Read Otter 'Bout It!

RTES Parent Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 3

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In just 3 weeks, we’ll kick off our River Trail Boosterthon program on September 29th!

We have 3 goals for this year program:

1. Bringing our school community together for some FUN!

2. Inspiring our students to be active and activate their character building

3. Raising funds to support our school’s needs

We are so excited for this program! We will bring our school together for 8 days of celebration, fun, and nightly challenges as we work towards helping our school raise $25,000 for resources on our new campus that will equip River Trail students and teachers with tools for success. This year more than ever, we need additional funds to provide an excellent educational experience for all of our students. We completely understand if your family is not in a position to financially support the school right now. You can still be involved by simply SHARING about our fundraiser with friends and extended family online at Sharing IS supporting! All students will participate in the River Trail Boosterthon program, regardless of financial participation. We will also be following our school safety guidelines to ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone.

We appreciate your support more than you know. More details to come as we get closer to kickoff!

Key dates to remember:

Donating Opens on - 9/15

Kickoff Day- 9/29

Event Day - 10/8

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Transportation Changes

Parents are encouraged to have a consistent mode of transportation for their child to eliminate confusion and the potential for a child going home the incorrect way. However, we realize that there are times when a transportation change needs to be made. We prefer all changes in writing via email.

In the event you need to change your child's transportation, please send an email to the child’s teacher and to our receptionist, Mrs. Mabry, at All changes must be made by 1:15pm. Students will be sent home their usual way if no communication has been received from the parents.

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You may order pictures from the link sent by your child's teacher.

FMVA Pictures will be taken at KTES in the afternoon of 9/17 and 9/18.

We want to be sure all of our Virtual Otters are included in this year's yearbook! If you would like to have your FMVA student's photo taken, please sign up on the signup genius below and arrive at the designated time. Parents will bring students to the Kings Town Elementary Cafeteria doors and a River Trail staff member will escort them through to the gym. Parents will not be allowed in the building. This will streamline the process (keeping parents from having to check in at the front desk) and it’s currently policy that no outside guests be permitted in the school building.

Here's the link:

STAR Testing

Over the next two weeks, students will complete Star assessment(s) in an effort to gain an understanding of their learning needs in both math and reading. Star Assessments—which include Star Reading, Star Math, and STAR Early Literacy are valid, reliable computer-adaptive assessments that help identify what students know and what they’re ready to learn next. Scores on these tests will be analyzed by teachers to help inform the instruction for this school year. Please reach out to your teacher or if you have any questions.


Cub Scouts enjoy great adventures and fun activities with kids their own age in a family-friendly environment. Scouting leads to new friends, strong values, and increased self-esteem. Maximize your child’s ability to succeed in life. All kindergarten through fifth grade boys and girls are invited to sign-up on September 16 or 17, 2020 via Zoom. Let Cub Scouting be your foundation for success!

Visit to register for our upcoming Zoom recruitment!

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A Message from the FMVA

As a parent/guardian of a Fort Mill Virtual Academy student, it is very important to understand the responsibilities associated with that role. With the many distractions students have today, it can be difficult for some students to set aside time to work on courses when not in the regular school environment/setting. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian

to encourage the student to manage his/her time in an effective way.

Our FMVA teachers will keep you informed of your student’s progress and will initiate contact if your student falls behind in coursework. Parents/Guardians are expected to supervise and monitor their student’s progress throughout the duration of the course, just as you would in a regular school setting. This can be accomplished by accessing Parent Portal, Seesaw, and/or Google classroom accounts periodically to monitor student progress. Please be mindful to have your child’s microphone or camera turned off if there are noises or distractions present in your home during a GoogleMeet.

All parents/guardians should support academic integrity. Academic integrity is one of our district’s core values and one of the most important areas of focus as a learning organization. Students with academic integrity make decisions based on ethics and values that will prepare them to be productive and ethical citizens. You may contact your student’s teacher directly via email and/or Google voice (if they have set that up) to answer questions about any assignments or the course that you may have. When a parent/guardian has a concern about the student’s performance or behavior, the parent/guardian should set up a virtual conference with the student’s FMVA teacher.

The district does not have any more devices to loan. Requests regarding hot spots would go through the FMSD Technology Department. Students who are having issues with a district device should notify their virtual teacher(s).

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It is the start of an exciting year here at River Trail! Here are a few things to remember about the health room:

According to FMSD policy, the health room will supply the following items for first-aid purposes: Vaseline, Saline Eye Wash, Aloe Vera and 1% Hydrocortisone cream. As a reminder, the health room is designed to assist students with chronic health conditions and is an emergency station to care for minor injuries and illnesses that occur at school. Injures that occurred outside the school environment should be treated at home or by a health care provider prior to returning back to school.

Please ensure that you have provided the school with any necessary information related to medical conditions and medication your child may need throughout the year. All medication should be in the original container, labeled with the student’s name and directions easily readable. This includes all over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medications. No medicine will be given unless it is brought in by the parent/guardian with the accompanying required medical forms. Please remember, the Student Nutrition Department and your child’s school will need medical documentation of any food related allergies. Also, please let your child's teacher or the school nurse know if there are ever any changes in medical conditions or phone numbers throughout the year.

All immunizations must be on record by September 29th or your student will not be allowed to attend school on the 30th and after until we have the certificate on file. Immunization certificates must be on a SC DHEC 2740 or 4024 form.

If I can be of any assistance this year, please let me know. I hope everyone will have a happy and healthy school year!

Nurse Sova

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Mrs. Johnson - Bookkeeper

I feel extremely blessed to hold the Bookkeeper position at River Trail Elementary. Serving my staff, students and parents brings me joy. My goal each day is to ensure my administration and staff have what they need to be successful.

I grew up in Fort Mill. I hold a lot of pride being an employee of the Fort Mill School District. Each day is a gift and don’t want to waste it. I’m married to a wonderful man, Steve, and have two grown children, Logan and Landon. Our family is very close and spends a lot of time together.

I’m here to serve. Please know that I’m always willing to assist you with questions.

Ms. Gaunt - Technology Assistant

We moved to Fort Mill from southern Illinois in 2013. We love South Carolina! I started working for FMSD in 2016 as the TA at Springfield Elementary School. I'm so glad to be part of the River Trail family this year! My husband and I have four children. In our spare time we love to be outdoors hiking, kayaking, exploring new places, and revisiting favorites. I'm looking forward to a great year!
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Free Meals for All FMSD Students

The Fort Mill School District is excited to announce that starting Wednesday, September 9th, 2020, the Student Nutrition Department will provide free meals to all students. Breakfast and lunch will be offered at no charge for all students.

This program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and will expire on December 31, 2020 or until federal funds for this program have been exhausted, whichever occurs first. We will continue to participate in this program as long as funding is available. If any changes occur, they will be communicated swiftly to parents.

The federal program rules require that each student get a complete meal to have the fee waived. Buying extras or a la carte items will result in a charge on the student’s lunch account. No action is required by our families, this will be an automated process.

We hope that each student will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Click here for information on Student Nutrition Meals for FMVA and A/B Days.

Questions regarding this program should be directed to the Student Nutrition Department at 803-802-1968.

Outside Food

Outside food should not be brought into school for lunch. With limited building entry for the 2020-2021 school year, outside food and drink will only be allowed through student lunchboxes or containers. No fast food or food service deliveries will be allowed for students. We appreciate you helping us minimize the amount of deliveries to classrooms with lunches. We understand that sometimes, parents need to deliver lunches for a variety of reasons. Lunches will need to be in a bag or lunch box to come into the building. We will turn away all food delivery services and/or food that is delivered by parents in a restaurant bag or container.

Classroom Celebration Baskets

For safety, no outside food or drink will be allowed for celebrations. The Fort Mill School District Nutrition Department has celebration baskets available to order for special occasions. These baskets provide treats for students in a classroom. Click on the button below to order a celebration basket for your child’s class.

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Follow Us!

For up-to-date communication, we encourage all families to follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Twitter: @RiverTrailElem

Instagram: @rivertrailelementary