Honey Creek Community School Board of Trustees met December 16, 2015.
Board Members Present: Karen Andrews, Sara Hoffman (arrived at 5:34p.m.), Christine Kelley, Megan Masson-Minock, Pamela Reister, Steve Rich, Greg White.
Staff and Community Present: Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Sue Hofbauer, Mary Bassett, Karen Giltrow, administrative intern Caleb.
Board Spotlight: TerraNova Assessment Results
Al reported on the Terra Nova test, given to second through eighth grade. Because the state has changed to the MSTEP, and data is still not available (from spring 2015), it is important to have some data on student progress; Terra Nova fills this role. In general, Honey Creek students are showing improvement of at least one grade level per academic year (although timing is tricky, as TN was skipped last year to avoid overtesting in the spring). Teachers have the Terra Nova data for each student, and are able to start using it now.
–All classrooms and other meeting spaces will be thoroughly cleaned over break, including spaces above ceilings. After cleaning, Al Waters will test air quality monitor again, although he has not seen readings lower than acceptable in the past.
–Media Center/Art Positions: Long term art sub seems to be doing fine, and has applied for the permanent position. Media Center position has received no additonal resumes from certified candidates; school may consider filling that position with someone without a Media Center credential. Margaret Wessel-Walker is not returning in January, and someone else will need to fill that role.
–Every Child Achieves Act: Replaces No Child Left Behind. Al Waters expects we will see significant changes coming down from the Michigan Department of Education but these must meet Federal standards. Act renews emphasis on visual and performing arts.
–PA 219 may allow individuals that are retired to return to substitute teach in areas with significant sub shortages.
Finance Committee: Greg White noted that board member and Finance Committee member Andrew Banas resigned. Sara Hoffman noted the committee will meet the first Thursday of January at noon. They will be looking at the budget and what recommendations to bring back to the board, including around teacher raises/bonuses. Board will have the 1st reading of the budget in January to be approved in February.
Foundation Liaison: Karen Andrews reported, indicating that the Foundation has approved new bylaws and board member job descriptions. Bylaws should go up on the website. Immediate goals for the Foundation include: maximizing return on the end of year appeal; increasing the number of monthly recurring donors/families.
Governance Committee: Pamela Reiser reviewed the updating and streamlining of the employee handbook.
Communications and Outreach Committee: Christine Kelley reviewed work of the committee, which includes continued liaising between stakeholders, work on monthly newsletter, website, email issues, and promoting volunteerism in the community. Next meeting scheduled for January 15, 2016 at 8:15a.m. in the Office Conference Room.
Branding Committee: Steve Rich noted his intention/mission was to play around with logo ideas for the community to choose, not to step on toes. He is open to what the community wants (perhaps the logo for the anniversary spiritwear). He has communicated with Tammy Hall who was unhappy with the way new logos were heading. A discussion followed with a focus on synergy, to make sure vision is shared by all stakeholders and all stakeholders are invited to collaborate.
Faculty Liaison: Mary Bassett noted the teachers’ confusion about the logo. Also reported teacher concern over lack of raises.
New Business: Replacing board member Andrew Banas. Karen Andrews and Greg White will reach out to potential members. Board members will also keep in mind we need a replacement for Andrew Banas now and begin to plan for the other two openings at the end of the year.
Other Items of Business by Consensus of the Board: Megan Masson-Minock would like to discuss how the three proposed administrative positions relate at a later time. Al Waters reiterated that the board has not made a decision to hire a third administrator, but are considering the idea.
Board Kudos To:
Katie Gates for a wonderful Winter Performance. Marta England for heading up the craft sale, all the parent volunteers and students who participated.
Next meeting is scheduled for January 27, at 5:30 pm. Public participation is warmly welcomed!
Full board minutes are available at http://honeycreekschool.org/who-are-we/the-honey-creek-team/school-board.