The Mallard Compass

Forts Pond Elementary School

January 2021

Be InTENTional In All You Do!

Big picture

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


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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 January and February


1-3 Winter Break

4 Staff and Students Return to School

15 Half Day for Students - no classes will meet after 11:40

18 Holiday for Staff and Students

19 1st Day of 2nd Semester

25 Report Cards Sent Home


15 No School for Students or Staff

Title I Book Selection

I hope you and your child enjoyed the books they brought home to read over the winter break.

Our Literacy Coach and your child's teacher helped your child select 4 books on their reading level to bring home. These books are to add to or start your child's personal library at home.

The funding for this was provided through Title I.


Mrs. Spence's 2nd grade class, met the Fall Reading Challenge for the school and earned a $100.00 to spend on recess equipment!

Mr. Weber has been awarded the Michelin Golden Apple grant. He will use the grant to diversify his classroom library and promote reading growth by adding popular children’s titles to his classroom library.


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.

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.

Start the New Year off with Good Attendance

What are the reasons for making good attendance a priority?

  • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
  • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read.
  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. What parents does not want their child to feel good about themselves? NONE! Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.

What can parents do?

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots.
  • Introduce your child to her teachers and classmates before school starts to help her transition.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.

Counselor's Corner

Mrs. Mahoney has been busy going into classrooms for lessons and working with students one on one.

This month and next month we will begin to talk about safety and start our Erin's Law lessons.

As always, feel free to contact your child's school counselor with any questions or concerns. We will be glad to help in any way we can!

5K, 1st, and 2nd graders- Mrs. Hill - 803-821-2510

3rd, 4th, and 5th graders- Mrs. Mahoney - 803-821-2598

How to Help Your Child in Math and Science

Engage your child in active thinking

To boost your child's thinking skills, help him be an active thinker. Encourage him to ask questions. Then listen and take his questions seriously. When your child expresses an opinion, ask him to find facts to support it. As you and your child go about daily activities, encourage him to guess how things work and to make estimates: "How long do you think it will take to do this math?"

This trick looks like magic, but it's science

Try this science experiment with your child: Place a penny on a sheet of paper. Set a clear glass of water on top of the penny. Can your child see the penny? Next, cover the top of the glass with a saucer. The penny disappears! Explain that we see objects when light rays reflect off them into our eyes. But the light reflecting off the penny has to pass through air, water and glass, which makes it bend. The saucer blocks the bent light ray from reaching your child's eye, and the penny seems to disappear.

Encourage scientific thinking with a 'laundry lab'

Doing laundry can be more than just a chore. It can also teach your child science skills, such as observing and classifying. Scientists notice details. Ask your child, "Does this towel feel different from that one? Why could that be?" Scientists also put things in groups. Help your child sort the laundry by color, size or family member. Challenge her to come up with a new way to "classify" clothes.

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

Turn words into action with a fun game

Writers carefully choose verbs that best paint the picture they want to convey. To help your child practice, play the Name That Action game. On slips of paper, write verbs that describe a precise action, like skip, hop, stomp, tiptoe, limp and crawl. Take turns drawing a slip and acting out the word. Whoever guesses the word goes next. Your child's writing will come alive when she learns to choose the right descriptive verb.

One good book may lead your child to another

You know your child should read more, but he just isn't interested in picking up a book. Encourage him by asking him to tell you about a book he enjoyed (or one that at least wasn't too bad). Then look for other books that author has written. Get one and read the beginning aloud. If you can get to the "good part," your child may be more interested in reading the rest himself.

Cozy up for family storytelling

Are you looking for educational family entertainment? Then grab some snacks and get cozy for a family storytelling night. To prepare, read a book to yourself enough times that you can tell your own version to your family. When you tell stories, your child creates visual images in her mind, an important reading skill. Have her tell a story, too!

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.

Parent Engagement Tips

Create a checklist for a smoother morning

Even children who wake up early seem to have trouble getting ready for school. But a little bit of planning can make your morning routine less hectic. Make a list with your child of things that must be done each morning before anything else. Post the list and a pencil where your child can reach them, and let her check off tasks as she completes them. She'll start her day with a sense of accomplishment.

Banish boredom with a creative board game

If your family has been playing the same board games since the pandemic began, have your child invent a new one! Cover an old or worn-out game board with white self-stick paper, then give your child some colored markers and ask her to draw a new game. Next, have her write a set of rules for her game. Then play! If you want to preserve the game, cover it with clear self-stick paper. It will last until she's ready to invent another.

Respond to struggles with encouraging praise

Praising children can boost their self-esteem and help them persevere when things aren't going well. But sometimes, it can be hard to find something nice to say. Kids always know when you're lying, so if you your child is struggling, try to focus on something he has done right. You might also say "That was a creative idea," or "That looks like a tough problem, but you are persistent and I know you can do it."

Title I Parent Engagement

Our next Title I Meeting will be on January 28 at 11:00 A.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

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.

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 4 - Think Win Win

Think Win Win means everyone can win. Instead of thinking about YOU and ME, Think Win Win considers BOTH OF US. Think about a solution that will benefit everyone involved. It's easy to be selfish sometimes and to look out for what will make you happy. Think Win Win isn't about giving up what you want to make someone else happy; it's about making each side happy. It's different than the word compromise. In a compromise each person gives in a little. Think Win Win is all about taking two ideas and working together to come up with a third one that's better than each idea on its own.

Sometimes competition can happen. Unfortunately, not everyone can officially win the game. You can make everyone feel like winners though. If you win, congratulate the other team on playing a good game. Compliment them on their effort, and tell them you can't wait to play with them again. If your team doesn't win, be happy for those who did. Tell them they did a good job. Maybe ask another player to help you with your skills before the rematch. Also, try to switch teams up each time you play at recess. That way, everyone gets a chance to play with everyone.


  • Be cooperative - Have an open-minded attitude instead of a "my way or the highway" outlook.
  • Be considerate - Think about what other people want, not just what you want.
  • Be a good problem solver - Find ways to make both sides happy by choosing a third option.


The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

The Very Clumsy Beetle by Eric Carle

Let's Be Enemies by Janice May Udry

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

Dragon Stew by Tom McGowen

The Checker Players by Alan Venable

Yearbooks on Sale Now!

2020-2021 FPES School Yearbooks

FPES School Yearbooks are now on sale. The deadline to place an order is March 1st, 2021.

The cost is $22.00 for a softcover. Hardcover books are $27.00. If you would like to add the student's name on the cover, the cost is $32.00. You can pay by check or cash. Please make checks payable to Forts Pond Elementary School.

If you would like to pay with a debit/credit card, you can order the school yearbook online. Order online at and use Online Code FMYB108936.

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 Students

If you would like for your student to bring home meals for the days they are learning at home, please read the information below.

Now that all grades are grade levels have returned to 4 days a week, the take home meals for Friday will include 1 breakfast and 1 lunch. Meals will be delivered to students' classrooms, so they can bring the meals home.

Here is the order form for Track A and Track B students. Take Home Meal Order Form .

The district’s Online Learning Academy students can also 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 (Carolina Springs Middle, Forts Pond Elementary, Gilbert Elementary, Oak Grove Elementary, White Knoll Elementary). 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!


A BIG THANK YOU to all who participated in the fall fundraiser!

We have missed seeing everyone!

2020-2021 PTO Officers

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