The CPES BobChat

August 20, 2023 (Early Edition for Start of School)

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What Do We Need to Remember as We Start Back?

Last week, we gave lots of information about safety and drop-off and pickup. Today, my goal is to give you some thoughts about the beginning of every year that will be helpful. 1. Follow the Plan--Over the years, we've gotten pretty good at what we do and what we ask you to do. There is a purpose for every policy, rule and procedure. We recognize we can still grow and improve, but our processes have evolved because we've gone through what didn't work to find out what works. So, please follow the plan. 2. Ask Yourself, "What If Everyone Did That?" I have to be honest that I don't like to wait in line. I'm impatient. I want to do things my way. When I get frustrated, my sweet wife reminds me that the world doesn't revolve around me and that policies are in place for the greater good. She's right. As I discuss situations with parents, I often remind them that as a principal, I have to be willing to do for all what I'm willing to do for one. As a culture, we like it when we receive personalized service and tailored plans just for us. In a school setting, we have to keep in mind what's best for all kids, all parents and all staff. When we want the exception, ask, "what if everyone did that?" 3. It will get better. Lines will be long for the first week or two. Processes will be confusing for those who haven't read newsletters and emails. Lived experiences teach more than guidelines that are read. Take a breath. Listen to your favorite music. Trust the process. It will get better. I promise. 4. Go Low and Go Slow. Change brings about anxiety. When we don't know everything about a situation, a person, a procedure or a school, questions arise and frustrations can grow. When they do, it is always best to go low and go slow. Loud, harsh voices (whether they are spoken or written), can do lots of damage. Help us by seeking to understand first. Give the benefit of the doubt. We can work together to figure out great solutions. Low and slow always wins the day.

We are excited about a new school year. We have great kids who come from great families who will work with great teachers. We are fortunate to get to walk together in this next step of your child's life. We look forward to seeing you next week.

Strength and Blessings to You,

Mr. Maness

P.S. For information about arrival, dismissal, and safety, click on the following link from last week's newsletter: Please also be sure to read to the bottom for important information.

Parents, you may walk your child to class the first day of school. Please use the parking lots around the school and if possible, the ones at Cherry Park (The Park) and walk over. If necessary, park on the right hand side in our car loops. We want to keep the left lane open for cars moving. It is dangerous parking across Cherry Road and walking over.

CPES Family Handbook

Please click here for our policies and procedures for our school.

Bus Transportation Agreement

Click here for guidelines for students riding the bus to and from school.

Common Disallowed Items on the Bus

Click here for items that can't be transported on the bus.

Beginning of School Checklist for Parents (See new info about Spirit Wear)

1. Staggered Start for Kindergarten Students--We will have a staggered start for all our kindergarten students this year. This allows for them to transition more easily. Students with last names that begin with A-M will come Monday and Tuesday, August 21 and 22. (They will not come Wednesday and Thursday.) Students with last names that begin with N-Z come Wednesday and Thursday, August 23 and 24. (They will not come Monday and Tuesday.) All students come on Friday, August 25.

2. CPES Spirit Wear Online Store--This year, we will have an online store open three different times for Cherry Park Spirit Wear. All orders will be delivered to school within 10 business days of store close (not date of order). We will not be able to accept late orders. We will not be able to offer returns or exchanges. The online store is open from now through Labor Day, September 4. It will open again in November and in the spring. Here is the link for the CPES Online Store: Cherry Park Elementary Online Store

For information about the following items, see last week's newsletter:

Returning Student Verification

Parent Portal Set Up

Be Great Academy After School Program

School Supply Lists

New Volunteer Process

Information about Bus Transportation and Technology Forms

CPES Spirit Wear Online Store

Click here to purchase Cherry Park spirit wear for your child.

Parent Portal Signup Directions

Click here for directions how you can sign up for Parent Portal.

Be Great Academy After School Program

Click here for more information about the Be Great Academy. To register your child, click on the "Register/Login" tab at the top on the far right.

CPES School Supply Lists

Click here to see what supplies your child needs for this fall. Please let us know if you need any assistance securing school supplies for your child.

Volunteer Interest Form

Click here to complete the Volunteer Interest Form.

Notes and Reminders

1. Grade Level Administrators--As our school grows, we want to be thoughtful about how best to serve our students and families. The following administrators will be the main point of contact for the following grade levels:

Kindergarten and First Grade--Dr. James Ramere

Second and Third Grades--Mrs. Kendyl Futrelle

Fourth and Fifth Grades--Mr. Pat Maness

As we have clarified district expectations for the roles and responsibilities for Sr. Alberto Leon in our Dean of Student Leadership position, he will work with students and families in all grade levels. He will assist our administrative team and counseling team to support students who might have struggles adjusting in our learning environments. He will be a great resource for our children, parents and staff to develop long-term plans to help children grow and learn. We are blessed to have him working in this capacity.

2. Long-term Leave for Art--Mrs. Molly Garrard will be going on maternity leave in September. If you know of someone who might be interested in filling in for her while she is on leave, let me know. (

3. Projects Around the School--We have a few extra projects that need to be done around the school. If you and/or your family/club/service group/small group would like to help, let me know. We have some painting (beyond the normal scope of maintenance work) to be done and some pictures that need to be hung.

For Information about the Following Topics, See last week's newsletter:

Personal Electronic Device Use for Students

School Technology Use for Students

Start Time for This Year

Student Meals

Elementary Attendance Guidelines

Click here for guidelines for elementary students.

Need Tech Support? Call 803-324-TECH

School Calendar

August 21--First Day Back for Students; Kindergarten Students with Last Names Beginning with A-M come Monday, August 21 and Tuesday, August 22.

August 23--Kindergarten Students with Last Names Beginning with N-Z come Wednesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 24

August 25--All Students Come to School

August 30--6:00 Scouting Night at CPES and All Elementary Schools

September 4--Labor Day Holiday (No School); Last Day to Order CPES Spirit Wear

Parent Organizations

School Improvement Council--This group seeks to determine how Cherry Park Elementary can be the best school it can be. It is a sounding board and feedback group for the school and district. Members are elected for two year terms. Members of this year's Council include Anitra Meeks, Paloma Fernandez Sanchez, Brittany Jensen, Celia Kerr, Ashley Petit, Latisha Givens, and Scott Kennedy. Ex-Officio Members are Mr. Maness (Principal) and Mrs. Futrelle (Assistant Principal). Meetings are held at Cherry Park on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 PM. All parents are invited to attend.

Parent Teacher Organization--This group has three main goals: Raising funds for the school, appreciating the staff and securing volunteers as needed. The Cherry Park PTO is a 501c3 tax deductible organization. Meetings are held at Cherry Park on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 PM (right after the SIC meetings.) All parents are invited to attend. All financial records are distributed and updated at each month's meeting.

Previous Newsletters for 23-24 School Year

"How Can We Work Together to Keep Everyone Safe?" August 13, 2023

"How Can Checklists Help You Start a New Year?" August 6, 2023

"Who Are the Newest Hires and What Are the Latest Changes with Technology?" July 30, 2023

"What's the Latest News at Cherry Park" July 16, 2023

"Challenger Be Great Academy Update" June 23, 2023

"What Staffing Changes Have Been Made at CPES?" June 18, 2023

Cherry Park Website

This is the link to our school website.