Shark FIN Bulletin

August 2023 Edition

Welcome Back!

Good morning Sugar Creek Families,

We are so excited to start the 2023-2024 school 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.

As you read through the Shark FIN Bulletin, please take your time. I have included a lot of information.

We only added one new homeroom teacher this year! The majority of our staff will be the same for this year which is outstanding! However, we have shifted several teachers to different grades based on our student numbers in each grade levels. We have also had several teachers get married so their names may look new to you!

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 26th 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 11th year as a Principal. I have been at Sugar Creek Elementary since we opened 14 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 sixth year at Sugar Creek as the Assistant Principal and I am looking forward to it. This will be my 12th year as an educator and sixth 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 three beautiful little girls and a 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 seventh year at Sugar Creek and it really is an amazing place like no other! This is my seventeenth year in education. Prior to my administrative role, I taught special education for my entire career; grades Kindergarten through 6th grade. 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.

When I am not at school or working I love spending time with my husband of fourteen years, Lance. We have an 11 year old daughter, Charlie, who always keeps up busy and makes things fun. I also have an almost 2 year old son named Hank. 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

Mission: All students at SCES will learn at high levels in a safe and supportive community.

Vision: The vision of our school family is to teach the whole child by providing high levels of instruction so they become productive citizens in our community.

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.

Meet the Office Staff

New Staff to SCES

New Staff to Sugar Creek Elementary

Kindergarten Assistant- Nicole Bis

Kindergarten Assistant- Kristi Sheppard

5th grade- Jordan Flachman

School Psychologist- Allison King

Nurse- Emily Jackson

Teacher Placement for All Students

Teacher placement information will be sent electronically on Friday, August 11th. 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 21st.

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 hallway and sit along the wall outside 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 classrooms. Don't worry- they will make it to class safely!

Transportation Form- Important Information!!

All parents need to complete the transportation form so we know how all students will be going home.

Tardy Policy

Our school doors open at 7:05 and class begins at 7:35. Students who arrive after 7:35 will need to be signed in at the front office. Students will be allowed 5 unexcused tardies per quarter. After 5 unexcused tardies in a quarter, students will serve a lunch detention for each additional tardy. Each quarter, the process will start over.

Please do your best to get your student to school on time. It is vital to the student's learning to start school on time so they are prepared and ready to learn.

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 17th. There will be four sessions of Meet the Teacher and each session is based on your last name.

Session 1: 8:00-8:45 (Last names A-D)

Session 2: 9:00-9:45 (Last names E-K)

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

Session 4: 11:00-11:45 (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 17th, 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 Jackson will be available for any questions you may have about medication.

  • We will also be handing out car rider tags in the front of the school as you enter the building. If your child is a car rider or if there is ever a chance he/she will be a car rider, please pick up a car rider tag. Each tag is assigned to a student so we know who should be picking up your child.

  • Once school begins, if you do not have a car rider tag in the car rider line, you will be asked to park and go into the front office to pick one up.

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 hallway. 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.

  • 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. Each grade level will organize their own parent volunteers to help complete tasks for those classrooms. All tasks will be housed in the parent volunteer room- volunteers should not interrupt classrooms to visit or collect work.

  • 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.


We are excited to welcome parents back into the cafeteria for lunch. Please be sure to read each bullet point with updated lunch procedures.

  • Parents can eat with their child (not with friends) on the stage or around the perimeter of the cafeteria if the stage is full.
  • Parents are welcome to eat with their student when they are scheduled to eat in the cafeteria. Parents can join their child for lunch four times a school year. Parents can begin visiting for lunch Monday, September 18th. It's important that we establish procedures and expectations before parents join for lunch.


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/November 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.

Important Dates

Friday, August 11th- Student placement will be sent electronically

Thursday, August 17th- Meet the Teacher sessions

Monday, August 21st- First Day of School (staggered start for Kindergarteners- see the Kindergarten newsletter that includes this information)

Tuesday, August 29th- Independence Day for all Students- students should be dropped off like a normal routine

Monday, September 4th- Labor Day- No School

Friday, September 15th- PTO Bingo Family Night

Friday, October 13th- PTO Fall Festival

**Below is the link to the district calendar

School Supply List

Supply lists can be found on our schools website:

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?

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 to sign up online! If you have any questions, please contact the PTO at

Re-Link your Harris Teeter Cards

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! 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