Category Archives: Uncategorized

2023-2024 Kindergarten Registration & May 24th Sneak A Peek!

HCPSS Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year is open! Parents/guardians of children who will be five on or before September 1, 2023, must enroll their children in kindergarten for the 2023-2024 school year. Please help spread the word! By registering for Kindergarten as early as possible, you’re helping to ensure that SJLES will have the staffing and resources in place for the incoming class of Kindergarteners well in advance. Working in advance also helps SJLES recruit the best teachers! Registration info can be found here. In addition, we hope to see many of our new SJLES Kindergarteners and families at our Kindergarten Sneak A Peek on 5/24/23 at 4:00 p.m. Please spread the word and complete this RSVP form if you plan to attend.

Free Online Tutoring Available for SJLES Students

Scientific Minds of America (SMOA) is a nonprofit with a mission to provide free online tutoring sessions to students K-8 from high school volunteers nationwide. Mount Hebron students participating in this program have reached out to us to share more information with SJLES families. SMOA offers free, personalized tutoring in Math, English, Science, and History by dedicated high school volunteers, at the pace you need–such as weekly, or on an as-needed basis. You can learn more about SMOA here, or use this link to sign up. Again, these tutoring services are free of charge.

Thank YOU for Making May Day Happen!

We literally could not have held this event without your time, effort, and generosity. To those who helped set up and clean up, made calls to businesses for the auction, volunteered at a station, brought baked goods, or loaned us a canopy, table, or cooler – we can’t thank you enough. We are also grateful to the area student groups who performed! Share your photos here for the (new!) digital portion of the yearbook. The funds raised from May Day will make up a large part of the 2023-2024 budget, which will be allocated in the fall, when the new school year begins. Thank you for your support!

2023-2024 Kindergarten Registration & May 24th Sneak A Peek!

HCPSS Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year is open! Parents/guardians of children who will be five on or before September 1, 2023, must enroll their children in kindergarten for the 2023-2024 school year. Please help spread the word! We hope to see many of our new SJLES Kindergarteners and families at our Kindergarten Sneak A Peek on 5/24/23 at 4:00 p.m. Please spread the word and complete this RSVP form if you plan to attend.

Crucial PTA Meeting WED 5/10: IN-PERSON @ 6:30

Coming together as a community at Saturday’s May Day Festival was an amazing experience! Like this one, many of the school year’s memorable events are run by the PTA. The time has come to elect a new Board of Directors to carry the torch for 2023-2024. There are still a number of open positions, and as a result, there will not be a PTA next year unless volunteers come forward on Wednesday night.

Please join us for an in-person meeting this Wednesday 5/10 at 6:30 p.m. in the SJLES Media Center to discuss the future of the PTA. Pizza will be provided! ***If you cannot attend the meeting, but would like to fill a Board position, please reach out to Meg Halvorsen at to indicate your interest!***

Free Workshops for Parents: May 2023

Parenting doesn’t come with a road map. Luckily, there are many FREE resources available to help you navigate the journey.


Howard County Health Department presents: “Social Media for Parents: Solutions for Summer and Beyond”

The pervasive presence of social media in the lives of today’s youth can be a cause of concern for parents who often have questions about appropriately regulating their child’s use and keeping their children safe online. The Howard County Health Department is pleased to offer a series of 1.5 hour Social Media for Parents – Guide to Healthy Summer Habits.

These sessions will address the mental health implications of social media use, personal safety and privacy, as well as tips for healthy use that will help your child establish a positive digital footprint. This research-based psychoeducational session is tailored to meet the needs of parents who want to prepare kids for a healthy and productive life on social media before they ever begin using it and also the needs of parents whose older children are experiencing problems with social media and need to learn how to manage these issues.

This program is run by Erin Castleberry, a clinician and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. She has taught a graduate-level course on the effects of social media on mental health and has presented on this topic internationally.

  • May 9th – Presentation + Q&A for Parents of Children ages 3-8
  • May 10th – Presentation + Q&A for Parents of Children ages 9-12
  • May 11th – Presentation + Q&A for Parents of Children ages 13-17

Participants can register for more than one session. All sessions run from 6:30 to 8:00 pm on the respective evenings. Register here.

PM Pediatric Care presents: “When likes & shares aren’t likable: Dangers of social media for our children”

Join this free, one hour webinar to hear evidence and perspective from a pediatrician, pediatric psychologist, and pediatric psychiatrist with PM Pediatric Care on how social media can affect children’s physical and mental health. Pulling examples from clinical experience, they will review some of the common scenarios that have impacted patients they’ve cared for and give practical advice parents can use to safeguard their children and help them manage the challenges they may face.

Tuesday, May 16, 8:00 pm. Register here.

National PTA & Forest Ridge Elementary PTA present: “Ready, Tech, Go!”

Is your child asking for their own phone? Do they want more freedom online? How will you know if they are ready? Come to the Forest Ridge Elementary Cafeteria for a new National PTA program: Ready, Tech, Go! During this educational event, parents and caregivers will:

  1. Learn about & reflect on various aspects of phone readiness.
  2. Become familiar with tools & resources that help families discuss digital life.
  3. Gain ideas & tips to promote a healthy & safe digital home.
  4. Interact with each other & experts in a comfortable setting. Dinner, door prizes & informational tables will be provided – all free of charge!

We welcome all Howard County PTA neighbors to join us for this special event! Come meet and chat in-person with National PTA leaders. 

Wednesday, May 24, 6:30 pm. In-person at Forest Ridge Elementary School. Register here.


Howard County Office of Children and Families presents the following programs…

  • For assistance with registering for any of the programs below, call 410-313-5992 (voice/relay) or email
  • To request sign language, interpreter or other accommodations to attend, call at least one week in advance.  

Navigating Your Child’s Mental Health Journey 

Presenters: Candace Ball from Howard County Local Children’s Board & Kala Jenkins, Howard County Health Department

Whether it is knowing the best ways to support your child’s social emotional health, having concerns about your child’s behaviors, or feeling like something is seriously wrong, knowing where to go for answers is a top issue for parents. Those first steps of navigating mental health supports are a challenging and daunting task. Come to this presentation to learn about the stages of mental health and the local resources and supports that will guide your understanding, provide you with choices, and help you learn the steps to start helping your child. Leave with tangible tools for education and intervention as well as where to go for assistance if you hit roadblocks to services.

Monday, May 8, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

Helping Children Be Proud Of Who They Are!

Gender identity is a complicated topic that is often misunderstood and confusing to many people. Join us for an informative workshop that will help you understand gender identity development from infancy to five years old. You will learn tips to support healthy development, how to apply a gender-neutral approach to daily life, and how to look for the teachable moments.

Tuesday, May 9, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

Developing your Child’s Emotional Intelligence

A critical skill for children to learn and a top skill kindergarten teachers look for in students is emotional intelligence. Children who have developed emotional intelligence can be seen as those with good listening skills, accept criticism and responsibility, solve problems, move on after making a mistake, and have empathy for others. Attend this workshop to learn successful practices and the tools you need to support your child’s social-emotional development in the early years. Explore the meaning of emotional literacy and learn practical strategies to teach children how to recognize and label emotions as well as appropriate ways to manage those big emotions. 

Wednesday, May 17, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

Discussing Your Child’s Mental Health with Your Primary Care Provider

Presenter: Dr. Jessica Winkles

We discuss the importance of mental health for everyone, yet rarely do we treat behavioral health like physical health. If your child is ill, you contact your primary care provider (PCP) for a sick visit. But what if you notice ongoing changes in your child’s emotional well-being or behaviors? All children can go through periods of anger, anxiety, frustration, and sadness but what is a concerning level? Attend this session to:

  • See examples of typical vs. concerning behaviors and understand why the PCP can be a great place to start when questions arise
  • Become familiar with some of the most common behavior concerns seen by pediatric PCPs
  • Understand what may happen after raising a concern with a PCP, including what to expect if you see a behavioral health provider
  • Become aware of methods for making the most of your visit to your child’s PCP

Thursday, May 18 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Click here for registration to virtual workshop

Eat, Learn, Grow For Families – STEM

Focus on Early Learning Literacy and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Young children have a natural curiosity about the world around them and through STEM exploration, children begin to wonder, explore, and investigate their environment.  Gain skills and knowledge to explore STEM topics at home with your children. This workshop will highlight STEM-focused children’s literature and explore ways to incorporate creative and fun STEM activities into everyday life.

Wednesday, May 24, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Free Virtual Workshop. Register here

Nothing I Do Works: A Parent’s Guide to Challenging Behaviors (in person session!)

The Pyramid Model is a comprehensive, research based approach that considers all the factors that impact a child, family and influence a child’s behavior. Learn how to help decrease negative behaviors from happening and/ or what to do when they do occur. Attend this session and ask questions and leave with skills and resources that you can use immediately to help you feel more confident in your parenting. For children ages two to eight. 

Wednesday, May 31, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. /9830 Patuxent Woods Dr, Columbia 21046/ Free  Register here

May Day this Saturday May 6th!

Canopies Still Needed!

We’d love to provide more shade at May Day! If you can lend a canopy, we still need a few more. Please sign up right here and it will be ready to be returned to you by Saturday evening. Thank you so much!

May Day Entertainment Schedule

  • 1:00 p.m. – Cub Scout Troop 944 Opening Ceremony, followed by Mt. Hebron HS Color Guard
  • 2:00 p.m. – Kangaroo Kids
  • 3:00 p.m. – Kavanagh Porter Academy of Irish Dance
  • 4:00 p.m. – Bach to Rock student band, “Thunder Jam!”

Visit the Staff Appreciation Station at May Day!

Staff Appreciation Week is next week, May 8-12…and at this year’s May Day Festival, you’ll have a chance to help kick off the fun! Just stop by the Staff Appreciation Station and write a note of gratitude and encouragement for our excellent SJLES staff! You can thank homeroom teachers, related arts teachers, paraeducators, custodians, health room staff, front office staff…ANY teacher or staff member you can think of who has made a difference for your students! And if you’d like to do even more for our teachers, check out this Signup Genius to donate items for next week!

Silent Auction Highlights

Local businesses and community members have been so generous with donations for the Silent Auction. There is something for everyone, including spa outings, baseball tickets, restaurant gift cards, wine tasting events, tickets to area attractions, and so much more. But your Jaguars might be most interested in a feature called “Priceless Experiences” with SJLES staff! These include pizza parties, bonus arts-and-crafts time, donut snack times, teachers’ helpers opportunities, and even challenging Mr. Notari and Ms. Coleman to a basketball game! Here are just some of the treasures that will be up for bid:

  • Front row tickets to 5th Grade Graduation
  • A chance to THROW A PIE at a teacher at Field Day!
  • $1,000 gift card to Dr. Alfred J. Maskeroni Orthodontics
  • $300 math tutoring with Ivy Math
  • Fine jewelry from Sergio’s, Smyth’s, and St. John’s Jewelers
  • Merriweather Post Pavilion gift certificate
  • A one-night stay at Turf Valley Resort
  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra tickets
  • $200 Big Screen Store gift card
  • And so much more!

Update: Next PTA Meeting IN PERSON for Board Elections

Mark your calendar! On Wednesday, May 10, the PTA will be meeting IN PERSON at **6:30 PM in the SJLES Media Center**! During this meeting, we’ll hold elections for next year’s Board of Directors. All positions are open! Serving on the PTA Board is a rewarding way to volunteer your time that directly benefits your children! This year our PTA has funded important enrichment projects, additional instructional supplies, and playground improvements–plus all the family-fun events. The PTA’s impact is REAL! You can read about the open positions here on our website. Flyers will be coming home soon as well. Please reach out to current President Meg Halvorsen at to indicate your interest or learn more.