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PTO News June 2017

As we close out the year, please know the PTO has done its best to use our funds to better the experience of our teachers and students. From the walk-a-thon to the Fall festival to the STEM fair to Earth Day to teacher appreciation to PE play day to garden harvests we make life a bit more enjoyable.

As we look forward, we are in immediate need of a co-chair and secretary. The board meetings are laid back and fun and keep you better informed of what is going on at the school. We can talk about changing meeting times or locations for those that need more accommodation. We can also work out virtual attendance for those that need that option.

Please contact me anytime at Hccs.pto.cochair@gmail.com.

Enjoy your summer!

Alison and Sharon

Director’s Note June 2017

Greetings All,

 

It’s hard to believe that the school year is quickly coming to an end. Once again we have a full cohort of eighth grade students graduating. The celebration will take place on June 13th at 5:00. If you have not yet attended one of our graduations, you are in for a treat. School ends the following day at noon.

 

On June 19th, construction of the roundabout at Scio Church and Wagner Road will begin. Construction of the roundabout is expected to take two months. The intersection will be closed to traffic during this time.

 

We will be beginning construction on campus at the same time. The Intermediate School District will be adding two modular classrooms to support campus wide renovations. This will require both Teresa and Liz to pack their classrooms and store all of their belongings in the other two modular classrooms. Cindy and Jon will also need to pack up their rooms to prepare for renovations in those areas. While not concrete, the present plan includes temporarily moving Middle School Science and Middle School Math to the new High Point renovation modular classrooms. They will be housed there until January when they will be moved along with the 4/5 science classroom into B-Wing. This will be their permanent location.

 

Finally, I’d like to wish all of you a wonderful summer. May you do something relaxing, something new, something challenging, and something personally rewarding!

 

Best,

 

 

Al

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

4/5 Newsletter April 2017

Later Elementary

It’s time to learn about the people who make our world and history interesting!  We are taking on historical and current figures while we learn about biographies!  Students are working on writing a biography of their person, but the big attraction for them is the presentation of the 4/5 Wax Museum!  We’ll be turning the hallways of C Wing into an informational and exciting museum, one you have not ever seen the likes of!  More information will be coming soon about the date, as it turns out April is a very busy month!
5th graders are scheduled to start the MStep testing this month.  4th graders will follow on in May.  Additional math units and extra language arts will be taught to the level that is not testing, so that both levels will receive the instruction by the end of testing cycle.
Science has been rocking and rolling!  We’ve been covering water’s place on Earth, and how it works with the atmosphere, geosphere and biosphere to shape our planet.  We spent time learning about the water cycle through an interactive game and we learned that every drop of water doesn’t necessarily cycle through every possible place water goes on Earth!  Learning about rivers and bodies of water and how they help shape our landscape was interesting!  Ask your student to tell you how rivers move over time, and what oxbow lakes are!  We’ll move on to energy topics for a bit, to tie in with the technology project of Wigglebots.  Then, we take our planetary study into space and cover more about our planet.  So many journeys to take through science!

2/3 Newsletter April 2017

HBON 2-3 Level

 

Language Arts/Social Studies: The middle elementary students have been learning all about the Erie Canal and how it brought immigrants to the Michigan before it became a state. We are currently reading Erie Trail West, a historical fiction book which takes place on the Erie Canal. A family experiences  hardships along the canal while moving to their home which is in Howell, Michigan. We are working on narrative writing using the writing process to develop topic sentences, good leads, details and concluding paragraphs.

 

Math/Science: With Jessica P’Simer’s assistance and integration of technology, the students developed an I movie trailer based on 2 D and 3 D shapes. You will be able to view these short video clips during May’s Curriculum Celebration. Balobby Land was our focus for math by learning about area and perimeter. The students developed floor plans of a Balobby room and are writing about rules and regulations to integrate what they have learned about government. We continue to work on practicing our math facts, time, money, and regrouping. Force and motion is the unit for Science and we are exploring about what it means to do “work” and how force is applied through various experiments.

 

The students will be taking a field trip to the Ann Arbor Hands On Science Museum on Tuesday, April 25th to learn more about force and motion.

Literacy Committee News April 2017

Thank you to everyone who took part in and/or helped with March is Reading Month!
The month began with the Read In which included High Point students and Honey Creek students and some fun opportunities for Honey Creek students to read to High Point students. Everyone who attended the Read In enjoyed a presentation of The Giving Tree. Thank you to the Honey Creek theater group for their performance.
We appreciated Marta, Jeannie and the specialized improv group for transforming the greenhouse for the month to have a special spot for reading.
One of the highlights of the month was having small lending libraries throughout the building. All of the grades had access to some new books.
Plans are in the works for some ways for students to get summer reading material. Once again, we are asking the community for your donations of gently used books. Watch for the marked boxes in the A wing and the lobby as we collect books through May. More details will be emailed out to the community.
Thank you for your support!
The Honey Creek/High Point Literacy Committee

After School Programs April 2017

AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS

ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS:April 27th, and 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:  April 3rd-7th; 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) Black Belt K-8 (til 4/19) Chess K-8 (1/19-5/18) Aerial Silks 3-8              (1/20-6/2)
Props Club 4-8

(1/23-4/17)

Flag Football 6-8 (til 5/16) Spanish K-8     (til 6/7) Theatre I & II 4-8 (1/12-4/20) Spanish K-8    (til 6/2)
Theatre I 4-8 (1/9-4/17) Italian K-8 (1/17-4/18) Handwriting 2-5 (March 8th-5/31) FTC 6-8 (1/26-4/20)
FTC 6-8 (1/26-4/25) Field Hockey 2-4 (4/13-6/1 or 6/8)
Art  K-8 (til 5/16) GOTR 3-5 (3/16-5/25)
GOTR 3-5 (til 5/23)
Swim Lessons K-8 (til 5/16)
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  and 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., 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.

 

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.

SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

Please keep our fabulous camp with field trips, daily swimming, and flexible scheduling, and specialty camps on your list of summer fun.  Although we work hard to keep our camp affordable, did you know that any and all excess summer camp funds directly support our school?  Please forward this information to friends and colleagues who may also be interested and encourage them to email us so we can add them to our list.  In the meantime, LIKE us on Facebook!  https://facebook.com/HCCSsummercamp/

 

SERVICE LEARNING

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 14th, 2017.  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!

 

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