Archive | December, 2017

Board News December 2017

Honey Creek Community School
Board of Trustees Meeting
October 25, 2017
Board Members Present: Wayne Millette, Victoria Bennett, Megan Masson-Minock, Melanie Hagan, Barnaby Pung, Matthias Kirch, Bryan Cole
Staff and Community Members Present: Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Megan Rodgers, Mary Bassett, Karen Giltrow, Sue Hofbauer
Public Participation: None
Board Spotlight: 2016-2017 Audit Review 
Al Waters gave a power point presentation reviewing the 2016-2017 Honey Creek Community School Audit. Discussion included the question on whether or not Yeo & Yeo might help with the backing up of Quickbooks and Retirement. Shellee Almquist replied they would not. Megan Masson-Minock requested Shellee Almquist to let her know if she needed any help. Fund Balance is at $534,000. Review Honey Creek Form 990 and 8879-EO Al Waters asked the board to read section B #15 Policy before the November 29, 2017 board meeting. It will be on the November agenda under Old Business.
Director’s Report
Written report in board packet. Facilities Al Waters reviewed the remodeling recommendations sent to the ISD for the B-Wing, C-Wing, and the D&A corridor and noted the remodeling will happen in stages and would take two to three years. Discussion followed.
School Finance Research Collaborative 
Al Waters participated on the Very Small School District Panel for the School Finance Research Collaborative on October 17th and 18th. The panel came up with how many FTE staff it would take to run a small, general education school, a preschool, and a school for high risk students by percentage of high risk students and special needs students. Final report due in January and will be shared with the board.
Terra Nova testing for 3rd through 8th graders will begin early November. Wayne Millette congratulated Al Waters on Honey Creek’s Terra Nova test scores being higher than surrounding schools. A hand out on the Spring M-STEP 2016-17 proficiency rate comparison results were reviewed with the board. Significant changes to the Spring 2018 M-Step will include:
– Removal of all performances tasks in ELA grades 3,4, 6 and 7
– Removal of short constructed response items in ELA for all grade levels
– Addition of writing a text analysis in ELA for all grade levels
– Assessing science in 5th and 8th grades (change from 4th and 7th)
– All students in grade 5th and 8th will participate in a science field test (replaces an operational test)
Al reported Federal funds are coming our way. A new grant Title 4 $10,000 and Title 3 $3,000 with focus on climate and openness in the school.
Faculty Liaison
No report.
Foundation Liaison 
Melanie Hagan noted they are hiring a part-time bookkeeper and that she will be reviewing the contract. Letters will be going out to to the community in November, Spring and the beginning of the next school year.
PTO Report
Written report in board packet. Barnaby Pung reviewed the report that included the following:
• PTO is interested in seeing the Strategic Plan
• PTO discussed grants and how to write them
• Passed a budget that included $10,000 for teachers to buy materials for their classrooms that can be used over the next several years
• Al Waters was asked about the school’s start time and converting the pool from chlorine to salt water. WISD has no plans to do that.
Strategic Plan Reports
Finance Committee
Committee did not meet.
Governance Committee
Written report in board packet. Bryan Cole noted the Director’s Evaluation will be on the November agenda. Melanie Hagan mentioned the upcoming MASB Director Evaluation conference for any board members interested.
Megan Rodgers attended the meeting and shared the committee is looking at putting together a sample communication plan for emails, newsletter and other communications.
Sustainability Committee
Barnaby Pung noted the committee is moving forward on their 90 day goals. Combining 1 & 2 organizational comparisons with draft recommendations for the meeting.
Facilities Committee
No report.
Old Business
New Business
2017-2018 Strategic Plan 
Wayne Millette moved to accept the 2017-2018 Strategic Plan supported by Bryan Cole. Motion was approved by all board members present.
Board Kudos
• Families and Staff who participated in the grade level Popsicle Socials
• Angie Tracey and all the parents and staff who helped with the Run-A-Thon and especially to all of the students who worked so hard to raise money for the school
• Teachers, parents and students for participating in conferences, and to the families who contributed food for the teachers on conference days and special thanks to Marolyn Valenzuela for organizing and cleaning up
• Everyone involved with the Fall Festival and Harvest Dinner, especially Sherry MacKay, Julie de Jong, Jody Klein, Sarah Hakala, Ann Kovacs, Ilia Mantle, Mary Johnson and Buddy Paul
• Shellee Almquist for coaching Field Hockey
• Carla DeVries for organizing the Menchie’s fundraiser and all who supported the fundraiser
• Megan Rodgers for sending out daily emails to the community for the “Tools for Schools” $1,000 from Old National Bank and to all the Honey Creek families who participated
• Honey Creek Teachers for all their hard work with students contributing to good M-STEP scores.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:00p.m.

PTO News December 2017

We are excited for the winter concert in a couple weeks. Also, don’t forget to take the time to appreciate our wonderful teachers and staff this holiday season. All the room parents collections and the Friday bagel collections are available over the next few weeks.
The Wellness Committee’s mindfulness offerings continue to grow! So far this year, all 2/3 students, some K/1 students, and two groups of middle school students have received mindfulness training in the classroom. Ten interested teachers and classroom support staff are being trained in mindfulness fundamentals. On Dec. 1st, Grace Helms Kotre offered a one-hour “Intro to Mindfulness” presentation for interested parents. The group discussed how mindfulness can be useful for children and parents, strategies for stress-relief and focusing, and ideas for future mindfulness offerings for our community.

The Committee is also trying something new!  We are going to pick a few books we’d like to read and discuss as a parent group over the year. We met in November to informally discuss Part 1 of the Middle School Makeover by Michelle Icard. We’re planning to meet at Panera Bread on Jackson Rd. on Wednesday, January 17, at 7:30PM, to discuss Part 2. We hope that many of you can join us – it isn’t necessary to have read the book, in order to contribute to the discussion! We welcome book suggestions for discussion in future months as well.
Happy Holiday’s from the PTO,
Alison, Ann, Janet, Carla and Committies

Middle School Science Update December 2017

Middle School Science

Winter is coming and the middle school science classrooms are starting to run experiments on how to create the perfect snowstorm, hypothetically. After completing our ecosystem projects just this past week, we are quickly transitioning to the science of weather and climate in different areas of the United States. We will learn about the physical components involved with weather conditions, as well as the study of predicting weather patterns and interpreting data from instruments. Our hope is that we produce 100% accurate weather forecasts for our local Channel 99 news!

After School Programs Update December 2017


ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS: 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:  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 2-8 – FULL (10/10-12/19) FH 4-8 (1/10-1/31) Chess K-8 (10/5-3/15) FLL 4-6
Cub Scouts K-8 Swim Lessons K-8 (10/10-1/9) FH K-3 (2/7-2/28) Spanish K-8     

(til 5/17)

FTC 6-8
Theatre 4-8 (10/2-12/8)- Full Italian K-8 (9/26-12/12) Homework Club K-8 (11/9-5/10) Girl Scouts 4-5
Aerial Silks 4-8 (10/9-5/14)- Full
Art K-8 (10/9-12/11)
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, Archery, 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.  The microwave only works occasionally.  Also, 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.


Students may submit their hours at any time, as awards may be ordered at any time.


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!


Director’s Note December 2017

Greetings all:


With the start of December came the winter winds as well as a number of activities at Honey Creek. Please keep in mind that our craft sale and Winter Performance will take place on Thursday December 14th.  The winter break will begin on December 25th and continue through January 5th.


Once we return, our enrollment process for new families will begin with our two enrollment meetings. The first will take place on Tuesday, January 16th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and the second is scheduled for Saturday, January 20th from 10:00 am till noon. Families enrolling siblings need not attend, but if you know of a family that is interest in enrolling a kindergarten child in Honey Creek, please share this information.  Families with children entering other grades are welcome, but should know that chances of being admitted are slim.


Third through eighth grade students completed the TerraNova just before Thanksgiving. Results will be available in January.


The Michigan Department of Education will be altering the M-STEP assessment by eliminating all performance tasks and adding machine scored items to replace a portion of the written responses. The table below indicates predicted test durations for the various grade levels.


Subject Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 8
ELA Computer Adaptive 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours 2 hours
Math Computer Adaptive 1.5 hours 1.5 hours 1.5 hours 2hours 2 hours 2 hours
Science Field Test NA NA .75 hours NA NA .75 hours
Social Studies Part 1 NA NA .5 hours NA NA .5 hours
Social Studies Part 2 NA NA .5 hours NA NA .5 hours
Estimate total time 3.5 hours 3.5 hours 5.25 hours 4 hours 4 hours 5.75 hours


Additionally, grades three through eight will take a benchmark assessment in ELA and Mathematics two or three times per year beginning in 2018-19. The state will provide an approved list of vendors for the benchmark assessments later in the spring.


I wish you a safe and peaceful holiday season!




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