Dolphin Digest

May 2016 Newsletter

Dear Springfield Plains Family,

Live. Love. Learn. Our kids are blooming!

We have gotten our learn on and kids all around SPE are blooming! Our school is like a garden-- full of creativity, innovation, thinking, problem solving, communicating, collaborating, producing, and leading. There are mathematicians, readers, authors, scientists, social scientists, engineers, athletes, musicians, artists and learners that are walking through this garden, this school. I also see a lot of kids that like to eat lunch, socialize and play. It’s a great garden, it’s a great place to be.

As our thoughts wander toward sunshine and summertime it is important that our children remember to be respectful toward adults, their peers and their teachers. There is still a lot of time to get our learn on. Please review the Dolphin Pledge (below) with your child and have a conversation about how it applies to our daily lives. It is important that we listen with our eyes, ears and heart and take charge of ourselves.

Living, Loving and Learning.

Matthew Gifford, Principal

The Dolphin Pledge

I come to school

to think and learn.

I will accept only my best

in all that I do.

I will respect my school,

myself and others.

I am smart, I am valuable and

it matters that I am here.

Important Contact Information

SPE Main Office 248.623.3800, Secretary Karen Postal

Attendance Line 248.623.3890

Fax 248.623.3805
















Calling all 2016-2017 Kindergartners!

If your child turns five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2016, he/she is eligible to attend kindergarten.

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

Full - Day Kindergarten - Full-day kindergarten will be offered at every elementary school.

Young Fives Kindergarten - Young Fives Kindergarten is a half-day program that will be offered at the Early Childhood Center or Independence Elementary. This program is for students who turn five years old between June 1 and September 1. Students in this program return to their home school the following year for full-day kindergarten.

Registration packets are available at the Administration Building, and online at - click on “Parents.”

ParentVue - Student Information System & Learning Feedback Document Viewing

Please make sure you access and set up your account in ParentVue. The Learning Feedback Document (formerly report card) will not be printed and mailed home in June as they were this February. Parents will view their child(ren)'s LFD through ParentVue. To access ParentVue:

  1. Go to the Clarkston Schools’ webpage

  2. Choose the Resources tab and then select ParentVue


  • May 3 - 5th Grade Performance, 7 p.m., Gymnasium
  • May 18 - PTA Reflections Celebration, 6:30 p.m., Multipurpose Room
  • May 20 - Volunteer breakfast, 8:00 a.m., Multipurpose Room
  • May 24 - PTA General Membership Mtg, 7:00 p.m.
  • May 27 & 30 - NO SCHOOL Memorial Day Break

Summer Coding Camp 2016

Scratch (Coding) Camp for Beginners

Cost - $175.00

Date - July 25-29, 2016

Time - 8:30 - 11:30 pm

Max. Participants - 20

Location: Administration Building

Instructors - Lori Banaszak , CCS Technology Integration Specialist and Sharon Crain, CCS Media Specialist


Coding Camp for Beginners - A camp for kids ages 9 - 11 years old to learn about coding (computer science) using Scratch. This camp will introduce and help kids build a basic understanding of coding. This will include the terminology and processes to start thinking like a computer programmer. Students will complete group activities as well as individual projects to produce a final game or animation. There will be a student showcase the last day of camp to highlight student projects. Come code with us!

Scratchers (Coding) Camp for Intermediate/Advanced

Cost - $175.00

Date - July 25 - 29, 2016

Time - 12:30 - 3:30 pm

Max. Participants - 20

Location: Administration Building

Prerequisite - Coding Camp for Beginners or member of one of the CCS elementary coding clubs.

Instructors - Lori Banaszak , CCS Technology Integration Specialist and Sharon Crain, CCS Media Specialist


Scratchers Coding Camp - This camp is designed for kids ages 9 - 12 years old to take their Scratch skills to the next level. This camp will build upon the concepts of Coding Camp for Beginners and develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of coding (computer science) using Scratch. Participants will work in collaborative groups as well as independently to create interactive games or animations. There will be a student showcase the last day of camp to highlight student projects. Come code with us!

Thank You Student Lighthouse Captains

A HUGE thank you to our Student Lighthouse Captains for all of their leadership and dedication this year! They were able to raise the funds for the 7 Habits tree wall mural in our gym. It looks amazing! Thank you to these captains:

Ryder Adams, Amelia Schatz, Xavier Abell, Maximus Robin, Kayla Lemke,

Sophia Love, Acie Anderson, Ashby Muzzy, Jimmy Gergle, Connor Rohr, Derek Townsend, Katie Jakubiak, Chloe Giehtbrock, Erica Luther, Leila Davis, Noah Puzio, Branigan O'Neill, Luke Jeung, Jacqueline Schatz, Mia Zorkski, McKenna Hempton, Ryan Borgona, Luke Farella, Natalie Paterczak, and Alex Aris.

Kindergarten Orientation Thank You

Thank you Kelsey Jones! Incoming kindergarten students and parents had a great day at Orientation. Thank you for organizing all our parent volunteers who came and made our new kindergarteners feel so welcome.

Learning Commons Materials Due

It's that time of year again. All Learning Commons materials are due by Wednesday, May 25. Please look in closets and drawers, under beds, etc., for any missing Learning Commons item. If your missing book is not found before the end of the school year, please continue to look over the summer. if the book is in good condition, we will accept it and refund any money that has been paid (see policy below).

Lost or Damaged Book Guidelines:

When a book or other item that is checked out by a student is lost, or irreparably damaged, that student is expected to pay for the replacement cost of that book or item. The student's checkout privileges may be suspended until payment is made.

Occasionally, the student finds the lost book after payment has been made. If the lost book is returned, in good condition, to the Learning Commons by September 12, or the following school year, the payment will be refunded. However, if it is past September 12, the payment will have been used toward the purchase of new books and will not be available for refund.

Last day for book checkout:

Wednesday, May 25

Academic Service Learning Projects

SPE Recycle Teams

K-5 LRC, Basic, and Basic Plus Students

We provide a direct service by collecting paper products from every location/room within the school building. Students transfer classroom paper to large rolling containers that are then taken to the recycle bins by a select group of students and one to two staff members. The bins are located at the edge of our large parking lot, nearest the school.

* With the money raised, we will provide some type of equipment or object that helps to meet the social, emotional or health needs of students and staff at SPE. We intend to use the 2014-15 and this year’s funds to purchase “Buddy Benches” for our playgrounds.

Softies for Seniors


We have a few things planned for this year. For each month/holiday through May we will be making some original kindergarten art to help decorate the walls and doors to resident’s rooms. (For Thanksgiving, we will display some turkeys and scarecrows!). The teachers and interested parents with their children will meet after school to hang the beautiful art through the year.. We will acknowledge Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa in our work. In January we will be collecting soft socks and knitted booties to warm the feet of our senior friends. Each kindergarten class will be making some tied lap blankets especially for seniors who are wheelchair bound. We hope to make one visit to Autumn Ridge by school bus in the spring to sing for the senior citizens. This is a direct service in that we will be providing items and we will be visiting the seniors on our singing visit.

Music For Seniors

2nd & 5th Grades

I would like my students to feel comfortable around the older community population, learn that it is okay to make new friends even if they are not exactly like them, and learn to share their musical talents with other people. This will be a direct service, as they will be performing for the seniors at their concerts this year.

Project O.A.T.S

3rd Grade

About O.A.T.S

Offering Alternative Therapy with Smiles was founded as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1997 by Nancy Lee Heussner. Located on 50 acres in Clarkston, Mich., O.A.T.S. and its staff of caring, dedicated and enthusiastic instructors and volunteers provide equine-assisted therapy and a lot of smiles on a weekly basis, year-round (thanks to our heated indoor arena), to more than 100 children and adults with a wide variety of physical and emotional disabilities.

Service - Each class will be collecting toilet paper and paper towels to help cut down of the cost of supplies, so funds can go toward horses and riders.

Watch Our Seedlings Grow

2nd Grade

We will be providing a direct service to the community of Clarkston. Throughout the process of this project students will learn about the life cycle of plants, the needs of plants, and how to nurture plants. Students will also be learning about their community, Clarkston, and our role as citizens.

-When the seedlings are ready to be transplanted and the weather is favorable, students will take a trip over to the Senior Center to plant the lettuces, cucumbers, and zinnias.

-Students will plant their sunflower seedlings at SPE in the student garden to be harvested in the fall. The seeds will be used for 2nd & 3rd grade counting collections.

-Students will help maintain and update the Dr. Devereaux memorial garden by pulling weeds, replacing wood chips, watering, making new stepping stones, power washing, and restaining the benches.

PTA Officers

The following parents serve as PTA officers:

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