Transitioning to Middle School

Transitioning to Middle School

What You Need to Know About Middle School at Honey Creek in a Nutshell


  • Base Classes:

    Your student’s Base Class is the class that is assigned at the beginning of the 6th grade year.  This is where students will participate in morning meetings to start each day and they will be together every afternoon for activities such as Team Building, Independent Project, Specials and Study Hall.

  • Where are they in the mornings?

    They are in their academic classes which are Science, Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies.  They have larger blocks of two classes each on M&W and T&Th.  On Fridays, they visit all four classes for a shorter period to check in before the weekend. These are their Academic Rotations.

  • Academic Rotations:

    They do not attend academic classes as base classes, but are assigned individual schedules. This is a wonderful way for all MS students to work together regardless of base class and builds a strong sense of community in our Honey Creek MS. After Camp Tamarack, the teachers have had time to get to know all of the new students and they then spend time thoughtfully creating these learning groups. However, math classes are based on where each student is in regards to their math skills. Schedules may change at the end of the first semester.

  • Field Trips:

    We try to organize one to two field trips per year.  Some field trips are downtown Ann Arbor and followed by lunch with parent volunteers taking small groups to assigned restaurants.  These are always well-organized and great fun.

  • Life Skills Classes:

    These are held on Friday afternoons, 1:35 – 3:15.  There are five sessions each school year, each consisting of 4-5 classes. Parents, or other community volunteers, come in and teach a skill. All life skills classes meet under the supervision of a middle school teacher, and classes have 20 or fewer students.  Almost anything is a life skill including knitting, DIY tee shirt screen printing, cooking, public speaking, flag football, technology, photography, crafting, yoga, gardening, etc.  You can even get together with other parents to each cover one week of a session.  Every year, one of the base class teachers takes on the planning of these fabulous experiences for our students.

  • Study Hall or Band:

    If students choose to participate in band, they will do so during Study Hall.  If there is ever a major project coming up and they need a study hall to work with their group or a teacher, they can work that out with Katie on a limited basis.

  • Study Hall:

    Students have three Study Hall periods each week for 45 minutes each.  They spend this time in their base class unless they need help from one of the other teachers or are working on a group project for one of their classes.  In these cases, they are able to move to a different classroom with permission.

  • Specials:

    The Specials that are part of the MS schedule are:

    • Gym

    • Art

    • Media Center

    • Technology

  • Electives:

    Each semester, students are placed into electives and remain in that elective for the entire semester. Students request electives, but are not guaranteed their first choice.

    • Choir

    • Art  (different than the Specials class)

    • Swimming

    • Technology (different than the Specials class)

  • Room Parents:

    Room Parents will contact you through the year with a variety of information/requests, but here are the main ones.

    • Fruit bowl

    • Teacher/Staff Gifts:  4 base class teachers, 2 IAs

      • Holiday Gift

      • End-of-Year gift

      • Teacher Birthday gift

    • Events:

      room parents are responsible for planning the following events, but all parents are welcome.

      • Fall Welcome Dance & Potluck

      • Graduation Dance & Potluck, Parade, Posters

Middle School Traditions

-all details will be provided by the MS Teachers, Room Parents, or specific committees

  • Camp Tamarack

    • At the beginning of every school year, the entire MS goes to Camp Tamarack from Tue-Fri. This is a fabulous way to start the year and let all of the kids meld together. The new 6th graders get comfortable and the new 8th graders take on leadership roles.

    • It’s an incredible week of outdoor activities and fun.

    • Parent volunteers are needed to stay overnight and chaperone in the cabins as well as for activities during the day.

    • Parents will be asked to provide snack foods (oranges, apples, cheese sticks, pretzels, granola bars, etc.) for evenings.  The camp provides all other foods.

  • Fall Welcome Dance and Potluck

    • This is on a Friday at the end of September. The date is chosen and added to the school calendar by the staff and approved by the board in the Spring.

    • There are two different parts that run back-to-back on the same day.

      • DANCE: MS Students only plus parent volunteers, 3:30 – 5:30, $ Donation

      • POTLUCK: Families are invited, 5:30 – 7:30, and asked to bring a dish to share

    • Room Parents are responsible for planning this event, but always welcome other parent volunteers.  Also, many volunteers are needed on the day of the event to chaperone and help with decorations, food set up, and clean up.

    • If you volunteer during the dance, younger siblings may attend Aftercare free of charge.  They are not invited into the cafeteria at this time because it is for MS students only.

  • Haunted Stage for Fall Festival

    • MS students, with the help of parent volunteers, plan our annual Haunted Stage for the night of the Fall Festival every year.

    • They begin the planning during the first Life Skills session by choosing a theme and using their imaginations and skills to organize everything that needs to be done.  If they are in this Life Skill, they are required to be there on the day of the event to help build the Haunted Stage, run it, and clean up.  It’s a long day, but it’s a lot of fun!

    • The day of the Fall Festival is a half day. Students report to the cafeteria to eat lunch and begin the transformation. They dress up and run the Haunted Stage from ticket-taking to acting. At the end of the night, everyone pitches in and cleans up.

  • Holiday White Elephant Gift Exchange, Potluck, and PJ Day (during school event)

    • Traditionally, on the last day before break, the MS has a pot luck lunch or breakfast for the entire Middle School.  The teachers will put together a sign up using a google spreadsheet.

    • They also have an annual white elephant gift exchange that morning.  Students are encouraged to bring a gag gift (of no real monetary value), wrapped, to put in the gift exchange.   Please do not feel the need to spend any money on this.  Think closets and basements.

    • Students and teachers alike look forward to this last day before break.  It’s a great way to celebrate the hard work that they’ve done, spend some quality time socializing with the kids, and it’s just one more way that Honey Creek stands apart from the other middle schools!

  • Talent Show & Dinner

    • This is a fundraiser for the 8th Grade Trip and is organized and run by two Life Skills classes with the guidance of parent volunteers. One class plans the Talent Show; the other plans the meal.

    • As with the Haunted Stage, if you are in one of the Life Skills classes, you are required to work the event.  It takes a lot of hands to make it happen and is such a wonderful community-wide event.

  • Students vs. Staff Basketball Game (during school event)

    • Every Spring, the MS students play the staff in the annual basketball game. The team is organized by students and they practice at school during lunch.

  • 8th Grade Camp Trip

    • Near the end of their 8th grade year, our soon-to-be graduates go away with only their teachers for a special trip.  They camp, participate in outdoor activities, and bond/say goodbye.

    • 8th graders cook all of the meals.

    • Teachers come up with their secret theme for graduation. All of their speeches are based on a specific theme each year and it’s an incredible night!

    • 6th and 7th graders stay behind and have subs, but follow their normal routine.

  • Graduation Posters

    • Every year, the 8th graders are asked to create a poster about themselves.  They are placed in the front hallway for the last month of school.

  • Graduation Ceremony, Dance & Potluck

    • This is similar to the fall dance and potluck with the following exceptions:

      • 8th grade families are invited to the dance/potluck

      • It is a dressier event with lots more decorations for the dance

    • The date is chosen as part of the official school year calendar.

    • There are two different parts that run back-to-back on the same day.


      • DANCE & POTLUCK: Immediately following the Graduation Ceremony. Only MS students & families of 8th graders are invited.

    • Room Parents are responsible for planning this event, but always welcome other parent volunteers.  Also, many volunteers are needed on the day of the event to chaperone and help with decorations, food set up, and clean up. This is a time when 8th grade parents are not allowed to help. 🙂

    • This event is what we consider a “pay-it-forward” event. The planning and running of the event as well as the food should be provided by parents of younger students.

  • End-of-Year Base Class Breakfast Potluck

    • On the last day of school, each base class has a breakfast potluck to begin the day.

  • Graduate’s Parade

    • On the last day of school, the Graduates are lead by Katie Bush and the 6th & 7th grade band members and they parade through the school playing trumpets and kazoos with Al & Shellee leading the way. They go past all of the classrooms. The younger students make signs, play instruments, and wave good-bye to our Graduates as they pass.

Honey Creek Middle School Transition Video

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