JHES Weekly Newsletter, Summer Edition, August 2021

Fri, 08/13/2021 - 8:44pm

Para leer este mensaje en español, haga clic aquí.


Message from Mrs. Strong and Mrs. Golden


Greetings Jeffers Hill Community,


We hope that you have taken time to relax and engage in much needed self care, enjoyed quality time with family and friends, participated in a new adventure or just kicked back and savored quiet moments.  Whatever your summer entailed, we hope that you are as excited as we are about the return to school.  As we countdown to the first day of school for students on August 30th, we are thrilled to welcome students back to school and look forward to reconnecting with our Jeffers Hill families. 


Our theme this year, “JHES Reunited and it Feels SO GOOD!”, intentionally focuses on rejoining as a community to overcome challenges that we have faced over the last 17 months.  Our hope is to be stronger than ever before.  We are ready to welcome our students back and eager to promote an environment that allows everyone to feel a sense of belonging, to be engaged in social and academic best practices and be inspired to give their very best.  


A special thank you to our fantastic custodial team, Mr. T.J., Mr. Fuji, and Mr. Joe, for all of their hard work this summer.  They have exceeded expectations to ensure our building is safe, sanitized and looks amazing as we welcome you back to school.  In addition, we would like to highlight the outstanding work of Ms. Bright, Principal’s Secretary, as she has been busy ordering and organizing materials, registering new families, and planning for an amazing start to the 2021-2022 school year.  


As we look forward to the new school year, we would like to extend our gratitude and best wishes to a few Jeffers Hill staff members who are moving on to new professional and personal endeavors.  Please join us as we say, “It’s never goodbye, it’s, see you later!” to the following staff members:


  • Beatrice Bosah, Lunch and Recess Monitor

  • Winston Harris, Strings Teacher

  • Michelle Hill, 3rd Grade Teacher 

  • Alex Kissell, 2nd Grade teacher

  • Nicole Peak, General Music Teacher

  • Shonquila Thomas, 1st Grade Teacher


We have many staff members serving in different capacities this school year.  Join us in congratulating the following staff members as they embark on new professional growth opportunities: 

  • Anitra Palmer, Kindergarten to Pre-K Teacher

  • Krista McCormick, 1st Grade Teacher to Kindergarten Teacher

  • Emily Shaffer, 3rd Grade Instructional Team Leader to 2nd Grade Instructional Team Leader

  • Susan Jensen, 4th Grade Teacher to 3rd Grade Instructional Team Leader

  • Carlos Ohn, 5th grade Teacher to 3rd Grade Teacher

  • Erica Swalec, Intern and Long Term Substitute to 5th Grade Teacher

  • Asia Tyree 5th Grade Teacher to 5th Grade Instructional Teacher Leader

  • Maggie Shorb, Band Teacher to Full Time Band and Strings Teacher 

  • Heather Dorsey, Student Assistant to Special Education Paraeducator

  • Sharon Brunswick, General Education Paraeducator - 4th Grade to General Education Paraeducator - 3rd Grade

  • Cheryl Coleman, Special Education Paraeducator to General Education Paraeducator - 4th Grade

  • Jacqueline Jarrett, General Education Paraeducator to Pre-K Paraeducator 

  • Rose Ndombe, Classroom Monitor to Student Assistant 


Lastly, we are so excited to welcome several new educators to our Jeffers Hill family.  Please join us in welcoming the following staff members to their new roles: 

  • Leanne Brech, 1st Grade Teacher

  • Heather Gainey, Pre-K Special Education Teacher

  • Ashley Kibling, 1st Grade Teacher 

  • Katherine Meloro, General Music Teacher

  • Jill Reynolds, Reading Specialist (0.5) and ESOL Teacher (0.5) 


Please review the upcoming dates section below and mark your calendars with the important events leading up to the start of the school year.  We can’t wait to see our students learning together again!



Mrs. Strong and Mrs. Golden 


Upcoming Dates

  • August 16th- Kindergarten Playdate and Orientation, 10:00-11:00 am.  See below for more information. This event will be held in-person at Jeffers Hill. 

  • August 18th- Kindergarten Virtual Lunch Bunch, 12:00-12:30, via Google Meet

  • August 19th- School staff returns for the 21-22 school year!

  • August 26th- Pre-K Playdate on the Jeffers Hill playground, 10:30-11:30 am

  • August 26th- Vaccine Clinic (Back to School and Covid vaccines) hosted by the Howard County Health Department, Hammond High School, 10:00-1:00pm, View flyer for more information

  • August 27th- More information will be shared closer to the date, but please mark your calendars with the information below. 

    • New Student Orientation, 11:00 am

    • K-2 Student Open House/Sneak a Peek at your Seat! 11:45-12:15 pm

    • 3-5 Student Open House/Sneak a Peek at your Seat! 12:30-1:00 pm

  • August 30th- First day of school for K-5 students!

  • September 2nd- First day of school for Pre-K students!

  • September 6-7th- Schools and Offices are Closed


Technology Accounts for New Students


Beginning August 2, 2020, families with students new to HCPSS and whose registration has been finalized will receive an email from noreply@hcpss.org with the subject “Technology account information for new HCPSS student.” The email will be sent to the email address used during the student registration process. The email contains personalized and important information regarding new students’ technology accounts. If you have a child new to HCPSS and do not receive the email and/or cannot locate the email in the junk/spam folder of the email account you used during registration, you can use the Forgot Password or Username button on the hcpss.me student landing page to retrieve both your child’s username and password. Directions for Account Self Service directions are posted online.


Time to Complete your Family File

It is time to update your student’s 2021-2022 emergency information using the Family File. ALL FAMILIES, including returning families, must verify or update their information for each student, every school year, even if nothing has changed.  Please begin the process now, so that the information is updated before school begins. Help us achieve a 100% completion rate before the first day of school!

You can access the Family File by logging into HCPSS Connect at www.hcpss.org/connect/. Once you have logged into the HCPSS Connect, select the Family File tab on the left-hand side, and then select the blue underlined "Family File" towards the center of your screen. Once logged in, parents/guardians will be asked to provide, update, or confirm the following information:

  • Student Information

  • Parent/guardian Contact Information

  • Emergency Contacts

  • Medical Information

  • Media Release (photo approval)

  • Data Confidentiality

  • PTA/PTSA Directory

Please note, if the section you are looking at is not allowing you to move forward, then there is a question/checkbox on that page that may still need to be addressed. Please make sure to read the prompts at the top of each tab, and click to expand each section. To access our quick help guides, CLICK HERE.

Parents who have forgotten their login credentials may click the “Forgot Password” link on the sign-in page. If you need additional assistance, please fill out the Connect Help Form.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: A change of address may not be made through the Family File. If you have recently moved, please contact Ms. Karen Taylor at Karen_Taylor@hcpss.org, for further assistance or call the JHES Front Office at 410-313-6872. 


JHES New Pre-K Program---Help us spread the word!! 

We are thrilled to announce that Jeffers Hill will be having a Pre-K program starting this fall!  We are excited that we will be able to bring many young scholars into our building to begin their educational journey with us.  

Please help us spread the word about our new program!  Text your friends and neighbors with little ones at home or share these flyers (English and Spanish) with those that will have children who will be 4 years old by September 1, 2021.  You can also help us by posting these flyers (English and Spanish) locally at your place of employment, in your community centers, and/or by the neighborhood pools/playgrounds.  Please only post with permission from the business and/or organization.  Thank you for helping us to spread the good news about our NEW Pre-K program!! 


New Kindergarten Student Events--Updated Information 

Kindergarten is hosting a playdate/orientation on August 16th from 10:00-11:00.  If you can’t make it to the orientation, we will share information with all parents/caregivers via email after the orientation.  Additionally, parents will be able to get more information and see the classroom on August 27th at the JHES Open House/Sneak a Peek at your Seat event from 11:45-12:15.  There will also be a Kindergarten Back to School Night for parents and caregivers in the evening on October 13th.  It is our goal to ensure all families have the information they need to ensure a smooth and successful transition to the BEST year--Kindergarten!! 

On August 16th, parents/caregivers and students should arrive at the kindergarten playground on the side of Jeffers Hill by the Jeffers Hill Neighborhood Center and pool.  Upon arrival, students and parents will be given a name tag and then students can play on the playground.  During the playdate, small groups of students and parents will be invited into the classrooms.  Students will enjoy a story and fun activity while parents get important information about the start of kindergarten!  Please wear a mask while both outdoors and indoors during our playdate to ensure the safety of all students and families.  

On August 18th, come meet the kindergarten team at our virtual lunch bunch from 12:00-12:30.  Our virtual lunch bunch will be held via Google Meet using the code: klunchbunch.  We cannot wait to meet you and have some fun together.  We will be enjoying a story, dance party, and playing some games! We hope to “see” you there!

For those of you with older children, accessing Google Meet is likely second nature by now.  For those families that are new to HCPSS or those that need a refresher, please see the message above titled “Technology Accounts for New Students” for information about learning your child’s HCPSS username and password.  Then, watch this video to learn how to access a Google Meet from a student account.  

For security reasons, teachers do not admit non-HCPSS accounts to the Google Meet.  However, since we do not want any child to miss the lunch bunch for technology reasons, parents can join the Google Meet from their own computer or device using a personal email account.  If you plan to do this, please email Mrs. Amy Karastamatis (amy_karastamatis@hcpss.org) in advance so she knows to expect you and admits your child into the Google Meet for the lunch bunch.  


Device Check!  Are you taking care of your Chromebook this summer?  

Students are encouraged to still use their laptops  to access applications like Lexia Core and Dreambox throughout the summer to keep their skills sharp. However, it is really important that students are handling their devices with care, keeping them out of extreme heat like the trunk of the car, and safe from spills and falls.  Students will be using their Chromebooks to complement instruction in the fall and we want all students to have access to a good, working device.  Please help us by reminding your children of the importance of taking care of their Chromebooks this summer.  

If your child’s device is not working, you can always take it to one of the Tech Support Centers over the summer to have it repaired and/or replaced.  For more information about the Tech Support Centers and how to care for the HCPSS issued Chromebook, please visit the HCPSS Chromebook Care website


Jeffers Hill is Hiring!  Come be a Part of our Team! 

Are you interested in being a part of an amazing team at Jeffers Hill Elementary?  We are currently hiring for the following positions:

Lunch/Recess Monitor Position

The Lunch/Recess Monitor, in collaboration with school staff, supervises a large group of students in the cafeteria and/or on the playground. The Monitor works within the school system’s behavioral policies to maintain cafeteria and playground standards that ensure a safe, orderly, and nurturing environment.  Click here to learn more and apply.

Close Adult Support

Staff members in this role work closely with some of our special education students. For the close adult support position, you would apply through an outside agency that staffs these positions in our schools. The position is for 6-hours each day. We also frequently need subs for this role, as well. Click here to learn more and apply.

If you are interested in any of these positions or have questions, please email Maisha Strong, Principal (maisha_strong@hcpss.org), and/or Colleen Golden, Assistant Principal (colleen_golden@hcpss.org).  We look forward to hearing from you!  


Did you know you can subscribe to the HCPSS Calendar?

Subscribe to the HCPSS calendar to see all upcoming dates for the school system including holidays, days when schools are closed, early school closing dates, and more.  Click here to view the calendar and scroll down to subscribe.  By subscribing, you can add the school system calendar to your personal calendar on your phone or email.  Additionally, you can access the calendar in multiple languages. 

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.


Assistance for Families- Community Resources

Please visit our JHES website for more information about community resources that are available to families in need related to food, health, and other support.  This page is updated frequently as we become aware of additional supports.