Sashabaw Middle School

Newsletter Volume 6 Issue 4 March/April 2015

SMS - from the Principal

Dear SMS Families,

The snow is starting to melt as we turn the corner heading into spring and down the path to the end of the school year. Spring is a very busy time at SMS. Everywhere you look students, teachers and staff are occupied thinking and learning together. We have many events happening in March and April and it’s already time to start planning for the 2015/2016 school year.

SMS facilitated the annual 7th grade Career Day this month with over 30 occupations represented. A huge thanks to our PTA and all of the volunteers that helped us coordinate such a successful day. To see more about the day and pictures from the event, follow us on Twitter@ sms_wolves

We are also preparing for the Michigan Online Standardized Assessment, the M-STEP. This is the first year of the M-STEP for the State of Michigan as it is replacing the MEAP test. This assessment is online and will be administered to both 6th and 7th graders. We are working with our District Technology Department to make sure all our labs are in tip-top shape.

Current Fifth graders will have an opportunity to learn more about Sashabaw Middle School when they come to visit on March 23rd and 24th. Sixth and Seventh Graders still have school that day in order to welcome our young guests. A parent component to that day will be held the evening of the 26th. Current 7th graders already received their schedule cards for 8th grade or can pick one up from the SMS counseling office. The sixth graders will be receiving their cards soon.

The Second Trimester ends Friday, March 13th and grades will be available to view via ParentVue on Friday, March 20th. We will have one final Parent Teacher conference night on April 30th from 4pm until 7pm.

This is just a few of the many happenings coming up at SMS. Good thing we have Spring Break from April 3rd- 10th to spend some time with our families and get ready to tackle the end of this year. Enjoy your time!


Liz Walker


Contact information:


Mrs. Liz Walker, Principal

Mrs. Jennifer Johnson, Assistant Principal

Behavior Interventionist

Mr. Tom McGlinnen, Behavior Interventionist

SMS Counseling

Mrs. Jamie Graves, Counselor for A – K students

Mr. Damon Rocho, Counselor for L – Z students

Calendar of Events


3/11 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:30

3/11 PTA Meeting 9:30 A.M.

3/11 Band Concert CHS/PAC 7:00 P.M.

3/12 Body, Mind, Green Community Expo 5:30 P.M. ~ 8:00 P.M.

3/13 No School for Students (Records Day)

3/23 & 3/24 5th Grade Student Transition Days

3/25 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:30

3/26 5th Grade Transition Parent Night 7:00 P.M.


4/3 No School for Students

4/6-10 Spring Recess ~ School Closed

4/15 PTA Meeting 9:30 A.M.

4/22 Delayed Start Day ~ 8:30

4/30 Parent/Teacher Conferences 4:00 ~ 7:00 P.M.

Attention 7th Graders (and parents) !!!

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:

March 4th: CJHS Parent Curriculum Night was at CJHS for incoming 8th & 9th graders

March 5th & 6th: CJHS Counselors met with 7th Graders during the school day at SMS to present scheduling options (Forms are still available in the SMS Counseling Office.)

March 12th: CJHS Counselors will be available during all 7th Grade lunches to answer questions pertaining to scheduling for 8th grade. Parents are welcome!

March 18th: 7th Graders must turn in a print out of their 8th Grade Course Selections to their Math teachers

March 23rd & 24th: CJHS Counselors will be at SMS to meet with 7th Graders individually to review Course Selections and answer any final questions


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Drama Club

Sashabaw Middle School Drama Club presented...

"Cinderella's Final Dress Rehearsal" on March 5th!

Drama Club Members:

Amelia Ames......|Cynthia Gerst........................|Ezra Moore.................|Annalise Sherwood

Grace Banks.......|Sydnee Hubert-McClennan..|Gabriella Naboychik..|Kennedy Smith

Katrina Benson..|Elyse Kalinowski....................|Olivia Neubeck...........|Samantha Stanek

Jenna Brown.......|Aiyan Lanker.........................|Angelena Perry...........|Halee Tisler

Rose Chiodo........|Jersey McCollough...............|Martin Roe..................|Michael Vangilder

Paige C. Colby.....|Madison McGraw.................|Victoria Saylor.............|Paige Workman

Makayla Ervin.....|Susanna Metz...................... |Audrey Schatz............ |Megan Zabinski

Lizzie Franke.......|Lucy Mohr.............................|Faith Schmeling

Jacob Franz.........|Levi Moore.............................|Lily Schuster

It has been a GREAT year!!!


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Battle of the Books!

The 1st annual Sashabaw Middle School and Clarkston Independence District Library (CIDL) Battle of the Books was held Friday, March 6th. Fifteen teams with 60 students participated. It was a great evening highlighted by great books!

Results of the Battle are as follows:

1st Place: Gaggle of Geeks - Riley Beernink, Nathan Dimmer, Gabe Puzio

2nd Place: The Terrific Trio - Kate Belliveau, Meghan Finnerty, Lori Wilson

3rd Place: Book Busters - Alex Hayward, Carson Funck, Owen Meyer, Mason Randolph

Best Costume: The Bookmarkers - Ricki Hutchinson, Brad Bosley

Best Team Poster: Book Busters

Best Team Name: Gaggle of Geeks

A special thanks goes out to the Friends of the CIDL for supporting this awesome event. It would not have been possible without their help!


Scholastic Book Fairs

The Media Center hosted two successful Scholastic Book Fairs this school year. This is a great opportunity for students to have access to newly published books and oldie-but-goodies. We are thankful for the support of students and parents. We were able to purchase many new books and other items for the Media Center.




If you have not accessed the ParentVUE system and are in need of your activation key, you may email or call the SMS main office for assistance. When emailing please include the following information to allow us to support you better:

- Your Name

- Your Student(s) Name

- Your Student(s) Date Of Birth

- Your Home Address

- Your Phone Number

ParentVUE has information about your student including grades, class schedule, attendance, and more!

Keeping Your Child Safe Online:

Are your children safe while online? Michigan families, especially minors, are becoming inundated with advertisements from alcohol, tobacco, pornography and gambling marketers through different internet and cell phone devices. Texting their advertisements is the newest marketing effort that many of these companies are using. Thankfully, the State of Michigan offers a free program to stop adult advertisements from reaching e-mails, mobile phones (text messaging ads) and instant messenger IDs.

The Michigan Child Protection Registry, like the federal Do Not Call List, is a free do-not-contact service for Michigan’s families and schools and can be located at

Clarkston Community Schools is a strong supporter of this registry and encourages you to sign your entire family up for the registry and inform your friends and colleagues about how they can protect children and families from unwanted adult advertising. To sign up only takes seconds. Just go to and keep your family safe.

Early Dismissal:

Please send in a note for your student to deliver to the front office in the morning before classes begin when early dismissal is required for your student. The note should specify the requested release time and reason. Your student will be issued a pass to present to their teacher so that they can be excused from class at the appropriate time. This policy cuts down on disruptions to valuable classroom instruction and student learning. Thank you for your cooperation!

Attendance Procedure Update:

It is no longer required to call SMS to report your student being absent. Students are allotted a maximum of 6 absences per trimester before receiving a letter from the school indicating a concern. All absences are designated as unexcused in our student information system. In order to excuse your child's absence for illness, please supply a doctor's note. While this will not change how the absence is displayed, we are able to note in the system that a doctor's note has been provided. If you have questions on this procedure, please call the main office at 248.623.4200. Thanks!


Parent Teacher Conferences are Thursday, April 30th from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Please plan to attend these Parent-Teacher Conferences if you have received a request/invitation from your child's teacher. Also, if you have a concern or question to address with any of your child’s teachers, please feel free to attend as well.


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Spelling Bee!

Congratulations to our SMS Spelling Bee Winner, seventh grader, Sam Sonefeld. Congratulations also go to seventh grader Abigail Bullard for her second place achievement. We had a great competition this year with 42 competitors battling through 10 rounds. Sam represented SMS at the Oakland County Spelling Bee earlier in February.

It's never too early to start studying for next year! Students can access or for tips and lists. Students can also play fun word games at Merriam-Webster's Word Central.


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SMS After-School Study Hall

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)

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:


Thank-you to the SMS PTA!

Many thanks to the SMS PTA volunteers who provided our staff with a delicious dinner before the Parent/Teacher Conferences in January. Special thanks to Melanie Wilson who prepared the delicious homemade soups!

Career Day for our 7th Graders was March 10th. Our appreciation to the parents and other professionals in our community for helping make this day a great success. Thanks to the PTA for all their work on this event!

PTA - from the President

The SMS PTA welcomes Kim Schnell to our Executive Board. She is our newly elected Website/Communications officer. In the coming weeks, we will be redesigning our website. Please check it out!

Seventh grade Career Day was Tuesday, March 10th. We had an impressive line-up of speakers who spoke about their professional lives with our students.

The PTA continues to accept nominees for next year’s Executive Board. Details on the duties of these positions can be found on the SMS PTA website at http://www.clarkston.k12.mi. us/education/components/album/ default.php?sectiondetailid= 19961&. The descriptions can be found in the Bylaws, pages 8-10. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please contact Kim Hardtke, SMS Volunteer Coordinator at

If you’d like a say in how the PTA contributes to improving the life of our school, plan to attend one of our monthly membership meetings this spring. At each meeting, we hear from our SMS administrators and vote on mini-grants that fund creative teaching and learning ideas. Remember, it’s never too late to join PTA or become an advocate for your students’ education.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, March 11, at 9:30 AM. We would love to see you there! I welcome your questions and ideas at

Mary Herzenstiel, President

Box Tops for Education

The collection box is in the main office. Thanks for your participation!

Labels for Education Program Earns Gift Cards for SMS!

Have you ever wondered if it’s really worth the time to cut out those Labels for Education labels? Well, let me tell you, it is! 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 at

Market Day

Market Day

Orders for SMS Market Day are due by Monday, March 16th at Payments will only be taken online and no longer at the sales pick-up. Order pick-up is on Wednesday, March 25th from 4:30 to 5:30 in the 7th grade cafeteria.

NEW to Market Day is fresh produce boxes! Fresh apples, grapes, potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, onions, asparagus and seasonal melons will be available for purchase through your Market Day order. Also, available in organic.

Questions contact Pam Aughe at or 248-245-1033.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you haven’t had a chance to submit your Volunteer Opportunities form, it’s never too late! Extra forms are available in the front office if you need one. Additionally, please make sure you are signed up for SMS here: and be on the lookout for volunteer opportunities.

Please contact Kim Hardtke at if you have any questions.



7th Grade Trip to Chicago May 15-17, 2015

Trip News:

Students recently submitted roommate request forms. Once they have all been collected, we will create roommate groups and bus groups. These will be posted in the 7th grade cafeteria in early March. Students will need to know their group number and bus number.

Important Upcoming Trip Related Student Meetings*:

  • April: Date and time to be announced later.
  • Friday, May 8, 2015 – one week prior to departure. This is an after-school event that will last from 2:40 until 5:00. It is important that all students attend this meeting. We are also requesting that all trip chaperones attend this activity as well.

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

Room for a Few More:

The trip initially sold out in a week. We added another bus at that point and two weeks later that sold out. We then added yet another bus to accommodate the long waiting list. With that last additional bus, we still have room for a few more students. It is not too late to register for the trip!

Trip highlights:

· A morning at the Science and Industry Museum

· An afternoon architectural boat tour along the inland water ways of Chicago

· An exciting performance of the unique production of the Blue Man Group; always a group favorite!

· A panoramic view of the night skyline from the top of the Willis Tower, (formerly known as the Sears Tower)

· An evening of fun at the Navy Pier

· An afternoon at the world renown Shedd Aquarium

· Outdoor fun at the beautiful Millennium Park

· Transportation via deluxe motor coach

· All inclusive trip: all meals, tickets, and accommodations covered

SMS Chicago Trip 2014 Payment Schedule:

  • 3rd payment was due February 27, 2015
  • Final payment due March 20, 2015

Direct Payment Inquiries to the travel company: Corporate Travel – 313-565-8888, ext. 122

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


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...

SMS MathCounts - Math Team

The team participated in a trio of competitions in February.

We began with the ‘SMS Invitational’, this PTA sponsored event took place on Wednesday, January 21st here at SMS. MathCounts teams from SMS, CJHS, and Scripps Middle School participated. Next year, we expect to be joined by two teams from Rochester. Team members performed very well at this day-long competition.

On Saturday, February 7th, four team members journeyed to the Detroit Country Day Invitational. The team was represented by these team members: Gabe Puzio, Richard Budny, A.J. Marsala, Evan Borgerson, and Jacob Draksler.

The week after the Detroit Country Day Invitational, 2/21/15, we sent several students to compete in the MathCounts regional competition. The teams did very well! The CJHS first team, featuring SMS student Richard Budny, placed 4th overall in the county.

Oakland Chapter teams typically win the state championship and our CJHS team placed ahead of several traditional math powerhouses.

Of the 75 students who are on the SMS and CJHS MathCounts teams, the following 16 students qualified to compete at the regional event. (Note, many SMS students, by merit of their performance at the SMS Invitational, were able to compete as members of the CJHS team.)

SMS 1st Team........| SMS 2nd Team.........| CJHS 1st Team........| CJHS 2nd Team........

Riley Beernik..........| Ben Hass ..................| Lewyn Beernik.........| Evan Borgerson

Gabe Puzio.............| Evan Bennett............| David Moss..............| Cameron Hempton

Megan Finerty........| Jason Loucks.......... ..| Sam O'Berry............| Bo Anderson

Parker Szachta.......| Luke Snudden..........| Richard Budny.........| Keturah Delcamp

While the group has been meeting since October, new members are always welcome!

The team is split in two groups:

  • 6th grade team – meets on Tuesdays from 2:45 until 4:00 in room 308.
  • 7th & 8th grade team – meets on Thursdays from 2:45 until 4:00, also in room 308.

Team meetings will continue through mid May.

Students will enjoy the competition and the exposure to topics that both enhance and exceed the topics they encounter in their daily math classes. They will be challenged and will improve their problem solving skills.

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.

While the team has been meeting since early October, new members are welcome at any time. 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.

At a recent meeting the group elected the following members to serve as 2014/15 Chess Club officers:

Club President: AJ Marsala

Club Vice President: Evan Borgerson

7th Grade Representative: Will Ho

6th Grade Representative: Avery Kersjes

Representative at large: Ayden Bailey

Club officers have organized a three tier tournament which has been underway for a few weeks now.

For more information contact SMS staff member Howard Andress


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 219 for more information, phone 248-623-4227, 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.


Green School - SMS needs these items to recycle for points!

Hello families!

We are recycling in ASL. We could use all of your help and support! We are recycling for points which can then be used to continue to reach our Green School designation! We can sponsor shelters, children or families in need with these points.

SMS is asking for families to help donate: Go Go Squeez, chip bags, Elmer’s glue sticks/bottles, and Capri Sun juice pouches. Just find one of our decorated recycling boxes for each one of these items located throughout the school. Help the Green Team MAKE A DIFFERENCE!


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More information about free or reduced school meals...

How to Apply?

  1. Parents complete the green paper application and it should be sent via interoffice mail to Food Service. Once I process the app. parents will be notified by US mail. This process can take up to 10 business days once I receive the app.
  2. Parents can also apply at This is recommended, as results are immediate (usually within the same day). Parents will receive a letter regarding the results within 3-5 business days.

How to Pay?

Parents that would like to put $$ into their child's account have a few options:
  • Write a check made payable to CCS Nutrition Department and send with student.
  • Send cash with student (not recommended)
  • Parents can create an account at - they will be able to put money into their child's account and view their child's account activity. The disadvantage is a $2.00 fee per transaction.

Lunch money other options...

Parents that would like to put $$ into their child's account have a few options:
  • Write a check made payable to CCS Nutrition Department and send with student.
  • Send cash with student (not recommended)


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Parent Mentoring Program

Wanted: Caring adults looking to inspire and motivate students!

Sashabaw Middle School is seeking volunteers to support the continuation of its’ Parent Mentor Program. This highly successful program seeks adults who are willing to:

  • spend one hour per week helping a student with organization and/or completion of assignments.

  • be listeners and motivators.
  • inspire and engage students to exceed their own expectations.

If you are available and interested in making a difference in the life of a student, please contact Tom McGlinnen at or at (248) 623-4206.

Interested candidates need to complete an Applicant Authorization for Background Check form; these forms are available in the SMS office or via e-mail upon request. A mentor will be matched up with a student upon completion of the background check.