The Mallard Compass

Forts Pond Elementary School

April 2021

Be InTENTional In All You Do!

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FPES Vision and Mission


Forts Pond Elementary students will become self-directed, collaborative, creative, and caring learners who flourish in the global, competitive 21st century.


Forts Pond Elementary will Fulfill the Potential of Every Student by:

Collaborating with families and the community

Providing a safe, nurturing environment

Promoting learning through academics and the arts

Inspiring students to find their own greatness

Engaging students in goal setting

Celebrating accomplishments

Developing LEADERS


Si necesita traducción de este loletin, por favor busquela opción de traducir en la parte inferior del boletín. Esto permite que los padres tienen el boletín traducido en su elección de idioma.

Communication Between Home and School

Effective Family-school communication and family involvement in education contributes to improved student achievement and better learning outcomes. FPES uses a variety of ways to communicate with our families including emails. School Messenger, Facebook, school website, Peach Jar, Twitter, Tuesday folders, and newsletters. All emails and phone messages will receive a response from FPES staff within 24 hours of the initial contact.

If you are trying to reach your child's teacher during the school day on days your child is learning at home, please remember the teacher is teaching another group of students at this time. They will return your emails and call as soon as possible.

Follow us on Twitter @FortsPond.

Like us on Facebook @FPESMallards.

Important School Phone Numbers

Front Office (803)821-2500

School Nurse (803) 821-2523

Library (803)821-2514

Pelion Transportation (803)821-1352

School Cafeteria (803)821-2525

Attendance and Records (803)821-2504

Fees (803)821-2502

Important Dates for April, May and June


5-9 Spring Break

14 Report Cards Sent Home

20 PTO Nominations for Officers Form Sent Home

27 PTO Nominations for Officers Due

29 Ballot for PTO Officers Sent Through Email


3 Last Day to Vote for PTO Officers

State Testing for Grades 3-5

31 No School for Staff or Students


9 Last day and a Half Day for Students

Electronic Family Input

We are here to answer any questions, hear your concerns, and take your suggestions.

You can use this form to submit questions, concerns or suggestions. Your submission is anonymous unless you choose to share your name.

Family Input Form


Congratulations to the following students:

Karson Hall received 1st place award for her poster in the SC 4-H Horse Project Creative Contest.

Hayden Hall received 1st place for her multimedia project in the SC 4-H Horse Project Creative Contest.

2021 Miss Mallard Pageant Winners!

5K Winner: Madelynn Wingard

1st grade winner: Sophia Padgett

2nd grade winner: Amyiah Austin

3rd grade winner: Kirra Wise

4th grade winner: Jaiden Chavez

Little Miss Mallard: Myriah Phillips

People's Choice winner: Ciara English 3rd grade

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Please make sure your child arrives to school before 7:40 each morning, so they will not be marked tardy.

Please make sure your child brings a mask and a water bottle to school every day.

If anyone in your house test positive for COVID-19, do not send your children to school. Even if they do not have symptoms, there is still a mandatory quarantine time that will not allow the children to attend school. If this happens, please contact our school nurse and help us slow the spread of COVID-19


Beginning April 12, each student must select a milk to complete their meal to meet the USDA guidelines. Of course, the students with medically documented milk/dairy allergies will not be required to take milk. This allergy information is noted in our system for students with medical documentation from their physician.
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Updates From the Healthroom

If I need to visit the School Nurse or Health Room, what should I do?

  • All parent visits to the school nurse will be by appointment only, unless the nurse calls you to pick up your child.

I would like to know how COVID-19 is affecting schools in Lexington One. Where do I find this information?

  • We believe that we should keep our internal and external public informed about the impact of COVID-19 on our schools and have created a dashboard which does that. The dashboard, which contains that important information, is updated no later than 12 p.m. each weekday. The student and staff active positive numbers are the number of students and staff with COVID-19. The number of students and staff excluded includes all individuals who exhibited COVID-19-like symptoms or who are on quarantine as close contacts, etc.

What should I do if someone in our household test positive for COVID-19?

  • If your child or someone in your household test positive for COVID-19, do NOT send your child to school. Please contact Nurse Fairey at 803-821-2523. She will let you know the process for your child to return to school.

Attendance Matters

This video offers practical, every day steps parents can take to help their children attend school and highlights ways schools and communities can help reduce barriers to attendance. in English in Spanish

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Counselor's Corner

Check out the lessons your child will receive in April from our School Counselors.

Grades 5K, 1, and 2

5K- Career Lesson- Put First Things First

1st Grade- Career Lesson- Careers and Interests Around My School

2nd Grade- Career Lesson- Career Interests- Group Problem Solving

Grades 3, 4, and 5

3rd Grade- Leaders work together (synergize)

4th Grade- Erin's Law lesson on safety

5th Grade- Transition to Middle School

Contact one of the School Counselors if you have any questions or concerns about your child.

Cindy Hill 5k- 2nd (803) 821-2510

Gina Mahoney 3rd-5th (803) 821-2598

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How to Help Your Child in Math and Science

How to Help Your Child in Reading, Writing and Social Studies

Inspire creative thinking with a tall-tale challenge

FPES Technology Help Hub

This document provides students and parents with tutorials in using a variety of online applications including Google Classroom, Google Slides, Jamboard, etc...

Title I Project Specialist/Parent Liaison

Please contact Kasci Padgett, Title I Project Specialist and Parent Liaison if you need assistance finding resources to help your child at home. Our Title I Parent Resource Center is full of resources. You can email Mrs. Padgett at or call (803)821-2552.

Lexington School District One Families Day

If you were unable to join us for the live sessions, we have linked all of the recordings for you to watch at a time that is convenient for you. You will find many topics to help you support your child with reading, writing, math and social emotional needs. Kids who have an adult deeply invested in their learning, do better in school. We are thankful for your partnership and investment in your child’s learning.

Here is a link to the video of each session.

Parent Engagement Tips

A failing grade is feedback for the future

Your child didn't pass a test. What should you do? Think of F as standing for "feedback." First, notice anything your child got right. Then help her learn from the rest by asking questions such as: What kinds of questions did you miss? Did you miss them because of something you didn't read or remember from your notes or the book? What does this test tell you about how you should prepare for the next one?

Balance screen time with the things that matter
Children learn by doing. The main problem with too much screen time is that it keeps them from doing productive things. By necessity, students are spending more time with screens to do schoolwork. So when your child isn't doing schoolwork, make sure he spends plenty of time reading, playing outdoors, making art, pretending or just thinking. These are the things that are important for his development.

When you set rules and limits, explain why
Children need and want limits. But don't simply demand blind obedience from your child. Once kids are old enough to reason, they should be encouraged to do so. Understanding why they should or should not do things helps them make good decisions when parents aren't around. When you make a rule or set a boundary, let your child know why she should obey it (and avoid saying things like, "Because I said so!").

Title I Parent Engagement

Our next Title I Meeting will be on April 12 at 3:00 P.M. The meeting will be held through Zoom. A link to the meeting will be emailed to parents. At this meeting, we will review our current Title I Plan and beginning planning for 2021-2022.

On September 18 at 9:00 A.M, our Title I Planning Committee met. Here is a link to the agenda and the presentation for that meeting.

Title I Agenda

Title I Presentation

On January 28 at 11:00 A.M. our Title I Planning Committee met. Here is a link to the agenda and the presentation for that meeting.

Title I Agenda

Title I Presentation

A copy of all the Title I documents below were sent home in Communication Folders on Tuesday, September 8 for Cohort A and on Wednesday, September 9 for Cohort B. These documents have bee reviewed at both Title I Meetings.

After reviewing these documents, we invite you to share any suggestions or concerns you may have that will help us improve our family engagement policy.

So far we have received 126 Family Engagement Policy returned from families with a signature. We did not receive any recommendations for improvement. Please continue to share suggestions.

The links below will give you digital access to all these documents.

FPES Parents Right to Know - English

FPES Parents Right to Know - Spanish

Parents and Family Engagement Policy - English

Parents and Family Engagement Policy - Spanish

Parent and Family Engagement Policy Highlights - English

Parent and Family Engagement Policy Highlights - Spanish

Family and School Compact - English

Family and School Compact - Spanish

If you were unable to attend, but have suggestions, please email or call Michelle Smith.


District Launches Virtual Calming Room

The Virtual Calming Room is a place for students, families and staff to find strategies for managing emotions and feelings in positive ways while building resilience.

Sometimes, life gets challenging and overwhelming. We can feel stressed with life’s events, both big and small.

The virtual space provides resources and tools to help you find ways to manage life, explore new problem-solving opportunities and develop coping skills. Enjoy and take some time for yourself.

Leader in Me

Habit 7

Take a minute to watch this video with your child about Sharpen the Saw.

Think about it. Do we ever do this to ourselves in other situations?

When we work to build family traditions together, we show we are valuing the needs of individuals and families. Renewing our family in each of these areas is where family bonding, identity, fulfillment, and happiness are found. Many of these renewal times come when we are giving time to the Big Rocks we learned about in Habit 3: regular one on one-time, regular meals together, regular family time, family rituals, and traditions.

Think back to Habit 2 when your family created your coat of arms. What did you put in each of the four quadrants? Think back to why you chose to add what you did. Was there at least one item that was something you could do with your physical body? One that was emotional or to do with love? Anything about learning? What about spiritual? These are the four basic needs families and individuals need.

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Safety and Security

Please be prepared to show your picture ID every time you sign out your child. Also if you send someone else to sign out your child, they must be listed on the child's record giving us permission to allow the person to pick up your child. We will also need their drivers license.

At this time, we only welcome visitors in the front office. Thank you for understanding as we work to keep students and staff healthy and safe.

All students must be dropped off in the car rider lane closest to the building. Please do not drop students off at the flagpole. It is not a safe or supervised drop off area.

News From Food Services

Even though breakfast and lunch meals are free through the end of the school year, it is important to complete the free or reduced lunch form. Free and reduced lunch status is used to determine funding for several grants our school receives.

  • A household may apply for benefits at any time during the school year.
  • Children of parents who become unemployed may become eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
  • A single application will be accepted for all children in the household attending schools in the same district.
  • Household members do not have to be U.S. citizens for children to qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
  • Including a child in foster care on a household application increases the household’s size and thus may help the foster family’s non-foster children qualify for free or reduced-price meals, without affecting the eligibility of the child in foster care.

If you would like to apply for free or reduced lunch, go to If you already completed the application through online registration, you will not need to complete another one. You may apply at any time in the event your circumstances change.

If you need assistance with the application, please contact Kristina Sox at (803)-821-2502.

Take Home Meals for Virtual Students

The district’s Online Learning Academy students will continue to receive free meals. Parents of Online Learning Academy students must complete their form by 6 p.m. each Tuesday when it closes. The link reopens each Friday at 1 p.m for the following week’s meals. You can find that form here. Online Learning Students Meal Order Form

The district’s Online Learning Academy families can pick up meals each Friday between 11 A.M. and 1 P.M. at any one of the district’s five designated drive-through locations. See the flyer below for locations. Online Learning Academy parents must show their student’s school identification card to pick up meals.

Parents with questions should email Ashley Summers at

Special Occassion Treats

This year we will not have treats sent from home delivered to the classroom. We are taking all precautions to help staff and students stay healthy.

If you would like to provide treats to your child's class, our cafeteria will be able to assist you!

The cafeteria will offer cookies or cupcakes for purchase. These products meet the USDA requirements for Smart Snacks in schools. All treats are individually wrapped and our cafeteria staff will deliver the treats to the classroom.

You must contact our Cafeteria Manager, Debra Morris, at least 3 days in advance. Mrs. Morris will need to place an order for the treats. Please call 803-821-2525.

Cookie Trays - $0.35 per cookie

Cupcake Trays - $0.75 per cupcake

More information can be found here. Special Occasions Treats Order Form

Recycle Crayons, Markers, and Printer Cartridges

Do you have old crayons, markers, or printer cartridges lying around the house?

You can send those items with your child to school, and we will recycle those for you.

Ms. Siceloff, FPES STEM teacher, is the contact for this program.

Box Tops for Education

The Box Top Program is now digital-only. You can download the Box Top App and scan your receipt to earn money for our school.

Once you download the app, you will need to register.

Support Our School By Shopping at Publix

Publix Partners is donating to our school!

Here is how you can sign up and participate in just a few steps.

  1. Enroll in Publix Partners by visiting and selecting our school.
  2. Enter your phone number every time you check out at Publix.
  3. Publix will donate a portion of qualifying purchases to our school!

Publix Partners has contributed $37.7 million to more than 4,600 schools across the Southeast.

Terms and Condition Apply.

Coca-Cola Codes

Though school is a bit different this year, we are still collecting Coca-Cola cap and carton codes to help support students in Pelion School's ESOL Program. Coca-Cola donates funds to schools to assist with supplies, programs, field trips, family events (when permissible), and much more.

Please save and let your child turn-in your Coke product bottle caps and carton codes (worth 5-38 cents each) in the container provided in the commons area. You may also enter your codes online at Click on "DONATE TO YOUR LOCAL SCHOOL" and enter "Pelion Middle School". Then sign-in or create an account. It's that easy! Thank you so much for your support. Our teachers and students appreciate it!

PTO NEWS - Election

It is time to begin planning for the 2021-2022 school year. PTO is an important part of our school community at Forts Pond Elementary. As we look forward to next year, we will be holding elections for our 2021-2022 PTO officers. On Thursday, April 29, you will receive an email with a link to the ballot where you can place your vote. The ballot will close on Monday, May 3 at 4:00 P.M.

If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for these offices, please do so on the bottom of this letter and return to school by Tuesday, April 27, 2021. We will create the ballot based on the nominees we receive by this date. If you would like to know more about the duties of each position, please contact me at 821-2500 or Also, all officers will be subject to a background check. This background check is required for all volunteers in Lexington School District One.

I would also like to publicly thank our current officers and the projects they have made happen this year for the students and staff of FPES!

Ashley Leaphart, president

Stacy Wren, vice president

Cassie Blanton, treasurer

Shannon Mengedoht, secretary

Follow FPES PTO on Facebook Forts Pond Elementary PTO

You may contact the PTO by email.

Building Plan for FPES Through the Bond Referendum

The community can find the latest information about projects happening around the district as well as here at FPES. All of these are funded by the recently passed bond referendum for Lexington School District One.

FPES will be receiving the following:

  • Secure Entrance Upgrades
  • Additional Classrooms
  • Replacement for Folding Partition in Between Cafeteria and PE Room
  • Additional Exterior Lighting in the Front Parking Lot
  • Storage and Equipment Building
  • Future Ready Classroom Furniture and Equipment


Please note that due to the public health emergency brought by COVID-19 and the continuing uncertainty regarding the virus’s impact upon district and school operations for the 2020–2021 school year, it may be necessary for the district to alter, amend or otherwise modify the information contained in this document throughout the year.

The district reserves the right to make any necessary changes to the contents of this document, consistent with amendments or revisions to policy or administrative rules, which may be required or occur as a result of changes brought about because of COVID-19. The district will also make reasonable efforts to inform you in a timely manner of any material changes made to any calendar, plan, policy or protocol listed in this document.

Lexington County School District One’s Nondiscrimination Statement

Revised 09-04-2018

Lexington County School District One is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all students, parents/legal guardians, staff, visitors, personnel and community members who participate or seek to participate in its programs or activities. Therefore, the district does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or any related medical conditions), color, disability, age, genetic information, national origin, or any other applicable status protected by local, state, or federal law.

The district will use the grievance procedures set forth in policy to process complaints based on alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; the Equal Pay Act of 1963; the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008; and Titles I and II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The district designates specific individuals to handle inquiries or complaints. To find out who to contact and how to contact them, please go to our website at