August 27, 2021
Dear Lake Elkhorn Families:
Thank you to all of the students and families who visited us yesterday for our 6th grade Orientation, and 7th and 8th Grade Open House! It was so wonderful to see our students and families in person, and it was nice to watch our community come back together again in the halls of Lake Elkhorn. Our entire staff has been working hard preparing for the first day of school, and we are so excited to greet our students on Monday, August 30!
During the first four days of school, students will report to their Eagle Nest (homeroom) when they arrive. Doors to our school open at 7:50 a.m. and students must be in their Eagle Nest by 8:00 a.m. If your child is new to Lake Elkhorn, don’t worry - we will have plenty of staff members in the hallways helping your children get to class!
As a reminder, masks are required while your child is in school and on the school bus, and they may only be removed when your child is actively eating breakfast or lunch. Masks must be 3-ply masks that fit snugly over your child’s mouth and nose. Neck gaiters and masks with vents are not permitted in school, unless they are worn together with a 3-ply mask. Although some children have enjoyed wearing fashionable masks, first and foremost please make sure that masks fit your child properly so that we can work together to keep everyone safe.
More information about transportation, first day of school materials, and other things to help your child adjust to being back to school are included below. On behalf of the entire staff at Lake Elkhorn, please know that we are here to support your children, and give them the best experience possible while they are at Lake Elkhorn Middle School. If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
I wish everyone a wonderful weekend, and I look forward to seeing your child on Monday!
SAVE THE DATES!
First student day of the 2021-2022 school year
Schools and offices closed, Labor Day
Schools and offices closed
Back to School Night, 6:00 p.m.
Schools and offices closed
WHAT SUPPLIES DOES MY CHILD NEED ON THE FIRST DAY?
All students should come with their fully charged HCPSS assigned Chromebook, a couple of pencils, a notebook, and a binder. We also encourage them to bring an extra mask. Students can bring in more supplies as the week progresses. We also encourage students to bring a water bottle. Students will be able to use their locker and backpack starting on the first day of school, and we will help your child with their lockers throughout the entire week. We know lockers are a big deal and also can be scary for students - and we will be here ready to show patience and care.
As a reminder, all students must bring and wear a mask in the building and on their bus.
SCHOOL BUS INFORMATION
Bus stop locations and times can be found on the HCPSS Bus Locator webpage. As you prepare for a great start to school, keep in mind that sometimes it takes a week or two for the arrival times to be completely accurate due to the variety of bus routes. For this reason, we recommend that students arrive 15 minutes prior to the published, scheduled pick-up time, while also being prepared for a bus to be delayed. We encourage you to check this website on Sunday evening to make sure there have not been any changes. Thanks for your patience!
Breakfast and lunch will be available at no-cost to all students this year. Students will be offered breakfast when they arrive at school, in their classrooms, and lunch will be offered in the cafeteria. Students are not permitted to bring their own breakfast to school, but they are permitted to bring their own lunch.
WHERE DOES MY CHILD GO WHEN THEY ARRIVE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL?
Students should be at Lake Elkhorn by 7:50 a.m. When they arrive, they will go directly to their Eagle Nest (homeroom) on the first day.
DOES MY CHILD NEED THEIR HCPSS ISSUED CHROMEBOOK EVERYDAY?
Yes, your child should bring their fully charged Chromebook everyday. Any student that does not have a Chromebook from the previous school year will be assigned one.
CAN STUDENTS EAT LUNCH OUTSIDE THIS YEAR?
Weather and staffing permitting, we will have seating for students to utilize if they want to eat outside.
CELL PHONES AND ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Cell phone use is a popular topic among middle school students. All cell phones must be put away upon entering the building. Students may carry their phone, but it must be silent and it may not be used during the day; expectations will be shared with students the first week of school. Click here to review the "LEMS Cell Phone and Electronic Devices Policy", and please, please, please review this with your child before the first day of school. Thank you for your ongoing support!
STUDENT SCHEDULES ARE AVAILABLE
Student schedules are now available! Visit https://hcpss.me/, click on SYNERGY, and then click “Class Schedule” from the menu.
Please note: As we continue to enroll students, we are also continuing to balance class sizes based on new enrollments. With that, schedule change requests may not be possible. Such requests will be placed on a waitlist until all registrations are complete, and will be evaluated based on things such as course availability and class size. For the first couple of weeks our top priority is ensuring every student has a schedule by the first day of classes after enrollment. Again, we appreciate your patience as we continue to welcome new families to Lake Elkhorn.
COVID-19 SYMPTOMS SELF-CHECK
Parents/guardians should keep their children home if they are experiencing symptom(s) associated with any communicable disease, including COVID-19. In addition, parents/guardians are to perform the following COVID-19 health check every day before the student leaves home.
A child should NOT come to school with any of these symptoms:
For persons with chronic conditions such as asthma, the symptoms should represent a change from baseline.
CHILDREN EXHIBITING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 MAY NOT ATTEND SCHOOL
Please visit the HCPSS website for additional information on self screening, contact tracing and quarantining procedures. Additionally, visit the HCPSS website for more information on the 2021-2022 school year and answers to frequently asked questions.
UPDATE YOUR FAMILY FILE!
HCPSS utilizes Family File for parents/guardians to complete emergency information. All parents/guardians must verify and/or update information for each child each school year. Parents/guardians can complete the Family File by logging in to HCPSS Connect, selecting the “More Options” tab on the left and then selecting “Family File” in the center column.
MASK REQUIREMENT AT HCPSS SCHOOLS
Howard County Public School System Superintendent, Dr. Martirano, outlined several health and safety updates for the 2021-2022 school year, including that, effective immediately, masks will be required in school buildings for all students, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Click here for Dr. Martirano’s full statement and more information.
HCPSS 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR UPDATES
SCHOOL SUPPLY LISTS
Click here to see our 2021-22 school supply lists. It is important to keep in mind that this list is a guide. Due to online learning, some of these materials may not be needed in your child’s home work space. Further, your child will have different teachers for each subject, and there may be some variations once your child receives his/her schedule. We encourage you to keep your receipts in case items are not needed.
CAN MY CHILD CARRY A BACKPACK DURING THE SCHOOL DAY?
Backpacks are permitted in school this year, since students will want something to protect their laptops while moving from class to class. Our hallways are narrow, and we ask that students carry a small bag or backpack to prevent overcrowding, and leave their larger backpack in their locker. If your child does not have a small bag or backpack, we will permit larger backpacks to be carried, as long as they are not full or bulky. Thanks for understanding so that we can ensure safe hallway experiences for our students!
IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS – 7TH GRADE STUDENTS
This is a reminder to parents of incoming 7th grade students: All children must have the required State of Maryland immunizations in order to attend school, including in districts utilizing virtual instruction. The following are required by the state of Maryland for all students entering Grade 7:
Click here for more information about this requirement.
Many students may have already received these immunizations, but the Health Room may not have the updated immunization record. Please contact your child’s doctor and send/fax us an updated copy of your child’s immunizations to the Health Room. Our fax # is 410-290-6430 or you may email a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOES YOUR CHILD NEED TO TAKE MEDICATION AT SCHOOL?
Any medications required during school hours including prescription, “over-the-counter” (OTC) and homeopathic/herbal medications require a medication order signed by an approved health care provider and are subject to the HCPSS medication policy and procedure. For more information click here to visit our website.
TECHNOLOGY ACCOUNTS FOR NEW STUDENTS
Students new to HCPSS will receive technology accounts once their registration is finalized. If your child is newly enrolled in HCPSS, click here for more information regarding technology accounts.
FREE AND REDUCED MEALS PROGRAM - MORE THAN MEALS!
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of hardship for many of our friends and neighbors. Many HCPSS families have been impacted financially by the pandemic, and may be eligible now to receive benefits through the Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMs) program. Qualifying families can take advantage of a wide range of additional resources and discounts, including testing fees, tuition, internet and more. Click here to learn more about the additional resources available for qualifying families.
For more information, or to apply, click here.
Important Note: If your student received Free or Reduced Meals during the 2020-2021 school year, please be reminded that a new application must be completed each year. For more information about school meals and programs, please visit the HCPSS website at: http://www.hcpss.org/food-services/.
LEMS LITTLE FREE LIBRARY
Is your child looking for a good book to read this summer? Be sure to stop by and visit our Little Free Library, located right outside near our school’s main entrance. Take a book, share a book, and visit often!
WELLNESS TELEMEDICINE CENTER COMES TO LAKE ELKHORN
HCPSS and the Howard County Health Department (HCHD) have partnered to implement school-based wellness telemedicine centers. Telemedicine centers use a secure, two-way link to transmit videos and images between our school’s private health suite and the telemedicine provider. For more information, or to enroll in the Wellness Telemedicine Center at Lake Elkhorn, click here.
SUPPORT OUR SCHOOL AND JOIN THE PTSA!
At Lake Elkhorn, we are very fortunate to have such an active, supportive and involved PTSA. Get a jump start on the school year and join the PTSA today! Your membership helps support our students and school community! Click here for more information.
UPDATING EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
Family File is now available for the 2021-22 school year: Parents/guardians can now access and complete the family file for this school year using HCPSS Connect. Parents/guardians must complete the Family File every year to ensure HCPSS has the most current information for each child.
Once logged in, parents/guardians will be asked to verify, or update the following information: Student Information, Parent/Guardian Contact, Emergency Contact, Medical Information, Arrival/Dismissal Procedures, Photo Approval, Data Confidentiality, PTA/PTSA Directory.
Updating your information, including email addresses and contact information, and pushing the submit button will ensure that you are receiving the most recent news from Lake Elkhorn Middle School and HCPSS.
If you have forgotten how to access your HCPSS Connect account, or are new to the system, click here for more information and support including instructions in English, Korean & Spanish as well as a video link.
Please have this back-to-school necessity completed by August 30, the first day of school. If you have any questions please contact Ms. Lobdell at email@example.com who is available to assist you. Thank you for completing the Family File and for your continued support!.
Please note: changes of address may not be made through Family File. If you have recently moved, please contact your child’s new school as soon as possible. As we are preparing for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year, it is imperative that we have accurate addresses on file for all of our students. If you have moved, and have not provided us with your updated information, we ask that you complete the following and send them to Ms. Burdette, Student Service Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Our newsletter will be emailed every other Friday. PTSA newsletters will be emailed on opposite weeks. Important news and updates will be emailed, as needed, and posted on our website.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITES