The CPES BobChat

August 6, 2023

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How Can Checklists Help You Start a New School Year?

For my personality, relationship building is easy. Task management is my nemesis. Over the years, I've tried lots and lots of ways to keep myself organized so I can function well as a husband, dad and principal. Checklists are my secret weapon. (My only problem is remembering to make them.) I believe they can be a valuable tool for you as well as you plan for a new year. 1. Checklists help me remember what's important. We all live in a world of constant distractions. Checklists focus us and keep us on track. They keep us centered because we can always return back to them when we stray away. Little ones and big ones both struggle with chasing squirrels and rabbits throughout the day. Checklists are the breadcrumbs that return us back home. 2. They reduce our anxiety. I cannot tell you how many times I wake up in the middle of the night worrying I won't remember to get something done. I have all kinds of memory tricks I use when that happens. None of those is better than keeping a checklist. When we write it down, that releases us from having to hold onto it in our brain. It's like having one less plate spinning in the air because we know where that plate is and what we intend to do with it. Checklists help ensure that we get it all done rather than worrying "Am I missing something?" 3. Checklists can motivate us. I have a confession. Yes, I am one of those people that actually draws a box beside the items on my checklist. If I don't, I just see it as a another list and not something I really need to accomplish. There is something inside of me (and maybe inside of all of us) that is satisfied when we are able to check the box and know the task is done. Internally, it is great to be able to celebrate the small wins as much as we do the big wins. Michael Hyatt, an expert on productivity, encourages us to daily list "The Big Three" things that we can do that have the highest leverage and keep us moving towards our biggest goals. Long lists can be necessary but shorter, prioritized lists are probably more motivating. I hope you will join me in using this simple tool to help organize yourself and your family for the start of school. As parents, when we model this process for our children, we equip them with a tool to know how to get things done and accomplish their goals. Checklists can be one of the secret sauces for reducing stress and enjoying life as we start back into a new routine. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Strength and Blessings to You,

Mr. Maness

P.S. Pictures below are of City Hope Church welcoming our students back by painting F Hall. We appreciate all their hard work (and they used a checklist to get it done.)

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Parents, note that all Transportation Forms need to be completed by Friday, August 11 for your child to ride the bus on the first day of school. See below.

Beginning of School Checklist for Parents

1. Returning Student Verification--You will need to complete the process separately for each student in your household. First, go to our website to verify your child will be a returning student:

Log in using your student's information:

Please note, it’s important for you to double check your contact e-mail address and phone number as you enter it as these are the ways the district will communicate with you in this school year.

You have received an email from Rock Hill Schools about Returning Student Enrollment Verification. The email includes directions, a link, username and password. Email Mrs. Hunsucker at if you have issues with completing this process.

2. Parent Portal Set Up--Go to:

Parent Portal Username:

Parent Portal Password:

Instructions for creating a Parent Portal Account are available on our website: Parents, please be prompt in completing your Parent Portal account set up! You have received an email from the District with directions and your username and password connected to your student/s. This is important for you to complete as more items/information will be provided to you, as a parent, through your Parent Portal Access. For example, attendance, grades, forms, etc. Note: Notification of what teachers your child will have this year will be sent through Parent Portal. They will not be mailed this year. You will be notified when you can see your child's teacher assignment in Parent Portal. Directions for signing up for Parent Portal are below and at this link:

3. Be Great Academy After School Program--This fall, we will transition from our district sponsored Challenger Program to the Challenger Be Great Academy which will be sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Rock Hill. The Be Great Academy has been selected as the best after school program in the Midlands for the past 11 years and they will bring lots of new ideas and support for our program at Cherry Park. You can click on the button below (or click on the link below) to find out more information and register your child. You can also contact Ms. Sanders at 839-228-9121 for more information about the program.

4. School Supply Lists--Are now available for you. Click on the following link or the button below: If you need any assistance securing supplies for your child, please let us know.

5. Attend Fall Open House--Thursday, August 17 from 4:30-6:30 PM. This will be a time for you to come and visit your child's teachers and ask any questions as we begin the school year.

6. New Info!! New Volunteer Process--Our District Safety and Security Team is implementing a new volunteer process. Your first step in this process is to complete a Volunteer Interest Form. You can go to this link to do so: Upon completing that, you will be notified further what to do in the process. It is no longer possible to apply for the volunteer screening without completing this interest form. For more information, you can visit our Safety and Security webpage which explains the new volunteer process: The Volunteer Interest Form button is below as well.

7. New Info!! Information about Bus Transportation and Technology Forms--Transportation and technology forms are now available through Parent Portal. If you haven’t verified that your student will be returning to Rock Hill Schools, do that first. (See directions above.) Then, sign up for Parent Portal where you will find your technology and transportation forms (see information above and the attached image to navigate to the forms in Parent Portal).

Requests for transportation are due by 5 p.m. on Aug. 11 to ensure service on the first day of school. We cannot guarantee immediate service for any requests received after Aug. 11 as we will have to place those students on an existing route and it will take a few days to process these additions.

8. New Info!! Staggered Start for Kindergarten Students--We will have a staggered start for all our kindergarten students this year. This allows for them to transition more easily. Students with last names that begin with A-M will come Monday and Tuesday, August 21 and 22. (They will not come Wednesday and Thursday.) Students with last names that begin with N-Z come Wednesday and Thursday, August 23 and 24. (They will not come Monday and Tuesday.) All students come on Friday, August 25.

Parent Portal Signup Directions

Click here for directions how you can sign up for Parent Portal.

Be Great Academy After School Program

Click here for more information about the Be Great Academy. To register your child, click on the "Register/Login" tab at the top on the far right.

CPES School Supply Lists

Click here to see what supplies your child needs for this fall. Please let us know if you need any assistance securing school supplies for your child.

Volunteer Interest Form

Click here to complete the Volunteer Interest Form.

Notes and Reminders

1. Personal Electronic Device Use for Students--There is now a new district policy (JICJ) concerning student use of personal devices. Here is what it says:

"For purposes of this policy, personal electronic device includes, but is not limited to, cell phones; pagers; gaming devices; or other devices that emit an audible signal; vibrate; display a message; display or record an image; or otherwise summon or deliver a communication to the possessor. Personal electronic devices are not permitted to be on or visible during the school day and should be stored in lockers or backpacks while on campus between the student arrival and dismissal bell.

Unauthorized use of a personal electronic device may include, but is not limited to, taking pictures or recording without permission, cheating, harassment or bullying, use during any emergency drill, use during unauthorized times, or use for unlawful activities.

A student in possession of a personal electronic device in conflict with this policy will be subject to discipline as provided under administrative rule JICJ-R."

Simply put, as we have done in the past, all personal electronic devices (cell phones, smart watches, gaming devices, etc.) that are out will be taken and we will ask the parent to pick it up. Please be sure your child knows this so that this will not be an issue this year. This applies to elementary, middle and high school students.

Note: The school board removed smart watches from the list of prohibited items in this policy. Students can have them but they cannot be used for communication nor recording nor be any kind of distraction to teaching and learning. They should only be used in a respectful, responsible and safe manner.

2. School Technology Use for Students--This year, all kindergarten, first grade and second grade school issued devices will stay at school. This is a districtwide decision. (Our K and 1st devices stayed at school last year.) We have found that our little ones really don't need devices at home given that they should be "real" reading and "real" writing as reinforcement homework activities. For many of our younger children, the device was so cumbersome getting it to and from home. Of course, if we are out for any extended period of time, we will send those devices home. Third, fourth and fifth grade devices will be permitted to go home. 3rd-5th teachers will follow up with parents to let them know how much devices should be used after school. All devices this year will only have access to apps and programs that students need to use. All other programs will be locked on the devices. All students will complete a district Digital Citizenship course and the technology fee of $20 needs to be paid. This fee covers the costs of basic damage of the device whether the damage happens at school or home. More information will be sent about what forms need to be signed and how to pay the technology fee. If you wish for your 3rd-5th grade child to leave the school issued device at school, you can complete the District Device Leave-at-School Optional Form below and give that to your child's teacher. See information above on the checklist about how to complete Technology Forms in Parent Portal.

3. Start Time for This Year--As you plan for your morning routines, know that students will be late after 7:40 this year. (Last year our start time was 7:45.) Our cutoff will be at 7:40 and after that time, parents will be asked to sign in their child. Please begin now to make adjustments to your schedules so your child can arrive on time.

4. Student Meals for Next Year--There will not be a cost for student meals next year. This will include breakfast and lunch. This will be a great opportunity for our school family.


Because, afterall…READING TAKES YOU PLACES! Challenge yourself to read at least 10 hours this summer. Keep track on a special “Travel the World” bookmark. Each time you read 15 minutes check off a box. If you check all the boxes you will have read 10 hours. Return the bookmark to the library by September 1, 2023 and you are eligible for prizes. If you don’t read all 10 hours, it’s okay...there are still prizes for all who participate

Read for a total of:

  • 5 hours = Small Treat
  • 8 hours = Small Treat + Bookmark
  • 10 hours = Small Treat + Bookmark + Rubber Bracelet + Free Book from the December Book Fair

Look for the bookmark and instructions for how to participate to come home the last week of school!

Elementary Attendance Guidelines

Click here for guidelines for elementary students.

Need Tech Support? Call 803-324-TECH

School Calendar

August 15--First Day Back for Teachers

August 17--4:30-6:30 PM Open House

August 21--First Day Back for Students; Kindergarten Students with Last Names Beginning with A-M come Monday, August 21 and Tuesday, August 22.

August 23--Kindergarten Students with Last Names Beginning with N-Z come Wednesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 24

August 25--All Students Come to School

August 30--6:00 Scouting Night at CPES and All Elementary Schools

September 4--Labor Day Holiday (No School)

Parent Organizations

School Improvement Council--This group seeks to determine how Cherry Park Elementary can be the best school it can be. It is a sounding board and feedback group for the school and district. Members are elected for two year terms. Members of this year's Council include Anitra Meeks, Paloma Fernandez Sanchez, Brittany Jensen, Celia Kerr, Ashley Petit, Latisha Givens, and Scott Kennedy. Ex-Officio Members are Mr. Maness (Principal) and Mrs. Futrelle (Assistant Principal). Meetings are held at Cherry Park on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 PM. All parents are invited to attend.

Parent Teacher Organization--This group has three main goals: Raising funds for the school, appreciating the staff and securing volunteers as needed. The Cherry Park PTO is a 501c3 tax deductible organization. Meetings are held at Cherry Park on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 PM (right after the SIC meetings.) All parents are invited to attend. All financial records are distributed and updated at each month's meeting.

Previous Newsletters for 23-24 School Year

"Who Are the Newest Hires and What Are the Latest Changes with Technology?" July 30, 2023

"What's the Latest News at Cherry Park" July 16, 2023

"Challenger Be Great Academy Update" June 23, 2023

"What Staffing Changes Have Been Made at CPES?" June 18, 2023

Cherry Park Website

This is the link to our school website.