The Bobcat Blaze

February 5, 2021

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Principal's Message

Happy Friday Bobcats!

It has been a great week here since returning to Phase Two! It was such a joy to see students back in the building again. I cannot wait until our entire family is under one roof beginning February 16th.

This week we also celebrated our wonderful school counselor, Mrs. Elizabeth Balthazor for National School Counseling Week. We are fortunate to have such a great counselor and enjoyed showering her with attention!

Next week we will hit the 100th day of school! Congratulations! In honor of the occasion, we will have dress up days for each cohort. Look for information on that in today's newsletter.

Finally, as we prepare for the transition to 4 days of in-person instruction, if you need to change the mode in which your student will receive instruction, please contact the school ASAP.

As always, thank you for all that you do! Have a great weekend!

We are A.C. Moore STRONG!

Principal's Message:

Important Dates and Upcoming Events


  • February 1st-28th.............Black History Month

  • February 9th & 11th..........100th (ish) Day of School Dress Up Day

  • February 11th...................Deadline to Complete the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar Survey

  • February 15th...................No School for Students, Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • February 16th..................4 Day Week of Instruction Begins

Feedback Survey on the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar

The Richland One Calendar Committee, which includes teachers, classified employees, district administrators, parents and a school board member, has developed two draft calendars for the 2021-2022 school year.

Factors considered during the calendar development process include but are not limited to testing dates, holidays, make-up days and the state law mandating that the school year cannot begin before the third Monday in August. The primary consideration is what’s best for students from an academic standpoint.

The Calendar Committee is seeking feedback on two 2021-2022 draft calendars (Calendar Draft A and Calendar Draft B) from students, parents, employees and other stakeholders.

Click on the link below to review the draft calendars and take the survey by February 11th.

A Message from the District Office

Dr. Witherspoon Announces District Will Return to Phase 2/Hybrid February 1st

January 27, 2021

Dear Richland One Families and Staff,

We continue to monitor our Restart Strong Plan based upon the science and circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Our plan, which has been posted on our website ( since July 2020, outlines the Phase-In Model (eLearning, hybrid and traditional face-to-face) and the full-year Virtual School Program option.

There have been modifications to our plan throughout this process. For example, parents were able to change options more frequently than originally planned. Another example is the district moved back to Phase 1 (eLearning) after the Winter Break based upon an anticipated surge in community outbreak of COVID-19. The significant increases in incidence rates per 100,000 people resulted in our extension of Phase 1 beyond the two weeks we originally planned. Staff availability, based upon COVID-19 cases and associated quarantines, also was a factor in our extension of Phase 1 beyond two weeks. This background information is important to consider.

As we finish this week of eLearning, the district will return to Phase 2 (hybrid) effective Monday, February 1, 2021. For the week of February 1, the instructional days will be Monday and Tuesday (Cohort A), and Wednesday and Thursday (Cohort B); the flex day will be Friday. Friday, February 5 is a professional development day/early release day for students, as designated on the district’s 2020-2021 calendar.

Also, please note the following information by grade level which is effective Tuesday, February 16:

Elementary School Students

  • We will be transitioning to four days of in-person instruction at the elementary level. Wednesdays will be flex days. Schools will provide additional information to parents next week.
  • Parents of Phase 2/hybrid students who do not feel comfortable with their children returning to school for face-to-face instruction and want them to continue with eLearning will have that option.
  • Students in the Virtual School Program will remain in that program.
  • There are no more slots available in the Virtual School Program.

Middle School and High School Students

  • Middle school students and high school students will continue to be served in the Phase 2/hybrid model or the Virtual School Program, as they were before the Winter Break.

As we continue to work through the impact of COVID-19 on this district and our community, we appreciate your patience and understanding.


Craig Witherspoon, Ed.D.


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Please return all library books so they can be exchanged.

Free COVID-19 Testing Sites for February

DHEC-RRT - Pardon and Parole (Old Building)

Dates and Times for February

Open Daily: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Further Information:

  • Report to the intersection of Greene St. and Heidt St.
  • Appointment Needed: No
  • Referral Needed: No
  • Pediatric Testing Available: Yes
  • Saliva testing- Do not eat, drink, or smoke for 30 minutes prior to testing.

Address: 2204 Lee St, Columbia, SC 29205

Contact Details and Pre-Registration:

DHEC-Tour Health - DHEC Parking Lot

Dates and Times for February

Open weekdays: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Saturdays: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Further Information

  • Appointment Needed: No
  • Referral Needed: No
  • Pediatric Testing Available: Yes

Address 2600 Bull St, Columbia, SC 29201

Contact Details

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Bobcat Spotlight...Happy National School Counseling Week!

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Mrs. Elizabeth Balthazor, School Counselor

In celebration of National School Counseling Week, A.C. Moore would like to recognize our School Counselor, Elizabeth Balthazor!

During the first full of week of February, School Counselors are celebrated and acknowledged in an effort to bring awareness to the unique contribution they have provide U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by American School Counselor Association, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

Mrs. Balthazor is an integral part of our school community and assists students in learning how to develop cooperation skills, practice perseverance, and develop positive behavioral habits. She is an advocate for our students and works diligently to prepare students for success in school and beyond. The Bobcat family would like to extend a special thank you to Mrs. Balthazor for her efforts and continued support of the students and families at A. C. Moore.

100th Day of School Dress Up Days

Wednesday is the 100th day of school! Wouldn't it be fun to celebrate as a school! We are 100 days smarter and it is time to celebrate! In honor of the 100th day we are going to dress like we are 100 years old. Get creative with glasses, hair and outfits.

  • Cohort A will participate on Tuesday the 9th by dressing up as a 100 year old person 🙂
  • Cohort B will participate on Thursday the 11th!

Not into dressing up? No problem! Here are some other creative ways to take part in the celebration!

  • Draw and write about yourself at 100 years old.
  • Write 100 of your favorite words on a chart paper.
  • 100 exercises fitness challenge
  • Before I turn 100 years old Bucket List
  • 100 acts of KINDNESS challenge
  • Project on Inventions 100 years from now

A Bobcat Spotlight....Black History Month

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As a Harvard-trained historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

By the time of Woodson's death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all colors on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.


A. C. Moore Celebrates the Contributions of African Americans

During A. C. Moore's celebration of Black History Month, each week you and your student can learn more about the contributions African Americans have had on American culture. Each edition of the February Bobcat Blaze will highlight those contributions in specific areas. This edition focuses on the African American Influence on American Music.


African-American influences are so fundamental to American music that there would be no American music without them. People of African descent were among the earliest non-indigenous settlers of what would become the United States, and the rich African musical heritage that they carried with them was part of the foundation of a new American musical culture that mixed African traditions with those of Europe and the Americas. Their work songs, dance tunes, and religious music—and the syncopated, swung, remixed, rocked, and rapped music of their descendants—would become the lingua franca of American music, eventually influencing Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

The most distinctive features of African-American musical traditions can be traced back in some form or other to Africa. Many of the expressive performance practices seen as synonymous with African American music, including blue notes and call-and-response, have their roots in techniques originally developed in western and central Africa before arriving to the United States.

The earliest jazz and blues recordings were made in the 1920s. African-American musicians developed related styles such as rhythm and blues in the 1940s. In the 1960s, soul performers had a major influence on white US and UK singers. In the mid-1960s, Black musicians developed funk and they were many of the leading figures in late 1960s and 1970s genre of jazz-rock fusion. In the 1970s and 1980s, Black artists developed hip-hop, and in the 1980s introduced the disco-infused dance style known as house music. Much of today's genres of music is heavily influenced by traditional African-American music.

Black History Trivia for Week 1

Can you name the musicians pictured below?

Submit your answers to Mrs. Whetstone at The deadline for submissions is Thursday, February 11th.

Black History Month Resources

In Celebration of Black History Month

A curated list of quality titles found on epic to celebrate Black History Month.

Inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman inspired the nation as the sixth and youngest Inaugural Poet in U.S. History. Learn more about her poem, 'The Hill We Climb'.

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Attention Bobcat Families:

If any of your contact information has changed (phone number, address, email address, emergency contacts) since the start of the school year please contact database specialist Madolyn Thorpe at We need the most accurate information in Powerschool to ensure you receive school communication.

Notes from the Nurse

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Hi Bobcat Families! I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy.

Please see the attached flyer and sign up if you are interested in receiving a FREE Kinsa digital thermometer. You can also visit the Kinsa Health website to sign up. Several teachers enrolled in the program and received their thermometers last week. The next shipment will go out soon. Please email me at if you have any questions. Thank you for your participation!

Also, please don't forget to let me know if your child has been ill or exposed (close contact) to Covid-19. It is so important that we track this information in efforts to keep all of us safe and healthy.

Finally, please visit the News from the Nurse page on the school website for health-related information and forms.

Take care, everyone!

Nurse Hurt

Wellness Watch

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Presents: A Conversation on Inclusion, Cooperation and Self-Esteem: Video

Click on the image below to watch youth engagement experts from across the country discuss how to support kids as they are reconnecting with peers and teachers while managing family dynamics at home.

Report to the Parents

This report is issued by the AC Moore Elementary School Improvement Council (SIC) in accordance with South Carolina law to share information on the school's progress in meeting various goals and objectives, the work of the SIC, and other accomplishments during the school year.

Information from your PTO

To stay up-to-date on PTO happenings, please click the link below to register for the Bobcat e-Blast! If you are currently receiving the Bobcat e-Blasts, you will still need to complete the form and provide your information.


Carrie Smith & Kim Pordes (PTO chairs)


Asi usted haya recibido el Bobcat e-Blast en el pasado, por favor complete esta informacion- estamos haciendo una nueva base de datos. Estamos planeando las reuniones del PTO los miercoles en la tarde, al comienzo virtualmente, por eso esten pendiente de los anuncios que haga la Directora Aldridge en el Bobcat Blaze (periodico de la escuela) para mas informacion de la primera reunion.

Gracias, y espero verlos pronto!

Carrie Smith & Kim Pordes ( representantes del PTO)

Tech Tips

For Parents and Teachers...

Richland One IT Help Desk

You can get remote assistance by calling the IT Help Desk Monday - Friday from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM at 803-231-7436.

Mark Your Calendars for...

Funny, Random, & Weird Holidays

Did you participate in a wacky holiday last week? Don't forget to send a picture of your family's celebration to Mrs. Whetstone at Here are a few weird holidays for your family to think about this week.

February 5..........................................………Work Naked Day

February 5..........................................………National Weatherperson's Day

February 5..........................................………Chocolate Fondue Day

February 6..........................................………Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day

February 6..........................................………Lame Duck Day

February 7..........................................………e-Day

February 7..........................................………Send a Card to a Friend Day

February 8..........................................………Laugh and Get Rich Day

February 8..........................................………Clean Out Your Computer Day

February 9..........................................………Toothache Day

February 9..........................................………Bagel and Lox Day

February 10..........................................…...Umbrella Day

February 11..........................................…...Make a Friend Day

February 11..........................................……Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day

February 12..........................................……Darwin Day

We Want to See Your Bobcat Student MAKING TRACKS!

We would love to share in your student's success by seeing them in action! Submit a photo of your Bobcat completing their asynchronous assignments and/or activities your student's picture can be featured in an upcoming issue of the Bobcat Blaze! Submit your photos to Mrs. Whetstone at

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Parents, students and staff can now get up-to-date information about COVID-19 cases in the district through Richland One’s new online tracking dashboard.

A link to the dashboard, which will be updated daily, is posted on the Restart Strong page on the district’s website In addition to listing the number of positive and quarantined COVID-19 cases among Richland One students and staff, the dashboard includes the number of cases at each district school and administrative building. It also shows daily, weekly and year-to-date summaries of the number of positive COVID-19 cases.

“Richland One’s goal in creating the COVID-19 dashboard is to provide the most accurate and current information possible to our community,” said Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon. “Having the same data allows us all to work together to better protect our students and staff.”

COVID-19 data is compiled daily by the district’s Nursing Services office and Accountability, Assessment, Research and Evaluation department. The information shown on Richland One’s dashboard may differ from the reports from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), which are updated on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Media inquiries should be directed to the Richland One Office of Communications.

Registration Information for Pre-Kindergarten Programs

Office of School Readiness & Pre-Kindergarten Programs

Additional information about Richland One's Pre-K Program can be found using the above link.

Parent Information for Pre-Kindergarten Registration

You MUST attend a virtual parent information session (live or recorded) before registering for Pre-K. Use the above link to sign up for a live parent information sessions listed, or watch the video and complete the survey to get credit for attending.

Apply to a Richland One Magnet School

Richland One’s diverse magnet programs include Montessori Programs, Career Magnets, Language Immersion Program, Medical Magnet Academy, Health Sciences Magnet, Richland One Middle College and the Virtual School Program.

Richland One Student Attendance Info for 2020-2021

As a parent or guardian you are responsible for ensuring that your child attends school either in person or virtually every day that school is in session. Please review the documents below for Richland One's attendance expectations.

District Resources

Be in-the-know with information directly from Richland School District One with one click! Visit #restartstrong for the newest updates!


ThriveRichland is a birth to four initiative established by Richland County School District One with the overall goal of increasing the percentage of children entering kindergarten ready to learn. The three major focus areas of ThriveRichland are:

  • High quality professional development and support for early childhood professionals

  • Comprehensive family wellness and engagement

  • Development of a plan for an early learning lab school within Richland One

ThriveRichland is offering families with children from birth to four and opportunity to join an online play group. Click the link below for details on how to sign up your family.

ThriveRichland Online Play Groups