HAMMOND SCHOOL INFO
CALENDAR & NEWSLETTERS
Guide to Events at Hammond Elementary School for New Families
to Events at
for New Families
It's always a challenge to enter a new school system. Families are unaware of the traditions and customs of the school, the special events and programs. You may be hesitant to call the school or ask other parents what the newsletters are talking about:
The purpose of this guide is to give you a general idea of what's going on at Hammond. It is not exhaustive, but it will give you information about the most frequently encountered activities. Please do not hesitate ask other parents about events, classes, and activities. You will find the Hammond parent community to be a friendly group willing to share their experiences. They can provide much richer and more personal descriptions of a particular event. And please do not hesitate to contact the administration or your children's teachers if you have questions, concerns, and comments. Please do become involved with the PTA in whatever way you can, even if your volunteering time is limited. Everyone's goal is to ensure that the children have a positive experience at Hammond.
The views and opinions expressed in this guide are not necessarily those of the Howard County School System, Hammond Elementary School, or the Hammond PTA. This guide was created by parents for parents and is intended to be a general guide that may be helpful to new families. While every attempt has been made to provide accurate information, changes can occur. Please understand that all events and activities, dates, times, and descriptions are subject to change. Activities may be added or deleted as curriculum and time constraints dictate.
Each entry will indicate the "jurisdiction" of a particular event, that is, whether you should contact the PTA or the school about an event or program. Please contact the school for the most accurate information about programs run by HES. If you contact the school about a PTA event, they may not be able to provide you with the information you need. The PTA will provide contact numbers (which may change year to year, and so are not included in this guide) so that you can contact the appropriate person.
Events by Season
Fall: Back to School Night, Fall Festival, Halloween Parade, Wrapping Paper Fundraiser, Student Pictures, Fall Fun Run, Book Fair
Winter: Hearing and Vision Testing, Holiday Program, Holiday Shop, Multicultural Night, Talent Show
Spring: Class Pictures, MSA, SAT-10, Enrichment Fair, Field Day, Annual 5K Run/Walk, Yard Sale, Spring Concerts, Display My Art fundraiser, Science Fair, Spelling Bee, Simulated Congressional Hearing
Ongoing Events: After-school Programs, Cultural Arts, Restaurant Nights, Box Tops, Campbell Soups Labels, Grocery store fundraising programs
After-school Programs: PTA event. Throughout the year, a variety of after-school programs are offered. Programs that have been offered in previous years are: Small Talk Foreign Language, KidZ Art, tennis lessons, etc.
Authors' Tea: HES event. Each child in the first grade writes and illustrates a book. The children present their books to family members during a school-day program.
Back to School Picnic: HES/PTA event. This is an event where families and staff gather for a casual picnic on the lawn. An annual kickball game is played between the staff and parents. This is not a time to address individual concerns; please schedule a separate appointment.
Back to School Night: HES event. In September, nights will be designated to visit your child's classroom and meet the teachers. Typically, the lower grades visit one night, and the upper grades visit a different night. The teachers will offer a presentation of the materials that will be covered during the year. Individual concerns should not be raised here; please schedule a separate appointment. In addition, a presentation is usually given to acquaint families with the Gifted and Talented (GT) program at Hammond.
Band instruments: HES program. Beginning in fourth grade, students may receive musical instruction for band instruments. You will receive a memo to inform you which instruments are available. Concerts are given twice a year. Instruction for string instruments begins in third grade.
Book Fair: HES event. Once a year the school hosts a book fair, giving students and parents an opportunity to purchase books at reasonable prices. The book fair usually runs for one week. In addition, teachers leave their wish lists for their classrooms, and parents are invited to donate a book to their classroom.
BoxTop$: PTA program. See Fundraising.
Cakewalk: PTA event. See Fall Festival.
Campbell's labels: PTA event. See Fundraising.
Class pictures: An event held at HES that is run by an outside company. Class pictures are usually taken in the spring, and there is an opportunity to have individual student pictures taken if you missed them in the fall.
Choral Program: HES event. Students in fourth and fifth grade are given the opportunity to voluntarily participate in chorus. Rehearsals are held during the school day, either at recess or at the end of a scheduled day. Students are required sign a contract that demonstrates their understanding that they are joining chorus for the length of the school year. The HES Chorus performs at the holiday concert, Barnes & Noble (January/February), spring concert, Simulated Congressional Hearing, & 5th grade celebration.
Cultural Arts: This program is funded by the PTA. Throughout the year, a variety of artists, performers, authors, and other individuals or groups will come to the school to give presentations to the students. These educational entertainment programs are called cultural arts programs. The programs are usually held during school hours, but an evening family event is sometimes offered.
Emergency Forms: It is extremely important that you fill out and, if necessary, update the emergency contact forms that you will receive the first day of school. These will be used in the event of an accident or illness, or if the child is absent and unaccounted for. Please make sure your information is updated throughout the school year.
Enrichment Fair: HES event. This is an evening program to showcase the achievements of students in all grades.
Extracurricular Activities: Programs run by the PTA or other outside organizations. A number of activities are held at the school after school hours, and may include sports, theater, science programs, scouting, and others. Typically, Hammond Elementary does not run these programs, although the PTA may sponsor some. Fees vary depending on the program.
Fall Festival: PTA event. This fun family event will be held on the school grounds in the fall. The PTA sponsors the carnival. There are moon bounces and special attractions, as well as games of chance and skill (in some activities, a prize is always awarded to each participant), face painting, clowns, and crafts. There is also a "cakewalk" where cakes (donated by the HES community) are awarded to a person standing on a certain number in a ring of numbers. It's a combination of musical chairs and a spinning number wheel.
Fall Fun Run: PTA event. A fun run (or walk) held in November to celebrate American Education Week. Parents are welcome to participate with their child.
Field Day: HES event. In the spring a Field Day is held where students may participate in a variety of games and events. Parent volunteers are integral to the success of Field Day.
Field Trips: HES program. Every year each grade typically takes at least one field trip. Trips taken in recent school years have included: pumpkin picking at a local farm, a play at a local theater, an art museum, the Lady Baltimore boat trip, and an outdoor program in the Genesee Valley in Maryland. Field trips may be changed or deleted depending upon curriculum, time constraints, or other factors. All chaperones must receive volunteer training PRIOR to the field trip. The volunteer training is provided by HES and each volunteer must receive training annually.
Flat Stanley: HES activity. In the past, the second grade has read the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. Thereafter, the students were given flat Stanley paper dolls and letters to mail to out-of-state friends and relatives. These people are to send Stanley back "dressed" in garb appropriate to the state (crayon drawn clothes are fine) and with information about the state (maps, brochures, photos taken with Stanley at famous landmarks, etc.). The well-traveled Stanleys were typically displayed in the classroom and in a special display on Enrichment Fair night. This activity may or may not be continued depending upon curriculum and time constraints.
Thursday Folders: HES practice. Each Thursday a folder will be sent home with weekly (in grades 1-3; biweekly in grades 4-5) communications from the school and a chart that the teacher uses to communicate about events of the previous week at school. You will need to initial the chart when it is sent home.
Fundraising: PTA program. In addition to our annual wrapping paper fundraiser, there are other fundraising opportunities for HES. Target, Safeway, Bloom and Giant all offer programs in which using their card for purchases gains money for the school. You must sign up at your grocery store each year to designate your school and participate in the program. Another facet of fundraising is the collecting of Campbell's Labels for Education and General Mills BoxTop$ for Education. Campbell's labels are not only found on soup: they're also on Goldfish crackers, Spaghettios, and a variety of other products. General Mills BoxTop$ are found on cereal, cake mixes, and other products. You will receive a list of eligible products early in the year. There are collection boxes for the labels and box tops in the hallway by the office. See the Web Sites entry for Internet sites on these programs.
Yard Sale: PTA event. The middle school PTA sponsors a garage sale (held in the school parking lot) in the fall, and the elementary school PTA holds a sale in the spring. A space may be rented for a nominal fee. This is a very popular, well-attended event.
Gifted and Talented (GT) Testing: HES program using standards developed and implemented at the county level. Third and fourth grade students are tested for eligibility for the Gifted and Talented math program. Typically, upper-level math groups are tested, but any third or fourth grade student may be tested for the program upon parent request.
Halloween Parade: HES event. On (or about) October 31, students are invited to participate in a school Halloween parade. No masks or weapons are allowed. It's fun to see the staff and students in their costumes. Parents are welcome to see the parade around the blacktop near the elementary school playground. The time of the parade will be announced.
Hearing and Vision testing: PTA program. Hearing and vision tests are given each year to alternating grades. Scheduling will be announced in the weekly newsletter. If you would like your child tested, but his grade is not being tested that year, just send in a note and your child will be tested. There is no charge for this screening.
Holiday shop: PTA program. Each year in December a shop is set up featuring inexpensive presents that students may purchase for their family members for the holidays. The shop is open during the school day at recess and one evening for purchases.
MSA: Maryland State Assessments. All 3rd, 4th & 5th graders are administered this state-mandated test. Reading is one week, math another week. These tests are administered in April or May.
Multicultural Night: PTA event. Each year a group of parents and staff organize the HES Multicultural Night which celebrates the many cultures at HES. The evening includes displays, performances, a Parade of Nations, etc.
Parent Volunteering: PTA program. There are many ways parents can help out at the school depending upon their schedules and availability. If your time is limited, help can be given at special annual events (some of them are held in the evening), or you can volunteer during the school day on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Siblings are not allowed at the school during the day, so you will have to make babysitting arrangements for them. If you have a special skill that may be of use to the school, please make yourself known. Parents are also welcomed to present talks on topics pertinent to the curriculum. A special aspect of parent volunteering is the one-to-one reading program, where you work with the same student each week to reinforce readings skills. All volunteers must receive annual volunteer training provided by HES.
Poetry Recital: HES event. Each student in the fourth grade writes his/her own poem and presents it to family members during a school-day program.
Restaurant Nights: PTA event. Once a month during the year, the PTA arranges a family fun night at a local restaurant. This is a fundraising event for the PTA. In the past, restaurants have included: LaPalapa, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Red, Hot & Blue, Chick-fil-a, Three Brothers Italian Restaurant, and J&Pís Pizza.
SAT-10: Second grade state mandated testing. These tests are administered in April or May.
School store: At HES. There is a fold-up cabinet featuring school supplies (pencils, erasers, etc. by the media center. Children visit the school store from 8:30 to 8:45AM.
Science Fair: HES/PTA event. Each year the children are given the opportunity to perform a science experiment or study and present the results at the fair. This is an optional but encouraged activity. Even if your child does not do a science project, you should visit the school on Enrichment Fair night, as other student projects are presented. The fair is typically held in May.
Simulated Congressional Hearing: This is part of a Howard County Public School Systemís annual elementary school social studies program -- We The People Simulated Congressional Hearings. The hearings are the capstone for the fifth grade social studies curriculum in which students study American historical, political and constitutional issues. During the mock hearings, students testify, as expert witnesses, to demonstrate their understanding of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Students are judged by a panel comprised of public officials, community representatives, constitutional scholars, parents, and state and local curriculum experts who sit as a congressional committee holding public hearings within each participating school. This event is usually held in May.
Spelling Bee: HES event. All fourth and fifth grade students may participate in the HES spelling bee after school. Finalists proceed to the county level.
Spirit Fridays: HES activity. These days are intended to add a little color to the end of the week. A theme will be announced in the weekly newsletter, such as funny hats or socks, scarves, sports jerseys, etc. On the appointed day, your child may wear the spirit item if desired.
Spiritwear: At HES. Some years (not necessarily every year), you will have an opportunity to order t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, shorts, caps and similar items emblazoned with the Hammond Elementary School name and/or mascot.
String Instruments: HES program. Beginning in the third grade students may receive musical instruction during the school day for string instruments (violin, viola, cello, and bass). The lesson times for third grade depend on the number of students enrolled. String students in these grades will have a revolving schedule so as not to miss the same class every week. A separate ensemble time will be scheduled for each group You will need to rent an instrument, and fees vary depending upon the instrument. Concerts are held twice a year. Band instrument instruction begins in fourth grade.
Student Pictures: A program at HES provided by an outside organization. Individual student photographs are typically taken in the fall. Class pictures are taken in the spring, and at this time there will also be an opportunity to have individual photos taken if you missed them in the fall.
Talent Show: PTA event. The talent show occurs in the late winder/early spring. All students are welcomed. Group and individual acts may perform. Acts are previewed for appropriateness and length (typically there is a three-minute time limit). Typical acts are group dance acts, piano solos, vocal solos, and dance solos. Special skills such as karate and gymnastics may also be demonstrated.
Vision testing: PTA program. See Hearing and vision testing.
Paper Fundraiser (Innisbrook):
PTA program. Early in the year a catalog will be sent home that features
wrapping paper, gourmet candies and chocolates, and small gifts and ornaments.
This is the largest fundraiser for the school. The school receives fifty
percent of all proceeds.
here for useful sites
Fundraisers: Click here for our list of fundraisers