Back to School Message

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 8:42am

Dear IES Families,
I hope you are enjoying these last few days of summer and that you had a relaxing and wonderful summer! We are delighted that you will be a part of our amazing learning community. Our school-wide theme this year is Refine, Refocus, Relationships…Every Teacher, Every Student, Every Day. We will work to refine and refocus our strategies and instructional practices, and continue to build effective relationships with students, staff, parents, and the community. We welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and are looking forward to working with you in partnership.

All signs point to another incredible and productive school year. Our devoted staff is already planning and preparing for your children. Our awesome office team is registering new families, ordering needed materials, and updating student files. Our hard working and conscientious custodians have spent the entire summer thoroughly cleaning our school and it looks beautiful! We are committed to our mission which is: To create a safe and nurturing learning environment that meets the academic needs of all of our learners, as we strive to inspire and guide students to become caring responsible, independent, and productive members of our diverse community.

New Staff

Each year brings positive change and this includes a few additions to our staff. We are delighted to welcome the following staff members to our great school. Each of these new staff members comes with expertise and dedication.

Laura Hirsch –Grade 4 Teacher
Lisa Nardi - .4 Art Teacher
Monica Ivy - .5 ESOL Teacher
Mary Hall – Reading Support Teacher
Lia Wright – TE
Jazmine McDonald - TE
Jay Banerjee - TE

Facilities Update

If you drove past the school or utilized our outdoor playing spaces this summer, you may have noticed the construction on one of the portable classrooms. The one portable that was due for maintenance and repairs will be used to house a Howard County Recreation and Parks Pre-K program. We are excited to welcome the program to IES!

Student Placement

A great deal of time, effort and thought has gone in the process of student placement for the 2017-2018 school year. Careful consideration was given to each student’s placement based on the previous teacher’s recommendation and from the optional parent input received in May. Classrooms have been balanced academically and socially. Our class lists are structured to provide equitable class sizes at each grade level.

Open House/Class Placement Notification

One of the most exciting days of the year is quickly approaching-OPEN HOUSE!  On August 31st, from 10:00 -11:30 a.m., all students will have the opportunity to see their new classroom, meet their new teacher(s), reconnect with old friends and meet new friends.  All students should be accompanied by an adult to the Open House.  Open House is a great time for students in grades 1-5 to bring in his or her school supplies, as well.  Kindergarten students will bring in supplies once they have an assigned homeroom teacher.

Starting this year, homeroom teachers will be using Canvas to send a welcome email and introduce themselves to each student in their classroom.  This is how you will find out your child’s homeroom teacher for the upcoming school year.  In order to receive this message, please make sure your contact information is up-to-date and accurate in Family File by visiting HCPSS Connect.  For safety and confidentiality purposes, we are no longer permitted to post class lists with student’s name on the front door of the school or in the hallways indicating which class your child is in so please be on the lookout for a Canvas message to be sent at the end of the day on Tuesday, August 29th.


Family File

Families may begin updating emergency contact information in the Family File.  When parents/guardians log in through HCPSS Connect there will be a link directing you to the Family File section.  Family File is where parents will find all of the information located on the Emergency Procedure Card, such as transportation, contact information, and medical considerations.

For the safety of your child/children, it is very important that this information remains current.  Please ensure that it is updated prior to the start of the school.  Parents who do not have, or may have forgotten their login credentials can request assistance using the help link on the HCPSS Connect page.


If your child is a bus rider place visit the following website to locate their bus number as well as their pick up and drop off times at

We encourage all students to begin riding the bus on the first day of school. Starting the routines on the first day is in your child’s best interest. We have plenty of staff available to assist students arriving to school to ensure that they are finding classrooms and teachers. If your child is nervous place talk about this being an exciting adventure.

School Security and Safety

School security and safety is the utmost priority for your students and our staff members. When you visit the school, we ask that you come directly to the front office to sign in and receive a badge that you must wear while in our school. You will need your driver’s license each time that you visit the school. Our staff members are trained to look for the appropriate badges to ensure that we know who is in our building at all time. We appreciate your assistance with this as we work together to make Ilchester Elementary School a safe place for all.

First Day of School

On the first day of school, we will have staff members available to help all of our students with arrival and dismissal along with various routines during the school day. Our staff will be looking out for kindergarten students and new to students IES since this is their first experience at our school. We will be asking that families say goodbye to students at the front door as we will not be able to have parents walking students to classrooms. We want every student to have a great first day and a wonderful school year.   


Joy B. Smith, Principal



Upcoming Events:

Open House   
August 31, 2017       
10:00-11:30 a.m.

PTA Meeting
September 12, 2017
7:00 p.m. – IES Media Center

Pre-K thru Grade 2 Back to School Night
September 18, 2017
6:30-8:00 p.m.

Gifted and Talented Back to School Night
September 19, 2017
5:45 p.m.

Grades 3 thru 5 Back to School Night
September 19, 2017
6:30-8:00 p.m.

PTA Bingo Night
September 29, 2017
7:00 p.m.