Archive | October, 2017

Board News October 2017

Honey Creek Community School

Board of Trustees Meeting

September 23, 2017


Board Members Present: Bryan Cole, Bridgette Carr, Matthias Kirch, Barnaby Pung, Melanie Hagan, Megan Masson-Minock, Andy Sheibar, Victoria Bennett

Staff and Community Members Present: Al Waters, Karen Andrews, Megan Rodgers, Mary Bassett


Public Participation: Tom Kovacs

Tom made a request of the Board to change Megan Rodgers’ title from Sustainability Officer to, e.g., Development Officer. He feels the current title is confusing to parents and the public, undermines his professional and personal work, and could potentially harm Megan’s career.

The Sustainability Committee discussed this at their last meeting, and agreed that it would be left to Al Waters and Megan Rodgers to decide.


School Meal and Bad Debt Policies

With regard to the second reading of the School Meal policy and the Bad Debt policy, there were no further questions from the Board.

The Board moved to accept the policies as proposed.


New Business

2016-2017 Audit completed by Yeo & Yeo

Reviewed financial statements, compliance, and internal controls


Financial statements were unmodified



No current issues

Cash reconciliation weakness has been corrected

Up to speed with Title II requirements



A significant deficiency* was noted by the auditors regarding the recording of retirement and wage statements
* Note this is the least serious type of deficiency

These statements need to be signed à this is strictly an accounting rule, but the auditors are suggesting we need to do this

The school needs to understand they have a liability to the teachers

Al Waters to research further why this is a requirement

For contract andf part-time employees, the statement serves as a reminder that their compensation is at a certain level

The Board moved to accept the 2016-2017 audit with additional review.


Strategic Plan Committee Reports

Finance Committee Report:

No questions for the committee.


Governance Committee Report:

No questions for the committee.

Communications / Outreach / Branding Committee Report:

No questions for the committee.


Coming Meetings / Events

October 20 – Fall Festival

October 25 – Board Meeting @ 5:30


Nothing from Staff


Meeting was adjourned @ 8:35 a.m.

PTO News October 2017

Hello HC families, its that boo time of year!

Firstly, I want to thank all that assisted with the walk and run-a-thon. It was extra hot this year but we had a record number of participants! Our projections for revenue are coming in low at $4,000, but we are hoping that is because we don’t have everyone’s pledge totals. Please help get them in via the PayPal link or check.

Don’t forget the spooktacular fall festival on October 20th. STEM and Wellness will be presenting this wonderful night of food and fun activities.

We will be voting on the budget at the next meeting, so feel free to comment on the google doc ahead of time or attend the meeting.

Thanks to the room parents for kicking off social events with popsicles after school, the kids and parents enjoyed them.

Thanks for all the family support!

After School Programs Update October 2017


ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS: October 13th & 20th; January 26th; April 6th & 13th; and May 4th.  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:  November 23rd & 24th; December 25th-January 5th; February 15th-19th; March 26th-30th; May 28th; and June 14th.


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

Girl Scouts  K-3 ACH Beg 2-8 (10/10-12/19) ACH Adv 2-8 (10/11-12/20) Chess K-8 (10/5-11/30) FLL 4-6
MS FH 5-8 (9/11-10/11) MS FH 5-8 (9/11-10/11) Spanish K-8*     

(til 5/17)?

MS CC 5-8 (9/5-11/1) FTC 6-8
Theatre 4-8 (10/2-12/8) Italian K-8 (9/26-12/12) MS FH 5-8 (9/11-10/11) Girl Scouts 4-5
Aerial Silks 4-8 (10/9-5/14) Swim Lessons K-8 (10/10-12/19) Spanish K-8*     

(til 5/17)?

Spanish K-8*     

(til 5/17)?

Art K-8 (10/9-12/11) MS CC 5-8 (9/5-11/1) *Spanish is currently scheduled for Thursdays, but it may switch days.  Stay tuned to the weekly after care email.
JrFLL 1-3
FLL 4-6
FTC 6-8


Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board.  Stay tuned 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., Rock Band, 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



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.


CAFETERIA MICROWAVE USE:  Please do not send your children to school with lunches that need to be microwaved – ESPECIALLY if your child needs assistance.  We do not have enough adults available to help prepare student lunches, and Honey Creek staff will not be held responsible for burned lunches or students.



Service-Learning and building a spirit of service in order to positively impact the world are core components of Honey Creek Community School’s mission.  Curriculum-Based Service-Learning happens in the classrooms, but many students are motivated to serve others outside of school hours as well.  Each year we recognize students and families who spend 50+ hours/year serving others with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.


The deadline to submit hours is June 13th, 2018.  An awards ceremony will be held the following year to honor all recipients.


In the meantime, thank you for supporting our students as they learn to become philanthropists: giving of their time, talents, and treasures to benefit the common good.  In short, thank you for being heroes!


Music Notes October 2017

It has been just the blink of an eye since the picnic until now closing our third full week of school. Honey Creek is like nowhere I have ever worked before, the vast majority of those experiences being in traditional public school districts.

Thank you to all the students, families, faculty, and administration for making me feel so welcome! Its been a learning and teaching pleasure getting started at Honey Creek!

In music we are exploring steady beats, that music is made up of sound AND silence, and learning about the instruments of the orchestra with books like “Zin, Zin, Zin, A Violin”, and “The Remarkable Farkle McBride”. Links to both YouTube videos are on the K-1 tab if you would like to hear them. In October, we are going to continue learning the instrument families, steady pulse, but are going to add different note values, and eventually playing our own rhythms on the classroom instruments.  We have some un seasonal dances planned as well, “The Monster Mash” will be coming up toward the end of the month, and it wouldn’t be fall without a barn square dance!2-3
After getting to know the students a little better over the first few weeks, I felt confident that I would be able to teach this group of 2-3 students how to make some music using some basic rhythms, easy parts, and musical instruments. Starting with a quarter note, quarter rest, half note, half rest, and eighth note pair, we ended with making and singing in parts using the rhythms from the chant “Fuzzy Wuzzy”. This will be a lead into sing and playing two part songs.

In Class we are getting our groove on by learning bucket drumming. We review the notes and rests, learned the proper way to hold sticks, and learned our first rudiment, the Paradiddle, Rudiments are sticking patterns that percussionists use to make things easier to play and communicate to other percussionists about rhythms. This month we will be starting to get ready for the December performance by starting to learn our concert piece as well as writing some percussion ensembles of our own!

Middle School Music Lab
I’ve changed the name of this class because we are going to do so much more in there then just Choir.  Last month we started learning or relearning the ukulele. The performance at the concert will focus on that, but also on the delivery of the performance. Next month, along with the ukulele’s, we will be focusing on singing. I’m ordering a two part choral arrangement of one of the pieces we are playing for the winter performance.

Firebird Band (5th Grade)
Now that we have gotten through the flurry of activity that is the first few weeks of school and most everyone has their instruments, it’s time to start band class! For September we met in separate instrument groups, so I could help individuals with getting started on their perspective instruments. This month we begin with meeting as a full band!!

Band meets Monday – Wednesday which makes a lot of great continuity through the beginning of the week. However that leaves a long stretch from Thursday – Sunday potentially without practice. I am requiring that student practice 40-60 minutes from Thursday – Sunday. I have emailed a Google Form in order for parents to help keep track of how much practicing is going on at home. Please take a look at it, fill it out and submit it. Parents will get this form on Sunday night to record the previous weeks practice minutes. While it won’t directly have an impact on the grade in class, your practice time will be reflected in your playing.

First up Monday – Playing Test #7 in Standard of Excellence!!!!

Phoenix Fire Band
We are just getting started with Phoenix Fire Band since we have been at camp and the zoo. I’ve been spending most of the last few weeks getting to know the kids and their playing strengths. There are some really great fundamental sounds coming from this group and the diversity of instrumentation is perfect. Some of the most exciting developments are we are working on getting a student to switch to tuba to help fill out the ensemble sound. Also because we have so many amazing percussionists, we are going to spend some time letting them develop some percussion ensembles.  Currently we are working on tuning, blending, and playing out with our full breath. We have a few pieces in the folder now that we will be bringing to you on the Winter Concert.

Garry K. Klink
Honey Creek Community School
Music Teacher

Director’s Note October 2017

Greetings all,


The school year is off to a great start, and I appreciate all of the effort to get students here on time each day. I know that the policy was put into place rather abruptly, so I’d like to address some of the concerns that have been brought to my attention.


Let me start by stating that the intent of this policy is to address chronic tardiness and absenteeism. This has been a major problem in Washtenaw County, and Honey Creek has also experienced issues regarding excessive tardiness and absenteeism. I’m also aware that for many, this has not been an issue.


We understand that many families have legitimate reasons for absences and tardies, and we are happy to work with you regarding those absences and tardies.  Of course, our goal will always be to increase attendance; however, this often requires working with families to assure appropriate services are in place to address the challenges impacting attendance. Communicating with us is key to addressing attendance issues and identifying possible solutions. Below is a list of criteria for considering an absence as excused after the sixth absence. Documentation is required:


  • Student’s illness/medical reason
  • Medical appointments (including but not limited to medical, counseling, dental or optometry)
  • Student’s observance of a religious holiday
  • Death in the student’s family
  • Other emergency beyond the control of the student or the student’s family
  • Mandated court appearance (written documentation from court required)
  • Placement by Juvenile Court in detention, shelter care, foster care or residential placement
  • Extraordinary educational opportunities as determined and pre-approved by district administrators (This can include family travels. Please check with your child’s teacher prior to the trip)
  • Absences related to parent/guardian’s military service
  • ▪Homelessness


This policy has already had a very positive impact on our attendance. We have seen a significant decline in the number of late arrivals, and our observation is that student learning time has been increased by as much as 100 minutes per week.  Additionally, we have had the ability to connect families to county services previously unknown to them. Implementation of this policy has enhanced the educational opportunities for all of our students.


We also know that there are events that take place such as inclement weather and accidents. We keep a record of those events on a calendar so that they can be noted in the event we are required to file a report to the county.


I’d also like to ask you to keep safety in mind. The speed limit on campus is 15MPH and 5MPH on the drive in front of the school. We have many children transitioning to and from vehicles, so please be careful as you approach and depart the curb. Please be aware and keep the children safe.


On another note, I’m pleased to announce that Marta England began working as our new art teacher on October 2. Marta has both a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in fine arts. She was granted temporary certification by the Michigan Department of Education and will be pursuing full certification.


Finally, I’d like to thank all of you for your participation in the “Tools for Schools Challenge.” We were falling behind for a few days, but you chipped in when it really counted.


Picture day is October 6, and conferences are scheduled for October 13th and 20th.  The Fall/STEM Festival will take place on the 20th. Watch for messages from the PTO regarding exact times.


I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at our upcoming events!






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