Camden Elementary

School of the Creative Arts

Together We Make The Difference!

District Information

Menu changes for the week of Oct. 24th:

There will be a change to next week's menu: the menus for Monday and Friday will flip flop.  The meatloaf for our district and many others was diverted away from schools and given to the Salvation Army to be served in shelters last week and our next shipment does not arrive until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  Thank you for your understanding!

KCSD Referendum Information  


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School Announcements

  • Election Day: November 8

    As a reminder, all Kershaw County School District (KCSD) schools will be closed on Tuesday, November 8 because they will be used as polling places.  All Kershaw County registered voters are urged to exercise their right to vote on November 8 as there are many important decisions on the ballot.  Persons who are interested in learning more about the KCSDreferendum are encouraged to visit the district’s website at



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  • 2nd Grade CogAT/ITBS Testing

    Second grade CogAT and ITBS testing will take place next week, October 24th through October 28th. Students are encouraged to get a good night's sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and be on time to school. A letter went mone today with more information. Please contact the school if you have any questions.Testing

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  • Background Checks for Chaperones and Volunteers

    Last year, the district implemented a new background check system.  It is called BIB and the cost to the individual is $16.95, which is significantly cheaper than the SLED checks that used to be required.  The application process is online and payment is also made online.  This check is required for all Level II volunteers, however, if you have a current SLED check you do not need the BIB check until your SLED check expires.  Some of the benefits of the BIB background check is that not only is it cheaper, but it conducts a nationwide search.  BIB will send the approved applicant a letter and identification card and will notify the school and the parent when the background check expires. For more information check out the district website.  The link to the application is

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  • Shoeboxes for Soldiers / Veterans Day Program

    Our Veterans Day Program will be November 10, 2016 at 9:00.  We have a wonderful program planned again this year.

    We will start filling our gift boxes for soldiers in October.  Please start collecting items for your teacher’s box.  These are for service men and women serving overseas.  Flyers will be sent home with your child in October!

    Let’s fill 100 boxes this year!

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  • CES Receives DAP Grant Again!

    We are excited to have been awarded the Distinguished Arts Planning grant from the SC Department of Education for the 4th year in a row!   This DAP grant provides many arts opportunities for our school.  It will fund 3 weeks of Artists-in-Residence for Dance, Theatre and Visual Art.  Our First graders will perform in a play in the Spring.  We will have our 4th annual Arts Celebration evening on March 28, 2017, where our dance, theatre, strings, and chorus will perform, and an art piece from every student will also be on display.  This grant also provides professional development for teachers on how to integrate the arts into the everyday classroom.  Thank you to every member of the CES Arts Steering Committee.  Your hard work is appreciated.

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  • CES Chorus Kids

    The Chorus Kids rehearsals are underway.  This 4th and 5th grade choir meets after school on Tuesdays from 2:30 - 3:30.   Students should be picked up on Fair Street at 3:30.  Our first concert will be Thursday, December 1, 2016.  5th grade recorder students are also invited to perform in this concert.  Thanks for supporting your child in the arts!

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  • Helpful Information for Everyone!!!

    Do you feel like a broken record trying to get your kids ready before school each morning? Do you find yourself searching teacher websites or calling other parents to find out about homework?

    I know both of those events happen in my three-boy household!  

    Well, I’ve found a great resource! Check out some helpful hints on how to help your grade school children get organized. And for those that need to remember what to put in the book bag everyday (hint-hint: those 5th graders preparing for 6th grade!), there is also a super suggestion for a luggage tag with to school and to home reminders for packing that book bag each day.

    7 Ways to Teach Your Grade-Schooler Organization Skills --

    The Backpack Checklist Luggage tag --

    Michelle Crane -- Special Education Teacher

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  • Golden Apple Awards for September

    Congratulations to Ms. Martha Salmon, teaching assistant in Ms. Thompson’s class, and Ms. Kennedy Spangler, kindergarten teacher, for being September’s Golden Apple Award winners.  Each school in the district selects two staff members who consistently go above and beyond for their students and help make Camden Elementary the outstanding school it is.

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  • First 9-Week Awards

    Awards for the first nine weeks will be presented to students in their classrooms between 10/25 and 10/28.  We are very proud of all our students’ hard work!

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  • Morning Drop Off

    Please remember that parents are not to drop students off before 7:00am.  The doors do not open until 7:00, and there is no supervision provided for students until that time.  Thank you for your cooperation!


    Afternoon Pickup

    When coming through the car rider line in the afternoon, please be sure to display your child’s name on the dash of your car. The card should be standing up so that all teachers on duty can read the name and have your child ready to load.  The car rider line is a busy time and we want to do everything we can to keep your child safe and to keep the line moving!  Thank you to parents who have already been doing this.  If you need a name card for your car, please call the office.  We will be glad to provide one for you.

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  • NewsFlash CEP/PTO NewsFlash!

    Welcome back and welcome to all our new CEP members!  We have an exciting year planned, and look forward to seeing all of you!  September is a big month, so please mark your calendars!  We have Grits for Grandparents, and the Book Fair coming up the week of September 19th - 23rd.  More information will be sent home with your children.  Open House will also be that week on Thursday, September 22nd from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Please join us for the CEP meeting at 6:00, and then head to your children’s classrooms and the Book Fair.  Thank you so much to all who signed up for CEP this year!  We’re looking forward to a great year!

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  • Reading is Magical.  Reading Can Take You Places

    Schoolwide Reading Initiative

    We are so excited about our new reading initiative this year, "Reading is Magical, Reading Can Take You Places."

    Every student will have his or her very own reading log to travel around with. The reading log will take the place of AR and will be used for “in-school” and “home” use. Some teachers will use two separate logs, one for home and one for school. Any adult that sees a student reading can sign the log.

    The length of time to read are in intervals of 10 minutes or more at a time for as many times as desired each day. The length of time will increase as the months go by. Students should complete one line on the log each time he or reads for more than 10 minutes. Our Kindergarten friends may include read-alouds, online stories and “read-togethers” on the log.  Our 1st grade friends may include independently read books, online stories, “read-togethers” and up to 10 read alouds on the log. 2nd through 5th grade friends may include independently read books, online books, “shared/guided reading” books, and up to 5 read alouds on the reading log.

    When the logs are collected each month, every student who hands in a completed log will receive a special treat. There will also be bigger, more exciting incentives that students will work towards by accumulating points for each completed log handed in.

    Parents, ask your child for the reading log. Check that it returns to school each day. Encourage your child to get cozy with something to read and of course sign the log. So let’s get together and read!

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  • School Safety!

    Just a few safety reminders; all parents and other visitors must come by the front office to get a visitor’s pass.  All outside doors are kept locked during the school day, so visitors must enter through the front door.  Visitors are not permitted to go the classroom after 7:30.  We will be happy to send a note to the teacher or deliver any items you wish to drop off.  The last reminder involves after school dismissal.  Parents who are walking up to get their children must line up on the sidewalk to the left of the front door.  Staff are there with radios to call your child.  Please do not come up to or into the building unless you are signing in to get a visitor’s pass.

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  • New Sign-In Policy

    Visitors who need to enter the building for any reason before school, during school hours or during dismissal are required to go through the office to sign in. We appreciate your cooperation with this policy.

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  • support our school

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  • We Have an App for That!

    New KCSD App Available!!



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  • 2016-2017 School Supply Lists

    Attached you will find a copy of our 2016-2017 School Supply List.  It is divided into items that students will need and those items that teachers have placed on a “Wish List”.  Printed copies of the list are available in the front office.  Don’t hesitate to call the school office if you have any questions.
    Thank you and have a wonderful summer!


    2016-2017 School Supply Lists

    2016-2017 Supply List

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  • CES Golf Tournament

    We would like to gratefully acknowledge the following businesses, individuals andfamilies for their generous sponsoring of the 10th Annual CES Golf Tournament.  Sponsors with an asterisk (*) by their name also sponsored our upcoming Spring Carnival.  We thank you! 

    If you have the chance please visit these businesses and thank these sponsors as well!


    Books on Broad & Coffee*

    Camden Optical Shop*

    Camden Radiology, LLC

    Camden Radiology, LLC

    Canal Wood

    Cantey Tiller Pierce & Green*

    Cassidy Allstate*

    Cassidy Elite Sports

    Cassidy Grandparents

    Denton Builders*

    Everyday Gourmet

    First Palmetto Savings Bank*


    Graham Realty, Inc

    Greenway Family

    Grumbach Family*

    Horton Tire Company*

    Hunsinger Long & Associates, LLC


    In Honor of Peter McKoy*

    Kona Ice of the Midlands*

    Kornegay Funeral Home

    M. Anderson Construction, LLC

    Mac's Auto Sales

    McKittrick Lumber Co.

    Movement Mortgage - Todd McDonald*

    Myers Timber Co. Inc


    Palmetto Paint & Body

    Palmetto Paperboard, LLC

    Piggly Wiggly

    Reliable Management Soluntions

    Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk*

    Robert H. Lackey Surveying*

    Rushing Grandparents

    Sheheen Hancock & Godwin, LLP

    Steeplechase Pathology, LLC

    Sun Ice*


    Thompkins Family

    Thompson Construction Group*

    Wounded Veterans

    Younghans Family

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  • Hoots from Mrs. Hepfner

    We had a great September here at CES and are anxiously awaiting the fall.  I want to let everyone know about our Fifth Grade School Ambassador Program. Several of our fifth graders have been recommended for the program and are all apart of different groups throughout the school.  These leaders are responsible for many duties around school, such as the morning announcements, interviewing teachers, raising and lowering the flagpole, helping make deliveries around school, and touring the school with potential new parents and students.  This is a program that we hope will build the leadership skills of our fifth grade as they transition to the middle school.  

    I have been walking around the school and throughout classrooms and continue to be impressed with the manners of our students.  Owls, continue to make good choices throughout the school day, so you can participate in all of the fun PBIS incentives we have planned for you.  As always, if you need anything, please let me know.

      Nurturing Owl Mrs. Allison Hepfner

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From the Principal

  • Welcome Autumn!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 10/3/2016 7:00:00 AM

    WELCOME AUTUMN!!  We didn’t think the weather was ever going to cool down, but fall is finally here!  This is my fourth year at Camden Elementary, and I have to say that this has been the best start to the school that we have had.  We have seen such excitement in the children, the teachers couldn’t wait to get their students on the new Chromebooks and our parents are even more involved in everything we are doing at CES!  We had a tremendously successful fundraiser, book fair and Grits for Grandparents breakfast in September.  Thank you to everyone who supported those activities!

    We are quickly approaching the end of the first quarter and by this time you should have had your first conference with your child’s teacher(s).  If you have not had a conference yet, please be sure to contact your child’s teacher by note, phone or email, so that one can be set up as soon as possible.  These beginning of the year conferences are extremely important so parents and teachers can exchange information to make sure the child has a successful year.

    Reports cards will be coming home on Monday, October 24th and that week teachers will be presenting first quarter awards in their classroom.  As in the past, students will be recognized for honor roll, perfect attendance, tardy-free and Terrific Kid.  Teachers do a great job of making this recognition very special for their students and it is wonderful to see how proud the children are of these awards.  We will continue to have our semester awards’ programs in January and May, where we welcome families and friends.

    I decided not to have my Small Talk with the Principal meetings this year.  Our attendance was down to only one or two parents coming to each meeting.  I guess that is a good thing, since it sounds like parents are pleased with what we are doing here at CES.  I do, however, invite and encourage you to call or come and meet with me if you have any concerns.  As always,

    Together We Make A Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal


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  • Welcome Back to Another Fantastic School Year!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 9/2/2016 3:00:00 PM

    Welcome back to another fantastic school year!  We have gotten off to a great start; the teachers are energized and the kids are excited!  I am also very excited about the additions to our staff and curriculum this year.
    For the first time in many years, Camden Elementary will be a Title I school.  All Title I schools receive additional funding based on the number of free and reduced lunch students we have enrolled.  All the elementary schools in Kershaw County are now Title I.  This funding has enabled us to hire a math interventionist, a technology coach and we have purchased fifty additional Chromebooks to supplement the ones we are receiving from district to ensure all students in grades three to five will have one.  We are happy to have Ms. Mary Crayne as our math interventionist and Ms. Valerie West as our technology coach.  

    All schools in Kershaw County will be going to one-to-one technology.  What that means is all children in our school will have access to a technology device.  Kindergarten will have ipads and laptops in their classrooms, first and second grade will have laptops and grade three to five students will have their own assigned Chrome Book.  We hope to be issuing them very soon, and more information and a Chrome Book agreement form will be coming home.  Teachers have been researching all the ways that they can use them in their classroom and can’t wait to get started!

    We have instituted one change in our dismissal policy.  While our policy states that only grade 3-5 students exit to Fair Street, we have had a few K-2 parents who need to have their child dismissed out the back.  In order for this to happen, parents much complete a permission form and have arranged for a 4th or 5th grader to escort them out to the gate.  We also can no longer allow any K-2 student to cross Fair Street without an adult or a 4th or 5th grader holding their hand.  We are doing this totally for the safety of the little ones who have been known to bolt across the street if they see a family member.

    Thank you for a wonderful start to the school year and we are looking forward to another great year at Camden Elementary.  Remember that, Together We Make A Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • May - Already??

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 5/1/2016 7:00:00 AM

    May – already??  Wow, did this year fly by fast!  We are getting dates and times finalized for all the trips, events and programs on the May calendar, and it is overflowing!  Please be sure to check your child’s newsletter, the school website and Facebook page for details.  Once we establish the dates and times, we do our very best not to change them, but occasionally something unavoidable comes up, and adjustments have to be made.  We will post those changes in numerous locations.  There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer this month, whether it is for field trips, field day, Bloomin’ Arts or CEP’s Spring Carnival. Please watch for information on how you can sign up to help.

    I do want to let you know how much I appreciate your patience and understanding as we made changes to our morning routine, as well as, our dismissal. Serving breakfast until 7:35 has really encouraged students to get to school on time and teachers are very happy that they can begin instruction by 7:45. Afternoon dismissal was getting a little hectic with adults coming close to or into the building to pick-up children and it made us a little nervous that we would not always see whose children were being released to.  Having all adults wait on the sidewalk for their child to be called and requiring all visitors go directly into the main office has helped us keep control of dismissal and ensure the safety of all our children.

    I hope you will take a minute to thank your child’s teacher for all they’ve done this year to make sure that your child not only met all the academic challenges, but they also loved and cared for your child each day.  We have a truly remarkable staff at Camden Elementary and we really need to do all we can to show how much we appreciate all they do each and every day. 

    Thank you for another great year and remember that, Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • April Is Here!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 4/4/2016 7:00:00 AM

    I hope everyone had a wonderful Spring Break!  It amazes me that as soon as we come back we are conducting spring testing and planning for the end of the school year.  We have had a fantastic school year!  The children have worked so hard and the results of the spring MAP assessment are showing how it has paid off.  The children and teachers like the new MAP “targets” that gave each student a range of where their scores should fall.  We finished grades three through five up before break and we had 236 students who met both targets – remarkable!

    April’s calendar is jam packed with activities!  Please be sure to check your child’s newsletter for all the dates and times.  We did have to postpone the Pizza in the Park MAP incentive and we will be sending home a new permission slip this week.

    Spring time is also the time of year that we see more injuries on the playground, either from accidents or rough play.  We are asking teachers to review recess rules with the students and explain exactly what rough play is and to let them know that there may be consequences for that behavior.  Rough play can either lead to someone getting hurt or it can turn into an actual fight and we need to stop both from happening.  I hope you will assist us in sharing this information with your children.

    Please remember that Wednesday, April 6th is the final Small Talk with the Principal of the year.  We meet at 8:00 in the school cafeteria.  If you are unable to attend, my door is always open if you have any questions.

    Thank you and remember that

    Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • March 1, 2016

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 3/1/2016 8:00:00 AM

    BUSY is the best way to describe this time of year!  I recently looked at the calendar for the remainder of the year and it is packed with fun activities, lots of field trips, programs and also our annual spring testing.  Please be sure to check school and class newsletters as well as the school website for all the details of coming events

    First of all, I want to thank the School Improvement Council and all the parents and staff who volunteered their time or donated refreshments, to make our second annual Father / Daughter Dance, a huge success!!  The praises continue to come in!

    We are already starting to prepare our children for spring testing.  Our spring MAP assessment will be given, starting the week of March 7th.  Your child’s teacher will have testing dates in their newsletters and information about the incentive program is in this newsletter.  We are also preparing our third through fifth graders for the new SC Ready Assessment.  The children will take a mock writing assessment the first week in March to give them a better idea of the test format.

    Finally, I want to thank you in advance for your support of our annual golf tournament, sponsored by CEP, our parent organization, which will be held on Thursday, March 17th.  This is a huge fund-raiser for our school and we greatly appreciate everyone who can help us secure hole sponsorships.

    Hope March is wonderful and have a fantastic Spring Break!!  Remember that,

    Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • It's Going to Be a Fabulous February!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 2/1/2016 7:30:00 AM

    This promises to be a FABULOUS FEBRUARY!  Be sure to check out the newsletter for information on Kindergarten Round-Up, Muffins for Mom, Celebrating the Arts, and Patriot Night.  We are also in the process of finalizing all the activities for the remainder of the school year and each month is packed with fun activities and events.

    I really appreciate the parent feedback to our recent changes to MAP testing and the implementation of a more extensive incentive program.  We are listening to you, the students and the teachers and promise to take your suggestions into consideration as we plan for spring MAP testing.

    We are just beginning to receive information about the new SC Ready state assessment that we will be administering in April.  This test is for grades three through five and will assess writing, reading and math and they will not be timed.  We will continue with the same science and social studies tests that we have been administering for the past several years.  I will be sharing this information with you as we receive it.

    I am so proud of our teachers and our students!  Everyone is very focused.  Teachers are planning great lessons to meet the needs of all their students.  The kids are learning and having fun, and best of all, we are seeing discipline concerns decrease!

    Thank you and remember that,

    Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • Happy New year!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 1/4/2016 8:00:00 AM

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2016 and welcome back to school!  I hope that everyone had a restful and enjoyable holiday vacation and were able to spend time with family and friends!  We have a lot to accomplish during this second half of the school year, so I know teachers are going to hit the ground running.  Many of the teachers feel that they still haven’t caught up to where they should be after the flood.  We are going to try to eliminate unnecessary distractions to give the teachers as much time as possible to teach and we’ll work to keep the children focused.

    I have included in this month’s newsletter an article about MAP testing.  A few parents have shared their concerns and I hope the article clarified some of them.  As always, we are reflecting on the assessment process and the incentive program.  We are taking input from parents and teachers, and we are even asking the children, so we can make it even more effective in the spring.  I think it will help to take some time to talk to the children about MAP testing, explaining the test, the type of questions, about their goals and what kind of information we are able to pull from the results.  I have invited our reading coach and reading interventionist to our next SIC meeting on Thursday, January 7th, at 3:00, to present an overview of MAP and answer questions.  All parents are invited.  

    We had to adjust our first semester awards programs due to the adjustment in the school calendar.  Please check out the information about the awards in this newsletter and your teacher will have it in her class newsletter as well.

    Thank you and remember that,

    Together We Make the Difference! 

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • December Notes

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 12/4/2015 8:00:00 AM

    Thanksgiving is behind us now and we are looking forward to a busy December and the excitement that a new year always brings.  Please be sure to check out the newsletter for the dates of the holiday programs,  both in the community and at school.  I know you will be impressed with both our chorus and strings students.

    As you probably know, the school calendar had to be adjusted to reflect weather make-up days and the dates for interims and report cards.  Check out the newsletter for the changes and be sure to mark them on your calendar, especially the days the children will not have school in January.

    Please be sure to check out the school's Facebook page.  There are so many pictures posted and you will be able to see some of the great things that are going on at CES.  I am so proud of our faculty and all our children. I wish you could see what I see going on in classrooms every day.  It is truly amazing!

    Wednesday, December 2nd, is our second Small Talk with the Principal at 8 am.  This is an opportunity to share concerns, ask questions or praise all the great things that are happening at Camden Elementary.  If you are unable to attend, please feel free to email me or call anytime to share your thoughts.
    Hope your holidays are wonderful and, as always, remember that . . .  


    Together We Make the Difference! 

    Carol Przybyla, Principal


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  • November Notes

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 11/5/2015 8:00:00 AM

    The first quarter of school is complete and report cards have been sent home.  How quickly the time has flown by!  As I do each quarter, last week I was looking over each report card and writing a comment to the student on them.  As I was doing this, a thought overwhelmed me!  Each student had seven grades on their report card and I started to think about how much work each student put into receiving those grades, how much help and support parents gave their children along the way, and even more impressive,  how much work each teacher put into planning, teaching, and grading all the assignments!  This doesn’t even include all the other responsibilities we place on teachers each and every day! 

    As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I realize, and I hope you do too, how fortunate we are to live in the community that we do, and attend this wonderful elementary school that employs the most dedicated and professional staff that I have worked with, in my very long career.  I am so thankful each day that I know our children are safe, well cared for and being provided a high quality education by the very best!

    You should have already had a beginning of the year conference with your child’s teacher.  If you have any concerns about your child’s academic progress, please call or send a note in to schedule another meeting.  While I am always glad to speak with you, for classroom concerns, it is always best to speak to the teacher first.

    I hope you and your family and friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We truly do have so much to be thankful for this year.  Let’s also keep in our hearts and minds our fellow South Carolinians that are still working through the aftermath of the floods.

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    and remember that

    together we make the difference! 

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • October 5, 2015

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 10/5/2015 8:00:00 AM

    Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful autumn weather!   We are loving the cooler temperatures, but along with it we are seeing a lot of rain.  I just wanted to let everyone know, especially our new parents, that when we are dealing with inclement weather, we will make the call at about 2:10 as to whether we will have a regular dismissal or a rainy day dismissal.  A rainy day dismissal means all students will dismiss from the front of the school on Lyttleton Street.  The Fair Street gate will not be open and the crossing guard will move to Lyttleton Street.  If your child is a walker, please let them know if you still want them to walk home in the rain.  We will not dismiss walkers if it is thundering or lightning.  They will wait in the building until the storm passes.  Please be patient during rainy day dismissals.  They take longer and we always want to make sure we get the children to their car safely.

    I hope you will take a minute to welcome Mr. Theo Jackson, who is our interim assistant principal.  He is replacing Mrs. Norton who accepted an assistant principal’s position in Richland 2 School District.  We are also welcoming a new nurse next week.  Mrs. Rhonda Shirey-Ware will be starting on Monday and really looking forward to working with the children, parents and staff of Camden Elementary.

    The children have adjusted well to the new breakfast schedule.  Teachers appreciate it also since it allows them more instructional time in the morning.  Students and teachers have done a great job with our crazy related arts schedule.  It’s not ideal, but it’s working and it allows everyone to get the required time in all the related arts classes. 

    Thank you for all you do for your children and our school!    Remember, that together we make the difference!

    Together we make the difference! 

    Carol Przybyla, Principal


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