March PTO minutes

These minutes will be reviewed and approved at the next PTO meeting on APRIL 15, 2016 in the PIT.

Minutes of the Monthly meeting of the Honey Creek Community School PTO

Date: 3/11/16

Location: PIT

Elka Francisco acted as chairperson, and Ann Kovacs 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:

Ann Kovacs Sara Brintnall Sherry MacKay Mary Edlund
Elka Francisco Christine Kelley Rob Barhite Abby Adams
Alison Polidano Megan Masson-Minock Marolyn Valenzuela  Tammy Hall
Al Waters Tahnee Prokopow Sue Kirkup



The minutes were distributed at the meeting, in the meeting announcement and on the PTO website. A motion was made by Elka Francisco and seconded by Mary Edlund to approve the minutes. Motion passed.

Discussion Points:

Nominations for

  1. Co-Chair current: Alison Polidano
  2. Treasurer starting July 1, 2016 Tahnee Prokopow

Elka Francisco nominated the above members for positions and Mary seconded the nominations. By unanimous approval both were appointed to their respective positions. Thank you to Alison and Tahnee for volunteering for the PTO officer positions. NOTE: A Chairperson position is still open for next school year.

Action Issues:  Vote : Elka reviewed the motion for the PTO to give Honey Creek School $20,000 for the school. A vote was taken and the motion was approved unanimously. Al was presented with a check for the school.

Director’s report– Al Waters

  • Emails have been received regarding water quality with our proximity to the Dioxane Plume : HC is on Ann Arbor City water since 2000. The water is safe.
  • Bus Driver who has been honking out front at pick up has been spoken to. He picks up student from Beauty school at 330. The WISD is going to ask him to park in another location until 320.
  • Budget for next year: expenses are easy to plan for, revenue is not as easy with the way the State distributes money. Discussion of state issues re: Flint and Detroit and where money comes from and will it affect all school funding. We are hoping for $140 more per student next year but may be as low as $40 more per student next year.
  • Advanced ED review of Honey Creek is this next year. Nov 2016 team of reviewers will be present for evaluation of school for accreditation that occurs every 5 years. Following that review HC charter renewal with WISD is scheduled for 2017-18.
  • M-step testing coming up, the schedule was posted in the newsletter for grade 3-8. Online tests are expected this year. In this meeting, discussion occurred about paper vs online and scores maybe being higher. A practice test is available to practice the format on the computer and may be offered.

Teacher Liaison Report– Tammy Hall

  • Talent show and dinner cannot be sustained by the teachers moving forward. If other parents want to take over the life skills classes next year that would be beneficial to move forward. Are the talent show/dinner life skills classes desired and beneficial? Tammy will ask the teachers.
  • Elka: Ask teachers if the Holiday craft sale is supported and if there is someone who wants to work with High Point on this venture to plan ahead for next fall.

School Board Report– Christine Kelley, Megan Masson-Minock

  • Last board meeting the budget was discussed extensively. The school board is recommending 2-3 % raise next near for teachers in budget, a raise does not look possible for this year. If the $20,000 was approved, the Board was leaning toward using money as a bonus for staff this year. Further discussion and decision will occur at the next school board meeting, 3/23 at 5:30 pm in the PIT.
  • In this meeting a discussion commenced on funding and money. PTO members ask the board to have a goal range for salaries moving forward. Reference made to review the schools strategic plan. PTO Members discussed asking the board to have specific goals needed for money to support specific items (ie science lab, media center, and infrastructure) vs a general fund.
  • Board reports Al will ask the staff to discuss bumping class size to 20. This discussion is ongoing, increasing class size would increase revenue for the school and reduce funding gap. If staff supports moving in the direction of a class size increase, the process would go to WISD for approval, as our charter authorizer.
  • WISD at this time does not support HC moving to a management company for Faculty/ Teachers for benefits/retirement. The WISD would support a management company for after school and summer camp staff only.
  • WISD is requesting 1.5 mil tax increase special education to be placed on the ballot for the May 2016 election. If voters approve, Honey Creek would see a benefit in special education funds
  • New board members Andrew Sheibar, Brian Cole, Mathias Kirsch were added to the school board.

HC Foundation Report-Sara Brintnall

  • At the meeting on 3/7 working towards strategic goals and Pi day activities.
  • 3/14 is PI day: Tonight pie throwing at Al talent show for a donation to the HC foundation. A communication will go out to families on Monday about school funding/goals. The HC Foundation’s goal is to give another gift to the school by end of school year.
  • HC Foundation would like to see increase in monthly donors; the goal is 80 % of families. The foundation is looking at extended family members and an alumni campaign in the Spring. In this meeting, members asked the foundation to suggest monthly amounts that might help families figure out what would help bridge the funding gap.
  • Next HC Foundation meeting is 3/28/16 at 6pm located at Hathaway’s Hideaway.

PTO committee reports

  • Wellness: Megan Masson-Minock reported

Wellness will sponsor a vision training session for help with eye tracking and reading with ease. Open to all, 3/29 3:30pm in the Cafetorium. Conscious discipline class is this week, 3/16 from 6-8 pm at the Sunward Co-housing community all are welcome to attend even if you haven’t attended in the past. Child care is provided. Farm to school transition is going well.  Jamie Griffith and Molly Lederman are leading the school garden this year. Soil prep day is Sunday, April 10th from 10-1. Jamie secured a Whole Kids Foundation grant for $2000. Great job Jamie!

In the beginning of the year the wellness committee set up a list of jobs and time it takes to perform these jobs, this has helped with transition of activities to different parents. This has also helped with retention and transition to new leaders.

  • STEM: Sherry MacKay reported

Stem fair coordination continues. STEM Fair is Tuesday, April 26th in the evening.Weekly meetings have begun to coordinate the stem fair in person and alternating with a skype meeting.Outdoor curriculum closet, trails, meeting with Jody Klein again soon.Science Olympiad: WESO MS team will be mentored and able to go and see the events at Hillsdale College. Hopefully a team will participate next year. Stem club days will occur this year and weekly club will start next year at MS level. Sara Brintnall is working with WESO teams from 2-5 grades. Jon and Cheryl have been helping Sherry with STEM grants.

  • Arts: (emailed report from Chris Untalan)

Talent show is tonight, proceeds support the 8th grade trip. Audrey and Adam are in their last year for talent show coordination. Rebecca Arends leading a mural in A-wing with middle school student support in May. Arts committee is looking for people to share their artistic experience/expertise to grow the Arts committee for next year and in the future.  Contact Chris if you want to be involved with the Arts committee,

Arts room parent Abby Adams mentioned Art teacher: Chris Bruxport, wants $140 to purchase organization bins directed to help organize a cart for her space and to bring to classes. Abby was asked to contact Chris Untalan of the Arts committee.

  • Literacy: Tammy Hall reports. March is reading month. Read-in went well. Spring used book sale is being planned at end of the year to promote summer reading.
  • Room Parents – Lara Thomas reports May 2-6 is teacher appreciation week. Specific teacher appreciation celebrations are being left up to room parents. In past years, Matt Cyrulnik has done lunch on the Friday of Teacher appreciation week. This May the PTO executive committee would like to do something daily for teachers like last year. Late May/end of year gift is also on the horizon. Next month we will have a list of staff to be included in end of year gift. Lara will continue next year as room parent coordinator. Thank you Lara!
  • 21st anniversary: May 21, 2016 from 1-4 pm Promoting the event is underway. Karen Andrews is asking for corporate donors. Shelley and Tammy are working on the database. The planning group is small, helpers needed to continue to plan. Working on PR. Please register at:
  • Alison Polidano reports : CPK fundraiser March 25th-28th , please note CPK is closed Sun for Easter. Fundraiser dates include: Friday, Saturday, and Monday. Please bring the flyer to the restaurant in order to get 20 % of your check is donated to HC. Buy/Pay with  scrip cards and an extra 10% goes to HC.
  • Rob Barhite asked to have the full list of sign up genius to be on HC website or PTO website

Upcoming Events:

  • March 11th Talent/Art show and dinner
  • March 16th Parenting class
  • March 18th and 25th Potluck for teachers
  • April 4-8 Spring Break

There being no further business Elka Francisco made a motion to adjourn the meeting, it was seconded by Tahnee Prokopow. Motion was approved and the meeting was adjourned at 10:04 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Kovacs, PTO Secretary


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