Aggie Connection

November 2022

Mission Statement: Sand Creek Community Schools is committed to delivering an effective 21st century educational program that prepares its students to live happy, healthy, productive, and successful lives.

Superintendent Update

Dear Sand Creek families,

What a beautiful fall we have had! I know the cold winter is right around the corner, but I am soaking in as much of this great weather as I can.

Wow, November is here, and the holiday season is right around the corner. I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. As always, I am so thankful for my husband and my family. I am also very thankful for my Aggie family and for a great start to the 2022-2023 school year. It has felt great to have a more normal school year and be able to focus on the education of our students.

Please take a moment to read through this newsletter, as it contains some good information and important updates.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Click here for a video message from your Superintendent.

Sharon E. Smith

Superintendent/Chief Financial Officer

Sand Creek Community Schools

6518 Sand Creek Hwy.

Sand Creek, MI

Ph. 517-436-3108

Fax. 517-436-3143

Coming Soon...Coffee Hour with the Superintendent

The first quarterly "Coffee Hour with the Superintendent" will be held in the Sand Creek Jr./Sr. High School cafeteria on Monday, December 5th from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

This opportunity is for parents and community members to stop in, grab a cup of coffee, a pastry and chat. Hope to see you there!

School-wide Focus on Literacy and Math at Ruth McGregor Elementary

The teachers, support staff and administrators are "kicking it up a notch" in its literacy and math support. Ruth McGregor’s literacy program is critical for academic success. It is extremely important to continue to plan, assess and track, since reading and writing skills are incorporated into all the subject areas. However, despite everyone’s best efforts, we are still trying to overcome the academic effects that COVID-19 has had on our students.

Ruth McGregor’s main literacy goal is to plan and provide instruction that meets the needs of all students through differentiation. Teachers and support staff take the time to acknowledge and address the wide range of skills that exist in each of the classrooms. Our students are benefiting from the direct efforts of differentiated instruction that serves the needs of the most struggling students, to those that require more aggressive and rigorous lessons. We plan and use the differentiated lessons to accelerate the development in kindergarten and first grades, and then to function as either an intervention or extension of the curriculum in second grade and above. We have become very good at differentiation by assessed needs.

Differentiated instruction is planned based on simple assessments. We assess students using tools such as our McGraw Hill curriculum, DRA and NWEA. These tools allow us to identify specific needs and target those needs immediately. Once identified, we choose among their needs and focus on only one or two. To ensure that every student receives the support they deserve and are entitled to, we employ committed and trained literacy aides. The literacy aides work alongside teachers to build foundational skills as quickly as possible and to increase meaningful reading when foundational skills are strong.

Yes, COVID-19 has had a negative impact on learning. However, we are not using this as an excuse. Instead, we have a set of goals and assurances made to each other, to teachers, and ultimately to students and families. We work hard to isolate problems early and provide a safety net for students that need more support.

These efforts include a goal to add additional literacy AND math intervention support in all grade levels. The future addition of more intervention support fits into our plan to strengthen our already strong and effective literacy program.

We are proud of the work we are doing in identifying and meeting the needs of our students. And, we have data to prove that Ruth McGregor has one of the best literacy programs in the county!

Great job Ruth McGregor staff!

Sand Creek Craft Show - 2022

The 42nd Annual Sand Creek Craft Show is just around the corner! Saturday, November 19th is the big day! This event will once again be held in the Sand Creek Jr./Sr. High School with doors opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 3 p.m. Admission is $3.

This year's show will feature over 240 booths of handcrafted items and antiques. 100% of the proceeds benefit Sand Creek students through funding of staff mini-grants. There will also once again be a Silent Basket Auction with 100% of those proceeds funding a senior scholarship.

Contact 517-436-3124 or with any questions.

Hope to see you there!

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Staff Spotlighting Staff

Three staff members are being recognized for their contributions to Sand Creek Schools.

Ms. Olivia Cagle, Mr. Darin Marsh and Mrs. Becky Serin were all nominated by co-workers and are spotlighted below in this November edition of "Staff Spotlighting Staff".

Olivia, Darin and Becky - thank you for your contributions to Sand Creek Schools!

Program in the Spotlight: Food Service Program

I chose our district Food Service Program to highlight in this edition of the Aggie Connection. Our cafeteria staff work hard all school year long to provide nutritious and delicious meals, all within the constraints of strict USDA nutrition guidelines, increasing food cost and increasing food shortages and supply chain issues. This year, both kitchens are working to add new menu items for students to try. Many of these new menu items have met with positive student response.

This fall, the elementary cafeteria has purchased a steamer unit. With this addition, they have been adding some exciting new meals and have already seen an improvement in the quality of their hot veggies. Last month, the elementary students were introduced to Waffle Flavored Chicken and Waffle as a new entree item. For many of them, this was the first time they had been exposed to this southern entree. Sounds delicious!

The 6-12 cafeteria has also been experimenting with new menu items. New favorites include Chili Cheese Fries, Italian Dunkers and Alfredo Pasta! Over the coming months, the food service staff will continue to rotate new entree items into the menu along with the long-time favorites - pizza, Bosco sticks and popcorn chicken. A nutritious, fresh salad bar and veggies is also offered every day.

Thank you, Sand Creek Food Service staff, for your efforts every day to provide a nutritious meal, with a smile!

If you see one of our "Lunch Ladies", let them know you appreciate their efforts!

  • Laurie Boss
  • Sindy Hallett
  • Hollie Hillard
  • Taylor Lulham
  • Shannon Maxson
  • Joni Music
  • Dawn Ohlinger
  • Jodi Schoonover
  • Marsha Osgood
  • Kristine Waltz

Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2022 Clean School Bus Rebates

This past August, Sand Creek Schools applied for the competitive EPA 2022 Clean School Bus Rebate grant. This nationwide competitive grant was for funding for electric school buses. Our decision to apply was made after we were informed that even if we were one of the few school districts to receive the grant, it did not mean we would have to move forward with the purchase.

This past week, we found out that Sand Creek Schools was one of only 400 districts in the country to receive this grant award. Our grant award amount would cover the purchase of two electric buses, along with the charging infrastructure.

We have many questions and a lot of information to gather on this grant opportunity and on the electric bus itself. Yes, we received the grant award, but a decision has not yet been made to move forward with this purchase. We now have research to do and need our questions answered, before taking this to the board of education for discussion. We will be working on this over the next few weeks. Per board policy, regardless of the grant status, the purchase must be approved by the board.

Please feel free to contact me with an any questions or concerns regarding this grant opportunity.

Facility Committee Meeting

The Sand Creek Board of Education has spent quite a bit of time discussing our facility needs and the recent Facility Survey results. Although the survey participation was low (less than 5%), the results were positive enough that the board would like to move forward with next steps. The next steps consist of gathering the data and information needed to allow district voters to make informed decisions.

Of the district voters that responded, 67% were in favor of a bond issue for the stated needs in the survey. Another 18% replied they were “Not Sure”, with the biggest reason for this being they needed more information. Although most of the 18% said they understood and agreed with the stated need, their decision would depend on several factors that are unknown at this time, the largest being the total cost and what the total final project would include. These are very valid points.

The board instructed me to organize a Facility Committee group composed of representatives from various district stakeholder groups to begin the work of gathering this information. This will include an overall list of needs and wants, getting plans finalyzed, seeking cost estimates and then getting the information out to our community and district voters. Once we have gathered this data, we will hold informational sessions and send out communications.

The first Facility Committee Meeting will be held on Monday, November 7th, at 6 p.m. in the Ruth McGregor Elementary building. Committee meetings are open to the public.

Election Day - November 8, 2022

Election day is right around the corner - Tuesday, November 8th. Along with mid-term election races, Sand Creek residents will also have three open Board of Education seats on the ballot.

The board candidates are:

  • Jennifer Bennett
  • Clint Brugger
  • Isaac Brugger
  • Rosemary Huston
  • Randy Olson (incumbent)

Please check out our district website for contact information for each of these candidates.

Please get out and vote!!

"Welcome to Sand Creek"

We would like to welcome the following new staff members to Sand Creek Schools! Let me introduce you to our newest Aggies.

Please see their short "bios" below.

Did You Know???

Did you know that Ruth McGregor Elementary had its very own running club this past fall??!

During the months of September and October, elementary students in grades 2nd -5th had the opportunity to participate in Aggie Youth Run Club. Practices were held on Mondays and Thursdays for one hour after school. During practice students learned specific warmups, stretches, and running techniques in order to become familiar with and better at running. Students were also given a healthy snack and learned about the importance of good nutrition and exercise and how it helps promote a healthy lifestyle. They participated in two races that were one mile in length and took place at the high school using the Sand Creek Cross Country course. The final event was the Sand Creek Fun Run, which was held on Monday, October 24th.

Great job to all of those students involved in Aggie Youth Run Club! Take a peek at the pictures below to see this group having some fun running!!

What's Happening This Fall


  • 10th - Red, White and Blue Jeans Day
  • 18th - No School - Teacher In-Service Day
  • 19th - Craft Show
  • 21st - Board of Education Monthly Meeting
  • 23rd - Half Day of School
  • 24th-25th - No School - Thanksgiving Break


  • 1st -Gingerbread Night - Elementary
  • 5th - Band Concert - 5th - 12th grade
  • 21st - Half Day of School
  • 22nd - Half Day of School
  • 23rd - Winter Break Begins


  • 3rd - Classes Resume
  • 16th - No School - MLK Day


OK2SAY: a confidential way to report anything that threatens student safety. Tips can be submitted 24/7 by phone, text, email, mobile app, or via the OK2SAY website. Tips on bullying, suicide talk, weapons at school, or threats.
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Have Feedback?

We welcome our readers' comments, suggestions, and photo submissions. Contact Sharon Smith at