 


Family Involvement 

Family Involvement Meeting Thursday Feb. 2, 2023 @ 2:00-2:45


Join administration, staff, and other family members in a conversation about the Gifted and Talented Program in HCPSS and how it looks at PLES. We will also look at the state and local assessments your children participate in throughout the year. We would love for you to join us virtually.


RSVP via Google Survey: https://forms.gle/ap5UmTHD988eq6Dc7


Google Meet code: https://meet.google.com/cmj-efth-rpk?hs=122&authuser=0 


Opting In to School Text Messages

If you wish to “opt-in” to receive PLES and HCPSS texts with emergency information or reminders, please follow the directions below:

Send a text to the number: 67587

Text “Yes” in the message.

Reply “Yes” when prompted if you want to “opt-in”.


PLES Spelling Bee

Congratulations to all the 4th and 5th graders who participated in the Spellig Bee!  They all did a fantastic job!


Our winner was Lexi Nguyen from Ms. Kanu's class. Our runner-up is Sophie Tang from Ms. Kempner's class. Congratulations to Lexi Nguyen and best of luck in the county-wide spelling bee!! 

Spelling Bee Class Winners 2022-2023






Jeremy Eargle

Alexa Fasinski


Manu Rassikh

Kharis Bofah


Eden Powell

Bismah Asgar


Sophie Tang 

Taneesh Patel


Afomia Manale

Annabelle Huynh


Pheben Mitiku

Adira Kelly


Nolan Hurd 

Gideon Opoku 


Lexi Nguyen

Lola Hicks


Chloe Huang

Micah Seliger


Sage Mattingly

Jeremy Fener


Free and Reduced Priced Meals:                                                                                     

Please complete the form at the link below to apply for free or reduced priced lunch for your child.  We will continue to have free breakfast for everyone this year; however, lunch is not free anymore unless you qualify.  Lunch will cost $2.80 this year.



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. The Family File for this year is now available.  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!!!


Once logged in, you will be asked to update or provide the following information:

  • Student Information
  • Parent/Guardian Contact
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Medical Information
  • Arrival/Dismissal Procedures
  • Photo Approval
  • Data Confidentiality
  • PTA/PTSA Directory

Gifted and Talented (G/T) Summer Institutes for Talent Development

​​The Gifted and Talented (G/T) Summer Institutes for Talent Development offers additional advanced-level instruction and enrichment experiences not regularly available during the academic school year for students entering grades 1-8. Rigorous instruction focusing on talent development is offered in mathematics, science, social studies, language arts, technology and fine arts.


No testing nor prior G/T coursework is required for enrollment in these enrichment offerings.


Students may attend for Session 1, Session 2, or both sessions. While the program is half-day, before and after care is available on site via Howard County Recreation and Parks.


Also, new this year, the G/T Summer Institutes will offer limited bus transportation to area collector stops.


Financial assistance is available for students participating in the Free and Reduced Meal Program.


Families of HCPSS students may enter registration requests through HCPSS Connect between February 1 at 6 p.m. and February 15 at 6 p.m.


For more information on how to register, please visit the HCPSS Summer Programs page.


Contact: GTSummer@hcpss.org or 410-313-6671.


Bowie Baysox Reading Program:

This year Phelps Luck will be participating in the Bowie Baysox “Read & Hit a Home Run” Reading Program!  When students complete the program by reading four (4) books either inside or outside of the classroom, they will receive two (2) free tickets to your county’s reading night at a Bowie Baysox game this season. This will be for a game in May. 


We are entering the second stage of this year’s program, which is the JERSEY DESIGN CONTEST and READING!


Please see the pdf document for the Jersey Design Contest. Designs need to be submitted by February 3. Designs can be scanned (high resolution & color) and e-mailed to Dani at dfox@baysox.com, mailed (please do not fold) or dropped off at our offices at Prince George’s Stadium. Proceeds from an auction of game-worn jerseys will be donated to the winning designer’s school.  




Kindergarten Ready Summit:


The Kindergarten Ready Summit will be held at Harriet Tubman on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 10:30 am.  The theme is Kindergarten Ready:  Connecting the Community.  There is no cost, but we ask anyone planning to attend use the following link to register: 


Early Dismissal Request:

If you are signing your child out early for an appointment or other reason, please do so prior to 3:00pm.  Our dismissal is very busy and our Front Office staff need to focus on the safe dismissal of our students.  Thank you for your assistance!


Community Center Parking:

Please refrain from parking in the parking lot at the community center that is next to PLES any time throughout the day.  The parking there is for the community center and is not intended for our families.  The community center may have cars towed if needed.  Thank you for your assistance!


Neighborhood Parking:

We know there are times when you cannot find a parking space on school property.  If this is the case, please refrain from parking in front of any of the neighbor’s driveways or in places that restrict our neighbors from driving through.  We appreciate your assistance with this!


School Lunch Update:

We wanted to highlight that there are many new menu items this year.  In addition, the salad bar is open again, which includes various fresh fruits and vegetables.  One change is that pizza is NOT an option every day like it has been in the past.  Be sure to check out the menu at https://hcpss.nutrislice.com to assist your child with knowing the choices. Please note, that due to various food shortages, adjustments may have to be made to the daily choices.  It is a good idea to discuss a first choice and second choice with your child in case one of the noted choices is not available that day.


Student Clothing, Lunchboxes, and Water Bottles:

Each year, we have many items in our Lost and Found.  At times, the pile is HUGE!  Please consider labeling all of their clothing, lunchbox and water bottle.  This helps us to return items to the children.  Please have your child look at the items on the rack in the front hallway for any lost items.  Please see the Dojo message that was sent out earlier this week with pictures of the items that are currently in our Lost and Found.


HCPSS Calendar                                                                                               

Please use the links below to access the HCPSS calendar for the year.  It includes all days that students do not attend school.  https://www.hcpss.org/f/news/calendars/calendar-202223.pdf

Student Absences

Just a reminder that parents/guardians must turn in a note if the child is absent.  The note needs to include the student’s name, date absent, reason for absence, and parent/guardian signature.  We also accept these notes through an email address.  Please email PLESabsence@hcpss.org with the same information if you prefer this format.  All notes need to be submitted/turned in within 2 days of the student returning to school.


Outdoor Eating

HCPSS has outdoor eating again this year.  If you wish for your child to eat outdoors when weather and supervision permits, please email Mrs. Leader at michelle_leader@hcpss.org.  We add students to begin on Mondays.


PLES School Counselor Support

The counseling team is providing the opportunity for you to refer your student to talk to a school counselor.  If your student is experiencing something at home, struggling with school, or could just use an adult connection, please feel free to complete the Request for Counseling Services form .  We are here to support your students with anything that may be getting in the way of their learning and being the best falcon they can be.  Once the form is completed, counselors will connect with your and your student, as they are able.  Please feel free to contact Andrea Stremmel, School Counselor, at 410.313.6886 or andrea_stremmel@hcpss.org with any questions or concerns.


News from the PTA: 

Raise Right E-Gift Card Fundraising Program

Starting right now, you can earn fundraising dollars for Phelps Luck PTA by participating in our RaiseRight (formerly Scrip) program! This easy-to-use program means you earn fundraising dollars by purchasing electronic gift cards to an extensive list of large businesses (Target, Amazon, Giant, Old Navy, Lowes, etc.) and a percentage of that sale is returned to the PTA as fundraising dollars. This program is great for holiday shopping and will be ongoing throughout the year. Visit https://www.raiseright.com/enroll and look for “Join an existing program”. Enter our Enrollment Code: BRWAATM9HK7P and click “Join a Program”.


Clothing Bin:

Our Clothing Bin is still accessible all school year long!  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

Family Read the Rainbow Book Club: FAMILY Read the Rainbow - Love Without Bounds, Saturday, February 11th @ 1:00pm - Join us virtually in partnership with CARY (Community Allies of Rainbow Youth) to meet authors LaToya Council, Chelsea Johnson, and Carolyn Choi for a reading of their book Love Without Bounds. The first 50 registered families will receive a copy of both Love Without Bounds and Intersection Allies. This is part of the FAMILY Read the Rainbow book club. Learn more here. To participate, register here.


Here is a list of resources for you to access:


Columbia Community Care:

This group gives out food at the Long Reach Village Center, Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, and Oakland Mills Middle School on Wednesdays from 5-8pm and Saturdays 10:30am-1:30pm.  If you need food delivered fill out the form for food and they can deliver or you may have someone pick up for you as well. 

Website:  http://columbiacare.live/


Form for food:



OMHS Food Pantry

The OMHS Food Pantry is open the last Wednesday of the month unless otherwise noted, from 3:00 - 5:00pm. You will need to bring a photo ID. Please do not arrive prior to 2:30pm to allow for student dismissal. Also, please remain in your car and a volunteer will come to your vehicle.   More info can be found at the link below:



The Food Pantry will be open on the following dates:


  • February 22, 2023
  • March 29, 2023
  • April 26, 2023
  • May 31, 2023
  • June 23, 2023
  • July 26, 2023

School’s Out Ninja Day Camps!  

Did you know?  HCPSS is closed on various days throughout the school year.  Make sure to reserve your child’s spot in our business partners' - "School’s Out Ninja Day Camp".  The Okinawan Karate Dojo has you covered from 9 AM to 4 PM (with before/after care available 8a-6p)!  OKD's year-round camps are action-packed, tons of fun, and keep kids happy, entertained, challenged and moving all day!  Not only that, they are licensed as a Child Care Provider by the state of Maryland.  The staff is highly trained and certified to give your child a safe, enriching, AWESOME, camp experience!  Voted #1 Martial Arts School in HoCo and one of the best Child Care Providers in 2020 and 2021, this will be OKD's 23rd annual camp season! Find additional information about the camp, online registration, FREE karate offer, COVID safety policies, and MORE at: OKDkarate.com. Space is Limited. Questions? Call: 443 574 8999 or Email: info@OKDkarate.com.


New HCPSS Community News and Programs Site: 

In response to community requests for resources, HCPSS’ new Community News and Programs website makes it easy for families to find educational and recreational resources, events and after-school programs beyond the school day by non-profit organizations.  Community organizations requesting their announcements be shared in school newsletters should visit community-programs.hcpss.org for more information. Questions should be directed to the Public Information Office at publicinfo@hcpss.org.