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March is Reading Month!

Welcome to March is Reading Month!

All across the country, schools will be celebrating March is Reading Month. Monday, March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, which is commemorated as Read Across America Day. Honey Creek’s reading celebration will be a Read-In on Friday, March 6, from 10AM-11AM.  Honey Creek students, High Point students, and kids from Gretchen’s House will all be part of a kick-off event in the gym and then have time for reading. We are excited for this opportunity for the schools to collaborate.

The Honey Creek/High Point Literacy Committee (yes, it is a new committee!) put together the March calendar (see below) to provide some other reading inspiration for students and families.  It has some optional ideas, so choose the ones that work for your family.

We are happy to share the news that ALL Honey Creek students qualify for a free Ann Arbor Library card even if they don’t live in Ann Arbor. You can print the application http://www.aadl.org/files/MinorsLcardappREV02-14.pdf and take it to any branch.

Students need to show proof (report card) that they attend Honey Creek. The adults signing will need to show photo identification.

Happy Reading!

From the Literacy Committee (Dianne Baker, Stephanie Boling, Tammy Hall, Michelle Manthei, Dianne McLaren-Brighton, Karen Larson, Liz Scott, Renee Swart, Johnny Thompson)





Talent Night/Dinner

The Talent Night festivities are less than two weeks away!  Please mark your calendars for Friday, March 13th at 5pm.  More details, and your opportunity to volunteer,  can be found by following this link to the SignUpGenius.

We are pleased to announce the menu for this year’s Talent Night –  a yummy brunch-style meal, including specially-prepared fritatas (with meat and veggie options!). Full details here.

Many adult hands are needed, so please consider how you may contribute to the success of the event!

The Honey Creek PTO Website has been kept thoroughly updated with this year’s details, please check it out!


Art Exhibition Deadline:  Art must be submitted by Friday, Mar 6th to guarantee inclusion.

A printable application form, with rules, can be found at Art Application.

Advertising Space Available!  Gold Sponsor still needed!

If you own a business, big or small, this is a great chance to inform the Honey Creek community.  We need your ads to make a successful Talent Show Program!

Download our advertising/sponsor Rate Card

Board News March 2015

Board News, March 2015

The board met on February 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm. Present: Greg White, Yvette Atkinson, Christine Kelley, Karen Andrews, Nina Nabors, Pamela Reister, Angela Tracey, Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Karen Giltrow, Sue Hofbauer, Mary Bassett.

Highlights included updates on ongoing board goals, which were clarified at the board retreat in February. The board continues to work toward improved communications and marketing, gathering information on potentially replicating our efforts (in additional K-8 or high school facilities), looking at ways to improve revenue, and board development.

Governance committee recommended, and the board approved, nomination of 9th board member: Steve Rich. He will join us in March. Rhonda DeLong has agreed to co-chair the newly formed Branding and Marketing committee, and the board is grateful to both individuals for being willing to volunteer their time.

Angela Tracey notified the board that she will be resigning in June, in order to more fully turn her attention to the needs of the Honey Creek Foundation. The board expressed gratitude for her continuing service.

There will be three vacant board seats to be elected in the spring. The board agrees that areas of need include finance and banking.

Upcoming events:

  • March 13, 2015 Talent Show/Dinner 5:00p.m.
  • March 20, 2015 Conferences, ½ Day of School
  • March 25, 2015 Board Meeting 5:30p.m.
  • March 27, 2015 Conferences, ½ Day of School

Director’s Note February 2015

Dear Families:

You may have heard that Michigan recently modified the administrative rules that change how medical waivers for immunization will be processed for all school and childcare programs in the state. The new rules went into effect on January 1, 2015.

From this date forward, parents will need to provide as part of their enrollment paperwork for all students, and re-enrollment paperwork for seventh grade students, one of the three following forms of documentation:

•  A completed, certified State of Michigan Nonmedical Immunization Waiver form (obtained through Washtenaw County Public Health)

•  A physician signed State of Michigan Medical Contraindication form (obtained through your child’s pediatrician) A complete immunization record (obtained through your child’s pediatrician)

•   A complete immunization record (obtained through your child’s pediatrician)

You may be aware that the High Point facility services many medically fragile individuals. For this reason, the Board of Directors of Washtenaw Intermediate School District has adopted the policy that all programs located within an ISD facility will exclude students who do not present one of the required types of immunization documentation.

Honey Creek Community School will begin excluding students for non-compliance with this policy effective September 1st, 2015.

If you plan to obtain a religious or philosophical waiver, please contact Washtenaw County Public Health:

Washtenaw County Public Health 555 Towner St, PO Box 0915 Ypsilanti, MI 48179-0915 (734) 544-6700

You may also find additional information at www.michigan.gov/immunize

Over the next several weeks, I will be contacting individual families if their student’s present immunization records are not in compliance with the new rules. At that time I will provide you with the specific vaccination requirements as outlined by State rules. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please feel free to contact me at (734) 994-2636, ext. 2210 or email me at awaters@hc.wash.k12/mi.us .

Stay healthy!


Calling All Artists!

Student & Teacher Art Exhibition

Calling All Artists!

As part of talent night, students are invited to submit artwork for display during the performance and the following week. What kind of artwork are we looking for? Drawings, paintings, sculpture, hand-crafted items and photography have been included in the past. Please send an email to drsborer@gmail.com if you have a question regarding something to submit.

What’s new? Teachers have been invited to submit artwork this year!

Applications can be found on the PTO website, in Karen Giltrow’s office, or on the Fine Arts Bulletin boards in the A-wing. Students can request a copy from Sarah Van Loo, the art teacher.

All entries must be received by Friday, Mar 6th to guarantee inclusion in the exhibition.



STEM Committee
Teams are forming now for the HoneyCreek Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad (WESO).  This team-based event is for 2nd through 5th graders, and is a wonderful opportunity for students to acquire STEM-related knowledge in a fun, team setting.
  • Sign your child up to be a part of one (or two) olympiad event teams.  Detailed description of each event team may be found at: http://www.aaps.k12.mi.us/wesowizards.home/home;
  • There are also opportunities for parents to volunteer as a coach or assistant coach for an event.  (Anyone can volunteer as a coach so even if you do not have a 2nd – 5th grader at Honey Creek, please consider coaching one of our teams.)
Please contact Head Coach, Sara Brintall for more information.  Online sign-up is possible by clicking here.


Board News February 2015

Board News

The Board of Trustees met on January 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm. Board members present: Greg White, Yvette Atkinson, Pam Reister, Angela Tracey, Karen Andrews, Jon Lonsway, Christine Kelley. Public present: Al Waters, Shellee Almquist, Mary Bassett, Rhonda DeLong.

Board Spotlight:

The Board met with Randy Trent, facilities manager for last 1.5 years at WISD. We thanked him for his work so far (replacing floors, fire damage, etc.). Emphasized collaborative approach to WISD maintenance. We addressed concerns around cleaning the building (especially mice/mice droppings, nightly mopping), interruptions from the PA system throughout the day, slippery entry to the modulars, and also concerns about air quality in some of the classrooms. Randy committed to speaking with cleaning staff, weatherstripping to try to remove entry points for mice, and working with the other entities at the WISD to improve the appropriate use of the PA system. The air quality issue is a work in progress. Randy will provide logs so that teachers and students can let him know what problems specifically are encountered, and then he can target cleaning and testing with that data.

Director’s Report:

It appears that email issues with Dream Host seem to be resolved.

Expansion/replication committee met and reviewed enrollment/demand. Next steps: Feb. 10 meeting, laying out needs for K-8 building, curriculum requirements for high school, and also laying out needs for high school.

Al has met with special education staff and implemented a spreadsheet to record all progress made on IEP goals, making data aggregation easier.

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business sent out an appeal for projects in which students would conduct a market review; this was accepted and Al will attend the student presentation in April; board members may also be invited.

Immunization regulations: Al reports that the State of Michigan has changed requirements for waiving immunizations. Families seeking religious/philosophical waivers will now need to attend class and have a form signed by health department; Honey Creek will exclude anyone without a waiver for next school year. Compliance goal is 95%

Committee Reports Finance Committee Report:

Jon Lonsway is working with Jessica P’Simer on a technology grant application.

Fund balance remains at 15%. The committee recommended reinstating stipends for teachers: board liaison, CSLE teachers, math alignment project. Karen Andrews moved to approve, Pam Reister seconds. Unanimous vote to approve stipends. Board will continue conversation about 2% raise for staff at retreat.

Foundation Liaison’s Report:

Foundation donations are nearly the same as they were during 2013-2014 school year.

Foundation is engaged in a lively conversation about the board’s recommendation to hire an Executive Director, and may instead opt for a modified position that is less costly.

Governance Committee Report:

New board members: We have two nominees for the board: Steve Rich (parent) and Rhonda DeLong (referred by Yvette Atkinson). Rhonda DeLong, Marketing and Communications Director for University of Michigan School of Public Health, introduced herself and described her experience around marketing and communications, design, web, internal communications and messaging. DeLong talked about her work with School of Public Health especially doing fundraising, honing messages for developing donors. Board thanked her for her interest, welcomed her involvement. Karen and Greg explained a bit about what being a board member is like (time, responsibilities). Al introduced rebranding project as a potential area where DeLong could consider contributing. Discussion followed. Governance committee will vet the two nominees and bring recommendations to the next board meeting. Governance will invite two candidates as guests to the board retreat.

Reporting requirement around reviewing salaries. Committee is reviewing salaries of other charter schools in county; noted that this was not a good market comparator (because of management companies); also look at independent charters in Michigan. Will also look at salaries for other administrators and teachers. The issue before the board will be: what do we want to make of this data?

Board retreat to review goals and set new 90-day goals will be February 7, 8-12 at Gladwin Center.

Board development: We will invite Diana Kern to speak to board, either as Board Spotlight or stand alone training. Karen will follow up with her to bring back options. Also potential for Stephen Gill to do Board Spotlight (innovation in education); Deborah Parizek (from Henry Ford, about monetizing experience). Governance will also flesh out online independent training options. Al has copy of Innovation and Change, and will be glad to loan out.

Yvette would like to have training in what works for independent charters in terms of business model. Karen invited Yvette to do some more research around other potential speakers.

Beginning process for Al’s evaluation. Form will be outlined toward the end of March. This year will be an abbreviated evaluation.

Communications and Outreach Committee:

There was a written report in the board packet. Committee remains very active, and has several projects in process.

Faculty Liaison:

One faculty member expressed support for the Wellness Committee assisting with air quality, if WISD leads. Another faculty member expressed extreme concern around mouse problem in A Wing. A third faculty member voiced concern around loud and interruptive PA announcements for High Point. Al indicates that this may be a problem with substitutes on front desk misusing PA system; there is also a need to have more training on the phones. One faculty member responded to Al’s question about Workman’s Comp claim, declining to do so. Karen Andrews suggested potential of having a committee that could tour facility 2x/year. Al volunteered to make this an administrative committee, Greg White volunteered to serve. Will invite faculty, Wellness, potentially students.

Old Business:

Relinquishment of Title 1 Funds. Al has had communications with the state about relinquishing the funds. Letter has been drafted. Christine moved, Karen supported, and board voted unanimously to withdraw funds.

Board Kudos:

To the faculty and students for their hard work on the curriculum celebration. To the speakers at the two enrollment meeting for giving time and points of view—Rita Hathaway especially for fielding question. Thanks to Will and Rita Hathaway for editing and posting video of the financial state of the school meeting. To Karen Andrews for work on Governance Committee, Christine Kelley for work on Foundation board/ communications committee. To Shellee Almquist for work on enrollment process, and for Johnny Thompson for her help with forms.

Coming Meetings/Events: February 6, 2015 Professional Development 1⁄2 Day of School February 11, 2015 Count Day February 16th – 20th Mid-Winter Break

Next board meeting will be February 25, 2015, 5:30p.m. in the Pit. Public participation is always welcome! Full board minutes are available at honeycreekschool.org.

Director’s Note January 2015

Hi all,

This is a busy month at Honey Creek.

Please find time to attend our Curriculum

Celebration this Friday, January 16 from

5 to 7 P.M.  If you have friends who are planning to apply to Honey Creek, please encourage them to attend.  You will also want to remind them that our enrollment meetings will be held on January 21 and 26 from 5:30 to 7:30.

This month a number of area high schools will hold open houses. Please see the dates, times and links below.

Community High

Wednesday, January 28                    7:00-8:30 PM @ Clague MS

Sunday, February 1                           2:00-3:30 PM @ Scarlett MS

Monday, February 2                          7:00-8:30 PM @ CHS

Aim High School

January 27, 5-8 P.M.       11648 N. Main St.  Whitmore Lake, MI  48189
www.aimhighschool.com / (734) 550-9595 /info@aimhighschool.com

This link will take you to their invitation http://aimhighschool.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=ee0865aaaaf62adc9b2c26caf&id=81977f705b&e=5a1dba2e91

                            Washtenaw International High School

January 27th @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


I hope to see you Friday!


Service Learning – January 2015


Service-Learning and building a spirit of service in order to positively impact the world are core components of Honey Creek Community School’s mission. Curriculum-Based Service-Learning happens in the classrooms, SAS/ NewsletterJanuary2015.doc.pages/01072015sjh but many students are motivated to serve others outside of school hours as well.

Each year we recognize students and families who spend 50+ hours/year serving others with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The deadline to submit hours is June 10th, 2015. An awards ceremony will be held the following year to honor all recipients. On the subject of awards ceremonies, we hope to honor those students who earned the 2013-2014 award as soon as our awards arrive.

In the meantime, thank you for supporting our students as they learn to become philanthropists, giving of their time, talents, and treasures to benefit the common good.

In short, thank you for being heroes!

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!


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