Camden Elementary

School of the Creative Arts

Together We Make The Difference!

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  • Attention Amazon Shoppers!

    Holiday shopping is easy with Amazon's Holiday Gift Guides. #StartWithaSmile at for your holiday gifts and Amazon donates to Camden Elementary Partners.

    Gift Guide Link:
    Amazon Smile
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  • Afternoon Dismissal

    Afternoon dismissal in the front of the school is moving along, better and better each day.  The name tag that you place in the window of the car is so helpful. For walk-up parents, please remember to stand clear of the front entryway and stay in line until your child exits the building.  Children need a clear pathway to their car, so the teachers on duty can watch them and so the children do not have to step off the sidewalk to reach their car.  There are a lot of moving parts to make dismissal safe and smooth.  We thank you for your cooperation!

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    Kershaw County School District’s Program for

    Artistically Gifted and Talented Students in Grade Three through Six


    If you want your child screened for our summer of 2017 program for artistically gifted students, please complete this form and return to your homeroom teacher or school office by Friday, January 13, 2017.  Students in grade 3 are automatically screened for the program.  Initial screening is completed at the school.  The final screening and selection of participants will be completed at the Fine Arts Center in the spring.

    Arts Arising will be held June 5th-20th for students in grade 3 and June 5th-29th for students in grades 4-6, at the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County in Camden  

    Arts Arising Nomination Form

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  • CES Receives $10,000 DAP Grant!

    This is the 4th year that Camden Elementary has been granted $18,000 to further implement the arts in our school.  The Distinguished Arts Program Grant (DAP) from the SC Department of Education, will allow us to bring in Sumter Dance Artist, Mrs. Andrea Freed-Levenson to teach a week long dance class to our 3rd and 4th graders in October.  She will teach 2nd grade in the spring.  We always look forward to dance week!

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  • New SIC Email Address

    Our SIC has created a new email account where parents can submit any questions that they might have for the council.  It is

    The SIC looks forward to hearing from you!


    Comments (-1)
  • 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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  • 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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    Afternoon Pickup

    Afternoon dismissal in the front of the school is moving along, better and better each day.  The name tag that you place in the window of the car is so helpful. For walk-up parents, please remember to stand clear of the front entryway and stay in line until your child exits the building.  Children need a clear pathway to their car, so the teachers on duty can watch them and so the children do not have to step off the sidewalk to reach their car.  There are a lot of moving parts to make dismissal safe and smooth.  We thank you for your cooperation!

    Comments (-1)
  • NewsFlash CEP/PTO NewsFlash!

    We had a great attendance at Grits for Grandparents and the Fall Book Fair! They were terrific school wide events.

    Please continue to volunteer for our school events.  We need you!! Together Everyone Makes the Difference! We appreciate all our volunteers!

    The CEP will be hosting the annual Santa Shop December 5th-8th.  Many great items will be available for purchase for your family and friends.  Thank you for your continued support!

    The CEP fall fundraiser raised $10,044!

    So far this year, CEP has supported the school in the following ways:

    • All teachers received a $100 supply check at the beginning of the school year.
    • We have provided staff appreciation meals on several occasions.
    • We paid for a schoolwide math program and purchased Scholastic News and Studies Weekly for the classrooms.

    The total of this support is $9,600.

    We appreciate everyone’s support!

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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

    What a great start to the school year.  The first nine weeks has come to an end.  I, for one, am so excited for the fall season and cooler weather!  We have been up to many great things here at CES.  Our fifth grade ambassadors have been very busy with etiquette lessons from Mrs. Fakoury, showing around potential new students, setting up for assemblies, and interviewing for morning announcements.  In the upcoming weeks, we have a lot planned to help them show off their leadership skills.  I am very proud of the work they have done so far and know they becoming better leaders with each day.  Stay tuned for more information about our ambassadors.

    I know we will continue to have a great year!  If there is any way I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out!

      Nurturing Owl Mrs. Allison Hepfner

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From the Principal

  • Happy November!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 11/1/2016 7:00:00 AM

    Happy November!  

    Hope everyone has recovered from our recent hurricane.  I am so glad that our beautiful city was spared the major damage that other communities suffered.  We are again so grateful for our first responders who kept us safe and especially to all the workers who quickly restored our power.  Also, thank you to all the parents and students who contributed to Pennies for Change to help those who suffered loss from Hurricane Matthew.

    By now you have received your child’s first report card of the year.  As always, I looked over each report card and I am very impressed with the grades, which indicate a lot of hard work by the teachers, the students and of course, the parents.  As you probably know, the state has adjusted the grading scale for high school students.  Kershaw County has decided to change all of our schools to the new scale.  You will find it printed on each report card.  We hope that all students will continue to work hard and do their very best, no matter what the grading scale.

    Election Day is coming very soon!  We hope that you have seen the information on the bond referendum that has been online, and we hope that you will take the time to look over the information to see how your vote will impact Kershaw County.  This such an important issue, and it deserves our full attention!

    Thank you for all you do to help your children, the teachers and our school!  I am reminded every day that

    Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

     Your Vote Counts

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  • 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

    Comments (-1)
  • 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

    Comments (-1)
  • 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

    Comments (-1)
  • 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

    Comments (-1)
  • 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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