Knightly News

Mt. Gallant's Quarterly Newsletter - Issue Two

Hello Parents!

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that we are half way through the school year. Our students are learning and growing so much, and we are enjoying the time we get to spend with them each day.

If you haven't already, take notice of our new new electronic sign posted on the front of the building. This sign has been a goal of PTA's for over a year. There are still some electrical things to work out so we don't have complete control just yet. It's going to be amazing when we do! Thank you, PTA!

Congratulations to Heather Gregory for receiving a Rock Hill Foundation Grant. The grant will fund a traveling community art show. Be on the lookout for our students' artwork while you're out and about!

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Testing Dates
Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades: April 13 - May 1
Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades: May 8 - May 29
*A detailed schedule will be posted on our website closer to the testing windows.

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @MtGallantElem. You'll get live information and pics weekly!


Mr. Moree

Congratulations & Back the Pack Basketball on January 24

Jonathan was selected by the fifth grade team to represent Mt. Gallant at the annual Back the Pack Winthrop basketball game! He will participate in a musical chairs competition at halftime for a chance to win an iPad mini from Comporium. We are very proud and excited to have Jonathan represent our school.

The Winthrop University Eagles will promote Back the Pack for the fourth consecutive year on Saturday, Jan. 24, during the school's women's and men's basketball doubleheader. Fans can get into the women's game (vs. Presbyterian College) at 1 p.m. and the men's game at 4 p.m. (vs. Campbell) for free with a donation of a non-perishable food item (such as crackers or pop-tarts). The donations will go to Back The Pack, which provides undernourished students with food to eat on the weekend when they're away from school meals.

The school with the most supporters at both the women's and men's games on Saturday, January 24 will win $1,000. Second and third place schools will win $500 each. There will also be a random drawing during halftime for all schools to have a chance to win $1,000.

We hope to see you there!

Is your child a car rider?

It is of most importance that you follow the traffic pattern when dropping off and picking up your child. We've noticed several cars turning into the teacher parking lot and dropping off there. This is not safe. Please follow the traffic pattern so that our Safety Patrol can do their jobs and ensure everyone's safety during arrival and dismissal.

Mt. Gallant Cares

Community involvement is a key component to our school’s success. Our goal with these projects is to build student awareness and involvement with the Rock Hill community.

Pilgrim's Inn

We will be collecting soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes for Pilgrims' Inn during the week of January 26th-January 30th. There will be a collection box at the front of the school for donations.

Pennies for Patients

Our FCA will be sponsoring a fundraiser for Pennies for Patients from February 6th - February 27. Each Friday, students can pay .50 to wear their favorite hat to school.

If you have questions about these projects, please contact Melisa Smith at

Lost & Found

We have an abundance of lost gloves, hats, hoodies, jackets, and coats. We show the items on our morning news show before hanging them in our "closet" located in the back left corner of the cafeteria. If your child is missing something please encourage him/her to check the closet or you may come by and browse.

PTA News

In the blink of an eye, it is late January! The PTA is busy preparing for spring activities. Yearbooks are available to order online this year, we will not order any extras so please do not delay ordering yours. If you have any fun pictures that you would like to submit, please email them to

The next spirit night is February 24th at Chick-Fil-A, come join us and support MGES. The PTA is planning two fun(d)raisers this spring, a Healthy Fun Family Day and a Spring Dance. The date for the Health Day is Saturday, March 21 and we will be selling spring spirit t-shirts and have a variety of family fun activities for all to enjoy. The highly anticipated school dance is taking place in May, at a date TBD.

Keep an eye out for volunteer sign-up lists for both these events. The last and final Boxtop collection for this spring will be late February, so keep clipping boxtops and send them in.

As you may have noticed we are in the middle of flu season, and we are asking all parents to consider sending in some extra hand sanitizers, Kleenexes and Lysol wipes to help keep our kids and school germ free.

The February PTA meeting has been moved to Tuesday, February 3rd due to a scheduling conflict with DCMS’ meeting for the rising 6th graders. We hope to see you at 6pm in the media center.

From our Reading Coach - Patty Taylor

So, you've read with your child. Now what?

After you've read with your child, you've really just begun! The next piece is extremely important...continue the experience by talking about what you've read. Ask them some questions and have some great conversation about the book with your children.

Sample questions are:

How did this story make you feel?

What did you like or dislike about this book?

Did this book remind you of something else?

What were you wondering as you read this book?

What are you going to read next?

GT News - Catherine Williams

In the last newsletter I introduced the Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights by Dr. Del Siegle, a past president of the National Association of Gifted Children. Let’s take a look at the final five rights he believes every gifted child deserves:

- Gifted children have a right to make mistakes. Perfectionism is a common problem for gifted students, and we need to help them learn that successful people study and learn from their mistakes.

- Gifted children have a right to seek guidance in the development of their talent. Talent needs to be encouraged, and many children need help in finding the right resources for the advanced experiences needed to encourage their talent.

- Gifted children have a right to have multiple peer groups and a variety of friends. Gifted children may have same-age friends, younger and older friends, or not many friends at all. As long as the specific child is not concerned about friendship, then we adults do not need to worry!

- Gifted children have the right to choose which of their talent areas they wish to pursue. A common problem for gifted children is their talent in multiple areas. Although they may be interested in and enjoy a variety of talent areas, it is helpful for them to select only one or two in which to focus their extracurricular time and effort.

- Gifted children have a right not to be gifted at everything. They may accomplish significant achievements in one area but be average or below average in others. Being “well-rounded” is overrated, as far as gifted children are concerned!

A student copy of the key points of the Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights can be downloaded from the NAGC website at

Grade Level News

News from Kindergarten

Kindergarten is the place to be. We have been working really hard this nine weeks in Language Arts by reading many books during our reading groups and independent reading time. Our students have enjoyed retelling familiar stories. During our Writing Workshop time, we have been writing about the holidays with a focus on sentence structure, punctuation, capitalization, finger spacing, and adding details. We have been working very hard in Math on number stories and counting in a variety of ways. Students have enjoyed experimenting with the wood, paper, and fabric kits. In Social Studies, students were excited to make a map of their street and find their house on a map.

Coming up next nine weeks, our students will work on opinion writing in Language Arts. In Math, we will work on counting, measurement, and addition/subtraction word problems. In Social Studies, we will learn about goods/services, wants/needs, and American symbols. In Science, we will study weather patterns.

We can’t believe the first half of the year is almost over. Let's work together to make the rest of the year a success!

News from First Grade

On January 13th, we had the first of five lessons with our 4-H leaders. They discussed with the students the importance of including fruits and vegetables in their diet. The leaders also made a graph of the students’ favorite vegetables. All of this learning is in preparation of planting our gardens soon.

On January 30th, we will have a presentation “Follow the Bottle” concerning recycling in Rock Hill. A Mt. Gallant first grade parent, Elizabeth Morgan, will be our guest speaker.

As we begin our third nine weeks, our science focus will be on rocks and minerals. We are going to the Dan Nichols Mines on March 19th.

News from Second Grade

Second graders have been hard at work in all subject areas! In Reader’s Workshop, we read lots of nonfiction books and learned how to “think through” them by thinking about the question words – who, what, when, where, why, and how.

In Writer’s Workshop, we also worked on nonfiction writing. We worked on a shared research project about presidents and wrote about them. We learned how to pick out facts from books and use those in our writing. We also learned how to write a good beginning (opening) sentence and a good closing. Second graders also worked on scientific writing as we wrote up each of our science experiments.

In math, we covered many different areas from telling time in five minute intervals, crossing over hundreds, renaming in addition and subtraction, and two step word problems.

In science, we learned all about forces, pushes and pulls, friction, pendulums, and ramps and had lots of fun with our experiments.

In social studies, we started with people within our government, talked about the election process back in November, did lots of presidential activities in which we learned about the White House, and different facts about different presidents, and ended up going back in time to pilgrims and Native Americans by the end of the grading period.

As for the upcoming third grading period, we will begin with geometry in math, weather in science, and opinion writing along with lots of other exciting things. Please continue to study those math facts at home each day. There will be another fact test during the third and fourth grading periods.

We appreciate your help at home and all that you do! Thank you for sharing your children with us each day.

News from Third Grade

It is hard to believe that we are already half way through the school year. We have learned a lot this nine weeks about matter, the Revolutionary War, and multiplication!

In math, we have been working on multiplication. We are moving into division throughout the next few weeks. Your child will continue to take fast fact quizzes, so please remember to study these facts nightly as this is a foundational skill for the grades that follow.

In science, we have been studying the three states of matter and their changes. We will begin discussing heat, conductors, and insulators. After this, we will move into our unit on plants and animals.

In social studies, we have been studying the Revolutionary War. Students have learned about the battles and heroes of the war, as well as the transition from colony to state. We are very excited about moving into our next unit of study, which is the Civil War.

In language arts, we have been learning more about informational texts. Students have been focusing on these types of texts during our guided reading time. We will continue to look at different works of nonfiction and study the different characteristics of this genre. Please continue to read with your child at home each night. Reading stamina is essential for student success. Third graders have been focusing on writing personal narratives. We will continue to practice our writing skills throughout this next nine weeks.

Please continue to encourage your child to give 100% effort in class daily and always turn in their best work. We appreciate your support at home and look forward to another fantastic nine weeks with your child!

News from Fourth Grade

Our second grading period has been filled with activity. Students have read and written, multiplied and divided, created patterns, settled North America, studied plants and animals, and had fun with free swimming lessons at the Aquatics Center.

The third grading period will have students working and learning just as much. They will be reading and writing more, working with fractions, fighting the American Revolution and creating a new government, and exploring our solar system.

News from Fifth Grade

Pack your bags and join us on our adventure to the Grand Canyon as we study the landforms on our amazing planet. In Social Studies we are overseas in the trenches of war while facing difficulties of the Great Depression back home. Fractions, Fractions and more Fractions are the name of the game in Math. In Language arts we are continuing our Informational Text study. You know fifth graders have a lot of opinions so we are putting those to good use in writing with creating a constructive argumentative response.​


There is a special event for all rising 6th grade students and parents on February 5th at 6:30pm at the middle school your child is zoned to attend in 2015-2016.

Attend this event to learn more about your middle school, the teachers and administrators, courses, sports, clubs, and other activities.


Special Area News

Art - Heather Gregory

During our second 9 weeks, the Art Room has been rocking!

Fifth grade classes have been learning about the Golden Age of Comics and created self based super hero characters. Fourth graders learned about myths, legends, and fairy tales while creating clay masks of an original character. Fourth grade also explored the world of digital art by creating personal video games. Third grade classes have been focused on the Catawba and their use of clay to make useful vessels. Second graders continue their travels to the seven Continents by designing armor for European knights. Look out…the dragons are coming up next! First grade began a unit about “Authors and Artists”. They created clay Rainbow Fish inspired by Marcus Pfister and story pillows inspired by the work of Faith Ringgold. Finally, kindergarteners are still focused on basic skills. We have been spending A LOT of time cutting and gluing while creating winter themed art.

Great things are coming up. April showers will bring May flowers a little early to first grade. Third grade will meet SC artists Phillip Simmons and “The Chicken Man”. Fourth and Fifth grades will be using their iPads for some graphic design assignments. Kindergarten will be learning about facial expressions and Second will be making “Gyotaku”.

Our artwork can always be seen at Notice slips are sent home when your student has new work posted, but registering as a parent means you will get email notification when your special artist has new artwork to view. Please consider checking out our virtual art gallery soon and remember…MGES makes 20% on any order from Artsonia! It’s never too early to think about Mother’s Day gifts!

Guidance Gap - Gail Abernethy

During classroom guidance, students are participating in The Mendez Foundation’s Too Good for Violence Program. This curriculum consists of four interconnected strands: Conflict Resolution; Anger Management; Respect for self and others; and Effective Communication. Each lessons correlates to state guidance standards in the area : Learning to Live.

Library/Media - Melisa Smith

During the third nine weeks, library/media students will sharpen their research skills by using nonfiction texts and online resources. Students will focus on identifying research goals, gathering information, and creating a final product. Throughout the research process, we will pair fiction and nonfiction books to help students practice how to build connection, draw conclusions, and read for meaning.

We have some great reading opportunities for students throughout the month of February! On February 4th, we will honor our Knights who completed the "Read with the Eagles Challenge" at the Winthrop Eagle basketball game. Way to go Knights! K-2 readers will have a Winter Reading Bingo Challenge while grades 3-5 will have an opportunity to participate in the Triple G Challenge. Information on both of these activities will be sent home on January 23rd.

In the month of March, we will have our Read Across America Spirit Week, Spring Book Fair, Battle of the Books School Competition, and our March Madness Reading Challenge! We will have a busy nine weeks in the library - Happy Reading Knights!

Music - Katie Abril

The second nine weeks in music has been very entertaining! In all grades, we covered audience etiquette, and the elements of musical theatre. Therefore the students had the opportunity to sing, dance, play instruments, perform as well as receive a critique by me and fellow peers. All of the students' instrument playing has been primarily on non-pitched percussion, so the students have been focusing on playing the correct rhythm and tempo. This semester, I will place more emphasis on melodic reading. Students 3rd-5th will start memorizing the names of the notes on the Treble Clef Staff, and students k-2 will focus more on the direction of notes and the intervals between them using the Solfege method.

This month our classes have been singing and playing instruments to songs centered around Martin Luther King, Jr. and freedom. In February, all of our classes will be studying blues and jazz in honor of Black History Month. More specifically our 3rd-5th graders will prepare music to sing in our "Cotton Club" the last week of February. The music room will be decorated as such and all students will perform. We'll make sure to post pictures!

In March our 2nd graders will be performing a mini-musical about sports and displaying good sportsmanship. Our 4th graders will also start their unit in Recorder Karate. Second and Fourth grade students will receive letters about both of these soon!

It's an exciting time in music at Mt. Gallant!

PE - David McKeown

Currently, Mt. Gallant is hosting Mrs. Lindsay Walker, Physical Education Intern with USC Upstate. Mrs. Walker is a non-traditional student who resides in York with her husband.

She is enjoying her time at Mt. Gallant during her Elementary School Placement. She has assumed the brunt of the Physical Education teaching duties.

Mrs. Walker will be with us through Friday, Feb. 20 after which she will move to Rock Hill High School to finish her internship at her Secondary School Placement. We are very excited to have her here with us at Mt. Gallant.

Mark Your Calendar!

3 - PTA Meeting at 6pm

11 - Late Start - Students are marked tardy at 9:45

16 - Presidents Day - No school for students
24 - Chick-fil-a Spirit Night - Cherry Road Location

2 - 6 - Read Across America Week!
11 - Late Start - Students are marked tardy at 9:45
13 - Digital Learning Day
16 - McAlister's Spirit Night - Milwood Location
21 - PTA's Family Health Day (Info to come)
25 - End of third nine weeks
30 - April 3 - Spring Break

11 - Battle of the Books @ Independence Elementary
16 - Family Art Night