Camden Elementary

School of the Creative Arts

Together We Make The Difference!

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  • Notes from Nurse Rhonda

    Let’s talk about FEVER and the FLU!

    It is important that you keep your child home when they are sick to prevent the spread of illnesses. All KC schools follow the DHEC exclusion and return to school guidelines:


    • FEVER ONLY- Keep your child home for a fever of 101 degrees or higher. Your child may return to school with a parent note when the fever is gone for at least 24 hours without using fever reducing medications.
    • Flu, Influenza, or influenza-like illness (ILI) is defined as an oral temperature of greater than 100 degrees, with a cough and/or sore throat for which there is no other known cause.
    • A child will be excluded for a fever of 100 degrees with a cough and/or sore throat.
    • Your child can return to school with a parent note when the fever is gone for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications.


    As always, frequent hand washing and cough etiquette will help control the spread of infection.

    If you have any questions regarding DHEC guidelines for school, please contact me at 803-425- 8960 ext. 4406.

    Thank you,

    Mrs. Rhonda Shirey-Ware, RN

    School Nurse

    Sick Owl

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  • Test Preparation

    Whether you’ve been out of school for fi ve years or 15, the thought of taking a test probably still makes your heart race. Now imagine what its like for your child. As a parent, you can help.

    Test Prep

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  • Lost and Found

    Please check the tables in the front hallway for any items that you may have lost this year.  These items will be donated to Goodwill at the end of the 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!


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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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!

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  • NewsFlash CEP/PTO NewsFlash!

    Thank you for all your support of our Spirit Nights at our local restaurants.  A percentage of proceeds from our Spirit Nights is donated directly back to our school. This month, we will have Chick-fil-A Night on Tuesday 1/10 from 5-8pm and La Fiesta Night from 5-8pm on 1/19.  See you there!

    Please continue to collect Box Tops for Education. The classroom that collects the most is awarded a special prize!!

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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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  • support our school

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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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  • 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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  • We Have an App for That!

    New KCSD App Available!!



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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

    WOW!  Can you believe it is March?  Time flies when you are learning and having fun!  I want to remind everyone to continue to encourage our young owls to make good choices.  I understand that sometimes we can say or act hastily; however, those words and actions have consequences.  We have many fun and exciting events planned as the year comes to an end, and I want everyone to be involved.

    The fifth grade Ambassadors have worked very hard this year helping out around the school.  My Buddy visits started at the end of February with great success.  We will have an exciting etiquette dinner at Grace Episcopal Church on March 2nd, 2017.  I am so excited to share this experience with these students.

    As always, if anyone needs anything or has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I am always here to help.

    Nurturing Owl Mrs. Allison Hepfner

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From the Principal

  • Welcome March!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 3/1/2017 8:00:00 AM

    Not sure if the weather in March will be coming in like a lion or a lamb, but as far as the teachers are concerned, they are going to be aggressively tackling this last quarter of school, no matter how it arrives.  In two weeks, the third quarter will be over and we are heading into the final nine weeks.  It is a VERY busy time as we prepare students for MAP testing, SC Ready and PASS, as well as all the usual end of the year activities and trips.  It is very important that your child is at school and on time every day.

    Be sure to check the school calendar and your child’s newsletter each week to keep up with all the activities this month.  Our two big events are the golf tournament on Thursday, March 16th and our Family Reading Night on Tuesday, March 21st.  More information is in this newsletter and will be coming home with your child.  Family Reading Night not only brings in money for new books, but this year we will also have lots of enjoyable activities for the whole family.

    We are already busy preparing for next year.  Please be sure to schedule a final conference with your child’s teacher(s) before the end of the year.  Your teacher will be happy to share assessment information to show how much your child has grown this year.  Teachers will also be happy to share ways that you can keep your child learning over the summer.

    Thank you parents for all you do to help your child, the teachers and our school.  You are an important part of what makes Camden Elementary great! Remember that

    Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • Hello, Fabulous February!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 2/1/2017 8:00:00 AM

    Hello, Fabulous February!  

    Hope we are able to enjoy the same spring-like weather we saw through most of January.   We are a blessed community in that we were spared the severe weather that tore apart other areas of the South.

    Lots going on this month - be sure to check out the newsletter and flyers that will be coming home!  Also make sure you have Friday, February 17th and Monday, February 20th on your calendar.  The 17th is an early dismissal day and the 20th is a teacher workday.

    I am so proud of the great teaching I see going on in our classrooms each day.  Students are on task and are actively engaged.  What a wonderful thing to witness!  Please check with your child’s teacher about scheduling a mid-year conference.  It is not too late for your child to get help.  It’s important not to wait until the end of the year.

    These next few months will bring a number of assessments, all designed to show us how much the children have grown and areas where they can still use assistance.  State testing for grade three to five will begin after we return from break.  We are still working on finalizing a testing schedule and will let you know once it is complete.

    Thanks so much for all you do for your child(ren) and for Camden Elementary.  We couldn’t do what we do without your support.  

    Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • Happy New Year

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 1/10/2017 12:00:00 PM

    HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome back to school! I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break and enjoyed the holidays with family and friends! As we turn the corner into the new year, we all take a deep breath, because we know everything that we still have to accomplish. For teachers, it is a very busy time, as they present new material while reviewing everything already taught. This takes planning and organizational skills and our teachers at CES make it look easy. I am so proud of the staff we have at Camden Elementary and how hard they work each and every day.

    We know we still have another month or so of cold weather and we hope that all children come dressed appropriately. Recess time is important to the students and we will take the children outside if the temperature is above forty degrees. If your child has lost a jacket or sweater, we will have all our lost and found items on tables in the main hall for you or your child to look for missing items. Also, we are still collecting gloves, hats and socks in the front office for our children that might need them.

    Please check the newsletter for all the dates of no student attendance. Also included in this newsletter are the dates and times for the first semester awards programs.

    Please remember that attendance, coming to school on time and staying for the entire school day is very important for your child to receive a complete education. We will be sending out reminder letters to parents if their child accumulates too much unexcused time out of school.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the school or set up an appointment to meet with me. Remember that Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal

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  • Holiday Greetings

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 12/2/2016 8:00:00 AM

    It’s already time to send HOLIDAY GREETINGS to everyone!  We have had such a wonderful school year, thus far, and I can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring!  A HUGE thank you to everyone who supported the school bond referendum.  The teachers and the students are so excited as they start to “plan” the design of their new school!  We will be sure to share information as we receive it.

    This time of year is really when we look for ways to help our friends and families in our community.  Several organizations in the school will be sponsoring a family for Christmas and we are again asking for your support in donating hats, gloves and socks and we are also continuing to collect toys for the Toys for Tots campaign.  All items may be turned in to the front office.

    This month we will be teaching the children about Random Acts of Kindness and asking them to perform one each day before break.  We will give them some suggestions of kind things they can do for their friends and classmates without any thought of reward, but just because it is the right thing to do.  We have also started to recognize children on our morning show that are caught doing an act of kindness.  It would be great if we could spread these Random Acts of Kindness to our community!

    Thank you and I hope everyone has a wonderful December and happy holiday season!

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  • 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

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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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