The Mallard Compass

Forts Pond Elementary School

October 2021

Be InTENTional In All You Do!

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Welcome From Your Principal

I would like to thank all of our Mallard Families for their patience as we have worked out afternoon dismissal. It is now moving at a much faster pace!

I am enjoying getting to know all of our children through greeting them in the morning and visiting their classroom. They are amazing!

I would also like to publicly thank all of the FPES staff for their perseverance during times that are not always easy. Your care and love for FPES students is obvious in everything you do!.

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 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

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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.

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.

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.

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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

October is World Bullying Prevention Month. Together we can prevent bullying. We will be wearing blue every Monday for awareness against Bullying.

School counselors will also be leading bullying lessons in all classes during the month of October. #blueup

Red Ribbon Week

The Red Ribbon Campaign® was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City killed DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign® is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a DRUG - FREE AMERICA. We do not present this information to our students, but wanted parents to know how Red Ribbon Week originated.

FPES Students and Staff will celebrate Red Ribbon Week with these theme days.

Monday, October 25th "Drugs and Bullying Give me the Blues" Everyone wear Blue and say "No" to Drugs and Bullying.

Tuesday, October 26th "Put a Cap on Drugs" Everyone wear a hat.

Wednesday, October 27th "I'm too Bright for Drugs". Everyone wear Neon.

Thursday, October 28th "Team up Against Drugs" Everyone wear their favorite sports team T-shirt.

Friday, October 29th "Rockin'g the RED". Everyone wear red to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

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 October and November


4 Wear Blue - National Bullying Prevention Month

6 Collaborative Planning Day - Dismiss at 11:20

20 Fall Picture Day

End Of 1st Nine Weeks

Parent/Teacher Conference

21 No School for Students

Parent Teacher Conferences

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

25 Red Ribbon Week

See themes for each day in the section above.

29 Progress Reports Sent Home

November at a Glance

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

24-26 Thanksgiving Break

Fall Pictures - October 20

If you would like to order your child's fall pictures, please use the link below to place your order.

The available packages are outlined below.

This link will allow families to sign up to receive updates via email regarding your child's school portraits. These updates include promotions, additional deals and the ability to order more pictures at a later time. When entering student information, families should be sure to enter the student's name as it is on file at the school.

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Fall Reading Challenge

Fall Reading Challenge

On Wednesday, September 15th, we kicked off our Fall Reading Challenge. Students will have six weeks to complete the reading challenges. The reading challenge form was sent home on Tuesday, September 14th. The last day for students to return forms will be Wednesday, October 27th. We will have 3 Grand Prize winners-one from each category K-1, 2-3, 4-5. The Grand Prize winners will be announced on the morning news show on Friday, October 29th. They will receive one vehicle admission to the Eudora Farm Animal Park Safari Adventure along with one bucket of feed. We will also have 1 prize winner from each homeroom. They will receive a prize from the prize cart. All students who participate will receive an extra book checkout coupon. Happy Reading!

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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.

● 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

Play a game to improve math memory

Here's a fun math game to try with your child. Write a different math problem (such as 4 x 2) on each of five or more cards. Write the answers on other cards. Shuffle and place the cards face down in rows. Take turns turning over two at a time. If they match (problem and correct answer), keep the cards. If they don't, return them face down. The player with the most matching pairs wins.

Challenge your child to some grocery games

The next time you go food shopping with your child, play some grocery games. Ask a young child to name things that are round, or red or square. Challenge an older child to grocery math: If one can costs 29 cents, how much will two cans cost? How much change will be left from a dollar? Offer a reward by letting your "contestant" choose a favorite fruit to add to your shopping cart.

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

Create a treasure chest full of reading accomplishments

If your child is just beginning to learn to read, every new word is an accomplishment. Creating an "I-Can-Read-It" box can motivate him to keep going. Here's how it works: Ask your child to choose a word he can read. Write the word on an index card and store the card in a file box. Each day, add a new word. Soon the box will be filled with words your child can read. Review five or six words together each day.

New experiences build reading skills

Reading involves more than sounding out words. Children use their prior knowledge and experiences to understand what they read. A sentence such as "Sam touched a prickly cactus," will mean much more to a child who has seen and felt a cactus. Fill your child's life with new experiences, and help her learn the words for things she sees. The more vocabulary and concepts she experiences, the better she'll understand what she reads.

Leader in Me Habit 1 - Be Proactive

Habit 1: Be Proactive

Here is a song that teaches what being proactive means.

Be PROACTIVE means to take responsibility for your choices and behaviors. Habit 1 is the key to all of the other habits; that’s why it comes first.

BE PROACTIVE says, “I am in charge of my own life. I am responsible for whether I am happy or sad. I can choose how I react to other people or situations. I am in the driver’s seat.” Young children can easily learn to understand that different choices yield different results. The goal is to teach them to think about those results before they decide what to do.

Discussions can focus on taking care of themselves, taking care of their things, reacting or not reacting to others’ behavior, planning ahead, and thinking about what the right thing to do is. With your child, think of ways to BE PROACTIVE at home.

Most of us react to a situation immediately, without taking time to think about the results of our actions. Part of BE PROACTIVE is being able to stop and think before we act. With your child, do some role-playing to practice the skill of stopping and thinking in different situations.

Your goal in these scenarios is to encourage your child to stop and think before reacting.

Use the following ideas to get started, and then think of some that can be immediately applicable to your child’s life.

1. (In this role play, you should play the part of your child’s friend.) Say that you have a new best friend who lives close to your house and you don’t want to play with him or her anymore. Apologize and then wait for your child’s reaction.

2. (In this role play, you should be your child’s sibling.) Tell your child that you broke his or her favorite toy by accident. Tell him or her that you don’t think it’s a big deal because he or she has many toys.

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

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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.
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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.

Active listening helps your child make better choices

When your child has to make a big decision, it may be tempting to make it for him. But there are a few things you should do first: Listen to your child as he thinks about a solution. Rephrase what you hear him say. Ask thought-provoking questions: "If you don't go to practice, how would your teammates feel?" Then be patient. Your child may come to the right conclusion, and he'll gain useful problem-solving skills.

Help your child plan ahead with a calendar

To help your child learn to use time wisely, get her a large calendar with plenty of room to write on each day. Have her make note of upcoming activities, such as the start of school or a visit to the dentist. When school begins, have her add test days and due dates, especially for long-term projects. Encourage her to check her calendar each day so she'll know how much time she has to get things done.

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