Falcon Newsletter 4/29/21

Thu, 04/29/2021 - 11:09am




Important Dates

May 4                A Day and E Day Student Pictures Taken

                        MAP Reading – Grade 1 Only

May 5                MAP Reading Assessment (Grades 2-5)

12:30-3:00pm Virtual Student Pictures Taken

May 6                B Day and E Day Student Pictures Taken

May 12              MAP Reading Make-Ups

May 13              No School – Articulation/Professional Work Day

May 18              MAP Math – Grade 1 Only

May 19              MAP Math Assessment (Grades 2-5)

May 26              MAP Math Make-Ups


From the Principal. . .

Dear Phelps Luck Families,


We are THRILLED to announce that PLES has been certified as a Maryland Green School by the

Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education!  A big shout out to Lisa Jones, one

of our GT Teachers, our PTA committee, our staff, and our students for the tremendous effort in this endeavor!  It was highlighted in yesterday’s HCPSS message and will be announced at the HCPSS

Board of Education Meeting today.  This is a wonderful accomplishment!


I also wanted to have you carefully review the info below about MAP testing that will occur next

week and information about individual pictures that will also take place next week.  If you have any

questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!


As we move into the month of May, our wonderful PTA has planned several activities.  Please check

out our PTA section for details! 



Michelle M. Leader



School News

MAP Assessment:

The MAP Assessment will be given virtually for all students except Group E, who will take it in-person. Please mark the following dates and times on your calendar and plan for your child(ren) in Grades 1-5 to take the MAP Assessment for Reading and Math:


Reading MAP 

Grade 1 – Tuesday, May 4, 2021; 9:30-11:30 a.m. 


Grades 2-5 – Wednesday, May 5, 2021; 9:15-11:15 a.m.  


Reading Make-up for All Grades - Wednesday, May 12, 2021 

Grade 1 – 9:30-11:30 a.m.  

Grades 2-5 – 9:15-11:15 a.m.  



Math MAP 

Grade 1 – Tuesday, May 18, 2021; 9:30-11:30 a.m. 


Grades 2-5 – Wednesday, May 19, 2021; 9:15-11:15 a.m.  


Math Make-up for All Grades – Wednesday, May 26, 2021 

Grade 1 – 9:30-11:30 a.m. 

Grades 2-5 – 9:15-11:15 a.m.  


MAP, or the Measure of Academic Progress, is a computerized adaptive test, which helps teachers, parents, and administrators improve learning for all students and make informed decisions to promote your child's academic growth. Thank you.


Individual School Pictures for both In Person and Virtual Students: 

All In-Person and Virtual Students at Phelps Luck Elementary will have individual school pictures taken May 4, 5, and 6, 2021! Virtual Students have the option to sign-up for a time and order picture packages.  In Person students will have their pictures taken during the school day and may also order picture packages.

May 4, 2021   A Day and E Day Students - during the school day (no need to sign up)

May 5, 2021   Virtual Students -  between 12:30 to 3:00pm at PLES (sign up with link below)

May 6, 2021    B Day and E Day Students - during the school day (no need to sign up)

*Virtual Students may schedule an appointment for their pictures to be taken on 5/5/2021 between 12:30-3:00pm at PLES.




Picture Information for ALL Families (In Person and Virtual) To order your child’s school pictures please visit www.schoolpix.com. Click the "Preorder Online Portraits Here" button. When prompted, enter the PLES online code:  NBJ69862. Follow the prompts to order a package.  Attached is the flier with these directions.


School Pictures Pre-Order Info.pdf 


Please note that it is not necessary to order a package to have your child’s picture taken! School Pictures, Inc® will follow all recommended safety protocols so that they can assure a comfortable and safe photograph experience for your child(ren).


School Counseling Newsletter:



Updated Front Office Procedures:

Drop off-of instruments, lunches, computers, etc.

  • Parent/Guardian should come into the vestibule.
  • Parent/Guardian should ring the intercom to notify the secretaries that they are dropping off an item.
  • All items being dropped off need to be clearly labeled by the parent/guardian with:
    • Child's name
    • Grade
  • Item will be left on the drop off table in vestibule for secretaries to retrieve.

Late Arrivals:

  • Students will come in the front vestibule and ring the buzzer.
  • Only the student will be admitted into the front office to sign in late.  Parents/guardians may not enter the building with the student.
  • Parent/guardian will sign-in the child on the clipboard in the vestibule.

Early Dismissals:

  • Parents/Guardian will come into the vestibule and ring the buzzer for early dismissals.
  • We will ask Parents/Guardian to hold their driver's license up to the camera for secretaries to see.
  • Once secretaries confirm parent/guardian is listed as eligible to pick up student in the family file, we will ask parent/guardian to sign an "Early Dismissal slip" located in the vestibule.  



  • Visitors are not permitted into the building under HCPSS Infectious Disease Plan. 

Caring for your Chromebook:

It is essential that students do not eat or drink near their Chromebook. Many families have needed their Chromebook swapped out for the food and drinks spilling on the Chromebooks.  Please be aware that HCPSS is now charging a fee to fix any damage.  In addition, students are asked to not put stickers on or use markers on their Chromebooks.  We appreciate your assistance!


Below is the link to more information about caring for your child’s Chromebook.

Chromebook Care


HC DrugFree Updates for Parents/Guardians:

Free Parenting Classes: HC DrugFree and the Howard County State's Attorney's Office, partnering with HCPSS and the Health Department, will once again provide evidence-based classes for families to gain skills and knowledge to reduce the risk that their children will engage in risky behaviors including using drugs. This 4-class series for parents of 9-14 year olds will be held on Zoom from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, May 4, 11 and June 1, 8. Parents/guardians must register at  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HCDrugFreeSpring2021 If you have questions, email Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree’s Executive Director at Admin@hcdrugfree.org 


Receive HC DrugFree's Free Newsletter: To receive HC DrugFree's free electronic newsletter packed with information for parents and opportunities for students, go to https://hcdrugfree.org/enews-signup/


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!!!


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 PLESAbsence@hcpss.org 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


2nd HoCo VIRTUAL Rainbow Conference

Please join us virtually to learn more about how to be better advocates for the LGBTQ+ Community at our second HoCo Rainbow Conference. With over 24 concurrent sessions and local as well as national speakers, we have a full day of fun and learning lined up for Saturday, May 15, 2021. Session speakers include Jane Clementi and Joshua Patel of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, Rae Sweet of the It Gets Better Project, Maryland House Majority Leader, Eric Luedtke, Kevin Naff of The Washington Blade, Ying Matties and Robyn Page of Community Allies of Rainbow Youth (CARY), and many more! Registration for this FREE conference is open. Until then, you can browse our conference website to learn more about the sessions and view the conference schedule here. We hope many of you will join us!


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 jessica_jones@hcpss.org or sarah_croushler@hcpss.org if you wish to schedule one for your child!

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

All families should note that effective March 1, there will be new procedures for student meals. Meals for seven days per week will continue to be provided at no cost to students; however, the days and times meals will be provided will change. Students returning in person may choose to receive meals any day they are in school. For all other families, meals will be available for pickup from 7:45-8:45 a.m. at elementary school locations and 9-10 a.m. at middle and high school locations on the following:

  • Mondays – Students in Group V and/or non-HCPSS students age 18 and under
  • Wednesdays – Students in Groups E, A or B
  • Thursdays – Students in Group V and/or non-HCPSS students age 18 and under

Full details on student meals (Links to an external site.) can be found on the HCPSS website.


News from the Media Center!

*We are so excited to start checking out books to our "at school" kids! If students bring them home, please help them remember to bring back the book so they can check out a new one on their next in school Media day. A great way to help them remember is by keeping the book in their back packs when they are not reading them. 


**If you have a book from last year or from another school, please return it. There is a return bin just inside the building so that you can feel safe while returning it. We would really like to check out these books to other students. Thanks!


***We are continuing our Contactless Book Check Out! The directions are here: Check Out Directions We also have the directions in Canvas as an Announcement for all Media Classes. Families need to help students attach their Synergy ID number to their Media Accounts by following the directions included. Thank you for helping! 



News from the PTA:


RaiseCraze Fundraiser - May 3 - May 17

Our spring fundraiser is here! Join us in raising funds between May 3 to May 17 for our school while also spreading kindness at home and in our community! Register at my.raisecraze.com/A5X3NUV and start spreading kindness! Curious how fundraising through kindness works? Check out the brief video ( https:// raisecraze.com/instructional-video!) and make your mark on the world.


Need some ideas on kindness activities? There is a list of suggestions when you register for the fundraiser, but here are a few others to get you started:

- It's Teacher Appreciation Week May 3 - 7! Write a letter or draw a picture for your teacher, a staff member or an administrator to tell them just how much you appreciate all that they do.

- Start a pollinator garden! Pollinators like bees and butterflies are vital to the health of our environment. Help them do what they do best by starting your own pollinator garden. See our virtual event details below if you want some help getting started!

- Help the PLES community get rid of invasive plants through our Weed Warrior event! See details below to join us on May 15.


Plant a Pollinator Garden - Thursday, May 6 from 6:30 - 7:30

Join us for a fun craft (virtual!) night to decorate a small planter and start your very own pollinator garden! We'll learn about pollinators and the benefits of incorporating plants in your garden that attract them. All materials will be provided - you will need to pick them up from school before the event. Material pick up directions and Zoom login details will be provided to everyone that registers for the event. Open to all grades!


Thursday, May 6 from 6:30 - 7:30

Register here to get materials and Zoom login details: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050B4FA4AC2CA4FF2-create 

PLES Weed Warrior Adopt-a-Spot - Saturday, May 15 from 10am - 12pm

Did you know that PLES is on the map?! As part of our Green Schools efforts, we have adopted a small section of Columbia Association natural open space area between the school and the Phelps Luck Community Center. We will be environmental stewards of this area by:

- Removing non-native invasive vines and weeds

- Cleaning up litter

- Planting native plants!


We need family and student volunteers on May 15th, from 10am - noon to kick off our stewardship efforts!  Please wear long pants and sturdy shoes.  Bring water bottles, gardening gloves, hand pruners, and loppers if you have them. Please check in with a Weed Warrior leader when you arrive to sign a waiver for you and your family. Children are encouraged to come help with adult supervision.


Other Long Reach Weed Warrior events have been scheduled for the next few months at Jackson Pond.  We would love to have more volunteers! WW events are scheduled every two weeks at various locations.  You can find a list of the events here: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/long-reach-community-association-18291600143


Dine Out Night - Tuesday, May 11

Help support Phelps Luck by ordering dinner from Victoria's Gastro Pub on Tuesday, May 11. Present the attached flier when you dine in or order out and proceeds will be donated to our 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 resources 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.


LRHS Food Distribution:

There will be a food distribution at LRHS each Saturday from now through May from 10am-12pm.  The food will be given out in the bus loop.  No forms need to be completed.  Just come to the school to get a box of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Saturday, May 1

Saturday, May 8

Saturday, May 15

Saturday, May 22

Saturday, May 29


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, May 26

Wednesday, June 30


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:





Howard High School Summer Camp Info:

The Lions' Pride Booster Club is proud to announce their summer camp lineup for the summer of 2021.  Registration and details of each camp can be found here: http://www.howardlionspride.org/summer-sports-camps.html  Come out and learn about your favorite sports from the Howard H.S. athletic coaches. We look forward to working with you!


Okinawan Karate Dojo-Summer Camp!

Summer Camp?  You BET!  Every summer, our business partner - The Okinawan Karate Dojo - hosts their very popular Fitness Ninja Camps.  THIS summer will be no different--Fitness Ninja Spring/Summer Camps 2021 are happening, COVID-safe and in and/or outdoor. Voted #1 Martial Arts School in HoCo and one of the best ChildCare Providers in 2021, this will be OKD's 21st annual camp season! These weekly camps are a great way for your kids, ages 5 to 13, to stay active, entertained and educated on health, wellness, sports, fitness, and karate this summer. As a licensed childcare provider, OKD will meet/exceed all state, local, and CDC recommendations related to COVID-19.


Dates: June 21st to August 27th, from 9am to 4pm each day. Before/After care available. Find additional information about the camp, online registration, and OKD's COVID safety policy at: OKDkarate.com. Space is Limited. Questions? Call: 443 574 8999 or Email: info@okinawankaratedojo.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.