The Mallard Compass

Forts Pond Elementary School

November 2019

InTENTional Leading and Learning

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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

Important Dates for NOVEMBER

7 Fall Make-Up Pictures

8 Daddy/Daughter Date Night

Dress as your Favorite Book Character

15 Mallard Mingle

21 Family Involvement Lunch

18-22 Book Fair

Clemson/Carolina Helmet Sales

22 All Pro Dads

27-29 Thanksgiving Holiday Break

Calendar Changes

The school calendar has an error. December 4 is NOT a Collaborative Planning Day. Students have a normal school day on December 4. Please make this correction in your calendars.

February 17th will now be a regular school day not a weather make-up day. This day will be used to make up for missing September 5th for Hurricane Dorian.

Please make note on your school calendar.

Teacher of the Year and Support Staff Team Member of the Year.

Congratulations to Mrs. Siceloff, FPES STEM Teacher, she has been selected as our Teacher of the Year!!!

Congratulation to Mrs. Sox, FPES Front Desk Secretary, she has been selected as our Support Staff Member of the Year!!!


Congratulations to all of our students and staff we met our Unit 1 writing goal and math goal.

In writing our students went from 4,673 points at the beginning of Unit 1 to 10,139 points at the end of the unit.

In math we grew from 13% of students being proficient in math facts to 25%!

In order to celebrate meeting our writing goal, some students suggested that students and staff dress as their favorite book character. This will take place on Friday, November 8. Costumes must meet school dress code.

We are working on a plan to celebrate our math goal.

Congratulations to the following students. Their artwork was showcased at the SC State Fair.

Attendance Matters

Did you know?

Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance.

A missed school day is a lost opportunity for students to learn.

Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in the first month go on to miss nearly a month of school.

Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back.

When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.

So far this year, we have had 1405 absences and 914 tardies. This is 540 more absences than we had last year at this time. We hope to bring that number down with some incentives we are offering students!

Your Attendance Matters!!!

In order to avoid your child being reported truant please be sure to turn in a written medical or parent excuse for each absence.

Checking Your Child's Grades

You may access your child’s grades at any time using PowerSchool.

If you would like your child’s PowerSchool login please, come to the school between 7:30 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. with your ID. You will receive the login information at that time.

You may also stop by the office after your parent-teacher conference on October 10 and 11 to request a copy.



I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen. Begin with the end in mind means to think about how you would like something to turn out before you get started.

Reading a recipe before cooking or looking at a map before leaving on a trip is beginning with the end in mind. For young children, a good example is that of a jigsaw puzzle. Before doing a puzzle, they look at the cover of the box. They begin with the end in mind.

We Are Practicing Habit 2

Forts Pond Elementary staff and students have been practicing the habit Begin with the End in Mind by setting school-wide goals in writing and math. Check out our goals! We are tracking our progress in the hallways and in classrooms.

Below is an example of how grades 1, 3, and 5 are tracking their grade level math and writing goals to help us reach our school –wide goals.

Ask your child what their classroom goals are in writing and math.

All students are also setting personal goals and keeping track of their progress towards these goals in their Leadership Notebook. These goals and the data are displayed in the classrooms and hallways.

Next time you talk to one of your child’s teachers or any other staff member ask what is their personal goal. We are pearls in an oyster shell to track how we are celebrating when we reach our goals. Want to know more about our goals? Schedule an appointment to see one of the administrators and a group of students to keep you up to date on our progress.

You can see some examples of these things below.

How to Help Your Child in Math

Want to know how to help your child become a strong mathematician?

These resources were collected for each grade level. Select your child's grade level from the list below and it will take you to a list of ways to help your child at home.

Grade 5K

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

How to Help Your Child in Reading and Writing

This online resource designed to provide information for parents and caregivers in order to support your children’s early literacy development. The guide provides information and strategies that will equip parents and caregivers with tools to support children from birth through the beginning years of school.

The guide does not require a login.

Counselors Corner

Forts Pond Elementary school counselors will begin Small Groups based on our Needs Assessment sent home in September. Parent permission slips were also sent home to those expressing need in certain areas. The 2nd and 3rd grade students who returned a permission slip will participate in Friendship Groups. Ms. Mahoney will have Lunch Bunch groups on Study Skills for 4th and 5th grade students during their lunch time. Those 4th and 5th graders will not need a permission slip since this is a one-time lesson.

November Classroom lessons will focus on the topic of Bullying for 5K and 1st graders. The 2nd graders will have classroom lessons on Goal Setting. Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students will focus on Career Exploration activities. Our district Career Specialist, Betsy Moore, will be coming to talk with all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students this month to work on Power Skills. Our Career Fair will take place in January 2020 due to conflicts in scheduling in November. If you would be willing to help with this event in January, please feel free to let Ms. Mahoney or Ms. Hill know by sending in a note to your child's teacher or email.

Mallard Mingle will be held Friday, November 15th. Please note this month it will be in the cafeteria since the Library is holding the Book Fair the same week.

As always, if your child needs to see a counselor for any reason, please feel free to call one of the School Counselors.

Mrs. Hill at 821- 2510 Grades 5K- 2

Mrs. Mahoney at 821- 2598 Grades 3-5

Veterans Day Program

On November 11 at 9:00 A.M., we will hold our annual Veteran's Day Program. FPES students and staff enjoy hosting this program for our veterans. A letter was sent home requesting COPIES of pictures of Veterans for the upcoming event. This is always such a special addition to our event, and we would love to include as many pictures as possible. Please forward your copies and the requested details (Name, branch, rank, when/where served, etc.) to Mrs. Gatch at or Janet Pond at

Run Hard

We are excited to be starting our ninth season of Run Hard at Forts Pond Elementary for students in grades 2-5. Run Hard is an 8-week program that will prepare participants for a 5K race by utilizing our character-based concepts to teach running, healthy lifestyle, and decision-making skills.

Regardless of your athletic bound or current fitness level, Run Hard will live out the motto: “build up, don’t teardown.”

Practices will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:45-3:45 at Forts Pond Elementary.

Date Information

November 9

5K Race begins @ 8 am

Family Luncheon

November 21, 2019

Tickets will be sold at the door. Please have correct change! The cost is $4.00 per adult or child who is not a FPES student.


Roasted Turkey w/cranberry sauce and roll, Cornbread Dressing, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Apple Crisp, Fresh Fruit

Please let us know if you plan to attend by completing the form that will be sent home on November 5. These forms will be due by November 11. This will help us prepare food and space for this day.

Daily Parent Engagement Tips

Check out FPES Daily Parent Engagement Tips on our school website. Below you can see two examples of tips that were on our website this week.

Emphasize progress, not perfection

Some children can be very hard on themselves. They feel like failures if they aren't the "best." To ward off this perfectionism, set reasonable goals for your child and relax about normal mistakes. And don't brush off her self-criticism. Instead, discuss it. Remind her that no one can be perfect. Point out her strengths, and teach her to use affirmative self-talk, such as "I'm proud of how hard I tried."

Improve poor study habits in 15 minutes a day

Often, children with poor study habits don't change their habits because they don't believe that a little extra effort can go a long way. To convince your child, try having him study one subject for 15 minutes longer than usual each day. He might use the time to work on difficult math problems or make up a sample test, for example. Then watch how this small extra effort affects his grades in that subject.


We would like to thank all of our volunteers who have helped us so far this year. We appreciate everything you do!

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Ashley Leaphart at

Mallard Mingle

NOVEMBER 15 at 7:00 A.M. - 7:35 A.M.

Please join us with your child/children at our Mallard Mingle meeting. We invite any mom, grandmother, aunt, or any other significant female in your child's life to come with your child/children for a light breakfast and a themed discussion and activity together. Although short in length, the time is special and will make your child's day start with pride.

For further information, please contact Mrs. Hill at or Mrs. Mahoney at

All Pro Dads

NOVEMBER 22 at 7:00 A.M. - 7:35 A.M.

This is an open invitation to dads, grandfathers, uncles, or any other significant male who may be part of your child's life. Come enjoy a light breakfast and enjoy some "special moment" time as we strive to grow in the time we spend with our children.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mr. McDermet at 821-2500. You may also reach him by email at

Title I Parent Engagement

Please join us on January 24 at 8:30 A.M. for our Leader in Me Parent Lighthouse Meeting. Our Title I Parent Involvement Committee will meet at 9:00 A.M. Both meetings will be held in our Title I Parent Resource Center. We will review and discuss our 2019-2020 Title I plan. We invite you to share any suggestions or concerns you may have that will help us improve our service to you and your child.

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


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News From Food Services

If you would like to apply for free or reduced lunch, go to

Would you like to make online payments to your child's meal account? Go to


Students cannot charge more than $10.

Students with outstanding balances cannot purchase special sale items.

If students have a negative $10 meal balance, an alternate meal will be served.


Breakfast: Free to all FPES students

Lunch: $3.00

A Glance at December Dates

5 Grades 2 and 3 Music Performance 6:30 P.M.

16-20 Santa Shop

16 Grinch Day - wear green

17 Reindeer Read-A-Thon

18 Snowman Day - wear white

19 Pajama Day

20 Tacky Sweater Day

Half Day for Students

End of 2nd Nine Weeks

December 23 - January 7 Winter Break

January 7 Students Return to School


Thank you to all of the families that joined us for our fall carnival. We hope everyone had a great time. If you have any suggestions or recommendations for next year’s carnival, we would love to hear from you!!

11/8 - Daddy & Daughter Movie Night featuring “Toy Story 4”. Doors open

at 6:00PM, and the movie will begin at 6:30PM

11/18 -11/22 – Carolina /Clemson Football Helmet Sales

12/16-12/20 – Santa Shop

*All PTO Spirit Wear t-shirt orders will be distributed as soon as possible.

We apologize for the delay due to a printing error on our original order of t-shirts. Thank you for your patience.

*Our first daddy/daughter date night with dinner & movie will be held Thursday November 08, 2019. We will have hotdog baskets with your choice of topping, chips, desert, and drink $5 for adult, $2 for daughters (if purchased in advance). $7 for adult, and $4 for daughters (if purchased at the door). We will have extra concessions available for individual purchase such as popcorn, candy, and extra drinks. Movie will be “Toy Story 4”. This is an electronic FREE event. Adults will be asked to leave their phones at a table in the back. You will get a ticket matching your phone. This is a time to spend with our girls!! *Please remember that you do not have to be “dad”., Step dad, granddad, uncle or any other special male influence in the child’s life is welcome! We look forward to seeing you spend this time with your precious little girls. Permission slips will be sent home for advance reservation & payment soon.

Follow FPES PTO on Facebook Forts Pond Elementary PTO

You may contact the PTO by email.

Box Tops

Eventually the Box Top Program will become 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 have to register.

You may also continue to send in the old box tops.

New Rugs

In October every classroom received a new rug. Our old rugs were 11 years old and needed to be replace. We are so happy that Central Services was able to provide the rugs for every classroom!

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

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