The Mallard Compass

Forts Pond Elementary School

November 2021

Be InTENTional In All You Do!

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From Your Principal

We had so much fun celebrating Red Ribbon Week! Thank you to our school counselors for coordinating the themes for the week. Check out the pictures from the week.

Please be sure to follow our social media accounts. We share announcements and highlights of things happening in the school.

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 look 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

Congratulations To FPES Teacher of the Year

Congratulations Mrs. Pond!
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Congratulations to FPES Support Staff of the Year

Congratulations to Lyndsey Rawl.
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Congratulations to Mack Webb and Joseph Pittman, whose art work was selected for the Pelion Peanut Party T-shirt.

Thank you both for submitting your amazing artwork.

Congratulations to the following students for winning the Grand Prize for the Fall Reading Challenge!

K-1st Grade Winner-Luke Hammond in Mrs. White's class

2nd-3rd Grade Winner-Isabel Pestana Ramirez in Mrs. Coker's class

4th-5th Grade Winner-Madison Taylor in Mrs. Dingeldein's class

Each of these students won a $35.00 gift certificate good for one vehicle admission to Eudora Farms Safari Park and one buck of feed.

Custodial/Housekeeping Appreciation Day

On October 1 we celebrated our custodial and housekeeping staff for all they do to keep our school clean! Our students and staff put together a large thank you note to tell them how much they are appreciated!
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Cafeteria Appreciation Day

On October 11, our school celebrated our cafeteria staff. They make sure our students have a nutritional breakfast and lunch each day.
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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.

Transportation Changes

Please make sure you send all transportation changes in writing. For safety reasons, we do not take transportation changes over the telephone.

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.

When is my child tardy?

Students are to be in their classroom by 7:40 am. When students are not in their classroom at this time, they lose important instruction time and miss beginning of the day routines and information. Every minute counts!

Thank you for taking important steps each morning to have your child to school in time such as leaving a few minutes early or having clothes laid out the evening before can help.


Any adult dropping off a student at 7:40 or after, will need to walk the student into the office and sign them in.

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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.

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

November 15-19 is National Career Development Week.

We will incorporate interesting career videos into the FPES Morning News Show. Our District Career Specialist, Betsy Moore, is also teaching lessons with all grades to support Career Development.

Our 5K students are participating in a weekly program called Second Steps. It is an evidence-based program that supports students in skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, and problem solving. They love the puppet friends Puppy and Snail! There are fun activities that support the lesson in your child’s folder. Please check out those activities and if you could send them back in. That would be great!

1st graders will learn about Getting to Know the Careers & Jobs at my School, which will help students understand that the things we learn at school are connected to the real world.

2nd graders will have a Career Lesson entitled, Things I Like to Do, which will help them tap into their interests and strengths. They will come to understand that jobs involve our own unique talents and strengths too.

In 3rd grade, students will circle words that describe them and then talk about how these qualities will help them be successful in school and in a future career.

In 4th grade, students will complete an interest inventory where things they like are matched to types of careers.

In 5th grade, students will write down events that have happened in their life and also write future life events that will help them reach their goals in the future.

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 November


7 Daylight Saving Time Ends

10 Collaborative Planning Day - Dismiss at 11:20

11 Veterans Day

16 District's Board Meeting

17 Fall Picture Make Up Day

18 Virtual BINGO night at 6:30 P.M. (Information included in Newsletter)

24-26 Thanksgiving Break


20 - January 3 - Winter Break

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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. If you do not make an appointment, Mrs. Fairey may not be able to meet with you at the time you come in.

● 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?

If your child is sick, please do not send them to school.

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

If your student receives a positive test result for COVID-19 infection or is identified as a close or household contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, complete the Google form HERE to notify the school.

Someone will then be in contact with you regarding a return to school date.

Please contact Sharon Fairey, FPES school nurse, at 803-821-2523 or by email at if you have any questions.

Thank you for helping keep our school safe and healthy.

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Safety Procedures to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Procedures are in place to maintain the safety of our students, staff, and parents.

  • Parents may walk their child/children to the entrance of the school but we ask that you do not enter the building past the front office.

  • Children will have time throughout the day to clean their hands.

  • We will be practicing social distancing in the classroom.

  • The students are in the family model of learning. When they transition to another classroom, like related arts, they remain seated with the same group of students as their classroom seating chart.

  • Since we are in the family-style model, we will be eating lunch in our classrooms. We will be unable to accommodate having guests come to school to each lunch with their child or visit the classroom.

  • All rooms are equipped with hand sanitizer installed on the walls and individual pumps. We ask that everyone use our school-provided hand sanitizer.

  • Classrooms are sanitized daily after students and staff leave the building.

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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.

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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

Pumpkin math is a seasonal treat

Today is a great day to do some pumpkin math with your child! Get your child a pumpkin, and then have him: Estimate how much the pumpkin weighs. Weigh the pumpkin, and then add or subtract to see how much heavier or lighter it is than his estimate. Estimate, and then measure, how many inches the pumpkin is around at its widest point (its circumference). Count its seeds by fives, 10s and 20s.

A 'checkbook' can help your child account for money

Giving a child an allowance is one way to teach financial responsibility. But you may not always have the right cash on hand. Give your child a "checkbook." Make up some checks that look like the real thing. On the first day of the month, "deposit" your child's allowance in the checkbook. When he needs to make a purchase, he can write you a check, and you can pay for the item. He'll get practice writing and learn math skills in the bargain.

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 brings the world to your home

Sometimes a pretend trip can be just as fun as a real one. You and your child can "visit" Italy, Argentina, Thailand or anywhere else…by way of the public library and the internet. Choose a country and ask each family member to gather information about it. Then plan a dinner of dishes from that country (check out a cookbook from the library) and discuss the interesting facts each of you has learned from your reading.

Encourage reading, one chapter at a time

Get your child excited about the idea of reading by introducing her to the pleasures of chapter books. Find a book you think she will enjoy. It could be a classic or a new book recommended by the librarian. Have your child read (or you read to her) just one chapter a night. Then talk about the story. Ask your child to predict what will happen next. If she enjoys the book, see if it has a sequel and read that one, too

Leader in Me Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind


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.

Title I Planning Meeting

On November 19 at 9:00 A.M, our Title I Planning Committee will meet. December's Newsletter will provide an overview of topics discussed at this meeting.

A copy of all the Title I documents below were sent home through School Messenger on October 26. If you would like a paper copy of these documents, please send your request to Kasci Padgett, Family Liaison at

After reviewing these documents, we invite you to share any suggestions or concerns through the survey in the school message you received or the links are below. This will help us improve our Family Engagement Policy.

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

Parent Survey English

Parent Survey Spanish

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.

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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

Exciting News From Food Services

If your child has to quarantine, you now have the option to receive two 5 day meal kits. If you would like to take advantage of this option, please call our front desk and they will take your information.

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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LOOLA Material Pick Up Dates

For Current LOOLA students, if FPE is your home school, on designated LOOLA Fridays, you will be able to come to Forts Pond Elementary to pick up materials. Your child's LOOLA teacher will notify you if they are sending materials home that need to be picked up. Please pick up your materials between 10:00 am and 1:00 P.M. on LOOLA Fridays in the main office. If you have questions or concerns, please email Mr. Lehmann at or call 803-821-2506.

LOOLA Friday Dates


November 12, 2021- 10:00 am - 1:00 pm


December 3, 2021- 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

December 17, 2021- 10:00 am - 1:00 pm


January 7, 2022- 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Thursday, January 13, 2022 - End of Semester - Return all materials EXCEPT district issued device.

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 snacks must be store bought and individually wrapped.
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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.

Show off your child's work in a special gallery

When you display your child's excellent and improved schoolwork, it builds his sense of himself as a capable student. But there isn't always room on the refrigerator. One mom created a family gallery by installing a strip of corkboard along a hallway wall, low enough for her children to reach. Now the kids put their own work up for family viewing, and the displays change all year long!

Tell your child's teacher about concerns or life changes

You and the teacher are a team, working for your child's benefit. Reach out to the teacher if you see a dramatic change in your child's behavior, if grades drop, or if you suspect your child may be telling you things about school that may not be true. The teacher also needs to know if there has been a major change in your family. A serious illness, death, marriage, divorce or new baby can all affect your child's performance in school.

Put the focus on learning with a hands-off approach

Sometimes parents help too much with their child's school projects. It can be really tempting. After all, you want your child to get good grades. But there is a better approach. Instead of thinking about grades, think about what your child can learn from doing the project herself. Ask the teacher about the best ways to support your child's efforts.

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Please Register for Virtual BINGO Night

We will be accepting registrations until November 16. Please use the link below to register. Registration is required.

Registration - Books For BINGO

If you need assistance, please call Kasci Padgett at 803-821- 2552.

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.

Earn cash for our school with Box Tops for Education! It's easy. Box Tops are worth 10 cents each.

All you need is your phone! Download the Box Tops app, shop as you normally would, then use the app to scan your store receipt within 14 days of purchase. The app will identify Box Tops products on your receipt and automatically credit your school’s earnings online.

Here is a video to show you how to give credit to Forts Pond Elementary.

You can even have other family members and friends give their credit to FPES!

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!

Links to Previous Newsletters

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