Falcon Newsletter 4-20-23

Thu, 04/20/2023 - 8:24am

     Important Dates

April 20                               5:30-7pm PTA Science Night 

April 21                               School Closed - Professional Learning Day for Staff

April 27                               5:30-7pm PTA Science Night - RAIN DATE

April 28                               Spirit Day:  Pajama Day

                                         Battle of the Books - Merriweather Post Pavilion

May 3                                 5:30-7pm PTA Paint Night

                                         7pm PTA Meeting

May 6                                 PTA 5K/1 Mile Fun Run at LRHS

May 9                                 Class Picture Day

May 10                               5:30-8pm ESOL Library Night

May 11                               4-6pm On the Road to Kindergarten Event

May 12                               Grade 5 Simulated Congressional Hearings

                                         Spirit Day:  Red, White & Blue Day

                                         Kindergarten Trip to Sharps Farm

May 17                               6-7:30pm GT Enrichment Fair

May 18                               Grade 2 Trip to MD Science Center

                                         6-7:15pm Food Pantry

May 19                               No School - Professional Learning Day for Staff

                                         7:05pm PLES Night at Bowie Baysox Game

May 23                               6pm Incoming Kindergarten Orientation

May 25                               Grade 5 Trip to Washington, DC

May 26                               Spirit Day:  Hawaiian Day

May 29                               No School - Memorial Day

May 31                               7pm Spring Concert at HHS

June 1                                PK Trip to Clark’s Elioak Farm

                                         Grade 5 Middle School Visits

June 2                                Grade 2 Trip to Robinson Nature Center

June 3                                Girls on the Run 5K

June 6                                9:15am Kindergarten Celebration

June 7                                3 Hour Early Dismissal at 12:20pm

June 8                                10am Grade 1 Readers Theater

June 9                                Spirit Day:  Sunglasses Day

9:30am PK Celebration

June 12                              3 Hour Early Dismissal at 12:20pm

                                         2-4pm Grade 5 Promotion

June 13                              3 Hour Early Dismissal at 12:20pm

June 14                              Last Day of School - 3 Hour Early Dismissal at 12:20pm



From the Principal. . .

Dear Phelps Luck Families, 


We have many amazing events planned from now until the end of the year.  Please make note of the dates

above and join us!!!!  We look forward to connecting and celebrating with you!!!


Thank you, 

Michelle M. Leader



School News

Update to the HCPSS Calendar - Last Day of School Info: 

As of Wednesday, March 29, HCPSS has used one inclement weather day this school year. As such, the last day of school for students in full-day Pre-K through grade 12 is now scheduled to be Wednesday, June 14.


The two final weeks for the 2022-2023 school year are as follows: 

  • Monday, June 5 - Regular school day 
  • Tuesday, June 6 - Regular school day 
  • Wednesday, June 7 - Schools dismiss three hours early (Professional Work Day) 
  • Thursday, June 8 - Regular school day 
  • Friday, June 9 - Regular school day
  • Monday, June 12 - Schools dismiss three hours early (Professional Work Day) 
  • Tuesday, June 13 - Schools dismiss three hours early (Professional Learning Day) 
  • Wednesday, June 14 - Schools dismiss three hours early (Professional Work Day) - Last scheduled day for full-day Pre-K-12 students and 10-month staff 


The complete HCPSS academic calendar is available online. This information is subject to change, pending

any additional inclement weather.


Non-Transported Areas for 2023-2024:

Non-transportation areas (walk areas) have been expanded for the majority of HCPSS schools for the 2023-2024 school year. Board of Education Policy 5200 Student Transportation increases the allowable distance students may walk to school based on the distance between a student’s home and school. 

These changes result in an expanded walk area for our school for next year. Please view the online map for our school that identifies the households that will not receive bus transportation next school year. 

PLES Walk Map 23-24.pdf 


We will send out information if changes are made that impact our school community. If you would like to know more about the countywide changes that were made, please visit the HCPSS website. 





Idle Free:

In Content, third grade students studied environmental problems.  3rd graders were charged with the task to create a public policy and actionable steps to help solve or decrease the effects of this problem. In conjunction with PTA members, some of Mrs. Goldman's students researched, collected and analyzed data about car idling and how it is a big contributor to air pollution.  After learning about the harmful effects car idling has, students created signs, which will soon be posted in the car loop, a video, which will be shared soon and are asking falcon families and the community to help make Phelps Luck an "idle free" zone in the car loop.  Be on the lookout for more information coming your way.  Mrs. Goldman's students are working hard to educate and encourage the PLES community to "Turn the Key and be Idle Free.”


Your Child's Attendance:

School punctuality and regular attendance will teach your child good lessons for a lifetime! Please see the school attendance brochure that went home in folders this week. Unless your child is ill, please make sure they come to school on time daily. School breaks are already built into the calendar. Our attendance goal is a daily average of 95% or higher. Everyone can do their part in making sure our students are in school! 


If your child must be absent due to illness, parents/guardians must turn in a note.  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.


Our Turn to Talk:

Our Turn to Talk: Join us at Centennial High School on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 from 6:00-8:00 pm for a viewing and panel discussion of Our Turn To Talk, a film that features teens sharing the impact of social media, sexual identity, gender identity, racism, and the pandemic on their mental health. The film is sponsored by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Howard County, the Howard County Public School System, Horizon Foundation, One Voice, Active Minds, and the Howard County Health Department. Families and staff may access the trailer and registration form for more information.

The event will feature the following panelists:

  • Jennifer Marshall (Executive Producer, Principle Pictures) 
  • Peace Williams (WLHS student, Active Minds member)  
  • Oliver Song (President, Howard County Association of Student Councils)


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”.


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 

Bowie Baysox Reading Program:

Our Bowie Baysox Game will be on Friday, May 19th at 7:05pm.   Click here to see more info!!!


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:

We have many items in our Lost and Found.  At times, there is a large amount of items!  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 racks in the front hallway for any lost items.  Please see the Dojo messages that are sent out 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

·        English Calendar  Updated 6/27/22

·        学年行事

·        학년도 달력

·        Calendario Año Escolar

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: 

PTA Yearbook

Yearbook pictures needed! Do you have pictures of school events (such as Trunk or Treat, Field Day, or Read Across PLES) that you can share with us? Please email to jenplesyearbook@gmail.com ASAP! 


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

Here is a list of resources for you to access:

Howard County Resources

CAREAPP is a resource through the Howard County Health Department. It provides easy-to-access resources available to families by zip code. The CAREAPP website connects our community to free and reduced-cost services for food, health, housing, transportation, and more in multiple languages. Families can search by typing in the family’s zip code and then identifying relevant resources.


 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:


·        April 26, 2023

·        May 31, 2023

·        June 23, 2023

·        July 26, 2023

Howard County Food Connection Map - The Howard County Food Connection Map is an interactive tool to help you find low-cost, accessible food and nutrition resources in the County. Bus routes are also added on the map.

Howard County Food Bank Links to an external site. - access to shop twice a month for families that meet eligibility requirements. Walk-ins and appointments available. 

The Salvation Army - Drive Thru Food Distribution flyer available in English and Spanish

  • Dates: April 24th, May 22nd, and June 26th
  • July – October TBD
  • Time:  Noon – 2:00 PM


HC DrugFree Updates (4-10-23)

Medication & Sharps Disposal Event: Free 

The next safe and convenient drive-thru medication & sharps disposal event will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Wilde Lake Village Center Parking lot near the Swim Center. HC DrugFree is accepting prescription and over-the-counter medications, sharps (needles, syringes, EpiPens, etc.), vapes, inhalers, veterinary medication and more. Medication will be guarded/transported by Howard County Police. Learn more at https://hcdrugfree.org/drug-take-back-day-1/


Student, Adult and Medically-Trained Adult Volunteers Wanted

HC DrugFree is in need of 70-80 student, adult, and medically trained adult volunteers to work the Saturday, April 22 drive-thru Medication and Sharps collection in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot. Set up at 9 a.m. and event ends at 2 p.m. Groups, clubs, teams, families and colleagues are encouraged to volunteer. Learn more or sign up to volunteer at https://hcdrugfree.org/drug-take-back-day-1/ If complete all paperwork by April 20, students may earn community service hours for volunteering. 


Free Parenting Classes (open to grandparents too): Free 

Guiding Good Choices is an evidence-based, interactive prevention program that provides families with the skills and knowledge to reduce the risk that their children will use drugs and alcohol or engage in other dangerous behaviors. Howard County parents, guardians and grandparents will learn how to encourage your child to adopt healthy attitudes and behaviors, how to communicate more effectively, how to build a relationship of trust, and much more! HC DrugFree's classes will be held Tuesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. via Zoom. Learn more or register: https://hcdrugfree.org/2023/02/guiding-good-choices-free-classes-for-parents-2/


Senior Week: Staying Safe in Ocean City: Free 

Howard County high school seniors and their families welcome. HC DrugFree is NOT encouraging teens to vacation without their parents or adult supervision. However, if they do, it is our hope that by providing this program, Howard County teens attending Senior Week will have additional information to make wise decisions and keep themselves and each other safe. Please join us via Zoom on Tuesday, April 25 at 7p.m. Registration is required. Links may not be shared. Presented by HC DrugFree in partnership with the Ocean City Police Department and Howard County Collaborative PTSA Parent Education Group. Learn more or register at https://hcdrugfree.org/senior-week/


8th–12th Grade Teen Advisory Council: Free

HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council is open to all Howard County students in grades 8 through 12. This is a great opportunity to help prepare younger students for success in high school while allowing older students to develop their leadership and mentoring skills. The registration form is available at https://hcdrugfree.org/teen-advisory-council/ and community service hours are available. Email your registration form to admin@hcdrugfree.org or mail a hard copy the office. Meetings are on Zoom from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To register for the Monday, April 17 meeting or any upcoming meeting, click on the TAC registration link next to the meeting date https://hcdrugfree.org/teen-advisory-council/


Know What’s Happening in Howard County: 

Sign up for HC DrugFree’s newsletter at https://hcdrugfree.org/enews-signup/ or follow us on social media to get updates on events as well as information to keep your family safe and informed:  Facebook   Twitter  Instagram  LinkedIn  


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, and 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.


Summer Camp Info:

Attention aspiring filmmakers! Have you always been interested in the movie-making process? Do you dream of being a YouTube vlogger? There’s a week-long summer camp just for you!


Sign up for Video Production camp either in the morning or afternoon (or both) to learn how to improve your filming and editing skills and how to work as part of a video production team. The morning session covers filmmaking techniques such as continuity and composition, whereas the afternoon session is tailored towards social video content creation. Find out more at riverhill.org; just click on Programs > Boosters > Summer Sports Camps


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.