Dolphin Digest

2016 January Newsletter

Springfield Plains Elementary School

Dear Springfield Plains Family,

It’s January. Time to be awesome!

Being a kid in elementary school is pretty awesome. As a kid, you get to make new year resolutions two times in one year! When school begins in the fall, students have new expectations for their new school year. In January, when they return, they have new personal goals, which almost certainly connect to school.

So what does your child have planned that is awesome? Have they begun with the end in mind? Have you? What goal have they set that will lead to awesomeness?

One component of Joy (our 9th cultural force) is having dignity and respect for humanity. I wonder how or what our children will do to influence the community or the world? The influence can be small or it can be big. Both are equally powerful. I encourage you to watch this video clip (click here) by yourself or with your child. After viewing the video, think of a headline* that you could write down; and then share it with someone. Have a conversation. *(Headline Directions: Write a headline for this video that captures an important aspect or core idea that we would want to remember.)

As we begin a new year, remember that our children are empowered to learn, empowered to think and empowered to lead. How will our kids lead? How will our kids use their influence? How will they use their power? How will you?

It’s time to be awesome!

Matthew Gifford, Principal

Parents & Community Members:

Clarkston Community Schools has begun a Facilities Assessment process. In this process, all buildings and sites are being evaluated, providing both a snapshot in time and a look forward to the district's current and anticipated needs. This is where we need your input. A brief survey has been developed to gather your opinions, perceptions and thoughts regarding district facilities and infrastructure.

Please click on link below to take this quick survey - your input is extremely valuable in this process. Hard copies of the survey are also available at the CCS Administration Building, 6389 Clarkston Road. Thank you!

Important Contact Information

SPE Main Office 248.623.3800, Secretary Karen Postal

Attendance Line 248.623.3890

Fax 248.623.3805


During the winter months, some severe weather may occur. Roads are checked each morning by the transportation office to determine driving conditions. In addition, the Michigan Road Commission and the U.S. Weather Service are consulted. In the event that conditions are determined to be unsafe for the busing of students, a decision to close school is normally made by 6 a.m. and announced on selected radio and television stations during regular news programs. School closings are posted on the District Home page at and phone blasted throughout the District. Should severe conditions occur after classes are in session, our general policy will be to keep bus students in their building until we can safely operate the buses. Students will be released only to their parents, to approved adults, or by phoned parental authorization.

The following AM radio stations will carry school closing announcements: WWJ (950), WJR (760),CKLW (800) and area TV channels. The School District has no control as to the time closing announcements will be broadcast via these systems.

Springfield Plains Ski and Snowboard Club

Pine Knob is open and the Springfield Plains Ski and Snowboard Club has begun.

It’s never too late to join. Students in 2-5th grade and their parents can join the SPE Ski and Snowboard Club any time throughout the winter season. This is a great and inexpensive ski/snowboard program that also offers discounted rentals. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to ski/snowboard. This is a specialized learn to ski/snowboard program where students and adults can take weekly lessons lead by expert instructors.

All you need to do is find our table at the Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort in the Pinery Café located upstairs. We are there every Thursday from 4:30-7:00 p.m. It’s easy…come find the club, sign up, and hit the slopes all in the same night. Visit the website for further club information. Club forms can be downloaded from our website and filled out ahead of time. I will also have copies of the forms with us too.


Hope to see you at the hill,

Heather Smith

3rd grade teacher

Lost and Found Items

Many hats, gloves, lunchboxes and clothing will be on tables in the front hallway beginning January 13, 2016 for students/parents to search for missing items.



Kindergarten Information Night

To learn more about Clarkston’s Kindergarten options and for information regarding how to enroll your child, parents are invited to attend:

Kindergarten Information Night

February 2 - 7:00 p.m.

Clarkston Junior High School

6595 Waldon Rd.


If your child turns five (5) years old on or before September 1, 2016 (or as late as December 1 with a signed waiver), he/she is eligible to attend Kindergarten in 2016-17.

In the Fall of 2016, Clarkston Community Schools will continue to offer two options for parents of Kindergartners:

  • Kindergarten – Full-day Kindergarten is offered at every elementary school.

  • Young Fives Kindergarten – Young Fives Kindergarten is available for students that turn five years old between June 1 – December 1, 2016. Young Fives Kindergarten is a full-day program offered at the Early Childhood Center and Independence Elementary. Students that attend Young Fives go to their home school the following year for regular Kindergarten.

Attention Future Athletes

Do you have a future student athlete in your household?

If so, you may want to consider changing the date of when they usually get their yearly physicals. Per Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) guidelines, student athletes need to have a physical on file that's dated on or after April 15th every year. For example, all student athletes participating next year in the 2016 - 2017 school year will need to have a physical dated on or after April 15th, 2016. Please keep this in mind if your son(s) and/or daughter(s) will be participating in one of our various athletic programs, grades 7 through 12.

Thank you and GO WOLVES!



Mackenzie Harrison, Nathan Heinrich, Nina Patrico, Kayla Butki, Evan Thon, Kaitlyn Parks, Aubrey Drouin, William Hensler, Ethan Line, Addison Fitzgerald


  • January 13 - Delayed Start - School begins at 9:20, Mr. B's - Playground Give Back Day
  • January 18 - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS - Teacher Developmental Day
  • January 28 & 29 - Students attend half day. Dismissal @ 11:45 a.m. ; NO PM KIDS CONNECTION.

REMINDER!!!! SPE School and District E-Blasts

Winter weather school closings happen. Please remember to sign up to receive email notices (e-blasts) specific to SPE families and/or our district e-blasts. Here's how:

1. Go to our district webpage:

2. Choose the RESOURCES tab

3. Under PARENTS, select CALENDAR


5. Select the EMAIL REMINDERS tab

6. Enter the email address you would like to use to receive information and select NEXT

7. Choose CCS - CLARKSTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS and select NEXT at the bottom

8. Choose SPE

You can also choose other schools, if you have children that attend other Clarkston Schools.

9. Choose SUBMIT at the bottom of the page

Parent Vue - Student Information System

Please make sure to take some time to review the information in ParentVue and make sure that we have the most accurate and updated information, particularly phone numbers and emergency contacts. To access ParentVue (once you have activated your account):

  1. Go to the Clarkston Schools’ webpage

  2. Choose the Resources tab and then select ParentVue

Student Calendar

You can find all important dates, vacations, etc. on the web. Go to, click on Schools, then Springfield Plains. The calendar is located on the left hand side of the page. You can scroll up or down for specific dates or click on "see full calendar" to view the full calendar. Dates for PTA Meetings, Late Start Days, classroom parties, vacations, etc. are shown on the calendar.

PTA Officers for 2015-2016

The following parents will serve as PTA officers for the 2015-2016 school year:

President, Nichole Dean-Kraatz

1st Vice President, Paul Carpentier

2nd Vice President, Kristy Brandon

Secretary, Kelsey Jones

Treasurer, Deborah Ego

Asst. Treasurer, Mary Warner

Membership Coordinator, Samantha Carr

Volunteer Coordinator, Janel Sadowski

Homeroom Coordinator, Nicole Saber

CCS Board of Education

President, Steve Hyer

Vice President, Elizabeth Egan

Treasurer, Kelli Horst

Secretary, Susan Boatman

Trustees, Cheryl McGinnis, Craig Hamilton, Gregory Need