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Archive | May, 2017

PTO News 2017

Thanks to all that made teacher appreciation week a success. We are so happy to have the wonderful community of teachers and staff.
The garden cleanup date was fairly successful this year with the Honey Creek families partnering with Gretchens’s House families to weed, build garden paths, and lay compost in the Honey Creek playground and A-wing gardens and the Gretchen house playground gardens. With additional help from K-1 classes, Erica Melnykowycz, and several Honey Creek classes on Earth Day we were able to plant nearly all seedlings and seeds in the gardens. The playground garden has peas, kale, and turnips now visible and onions, broccoli, lettuce, shallots, carrots, arugula, and various herbs while the A-wing garden has blueberry plants, cabbage now visible, and potatoes. The only cold-season plants not planted are strawberries, which the girl scouts will plant in the A-wing garden on Monday May 8. I will lead a Honey Creek garden caretaker meeting on Wednesday May 17 at 3:30 PM. We will meet outside the greenhouse. Anyone interested in helping out with the caretaking of the Honey Creek gardens are invited. All that is necessary is watering, weeding, and harvesting.
The wellness committee has lots of volunteer needs:
1) 4/5 Maturation Unit May 11 – The Wellness Committee puts together a goodie bag for the 4/5’s health unit coming up.  The materials are already purchased, we just need a volunteer to sort and bag them on Thursday, May 11 during school. It should take one person less than an hour. Contact janeden@sbcglobal.net
2) PE Play Day June 2 – The Wellness Committee assists with PE Play Day by providing fruit, water/water bottles, sweat bands, and popsicles.  We need one helper to buy and bring fruit that day (you will be reimbursed) and 2-3 helpers to move large water jugs to the field. Contact jjosefos@umich.edu
3) Farm to School 2017-2018 – Throughout the year the Wellness Committee sponsors a monthly Farm to School Try-It day which features samples of local fruit or vegetables in the cafeteria. Big thanks to Eric and Christine for running this program this year!  Next year we will need more champions!  Please let us know if you are interested in helping with this program. A lot of the planning is done during the summer months and you will have help. Contact janeden@sbcglobal.net
4) Edible Garden Caretakers Summer 2017 – The Wellness Committee also sponsors the Edible Garden. Tom Kovacs is helping coordinate caretakers this year. Sign up here to help.
The PTO has put together a volunteer listing for all the fun events and jobs we need filled at our school for next year. Please consider signing up for one of these jobs so they do not go unfilled for next year. When we become a member of HC, we pledge to volunteer to make this school more successful. There are a lot of volunteers positions for our small family, please make sure you are fulfilling your pledge.
As the year draws to a close, we want to especially thank all that give their time and resources to make our school the best it can be. Don’t forget to do your part as and lobby for our school using the letter that was sent via email on May 1, 2017. If you need a copy please email hccs.pto.cochair@gmail.com.
Thanks again,
HCCS PTO

Board News May 2017

Board Meeting Summary from April 26

 

Director’s Report

  • Maturation Curriculum: The middle school maturation curriculum has been approved internally. Next step is community review.
  • Expansion: Discussions with AALC are ongoing.
  • Testing: Ongoing; we are nearing the end of the first testing cycle.
  • Sustainability Officer: A candidate for the Sustainability Officer has been identified and an offer has been presented. Staffing: Alexa Korpal will be starting her maternity leave on May 8. Casey Fry will be her long term substitute. Kim Gallagher will fill in for Casey as a second grade instructional assistant.
  • Federal Charter Grant Review: Al was invited to participate in reviewing the State of Michigan’s application for federal charter school grants.

 

Governance Committee

  • We had several applicants, including a strong contender, for the sustainability position.
  • Revised employee compensation document will be added as new business at the April board meeting.
  • We discussed next steps for the new crowdfunding policy; it needs to be reviewed by MASB.
  • For future attention: finance committee may consider modifying policy in regards to staff salary bumps. Continuing education is currently not rewarded but perhaps should be.
  • We reviewed some of the recommendations from the AdvanceEd accreditation report.
  • Next year, 2017/18 school year, a predictable series of professional development education, perhaps training at meetings or video tutorials for the Executive Board will be enacted.
  • Prospective HCCS families, have been walking in and asking to enroll. We would like to review the priority enrollment policy for siblings of current students, children of faculty, children of board members.
  • We reviewed the new countywide absenteeism and tardy policy.

 

Finance Committee

  • Discussion of building changes in light of departure of beauty school.
  • Management Company: no update
  • Consulting Services: requires further discussion with AALC if they identify needs and funding.
  • Calendar: discussed the calendar with early Friday dismissal and with a focus on decreasing the half days. The Calendar is ready for Board review now; we conducted the first reading of the calendar.
  • Budget Numbers for 2nd Campus: Superintendent sent our request on to the board.
  • Updated budget numbers for Honey Creek current fiscal year: no new numbers yet. Updated budget will be presented in May and the first reading of the proposed budget for 2017-2018.

 

Communications and Outreach Committee

External Communications

  • Marketing Materials; We’ve been awarded $500 towards the production of our branding brochure. We’re finalizing the files currently and will begin production ASAP.
  • Community Outreach: Email reminding the community of the importance of participation sent by Al on 4/23
  • Social Media: We are reviewing the HCCS Facebook properties and beginning consolidation into one “official” page. One student’s mother reached out and can potentially help.
  • Website – ADA compliance: We’ve requested an estimate to assist in the ADA-compliance website project; still awaiting a quote. Plan is to solicit a grant to cover cost.

 

Internal Communications

  • Liaison with Faculty: Discussion about continued need for informal discussion about ongoing communication issues and potential improvements.
  • Teachers have requested new employee handbook and compensation outline; administration is working on these.
  • Liaison with PTO/Foundation/High Point: Descriptions of open PTO positions were sent out by Sharon Maccini. Room parents will be asked to send out an email directly to classrooms to push volunteerism and remind them of parent pledge. Discussed email campaign to differentiate these from all the other types of email.
  • Foundation: 2016 best year yet for fundraising. Spring appeal to follow.
  • High Point: Goal is to finish HC calendar sooner to better coordinate with High Point and reinstate joint teacher appreciation lunch.

 

After School Programs May 2017

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS:May 5th.  If you have not already registered online, please register by emailing afterschool@hc.wash.k12.mi.us.  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 DURING BREAKS OR ON CERTAIN HOLIDAYS.  This includes May 29th and June 14th.

 

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

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY
Girl Scouts  K-3 (til 6/5) Skateboarding K-8 (til 5/16) Handwriting 2-5 (March 8th-5/31) Chess K-8 (1/19-5/18) Aerial Silks 3-8              (1/20-6/2)
Flag Football 6-8 (til 5/16) Spanish K-8      (til 6/7) GOTR 3-5 (3/16-5/25) Spanish K-8    (til 6/2)
Italian 6-8 (1/17-5/9) FTC 6-8 (1/26-5/16)
FTC 6-8 (1/26-5/16) Field Hockey 2-4 (4/13-6/1 or 6/8)
Art  K-8 (til 5/16)
GOTR 3-5 (til 5/23)
Swim Lessons K-8 (til 5/30)
Volleyball 2-8      (til 5/16)

 

Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board.  Planning will now begin for Fall 2017 for the activities listed below and others.  Please email afterschool@hc.wash.k12.mi.us if you are interested in leading one of these activities or would like to suggest others:

 

4H, Ballet, Baseball, Campfire, Capoeira, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Cross Country Skiing, Dance, Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music, Fitness, French, Gaming, Garden, German, Golf, Guitar, Guys on the Go, Gymnastics, Harp, Hip Hop, Japanese, Juggling, Knitting, Korean, Open Swim, Orchestra, Personal Training, Photography, Pilates, R.E.C.E.S.S., Rocks & Robots, Rockets, Sewing, Soccer (K-8), Speed Stackers, Spiral Scouts, Star Fleet Academy, Strings, Study Skills, Stunts, Tap Dance, Tech, Tennis, Tutoring, Writing, Yoga, Youth In Government, Zumba

 

RECESS & LUNCH

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, and mittens or gloves in order to play in the snow and sled.

Director’s Note May 2017

Dear Families,

 

Thank you to those of you who responded to my survey regarding an early dismissal time on Fridays. For the most part, responses were very positive; however, there were some concerns raised that I would like to address.

 

The challenge around scheduling developed when the state of Michigan increased the number of mandatory school days in the school year. The mandate required us to increase our schedule from 175 days to 180 days. Our present calendar is 180 days. We are unable to increase the number of days off during the school year or end the school year earlier in June and remain in compliance with state law.

 

Our building is shared with three separate schools, which presents many challenges to our scheduling, so changes to our schedule often require us working with High Point and Gretchen’s House to modify their schedules. If we were to shorten the school day by ten or fifteen minutes, we would not have adequate time to provide many of our specials classes without creating significant inequities in class length. This is largely controlled by availability of the gymnasium and pool as well as lunch service. A Friday dismissal at 2:10 allows us to take advantage of the two gym slots that are presently available without reducing specials class periods or creating inequities in class times.

 

The shared space also creates challenge for a later start time. High Point busses begin arriving at 8:30, but unloading those busses can often take until 9:15. We need to keep traffic clear until the unloading is complete, which would lead to a start time of 9:30 am, and a dismissal time of 4:30 pm. It would also require both High Point and Gretchen’s House to significantly modify their day schedules. This too would be a burden for many families, and it would significantly limit the number of after school activities that we presently are able to offer.

 

The administration and school board have had several discussions regarding the impact a Friday early dismissal will have on families. At this time we are strongly considering providing aftercare services from 2:10 until 3:15 on Fridays without charge; families would be asked to pay the annual aftercare registration fee.

 

If you have other questions or concerns, the survey link remains open:

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8ZBH3CJ

 

You are also welcome to attend our next regular board meeting which is scheduled for May 24 at 5:30 pm in the PIT. There is an opportunity for public comment at the beginning and end of the meeting.

 

With the end of the year nearing, we have some important events coming up.  Our Curriculum Celebration is on May 19th from 5 to 7 pm, and our Spring Concert will take place on May 25th at 3:30 pm. On June 2nd we will hold PE Play Day, so pack a picnic lunch and come out and join us.

 

Best,

 

Al

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