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Updates

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April 7, 2020

Greetings all:

I hope that all of you are doing well and have an opportunity to go outside and enjoy this beautiful day.  I have needed to visit the school on a few occasions, and I can tell you that it is a lonely place. The administration and staff miss the students–their learning, their laughter, and yes, even their misbehavior. I look forward to September when the Honey Creek community can be physically together again.

As you know, yesterday morning, Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order which ended “face to face” instruction for the present school year.  The order also requires each school district to develop a Continuity of Learning Plan, which will need to be approved by the Washtenaw ISD.

I met with the faculty this morning to review the order and begin discussion on the plan. We will meet again on Monday to continue that work. Even so, there is much that is still unknown as both the Michigan Department of Education and the Washtenaw ISD are presently developing the templates which will outline the requirements of the plan. As we have several issues to sort through, I ask for your patience and understanding while the faculty and I work through the details. Once the plan is complete, I will email you the plan, and I will post it on our website.

I’d also like to thank all of you for taking the time to complete our online survey. While I am still sorting through all of the data, the information that you provided illustrates some of the challenges we will face in providing equitable instruction.

I know that this is a confusing time for many, and with education being limited to enrichment the past few weeks, some have questioned the value in participating in our online activities. As we transition to curriculum-based programming, I urge you to have your child participate. By doing so, we can help support your child’s social and educational growth, though we realize it will never replace the classroom experience.

Finally, the WISD COVID-19 web page is running, and will be updated with additional resources as they’re announced. It includes school meal sites, plus a number of community agencies and businesses offering food. Please check this page as new information becomes available.  You can access it and share it with this link: www.washtenawisd.org/covid-19 

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Home!

Al

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March 27, 2020

Hello Honey Creek Community;

UPDATES FOR THIS WEEK March 27, 2020 (Working From Home)

I know that this is a very trying time for all of us.  There are many ways we are working to keep our community together.  If you are in need of something please do not hesitate to reach out to your teachers, myself, or our board to find out if there are resources we can help you with.

Please remember as you practice social distancing that connecting with others is important to all of us.

Updates from the Board Meeting Wednesday March 25th

(NOTE: All public meetings have been canceled or moved to online venues.  Please contact your meetings chair to find out more.)

Unsurprisingly, the main topic at the Board meeting was the school closure and what directions we currently have from the state and WISD. Here is what I know right now.

·      Governor Whitmer’s Stay at Home order extends the school closure through April 13, 2020

·      The Michigan Department of Education announced that online learning would not count toward a district’s school days for the year.

·      The Washtenaw Superintendents’ Association issued a statement to educators on March 18. The statement encourages schools and teachers to reach out to students and families to maintain relationships and provide enrichment opportunities. It also clarifies that at this time teachers will not:

o   Collect work for the purpose of grading or formal evaluation

o   Require participation in any learning or enrichment activities

o   Give assignments that are expected to be completed for a grade

·      Since there is much unknown at this time, the board of trustees asked me to prepare for the possibility of online learning. I have sent out a community survey and will follow up with families I don’t hear from or those needing assistance accessing internet or computers for their students.

·      Trinity Transportation, the company providing bussing, had asked for payment after schools were initially closed. I have followed up with the company to see if non-payment would be an option, since our contract specifies that payment is for days of service. I will communicate back to the board and parents using the bus service once I have additional information.

The annual superintendent evaluation was approved by the board and was scored as “Effective.”

The communications committee is working with a volunteer web designer to update the HCCS website. The current timeline will have the designer present a proposal in May.

The board also clarified the procedure for handling requests for board and/or school documents: 

·      If a trustee receives a request for Board documents, the trustee will direct the person requesting to the website for any items that are posted there.

·      For documents not posted on the school website, trustees will refer the person requesting to the FOIA procedures posted on the school website. 

·      This procedure’s purpose is to maintain consistency, allow for accurate tracking of requests, and to ensure compliance with FOIA.  Thank you for understanding.

Some good news from the PTO:

·      The PTO has started Virtual Bagel Day.  Please join us from 8-8:30 on Fridays with your own bedhead, bagel, and beverage.  Last week we had several families join and really enjoyed it.  Here is the Zoom Link

https://umich.zoom.us/j/868799776

·      The PTO has also started “Story Time with a Phoenix.”  See the link below: youtube.com/channel/UC4Of2V1ccs3Yb0LEyBeuGFw  

MORE GOOD NEWS:

We have a waiting list for all grades except K/1and 2.  This is great news.   

Please remember to AnnArborFamily.com and vote for your favorite camp!

Stay healthy and safe

Al

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March 20, 2020

Hello Honey Creek Community:

UPDATES FOR THIS WEEK March 20, 2020 (The Transitional Building)

Current events: During this extended school closureI am closely following the decisions pertaining to education that are being made by both our state and federal agencies. The rules presently in place were not created for our present situation, yet we are bound by them.

Here are a few things that I do know:

·      The U.S. Department of Education has suspended the requirement for state testing this year. We are waiting for our state legislature to do the same.

·      Online instructional requirements include providing devices and broadband access to any student who does not presently have the access. It also requires that all special education services be provided should a school provide online instruction.

·      MDE recently announced that online instruction may not count toward the state required 180 days and 1098 hours of instruction.

·      The legislature recently voted down a measure to waive the ten days schools are  shutdown. At this time, I understand the ten days will be made up at the end of the year.

·      I’ve attached a letter from the county superintendents that articulates what Washtenaw County schools may do or will not do during this period.

Board: Our next Board meeting will be on March 25th, at 5:30 pm. this will be an online meeting as the Governor has recently suspended the Open Meetings Act.

Topic: Honey Creek Board Meeting
Time: Mar 25, 2020 05:30 PM America/Detroit

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/2564991737

Meeting ID: 256 499 1737

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Meeting ID: 256 499 1737

WILLOW RUN Transportation Plan:

As the Governor has urged schools to continue paying all school employees, including contract employees. We will continue paying for our bus service through this shutdown period. Refusing to do would put this service in jeopardy upon our return.

Reminders: Willow Run’s schedule is 8:20-3:15 every day.

Staffing: We are down 3 substitute teachers. Positions are posted.

Enrollment: Enrollment meetings have been canceled. We will reschedule once the shutdown has ended.

Please stay healthy!

Al

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