Sashabaw Middle School

Newsletter Vol 7 Issue 2 December 2015/January 2016

SMS - from the Principal

Dear SMS Families,

The holiday season is upon us and there is much to be thankful for here at Sashabaw Middle School. The 6th grade camp experience was very successful and our teams had an amazing time learning and bonding together. The 6th grade is the first time the graduating class comes together as all seven elementary schools become one. This experience at camp allows for them to create lasting relationships, which is something we greatly value.

Turn out at our Open House as well as our Parent and Teacher Conferences was exceptional. We are so happy to have such caring and loving parents who participate in their children’s successes here at school. Thank you to all those who participated.

We are continuing to emphasize our theme this year which is “What We Value.” One of the forces that we value is Environment and we do so by displaying the thinking process. Take some time to look around at our new bulletin board displays from each department. On these boards you will see thinking made visible and examples of purposeful routines and activities that require students to think and develop understandings. You can continue to support your student’s thinking at home by making your own thinking visible. You can do so by modeling your own interests, passions, curiosity, reflection and thinking for your child.

Winter break begins December 21 and school resumes Monday, January 4th. On behalf of the staff at Sashabaw Middle School, we wish you and your family a safe and happy break.


Mrs. Walker

Contact information:


Mrs. Liz Walker, Principal

Mr. John Bennink, Assistant Principal

Behavior Interventionist

Ms. Amanda Hoffman, Behavioral Interventionist

SMS Counseling

Mrs. Jamie Graves, Counselor for A – K students

Mr. Damon Rocho, Counselor for L – Z students

CCS - from the Superintendent


As the Clarkston Community Schools seek to cultivate thinkers, learners, and positive contributors to a global society, we fully realize that key dispositions of such thinkers include thoughtful questioning, continuously questioning (ourselves, our parents, and our teachers), and constantly and deeply wondering.

The fall of the year, as a transition to winter, is a splendid time to question, ask, and wonder. As we walk through the woods or down our streets, we can see and feel the seasons changing. What is happening? Why is it happening? Do the same things happen everywhere on Earth at the same time? These are amazing opportunities to wonder together about our world.

As children come home from school each day, we can help, as families, friends, and neighbors, to build these dispositions. We can ask our children: “What questions did you ask today? We can hold in our own minds the idea that our questions drive us as learners.”

Ron Ritchhart, a Harvard Researcher and author, wrote: “When Isidor I. Rabi won the Nobel Prize in physics, he was asked, ‘Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer or businessman, like the other immigrant kids in your neighborhood?’ He replied, ‘My mother made me a scientist without ever intending it. Every other mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school: So? Did you learn anything today? But not my mother. She always asked me a different question. Izzy, she would say, did you ask a good question today? That difference--asking good questions--made me become a scientist’''

Let us work together to cultivate in our children the disposition to seek deeper meaning in the around them.

It is with tremendous gratitude and deep care for children that I serve as your superintendent. Thank you for all that you do to make our schools and community such wonderful places to live and learn.


Rod Rock, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Calendar of Events


12/9 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:25 A.M.

12/16 PTA Meeting ~ 9:00 A.M.

12/18 Wolf Day

12/21~1/3/16 Winter Break ~ School Closed

January 2016

1/4 School Resumes

1/13 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:25

1/18 Developmental Day ~ No School for Students

1/20 PTA Meeting ~ 9:00 A.M.

1/27 End of Semester 1

1/28~29 Half Days for Students (Records Day) ~ Dismissal at 10:53 A.M.


Be informed - Read the entire newsletter now (just a few minutes)!

Early Dismissal/Doctor, Dentist, Orthodonist, etc. Appointments:

Please send in a note for your student to deliver to the main office in the morning before classes begin or call the main office as soon as you are aware when an early dismissal is required for your student. The note or call should specify the release time and reason. Your student will be issued a pass to present to their teacher so that they can be excused from class at the appropriate time. This policy cuts down on disruptions to valuable classroom instruction and student learning.

Student’s must be signed out by a parent/guardian or designated adult listed on ParentVue in the main office. Students may sign themselves back into school (adult not needed).

ParentVue and E-blast:

Please take a moment to check your current information on ParentVue (located on the CCS website) or click here… SMS uses ParentVue to contact parents/guardians in case of emergency. You will not have the capability to update address changes; those must be updated at the Clarkston Schools Central Office. ParentVue has information for every student that attends Clarkston Community Schools including grades, attendance, report cards, and more. Please contact the main office if you need assistance with ParentVue.

Please confirm that you are signed up for E-blast at Clarkston Calendar. Newsletters, updates about activities and more are shared via this method. Click here to confirm or add your email to this list… Please contact the main office if you need help with E-blast.

Messages/Forgotten Items:

We ask that any message or forgotten items are related to emergency situations only. Personal after school activities should not be arranged via the school office during school hours. This said; we do realize special situations will occur and it may become necessary to contact your student during school hours.

Best practice is to have EVERYTHING including supplies, homework, P.E. clothes, musical instruments, lunch/lunch money, etc. ready to go the evening before school.


Please go to the Main Office and explain the situation. There is a phone in the main office for students to use, if necessary. We encourage your child to know their contact phone numbers and how to leave an informative message. If an emergency occurs regarding your student, we will continue to call parents/guardians until contact has been made.


Any student who must take prescription medication during the school day must use the Authorization to Administer Medication form on the website or in the main office which must be signed by the physician and the parent then presented to the main office. Over-the-counter medications will use the same form, but only the parent signature is required.


Please use ParentVue to contact one or more of the student’s teachers to explain the absence. Contact the main office if an absence is greater than 3 days in duration. All absences are designated as unexcused in our student information system. In order to excuse your child's absence for illness, please supply a doctor's note. While this will not change how the absence is displayed, we are able to note in the system that a doctor's note has been provided.

Extended absences for a planned vacation or other events require the use of the Trip Slip form. The form is available in the Main Office. Please email your student’s teachers and counselor, as well.

Lost and Found:

Check the Lost and Found (located in the back of the 6th and 7th grade Cafetoriums) for items that are lost. When students find something that belongs to someone else, they can take it to the Lost and Found. Cell phones, iPads, iPods, headphones, eyeglasses and other valuable items that are found should be brought to the main office. Please inform the main office if any of these items are lost. Putting your student’s name on lunch boxes/sacks, jackets, sweaters, and other personal possessions will make it easy to find them and return them in case lost or misplaced.

Bus/Transportation arrangements:

Parents/guardians must contact Transportation at 248.623.8040 if your student will not be riding their scheduled bus home. Please click here for the School Bus Code of Conduct… for detailed information, see IV. A. The student must bring a note to the main office in the morning detailing your student’s name, student’s name that they will be riding with that day, the bus number and your parent/guardian signature. An administrator will sign the note and the student may pick it up before leaving for the day to present to the bus driver.


Each student received a Planner that includes the policies and procedures of the Clarkston Community Schools district as well as other important information. Please review with your student and encourage the use of this planner every day to keep track of assignments, tests, and other school requirements.


SMS is looking for Parent Mentors!

An adult willing to be a role model in a child's life can make a huge difference!

Consider volunteering to:

  • Establish a positive adult/child relationship
  • Meet with a student regularly during a school day
  • Help a student think about his/her goals
  • Spend time encouraging a student with strategies to be successful in school

Please contact Amanda Hoffman if you are interested at... or 248-623-4206


Dodge Ball Tournament was December 4th!

Congratulations to the “Jumpmen” who were the champions and the “Warriors” who were the runner up of this year’s Dodgeball Tournament. The Sashabaw Staff set a new personal best surviving longer than any other year against the Jumpmen.

The Jumpmen and Warriors will donate their winning prize of $100 to the “Giving Tree” and “Blessings In A Backpack”.

Congratulations also goes out to the “Nerds” for placing 1st, the “Donkey Warriors” for finishing 2nd and the Playa’z for placing 3rd in the costume design contest. We will notify all winning teams as to when your pizza party will take place.

Thank you to all who came and donated food for Blessings In a Backpack. There were 440 items donated and $160 dollars was raised. The winner of the raffle was Bryan and he rode home on a new bike.

We would also like to thank all the teachers, staff and leadership students who gave their time to help us at this fun event for all students.

Your participation and support of the Dodge Ball Tournament will be used to purchase equipment for the Physical Education Department.

THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks PTA!

We would like to recognize the PTA volunteers who provided our staff with a delicious dinner before Parent Teacher Conferences in October. All of the volunteers go "above-and-beyond" to make sure our staff is fed before conferences and our staff is so very much appreciative of the great work our PTA does! Thanks, once again!


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PTA - from the President

The SMS PTA Board sends Holiday Greetings to all SMS PTA Families and Staff. It’s been a very busy year so far for the SMS PTA and we have lots of good things to show for the effort. We have had excellent PTA member attendance at each meeting and have hosted CCS School Board members Kelli Horst and Donald Deering. We appreciate their insights and input. New membership has slowed, but continues to come in which provides an opportunity for increased parent input and funding. If you haven’t joined yet, it’s not too late.

Because of generous SMS family donations, the SMS PTA is able to fund up to $8,350 on Teacher Mini Grant requests. We have had the opportunity to fund projects like the new water bottle filling stations, the purchase of supplemental magazines to be used in Language Arts, Science and Social Studies classes, a guest speaker/storyteller for 7th grade Social Studies, Items to Update and Renovate the Drop In Room and ELA and Math class requests for white boards, erasers and markers. The school wide Culture of Thinking was also given a boost through the purchase of small gift cards to encourage student participation in a weekly “Challenge Question”. These wonderful projects and purchases will be for the benefit and use of your SMS student this year and future years. At this point the budget has been exhausted, but as new members join SMS PTA or additional donations are received, we will be able to review and approve additional projects.

“Let Your Imagination Fly” is the new theme for the 2015-2016 PTA Reflections Program. Since its inception in 1969, the Reflections Program has encouraged millions of students across the nation to explore their artistic talents by creating works of art for fun and recognition in six arts categories: Dance, Choreography, Literature, Photography, Film Production, Musical Composition and Visual Arts. Local winners in each category go on to compete at the state level. States then send their top entries to be considered for a National PTA Reflections award. Entries are due by Friday, December 11, 2015. Submission rules and entry forms are available in the office. Please turn in completed entries to the office. Please contact the PTA Reflections chair, Kristy Brandon at or 614.783.5255 for more information or questions.

Please join us for the January SMS PTA meeting on January 20, 2015 at 9:00 am in LGI Room A. In the meantime, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.


Melissa Luginski

SMS PTA President

Box Tops for Education

Our first 2015/2016 Box Tops submission raised over $500 for Sashabaw Middle School - thank you! As you cook and bake this holiday season, please remember to clip those Box Tops and send them into school so we can reach our 2015/2016 goal of raising $1,500 in Box Tops funds. A special shout out to Ryan Schurman and his family for submitting 450 trimmed and organized Box Tops for our Fall deadline!

February 24, 2016 will be the last day to turn in Box Tops for the Spring 2016 deadline.

Box Tops turned in after February 24th will be submitted in Fall 2016.

Remember to turn in your trimmed, non-expired Box Tops prior to February 24, 2016, so we can reach our goal. Thanks for your support!

Campbell’s Soup Labels - include with the Box Tops for Education

SMS collects Campbell Soup Labels and those little labels sure do add up! Please consider clipping and saving those soup labels throughout the year. Last year, SMS received $350 in reward gift cards which were used to purchase needed items in the school. You efforts truly do make a difference!

There is a collection box in the front office to drop your labels. To see a complete list of participating products, go to Questions? Contact Kim Hardtke at


Student Council

Does you child want to participate in SMS' Student Council this year? They will meet ONCE a month, may volunteer in numerous community events, and assist with events at SMS.

If you have any questions, please contact Missy Ludd at The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 12th from 2:40-3:40 in room 508.

"Thank you for your interest in supporting our school and community!"

2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee

Preparation for the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee is under way! During the week of December 7th, students received information about the All School Spelling Bee. The 2016 Spell It! Official Study Resource from Merriam-Webster, is available at and can be accessed at any time prior to the competitions. Students may also visit

Process for competition and important dates:

Round 1: Each Language Arts teacher will conduct a spelling bee in individual classes before December 18th. One winner from each class will be automatically entered into the All–School Spelling Bee, Tuesday, January 12th beginning 2nd hour (8:50 am).

Practice #1: All winners from Round 1 are encouraged, but not required, to participate in an after school practice on Tuesday, January 5th from 2:40-3:30 in room 321 (Mrs. Eichhorn). This practice is also open to anyone who is passionate about participating in the spelling bee and would like to self-nominate into the competition, regardless of classroom spelling bee outcome, as we will have room for THREE additional participants.

Practice #2: Self-Nominated Student Competition: All winners from Round 1 are again encouraged, but not required, to participate in an after school practice on Thursday, January 7th from 2:40-3:30 in room 321 (Mrs. Eichhorn). This practice IS REQUIRED for anyone who has self-nominated into the competition as they will vie for the final three positions for the All-School Spelling Bee on Tuesday, January 12th at 8:50am.

All-School Spelling Bee: All students that were winners in Round 1 and the three additional winners from Practice #2 will compete in the All-School Spelling Bee in LGI A with Mrs. Locke and Mrs. Cotton on Tuesday, January 12th at 8:50am. Parents of participants are welcome to attend the final round. The date of the Oakland Press Regional Spelling Bee is Sunday, February 7 at 1pm at Oakland Schools in Waterford.

Questions? Please contact your child’s language arts teacher. You can also visit Mrs. Phillips classroom web page (SMS Spelling Bee page) for links and study tips.

Jr. Optimist Club

The Jr. Optimist Club meetings are every other Thursday in room 403. The meetings will be from 2:30 - 3:30. There is a one-time $10 fee to join the club. Forms are available in the lunch room or come to the meeting for the form. Checks should be payable to Clarkston Optimist Club.

The meetings for the year are as follows:

January 14, 2016

February 11, 2016

February 25, 2016

March 10, 2016

March 24, 2016

April 7, 2016 (Last Meeting) *There will be a year end celebration after this meeting - Date TBD.

We raised $111.00 to give to the French Red Cross by sponsoring a blue, white and red day.

We will be shopping for needy families after our meeting on December 3rd. On December 12th, we will take part in the Clarkston Holiday Lights parade.

If you would like updates please sign up for a account.

If you have any questions you can contact the club advisor, Kelly Berti at 248-623-4556 or email


SMS Club Corner – Your Place for Updates on Clubs at SMS

SMS Club fee is $50 per year which entitles the student to participate in as many of the SMS Clubs listed below that they would like to be a part of.

New - Book Club is open to all 6th and 7th graders. Members of the Book Club will receive one book per month to read (and keep!). Toward the end of the month, the Book Club will meet in the Media Center to for engaging conversation and refreshments.

Book Club will meet from 2:30-4:00 on:

  • Tuesday, January 26th

  • Tuesday, March 1st

  • Tuesday, March 29th

  • Tuesday, April 26th

Pick up a sign up form from any Language Arts teacher or the Media Center, complete it, and return it to Mrs. Locke in the Media Center or Mrs. Barnes in room 502. The club is limited to the first 20 students to sign up.

For more information, email Lori Barnes or Kristin Locke

Art Club - Mrs. Dandurand on Mondays in Room 214 from 2:30-4:00.

Meeting dates:

  • December 14th
  • Jan 11th
  • April 18th
  • May 2nd

Members will experiment with new ideas and experience new materials as they express their artistic self throughout the year. There is an additional $5 material fee. Questions:

Coding Club - Meets in the Media Center on Mondays from 2:40 until 3:45. First meeting was September 28th.

As a member of the SMS Coding Club, you can expect to have fun, be challenged, expand your thinking as a computer scientist, develop games and apps, and more!

If you have questions contact Mrs. Butcher via email:

Sign up @

Drama Club - Meets Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2:40-3:50. First meeting was October 1.

Sponsors: Ms. Pace-Bleau (248.623.4523) or

and Mrs. Savoie (248.623.4238)

Forms with additional information are available in the main office.

SMS MathCounts Team

The 6th grade team meets each Tuesday after school from 2:40 until 4:00.

On Thursdays the combined 7th, 8th , and 9th grade team meets from 2:40 until 4:20. There is a shuttle bus that transports Math Team members from CJHS to SMS each Thursday. We meet in room 308. New members are welcomed at any point in the year.

Students will improve their problem solving skills and will be challenged as they tackle a wide range of math topics. The group is preparing for three upcoming competitions: The SMS Invitational in January, and the Detroit Country Day Invitational and the MathCounts regional competition, both of which take place in February.

The SMS Invitational will take place on Wednesday, January 13th. Teams from Rochester and Lake Orion will be joining the the CJHS and SMS MathCounts team in this all day event. This competition will follow the same format as the regional and state finals. We will use the results of this event to help select our representatives for the regional competition as well as the Detroit Country Day Invitational.

For more information contact SMS staff member and coach Howard Andress

SMS Chess Club –

The Chess Club meets each Friday after school from 2:45 until 4:00.

We meet in LGI-A.

New members are welcome at any time. The group meets from early October until late May.

The club is open to beginners, the sophisticated player, and all levels in between. So, whether you are new to the game or have been playing for years you will have fun and find good competition.

Team members are in the process of selecting club officers. Speeches were given at our last meeting and a run-off election narrowed the field to 7 students, from which 4 club officers will be chosen. Club officers will be in charge of determining the types and format of the club tournaments.

Besides chess, each meeting also features pizza. A team of students is in charge of taking the order and distributing pizza each week. Club members; remember to bring a dollar or two each week.

For more information contact SMS staff member Howard Andress


Sashabaw Middle School Ski & Snowboard Club

Do you love to Ski or Snowboard? Have you ever wanted to try?

If so, then you should join the SMS Ski and Snowboard Club!!

Where: Pine Knob Ski Hill

When: Any snowy Thursday until Pine Knob closes for the season

Time: We sell lift tickets in the Pinery Room from 3-6:30 pm.

How you join:

Click here for the packet with more details... or pick one up from Mrs. Gualtieri, Mrs. Ludd or the main office. Return the permission slip with $19 per membership to Mrs. Gualtieri or Mrs. Ludd for your Ski Club Card. Or you can come to the Pinery Room on any Thursday to sign up with the signed permission slip.

By joining ski club you can get a lift ticket Monday- Friday for $19.

Questions? Please contact Mrs. Gualtieri

Or Mrs. Ludd

"Ski you on the slopes!!"


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Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack is a program designed to provide those students that are on the free and reduced lunch program with enough food for the three meals a day during the weekend. Forms available in the main office.


Birthday Locker Art

SMS Birthday Locker Art

Looking to do something special for your student on their birthday, but don't have the time? Let Student Leadership help you out. We will decorate their locker for you to celebrate their special day. Fill out the form and return it with cash or check made out to SMS. Then leave the worrying to us. When the locker is decorated you will receive an email with a picture of your student’s locker.



Contact Mr. McCall in room 509 for more information, phone 248-623-4545, email


PURCHASER'S NAME _________________________________________________________

Email address(for picture of completed locker) ______________________________

BIRTHDAY STUDENT'S NAME ___________________________________GRADE ________


DATE TO DECORATE LOCKER _________________________________

LOCKER NUMBER(if known) __________________________________

TOTAL $ ___________________


All Locker Art is payable by Cash or a Check to SMS only.


Sports -

WINTER 2015/2016 SPORTS ALL ATHLETES MUST HAVE A SPORTS PHYSICAL DATED ON OR AFTER 4/15/15 ON FILE AT THE ATHLETIC OFFICE BEFORE THEY CAN TRY-OUT OR PRACTICE. CLARKSTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS REQUIRES ALL ATHLETES TO HAVE INSURANCE. SMS athletes who participated on the 7th grade Football teams and 7th grade Girls Basketball teams have the required paperwork on file and do not need to provide additional copies. Coaches will contact the office to get a list of these athletes. Cross Country and Cheer needs to provide copies from Park & Rec.


7th Grade Boys – Coaches:

Ryan Kaul or Jerry Ostrom

Sixty-eight boys tried out and twenty-eight boys were selected for the 2015-16 boys' basketball teams. Games begin Dec. 2nd. Both Coach Kaul and Coach
Ostrom are looking forward to the start of the season. Games start at
four o'clock and are usually played on Mondays and Wednesdays of the
week. Check out the schedules and cheer for your favorites.


7th Grade Girls - Open gym will be on Feb 2nd and 3rd after school. Tryouts will be on Friday, Feb 5th and Monday, Feb 8th (and the 9th, if necessary) after school. Contact the coach Tracee Bowie if you have any questions:


7th Grade Boys - Conditioning and Practice (Dates forthcoming)


Clarkston Community Education announces the McGrath and Horizons Youth Winter Basketball Leagues!


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Study Hall after school daily!

When: School days - 2:30pm to 6:00pm

Where: Room 401

Cost: $4.00 per hour (pay every Monday when you pick up your child) Cash or check payable to SMS

Required Information needed for registration: Parent's name, contact phone numbers, child's name, grade, regular scheduled days and/or drop-in days.

Sign-up at:


Free Tutoring on Sundays at SMS... click here for more info:


Cold and Flu and What to Do?

With the onset of cold and flu season, among other reasons, students may necessarily be absent from school. Whenever possible, please submit a doctor’s note to the main office when your student has one or more medically related absences. These notes will be kept on record and are referenced against a student’s attendance record as needed. Compulsory Michigan attendance law requires that SMS maintains accurate attendance records and those excessive absences are properly reviewed. Appropriate medical documentation helps to support a student’s cause when evaluating a potential truancy concern.


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SMS 2015 Yearbook! Still time to purchase and place an ad for your student!

This year, Sashabaw Middle School has partnered with Jostens to give you an easy way to recognize your student’s accomplishments through a Recognition Ad in our yearbook. Click and follow the directions to our school.

Recognition Ads must be completed by January 31 in order to be published in the 2016 yearbook.

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Laing at


7th Grade Chicago Trip - Sold Out, BUT there is room on the wait list!

Interest in our 7th grade trip continues to grow each year. The trip initially sold out in less than a week this year. We immediately began a wait list. In previous years everyone on the wait list was able to be included on the trip. We expect that to be the case again this year. As the wait list grows we will be able to add additional buses. However, you must register for the wait list.

How do I Get on the SMS Chicago Trip Wait List?

** IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT NEARLY EVERYONE THAT WAS ON A WAIT LIST LAST YEAR, AND THE YEAR BEFORE, WERE ABLE TO MAKE IT ON THE TRIP; therefore, you are strongly encouraged being placed on a wait list if you hear the trip is full

There are two ways to be placed on the wait list:

1) If you attempt to register online and you see a window alert stating the trip is full, simply call Corporate Travel at 313-565-8888, ext. 185 or ext. 122 and inform the office you are calling to be placed on the Sashabaw Middle School Chicago wait list. We will take your name, phone number and email address; once we receive enough on the wait list to open another bus, you will be sent an email on how to make your deposit & called. You will then be responsible for making the reservation online, do not delay as the coach will fill fast and a wait list will happen again.

2) By mail: you can mail the registration form WITH your $120 deposit (per registration) to Corporate Travel at Corporate Travel Service, 23420 Ford Rd., Dearborn Heights, MI 48127. We will add your name, phone number & email to the wait list; once we receive the numbers needed on the wait list to open another bus, you will be emailed & called. At that time we will process the reservation and you will have 24 hours to contact us if you do not want your check cashed.

Chicago Trip related student meetings:

  • December - Thursday, 12/17/15 @ 7:20 a.m meet in LGI-C: Students should try to arrive as close to 7:20 as possible. Meeting to launch trip fund raising program. Plus other trip related business.

  • February - Thursday, 2/18/16 @ 7:20 a.m: Meet in LGI-C: Students will learn the procedure for room mate selection at this brief meeting. Important

  • April - Thursday, 4/14/16 @ 7:20 a.m.- LGI-C : Critical pre-trip information and announcements.

  • Friday, May 13, 2016 – one week prior to departure. This is an after-school event that will last from 2:40 until 4:55. All students need to attend. All parent chaperons are encouraged to attend.

All students attending the Chicago Trip will need to attend each of the above meetings.

Inquiries can be directed to Howard Andress, SMS staff member and trip coordinator, at