Panther Press

Pleasant Knoll Elementary Weekly Update for Parents

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Welcome from the PKES Administration

Panther Family,

We hope that all of you had a wonderful summer! We are excited to be welcoming back our staff on Monday, August 12th and our students on Monday, August 19th. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new families. We are confident that you will have a tremendous experience in a warm, welcoming, all-inclusive environment.Each Friday, you will receive "The Panther Press," with updates and information that we feel will keep parents informed and engaged in all things that are happening at PKES.

This year, we will continue to focus on the implementation of the 5 C’s into everything we do in instruction, operations and practice. We will be creative and collaborative, we will think critically, we will be great communicators, and we will provide an environment where caring is at the core of everything we do and every decision we make.

As most of you know, our school has grown tremendously. We will open our doors with over 1,000 students. With this, we have the unique opportunity to welcome many new students and families to our school. We are also fortunate to have the opportunity to add some very talented staff to an already amazing all-star cast.

We are beyond excited to get this year started. You will see how excited we are about this year when we send our "Welcome Back Video" next Friday, August 16th. This is a tradition that we know all of our students and families look forward to.

Again, welcome back! We are confident this will be the best year for all students, staff and families yet!

We look forward to seeing everyone soon!

PKES Administration

Student Placement

Student placement for the 2019-2020 school year will be sent to parents tomorrow, Friday, August 9th after 9 AM. We will send homeroom assignments via email. Parents can login to their Parent Portal to view their child's full schedule tomorrow after 9 AM.We appreciate you understanding that all placement is final!

New families or families who have not set up Parent Portal received an email August 1st with instructions on how to set up Parent Portal. If you are unable to login to Parent Portal, we will have information available during Meet the Teacher. We are unable to give out Parent Portal information via phone.

Changes to PKES Parent Lunches

Due to our growth and to ensure safety and security, we have made some changes to our parent lunch policy. Please read below for the changes to PKES Parent Lunches. We appreciate your support and understanding of these changes.

  • Parent lunches will begin for grades 1-5 on Monday, August 26th.
  • Parent lunches will begin for Kindergarten on Tuesday, September 3rd.
  • Parent lunches will take place on the stage. Due to space limitations and allergy considerations, parents will not be allowed to eat at the tables on the floor of the cafeteria.
  • Parent seating is first come, first serve. A limited number of seats are available on the stage for parents and their child/children.
  • Parents will only be permitted to eat with their child/children. Students will not be allowed to have a buddy eat lunch with them.
  • Parents must have a driver's license or state issued ID to enter the building.
  • Students are limited to two parents/guardians/siblings for lunch.
  • Only adults who are in PowerSchool as a parent/guardian/emergency contact will be allowed to eat lunch with students. Any other visitors must be escorted by a parent.
  • Parents should plan to arrive at the start of lunch. Students will also have to leave the cafeteria when their lunch time is over. No extensions to lunch will be made. If parents have not arrived at the start of lunch, students will go through the lunch line and purchase a lunch.
  • The stage will be closed two Fridays each month for Teacher Luncheons and Student Incentives. Below are the dates that no parent lunches will take place for the 19-20 school year.
  • Parents should plan to meet their child in the cafeteria for parent lunches.
  • Due to space and to allow all students the opportunity to visit with parents, we ask that parents limit the number of times they come to lunch with their child. We value social interactions among peers. Due to this, parents will not be permitted to eat lunch with their child daily.

The stage will be closed (no parent lunches) on the following days for the 2019-2020 school year.

September: Friday, September 13th and Friday, September 27th

October: Friday, October 11th and Friday, October 25th

November: Friday, November 8th and Friday, November 22nd

December: There will be no parent lunches in December.

January: Friday, January 10th and Friday, January 24th

February: Friday, February 14th and Friday, February 28th

March: Friday, March 27th

April: Friday, April 17th

The final day of parent lunches will be Thursday, April 30th.

Traffic Circle/School Time Changes 🕢

The Fort Mill School District has made changes to the school start/end time for elementary for the 2019-2020 school year.

7:05 AM - Doors open and car rider line begins

7:35 AM - Tardy Bell - Students are tardy if they are not in the building. Being in the car rider line once the bell rings does not count the student present. If the student is not in the building, he/she is tardy. We frequently monitor traffic and we understand that weather can slow down the line. We will make reasonable exceptions when these events occur. Please note that traffic is heavy and allow extra time to arrive on time.

2:20 PM - Dismissal

2:40 PM - Our car rider line ends at 2:40 PM. All car riders should be picked up in a timely manner.

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Independence Day

Independence Day for the 2019-2020 school year will be Friday, August 23rd. Beginning Monday, August 26th, all students should use bus transportation and/or the car rider line. Parents will not be allowed to escort students to the classroom after Friday, August 23rd.

Office Hours

The office hours from PKES are from 7:05 AM - 3:15 PM Monday - Thursday and 7:05 AM - 3:00 PM Friday. We will be available to answer phones from 6:50 AM until 3:15 AM Monday - Thursday and 6:50 AM - 3:00 PM Friday.

Follow us on Twitter

For live, up-to-date communication, we encourage all families to follow administration and classroom teachers on Twitter. You can use the #PanthersEngaged to see events from the school and classroom. We also encourage parents to active on Twitter with comments and questions. Administration will respond to questions on Twitter.

Mr. Allen, Principal - @PKESAdmin

Mrs. Steger, Assistant Principal - @PKESAP

Mrs. Driver, Assistant Principal - @PKESAAP

Meet the Teacher

Meet the Teacher will take place Thursday, August 15th.

Kindergarten Meet the Teacher will be from 8:00-8:45 AM, 9:00-9:45 AM or 10:00-10:45 AM. Kindergarten parents are encouraged to attend one of these sessions.

Meet the Teacher for Grades 1-5 will take place from 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Parents are encouraged to drop in at a time that is most convenient for them.

Transportation Changes

We ask parents to strongly consider keeping transportation consistent throughout the year to ensure timely dismissal and reduce potential confusion. We do understand that transportation changes will occur. If you need to make a transportation change, it should be done by no later than 1:30 PM. Please email their classroom teacher. If you have not heard back from the classroom teacher by 1:30 PM via email, you can call the front office to confirm that the change in transportation was received.

New Staff to PKES

With our growth comes the amazing opportunity to welcome new students and new staff members to the PKES family. With growth also comes the opportunity for staff to change roles and work in different grade levels. Below are changes in staff and staff that are new to PKES.

New to Kindergarten

Cassidy Garrick (new to PKES)

Rebecca Robinson (from 1st to Kindergarten)

Kari Cornwell (Kindergarten Assistant working with Ms. Bostardi)

Emily McMahan (Special Ed to Kindergarten)

New to 1st Grade

Susan Scappaticci (new to PKES)

Heather Eatman (new to PKES)

Katie Moody (new to PKES)

Kim Perkins (moving from K to 1st)

Diane Dewland (new to PKES)

New to 2nd Grade

Emily Brandt (new to PKES)

Betsy Knight (moving from 1st to 2nd)

Erin Sweeney (moving from 3rd to 2nd)

New to 3rd Grade

Rachel Galmish (moving from 4th to 3rd)

Courtney Montgomery (moving from 1st to 3rd)

New to 4th Grade

Michael Small (new to PKES)

Krystine Blocker (new to PKES)

Donna Marie Barra (new to PKES)

Chantal Murphy (moving from 5th to 4th)

New to 5th Grade

Gabrielle Smith (new to PKES)

Allison Cash (new to PKES)

Jennifer Bower (moving from 4th to 5th)

Hailey Ciley (moving from Special Ed to 5th)

New to Related Arts

Kacie Nguyen - Technology (new to PKES)

Bradley Williams - Music (new to PKES)

Special Ed & Related Services

DeYana Walker (moving from 1st to Special Ed/Resource)

Orysia Hartman (moving from Special Ed/Resource to Special Ed/Special Setting)

Jessica Whitaker - Physical Therapy

Laura McAulay - ELL Teacher (new to PKES)

Bruce Cash - Special Services (returning to PKES)

LaVonda Williams - Rehabilitation Behavior Therapist (new to PKES)

Tifaine Hash - Special Services Assistant (new to PKES)

Jennifer Santizo - Special Services Assistant (new to PKES)

Ar'risha Knight - School Counselor (new to PKES)

Registration Fees

Please make sure your child’s Registration Fee for the 2019-2020 school year has been paid. Please follow the directions below to pay the fee online:


1. Parents, please go to the Fort Mill School District homepage at Home - Fort Mill School District

2. Scroll down to the “Quick Links” section and click on “Pay Fees”

3. Log in (if you used the online system last year) or create an account

4. If you create an account, you will need your child’s student ID number and date of birth xx/xx/xxxx

5. Click on the tab for your PKMS student

6. Your instructional fee has been automatically added to your account

7. Click on any optional fees you would like to add to your cart

8. View Cart and Checkout


We firmly believe we have the best PTO in the nation. We would not be able to accomplish most of what we do without the involvement of our PTO and parent community. We encourage all families to join the Pleasant Knoll Elementary PTO. You can visit the PKES PTO website here. You can also join the PKES PTO Facebook page here.

Important Dates for August

Monday, August 19th - First Day of School

Friday, August 22nd - Independence Day

Friday, August 30th - Fire Drill

Health Updates

As a reminder, the PKES Health room is for students with chronic conditions or students who get ill/injured while at school. We ask for your help in encouraging students to stay in their classroom and stay at school unless they develop symptoms that would exclude them from school (fever, vomiting). Injuries and/or illnesses that occur outside of school will not be treated by the school nurse.