Archive | April, 2013

After School Programs News: April 2013


ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING “EARLY DISMISSAL & NO SCHOOL DAYS:” April 26th and May 3rd.  Please register ONE WEEK BEFORE in order to receive the Early Bird Discount.  Also, please remember that you MUST give us 48-hour WRITTEN notice to cancel any pre-registered care without being held financially responsible.

REMINDER: NO ON-SITE STUDENT CARE May 27th and June 12th-14th.

SPECIAL CLUBS.  There are still openings for the following after school special clubs:






Music Lessons

Music Lessons

Music Lessons

Music Lessons

Music Lessons

Spanish=FULL (11/12 – 6/10)

Italian  (1/8 – 4/16)

Black Belt           (1/23 – 4/24)

RECESS 4-8 (4/11-5/9) FULL

RECESS Jr. 2-3   (3/15 – 4/12)

Basketball K-3 (2/4 – 5/20)

Art K-3       (4/16-5/28)

Art 4-8            (4/24-5/22)

Fast Fact Fun 2-5         (3/14 – 6/6)

Multiplying Madness 3-8         (3/15 – 5/31)

Girls on the Run (3/11 – 5/20)

Swim Lessons (4/16 – 5/14)

Daisies/Brownies (10/10 – 6/5)

Girls on the Run (3/14 – 5/23)

Chess     (3/15 – 5/31)

Basketball 4-8 (2/5 – 5/14)

Dance Team 4-8 (11/7 – 5/29)

Girls Soccer – K

(3/21 – 6/6)

Field Hockey (MS)

(4/12 – 6/7)

Field Hockey (3/4)


Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board down the hall from the parent mailboxes.  We are now working on offering the following clubs and activities for the 2013-2014 school year.  Please contact us at afterschool@hc.wash.k12.mi.us if you or someone you know is interested in coaching/teaching a special club or activity:

4H, Ballet, Baseball, Breakdancing, Campfire, Capoeira, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Dance (K-3), Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music, Football, French, Garden, German, Guys on the Go, Gymnastics, Harp, Hip Hop, History Club, Knitting, Open Swim, Orchestra, Photography, Pilates, Rocks & Robots, Rockets, Sewing, Skateboarding, Spanish (K-2 & MS), Speed Stackers, Spiral Scouts, Soccer (K-8), Study Skills, Tap Dance, Tech, Tennis, Theater, Tutoring, Writing, Yoga, Youth In Government, Zumba,

PLEASE CARE WHAT YOU WEAR.  Recess will be outside everyday.  Except for hazardous weather conditions (lightning, severe storms, wind chill below -10° F), we will always go outside for recess.  There is limited indoor space that allows the children opportunities to move around energetically.  Children should always dress for the weather.  Students must wear snow pants, boots, coat, hat or hood, and mittens or gloves in order to play in the snow and sled.  Students should also wear appropriate rain gear (raincoats and galoshes) on warmer, wet days.  Please check the forecast each day and send students with appropriate clothing.


REGISTER NOW FOR SUMMER CAMP!  Camp is filling up fast.  Please reserve your spot soon to join us for a fun-filled summer.  Also, be sure to check out some of our specialty camps for drama, writing, German, sewing and knitting, and Minecraft Pi.  Information and registration is available outside the After School & Camp Programs office and at http://honeycreekschool.org/summer-program.

Board News: April 2013

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on Wednesday March 27, 2013.

Director’s Report: Al reviewed the overall MEAP scores. Individual reports have been sent home. The enrollment meetings were very successful and we have 230 families on the wait list. The re-chartering process was just completed with final results pending. The Michigan Legislature recently passed a bill requiring schools to begin paying 21% of retiree wages into MIPSERS (teacher retirement plan) which amounts to $16,000 per year for HCCS. The Detroit Free Press is in the process of writing an article on charter schools in Michigan and reporters have interviewed both faculty and staff regarding the uniqueness of HCCS. Al will send an email with a link to the article once it’s completed.

The Fund Development Committee continues on the process of gaining 501c3 status. The attorney is reviewing the information and will submit to the IRS for approval. Al is currently working with an intern who will also be able to assist with development of a fund raising plan.

The Outreach Committee: Nina continues to work on the HCCS story with the ultimate goal to use the information for public relation purposes including a brochure as well as a power point presentation. This can be used for prospective parents as well as for fund raising. The plan is to make this a live document which can continue to be updated.

The Governance Committee reports the director’s evaluation will remain unchanged for this year. The goal is to have a new evaluation form to better meet our needs in place by the fall of 2013.

There will be three vacancies on the Board for the 2012-2013 school year. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Kelly Krawcke at kkrawcke@umich.edu for additional information. Information and the application have been sent via email in March and will be resent the week of 4/15/13.

The Board identified the need to hold a special meeting to review its goals. This was meeting was held Tuesday April 9th. The board reviewed the Strategic Plan. In light of the economic challenges we are facing, one priority is to ensure the Fund Development Committee becomes functional as soon as possible.

Full minutes of the board meetings are available on the HCCS web site for review.

Respectfully submitted,
Kelly Krawcke, Secretary

PTO News: April 2013

March 2013

April’s PTO meeting was all about the details. We reviewed final numbers for the Leveled Library, discussing what was spent and where the money came from. After reports from individuals and committees, the PTO discussed next year’s calendar. We are considering the possibility of rearranging some large, all-school events, to create more balance throughout the school year. (Currently, March and April are very event-intensive.)

We Need You! As the school year nears its end, we need to ask for volunteers for next year’s PTO Executive Committee– particularly a secretary and a co-chair. The SECRETARY is responsible for taking minutes at all meetings, maintaining a permanent file of meeting minutes, sending out correspondence as needed, and taking care of other paperwork as needed. The CO-CHAIR supports the Chair. S/he is responsible for Room Parents, and s/he writes and submits a monthly report to Honey Bunches of Notes. Co-chair is a two-year commitment, with the second year in the Chair position.

Executive Committee members have one additional meeting per month, to organize information and to plan for the all-school meetings. The CHAIR and the TREASURER also serve on the committee.

We will accept nominations at April’s meeting, segueing into May as necessary. Vacancies are filled by a majority vote of members present at the meeting.

California Pizza Kitchen Fundraiser: The fundraiser was a big success! It was wonderful to see everyone at the restaurant at lunch and dinner, and we delivered a large lunch order to the school for interested HCCS/HP teachers and staff. We raised $313!

Thanks: To Matt, for organizing the PTO closet AGAIN, even though it’s since gotten a bit messed up– AGAIN. To the amazing Fine Arts Committee, who put on a great Talent Night and Art Fair, and to Shellee Almquist, Debbie Bailey, Audrey Becker, Sherri Borer, Matt Cyrulnik, Tim Donahue, Adam Druckman, Heidi Ellis, Alex Foulis, Julie Gales, Karen Giltrow, Peter Knox, Deb Lentz, Vanessa Mayesky, Ellen Meader, Doug Miller, Buddy Paul (lighting design), Darnell Talbert, Bill Van Loo, Al Waters, Cindy Wauer, Bruce Warden, and to the long list of parent volunteers who really stepped up on the night of the show and stage set-up. I’m sure we missed many people. We appreciate everything you’ve done. Finally, thanks again to the Fine Arts Festifools team, including Jane Pacheco and Dennis Crawley, who hosted the project build.

Middle School Language Arts News: April 2013

As we head in to April, we are wrapping up the reading of “Romeo and Juliet” and and are moving on to projects and performances.  Each student is working on their own independent project demonstrating their knowledge of Shakespeare and his famous play, and each class is re-writing the script to make their own condensed version.  These will be performed at curriculum celebration, so stay tuned.

Now, we are slowly moving in to our study of poetry.  We will examine a variety of poets and their work, mainly free verse poetry. Students will work to imitate the styles of others as they develop their own poetic voice.  Poetry is exciting for some, but daunting for others. I hope that everyone can reach a new level of confidence through this unit of study.

Middle School Social Studies News: April 2013

Our current unit on Guatemala is as much about psychology as it is about history and culture.  I am interested in seeing how students respond to limited information.  My intention is for them to begin to understand that historical – and current – events are often multifaceted and that it’s essential that we, as good citizens, seek out information from a variety of sources in order to understand the event.  To do so, I presented them with a very biased slideshow explaining the United States’ involvement in a coup in Guatemala in 1954.  They had to respond by writing a persuasive essay explaining whether or not they felt the overthrow was justified.  Then they were presented with the other side of the story and had to an opportunity to adjust their opinions.  In addition to getting them thinking about biases, they were required to support their arguments with evidence.  These activities will lead to a debate in the middle of the month – one in which students will take on a role and argue from that perspective.  Look for the essays and videos of the debates at the Curriculum Celebration.

Middle School Science News: April 2013

We are wrapping up the human body project and have successfully performed surgery on broken parts of each section.  We will be wrapping up the final part of the unit understanding cellular biology and how the simplest unit of life often shows us how complex life actually is.

We will transition quickly to the cells of the plant, as we prepare for spring bloom with plant life. We will look at how plants grow and what factors can affect their timeline.  We plan to make a photographic project out of this and hopefully identify the wonderful plant life in our own backyard here at school.

Middle Elementary News: April 2013

Please make sure you are checking individual teacher blogs for the most frequent and more specific updates.

March went by too fast to do any poetry, so it’s fortunate that April is Poetry Month! Students will (really this time!) learn about figurative language and then read and write poetry. All students will be putting together an anthology to show at our May Curriculum Celebration.

Geometry is on the menu for math. The new Common Core standards have children recognizing all types of shapes and sorting shapes by different attributes. Children also need to be able to find the perimeter of all types of polygons, the area of rectangles and solve problems with the measurement of different shapes. Finally, children have to partition shapes into equal parts which will lead us back to some fractions.

We hope students and parents are using Reflexmath.com. This fabulous resource will be available all summer. Do you know about the Green Light?

Once a student has answered a certain number of facts correctly on a given day,a Green Light illuminates in the upper right corner of the screen.This indicates that the student has met the Daily Usage Requirement.

The Green Light serves two purposes. One, until the requirement is met and the light turns on, students are blocked from spending time on non-instructional activities such as browsing the store or modifying their avatars or progress trees. Two, it serves as an indication that a Reflex session is complete. Students can of course continue to practice by playing the fluency development games, but once they’ve completed the Daily Usage Requirement, they can stop the session if they (or you) so choose.” from Teacher’s Guide on Reflexmath.com

Students had a great time studying force and motion through experiments, readings and videos. We will use these same methods to study properties of matter and learn more about solids and liquids.

Early Elementary News: April 2013

K-1 has begun our last thematic unit of the school year, “My Journey through the World.” The focus of this unit is weather and its role in our world. The children will complete activities and a project to facilitate the following understandings: Learning about the world’s weather helps me to see patterns in the weather, I can make observations to discover weather patterns, and when I see a weather pattern, I can make informed choices.

We began the unit by showing the children a weather report from a local news station. We discussed its features and shared our idea for the final project: making a television weather report. Children were put into table groups at the beginning of the school year and were asked to name themselves after a severe weather event for the purpose of this project. Each table group will now work together to feature their severe weather event in their weather report. Other requirements of the report are to describe the severe weather event, identify some safety precautions for the severe weather, give a five day forecast, and describe weather and activities associated with a particular season.

Each group will be responsible for creating the content and props used in their weather report. To prepare, the children will read books, watch movies, record weather observations, and engage in group discussions. We will film the children and use our i-Movie application for editing to produce weather reports that will debut at the Curriculum Celebration in May.

Speaking of weather, we are finishing our nonfiction writing with a focus on written conventions and will be moving onto a poetry unit in the next weeks with spring weather as our inspiration. In reading workshop, children are learning to retell nonfiction books in preparation for end of the year book projects. Nonfiction retelling includes things like title, author, main topic, facts or details, text features, and word meanings.

In math we are wrapping up a math unit on geometry, graphing, and time, and will be beginning a new unit on problem-solving and fluency. Children continue to work on math fact fluency with a variety of games and strategies. Technology in the form of computer programs and i-Pad applications are supporting the development of these math skills as well.

With the arrival of spring, children will also begin working on AS-L projects identified earlier in the year to improve our school community. Planting in the edible garden, working on the wooded trails, and other class initiatives for reducing resource use will be underway soon!

Later Elementary News: April 2013


The later elementary level continues to grow and learn more every month!  Expectations have been increasing throughout the year and a lot of students really stepped up after mid-winter break.  For those who struggled a little more with these new expectations, this month is a great time to practice organizing time and communicating questions to increase efficiency.
All three classes continue to work on biography projects.  Research should have been completed last month and April will focus on taking those facts and organizing them into rough paragraphs.  The final papers will be on display at the curriculum celebration as well as two more extensions of this project!
In literature it is time to wrap up Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  If you could have been in the classroom to hear students plead to be able to keep reading as we ended chapters you would have been amazed! It’s great to see how touched some students can be by an “older” work of literature.  Students will be tested on comprehension and will write a literary analysis of the book this month.  Of course, outside of school, students are also working on science fiction book projects.  Near the end of the month, they will start science fiction books in class as well. These will be explored in small literature circles.
Students have been using their map-making skills in social studies.  They have been applying these skills to gain better understandings of the colonization of the New World.  The ultimate goal is to be able to describe how the three cultures (European, Native America and African) collided on North American soil.  Throughout the unit students have studied all three cultures but will now get the opportunity to study one more, intensely, in a small group.
In science we just concluded our short unit on electricity.  Kids loved building motors and circuits and making things light up!  This coincided with the vibrobot project taking place in technology and really allowed for knowledge transfer between the two classes.  April sees us beginning the study of the human body.  The first system we’ll explore is digestion, followed by the nervous system.  Others will follow in conjunction with guest experts for each system.  Look for a group project (though it may be in progress!) where students show off their own expertise about a chosen system.
Happy Spring!

Art News: April 2013

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Spring Break and is ready to come back to some more great art projects!  K/1 classes just finished up a great unit on imagination and characters, and 2/3 classes are getting into a fun collage project based on the painter Arcimbaldo.  4/5 classes are beginning a unit on jellyfish which involves a drawing and a 3D mobile project, and Middle School is working on their art unit which studies Indian art and the art of mehndi and radial design.  I am very excited to round out the last part of our school year with such wonderful and creative ideas!

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