The minutes will be reviewed and accepted in the next PTO meeting in September 2016
Minutes of the Monthly meeting of the Honey Creek Community School PTO
Date: June 10, 2016
Elka acted as chairperson, and Ann acted as secretary of the meeting
The meeting was called to order at 8:26 am
The secretary announced that the meeting was held pursuant to notice properly given and there was a quorum as represented by the following attendees:
Present in person:
The minutes were distributed at the meeting, in the meeting announcement, and on the PTO website. A motion was made by Elka to accept the minutes. It was seconded by Mary. Minutes accepted.
Director’s report- Al Waters
- Changes from Lansing and Washington in the next 7-10 months re: education standards and funding. “Top 10 in 10” Michigan initiative at the state level to raise the Michigan standards in schools. Michigan is currently ranked 48/50 states in education. The state and federal policies may conflict in some ways with one another. Al will try to send information to the community for us to review and send comments to our legislators in Lansing.
- Several teachers met with Al regarding choosing teacher evaluation software. The consensus chosen was the Danielson Model for next year’s evaluations. This program is similar to current evaluations in use. WISD will provide training, county-wide. This evaluation form can be used for teachers and administrators.
- Detroit education package was passed by the state government this week and is likely to be signed by the governor. The funding package for all schools for 2016/17 school year was also included in the bill. We will likely received $30,000 additional funding, but other costs are rising.
- Question/Discussion: How does Special Education millage affect us at Honey Creek? Al met with WISD superintendent. The special education millage will affect funding. We will see some increase next year. WISD is trying to make sure the smaller districts receive their funds.
- Discussion: 2016/17 School calendar is being worked on. A draft of the school calendar was proposed by Administration and teachers and provided to the school board in May. The school board had questions and wanted more discussion before the next meeting June 22nd.
- The State is requiring an additional 5 days of school to be added. The State is not providing extra compensation to the teachers for this change.
- Based on the draft calendar, 17 total half days (9-10 more than last year) may be added to the school calendar next year. The board has asked the administration to look at the calendar for fewer ½ days, and other solutions. A lengthy discussion was had in this meeting. The calendar has to be approved by June board meeting. Community input is welcome, send letter to Al or school board member or attend the next school board meeting, 6/22 at 5:30pm in the Pit.
- Al will send an email to the school community outlining the steps taken so far.
- The PTO wants to support the teachers and the students in the issue of school calendar for next year. PTO roll specific roll will have to be discussed in the next school year with the next PTO budget.
- Foundation exempt status is moving forward toward reinstatement. Papers are being sent to the IRS by next week.
- Al and board members met with WISD to discuss with them having a management company for some staff .The WISD is open to HC looking at a not for profit management company to reduce costs for school and after care staff, camp staff, newer staff paying into the retirement system.
Discussion Points/vote: Bylaw changes allowing the chair /co-chair to exist as 2 co-chairpersons and remote attendance was put on the PTO website for a 7 day period. A comment from the website was read. Discussion of whether virtual meeting will reduce participation. Catie would like to revisit this change in 6 months at the December or January meeting to see if remoting meeting successful. Rob discussed the risk of no one physically being present. A meeting has to have at least 3 people present per the bylaws.
Motion was made by Elka to vote on the proposed bylaw changes as stated on the PTO website allowing the chair /co-chair positions to exist as 2 co-chairpersons if that is the choice of the persons interested in the positions and remote meeting attendance by phone or other conferencing. Sue Kirkup seconded the motion. All present voted to approve the changes.
Action Issues: Elka made a motion to nominate Sharon Maccini as co-chairperson for 2016/2017 school year (with Alison Polidano already voted in as co-chairperson in the March meeting). Lara and Mary both seconded the motion. All were in favor, Sharon is approved the second co-chairperson for the 2016/17 school year.
Teacher Liaison Report– email from Sue Hofbauer and additional discussion about the addition of ½ days continued.
- An email was received by the PTO from Sue Hofbauer regarding the school calendar and numerous ½ days that may be on the calendar and whether the PTO may be able to arrange for additional enrichment activities to extend some of those half days to later reducing the burden on parents. A lengthy discussion of PTO subsidizing activities for ½ days occurred. Sherry Mac Kay went on record to suggest strongly reduce number of half days on the school calendar and if the PTO gives money to assist with compensation could it be used to offset some costs associated with the additional days required. More information will need to be gathered; the finalization of the school calendar and the PTO budget for next year will need to be reviewed. This will be revisited in the Fall at the first PTO meeting in September.
School Board Report- Christine Kelley
- A final review of school budget 2015-16 was accepted. First reading for 2016/17 budget occurred. For now a raise for teachers is not included in next year’s budget as was hoped. School does not want the fund balance to dip to 5 %, which would necessitate state oversite. School needs 9 % fund balance to make sure bills are paid (August and September) ahead of state funding payment in October/November. The current fund balance is 14 %. The school board will review possibility teacher raises monthly at meetings.
- As previously stated the school calendar was presented and discussion was had but it was not voted on due to further discussion needed.
- Board evaluation of Al Waters is in process. The board will also perform a self-evaluation. All results will be sent to WISD as the charter operator.
- Branding committee is to get a packet together with school logo, talking points, other materials for PTO, teachers, and staff to use for outreach, grant writing, etc. by the end of the summer
- Thank you to all the volunteers who made the 21st anniversary celebration such a success;to the teachers and students for putting so much work into the curriculum celebration; to teachers and students for successfully completing MSTEP; to Shellee Almquist for her hard work on the budget and school calendar; to the Media Center volunteers for their amazing efforts; to Sue Hofbauer for her successful camp advertisements.
- Next School board meeting: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 5:30 pm in the Pit. Public encouraged to attend! Letters can be submitted to any board member or sent to Al for forwarding.
HC Foundation Report– no report
PTO Committee Reports
- Wellness: Jane Pacheco reports a great year and many new members. Deb Lentz is moving on with graduation of her daughter. Thank you Deb for your knowledge and leadership in the wellness committee over the years. A-wing gardens and playground gardens have been planted. New garage door installed on greenhouse, working out problems with a key to access. Julie De Jong and Megan Masson-Minock helped a lot with PE play day, thank you! Wellness committee will meet over the summer: July 19 and Aug 16th here at school 4:30-6pm. Looking ahead wellness will continue harvest dinner next year. Christine Billick and Eric Moore will continue Farm to school. The atrium boardwalk renovation was funded by Wellness.
- STEM: Stem fair may not have been placed on the 2016/17 calendar as of yet due to the added day discussion. Several dates have been proposed. Sherri will continue as Stem chairperson next year.
- Literacy committee: (Email from Dianne Baker)The used book sale was a huge success. We sold over 1,000 books and got them into the hands of students for summer reading fun. Info will come out how to keep students reading over the summer. Hopeful to have a reading blog over the summer to encourage discussions around books for our students and families If we are able to secure access via the PTO website literacy pulldown, address monitoring, and safety issues we will announce via an all community email in the first week or two of summer vacation. Thanks to the PTO for all of your support this school year. We look forward to offering more reading activities in the 2016/17 school year.
- Arts: Chris staying on as chairperson. Consider joining the Arts committee.
- Room Parents – Lara Thomas no formal report. Discussion in the meeting of coming up with a list of monetary requests in the beginning of the year that capture when all things would be asked of parents throughout the year. A lot of fees/gifts seem to come at the end of the year.
- 21st anniversary – Email from Tammy Hall. The 21st party was a huge success! Thank you, PTO, for your initial and continued support. We had between 420-460 people and a good time was had by all! There will be a summary email sent to the whole community.
Thank you to Sue Kirkup, Deb Lentz, Elka Francisco, and Mary Edlund for many years of service to the PTO.
- 5/13 Curriculum celebration
- 5/17 Spring Performance
- 5/21 Honey Creek 21st anniversary celebration
- 5/26 Used book sale
- 6/3 PE play day
- 6/8-6/10 Learning Express fundraiser
- 6/9-6/10 5th grade trip
- 6/13 Goodbye breakfast for exiting teachers and staff
- 6/14 5pm 8th Grade Graduation/MS dance
- 6/15 last day of school 12:00 dismissal
There being no further business to come before the PTO, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Elka and seconded by Mary. The meeting was adjourned at 10:32 am.