Camden Elementary

School of the Creative Arts

Together We Make The Difference!

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  • Helping Hands

    Helping Hands Hurricane Relief

    Camden Elementary is full of caring hearts, and it shows. We have two projects underway right now aimed at flood relief in the Houston area. We know we can count on our school family to help these people in such a difficult time!

    The first project is being organized by CEP and will continue through Monday, 9/11. We are collecting items this week that will be sent to Houston. For this project, we are looking for items that children could use to occupy themselves while their parents are trying to get their lives back in order during the cleanup and recovery stage of this long process. Suggested items for this collection include coloring or activity books, crayons, markers, games, or anything else that the children could play with while their parents are so overwhelmed. This collection is for this week only, and Mrs. Przybyla has issued the children a challenge: If the school collects 550 items (which would represent one item for each of our students), then each grade level will earn an extra recess as a reward! We know we can do this! 

    Ms. Horton’s 4th grade class is in the process of adopting a 4th grade class in Houston that has been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Their goal is to collect basic supplies and necessities that they will need in order to get back on their feet. When students finally do return to school, they will most likely be in non-traditional classrooms, such as buildings turned into classrooms, in order for them to continue their education. As we all know, we were impacted here in South Carolina just a few years ago. We received supplies from people all around us. Houston has it much worse. It’s our chance to pull together and help those who have been devastated by this terrible event. Their class would like to open this up to everyone here at CES in order to do the most we can for those who need it. Donations can be anything from school supplies, to passed on clothing, bath essentials, and even monetary gifts to help cover shipping costs. Donations for this project can be dropped off in the office or brought to Ms. Horton. Be on the lookout for more information on this project as the teacher in Houston shares what is most needed.

    These projects are a wonderful way to model and teach our children about the importance of caring for other people.  We can’t wait to see all that our school family collects to help the people affected by this disaster! 

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  • Free and Reduced Lunch Applications

    Students who may qualify for free and reduced lunch are required to fill out a new application each year.  If you need to fill out an application for the 2017-2018 school year, please click on the link below or contact the cafeteria.  Thank you.

    Free/Reduced Lunch Application

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  • Our Fall Fundraiser Has Begun!


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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • We Have an App for That!

    New KCSD App Available!!



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  • Hoots from Mrs. Hepfner

    Wow!  I cannot believe it is time to say goodbye to another school year.  This has been a wonderful year full of exciting events for our Owls. I know I have enjoyed getting to know your children and seeing their smiling faces each day. We still have so many fun things planned in the upcoming weeks before we close out the year, and I know the children are looking forward to everything.

    Just a reminder, testing will continue the first two weeks of May (May 2-11), with make-up testing the week of May 19th. It is so important students receive a good night’s sleep and healthy breakfast before the test. Also, we are asking for students to arrive on time the day of their tests.  In order to limit disruptions for our sweet students as they take these assessments, we will not allow tardy students to enter the classroom once the testing session has started, nor will we be able to dismiss students until their testing session has completed.  I appreciate all you do as parents to help us during testing.  

    I want to close, expressing how very proud of all of our Ambassadors who helped lead the school throughout the year.  This fifth grade class is an exceptional group of students who have gone above and beyond to help lead our school throughout the year.  I hope they enjoyed the various fundraisers and activities we participated in.  I look forward to when they come back in the upcoming years to tell of all the wonderful things they are doing in middle and high school.  

    It is my sincere hope you all have a wonderful, restful, and safe summer break, and I look forward to seeing everyone’s sweet face in August.

    Nurturing Owl  Always,

    Dr. Allison Hepfner



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From the Principal

  • It's Finally May!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 5/1/2017 8:30:00 AM

    Unbelievable that there are only four weeks of school left!  Seems like yesterday that we saw the excited and smiling children on the first day of school!  These last four weeks are packed with activities from state testing to field trips, Field Day and awards.  Please check the May calendar online and your child’s class newsletter each week for all the dates and times.  

    We had a fantastic 2016-2017 school year!  The teachers and students worked hard and they also had a lot of fun.  I believe we had more field trips this year and brought in so many guests to work with the children, including our amazing artists-in-residence.  We added a Math / Science and Literacy Night evening workshops and both were very successful.

    We have already started to plan for the 2017-2018 school year!  Each year we examine the programs and classes that we offer to see what is working and how we can improve what we are doing.  Please check out this newsletter for information about requesting classes for your children for next year.  Information about your child needs to be turned in by May 19th.

    I hope you will take a few minutes to thank your child’s teacher(s) for all they’ve done this year to make sure that your child not only met all the academic challenges, but were loved and cared for, too.  We truly have a 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.

    I also want to take this time to thank all of you for all you have done this year to support me, the teachers, your children and the school.  We could not have done all we did without the support of our tremendous families!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal


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  • It's April, and the Countdown Is On!

    Posted by Nancy Jeffers at 4/4/2017 12:00:00 PM

    It’s April and the countdown is on!  Eight more weeks of school which means we have a lot to accomplish in a short period of time.  We are hopefully over our second flu season of the year, because it is very important that students attend school every day, arrive on time and are not signed out early unless it is an emergency.  Important instruction is missed when students are not here for the entire school day.

    Grades three, four and five will be required to take a separate SC Ready field test this year.  We have scheduled this for Friday, April 7th, so we can get it out of the way before spring break.  When we return, teachers will be able to focus on reviewing and preparing the children for SC Ready and PASS.  Our teachers have been working hard this year and students showed significant growth on spring MAP, which is usually a good indicator of performance on SC Ready.

    Our annual golf tournament this year was a huge success!  We have the absolutely best parents and our Camden community is so supportive and so generous!  I hope you were able to attend our Family Reading Night that CEP also helped sponsor.  We need help and they are there!  Not all schools can say that.  We do know how fortunate we are!  More proof that, Together We Make The Difference!

    Remember that

    Together We Make the Difference!

    Carol Przybyla, Principal


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  • 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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