The Mallard Compass

Forts Pond Elementary School

September 2021

Be InTENTional In All You Do!

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Welcome From Your Principal

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year. Our theme for this school year is Be InTENTional In All You Do!

Fulfilling the Potential of Every Student is the goal of every FPES crew member. We will engage students in learning through innovative instruction and virtual learning through technology and digital resources while empowering each child to design the future.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any concerns, questions, or suggestions.

Here is the link to our school website.

Here is the link to our Facebook Page.

Here is the link to our Twitter Page.

I am looking forward to working with your family!

Mrs. Michelle Smith, Principal

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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Welcome New Staff to The Pond

You may have noticed we have some new faces around The Pond. We would like to introduce all new staff members to The Pond.

Ms. Tiffany Miller - Assistant Principal

Ms. Kelly Glover - 2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Ashley Smith - 4th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Tara Dietrich - 1st Grade Teacher

Mrs. Emmalie Velte - 1st Grade Teacher

Mrs. Bethany Bastedo - Special Education Teacher

Mrs. Kristen Hrinda - Interventionist

Morning Drop Off

Our doors open at 6:50 AM. All students need to be dropped off at the front of the school. Mrs. Miller and another staff member are out front helping students out of the car.

The drop off line is a single with students unloading on the right side closest to the breezeway. There are cones out preventing cars from driving around other cars. This helps keep children safe.

The school day begins at 7:40 AM. If your arrival is after 7:40, you will beed to park and walk your child inside and sign them in.

Afternoon Car Rider Pick Up

Thank you for your patience as we adjusted car rider pick-up. We saw the safety concern with cars stopped on 302 and we have made a few adjustments.

Please make sure you have your child car number tag hanging on your rear view mirror. If you do not have your car number tag, you will need to park and come inside the school.

Be sure to bring your drivers license into the building, so the front office can make sure we are releasing your child to the correct person.

Bus Riders

Beginning Monday, August 30, Lexington District One students must wear masks on the school bus.

You can view the SCDE’s requirement here.

Please make sure your student is properly wearing a mask while riding the bus.

Though we strongly encourage all students to wear a mask throughout the school day while community spread remains high, bus riders may choose to remove the mask once in the school building.

ID Needed to Pick Up A Child

If needing to dismiss a student, a driver's license or photo ID is required for identification purposes.

To dismiss a student, that individual will need to be on the child's approved contact list provided by the parent/guardian.

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.

Kindergarten and first grade send home communication folders every day. Other grade levels send home a green communication folder every Tuesday.

If you have not been receiving emails from the school, you will need to contact the front office to make sure we get that updated for you.

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 calls as soon as possible.

If you need assistance with your child's technology, please call the district's helpline at (803)821-1201.

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

Forts Pond Family Hub

Check out our Family Hub on our School Website. There are many great resources for our families.

Here is the link.

FPES Family Hub

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Counselors' Corner

Counselors Corner

Welcome to a new school year!

The school counselors are excited to meet and work with you and your child. The counselor for 5K, 1st grade, and 2nd grade is Mrs. Cindy Hill. And the counselor for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade is Mrs. Gina Mahoney. We will be visiting each classroom every 3 weeks for a lesson on various topics such as: friendship, coping skills, how to stop bullying, and learning career skills.

Small group counseling will begin in October. Permission from a parent or guardian is required. Some small group topics may include: separation and divorce, friendship, self-esteem, and grief.

We also meet with students individually based on referrals from parents, students and teachers. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like for your child to meet with one of our counselors, you may contact us at:

Mrs. Hill (Grades 5K-2nd) at 821-2510


Mrs. Mahoney (Grades 3rd-5th) at 821-2598

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Important Dates for September and October


6 Labor Day - NO School

7 Grandparents BINGO Card Sent Home

8 Fall Picture Day (more information will be sent home for preordering pictures)

13 Grandparents BINGO Card Deadline

15 Collaborative Planning Day - STUDENTS DISMISS @ 11:40

Family Orientation for Families New to The Pond @ 2:00 (virtual)

A Glance at October


4 Wear Blue - National Bullying Prevention Month

20 Fall Picture Make Up Day

End Of 1st Nine Weeks

21 No School for Students

22 Weather Make Up Day - (if we do not use this day, we will be closed)

25 Red Ribbon Week (more information will be provided)

Orientation for Families New to The Pond

Wednesday, Sep. 15th, 2pm

This is an online event.

We will meet virtually using the Zoom Link. The link will be sent out the morning of September 15.

If your child is new to FPES, we would love to see you at this meeting. We will provide an overview of our school and answer any questions.

Welcome to The Pond. It is a great place to be!

Updates From the Healthroom

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


School nurses are not allowed to keep more than a 30-day supply of medication at school at any time. Please keep this in mind as you plan for your student’s needs during our AA BB (hybrid) instructional model.

We ask that whenever possible, you (parent/guardian) give your child his/her medications at home — before or after school. However, when medications must be given at school during the school day, we ask that you:

● Make an appointment to bring those medications to school with our school nurse,Sharon Fairey. You can reach her at (803) 821-2523.

● Bring your student’s medication in its original container. It cannot be expired and must be accompanied by a completed medication permission form. Here is the direct link to the form.

What do I do if my child gets sick over a weekend or overnight?

It is important that we continue to monitor and contact trace for COVID.

Here is what we need to know:

1) If your student tests positive for COVID

2) If your student is identified as a close or household contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID

Keep your child at home!

Please contact Sharon Fairey, FPES school nurse, at 803-821-2523 or by email at to discuss the next steps.

Thank you for helping keep our school safe and healthy.

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Math Curriculum

Ready Classroom Mathematics is a robust mathematics program that will help your student become a strong, independent mathematical thinker. The program uses a different approach to math instruction than many of us had as kids. It focuses on learning through problem solving and student-to-student conversations about mathematical thinking (called discourse). Your student’s teacher uses a set of learning routines each day that help students engage in discourse as they develop a conceptual understanding of mathematics. The routines also ensure that your student develops the problem-solving skills needed to become an independent and confident mathematical thinker.

How to Help Your Child in Math

Turn an egg carton into a fun math game

Here's a fun game to help your child practice math facts. Get an empty egg carton. Inside each cup, write a number from 0 to 11. Now cut out several egg-shaped pieces of paper. On each, write a math problem with a solution from 0 to 11. Have your child solve the problem on each egg, and put it in the cup with the matching answer. For an older child, try writing fractions in the cups and equivalent fractions on the eggs.

English Language Arts Curriculum

Lexington One uses Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Teaching Reading Writing curriculum.

Lucy Calkins and her Teachers College Reading and Writing Project coauthors aim to prepare students for any reading and writing task they will face and to turn kids into life-long, confident readers and writers who display agency and independence. Lucy and her colleagues have drawn on their more than 30 years of research and work in thousands of schools across the country and around the world to develop powerful curriculum resources, instructional methods, and professional learning opportunities to support teachers as they work together and with their students toward these vitally important goals.

The link below will provide you access to South Carolina State Standards for ELA and Math.

How to Help Your Child in Reading and Writing

Make the most of your read-aloud time

Reading aloud with your child builds her language and reading skills, no matter how old she is. Begin by reading the book's title and the name of the author. As you read the story, use plenty of expression in your voice and be sure to stop and talk with your child about the plot, the characters and the illustrations. Above all, read stories that you and your child enjoy.

Activities for Children During Quarantine

Has your child finished all of their school work? Need some ideas of how to keep them busy. Check out these links for ideas during quarantine.

Forts Pond Elementary - A Leader in Me Lighthouse School

What does it mean to be a Leader in Me School?

This means our school follows and teaches the Franklin Covey 7 Habits Program. The program integrates leadership principles into our school culture and curriculum, providing students with practical character and life skills relevant to achieving success today and in the future. The Leader in Me provides our school with the vision and language to lead FPES in a way that addresses all areas of development.

How Can I learn more about the Leader in Me Program?

· Read the book The Leader in Me by Stephen Covey or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, or The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey. We have copies available for check out.

· Visit the parents section of where you will find resources for parents and a fun student game area.

· Or you can ask any teacher, staff member, administrator or student at Forts Pond more about the 7 Habits.

Stay tuned…. We will begin teaching the 7 Habits and want you to be involved. We will keep you informed by sending home parent letters sharing information about each habit!

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Link to COVID Updates

If you cannot enlarge the following documents, you may use this link to access on Lexington County School District One's Website.

If you can check out each school's COVID 19 data by going to this link.

Lexington One COVID Dashboard

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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.

Preparing Staff and Students for Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can be a big concern for parents and making sure their children are safe while at school. In order to prepare for serious weather conditions, all staff and students participate in fire, tornado, and earthquake drills throughout the year. We will continue to have these drills, but will practice social distancing while doing so.

As required by the state, staff and students participate in a fire drill every month. We participate in two earthquake drills and two tornado drills during the school year. These drills are scheduled in the both in the fall and spring.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division provides information to the public on how to prepare for different types of disasters. You can visit their website at for more information.

Exciting News From Food Services

All students will receive breakfast and lunch this year at no cost. FREE!!

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.
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Special Occassion Treats

If you would like to send in birthday treats or a special snack for your child's class, you may do so. The only stipulations is treats and snack must be store bought and individually wrapped.

Parent Engagement Tips

Raising children is complicated and sharing ideas is a great way to make it easier. Each month the newsletter will include ideas for helping parents with home life.

Boost your child's ability to adapt and thrive
If changing school situations or rules have your child unsettled, help him cope by building his resilience. Start by listening to his concerns; he may be worried about something different than you think. Then, point out his strengths and remind him of other challenges he has handled successfully in the past. Model problem-solving by thinking out loud when you decide how to handle a situation in your own life.

Clear rules help avoid arguments
You have a better chance of eliminating conflict between you and your child if you pick a calm, unhurried time to discuss any issue you are having. Then agree on a rule to address the issue in the future. For example, he must finish schoolwork before having recreational screen time. Post the rule where you both can see it. When the situation next arises, you can just point to the rule and avoid an argument.

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

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 whom to contact and how to contact them, please go to our website at