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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.


  • 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).


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.
Kelly Krawcke
BCCS Board Secretary


School Board News: May 2013

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on Wednesday April 24, 2013.
Director’s Report: Al reviewed the overall Terra Nova scores and anticipates sending individual results home within the next couple of weeks. The first two middle school transition meetings were held 4/23. Al also shared the results of the CIMS (Continuous Improvement Monitoring System) report which was a survey of parents of children with IEPs. Age/Grade level placement for general and special education students was also discussed.
The Fund Development Committee continues on the process of gaining 501c3 status. The attorney is reviewing the information and will submit it to the IRS for approval. The committee is generating a fundraising letter which will be mailed to the HCCS community in May.
The Outreach Committee: Nina continues to work on the HCCS story with the ultimate goal to use the information for public relation purposes including a brochure as well as a power point presentation. This can be used for prospective parents as well as for fundraising. The plan is to make this a live document which can continue to be updated.
The Governance Committee reports the director’s evaluation will remain unchanged for this year and have completed a new evaluation for review.
There will be three vacancies on the Board for the 2012-2013 school year. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Kelly Krawcke at kkrawcke@umich.edu for additional information. Information and the application were sent via email in March and will be presented the week of 4/15/13.
Full minutes of the board meetings are available on the HCCS web site for review.
Respectfully submitted,
Kelly Krawcke, Secretary

Board News: April 2013

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on Wednesday March 27, 2013.

Director’s Report: Al reviewed the overall MEAP scores. Individual reports have been sent home. The enrollment meetings were very successful and we have 230 families on the wait list. The re-chartering process was just completed with final results pending. The Michigan Legislature recently passed a bill requiring schools to begin paying 21% of retiree wages into MIPSERS (teacher retirement plan) which amounts to $16,000 per year for HCCS. The Detroit Free Press is in the process of writing an article on charter schools in Michigan and reporters have interviewed both faculty and staff regarding the uniqueness of HCCS. Al will send an email with a link to the article once it’s completed.

The Fund Development Committee continues on the process of gaining 501c3 status. The attorney is reviewing the information and will submit to the IRS for approval. Al is currently working with an intern who will also be able to assist with development of a fund raising plan.

The Outreach Committee: Nina continues to work on the HCCS story with the ultimate goal to use the information for public relation purposes including a brochure as well as a power point presentation. This can be used for prospective parents as well as for fund raising. The plan is to make this a live document which can continue to be updated.

The Governance Committee reports the director’s evaluation will remain unchanged for this year. The goal is to have a new evaluation form to better meet our needs in place by the fall of 2013.

There will be three vacancies on the Board for the 2012-2013 school year. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Kelly Krawcke at kkrawcke@umich.edu for additional information. Information and the application have been sent via email in March and will be resent the week of 4/15/13.

The Board identified the need to hold a special meeting to review its goals. This was meeting was held Tuesday April 9th. The board reviewed the Strategic Plan. In light of the economic challenges we are facing, one priority is to ensure the Fund Development Committee becomes functional as soon as possible.

Full minutes of the board meetings are available on the HCCS web site for review.

Respectfully submitted,
Kelly Krawcke, Secretary

Board Notes: February 2013

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, Wednesday January 23, 2013.

Fund Development Committee: Al Waters and Linda Knox will meet with three potential volunteers for board of the new fundraising foundation on 1/25/13. The board recognized the need to formalize the foundation soon such that  501c3 status can be completed and  larger/long term fundraising opportunities may begin.  Brian Hockley will schedule a focused meeting of the board to facilitate the process.

Strategy Committee: Al Waters reported that the faculty continues to work on the curriculum documents with those in language arts, math, and social studies near completion.   These documents will provide incoming families a more cohesive idea of the HCCS curriculum and expectations.

Directors Report: 

  • Al discussed school security.  Student pick up and drop off will remain largely unchanged.  Parents and visitors who remain in the main building or the modulars at any time from 9am thru 3pm will need to sign in and wear a visitor’s pass at all times.

-Parents are reminded to sign their child out of school if picking them up prior to the end of the school day.

  • Al also reports that the enrollment meetings went very well and were well attended
  • two middle school transition meetings are being scheduled  with the 5th grade students/families.
  • HCCS will have an administrative intern from UofM
  • HCCS was awarded a $2500.00 technology readiness grant.

The board will have three members whose terms end this year.  Kelly Krawcke will be sending out information via email with regards to nomination process and the election which will be held this May to fill those spots.

The complete board minutes are available on the HCCS Web site.

The Board will meet next on February 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm in the High Point reception room.   All are welcome to attend.


Kelly Krawcke

HCCS Board Secretary

Board Notes: December 2012

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, Wednesday November 28, 2012

Fund Development Committee: Brian Hockley reports the process for completion the 1023 portion of paperwork needed to finalize 501(c)3 status of the Honey Creek Foundation. Once completed, this will lead to greater fundraising capabilities for the school.

Outreach Committee: Nina Nabors report they are actively working on completing the new teacher bios for the web site and she is actively working on the Honey Creek Story which will be used in a variety of ways including promotion of the school as well as fund raising. The committee notes the interest of some parents to represent HCCS at pre-K groups to further educate our local communities about HCCS and will help facilitate. The committee also discussed the evolution of Honey Bunches of Notes as a mechanism of communication within the school and will continue to assess.

Strategy Committee: Al and Shell continue to work with Nina on the HCCS Story which Al shared with Steven Nose’ . Steven was instrumental is facilitating the HCCS strategic planning process. Al also reports the faculty has been working on a document outlining student expectations for each subject and grade level with the goal to share the information on the web site as well as potential families

Director’s Report: Al reports we received a refund from our liability insurance. The Focus School consultant states HCCS is required to completed two surveys which Al will work on with the faculty. We are in the 4th of our 5 year charter and Al is in the process of assessing the renewal process.

Faculty Liason: Salli reports the faculty remain interested in learning more about the potential development of a management company with regards to process and time line as well as other options the board is assessing with regards to the budget. Al to follow up.

The complete board minutes are available on the HCCS Web site.

The Board will meet next on December 14, 2011 at 5:30 pm in the High Point reception room.


Kelly Krawcke

HCCS Board Secretary