Monthly Archives: November 2018

Giving Thanks~November 23, 2018

I hope as you read this blog, you have had a blessed Thanksgiving Day and that it has been a nice week off for the kids.  This week I spent time working but not at school. My husband and I are a bit over the top with Christmas decorating. So much so that it takes us about 3 days to get it all up and Thanksgiving Break is the week we get it done before the craziness of Christmas begins. This year, we also needed to work in our downstairs putting things back together after a flood that took place a few months ago. We just now had everything repaired, carpet replaced, and painting completed. One project leads to another, of course, and we found ourselves replacing light fixtures, painting all of the other rooms, painting all of the baseboards and trim work, and more. In spite of the challenges we have faced with all of this, we are maintaining an attitude of gratitude. I could be sad that my kids’ rooms are now empty but I’m thankful Alex and Sadie have grown into such wonderful adults. I could be angry that I’ve spent the week working rather than resting, but I’m thankful to have the time and resources to essentially remodel our house and now I have a craft room! I am so thankful to have a warm and beautiful home and loving family. I’m thankful to live in this wonderful small town with it’s magnificent views and outdoor activities. I’m extremely thankful to lead the most amazing staff, students, and families that make up the CES family! Thank you!

Thankful for STUCO and all they do!

Our Student Council is always busy on different projects. Recently, many of our CES students made Veteran’s Day cards and then our Student Council members delivered them to the residents at McCandless Veterans’ Home in Florence. Our students enjoyed giving in this way as much as the veteran’s enjoyed their cards. 

They also completed their annual food drive to benefit Loaves and Fishes and our CES Cares program. It was quite a success–thanks to all who donated!

Thank you Mrs. Rivera for sponsoring this group!

Thankful for Parent Educators!


Our 5th/6th graders are studying human body systems and were treated to some hands on learning from one of our very own parent experts. Tenille Lenard visited each of the classes to teach them about the circulatory system and brought preserved cow and sheep hearts for them to examine and touch. Some of our students were pretty grossed out by it, but most of them thought it was really cool! Thank you, Tenille!

Showing our Gratitude with a Limo Lunch!

The Friday before the break, students who sold at least 15 items were treated to a Limo ride and a Pizza Madness lunch as a special thanks for do a bit extra to help our school. It’s unfortunate that we must do fundraisers but if we didn’t, our students wouldn’t be able to do many of the things that make CES unique including having one-to-one tech, and taking more field trips than most schools get to do.

Thanks to our PTO and Beth Katchmar for making it a very fun and special day for our students.

Thank you for reading! Until next week,

Kelly Albrecht, Principal

Singing, Creating, & Growing~November 9, 2018

Someone recently remarked that there is a lot of activity at CES, and he was right! As you can see, we had another busy week with a variety of things happening. Our dynamic staff continues to amaze me with their seemingly endless energy and devotion to our students–your kids! In return, we see happy children who are working hard, excited to learn, and kind and considerate (most of the time :-)). AND, we see our students growing in so many ways: academically, socially, creatively, and emotionally. There is always a wonderful energy in our building. It’s a special place to be!

All City Choir

For the last 4 weeks after school, some of our 5th and 6th graders have been rehearsing and preparing for this year’s All-City Choir Concert. On Tuesday they toured all of our schools and then performed for parents on Thursday night. CES was well represented as out of the about 26 kids in the choir, 11 were from CES! All of their hard work paid off–they sounded wonderful and had terrific choreography too. Thanks go to Ms. Janitell and all of the kids and parents for the extra time and energy that went into this musical opportunity.

Art Enrichment Club Field Trip

Mrs. Wrona’s after school Art Enrichment Club took a field trip to the Blue Heron Clay Studio on Wednesday. They were able to work on clay attachments and symmetrical designs. Thank you Becki Javernick Guion for your time! It was a wonderful experience for the kids.

Exploration Examinations

As you probably know, we’ve been working this year to improve, deepen, and strengthen our passion projects. Each community has a different take on this effort–exploring options, taking risks, and trailblazing new paths to a strengthened Exploratory experience. This last week, the Adventurers took a big risk bringing together 5th/6th and 1st/2nd buddies to provide feedback and coaching with the goal of improving the project work of each student. They called this Exploration Examination. Small groups came together to present to one another and provide specific critical feedback. Teachers were pleased with the level of maturity and seriousness the students brought to this and are confident that students’ Explorations will be much improved as a result. If you’re interested, this type of deeper feedback is modeled in this video (although our teachers took a slightly different approach): Austin’s Butterfly

Fundraising Party


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After a very successful fundraiser this fall, the incentives promised to students are now becoming reality. Last week was the first of several as our PTO hosted the fundraiser party with inflatables. All students who sold at least one item or collected at least a $10 donation were able to attend. Coming soon is the Limo Ride lunch and prizes. Items that were ordered should be delivered this next week.

Mindfulness with Yoga


Several of our classes have had the opportunity to participate is some mindfulness activities including yoga. We have several wonderful parents who are yoga instructors and are willing to donate their time to our kids. Here you see some of our Wanderers doing yoga led by Tenille Lenard. Thank you Tenille!


Data Mining Leading to Growth

Do you ever wonder what teachers do on Delayed Starts, Staff Meetings, and Professional Development Days? Well, the main thing they do is learn, plan, and prepare for improving their instructional practice so they can be their best selves and help students achieve and grow. This last Wednesday and during next week’s Delayed Start, our teachers are data mining. This is a practice where we look at test scores, in this case PARCC data, and analyze it to determine what we are doing well and what needs more work. Our district has adopted 4 Core Beliefs. Core Belief #2 states: We believe learning growth matters most, requires risk-taking, and the work we do in our schools has the greatest impact on this. This belief has always rung true for us at CES. We believe that no matter where students are–high or low–they can and should continue to grow. This data mining and the other work we do during these staff development times allow us to determine some of the ways we can help our students continue to achieve and grow. Regardless, test scores are not the most important thing to us–we believe in educating the whole child and test scores are just one small snapshot into how students are doing. However, there is value in monitoring student progress in this way as long as we use the data for the right reasons. At CES, we know that if we are doing good work every day with our instruction, through the learning opportunities we provide, and having positive relationships, good test scores will follow.

Thanks for reading once again. Until next week,

Kelly Albrecht, Principal

CES Characters~November 2, 2018

Once again it was another busy week here at CES. This time of year just gets busier. Now that November has hit, Christmas will be here before you know it. Can you believe we only have 8 more Fridays until Christmas??

I realize we are already well into the second quarter and I’m late in putting this out, but below is a link for an Animoto featuring the highlights of our 1st quarter. I created one for the end of the year last year, but I thought it would be fun to do one each quarter. Of course this is just some snapshots of some of the wonderful things that happen here everyday and there are many, many more things I wish I could include, but time is limited. However, I hope you enjoy this short video.

Please click the link below:

1st Quarter Highlights Animoto

Character Day

We have an annual tradition here of highlighting fictional and non-fictional characters by dressing in costume and presenting some facts to our classes. Students and staff choose a character from one of our favorite books to highlight. It’s always fun to see what everyone comes up with and to hear why those characters were chosen, and this provides yet another opportunity for students to practice their public speaking skills as they stand in front of their peers and speak about their character and the book from which it came. A fun day for Explorers!

Another week of learning and service activities…

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This week Mrs. Hartman’s class went to Chris McIntyre’s AP Chemistry class. His students ran 8 different stations where students learned more about chemistry while having some fun.

Thursday night our Trailblazing middle school students held their annual fundraiser, Pasta with a Purpose. Not only did they raise money to help subsidize the middle school programming, they learned valuable life skills about making professional phone calls, writing letters, organizing an event, and serving their customers.

And, last but not least our student council created cards and provided personal hygiene products for overseas troops. Our truancy coordinator, Tonya Wolf, who has a very personal interest in our servicemen and women since her son Bryton currently serves, helped to facilitate this act of giving and gratitude.

Heads Up on a New & Concerning App:

Image result for tik tok

To the best of my ability, when I hear of something that concerns internet safety, I like to pass this information along in my blog. The following is a piece done by a Denver news station about an app called Tik Tok that is the next big thing apparently. You may want to ask your kids about it.

A new app (at least new in the US) may be something most parents have never heard of, but for kids as young as third grade, TikTok is quickly becoming a favorite.  And internet security experts warn the app is not appropriate for anyone under 16.

Currently, TikTok is the world’s most downloaded app.  And while it launched only a month ago in the US, the company has been around abroad for long enough to gain immense popularity.  And the China based company bought the popular video sharing app, so it has access to all those users information.

The app features short videos generated by its 500 millions users with special effect filters and stickers.

Rick Floyd, an Information Security specialist with the Greenville County School District talks to kids and parents about online dangers, and while he never informs students of new apps, he grew concerned this past month when young kids told him they had Tik Tok on their phones.

“Every class for the last couple of weeks that I spoke to, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade, they’re bringing it up, they’re aware of TikTok, Parents on the other hand when I’ve spoken to them, they have no idea what it is,” said Floyd.

What concerns Floyd is not just the potential exposure to inappropriate videos and language, but the way TikTok connects young users with the world’s largest public communications platform, since Tik Tok is such a popular global app.

“When you’re posting your videos to tik tok, you’re posting it to the world,” said Floyd.

“They try to convince me to do it with them and I say no,” said Regan Bishop, a 4th grader at Plain Elementary in Simpsonville.

Many of the Plain Elementary nine year olds Floyd was talking to this week already have stories of being targeted by strangers online through various apps they use.

“One person sent me a friend request one time, and I joined them and it ended up being a complete stranger who just tried to get me to tell them my information but I just left the game,” said Sami Garhat.

Floyd learning then how much his talks to students make difference, since Garhat went on to say “when I was in 3rd grade at Plain Elementary, Mr. Floyd he came and talked to us about it so I’m really thankful that he did that cause if not I probably wouldn’t be here right now.”

The danger is very real. Floyd says last year, eight 3rd grade girls in the district thought they were talking to a 12-year-old boy with cancer no An investigation revealed that it was actually a 28-year-old man from Kentucky.”

Another concern with Tik Tok is the amount of personal data the app acquires from your location to your contacts to your messages.

“I’ve learned that if you just put it on there, it will never be gone, it will never just go away,” said 4th grader Caleb Noland.

One more thing that parents may find disturbing about tik tok is the app only has two privacy settings, either private or completely public. There is no middle ground like other social media platforms that allow you to share only with your friends.

Thank you for reading! Until next week…

Mrs. A~Principal