Sunset Park News

November/December 2019

Principal's Pen

Dear SPCAS Families!

We had a wonderful first nine weeks of school! The level of instruction and learning taking place in our school is impressive. I hope you enjoy hearing about all the wonderful things taking place in our school and about your children during your parent-teacher conferences. As we begin a new nine weeks, it is always a great idea to share a few reminders. Please remember that students must have a handwritten note for a change of transportation for dismissal. Students cannot be dismissed after 2:00 pm. Please remember we welcome parents to volunteer in our school. Please ensure that you have completed the volunteer application on the Rock Hill Schools website. Additionally, parents who would like to observe their children in class, should schedule a time with your child's classroom teacher in advance.

As always, if I can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to reach out any time! Please see important dates below:

Upcoming Dates:

Friday, November 1: National Literacy Day

Monday, November 4: SIC/PTO @ 5:30 pm

Tuesday, November 5: 2nd grade field study

Monday, November 11: Veterans Day Program/Parade (see times below)

Tuesday, November 12: Math Olympiad Team Competition @ SPCAS

Thursday, November 14: Boosterthon Kick-off (See PTO news below)

Friday, November 15: Thanksgiving Lunch (See invitation below)

Wednesday, November 20: Make-up Pictures (Uniforms Required)

Thursday, November 21: School Choice Tour @ 10:00 am

Thursday, November 21: Progress Reports Go Home

Friday, November 22: Boosterthon Turkey Trot (Kindergarten-2nd grades run @ 8:30 am & 3rd-5th grades run @ 10:00 am)

Friday, November 22: Enrichment Cluster Celebration @ 1:30 pm (more details to follow)

Wednesday, November 27 - Friday, November 29: Thanksgiving Holiday

Monday, December 2: SIC/PTO Meeting & Chorus Performance @ 5:30 pm

Monday, December 2: School of Choice Fair 6 -8 pm @ Central Office

Friday, December 6: Rock Hill Christmas Parade (Chorus and Safety Patrol will participate)

Tuesday, December 10: Math Olympiad Team Competition @ SPCAS

Monday, December 9: Author Visit

Tuesday, December 10: Kona Ice Fundraiser (more information to follow)

Wednesday, December 11: School of Choice Tour @ 9:00 am

Thursday, December 12: Chick-fil-a Spirit Night/Cherry Road Location from 5 - 8 pm

Friday, December 13: PTO Parent's Night Out (more information to follow)

Tuesday, December 17: Pictures with Santa (more information to follow)

Thursday, December 19: PBIS Celebration

Friday, December 20: End of Nine Weeks & 1/2 day for students

Monday, December 23 - January 7: Winter Break

Children First,

Dr. Barnes

Mrs. Brown

Teaching children the skills associated with resolving conflicts will benefit students for their entire life. As early as pre-school years, children begin to form habits and tendencies to resolve conflicts. As care-givers, parents and school employees, we have a responsibility to assist students to develop healthy habits to resolve and deescalate situations.

Some practical ways to help children learn healthy conflict resolution habits:

1. Teach children to manage strong emotions. Often, anger and frustration are strong emotions students intuitively don’t know how to handle. Often the feelings of anger and frustration lead students to resolve their issues with physical aggression (hitting, pushing, kicking, and biting) or by verbally lashing out at others (name calling, cussing, threats). Caregivers must intentionally teach students strategies to remain calm (deep breathing, counting to 10, pausing), so students will not react to strong emotions in an unhealthy manner.

2. Teach children specific words/phrases to solve conflicts. Care givers must model and specifically teach students words to use to express their feelings appropriately and to work with others to resolve arguments. Role playing with students at home when students are calm is an effective means of practicing before students are emotionally upset.

3. Work with your child to problem solve appropriate ways to resolve the conflict. When your child is calm brainstorm ways students can solve conflicts and find a win-win for both parties involved. For older students, remind them that all parties have the right to be heard and deserve to work together to find a solution.

4. Teach your children to value fairness. Talk regularly with your child about being kind, fair, and considerate to others. Whenever your child exhibits those characteristics, be sure to recognize and praise them for their fairness!

For other ideas to support your child’s conflict resolution skills:

Articles for Kids: Talking About Your Feelings

Getting Along With Teachers

Saying You’re Sorry

Dealing With Anger

Train Your Temper

From the Office

We have just completed our first quarter for the school year. I am happy to announce we have very few students who have had an Attendance Plan written for absences or tardies this school year. Let’s keep it going! We have had a few days with excessive tardies. Please remember drop off begins at 7 am in the morning and our first bell is at 7:40 and tardy bell at 7:45. Attendance Plans are required if your child has 3 consecutive or 5 unexcused absences or 10 unexcused tardies. The Attendance Incentive began in October. Prizes are drawn on Fridays. Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded a prize for arriving on time daily: Chloe Simms, Gabriel Hays, Jamarion Whitlock, Ethan Harris, Steven Shugart and Da’Terrion Johnson-Blake. Keep up the good work! We would love to see a day with ZERO TARDIES!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding attendance, please contact me, 803-981-1263 or

~Mrs. Dieguez

Music Notes

The Stars At Sunset Chorus is excited to invite of you to its holiday performance on Monday, December 2nd. It will be part of the December PTO meeting and will take place in the SPCAS cafeteria. Also, the chorus will perform in the Rock Hill Christmas Parade on Friday, December 6th. We hope to see you in the crowd!

To the parents of 5th graders, it’s time for our students to get warmed up for our “Recorder Karate” unit. This is a wonderful and fun opportunity for your child to learn how to play a wind instrument! The cost for your child to have their very own recorder is only $5. Please turn in your money to Mr. Simon by November 15th. We look forward to beginning our recorder unit in December!

~Mr. Simon

Physical Education

October was an extremely busy and fun month in PE. Our third and fifth graders attended the U.S. National Disc Golf Tournament at Winthrop University and we had a field representative from Speedstacks to visit our classes on Monday, October 7, teaching and demonstrating a portion of the new Speedstacks Cup stacking program which is officially called “sportstacking”.

Our third and fifth grade students attended the National Disc Golf Championship Tournament thanks to Innova Disc Golf on October 2nd & 3rd. Boy, it was two fun filled hot days! Students participated in four different stations, driving, approach shots, getting around obstacles and putting, during the morning sessions with local pros. We rested and had lunch before heading out to watch the professionals, many from as far away as Australia, participate in the annual tournament. Thanks to Innova Disc Golf for providing us this opportunity.

We are Speedstacks sportstacking in PE now! On Monday, October 7, we had a Speedstacks field representative, Katie Carpin, visit our classes. Ms. Carpin taught us basic cup-stacking which is officially called “sportstacking”. She also shared several games throughout the day. We are continuing to sportstack in all classes K-5 now.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important in your child’s mental and physical development. Make a difference in your child’s life by helping them learn to adopt a healthy lifestyle. York County’s Eat Smart Move More program provides the following guidelines promoting healthy behaviors within the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Together program.

• 5- Eat at least five servings of fruits and veggies every day

• 2- Limit recreational screen time to fewer than two hours a day

• 1- Be physically active for at least one hour per day

• 0- Avoid sugary drinks, and instead aim for water or low-fat milk


Fourth grade parents please mark your calendar! Our fourth grade students will have swimming lessons at the Rock Hill Aquatic Center on the following dates: February 3,4,5,6. I share this information so that you will make sure that your child has a swimsuit readily available during these dates.

~Ms. Bundy

Media Center

Read Your Way to the Big Game! Approximately 165 students participated in the Read Your Way to the BIG Game challenge. The contest sponsored by the focuses on reading. Also, two lucky students can win four tickets, pre-game sideline passes, and participate in pre-game activities, for the football rivalry between the USC Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers, on Saturday, November 30th. Each of our students will enjoy a free ice cream on Friday, November 1st to celebrate their accomplishment in conjunction with National Literacy Day.

Celebrate Picture Book Month and Children’s Book Week.

Join in the celebration during the month of November to celebrate and promote reading: November is National Picture Book Month and Children’s Book Week, November 4th – 10th. Picture books can open up a whole new world for children and adults, while nurturing the imagination. Both of these events offer us an opportunity to indulge in some great children’s books. If you have a favorite book, re-read it and share it with someone else. If you don’t have a favorite book or author and you are wondering where to start, I would suggest checking out your own personal library; the classroom library, the school library, and the public library. It’s time to read, promote and celebrate!

~Mrs. Gray

Counselor's Corner

I cannot believe that it’s almost time for the holidays; it seems like first semester has flown by! Please note if any families are in need of holiday assistance, contact me for further assistance. Additionally, we have several jackets, coats, gloves and hats available; if your child could benefit from these services, let me know. I can be reached on my office phone at (803) 981- 1272.

During the month of October, we took part in a nationwide campaign that serves as a reminder to all, the importance of living a drug free lifestyle. This campaign, entitled Red Ribbon Week, is an alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the month of October in the United States. We celebrated Red Ribbon Week, October 28- November 1, 2019, at Sunset Park CAS. Our theme this year was, Send a Message. Stay Drug Free. The students really enjoyed participating in our dress up days and discussing this topic during classroom guidance. Please continue to speak with your children at home about the importance of living a drug-free lifestyle and making good choices. Likewise, in addition to classroom guidance if you feel your child has a need for individual or small group counseling services, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. We currently have started groups but will continue to provide services on a need basis.

All Student Council members will be provided a letter with meeting dates and times for the year. Parents/guardians, please ensure that student representatives have an arranged mode of transportation for our scheduled meeting days. Again, I am very excited about working with the student council again this year and look forward to a great year.

Lastly, in light of the holidays, I want to say how thankful I am for each and every one of your children. They truly remind me daily of why I absolutely love my role as a school counselor. As always, please know that I am available should you wish to speak with me regarding your child’s needs at Sunset Park. Happy Holidays!

~Ms. Woods

Accelerated/Gifted Learning

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights

You have a right to:

  • know about your giftedness.
  • learn something new everyday.
  • be passionate about your talent area without apologies.
  • have an identity beyond your talent area.
  • feel good about your accomplishments.
  • make mistakes.
  • seek guidance in the development of your talent.
  • have multiple peer groups and a variety of friends.
  • choose which of your talent areas you wish to pursue.
  • not to be gifted at everything.

written by Del Siegle, NAGC President, 2007-2009

~Mrs. Blackwell

From Our Reading Coach-Mrs. Nivens

Tips for Supporting Your Child's Reading at Home

(Full article available at:

1. Teaching reading will only help.

2. Teaching literacy isn’t different than teaching other skills.

3. Talk to your kids (a lot).

4. Read to your kids.

5. Have them tell you a “story.”

6. Teach phonemic awareness.

7. Teach phonics (letter names and their sounds).

8. Listen to your child read.

9. Promote writing.

10. Ask questions.

11. Make reading a regular activity in your home.

Happy reading!


Parents and families—this year’s main fundraiser is the Sunset Park Trojan Turkey Trot! It’s a two-week program that kicks off with a pep rally on November 14th! Families will then gather pledges for every lap your student runs (30-35 laps) at the Sunset Park Trojan Turkey Trot, which will happen on November 22nd. This year our goal is to raise $10,000 for School Improvements & Beautification, and we need your help! We’ve asked the experts at Booster to power our fundraiser to make it easier, more profitable, and more fun.

Students will also experience an amazing character theme, MINDSPARK: WILD WEST! Booster’s most exciting theme yet combines S.T.E.A.M. Skills (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) with character-building. While they're teaming up with the mindspark kids to save Dr. Shock, our students will learn five character traits that will help strengthen themselves and our world.

Donations will go toward school improvements and beautification and the entire two-week experience. Please help our school by getting pledges from family and friends and entering them on Also, all families are invited to come out and cheer on our students at the Sunset Park Trojan Turkey Trot. Thanks so much for your support!


Chick-fil-a Cherry Road Spirit Night - December 12th (Cherry Road Location)

Parent's Night Out - December 13th

~Mrs. Johnson, PTO President