The Au Gres-Sims School District

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Hello Au Gres-Sims Families,

Welcome back from Spring Break for what promises to be a fast finish to the end of our school year. This week I want to share a couple of pieces of COVID-related news with you.

Athletic Antigen Testing

This week we began rapid antigen testing of all of our student-athletes aged 13-19. This is a new requirement of the Health Department in coordination with MHSAA. Each of our athletes is required to test once per week and we are designating Monday mornings, before school starting at 7:30a, our time for testing. If a student tests positive on the rapid antigen tests we will be calling home for the student to be picked up and they will be required to get a PCR test (the longer test) within 48 hours of the positive antigen test. If the PCR test comes back NEGATIVE the student-athlete may return to school and resume practice. If the PCR test comes back POSITIVE the student must remain in quarantine and the contact tracing process will begin. As a reminder contact tracing involves the quarantine of any and all students that have been within 6 feet of a positive or probable case for a total of 15 minutes in a 24 hour span. This is all the more reason to encourage the practice of 6 feet of social distancing with your children.

Pop-up Testing Around the State

Due to the rising number of COVID cases, the Governor's office has announced access to 56 pop-up clinics around the state. Check out this website for information.

Pop-up Clinics

P-EBT Cards

You may have noticed in your mail a letter and/or debit card arriving for your child for the purchase of food. This is a program that our school applied for and received designed to cover the groceries that feed children who would have otherwise received breakfast and lunch at school that was on less than a full 5 days per week learning plan.

Vaccination Opportunity for Students aged 16+

The College of Education at Saginaw Valley State is offering a vaccination clinic site for all high school seniors in the area (class of 2021). An informational Zoom meeting was held earlier this week and is available via recording. Students under the age must be accompanied by a parent. For more information about this opportunity please view the attached PDF flier below. If a student does become fully vaccinated, we'd like to know about it. A fully vaccinated person that is asymptomatic does not need to be quarantined through the contact tracing process.

A Return to the 14-day Quarantine

This Monday, in response to the rapid increase in the number of COVID cases in Michigan, MDHHS reinstated the mandatory 14-day quarantine due to being a close contact through the tracing process. For the past several months, while numbers and transmission rates had been improving, we were given the opportunity to quarantine for 10-days for this situation. That has now been moved back to 14-days. The count on this begins on the first day that a close contact is able to quarantine. For example if a person was last in contact with a positive case on Monday, their quarantine would start on Tuesday (Day 1) and they would be in quarantine for two weeks (14 days; a Tuesday) and would be able to leave quarantine on Day 15, in this case a Wednesday.

I know that this is a lot of information and the situation continues to be ever-changing and fluid. I speak for myself and the whole of the district when I say that I feel your frustration and that I appreciate your cooperation. Working through this together is the only way that we will all put this COVID pandemic behind us.

Stay safe AGS and have a great weekend.

-Mr. Ming

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K-12 Principal's Update

Educators have long identified preschool reading and parent involvement as among the most important steps toward a child's success in school. Simply, reading aloud is one of the most important things parents and care-givers can do. Bay-Arenac ISD and educators throughout the seven local districts in our communities embrace the concept of preschool reading as integral to student success. Through affiliation with Imagination Library, all of our children in Arenac and Bay counties would receive an age-appropriate, hardcover book, mailed to their homes each month of their lives from birth to their fifth birthday!

If you have a child between the ages of birth to five and would like to register to receive the free books you can register online or by printing the brochure and mail the completed brochure with signature to:

Jill Bialek, Administrative Assistant

Bay-Arenac ISD Early Childhood Education

Bay-Arenac ISD

4228 Two Mile Road

Bay City, MI 48706

To register your child online go to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library website. (

A couple of months back I mentioned the possibility of receiving a “food card” in the mail due to our involvement with a special program allowing all of our students to receive Universal Free Breakfast and Lunch (thank you Mrs. Marthaler!). Recently in the mail you may have received information on this special opportunity for each of your AGS children. If you haven’t received a notice in the mail and/or received a P-EBT card, please keep an eye out for this great opportunity. If you have questions about this program, please contact 833-905-0028.

Earlier this week the federal government made a ruling on the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) waiver application. MDE was seeking permission to NOT take the State mandated MSTEP test. Although this waiver was denied, they did provide more flexibility for students/families and did away with the expectation that at least 95% of our students test on the MSTEP. We are still hoping we can test as many students as possible in order to provide us with more accurate feedback on our grade and district scores. For our virtual learners we are asking that they test on campus on the same exact day and time as the rest of their class. You will receive a phone call from the school with the testing details as test dates get closer. So, what can you do as a family to help support the success of your child/children? The two quickest and most important things are to make sure your kids are well rested and that they get a good breakfast. Below is a general schedule of when the earliest testing will begin for each grade level.

Grade 3- MSTEP ELA and Math- The week of 4/26

Grade 4- MSTEP ELA and Math- The week of 5/10

Grade 5- MSTEP ELA and Math, Science, SS- The week of 4/12

Grade 6- MSTEP ELA and Math- The week of 4/26

Grade 7- MSTEP ELA and Math- The week of 5/3

Grade 8- PSAT ELA and Math, Science, SS- The week of 4/12

Grade 9- PSAT ELA and Math- The week of 4/12

Grade 10- PSAT ELA and Math- The week of 4/12

Grade 11- SAT, Work Keys, MSTEP Science and SS- The week of 4/12

Spring sports is finally upon us. If you are interested in purchasing some AGS sports attire (baseball, softball, track) or even just some general AGS apparel, you can go shopping at the online store. You must act quick as the store closes at midnight on April 11. The website is:

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From the Desk of Mrs. Socha

Now that April has arrived, we jump right into testing season! With the final word coming from the U.S. Department of Education that spring testing is on, we have scheduled sessions that will begin next week. Tuesday will be a big day, with PSAT/SAT and M-STEP starting in the building. As M-STEP testing continues throughout the month of April, I will begin setting up testing appoints for our final NWEA session in May. For our face-to-face students, NWEA will take place in the classroom. For our virtual students, I will be setting up times for you to come in and test, just like we did in the fall and winter. It is really important that our students participate in the spring NWEA test session. The NWEA data that we are able to collect, gives us very specific information about the individual needs of students and intervention focus areas, as well as areas of focus for grade levels as a whole. This is exceptionally important this year, as we want to start looking at planning for summer and next year based off of the most recent data that we have available. NWEA is the consistent data piece that we have from Kindergarten-11th grade, and the immediacy of the results is incredibly valuable. We also encourage our virtual students in 3rd-8th grade to come in and take the M-STEP and PSAT/SAT assessments as well, but the NWEA is a very important piece that will benefit us all greatly. I will be reaching out in a couple of weeks to virtual families to start setting up those appointments!

Circling back to M-STEP for a moment - our 3rd-7th grade students take the M-STEP in ELA and Math, and 5th and 8th also take the Science and Social Studies M-STEP. I have created a webpage to give you additional information about the M-STEP assessment, as well as links to practice pages and helpful tips for testing days. You can access this information by clicking here. As always, if you have any additional questions regarding any of our spring testing, you can contact the office or your child’s teacher!

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Automatic and Coping Thoughts

Automatic thoughts pop up in response to a situation or event, usually without us realizing we are having them. They can be positive, negative, or even neutral. When we are struggling with depression or anxiety, these thoughts are usually negative, but we don’t have to believe our automatic thoughts! We can practice developing more accurate or more helpful thoughts called coping thoughts.

To better understand automatic negative thoughts and coping thoughts, check out the examples below. For each automatic thought, one or more coping thoughts are offered.

Automatic Thought: I’m going to fail.

Coping Thought: I probably won’t get an A, but maybe I’ll do okay.

Automatic Thought: I’m not prepared at all. Why didn’t I study more?

Coping Thought: Next time, I’ll try to be more organized and start studying earlier. Given how much I had on my plate, I studied as much as I could have. I had to choose between sleeping and studying, and I chose sleeping. That’s an okay choice to make, even if it means I’m less prepared

Automatic Thought: My GPA is going to go way down.

Coping Thought: I’ll have to work really hard to get my grades back up, but I can do it.

Automatic Thought: My teacher is going to think I’m a slacker.

Coping Thought: I can go talk to my teacher about the test.

Automatic Thought: My parents are going to be so upset.

Coping Thought: I don’t know how my family will react, but all I can do is try my best. Hopefully they will be happy with my best performance.

Automatic Thought: Why should I even bother taking the test? I should just skip class.

Coping Thought: I can do this! I’ve been stressed before, and I’m generally a good student. I can at least ask the teacher if I can reschedule the test.

Automatic Thought: I’m never going to get into a good college.

Coping Thought: One test probably won’t ruin everything. I just need to make a plan about next steps to make sure I remain competitive for college applications. If I went to Harvard, college probably wouldn’t be much fun anyway – I’d constantly be stressed about the work. I’d rather have a good balance of working hard and enjoying my time.

Automatic Thought: Everyone else gets this stuff. I’m such an idiot. I bet I’m not even in the top 10% of my class. I can’t ever do anything right.

Coping Thought: I have strengths other than being the highest achieving student at school. One test probably won’t ruin everything. I just need to make a plan about next steps to make sure I remain competitive for college applications. If I went to Harvard, college probably wouldn’t be much fun anyway – I’d constantly be stressed about the work. I’d rather have a good balance of working hard and enjoying my time.

If we first recognize an negative automatic thought that springs up during periods of anxiety, then we can find a positive coping thought to replace the negative thought. The next time we begin to experience stress and the negative thoughts begin to set in, we can substitute our “go to coping thoughts” as part of our self-talk. With practice, this new positive thinking pattern can help to overcome anxiety.

Next week we will look at this process of new thinking in more detail.

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Athletics Update

This week we began our MDHHS/MHSAA required rapid antigen testing of all of our student-athletes ages 13-19. We would like to thank our parents for their cooperation with this process. We understand that this is a difficult time and appreciate your partnership in keeping our kids safe and healthy.

Starting on Monday, April 12th our antigen testing will take place on Monday MORNINGS before school in the Cyber Cafe starting at 7:30am. When student-athletes arrive at school they should report to the Cyber Cafe for testing.

With sports starting next week and COVID cases still climbing we have been brainstorming on ways to help keep our Athletes/Coach’s and Parents safe. For any away event we are giving parents the opportunity to drive their own kids to and from the games. In order to stay responsible/organized we need you to reach out to your coach by 8 am on the morning of the event . Please look at the bus departure times on your schedule so if you are driving you can get to the event on time. Remember track and baseball/softball both arrive an hour before the event/game start time so they can get warmed up.

Your coach will provide you his/her email and or phone number on the top of the page. Together we can have a great spring while enjoying watching our wolverine athletes doing what they love.

Stay safe and remember to enjoy and support our kids this spring. Thanks for all of your cooperation .

Baseball/Softball Schedule

Track Schedule

Middle School Track Schedule

Mark Your Calendars

APRIL Events and Dates to Remember

  • Apr 14, 21, 28: Virtual Learning Days, all students K-12
  • Apr 14: Elementary Parent-Teacher Conferences, 4-7pm
  • Apr 19: Board of Education Regular Meeting, 6pm
  • Apr 23: Board of Education Spring Retreat (public meeting), 1pm AGS Elementary

This week it's fresher than the dew of a mountain glen on a cool spring morning.

The student-written Wolverine Wake-up has moved. You can find the fully student-produced edition on its new Smore platform.

April 9, 2021: Issue 21 (click here)

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Spring On the Sunrise Side

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