The Au Gres-Sims School District

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Au Gres-Sims Families and Community,

When the clock struck midnight and 2022 became 2023 we welcomed in the New Year with kazoos and cheer and maybe a hastily sung rendition of Auld Lang Syne. This annual rite of renewal is something that we look forward to each winter. It is that time each year when we throw out the old calendar and unwrap the new one and it is the time of the year that we make plans for a whole new beginning and a better version of ourselves

This year, I have a suggestion for a New Years Resolution, I recommend that you eliminate rather than add. So many New Years resolutions go by the wayside each year because they fall into that category of "another thing to do," if you don't believe me check out the increase in the gym memberships and activity in January, then the inevitable drop-off in February. Instead, this year why don't you resolve to eliminate some of the components of your life that complicate it and prevent you from being the version of yourself that you want to be?

What exactly do I mean by resolve to eliminate? What I am talking about is removing barriers to success. Here are some examples:

  • Want more peaceful sleep? Eliminate high physical and mental activity an hour before bed. Try reading a book or magazine instead, or using a coloring book.
  • Want better study habits for your child? Eliminate the distractions at home that are not present at, phones, loud music, etc.
  • Want better conversations with your child? Eliminate the phones - yours and theirs - that electronically establish a barrier to communication and instead create times and zones to talk with one another.
  • Want better focus? Eliminate the notifications that limit your attention and constantly disrupt your thoughts (Don't worry, the messages will still be there when you choose to check them).
  • Want to get more done each day? Eliminate what really doesn't matter and maximize what does matter.

Just a thought as we start the new calendar year and head into a very important study weekend for our middle and high school students.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

Mr. Ming

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K-12 Principal's Update

Youth e-cigarette use remains at epidemic levels in the U.S. New data from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey show that more than 2.5 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes. From the survey, many young people reported that they are vaping every day or nearly daily. One of the tough things about recognizing that kids are vaping is how quickly the smell dissipates. In addition to the fact that the smell doesn’t last long, it is also hard to detect because it is not a strong odor like you would get from traditional cigarettes. Unlike traditional cigarettes, Vapes also are easy to conceal in creative places inside of clothing or in places not on the person. Please make sure you are having conversations with your children about making good choices and staying healthy.

As a reminder, next week we have 1:00 pm early dismissals on Wednesday and Thursday to account for adjusted schedules in the middle and high school for exams. Exams on Wednesday will take place for 1st through 3rd hours, and exams on Thursday will take place for 4th through 6th hours. All high school classes will have exams in some format. Some middle school classes will take exams, but not all classes are required to do so. Exams consist of 20% of the overall grade for each one semester class, while 40% of the grade comes from marking period one and 40% comes from marking period two. Students must have a passing grade in 2 of the 3 components AND a 60% overall average to pass the class. Although many classes are beginning the review process right now, because of the extensive content exams cover, it is highly recommended that students spend some time each evening beginning the review process right now in a deliberate and planned out fashion rather than trying to cram in everything at the last minute. This is a good technique for exams and any assignment/project of lengthier quantity. In addition, we also do not have school next Friday as this is a Teacher Records Day and is also the last day of the first semester.

With the HS winter sports season upon us, it brings many home games to our gym. Although we love to see kids/students present at the games, please make sure that your children are not just dropped off without supervision. Also, please remind them to stay in the gym/bleachers during the game instead of running the halls unsupervised. If students leave during the game they are not allowed to return. Thanks for helping support our student-athletes who are working hard and putting forth their best efforts.

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From the Desk of Ms. Socha

I hope that you all had a restful break! We are jumping right back into things as we wrap up the end of the 1st semester. We have been constantly reminding students who are taking online classes, whether it is a regular class or credit recovery, that all classes end at Midnight on Thursday, the 12th. Students need to contact me to unlock their final exam when they are ready to take it. For all students, including credit recovery, they must end the course with a 60% or higher to pass/receive credit. Students are aware of this procedure. If you have a student who is in credit recovery - you may want to check in with them or your parent account through Edmentum to see their progress. You would have received login information for your account at the start of the semester. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on my direct line at (989)876-4686.

Before the break, I mentioned that in January many of our students would be taking part in the M-STEP Writing Field Test. The Field Test allows our 3rd - 7th grade students to participate in a short practice test session, which gets them familiar with the testing platform, the tools available to them, and the overall structure of the test. It consists of a reading passage, a passage-based writing prompt, and 5 selected-response questions. This test is not graded and has no impact on the actual M-STEP test results. This is simply an opportunity for the students to engage and get comfortable with the platform while providing the Michigan Department of Education Office of Assessment and Accountability the opportunity to collect data to further improve the actual Spring M-STEP assessment and work out any issues within the system. This practice session will be done in a regular classroom setting, and will not require make-up sessions. 3rd-5th grade will do this on Tuesday, the 10th, and 6th and 7th grades will be doing this during their exam hours in ELA on Wednesday and Thursday. Students who are in attendance will work within the platform for the allotted time and get as much completed as they can. There will also be many opportunities for practice in the classroom prior to the testing window in the spring so that students are very comfortable with the process and will be prepared to do their best!

Finally, a new month brings a new installment of our School and Home Connection Newsletter. You can find the January issue linked below!

Elementary Newsletter - January

Secondary Newsletter - January

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School Breakfast and Lunch Menu for January 9-13, 2023

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Mental Health

Mental health challenges are common among students. According to the National

Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 1 in 5 children living in the United States

experience a mental disorder every year.

The two links below may be helpful in determining if your son or daughter has some mental health needs. The first is informational. The second is a psychologist use this one you will need to widen the search radius to 50 miles (it defaults to 25 miles).

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Athletics Update

It is nice to be back to school and back to high school athletics. Next week our boys and girls basketball teams, as well as our hockey team, will all be back in action.

Next Week's Schedule of Events:

Sat. 1/7:

  • 2p V Hockey AWAY @ Walled Lake Northern (Lakeland Ice Arena)

Tue. 1/10:

  • 6p V Girls Basketball AWAY @ Midland Baptist Calvary
  • ~7:30p V Boys Basketball AWAY @ Midland Baptist Calvary

Thu. 1/12:

  • 7p V Boys Basketball AWAY @ Hillman

Fri. 1/13:

  • 7p V Girls Basketball HOME vs. Hillman

BEAT THE WINTER BLUES - Middle School Ski Trip

The winter season can be tough for everyone, with limited opportunities and sunlight. In response to that AGS is organizing a ski trip for our middle school students on Saturday, February 4th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Snow Snake in Harrison.

We have organized a special group rate of $52 per person and that includes skis/snowboard rental and a lift ticket, but we need 20 people to get that rate. That number includes both students and adults, so let's make it happen!

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Mr. Ostrander at

The Wolverine Wake-Up

The Wolverine Wake-Up is a student written publication that comes out weekly and shares the reporting of our own high school students and their interpretation of what is going on the in the world. The teacher sponsor and editor-in-chief is Mr. Luke Freeman. Thanks for reading.

Welcome to 2023, Wolverines! Our studios were brought to a halt this week in the newsletter department, as mysterious internet gremlins wreaked havoc on our productivity quota. We did, however, put together a dynamite video broadcast for you! Please check it out by clicking the link below.

The Wolverine Wake-up

Important Dates

Important dates for January for the Au Gres-Sims School District.


  • 9th: Board of Education Special Meeting - 5pm in the Elementary Library
  • 11th: Early Release ALL STUDENTS @ 1pm, MS/HS Exams hours 1,2,3
  • 12th: Early Release ALL STUDENTS @ 1pm, MS/HS Exams hours 4,5,6
  • 13th: Records Day NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
  • 16th: Board of Education Regular meeting - 6pm in the Elementary Library

Community Events

Important and note-worthy events taking place in Au Gres and Arenac County

  • Saturday, February 18th - Arenac Community Funds Trivia Night (Arenac Community Center, Standish)

Help Wanted at AGS

Job Opportunities at AGS

We are also always on the lookout for substitute teachers. If interested, please inquire with Mrs. Miller in the district administration office, (989) 876-7157 and she will put you into direct contact with Laurie Crane at ESS-WillSub

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Our fine motor skills are working during our art project. Using liquid glue, hole punches, scissors and our imagination!

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