October PTO minutes and updated budget proposal

The minutes below will be reviewed and approved at the next PTO meeting November 11, 2016. The next meeting will include the PTO budget vote. The revised budget proposal can be found here: proposed-budget-b-1updated

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

Date: 10/14/16

Location: Hall Conference Room

Sharon acted as chairperson, and Ann acted as secretary of the meeting

The meeting was called to order at 8:28 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:

Megan Masson-Minock Ann Kovacs Alison Polidano
Al Waters Rob Barhite Lara Thomas
Janet Nichols Janet Sherman Abby Adams
Mary Edlund Sherry McKay Jeannie Crayne


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

Director’s report- Al Waters

  1. $100,000 is estimated to be coming to HC from WISD based on Special Ed needs and millage from last year. 17 % of HC students are on IEP (individualized education plans) within our school for a variety of needs.
  2. Gr 1 and 2 benchmark assessments began this week. Next year kindergarten will be included.
  3. State of Michigan continues to evaluate its testing policies. Al will go to a meeting in November.
  4. Nov 9-11 Acredit Ed surveyors here. A parent meeting with accreditors will likely be on the 9th. Al will send an email to invite the community to participate.

School Board Report- Al reported. Megan supported information.

  1. The board is concentrating in the HC school strategic plan and issue of sustainability. The HC Foundation has done a good job raising money for school. Donations to the school should be around 100,000 this year.
  2. The school board wants to see grants and gifts from larger organizations to increase large donations moving forward. Any information from the community about benefactors or businesses interests please pass on the information to the school board or HC foundation.
  3. The school board has a goal of raising $500,000 over the next few years to help with operating costs to reduce the need to tap into the fund balance. The state needs to be funding schools more but that can’t be guaranteed. 83% of budget is salary and benefits. The board continues to look at many options.
  4. The state of Michigan has not applied to federal programs for charter schools, it is a hope they apply and we can benefit from additional money (historically ~$ 250,000 over 3 years). Much discussion about finances.
  5. Next school board meeting: October 26, 5:30 pm in the PIT.

Discussion occurred: Parents could contact their state representative to support our schools to work on increased funding, tell your story about Honey Creek.  The PTO discussed sponsoring a letter writing campaign for communication to the legislators. (Space, teacher raises, additional staffing all cost money.)

HC Foundation Report- email from Sara Brintnall

  1. The Honey Creek Community School Foundation launched its fall back-to-school campaign at the end of September. The goal of this campaign is to encourage Honey Creek families to become monthly sustaining donors to our school. Last year nearly 70% of our families were monthly sustaining donors and we’d like to see that percentage grow to 85% of our families giving on a monthly basis. There is no set donation – every amount benefits our school.
  2. Along with our back-to-school letter, each family received a letter from Grandma Mary, a very active grandparent at Honey Creek. Our hope is that Grandma Mary’s letter will be shared with the grandparents and other special relatives/friends of our Honey Creek students to encourage them to also give to Honey Creek.
  3. The next Foundation meeting will be held on Monday, November 7, 6:00 p.m. at Honey Creek.

Teacher Liaison ReportJeannie Crayne

  1. Teachers are trying to figure out what is required for staff participation in potlucks and their purpose. Salli /Mary and are reviewing with the board. The teachers are open to discussion with the PTO before next year. The potlucks have been going on for 21 years with less family turnover, is it necessary?
  2. Why do we have Independence Lake back to school picnic? Teachers want to meet the new families and many weren’t there or didn’t find their teacher. If the back to school picnic were moved it where would it be and who would pay for it? The teachers overall like it. Discussion from some parents that the kids would be disappointed without water play and the opportunity to spend the day before the picnic.
  3. Edible garden Sue Hofbauer wondered if the edible garden can be harvested and taken to homeless shelter as an ASL project. A parent would need to be in charge of the edible garden and harvesting.
  4. Lara was approached by a parent to have a whole year school supply drive supported by the room parents so that things are added. Not just at the beginning of the year .The teachers are in support of this. Academic supplies, book shelves, paper supplies may be a need. Lara will set up a spreadsheet. Teachers should be specific with items.

PTO Committee Reports

  1. Wellness: Megan reported that one more volunteer is needed on try it day 2nd Wednesday of the month at lunch. Farm to school education piece is on hold this year. Harvest dinner is 5-7 pm on Friday 10/21 buy your tickets! Wellness is purchasing material from the last year’s parent meetings. Great gardening year! Help to coordinate the greenhouse/garden is needed let Wellness know if you are interested. WISD is sponsoring a free movie “Parenting in social media” Oct 25 th Wellness will send an email out with details.
  2. STEM: Sherry reported STEM continues to work on activities.
  3. Arts Chris via email. The arts committee met with Christine Bruxvoort to discuss ways in which the committee can help better achieve her goals and promote her arts curriculum. We asked her for a “wish list”, which we would then devote a portion of our committee’s budget to help acquire some of the items. Our discussion included focusing our efforts with Ashley Hagadon next school year. We also discussed developing our “lunch with an expert” presentations where committee members (as well as parents) can present their arts expertise to our students during a “brown bag” lunch lecture/presentation. We approved of covering the face paint expenses during the fall festival. Bruce Worden (committee member) has begun the process for coordinating the 4/5 field trip to the UM arts museum.
  4. Literacy: Karen Larsen email: March reading month hoping for March 3rd read-in (High Point, Honey Creek, and Gretchen’s House). Need volunteers for book sales contact me (kevlar198@aol.com).No book sale at fall festival. We are exploring some opportunities for Honey Creek and High Point students to collaborate. Our next meeting is Monday, November 14 from 3:30-4:30 in Liz’s room.
  5. Room Parents – A room parent is needed for Ashley for music. A coordinator is needed for graduation. A lot of decorations are in the PTO closet and should be used. Table coverings that were reusable were purchased last year for graduation and used for MS dance but many ripped and weren’t as durable as was hoped.

Action Issues/ Discussion Points:

  1. Budget: Mary Edlund Revisions have made on the budget based on the walk and run a thon funds being spent. Because we are delayed on approving the budget the teacher supply checks will be delayed until the PTO budget is approved next month. A line was added in the budget for Spirit wear. There was a motion to approve the adjustments and it was seconded and approved. The budget will remain on the PTO website for comments. Any comments will be brought up at the next meeting before the vote.
  2. WNRAT pledges $6500. 50 % has been collected so far. Turn in your pledges.
  3. Abby Adams brought up a discussion about spirit wear. $1800 was made last year from spirit wear. Should we order it again this year. Abby has the info for the company who made the logo and printed spirit wear. Discussion about logo and suggested that Abby discuss with the school board.Goal for spirit wear sales would be 1x/year. Suggestion of proceeds could be used for HC sports uniforms that are in need of replacing.
  4. A meeting of a PTO sub-committee should be arranged to consider a PTO liaison with the school board and Foundation on sustainability of the school. PTO specific events: a letter writing campaigns and or a life skills class.
  5. PTO closet. Sign up suggested to enter/removal of items closet to better see how the closet is utilized. Inventory is needed. Who has stored items at home?
  6. Member question: Can Al’s reports be podcasted? Transcripted? Al’s reports are similar at the PTO, Board and foundation meeting so you can get info at various locations. Communication of his information always important how would it be best to communicate it to the HC community.

Upcoming Events:

10/14 and 10/21 Teacher Potluck for conference days

10/21 Harvest Dinner 5-7 pm, Fall Festival 5:30-7:30 pm

Completed events:

Grade level potlucks, Walk and run a thon, Middle school dance

There being no further business to come before the PTO, a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Ann and seconded by Sharon and Alison. The meeting adjourned at 10:41 am.

The next meeting is scheduled to be November 11, 2016 at 8:30 am in the PIT.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Kovacs

PTO Secretary



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