Shark FIN Bulletin

August Edition

Welcome Back!

Good morning Sugar Creek Families,


We are so excited to start a new year! We hope everyone has enjoyed summer and have been able to spend quality time with family. It’s hard to believe we are getting ready to head back to school soon. Waking up early and packing those lunches are coming fast! We are working hard to get the school and classrooms ready for our students.

We have added several new staff members based on growth positions; staff changes have also occurred due to openings and opportunities throughout the district. As you read through the Shark FIN Bulletin, please take your time. I have included alot of information. I will be sending out a video over the next week reiterating some important points included in this newsletter. Throughout the course of the year, I will be sending school wide phone calls. I encourage you to take a minute and listen to those messages so you are kept up to date with the latest school information.


A little bit about me....this is my 23rd year in the Fort Mill School District. I taught 2nd grade for 9 years then transitioned into an Assistant Principal role for 6 years. I am starting my 9th year as a Principal. I have been at Sugar Creek Elementary since we opened 12 years ago. I love this school and our school community. I am blessed to be able to work so closely with our students, staff and families. When I'm not at school I'm busy at the soccer field with all three of my boys. It's like a second job! I love every minute and trying to soak in the time since it seems to be flying by.

We look forward to getting to know our new Shark families and excited to see our returning families!


Teaming together towards excellence,

Mrs. Michelle Gritz- Principal

Mr. Aaron Plummer- Assistant Principal

I am going into my fourth year at Sugar Creek as the assistant principal and I am looking forward to it. This will be my 10th year as an educator and third as an administrator. My teaching took place in Charlotte where I was a physical education teacher for 6 years. My family means the world to me! I have an amazing wife and two beautiful little girls and a newborn baby BOY! I enjoy spending time with my family, exercising, eating delicious food, and watching Clemson play football on Saturdays. I’m looking forward to either getting to know your student or continuing our relationship as we enter the upcoming school year.

Mrs. Meg Niblock- Assistant Principal

It is such a privilege to serve as an assistant principal for Sugar Creek Elementary! This school and community of students are truly so very special to me. This will be my fifth year at Sugar Creek and it really is an amazing place like no other! This is my fifteenth year in education. Prior to my administrative role, I taught special education for my entire career; grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. The vision of Sugar Creek is something that I try to uphold daily: putting children first, striving for excellence and building positive relationships. It is my belief that relationships are at the core of establishing a successful school community. I am so thrilled to build new relationships and watch established ones continue to flourish.

I graduated from the University of South Carolina at Aiken where I played soccer for four years on the women’s soccer team. While at the University of South Carolina at Aiken I earned a BA in Special Education. I also obtained my M.Ed. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina in 2016.

When I am not at school or working I love spending time with my husband of twelve years, Lance. We have an 9 year old daughter, Charlie, who always keeps up busy and makes things fun. I am due with our second child in September- it is a BOY! I love traveling and spending time with my amazing family and friends. We enjoy outdoor adventures, concerts, going to sporting events, and trying new foods. I am so honored for the opportunity to represent SCES and I look forward to serving our amazing students, families and staff.

Vision and Mission

Vision: At SCES our vision is putting children first, striving for excellence, building positive relationships.

Mission: Collaboratively, our school community is committed to excellence, by putting children first, building caring relationships, and valuing diversity.

Our students and staff work daily on showing SHARK STRONG behavior. Shark Strong means that our students are being kind, showing respect and having integrity. These are the three main character traits we continue to teach and reinforce at Sugar Creek Elementary. Our Kindergarteners will jump right in and learn what being Shark Strong is all about!

Meet the Office Staff

New Staff to SCES and Changes Within Our Staff

New Staff to Sugar Creek Elementary

PreK Assistant- Denisse Kiss

PreK Assistant- Michelle Kutters

PreK Assistant- Sherron Rickabaugh

Kindergarten Assistant- Stephanie Ellis

1st grade Teacher- Chloe Parker

3rd grade Teacher- Pamela Mallery

3rd grade Teacher- Jamie Halsey

3rd grade Teacher- Abby Guza

3rd grade Teacher- Liz Gormley

Resource Teacher- Sidney Huhn

Art Teacher- Angela Ladamus

ESL Teacher- Elisa Hallum

Tech Assistant- Shannon Cox

Mental Health Counselor- Missy Pusey

Name changes

Ms. Lowery is now Mrs. Turner

Ms. Carmean is now Mrs. Hodge

Ms. Moller is now Mrs. Harton

Teacher Placement for All Students

Teacher placement information will be sent electronically on Friday, August 6th. Each teacher placement will be sent electronically throughout the day. These notifications will be sent in a staggered manner throughout the day. Not all families will receive their student’s placement at the exact same time.


I know that finding out your child’s teacher is exciting. I encourage parents to be respectful of our staff and limit your social media postings to only positive comments. Asking other parents questions or sharing opinions on social media about specific teachers can be hurtful and disrespectful. Remember that our staff is committed to our school community, so I ask that you show kindness and respect as teacher placements are shared. #sharkstrong

School Schedule for 1st- 5th grade students

All students in grades 1st- 5th will begin school on Monday, August 16th.


Students will be able to enter the building at 7:05. Instruction will begin promptly at 7:35. As students arrive each morning (by bus or car), they will enter the building and walk straight into their classrooms. Parents WILL NOT be allowed in the building. Students will walk in by themselves. We will have staff stationed throughout the school to guide students to their classroom. Don't worry- they will make it to class safely!

Meet the Teacher Information

We are excited about your shark joining us! This year we are providing a face to face Meet the Teacher on Thursday, August 12th. There will be four sessions of Meet the Teacher and each session is based on your last name.


Session 1: 7:30-8:15 (Last names A-D)

Session 2: 8:45-9:30 (Last names E-K)

Session 3: 10:00-10:45 (Last names L-Q)

Session 4: 11:15-12:00 (Last names R-Z)


During your session, you can visit your child's classroom and if you have multiple children, visit those classrooms during that same session. Meet the Teacher will be a drop in where you visit your classroom, meet your teacher and drop off any school supplies. Your child's teacher will be sending a video on Wednesday evening about classroom expectations.

*If your child has a different last name than the parent, please pick one session.

*Please limit your class visits to your current teacher since we have such a limited schedule.

Important Forms and Medication

On Thursday, August 12th, we will have our nurse in the nurse office. We are asking parents to bring any medication that your child will need at school. Nurse Larsen will be available for any questions you may have about medication.

Important School information

  • Our school doors open daily at 7:05 and instruction begins at 7:35. When students arrive to school, they will walk straight to their classrooms. Please be sure to account for traffic and congestion the first week or so. Being on time to school is important for each child to help develop a consistent routine and to start each day smoothly. I will send out reminders about our start time, but please plan to leave your house in plenty of time to get through the car rider line. We are anticipating more car riders this year than normal.


  • We are allowing parent volunteers this year. If you are interested in volunteering (i.e making copies, laminating, shelving library books) then you will need to complete a volunteer training and a background check. After your background check is complete, there will be a link to sign up to volunteer. Parents will not be assigned to a specific teacher, all volunteers will be supporting the school and the tasks that need to be completed in grades PreK-5th grades. The school will send information regarding the training for volunteers in the next week or so.


  • Extracurricular activities, clubs, and field trips will resume this year- we will have limited field trips this year.


  • Parents will not be allowed to visit during lunch due to continued safety protocols.


  • Please be sure that all students wear closed shoes each day. Tennis shoes are the best shoes to wear to school. Sandals are permitted but must have a back. NO FLIP FLOPS are allowed at school. For the safety of our students, if incorrect shoes are accidentally worn, parents will be called to bring alternate shoes. Students are constantly moving within the classrooms and play at recess daily, so safe shoes are the best in these environments.

Communication

At Sugar Creek Elementary, we believe that communication is important in building positive relationships with our families. Your child's teacher will be communicating with you regularly about what your child is learning and update you on their progress. We want you to have a good sense of what learning looks like for your child. If you are in need of more information or would like to request a parent conference at any point in the school year, our teachers will be available to meet virtually, over the telephone, or face to face. Typically our parent conferences begin in October and teachers will reach out to schedule a conference during that time frame.


You will receive weekly phone messages from Principal Gritz. Please be sure to take a minute to listen to these messages because they contain important information about school events, PTO events or other school information. You will also receive a monthly school newsletter called the Shark FIN Bulletin. This e-newsletter keeps you informed on a variety of school topics.

Safety Measures

MASKS:

  • All students and staff have the option to wear a mask into the building and in their classrooms.
  • If a student or staff member forgets their mask, we will provide a mask.


BREAKFAST AND LUNCH:

  • Breakfast and Lunch will be served in the classroom each day. Students will eat while sitting at their desk.
  • Students will wash their hands before and after eating.
  • Some classes may alternate eating lunch in the cafeteria throughout the year. If a grade level eats in the cafeteria, it will only be that specific grade level. This will limit the number of students eating at once.


RECESS:

  • Students will start the year participating in recess in designated areas on the playgrounds with just their class.


GROUPING:


  • Students will be seated in pods in their classroom as much as possible.
  • We will keep students with their class as much as possible. We will limit mixing of students and classes as much as we can.

Important Dates

Friday, August 6th- Student placement will be sent electronically

Thursday, August 12th- Meet the Teacher sessions

Monday, August 16th- First Day of School (staggered start for Kindergarteners- see schedule above)

Tuesday, August 24th- Independence Day for all Students- students should be dropped off like a normal routine

Monday, September 6th- Labor Day- No School



**Below is the link to the district calendar

School Supply List

Supply lists can be found on our schools website: http://fortmillsces.ss11.sharpschool.com/

Student Handbook

Please be sure to read over our student handbook so that you are aware of our school practices and district policies.

School Improvement Council- Report to Parents

Birthday Rock- How do I sign up? (Virtual Students and Face to Face students)

The Rock is ready for you! The highly sought after rock sign up has been moved online. Wish your child a happy birthday for everyone to see & celebrate them on their special day!

Visit https://sugar-creek-elementary-pto-2.square.site/ to sign up online! If you have any questions, please contact the PTO at sugarcreekelementartypto@gmail.com

Re-Link your Harris Teeter Cards (Virtual Students and Face to Face students):

Parents! Remember to re-link your Harris Teeter VIC card! We have to do it EVERY year! You can do this online or at the store! https://www.harristeeter.com/together-in-education Each time you use your Harris Teeter VIC card, you are helping our school earn money! So, please take a moment to relink your VIC card by clicking on the link provided.

Helpful Resources- Click the Links Below