The Mallard Compass
Forts Pond Elementary School
Be InTENTional In All You Do!
Welcome From Your Principal
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. https://schools.lexington1.net/FPES
Here is the link to our Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/FPESMallards/
Here is the link to our Twitter Page. https://twitter.com/fortspond?lang=en
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
Welcome New Staff 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.
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.
Communication Between Home and School
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.
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
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 email@example.com to discuss the next steps.
Thank you for helping keep our school safe and healthy.
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
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
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 www.leaderinme.org 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!
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
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 https://www.scemd.org/prepare/ 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 https://www.lunchapplication.com/. 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.
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