The Au Gres-Sims School District

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Au Gres-Sims Families and Community,

We have gotten off to a great start in our first two weeks of the 2022-2023 school year, picking up right where we left off last spring, with even more energy. So many things have changed in the last couple of years, and even throughout the school year that it can be difficult to keep up with what all is new. Included within that changes category is COVID, a word that most people associate with dread and doom.

Whether we want to admit it or not, COVID is a part of our lives. The CDC and health department have now transitioned into the virus being another of the endemic respiratory viral diseases, but that doesn't mean that isn't around anymore. It does mean, however, that the recommendations and protocols on how to respond to it have been changed. I provided an update on our protocols for this year in a separate emailing that went out on August 26th. In case that got caught up in the wash of all the back-to-school information, I have attached it for your reading below.

Here are a few questions that I've received about it so far this year and the accompanying answers:

Do we still need to report COVID to the school?

  • Yes, anytime your child is sick you should report the absence to the attendance line at (989) 876-7157.
  • ADDITIONALLY, if your child has tested positive for COVID you should include that information in the call and expect a phone call back from me for more details.

Do schools still need to report COVID to the health department?

  • Yes, we are required to report ALL communicable diseases that are reported to us to the health department. This includes things like bed bugs, lice, chickenpox, measles, COVID, etc.

How long does my child need to be out if they test positive?

  • 5 days from the onset of symptoms (or a positive test result for an asymptomatic case), as long as the child is fever-free for 24 or more hours without the aid of medication and all of their symptoms are improving.
  • This timeline is established in the call between the parent and me.

Do my kids need to test negative in order to return to school?

  • No, after the 5 day isolation period, improving symptoms, and a fever-free period of over 24 hours, students may return to school without a negative test.
  • Tests have been shown to remain positive for several weeks and in some cases months after the contagious period of the person

Should positive household cases still isolate in the home if possible?

  • Yes, COVID is highly transmissible and to the extent that it is possible, positive cases should isolate away from healthy household members to reduce the chance of household spread.

Do household contacts need to quarantine?

  • Not necessarily. A household contact who does not have any symptoms does not need to quarantine but should closely monitor for any symptoms. It is also recommended that they test on day 3-5 after the contact with the positive person.

I know that this is not a topic that anyone wants to talk about and I hope that this clears up some of the questions that people have had to start the year. If you have any further questions I encourage you to email them to me at

Have a great weekend,

Mr. Ming

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K-12 Principal's Update

Secondary families, Chromebook insurance for the year can still be purchased. The cost is $22 for HP Chromebooks and $28 for Dell Chromebooks. This offer ends September 26. Insurance must be purchased online using the link below:

Picture day is next Monday, September 12. Small forms were sent home this week with general information.

Information for our “School Store” was sent out this week for those interested. Money accumulated from purchases goes directly back into the classroom. You can also donate separately, without purchases, if interested. Once again, all money that comes back to the school will go directly back into the classroom. This will run throughout the year.

We are hoping to renew our Girls on the Run program. This is available for girls in grades 3-5 and they are hoping to start the week of September 12. The cost is based on a sliding scale and payments can be made into a plan of 2 or 3 payments. “Scholarships” are available. For more information, contact Lisa Avram at 989-820-7975 or email

Although we haven’t had a field trip yet, we have some events coming up shortly in which volunteers are needed. It takes about a week to process volunteer requests, so plan accordingly. Even if you aren’t planning to volunteer right away, fill one out now just to be safe. Volunteer forms can be found on the school website or in the Main Office.

Congratulations to the following students on being selected as Homecoming representatives:

  • Freshmen- Summer Beam and Brandon Qualls
  • Sophomores-Mary Czarnik and Landin Bender
  • Juniors- Mia Gingerich and Seth Jones
  • Senior Girls- Shea Menard, Allyson Stange, Emily Freehling, Elizabeth Beardsley
  • Senior Boys- Keagan Bender, Bryce Verdusco, Hunter Harmon, Andrew Beardsley

Have you ever been to Northwoods Surplus in Pinconning? Well, if you haven’t, we have another good reason for you to visit them. On Saturday, September 24, author Johnathon Rand will be there from 11-1 to share his talents with kids and families. Mr. Rand has many great books, including the Michigan Chillers and American Chillers series. There is no cost to attend the event, and merchandise will be available. Students can bring their own books to be signed and/or they can also get their photo taken with Johnathon Rand. Special activities will take place while you are waiting in line. This will also be the kickoff for the Northwoods Kids Club which encourages reading literacy and spending time in the great outdoors.

Homecoming Is just two weeks away! Start your preparations now for those special days. Below is the schedule for the week:

  • Monday- Jersey Day- Wear your favorite sports jersey (HS, College, or Pro)
  • Tuesday- Country vs. Country Club- Are you a country bumpkin or a fashionable VIP?
  • Wednesday- Superhero Day- Dress as your favorite Superhero
  • Thursday- Hawaiian Day- Get out those Hawaiian shirts and shorts for one more day of summer!
  • Friday- Maroon and Gold Day

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From the Desk of Ms. Socha

There are a lot of events coming up next week on our first full week of school of the 22-23 school year. Our NWEA testing window begins on Monday and runs through the end of the month. For elementary, your child’s teacher will provide you with information for the testing dates. K-1 tests in Reading and Math, 2nd grade completes the Reading, Math, and Language tests and 3rd-11th grade take the Reading, Math, Language, and Science tests. We use these results to inform our instruction, identify students for Title and other supports, and monitor student growth throughout the year. Secondary students will be testing in individual classes through the next few weeks, and their teachers will let them know what subjects they will be testing in. Parents - please help support our testing by making sure your child is bringing their fully charged Chromebook to school each day.

Middle School Students will be headed to Hartley on Wednesday. Parents - be sure to refer to the packing list that was in the original packet. For easier bus travel - we ask that you bring your child to school on Wednesday morning if possible to reduce the number of overnight bags and sleeping bags on our already full buses. Students will arrive back on campus Friday afternoon, and can be picked up from school upon arrival if you would like. We will send out a school messenger call next week, once we confirm times with them to let you know of pick-up and drop-off times. A few other pieces of information from Eric Retherforfd - the camp director: Students should bring a refillable water bottle with their name on it to camp. There is a refilling station on campus. He has also asked us to remind parents that all medication must be in the original prescription bottle/packaging. Students will bring this with them in their overnight bags and their 1st hour teachers will collect it before we depart for the trip. These bags will then be delivered to the Hartley nurse upon our arrival. We are excited to hear about all of the exciting adventures that our students have at camp!

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Breakfast and Lunch Menu for the September 12-16

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Athletics Update

AGS Fan Gear Stores are open...check them out and get your order in before they closes

Next Week's Schedule of Events:

Mon. 9/12


Tues. 9/13

  • 6p MS Football AWAY @ Hale
  • 6p JV/V Volleyball AWAY @ W-P

Thur. 9/15

  • 6:30p JV Football HOME vs. W-P

Fri. 9/16

  • 7p V Football AWAY @ W-P

Sat. 9/17

  • 9a MS Volleyball Tourney AWAY @ Surline (West Branch)
  • 9a JV Volleyball Tourney AWAY @ W-P

Important Dates

Important dates for September for the Au Gres-Sims School District.


  • 12th: PICTURE DAY
  • 14th-16th: Middle School Fieldtrip to Hartley Outdoor Education Center
  • 19th: Board of Education regular meeting 6pm in the Elementary Library
  • 21st: Early Release at 1pm
  • 23rd: Homecoming Football Game
  • 24th: Homecoming Dance

Middle School Families

The deadline to submit the paperwork and $20 fee for the Hartley trip was today, but we want everyone to participate. If you have not already done so, please turn in the registration paperwork first thing Monday morning in the main office. Middle School teachers will be reaching out to families of students who have not either submitted their paperwork or a note saying that they will not be attending.

The trip is planned next week, Wednesday, September 14th through Friday, September 16th.

Students will be leaving by bus to head down to Hartley the morning of the 14th and will be back to campus near the end of the day on Friday, the 16th.

We are looking forward to a great trip!

Help Wanted at AGS

We are looking to add several community-minded members to our amazing team. If you or anyone you know might be interested in joining the Au Gres-Sims staff, please check out the employment opportunities section of our website.

Job Opportunities at AGS


We are also always on the lookout for substitute teachers. If interested, please inquire with Mrs. Miller in the district administration office, (989) 876-7157.

If you are interested in substitute teaching and need assistance with the paperwork process, a WillSub representative will be in Arenac County twice per month for onsite consultation.

  • 2nd Tuesday of the month, from 12-4pm in the AGS Administration Office
  • 4th Tuesday of the month, from 12-4pm at Standish-Sterling School District

Here is a complete list of dates:

  • September 13 (AGS) and 27 (SSC)
  • October 11 (AGS and 25 (SSC)
  • November 8 (AGS) and 22 (SSC)
  • December 13 (AGS)
  • January 10 (AGS) and 24 (SSC)
  • February 14 (AGS) and 28 (SSC)
  • March 14 (AGS) and 28 (SSC)
  • April 11 (AGS) and 25 (SSC)
  • May 9 (AGS) and 23 (SSC)
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AGS Student-Athletes: Representing our School in the Classroom and in Competition

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