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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.

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.

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

FINANCIALS

Financial statements were unmodified

 

COMPLIANCE

No current issues

Cash reconciliation weakness has been corrected

Up to speed with Title II requirements

 

INTERNAL CONTROLS

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.

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.

 

Board News April 2017

Board Meeting Summary from March 22

 

Director’s Report:

Assessments: WIDA assessment of our English language learners will be completed on

Friday, March 24.

Evaluation training: Al will be participating in training on the Danielson framework, including two days of observations with the Danielson trainer in other districts.

Data management: Kim Gallagher is in the process of compiling TerraNova data from the past two years into Excel. Once the data is entered we will have the ability to determine student growth in the various subjects and assign that growth to specific teachers.

Food sales: All food sales between midnight and thirty minutes after the end of the school day must now be reported to MDE. This includes bagel sales, Girl Scout Cookies, and any other food sales in that time period. We’re working with Dexter Food Services to create an expedited reporting approach.

Wellness: MDE now requires each school building to have a wellness committee. We will be working with Dexter Food Services to create committee that represents all stakeholders in our building.

Facilities: The ISD will be replacing the vanities and sinks in our A-wing classrooms during spring break.

 

Governance Committee

Governance Committee did not meet.

 

Finance Committee

  1. Discussion of next year’s school schedule and impact of reducing the number of half days.
  2. No new management company update yet.
  3. Discussion of recent MLive article on school funding (http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/03/trumps_budget_would_scrap_120m.html)

 

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 drafted, currently under Board review

Social Media

We are reviewing the HCCS Facebook properties and beginning consolidation into one “official” page. We need to recruit and plan for social media manager going forward.

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

We’re preparing to send out job descriptions of open PTO positions. 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

  • Pi Day—distributing flyers
  • Trivia fundraising event in the spring
  • Alums—launch effort in spring
  • Discussion of when to make next fund transfer to school
  • 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. High Point may try to make space for their teachers to participate in lunch. HP asking HC kids to buy spirit wear.

Board News May

Board News

The Board of Trustees met on April 22, 2015. Present: Greg White (president), John Lonsway (treasurer), Christine Kelley (secretary), Karen Andrews, Nina Nabors, Pam Reister, Angie Tracey, Steve Rich, Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Karen Giltrow, Tammy Hall, Liz Scott. Also present for Board Spotlight: Will Hathaway, Sara Brintnall.

Board Spotlight: Karen Andrews and the governance committee invited Diana Kern of the NEW Center to present around being an effective member of a charter school board. She presented Board Roles, Responsibilities, and Governance Overview, tailoring her presentation to meet the needs of Honey Creek specifically. The board engaged in a conversation about where to go from here, and expressed gratitude to Diana and to Karen for inviting her.

Director’s Report: –Al reported on progress of M-STEP testing (this is going much more slowly than anticipated, an experience that is reportedly shared by many other schools). –Air Quality: Al presented data from one classroom and the front office for a 24- hour sample. Noted that the number of particulates in the air fluctuates significantly during the day, ranging from good to fair. Al will continue to collect this data, and share it with Randy Trent (maintenance supervisor); he will ask Randy to present his plan for addressing air quality concerns. –Replication/Expansion: Al reports strong support from the ISD, and has arranged a meeting with other educators who have been involved in establishing new programs in the district, to be held in June. –Articles of Incorporation/Bylaws: These had been edited by the governance committee and forwarded to WISD for review; WISD asked Al for written clarification of need for an expanded board, and he agreed to write this. –Marketing: Al attended presentation by two groups at UM Ross School of Business, and will share their recommendations with this board. Work continues to clarify and refine Vision and Mission statements; Board approved new Purpose Statement: Honey Creek Community School develops the whole child by integrating life, learning, and community. –Review of financial health: Al shared a report comparing financial health of schools in the state: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/08/06/new-report-ranks-michigan- school-districts-financial-health/ Honey Creek has a very strong standing (1 on a 0-10 level of financial risk).

Finance:

Following a $50,000 gift from the Foundation, our fund balance rests around 16%. Next month we will vote on final budget for this school year and have the first reading of next year’s budget.

Foundation Liaison: Approved gift of $50,000 to the general fund. Launched targeted spring fundraiser to replace outdated computer equipment.

Governance Committee: Working on several projects, including Director Evaluation, Board Self- Evaluation, improving Board Orientation, and inviting teachers to complete an Employee Satisfaction survey.

Full board is working to recruit members for the three open seats next year. Secretary will send emails requesting nominations, and will conduct elections the week of May 18.

Communications Committee: Work is progressing on video project; videographer was here on Earth Day and will return during week of curriculum celebration to capture images of project- based learning and interview Al and a few teachers.

Full board minutes are available at http://honeycreekschool.org/who-are-we/ the-honey-creek-team/school-board.

Public participation is always appreciated! Consider serving on the Board of Trustees: The Honey Creek Board of Trustees (the school’s governing body) will have at least THREE positions open next school year. Each position is a three-year term commencing in July 2015. We are currently recruiting candidates/nominees who will proudly represent the community and have an interest in any of the following areas: finance, policy, administrative oversight, business development, real estate development, and building exemplary community relations. The HCCS Board of Trustees meets monthly throughout the year, currently on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm.

Board News January 2015

Board News

The Board of Trustees met on December 17, 2014 at 5:30 pm. Present: Board: Yvette Atkinson, Christine Kelley, John Lonsway, Nina Nabors, Pamela Reister, Angela Tracey, Greg White; Community: Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Mary Bassett, Karen Giltrow, Sue Hofbauer, Liz Scott.

Board Spotlight:

Al Waters outlined Special Education services and funding to the board in order for us to have a better understanding of these issues. Discussion followed.

Director’s Report: Al Waters reviewed the following:

Al Waters reported on his three financial status meetings held on December 2. These were attended by about 30 Honey Creek families and generated some good feedback and questions. One presentation was filmed and is available https:// www.facebook.com/hccsfoundation. Al will also consider holding a few more educational sessions this winter.

Al shared the Religious Expression Policy draft with the board.

Board reviewed Al’s request that we revise the Readmittance policy to allow families returning to Honey Creek after a hiatus to be readmitted if they left the school on good terms and in good standing, and if there is an available space for the child. Board approved this amended policy.

Al reported a confusion about an Emergency Alert that was inappropriately sounded by ISD workers (and responded to appropriately by Honey Creek staff). Al will meet with administrators at the ISD to clarify use of this system and make a plan for future response.

After some inappropriate use of the school email, Al and the middle school teachers reviewed appropriate technology use and internet safety with all students.

Committee Reports:

Committees reported on ongoing work, including having met goals established for 90-day mark at the beginning-of-year retreat.

Board agreed to meet for a mid-year retreat in February to focus on board development and meeting our goals for the year.

New Business:

Discussion of air quality in the school building, and protocols for dealing with student or faculty/staff complaints. Al has agreed to consult with ISD around cleaning duties and maintaining healthy facilities.

Old Business:

The Board of Trustees is seeking a 9th board member (either from the Honey Creek Community or from the local community nominated by a Honey Creek community member). The Honey Creek Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that Honey Creek Community School has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission and vision of inspiring and developing children through our proven methods of education. The Board is specifically seeking nominees who are dedicated to Honey Creek’s sustainability as a school, have professional and business contacts within the local community that they are willing to leverage, and are available for up to a three year term. Areas of expertise include attorney/ legal, accounting/finance, business background, community development, and fundraising.

Upcoming Events:

There will be two enrollment meetings for families interested in joining the Honey Creek community, on January 21 and 26, at 5:30 pm.

Next meeting will be held January 28 at 5:30 pm in the Pit. Public participation is always welcome!

 

Board News – November 2014

The board of trustees met on October 22. Present: Karen Andrews, Yvette Atkinson,  Christine Kelley, John Lonsway, Nina Nabors, Pamela Reister, Angie Tracey, Greg  White, Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Sue Hofbauer, Mary Bassett, Karen Giltrow.

Committees reported on their work:

Finance committee: Planning for stabilizing future revenue streams; working to determine if bonuses for teachers are feasible with the current budget; working with numbers that continue to change. John Lonsway is working on grant proposals to Honda and GM for STEM funds.

Foundation Liaisons: Reported on continuing fundraising efforts, including planned end-of-year push for donations. Updated board on ongoing project to determine whether hiring a paid professional would be helpful for the Foundation’s work.

Governance Committee: Presented and led discussion of revised board bylaws and articles of incorporation. These will be submitted to lawyer and WISD before being approved by Honey Creek board.
Communications and Outreach Committee: Reported on continuing efforts to improve communications and build relationships between all HC stakeholders. Subcommittee will be taking a look at our digital design, and another subcommittee is looking at branding.

Teacher Liaison: Reported feedback from teachers, primarily around responses (and some confusion) around financial situation at Honey Creek.

Director’s report: Al reported on his work to bring Honey Creek into compliance with Michigan State Police criminal history records information practices. Also reports that he is drafting more explicit language to create a Religious Expression policy and an LGBTQI policy.

Al also presented some news about finances: Honey Creek no longer qualifies for our Small and Rural Schools grant (~$28,000), we do not qualify for the State’s “performance bonus” this year (~$15,000), and we are required to pay an additional ~$16,000 for teacher retirement fund offset. The state is likely increasing each student’s foundation allowance by $50. Honey Creek will also pursue “Best Practices” award of $50/student. Al has posted a project on a volunteer matching site, Catchafire, for help with branding/marketing and also monetizing the expertise of Honey Creek. Karen Andrews is also exploring a partnership with the Social Entrepreneurship initiative through the EMU business school.

Board offered kudos to Angie Tracey and all the volunteers that contributed to a successful Walk-and-Run-a-Thon, and also to the fantastic teachers who put so much time and effort into the parent-teacher-student conferences.

Next meeting will be November 19 at 5:30 pm in the Pit. Public participation is
always welcomed!

Board News – October 2014

Three Year Vision

Future Date: September 2017

  • Energized community supporting HCCS goals and lending their expertise
  • Synergy between Board-PTO-Foundation and Faculty
  • All families participate (volunteer hours and financially)
  • Faculty/Administration morale is high
  • The Board:
    • 9 members; 1 “at-large” member
    • Strategic board recruitment
    • Continuity of strategy and leadership from HCCS Board
  • Monetize our expertise
  • Partnership with educational institutions with resources
  • HCCS is a sponsee of a major funder
  • Economies of scale with other Charters
  • Defined partnerships with High Point
  • Robust, structured, consistent After-care enrichments programs
  • Academic Service Learning: teachers receive professional development and students have integrated projects
  • Foreign language curriculum
  • Rewards system and resources are increased/market competitive and titles have been reviewed
  • Adaptive administrative team to support developing needs (team of 3)
  • Predictability of revenue
  • Pipeline of revenue continuity built
  • $500K per year of funding from HCCS Foundation
  • Fund balance at 20-25%
  • Assessed feasibility of replication or expansion
  • Student population is more diverse
  • Strategy in place for facility planning
  • Sustained model of support through interns or college a”liates
  • In-kind donations from local businesses
  • Outcomes measures that track long and short-term success

One Year Plan

Future Date: September 2015

  • Supplemental reward for returning teachers
  • Financial Plan to support goals
    • Fund balance ≥12%
    • Monetize expertise
    • Partner with resources
    • Economies of scale
    • Predictable revenue pipeline
    • Federal/State grant applications
  • $150K from HCCS Foundation
  • Synergy between Board-PTO-Foundation and Faculty
  • Sta”ng plan for Administrative/Curriculum needs
  • Board development:
    • 9 members
    • Flexible/strategic/continuity
    • Updated By-Laws, Articles, Policies
  • Assessment: replication, expansion,

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Board News: November 2013

 HCCS Board of Trustees October 23, 2013 meeting update
-Shellee Almquist provided the board an overview of school budget and told us how to review the monthly  financial information submitted to the board
-Lisa Wozniak recognized the importance of the discussion/communication regarding the new Michigan law mandating schools provide the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
-Finance Committee: no report
-Fund Development: Al reported that the foundation is developing an information sheet to but used for fundraising at the individual and corporate levels.  The paperwork for the 501c3 status will be submitted once the bios of the members and a preliminary budget are received.  The next Foundation meeting is scheduled for November 6.
-Governance Committee:  Goals of the committee were reviewed and include the need to formalize the Board election process,  the need to develop a reporting mechanism for the director to update the board on the status of the Strategic Plan, and a process to maintain the director’s evaluation including a timeline for completion.
-Outreach Committee:  Will undergo a name change to the Communications Committee as this better describes their current role/function.   One of their primary focuses will be facilitating internal communication.
-Strategy Committee: This committee will evolve into the Community Involvement Committee to better meet the needs of the fourth goal of the strategic plan.
-Faculty Liaison: Mary Bassett provided faculty input with regards to the discussion during the September board meeting regarding the Pledge of Allegiance.  The faculty recognized that there were few families who had concerns about this state mandate, but encouraged the board to focus on the efforts needed to ensure the sustainability of the school.  Al reported he has received further concerns regarding the new law and recognized the time, talents and efforts of the faculty in making HCCS such a wonderful educational experience.
-Directors Report: Al reported the MEAP assessment is almost completed.  He continues to actively participate in county wide meetings regarding HCCS Focus School status.  He is also working with the new ISD facility manager regarding building maintenance.
-HCCS Charter Renewal:  Al reported the ISD is changing the process for renewal.  The HCCS portion is completed and the ISD is in the process of completing.
The board unanimously agreed to accept the audit results presented in September.
-The 2013-2014 board goals were reviewed
-The director’s evaluation will be presented to the board during the November meeting.
-Al provided a preliminary overview of the presentation scheduled for Friday 10/25 which will include role clarification, review of the strategic plan and information regarding the financial challenges the school is currently facing.
The next board meeting will be November 20, 2013 at 5:30 in the High Point reception room (i.e. the Pit) and is open to the public.   The complete minutes can be found on the HCCS web site.
Respectfully,
Kelly Krawcke
BCCS Board Secretary

 

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