The Au Gres-Sims School District

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Hello AGS Community,

Last Tuesday I represented the school district at the Au Gres Chamber of Commerce meeting and an idea was shared with the group that instantly energized me. The idea was not yet fully formed and the plans not yet finalized, but the concept struck me as a brilliant way for our community to come together during this time of distress. I resolved at that moment to be a part of this idea and to do anything in my power to support this initiative. At this point, you are probably wondering, what was that idea?

The idea is a program called SOAR, an idea developed by Mayor Mike Hoadley to Support Our Area Restaurants. We are privileged in Au Gres to have four fantastic eateries. These restaurants are social gathering places and each offer so much more than food to our community. With the COVID spike that we've seen over the last couple months, these proud businesses have had to close their doors to in-person dining and I've witnessed their creativity in working within the parameters of the orders to stay open. The SOAR program is an equally creative way for the Au Gres community to support these fantastic local businesses.

The plan is simple, but it has the power to help out our own AND provide a fantastic value to patrons.

  1. Over the next week, the organizers of SOAR strive to raise as much as possible with a target of $15,000 in donations. The recent stimulus package has begun to be distributed and this money is drastically needed by many in our community. For others who do not have the same level of need for the stimulus money, it is an opportunity to support one another.
  2. That goal money will then be equally distributed to B's, H&H, T&C, and Ali's for the purchase of $15 gift certificates (Each restaurant makes money at the start!), an equal number from each restaurant.
  3. These gift certificates will then be packaged into groups of 4, 1-$15 gift certificate from each restaurant. The packets, a $60 value, will be sold for $40 at each of the restaurants (another opportunity for our restaurants to make money!).
  4. The proceeds from these sales will then be used to repeat the cycle until the donation fund becomes depleted. That means that this program has the opportunity to raise close to 3 times what is raised initially for our area restaurants!

I hope that you are reading this and getting as excited as I was the first time I heard it. The question that remains is, how can you help? You can help in three ways:

  • Donate to the start up fund. If you are in the financial position to use some of your stimulus money to get this off the ground, that is a great place to start. Donations can be made in the following ways: PayPal to recipient '' or Checks made payable to 'SOAR' and submitted to City Hall or Dale Wiltse or Mike Hoadley
  • Purchase the gift certificate packets ($60 value for the cost of $40) and use them at our local establishments. Everybody has to eat,! Why not do it and save money in the process of helping our local businesses? The plan is for the gift certificates to be purchased, packaged, and ready to sell and use on February 1st!
  • Spread the word. We all know that Au Gres is a great place. Making sure that your friends and family hear about this program is another way to ensure it's success and the prosperity of our local restaurants.

If you have any questions about the program or wish to make a donation you may send an email to You may also call Mike Hoadley at (989) 326-0439 or Dale Wiltse at (989) 313-0608.

Have a great weekend everybody. #WolverinesLead #AGSInThisTogether #AuGresSOARs

-Mr. Ming

Au Gres SOAR
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As we transition into a new semester, I’d like to pass along some information and a few reminders. First of all, report cards for our Elementary students are being sent home today. For our MS/HS students, report cards will go home on Monday. This one day extension is due to our delay in getting exams complete on schedule and grades entered accordingly. Looking to next week, as a reminder, we have picture retakes on Friday, January 29. This is for all students, both virtual and face to face. The time slot for elementary is from 8:30-10:30 am. The time slot for MS/HS is from 12:30-2:30 pm. All virtual students need to enter through the main office. One other date that to make you aware of and prepare for accordingly is Wednesday, February 10, which is our second pupil accounting day of the year. This is also a virtual day so logging in to complete work or attend a Google Meet is vital in helping us get our allotted funding.

Between the pandemic and Michigan’s dreary, cold weather keeping us inside, it’s hard to not be depressed at this time of the year. Here are some tips to beat those winter blues.

  1. Schedule some 1 on 1 time with family and friends.

Although it may be difficult, make an effort to connect with loved ones. It can be small things as simple as having coffee or taking a walk together or calling someone on the phone.

2. Get outside and de-stress.

Sunlight matters! Researchers say getting sun is best in the morning when the rays are the strongest. Getting some fresh air and exerting some effort may also help you sleep better, which is another important factor in good health.

3.Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you don’t know if you should see a therapist, then you probably should. One good thing which Covid has brought about is that there are now more opportunities to get help through apps, telemedicine, and other mental health resources.

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From the Desk of Mrs. Socha

It is always so nice to start something off new with a clean slate. That is how a new semester always feels. This past Tuesday felt just like that! It almost felt like the 1st Day of School, seeing some faces that we haven’t seen for a while! I hope that all students take advantage of this clean slate to journey through this next semester with the knowledge and skills that they have learned last semester. Whether it is continuing with routines and strategies that worked well, or making adjustments to be more successful this time around - please know that we continue to be available to guide students through this semester!

Week 1 of NWEA is now wrapping up, and we are headed into week 2. As I mentioned last week, the secondary students had a schedule change due to the exam schedule being pushed back, but were able to complete their reading assessment this week. Elementary completed both reading and math. We will wrap up testing in elementary next week, with make-ups happening the first week of February. Secondary will continue testing in math and science next week and complete the language test and any make-ups the first week of February. I have also been testing our virtual students, and those sessions will continue over the next 2 weeks as well. This data is very important, as it is one of the ways that we monitor the progress of our students and identify their areas of need.

Finally, as the marking period comes to a close, we get to celebrate accomplishments with things like honor roll awards and citizenship awards. For secondary, this means we will have our first marking period winner of the 2020-2021 school year!! Points are being calculated as the information comes in, and we will have a winner to announce soon. Since we cannot travel to outside locations for team rewards at this time, we have some ideas of what we might think would be a cool reward, but we will get some input from the winning teams as well! With the new marking period started, it is another clean slate for all teams to start the competition over!

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Supporting Someone With Depression

We are in the middle of winter in Michigan, dealing with the COVID 19 Pandemic and its restrictions on socializing, all while trying to do our best in our roles as student, parent, teacher, etc. It is not surprising to see rates of anxiety and depression on the rise. But what can we do to help? To support someone who is experiencing depression, here are some guiding principles:

1. Accept the condition. Depression is not simply a “bad mood” or a passing case of “the blues.” Depression is a serious medical condition that affects not only the individual, but everyone who cares about them.

2.Start a conversation. Show compassion. Demonstrate your support, Provide hope and be there to help.

“I may not really understand what you’re going through, but I am here to support and listen to you.”

“I’m worried about you. “Have you considered reaching out to a mental health professional for additional support?”

“You are not alone. Many people suffer from depression. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

“What can I do to help?”

“Call or text me if you need support or you just want to talk”

3. Cultivate a “we’re in this together” attitude.The presence of depression can feel isolating. Fostering a partnership confirms that you intend to work together to overcome the obstacles ahead.

4. Encourage treatment. Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult-- they may believe their situation is hopeless or cannot be improved by professional treatment. Offer to go with them to health care appointments and help them prepare by putting together a list of questions. Help them stick with their prescribed treatment plan.

5. Do not blame the person who is depressed, or yourself. Nobody – not the person with depression nor his/her parents, family or peers – is responsible for the occurrence of depression.

6. Discuss, plan, and execute an action plan. Talk with the person who is depressed about things you might do together. Taking a walk, doing yoga, or simply talking on the phone can inspire them to get through bad days and provide a needed respite for everyone involved.

7. Take immediate action when needed. If your friend or loved one is suicidal or very ill, you may need to accompany him/her to the emergency room.

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Athletics Update

At noon today (Friday) we received the news that by emergency order contact sport games will not be permitted as we hoped starting on February 1st. An emergency order that will run from 2/1 through 2/21 continues the prohibition on games and restricts us to practices only while maintaining strict mask wearing and distancing guidelines.

The MHSAA came out with a statement shortly afterward that they would be taking the next couple of days to meet as a council to make adjustments accordingly. They added that the MHSAA is committed to three seasons of sports.

We will make more information available when we know it.

Mark Your Calendars

  • Jan. 27: Virtual Day of Instruction, all students
  • Feb. 3,10,17,24: Virtual days of instruction for all students
  • Feb. 15: Regular Board of Education meeting, 6pm
The student-written Wolverine Wake-up is moving. With the change in the semester and testing, there is no edition this week. Look for a revamped and newly formatted version starting next week, now under student editor leaders!
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