Sashabaw Middle School

Newsletter Vol 7 Issue 3 February/March 2016

SMS - from the Principal

Dear SMS Families,

As I sit here typing this , in the middle of February, it’s hard to believe we are already in the second half of the year. Soon, it will be time to start looking at scheduling for next year! But before that, we want to celebrate all that is happening right now.

If you haven’t walked through our hallways recently, you have to come by and visit. Each department has a bulletin board in the hallway displaying student thinking from their classrooms. These boards are amazing and and some are even interactive using QR Codes. We are making an effort to put things up that represent the thinking and learning that we value at SMS. Recently, we were able to share what we value with the State of Michigan Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Brian Whiston. Mr. Whiston took a tour of our school in December and we presented to him information about our Formative Assessments, Cultures of Thinking, Teacher Professional Development, Learning Targets and a whole lot more. He popped into a couple of classrooms, visited our Academic Center and had a conversation in the Media Center with some staff and our Superintendent, Dr. Rock . It was an amazing honor and privilege to have such a guest and he was very impressed by our story of learning.

A visit from the State Superintendent is amazing, but there is also a long, long list of many other things we are celebrating. Here are just a very few:

  • Completed our winning Boy’s Basketball season and now Wrestling and Girl’s Volleyball are just getting rolling.

  • Successful 6th and 7th grade Spelling Bee.

  • Creation of SMS Book Club where students read novels and participate in discussions.

  • Additions to The Counseling Website including apps and music that can help with attention, focus, memory, organization, time management, and fidgeting.

  • Fantastic Mathcounts Competition held at SMS with neighboring districts coming to participate.

  • 7th grade band and orchestra members gearing up to participate in the Solo and Ensemble Festival where they have entered over 100 events.

  • Fundraising by the PE Department has helped create close to 30 aerobic stations and 20 weight lifting stations in the upper gym with more improvements coming.

  • Visual Arts students are participating in a community art initiative creating displays throughout Clarkston. Keep your eyes open for student art at area businesses!

  • 6th grade Social Studies held an Academic Service Learning project raising money for water filtration systems for the people of Honduras.

As I look around SMS ,I am so proud of our staff and students as they continue to grow and learn together. The passion for learning is obvious to see as you walk through our building. This list of successes is just a small peak at what’s happening. We will continue our journey and celebrate our accomplishments as the year continues.

Thanks for all you do to help support us,

Liz Walker

Contact information:


Mrs. Liz Walker, Principal

Mr. John Bennink, Assistant Principal

Behavior Interventionist

Ms. Amanda Hoffman, Behavioral Interventionist

SMS Counseling

Mrs. Jamie Graves, Counselor for A – K students

Mr. Damon Rocho, Counselor for L – Z students


Calendar of Events


2/15~16 Mid-Winter Recess ~ School Closed

2/17 PTA Meeting ~ 9:00 A.M.

2/24 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:25 A.M.

2/29 Parent Curriculum for incoming 8th graders at CJHS 6:30


3/8 7th Grade Career Day

3/9 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:25 A.M.

3/15 Parent/Teacher Conferences 5:00 ~ 8:00 P.M.

3/16 PTA Meeting ~ 9:00 A.M.

3/17 Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:00 ~ 7:00 P.M.

3/23 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:25 A.M.

3/25 No School for Students


All 7th Graders and Parents - IMPORTANT INFORMATION!!!

Attention 7th Graders!

Believe it or not 7th Graders, your days at Sashabaw Middle School are dwindling down. It’s time to gear up for scheduling your classes for next fall at Clarkston Junior High School! Here are some important dates you and your parents should know:

Scheduling for 7th Graders going to 8th Grade:

February 29th : CJHS Parent Curriculum Night at CJHS for incoming 8th & 9th graders,

6:30 - 8:30 PM, CJHS Performing Arts Center

March 10th & 11th: CJHS Counselors meet with 7th Graders during the school day at SMS to present scheduling options

March 14th: CJHS Counselors will be available during all 7th Grade lunches to answer questions pertaining to scheduling for 8th grade. Parents are welcome!

March 16th: 7th Graders must turn in a SIGNED scheduling card to their Math teachers. They MUST also have entered their course selections into Student Vue BEFORE this date!

March 17th & 18th: CJHS Counselors will be at SMS to meet with 7th Graders individually to review Course Selections and answer any final questions


Order your YEARBOOK!!!

SMS Yearbooks! There is still time to purchase a yearbook for your student.

Click and follow the directions to our school.

If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Laing at


Spelling Bee!!!

The 2016 SMS Spelling Bee was held on Tuesday, January 12th. Over 30 students were present to vie for the chance to be champion and represent SMS at the Oakland Press regional bee. After some tough words and 11 rounds, we had a champion. Winning with the final word, deciduous, was 6th grader, Dylan Walker. 1st runner-up was 7th grader, Bo Anderson.

The Oakland Press regional bee will take place on February 9 at 1pm at the Oakland Schools building. We wish Dylan lots of luck as he represents Sashabaw Middle School. Congratulations, Dylan!


SMS is looking for Parent Mentors!

An adult willing to be a role model in a child's life can make a huge difference!

Consider volunteering to:

  • Establish a positive adult/child relationship
  • Meet with a student regularly during a school day
  • Help a student think about his/her goals
  • Spend time encouraging a student with strategies to be successful in school

Please contact Amanda Hoffman if you are interested at... or 248-623-4206


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PTA - from the President

Greetings from the SMS PTA. We’ve hit the halfway mark this school year and while it has been a very productive year so far, we are already looking ahead to new projects and events that support our students, parents and staff. Here are a few highlights…

The second week of February students purchased Valentines during the lunch hour. The Valentines were $1.00 each and were delivered to your child’s friends, teachers and other staff. Proceeds go back to SMS.

You may have heard that Clarkston PAC has launched the 1st annual SPARKLE AWARDS. The award recognizes any individual and group who provides extraordinary service and/or support to students with IEPs in CCS. Besides teachers and para educators, you may nominate anyone from a student peer, to a custodian, a board member, school administrator, bus driver or counselor. Each nominee will be recognized. The deadline for nominations is February 26th, 2016. Please see the SMS PTA Website or Facebook page for forms, contact information and further details.

It’s that time again! The SMS PTA is seeking nominations for our 2016/2017 Board. You may nominate someone, or yourself for any position on the Board. Elections take place in May 2016. Board positions include: President, 1st VP-(Fundraising, Mini Grants), 2nd VP (Reflections), Treasurer, Membership Officer, Volunteer Coordinator and Website/Communications Officer. Details on the duties of each office can be found on the SMS PTA Webpage (PTA, Bylaws pgs. 8-10).

Attendance at the monthly SMS PTA meetings has been great this year. Thank you PTA Members for your input and involvement. It’s not too late to participate. Membership forms are available in the Main Office and are online at the SMS PTA website. Join us for the next PTA meeting on Feb 17th at 9:00 am in the LGI-A room.


Melissa Luginski

SMS PTA President 2015-2016

7th Grade Career Day!

Career Day gives our 7th graders the opportunity to learn about possible career paths first-hand from parents and other professionals in our community. This year's event is the morning of Tuesday, March 8, 2016, from 7:45 to 10:45 a.m. We invite SMS parents, grandparents, other family members and friends to inspire our students with information about the skills, education and career paths available to them in a wide variety of professions and trades. You'll give four, 30-minute presentations about your career/profession to groups of up to 25ish students. We provide all presenters with a boxed lunch to enjoy in our media center or on your way back to work as a small token of our appreciation.

If you can participate in Career Day as a presenter, please email Kelli Horst at or Mary Herzenstiel at with the correct spelling of your name, title/organization, and a brief description of your responsibilities/industry. More details will follow toward the end of the month when our roster is complete.

Thanks in advance for making 7th Grade Career Day a unique and special morning for our students!

Box Tops for Education

Reminder: Box Tops are due by February 24th for the Spring Submission!

This is our last submission for the 2015/2016 school year, so clean out those cupboards and drawers and turn in those trimmed, non-expired Box Tops today!

Thank you for supporting the SMS PTA

Campbell’s Soup Labels - include with the Box Tops for Education

SMS collects Campbell Soup Labels and those little labels sure do add up! Another $75 in reward gift cards are on their way and will be used to purchase needed items in the school. Please consider clipping and saving those soup labels throughout the year. You efforts truly do make a difference!

There is a collection box in the front office to drop your labels. To see a complete list of participating products, go to Questions? Contact Kim Hardtke


7th Grade Chicago Trip - Don't Miss Out! Register your 7th grader, NOW!!!

During this all-inclusive trip we will visit Shedd Aquarium, Willis Tower, The Science and History Museum, Hard Rock Cafe, Millennium Park, take a river-boat cruise, have exclusive seating for the Blue Man Group, and much more!

Get your student on the wait-list now.

While the trip has sold out, there is room on the wait-list. Once we get 20 more students on the wait-list we can add a 5th coach bus.

Interest in our 7th grade trip continues to grow each year. The trip initially sold out in less than a week this year. We immediately began a wait list. We then added a fourth bus and that sold out. We have started a second wait list, which is growing and should reach a point soon where we can add the 5th bus. In previous years everyone on the wait-list was able to be included on the trip. We expect that to be the case again this year. As the wait list grows we will be able to add additional buses. However, you must register for the wait list.

How do I Get on the
SMS Chicago Trip Wait List?

** IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT NEARLY EVERYONE THAT WAS ON A WAIT LIST LAST YEAR, AND THE YEAR BEFORE, WERE ABLE TO MAKE IT ON THE TRIP; therefore, you are strongly encouraged being placed on a wait list if you hear the trip is full

There are two ways to be placed on the wait list:

1). If you attempt to register online and you see a window alert stating the trip is full, simply call Corporate Travel at 313-565-8888, ext. 185 or ext. 122 and inform the office you are calling to be placed on the Sashabaw Middle School Chicago wait list. We will take your name, phone number and email address; once we receive enough on the wait list to open another bus, you will be sent an email on how to make your deposit & called. You will then be responsible for making the reservation online, do not delay as the coach will fill fast and a wait list will happen again.


2). By mail: you can mail the registration form WITH your $120 deposit (per registration) to Corporate Travel at Corporate Travel Service, 23420 Ford Rd., Dearborn Heights, MI 48127. We will add your name, phone number & email to the wait list; once we receive the numbers needed on the wait list to open another bus, you will be emailed & called. At that time we will process the reservation and you will have 24 hours to contact us if you do not want your check cashed.

Chicago Trip related student meetings:

  • February - Thursday, 2/18/16 @ 7:20 a.m: Meet in LGI-C: Students will learn the procedure for room mate selection at this brief meeting. Important

  • April - Thursday, 4/14/16 @ 7:20 a.m.- LGI-C : Critical pre-trip information and announcements.

  • Friday, May 13, 2016 – one week prior to departure. This is an after-school event that will last from 2:40 until 4:55. All students need to attend. All parent chaperons are encouraged to attend.

All students attending the Chicago Trip will need to attend each of the above meetings.

Inquiries can be directed to Howard Andress, SMS staff member and trip coordinator, at


Student Council

Does you child want to participate in SMS' Student Council this year? They will meet ONCE a month, may volunteer in numerous community events, and assist with events at SMS.

If you have any questions, please contact Missy Ludd at The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 1st from 2:40-3:40 in room 508.

"Thank you for your interest in supporting our school and community!"

Jr. Optimist Club

The Jr. Optimist Club meetings are every other Thursday in room 403. The meetings will be from 2:30 - 3:30. There is a one-time $10 fee to join the club. Forms are available in the lunch room or come to the meeting for the form. Checks should be payable to Clarkston Optimist Club.

The meetings for the year are as follows:

February 25, 2016

March 10, 2016

March 24, 2016

April 7, 2016 (Last Meeting) *There will be a year end celebration after this meeting - Date TBD.

We raised $111.00 to give to the French Red Cross by sponsoring a blue, white and red day.

We shopped for needy families after our meeting on December 3rd. On December 12th, we took part in the Clarkston Holiday Lights parade.

If you would like updates please sign up for a account.

If you have any questions you can contact the club advisor, Kelly Berti at 248-623-4556 or email


SMS Club Corner – Your Place for Updates on Clubs at SMS

SMS Club fee is $50 per year which entitles the student to participate in as many of the SMS Clubs listed below that they would like to be a part of.

Book Club still has a few open spots for any interested 6th and 7th graders. Members of the Book Club will receive one book per month to read (and keep!). Toward the end of the month, the Book Club will meet in the Media Center for engaging conversation and refreshments.

Book Club will meet from 2:30-4:00 on:

  • Tuesday, March 1st

  • Tuesday, March 29th

  • Tuesday, April 26th

If interested, talk to Mrs. Locke in the Media Center or Mrs. Barnes in room 502 right away to sign up and get a copy of our February book.

Art Club - Mrs. Dandurand on Mondays in Room 214 from 2:30-4:00.

Mrs. Dandurand looks forward to new art adventures with art club members when she returns. The remaining meeting dates are April 18th & May 2nd in Room 214.


Coding Club - Meets in the Media Center on Mondays from 2:40 until 3:45. First meeting was September 28th.

As a member of the SMS Coding Club, you can expect to have fun, be challenged, expand your thinking as a computer scientist, develop games and apps, and more!

If you have questions contact Mrs. Butcher via email:

Sign up @

Drama Club - Meets Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2:40-3:50. First meeting was October 1.

Sponsors: Ms. Pace-Bleau (248.623.4523) or

and Mrs. Savoie (248.623.4238)

Forms with additional information are available in the main office.

SMS MathCounts Team

On January 13th, the SMS MathCounts team hosted a four-school all-day competition. Mathletes from SMS were joined by mathletes from the Junior High, and schools in Rochester.

Students competed in teams of four. First place went to a team from SMS, 2nd place to a team from CJHS, 3rd place to a team from Van Hoosen Middle School, and 4th place to another team from SMS. There were also four 5th graders, representing three Clarkston elementary schools. The 5th grade team finished in 11th place; an impressive performance!

The event would not have been possible without the generous support of the parents of the team members. They donated money, food, and lots of time. A group of a dozen parents were on hand for the event; taking care of scoring, food, and organization. The team was extremely thankful for the parental support!

On Saturday, February 6th we will send four 7th graders and four 8th graders to compete at the Detroit Country Day Math Invitational. They will compete in teams consisting of two 7th graders and two 8th graders. On Saturday, February 27th we will send an 8th grade team, two 7th grade teams, and one 6th grade team to the MathCounts chapter competition. (Each team will consist of four mathletes.)

Team members competing in these events will include: Riley Beernink, Evan Bennett, Evan Borgerson, Richard Budny, Landon Butcher, Hana Chrenka, Nathan Dimmer, Jacob Draksler, Ben Haas, Cameron Hempton, John Mueller, Gabe Puzio, Jason Rosenkranz, Erik Rosenkranz, Robert Spencer, and Parker Szachta. Performance at the SMS Invitational on 1/13 determined which team members would represent Clarkston that upcoming competitions.

The 6th grade team meets each Tuesday after school from 2:40 until 4:00.

On Thursdays the combined 7th, 8th , and 9th grade team meets from 2:40 until 4:20. There is a shuttle bus that transports Math Team members from CJHS to SMS each Thursday. We meet in room 308. We have 60 members on the team and new members are welcomed at any point in the year. The team will continue to meet until the end of May.

Students will improve their problem solving skills and will be challenged as they tackle a wide range of math topics.

For more information contact SMS staff member and coach Howard Andress

SMS Chess Club –

The Chess Club meets each Friday after school from 2:45 until 4:00.

We meet in LGI-A.

New members are welcome at any time. The group meets from early October until late May.

The club is open to beginners, the sophisticated player, and all levels in between. So, whether you are new to the game or have been playing for years you will have fun and find good competition.

Team members recently elected club officers. The club officers launched the first club tournament on the Friday before the holiday break. This first tournament will continue for the next few weeks.

For more information contact SMS staff member Howard Andress


Sashabaw Middle School Ski & Snowboard Club

Do you love to Ski or Snowboard? Have you ever wanted to try?

If so, then you should join the SMS Ski and Snowboard Club!!

Where: Pine Knob Ski Hill

When: Any snowy Thursday until Pine Knob closes for the season

Time: We sell lift tickets in the Pinery Room from 3-6:30 pm.

How you join:

Click here for the packet with more details... or pick one up from Mrs. Gualtieri, Mrs. Ludd or the main office. Return the permission slip with $19 per membership to Mrs. Gualtieri or Mrs. Ludd for your Ski Club Card. Or you can come to the Pinery Room on any Thursday to sign up with the signed permission slip.

By joining ski club you can get a lift ticket Monday- Friday for $19.

Questions? Please contact Mrs. Gualtieri

Or Mrs. Ludd

"Ski you on the slopes!!"


Sarah's Secret Closet - Clothing for those in need!

Dear SMS Families,

Did you know that we have a clothing closet here at SMS? We do! It’s Sarah’s Secret Closet, and it’s accessible to any SMS student who would like to come pick something out.

Now that it’s winter, we’re running a bit low and are in need of a few items. If you have any items that you could donate, please drop them off in a bag at our main office, and we will come pick them up and take them to our closet.

Our sizes are mainly from children’s size 12 - adult sizes. We do not have many adult sizes, and could use more pants, jeans, shirts, etc.

Items needed:
Warm weather accessories - hats, scarves, gloves, mittens

Boots (in good condition, please)

Accessories - girls’ purses, wallets, backpacks

Jeans/pants - women’s pants (especially skinny jeans) sizes 10-12, men’s up to size 30

Shirts - any size

Sweatshirts - any size


If you’d like your son or daughter to visit the clothing closet, please contact the counseling office or Mrs. Ostheimer at 248.623.4525.

Thank you for your donations!


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Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack is a program designed to provide those students that are on the free and reduced lunch program with enough food for the three meals a day during the weekend. Forms available in the main office.


Birthday Locker Art

SMS Birthday Locker Art

Looking to do something special for your student on their birthday, but don't have the time? Let Student Leadership help you out. We will decorate their locker for you to celebrate their special day. Fill out the form and return it with cash or check made out to SMS. Then leave the worrying to us. When the locker is decorated you will receive an email with a picture of your student’s locker.



Contact Mr. McCall in room 509 for more information, phone 248-623-4545, email


PURCHASER'S NAME _________________________________________________________

Email address(for picture of completed locker) ______________________________

BIRTHDAY STUDENT'S NAME ___________________________________GRADE ________


DATE TO DECORATE LOCKER _________________________________

LOCKER NUMBER(if known) __________________________________

TOTAL $ ___________________


All Locker Art is payable by Cash or a Check to SMS only.


Sports -

WINTER 2015/2016 SPORTS ALL ATHLETES MUST HAVE A SPORTS PHYSICAL DATED ON OR AFTER 4/15/15 ON FILE AT THE ATHLETIC OFFICE BEFORE THEY CAN TRY-OUT OR PRACTICE. CLARKSTON COMMUNITY SCHOOLS REQUIRES ALL ATHLETES TO HAVE INSURANCE. SMS athletes who participated on the 7th grade Football teams and 7th grade Girls Basketball teams have the required paperwork on file and do not need to provide additional copies. Coaches will contact the office to get a list of these athletes. Cross Country and Cheer needs to provide copies from Park & Rec.


7th Grade Boys – Coaches:

Ryan Kaul or Jerry Ostrom

We had a great winning season!!!


7th Grade Girls - First game will be February 19th. Contact the coach Tracee Bowie if you have any questions:


Practice began on Tuesday, January 19th in the 6th grade cafeteria directly after school until 5:00pm every Monday – Friday. All interested wrestlers need to have a completed Athletic and Responsibility packet filled out along with an updated physical. The pay to play fee is $200 for 7th graders. No fee for 6th graders, but they are still required to turn in the forms. All forms can be picked up in the main office. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact either:

Coach Dick Moscovic: or

Dawn Ulrich :

We look forward to a great wrestling season.

Go Wolves!


Study Hall after school daily!

When: School days - 2:30pm to 6:00pm

Where: Room 401

Cost: $4.00 per hour (pay every Monday when you pick up your child) Cash or check payable to SMS

Required Information needed for registration: Parent's name, contact phone numbers, child's name, grade, regular scheduled days and/or drop-in days.

Sign-up at:


Free Tutoring on Sundays at SMS... click here for more info:


Cold and Flu and What to Do?

With the onset of cold and flu season, among other reasons, students may necessarily be absent from school. Whenever possible, please submit a doctor’s note to the main office when your student has one or more medically related absences. These notes will be kept on record and are referenced against a student’s attendance record as needed. Compulsory Michigan attendance law requires that SMS maintains accurate attendance records and those excessive absences are properly reviewed. Appropriate medical documentation helps to support a student’s cause when evaluating a potential truancy concern.