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Director’s Note April 2018

Greetings all,

 

Let me start by congratulating and thanking all of you who put so much work into producing the talent show. The performances were amazing! The production by our middle school students was seamless, and the hard work put into preparing our middle school students by all of the adults was evident in every aspect of the show.  Thank you!

 

The return from spring break signals the start of our testing season.  The kindergarten through second grade students will be taking the Michigan Early Literacy and Math Benchmark Assessments. The testing window runs from April 9th through May 25th.

Grades 3 through 8 will be taking the M-STEP Assessment April 9th through May 25th.

Your child’s teacher can provide you with exact testing dates.

 

We will be celebrating Earth Day on Friday, April 20th. This is an annual community event. Please come out and enjoy your day with us.

 

-Al

Board News March 2018

Honey Creek Community School
Minutes of January 24, 2018

 

Board members present: Wayne Millette, Bridgette Carr, Melanie Hagan, Matthias Kirch, Andy Sheibar, Megan Masson-Minock, Victoria Bennett,

Not Present: Bryan Cole, Barnaby Pung

Staff and Community Members Present: Megan Rodgers, Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Mary Bassett, Jennifer Crayne, Sue Hofbauer

 

Public Participation

None

 

Consent Agenda Action Item

December 20, 2017 Board Minutes

  • One amendment to board spotlight. Al: “Due to the current lottery process, it’s difficult to increase diversity.”
  • December 2017 Financial Report
  • December 2017 Expenses
  • December 2017 School Age Programs, AS-L & ICT Report
  • Amended consent agenda approved 6:0

 

Board Spotlight

Mischooldata Updates (Al Waters)

The State been changing how they report to families about quality of schools. School report card has been renamed “School Transparency.” The new website to access this information is called myschooldata.org. Student growth and test scores over the previous years is measured and also compared to other schools. Scores from previous years are not included due to how much the test has changed over the years; it is difficult to compare results.

 

Circle of Influence
Megan Rodgers

Megan put together a wishlist of individual items that people would be able to purchase for the school, rather than donating sums of money to Honey Creek. The wishlist will be available electronically. Some of the items/equipment are not traditionally included in grants so it would be especially helpful to have some of these items donated.

Megan also passed out a chart for the board members to fill out. The chart shows how people had reach out to different groups of communities that they are a part of that one could potentially fundraise from. For example: neighborhoods, workplace, clubs etc.

 

Directors Report

TerraNova tests have been returned, the information is currently being processed into a database. A full report will be given to the board in February.

The Title IV Grant was approved. Looking to send four teachers to service learning conference in Minnesota in March, purchase a weather station to collect data which will be shared with Weather Underground, as well as the Life Stories project for the 2-3 classes.

Looking for funding for Joe’s homelessness and economics unit as well as the bartering fair. Supplies are collected and donated to the Delonis Center in Ann Arbor.

Low turnout for enrollment meeting. 19 spots open for kindergarten class, waiting list for other classes. Possibly due to enrollment being difficult in previous years, limited spots discourages parents from applying.

Articles of Incorporation have been mailed. It is expected to pass because it was pre-approved prior to mailing.

Application for principal position is being reviewed. The search will be statewide, current teachers at HC may also apply. Governance committee will be making this process a top priority in order to keep it timely and efficient.

 

Faculty Liaison Report

Question was asked about where to find staff handbook. There isn’t currently an up to date handbook for staff members.

15-year salary bump requested for employees. There is currently a salary increase for employees who have worked 5 and 10 years at HC, but nothing beyond that.

 

Foundation Liaison Report

The foundation board discussed what gift to give to the school. No final decision has been made. The nine ninety remains outstanding. A trivia night fundraiser is being planned for either February or April. The appeal went well and the outcome was positive.

 

PTO Report

Meeting canceled due to snow day

 

Strategic Plan Committee Reports

Finance Committee – Bridgette Carr

Meeting scheduled for 2/1/18

 

Governance Committee – Megan Masson-Minock

Discussed revised goal for director’s evaluation as well as parent survey preparation . Policy manual draft policy to be completed by 2/8/18

 

Communications/Outreach Committee – Andy Sheibar

Social media manager needed. One person, either full or part time tbd, needs to be in charge of managing social media presence.

PTO website redesign requested, however this is not the same as what is being done to the HC website, so this will not be possible.

Communications Plan Draft submitted. Shows guidance, and feedback from community. Document is fluid and being changed and updated as necessary. This could be a potential board spotlight for next month’s meeting. The majority of the meeting was focused on how to improve email communications.

 

Sustainability Committee – Barnaby Pung

Largely worked on Megan’s review which has been completed. Al will provide a high level summary at the next board meeting. The two main focus points were on the necessity of the position and assessing the level Megan’s overall success at the position.

Plans to have a storytelling event as a fundraiser hosted at Washtenaw Community College were discussed. The idea is based off an event that was held in New York City. This event would also help to create more community awareness about Honey Creek to those who aren’t familiar with the school. More details to come as the project is created.

 

Old Business

Director’s Evaluation Action Item

Future goals will be returned next month’s meeting

Al presented the self-evaluation and evidence.  His only concern is that there are possibly too many goals, some of the criteria for the goals need to be better specified. For example “become a more active spokesperson for the school and the community.” The criteria and focus areas aren’t clear which makes it difficult to complete the goals.

Board President Megan Masson-Minock:

  • reviewed the self-evaluation and evidence for each domain, allowing for comment and asking for consensus on score for each performance indicator.  All scores were accepted by a complete consensus of the Board by a show of hands.
  • calculated an overall professional practice score of 90% with a correlating rating of highly effective.
  • reviewed evidence provided on student growth.  A score of 4 was the consensus of the Board, by a show of hands.  
  • reviewed evidence provided on progress toward district-wide goals.  A score of 3 was the consensus of the Board, by a show of hands.
  • calculated an overall evaluation score based on professional practice, progress towards district-wide goals and student growth of 91% with a correlating rating of highly effective.

Vote for completion of year end evaluation of superintendent and score:  approved 7-0 by roll call vote.

 

New Business

Letter of Agreement Re; Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services Action Item

Arrangement made to have Deaf/HOH students to be enrolled at Honey Creek, financial compensation is to be given per student according to the amount of time each student spends in the classrooms. Funds from a grant given to the Deaf/HOH services will be used to pay Honey Creek.

Motion to approve the letter of agreement as written passes unanimously 7:0

 

Board Kudos

Thank you to everyone that helped to make a successful Curriculum Night and Enrollment meetings.

 

Preparation for Board Communications

Al’s Director Evaluation will be shared through HBON

Formalized letter of agreement   

Coming Meetings/Events

Public Participation: None

Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 6:37pm

Director’s Note March 2018

Dear Community,

 

Spring is always a busy time, and this year will not be an exception. March kicks off the state assessment season. Students who qualify as English Language Learners will be participating in the WIDA this month, and on April 9th through May 4th, fifth and eighth grade students will be assessed with the M-STEP. Grades three, four, six, and seven will take the M-STEP between April 30th and May 25th.  Kindergarten, first, and second grade students will take the Early Literacy and Mathematics Benchmark Assessment between April 9th and May 25th. As testing dates grow closer, your child’s teacher will provide you with the actual class schedule.

 

While you may still see Tracy Cummings on campus, she is no longer providing Speech and Language service for Honey Creek. I hope that you will join me in wishing her the best as she resumes utilizing her talents as a full-time mom. Ursula Anderson has joined us as our Speech and Language Pathologist. Ursula has experience in both hospital and educational settings, and earned her MA at Wayne State University. Please join me in welcoming Ursula to Honey Creek.

 

Finally, I’d like to remind you that our annual talent show will take place from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Friday, March 16. Please remember that dinner will not be served this year.

 

Best,

 

Al

Director’s Note February 2018

Greetings all,

We have been hit hard by the flu season. Our staff continues to wipe down surfaces with Clorox Wipes to limit the spread of illness, and while regular attendance is important, we urge you to keep your child home when he or she is ill. I’m hopeful that the mid-winter break, scheduled for February 15-19, will provide enough time for the viruses to cease spreading.

 

Honey Creek held two enrollment meetings in January, and once again we will have waitlists at all levels as the interest exceeds the number of available seats.

 

On January 5th, Metro Parent published an article on the top 100 elementary schools in Michigan. There are a total of 1402 elementary schools in the state, and Honey Creek was rated number 85. The vast majority of schools rated higher than Honey Creek are in Oakland County. Those schools receive significantly higher funding than Honey Creek. For example, Troy, which holds the top nine spots, receives $9075 per student compared to Honey Creek, which receives $7631 per student. If Honey Creek received the same level of funding, we would have an additional $361,000.

 

Here is the link if you would like to know how ratings were determined:

https://www.metroparent.com/daily/education/public-schools/best-public-elementary-schools-in-michigan/?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=2018+Best+Public+Elementary+Schools+in+Southeast+Michigan&utm_campaign=Daily+01-31-18+English+Garden+ad+placedhttp://bit.ly/2FRGaAu

Finally, I’d like to express my congratulations to the students and their teachers for an outstanding Curriculum Celebration. I’ve heard from many parents how impressed they were by the quality of work that was on display.

 

Best,

 

Al

 

Board News February 2018

Honey Creek Community School
Minutes of December 20, 2017

 

Board members present: Megan Masson-Minock, Victoria Bennett, Bryan Cole, Bridgette Carr, Melanie Hagan, Barnaby Pung                      

Staff and Community members present: Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Mary Bassett, Sue Hofbauer, Jennifer Crayne.

 

Public Participation

  • None

 

Consent Agenda, Action Item

  • November Board Minutes, Financial Report. Expenses, and School Age Programs, AS-L & ICT Report were reviewed and approved by all board members present.

 

Board Spotlight

  • Enrollment Diversity (Al Waters)
  1. Will be looking into current lottery process in order to increase diversity in the school as was addressed in the November meeting.

 

Directors Report

  • AdvancED standards have changed and will be shared with governance committee. See attached Avance-Ed performance standards included in packet. Will be necessary to have the board faculty and administration report per mandated changes.
  • TerraNova assessments results will be returned to the school in early January.
  • Title 2 grant has been approved, and the activities in Title 4 grant have been conditionally approved. Modifications to the school’s Single Building District Improvement Plan must be made for full approval.
  • Enrollment Meetings are scheduled for January 16 at 5:30 pm and January 20th at 10 am.
  • Question about upcoming board/staff lunch: Possible to hold it on Jan 26th? (records day)
  • Al will be sending a poll for faculty feedback

 

Faculty Liaison Report

  • Nothing to report

 

Foundation Liaison Report

  • Over $2,000 raised from Facebook group for Giving Tuesday
  • Friday January 26th. Noon. Faculty lunch. Nothing new reported for faculty report.
  • Foundation board now has liability insurance
  • Question was asked at last meeting about how Foundation donations are accounted for in the budget. It is accounted for under miscellaneous revenue in the budget.

 

PTO Report

  • Bridgette Carr attended. Low attendance due to time the meeting is scheduled for, lots questions from attendees about the budget, new principal questions positive discussion, board vs foundation confusion from PTO they like having different people from the board go to the PTO meetings. Meeting time is likely to change. Issues with navigating PTO website. Maintenance and redesign plans were discussed. Topic for future discussion: website changes and updates are to be coordinated with the Communications Committee.

 

Strategic Committees

 

  • Finance Committee – Bridgette Carr
    • No responses to questions about the budget

 

  • Governance Committee – Bryan Cole
    • Nothing to report.

 

  • Communications/Outreach Committee – Andy Sheibar
    • Website redesign was discussed. Hang on track for goals set in previous board meetings concerning the communication plan as well as managing social media for Honey Creek Community School. Should become someone’s official job duties instead of a volunteer basis for managing social media sites to improve overall quality and contingency.
    • Al looking for cheaper site improvement services for website maintenance. To be followed up in January meeting.

 

  • Sustainability Committee – Barnaby Pung
    • Detailed summary report of budget was provided by Megan Rodgers’s request from last board meeting. Continuing to follow the development plan.
    • Grant research is time consuming and not always successful. Discussion about how to streamline the process order to maximize funds from Grants followed.
    • Budget allocations for principal position. Search committee would be formed to handle findings/interviewing salary needs to be competitive with Ann Arbor schools.
    • Sustainability measured to be 600 students for the school which is far higher than current attendance.
    • Motion to approve the budget for 2017-2018 as is, was unanimous.

 

  • Facilities Committee – Bryan Cole*
    • Nothing to report

 

*To be taken off future agenda

 

Old Business

  • Motioned to approve budget as is. Motion passes unanimously.
  • Three-year process approved by WISD two weeks ago, pre-approved by state. Articles of Incorporations approved unanimously.
  • Superintendent/Executive Director evaluation

 

New Business

  • Advanced-Ed needs to keep track of training on Google Sheet. 5 year process. leadership/resource cap.acity. Annual report filed based on standards.

 

Board Kudos

  • Mary Bassett, Dianne Baker, Laura Krinock, and Sue Hofbauer for attending the ICT training.
  • Marta England for running the after school Make-One-Take-One art class to supply the craft fair.
  • Elizabeth Scott and Johnny Thompson (with help from Teresa Gonzalez and Jeannie Crayne) for directing the after school theater production of “The Show Must Go On.”
  • Jon Baek, Jessica P’Simer, Cheryl Quinn, Sherry Mackay, and Jen Alexander for leading the LEGO and FTC teams.
  • Jamie Krawke and Amie Anderson, and all the parent volunteers and student crafters who made this year’s craft sale a tremendous success.

 

Coming Meetings/Events

  • December 25-29, 2017 Winter Break/No School
  • January 15, 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Day/No School
  • January 16 Enrollment Meeting 5:30pm-7:30pm
  • January 19 Curriculum Celebration 4:30pm-6:30pm
  • January 20 Enrollment Meeting 10:00 am-12:00 noon
  • January 26 Records day

 

Public Participation

  • None

 

Adjournments

  • Meeting adjourned at 7:24 pm
  • Next meeting: Wednesday, January 24 @ 5:30 pm

Board News January 2018

Hello Honey Creek Community, 

The Honey Creek School Board, in cooperation with Al and Shellee, has decided to move forward in posting a position for a full time principal for Honey Creek. This position will be key in succession planning and maintaining the consistency of the school culture at the administrative level in times of transition. The board has reviewed and approved the position description and a hiring committee will be moving forward with full board support to post the position immediately. This is an exciting opportunity to grow our administration in a way that will enhance support for students, teachers, staff, and the community. The board will do its best to keep the community informed, as appropriate, as the process moves forward. 

 

Regards,

The Honey Creek Community School Board of Directors

 

 

Honey Creek Community School
Minutes of November 29, 2017

Board members present: Megan Masson-Minock, Victoria Bennett, Bryan Cole, Bridgette Carr, Melanie Hagan, Wayne Millette, Barnaby Pung, Andy Sheibar.                                            

Staff and Community members present: Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Megan Rodgers, Mary Bassett, Karen Giltrow, Sue Hofbauer, Simona Goldin, Jennifer Crayne.

Public Participation

Honey Creek parent Simona Goldin shared her concerns on the following:

  • Academic Service Learning: Feels there is a loss of attention to academic service learning. Stressed that academic service learning is a very important component to the curriculum and also to the students.
  • Student Diversity: Our student population lacks diversity. We need to do better to reflect the residents of the Washtenaw County community. Encourages Honey Creek to recruit in the community with this in mind.  
  • Staff Diversity: Need to ensure the people we hire are diverse and also reflect the entire community. Kids need to see representations of themselves in the classroom. One idea would be to always have external searches to ensure equity amongst our faculty and our students.
  • Assessment: Would like the board to consider adding the following to the Director’s assessment to include/improve diversity in all areas of the school.

 

Consent Agenda

Bridgette Carr requested the following amendment to the October 29, 2017 board minutes under the Foundation Liaison report to change the first sentence to read; Melanie Hagan noted they are hiring a part-time book keeper and that she will be reviewing the contract on her own person time. Motion was approved by all board members present.

 

Board Spotlight

Director’s Evaluation: The Director’s evaluation date has changed and is scheduled to be completed in January. The Governance committee has asked Al Waters to create a list of goals and share them will the board in January. Bryan Cole noted we use the same evaluation tool the public schools use, and since Honey Creek Community School is different from the public schools, other things need to be considered that are not addressed in the public school evaluation tool. Bryan also wants to ensure the evaluation tool is more sensitive to Al and more fitting to Honey Creek. The current process now includes a board survey to be sent back to Bryan Cole and the MASB, which will come back with comments and feedback for a starting point. Bryan Cole requests the board surveys be sent back to him by January 7th.  

 

Directors Report

Assessment

  • Al Waters reported the Terra Nova Assessments are completed and he expects we will do well on them.  
  • M-STEPs have been altered again. The Michigan Department of Education has taken out the performance tasks and added machine scored items to replace some of the written responses. This results in a shorter amount of time taking the test. Grades 3rd-8th will take a ELA and Mathematics benchmark assessment two or three times a year.

Extended Learning Time Grant

Honey Creek received an extended learning time grant of $5,670.00. The grant will fund the Summer Literacy Camp.  

Consolidated Grant and School Improvement Plan

State’s Title 2 grant has been increased. After the final amount of the grant is determined, the School Improvement Plan will be updated to benefit from the Title 2 increase along with the addition of Title 4 funds. Faculty is sharing their ideas as how to best distribute the Title funds.

Discussion followed and included

  • The handout distributed by Al Waters on Washtenaw Intermediate School District’s beginning teacher starting salaries and their top teacher salaries.
  • Question regarding since the number of testing hours is less, are the teachers receiving enough resources for time being taken out of their normal schedule?
  • Al Waters asked Amber Byers to look at a formal restore of justice in the way people treat each other for an upcoming training at the WISD.
  • Wayne Millette asked where funds are most needed and if as a board member he could just write a check to the school. Megan Rodgers replied she has many ideas where funds could be used and noted the music department needs funding.

 

Faculty Liaison Report:  No report.

 

Foundation Liaison Report

Megan Masson-Minock thanked the Honey Creek Board members and the Foundation Board members for setting aside time to attend the casual gathering to meet and get to know each other tomorrow night at the Session Room.

Melanie Hagan attended the Foundation meeting and noted the committee spoke about ways to separate the Board and the Foundation. They are currently updating their by-laws and sent out campaign letters yesterday. The Foundation board hired a book keeper. Next meeting is December 4, 2017 at 6:00p.m.

 

PTO Report

Megan Masson-Minock attended the PTO meeting and noted Al Waters spoke about the audit and the 6% increase in revenue for the fiscal year ending in June. The PTO gave money to the Honey Creek teachers to spend on items for their classrooms. Teachers were thrilled with the gift from the PTO. Bridgette Carr will attend the PTO meeting in December and report back to the board.

 

Finance Committee Report  

The committee discussed the strategic plan goals that included:

  • Outline of Revenue Plan/3-5 Year Business Plan and the steps needed to achieve the goal.
  • Reviewed the updated 2017-18 budget request and recommends the board approve it.
  • 2018-19 Budget DRAFT for board to review.

 

Governance Committee Report

Committee met on November 9, 2017 to discuss the 2018 Director’s evaluation and future Director evaluation planning.

  • Director’s Evaluation discussed under the Board Spotlight on the agenda.
  • Al Waters is resubmitting the School Improvement Plan to include projects eligible for Title IV funds.
  • WISD will be contacting Al Waters regarding the upcoming Charter reauthorization.
  • Al Waters and Shellee Almquist continue to work on the compliance calendar.
  • Proposal to use outside resources to redraft HCCS policies.

 

Communications/Outreach Report

Andy Sheibar noted the committee will make their 90 day strategic plan goal.

Communication Plan  

Outlined types of content and vehicles to deliver the content using a n applicable template. Started developing evergreen guidelines to create and distribute consistent and effective communication. Plan to have a final draft for the board’s consideration at the January 2017 board meeting.

ADA Compliance for Website

Al Waters and Andy Sheibar have talked with potential partners to assist in the ADA compliance. The ISD can add us to an existing program (at no cost) that can identify areas that are out of conformity and give a monthly report on what areas need to be fixed.

Social Media

Committee determined the maintenance of the Honey Creek Face Book presence can no longer be a volunteer effort and must become a part of someone’s job.

Family Contributions

Megan Masson-Minock suggested reviewing the survey and make it easier to complete to help increase responses. Next year send it out through Survey Monkey so it only gets sent out to those who haven’t participated.  

Honey Bunches of Notes

Andy Sheibar will speak with Jessica P’Simer and Zane Almquist regarding the site’s structure to consolidate the content in one place.  

Liaison with Faculty, PTO, Foundation

Committee is seeking faculty involvement on the committee.

Next meeting will be December 15, 8:15a.m. HCCS Conference Room.

 

Sustainability Report

Barnaby Pung noted the committee discussed a meeting engaging the community on how can they host us, so we can support. Karen Andrews will facilitate.

Megan Rodgers will present to the board at the December 20, 2017 meeting and will bring a draft of Honey Creek’s succession planning.

 

Facilities Report

  • Al Waters met with the architects yesterday and shared he is not sure where everyone will go. We may not get Room C-8. B-Wing plans include two science rooms.  
  • Al Waters is working with Dianne Sevigny on a RFP for a possible new cleaning company. She has brought in an engineer in to look at the vents regarding clean air.
  • A vestibule will be added by the front doors of the school and they will take the the canopy over the entrance doors down.
  • Shellee Almquist asked if they could put a button in her office to lock down the front doors.

 

Old Business

Honey Creek Form 990 and 8879-EO

Bryan Cole moved, supported by Barnaby Pung to approve the Honey Creek Form 990 and Form 8879-EO. Motion was approved by all board members present.

 

New Business

Updated Articles of Incorporation

Al Waters reported the ISD should have read the 1st reading of the Updated Articles of Incorporation at their board meeting last night and will have a second reading. Once approved Al Waters will sign them.

Resolution to Support School Finance Research Collaborative

Al Waters distributed handout. A discussion followed and included Megan MassonMinock asking if we should we adopt the resolution or send it on to the State delegation from Washtenaw County? Al Waters recommended if we value education we should adopt the resolution. Barnaby Pung agreed we should adopt the resolution to fund schools more equitably, send it to the ISD and then the state to have our voice heard.  

Motion was approved by all board members present.

1st Reading of the Budget FY 2018

This item was added to the agenda. Shellee Almquist reviewed first reading of the 2018 fiscal year budget and noted the big pieces are the Instructional Assistants and Principals. Fund Balance is less than 9% which is more than the state average. The 2nd Reading of the Budget FY 2018 will be on the December 20, 2017 board agenda.

Discussion followed and included:

  • Could Sustainability committee help with funds? Megan Rodgers hopes to work with the ISD.   
  • Al Waters feels we should look for a new administrator/principal now, even if it takes six months.
  • Bryan Cole supports the budget however has concerns with the low fund balance. Expressed the need to address sustainability and succession planning now.
  • Wayne Millette Honey Creek is a special school and families are clamoring to get in therefore we need to keep that in mind and may need to do some uncomfortable things.
  • Victoria Bennett noted she is unfamiliar with budgets being a new board member. Feels some staff fatigue is going on and suggests bringing in new ideas and energy to the school.
  • Melanie Hagan agrees with adding new energy to the staff and increasing the staff diversity. Favors the 2018 budget.
  • Andy Sheibar sees value bringing new energy into the school and feels you can promote from within.  9% fund balance isn’t a problem.
  • Barnaby Pung asked how do we sustain small classroom sizes? The board was asked to communicate ideas on the budget to Shellee Almquist and Bridgette Carr.

 

Board Kudos

  • Amber Byers for coaching Cross Country and Ann Kovacs for her work on getting the new uniforms and for the water treats.
  • All the parents and staff who helped organize and supervise the Middle School Dance, especially Lara Thomas.
  • Teachers and students for their hard work on the Terra Nova tests.

 

Preparation for Board Communication

Andy Sheibar will prepare a summary of the board meeting for the HBON Newsletter

 

Public Participation

Jennifer Crayne introduced herself to the board and announced she will be taking the board minutes at the board meetings, replacing Karen Giltrow.

 

Adjournment

Wayne Millette moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:15p.m.

Director’s Note January 2018

Happy New Year!

 

It appears that winter has decided to maintain its presence this year, and with that, we have not only slick roads, but also increasing growing piles of snow. These snow piles are often a great attraction to students of all ages. Unfortunately, they also border our parking lot and drive. Children playing on these mounds often make fast descents, planned or unplanned, which place them in danger. We want to keep all students safe, so please join us in restricting students from playing on the snow piles near the drive or parking lot.

 

Important events for this month include our enrollment meetings on January 16th from 5:30 to 7:30 and January 20th from 10 till noon.  Our Curriculum Celebration is set for January 19th from 4:30 to 6:30, and Washtenaw International High School will be meeting with our eighth grade students at 1:30 that afternoon. Finally, we have a noon dismissal on January 26th.

 

Stay warm and safe!

 

Al

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.
Assessments
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.
Communications/Outreach
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
None.
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.

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!

 

Al

 

Director’s Note November 2017

Greetings all,

 

Its that time of year when we need begin planning for winter weather. We do not follow Ann Arbor Public Schools, and our decision to close will be based on predictions and actual conditions on the ground. Generally, Honey Creek will not close for cold weather; however, if the cold is accompanied by blowing and drifting snow causing unsafe driving conditions we will close. Once the decision is made, we will send out an email, post on our website, notify local television and radio stations, and if you have registered, send a text through REMIND. If you would like to receive text notifications of school closings, please use the link below and follow the instructions on the page. If you have subscribed to text notifications in prior years, you do not have to sign up again.

 

Sign up to receive Remind texts for school closings

 

Finding a balance between maintaining a safe environment and providing community access is always a challenge. To keep the school secure and safe we need the support and cooperation of our families. Here are a few of our expectations:

 

  • Do not exceed the posted speed limits on the driveway.

 

  • Pull up to the curb when picking up or dropping off students. Do not double-park.

 

  • The C-Wing drive is only to be used for bus service and deliveries. Do not pick up or drop off students in that area.

 

  • Enter the building through the main entry. The doors by the cafeteria and A-Wing are for staff entry and exit only. (I will unlock the doors near the cafeteria for after school and evening events).

 

  • Never block a door open.

 

Your cooperation in keeping the building secure and safe for all of the building users is greatly appreciated.

 

Our third through eighth grade students will begin taking the TerraNova assessment in November. Results of the assessment will be available in early December.

 

Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who participated in the “Tools for Schools” challenge. Your participation allowed us to pull ahead in the final days, and we accepted a check for $1000.00 from Old National Bank on October 25th.

 

Wishing all a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Al

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