September PTO minutes

Please note the minutes below will be reviewed and approved at the next PTO meeting October 6, 2017

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

Date 9/15/17

Location: Pit

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

The meeting was called to order at   2:20___pm

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:

Heidi Kisselburg Al Waters Karen Hockley Tracy Cummings
Angie Tracey Kerry Sprague Rachael Naidecchia Alison Polidano
Tom Kovacs Gretchen Meyers Abby Adams Ann Kovacs
Amie Anderson Andrea Hayes Julie De Jong  


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

Topic discussion: Attendance/tardy policy. Parent Heidi Kisselburg wanted to discuss the new attendance and tardy policy instituted this school year. She brought a written copy of the absence/tardy policy and reported speaking to the Michigan Dept. of Ed who said that our local school district has the ability to interpret the policy. Al was not present during this part of the discussion. The discussion was initiated before the meeting started as she needed to leave and was not able not remain present to continue the discussion. She is hopeful the school can define in more detail the process of this new policy and was unhappy as to how it was presented to the kids/parents. Discussion continues below.

Director’s reports– Al Waters

  • Discussion of tardy policy continued when Al arrived. Other parents discussed how information was given to them over the first few days of school from teachers and felt the tone of the presentation of the information was abrupt. Al will look into if the policy can be clarified further. He reported that the school did not know the policy change was coming and communicated to the community shortly after it was announced to them. The recording and submitting of absence and tardy information has been going to the state for many years. The new portion is reporting to Washtenaw County this school year. Al will do follow up with teachers to see how things are progressing and discuss how the information was presented. Last year average of 35 students received tardy slips daily. Since school started the average has been 5 tardy slips daily. That is a significant improvement.
  • Building updates: 2 modular classrooms added to the rear of school. Beauty school should move by end of October which may open up 30-40 parking spots out front. Meeting with Facilities group and architect to modify B wing for classroom needs for HP and HC as well as storage needs.
  • Al was invited to participate on governor’s panel to identify appropriate level of funding for students from the state. He was one of 10 people selected this year. Last year the panel did not include a member from a charter school. He will be spending a few days in Lansing.
  • In November the special education millage is up for renewal. Last year the vote passed to increase the amount. Now the millage duration is up for renewal. The special education millage does benefit HC for funds to use for special education services that would otherwise come out of the general budget.
  • Question from Abby Adams re: last year’s discussion of expansion into AALC (Ann Arbor Learning Center). Al reported the expansion was not supported by WISD or the school board at that time and HC is not moving forward with expansion into AALC site at this time.

School Board Report– Meeting and retreat are scheduled during Walk and run a thon 8/23 here at school 8 am -2 pm.

PTO 2017-18 Budget:

  • Discussion of regular fundraisers: Bagels ($5,000 profit last year) Thank you to Michelle Webster-Hein for stepping up to lead bagels this year (still working on a gluten free best option), Scrip (decreased over the past few years) Discussion of paying with Paypal to increase scrip sales and use of website to order items so Sandi can get them .
  • Walk and Run a thon funds and $10,000 balance surplus in budget discussion to go toward curriculum related materials/resources for the teachers and classrooms and to finish funds for the water cooler gift for the cafeteria ( 8th grade gave money toward this gift over the past 2 years).
  • A request was made directly to the PTO by teachers for a set of books for CASL and school improvement to be used for professional development. This will be able to come out of the above recommendation for funds to be used for these resources. Al will communicate with staff about proceeding with this order.
  • A request was made by parents of the cross country team to fund uniform replacement at the cost of $619.70. There was a short discussion of other schools and districts “pay to play” and doesn’t that cover uniforms. Cross country and Field Hockey are MS sports and there is a fee associated with playing that covers, staff, facility, meet/game fees but not uniforms. Other HC sports teams are through Rec and Ed that provide shirts for uniforms. Many of the Cross country uniforms are in disrepair and are at the end of their use. Uniforms are used from season to season by different participants and the current uniforms were payed for by the PTO in the past 6-8 years ago. Al asked if the Field Hockey uniforms were covered by the PTO. The answer was unknown by parents present. Discussion uniforms in poor condition would not be a good representation of Honey Creek at events. Recommendation was for the Cross Country team to fundraise as much as they could of the cost and the PTO would cover the balance. Two suggestions were for selling snacks at the WNRAT and off site car wash to try to raise money to cover part of the cost of the uniforms.
  • The budget will be sent to the community via email with a PDF of the budget and a live google document for discussion comments for all to see between this meeting and the October meeting where we will vote for approval of the budget. A motion was made to submit the budget with minor corrections to line items of field trips and miscellaneous. Angie Tracey asked to modify the Walk and Run a thon income to $6,500 as that is generally the goal it was unusual to raise as much as was raised last year. This line item was not adjusted. Other discussion about Foundation support being in the budget when it was decided that spirit wear sales will be donated to the foundation again this year. Abby will coordinate Spirit wear sales again this year.

HC Foundation Report– per email from Sara Brintnall.

  • Met on Sept 11 and representatives will be present at curriculum night to introduce the foundation and fundraising goals for the school year. Back to school campaign will be launched at the end of the month. Acknowledged the PTO and Abby Adams for the donation of the HC spirit wear funds from last year for $800 that went to help the schools operating budget. Any interested community members can reach out to the foundation at Next meeting is October 2, 2017 6-7:30 pm all are welcome to attend.

Teacher Liaison Report: No report

PTO Committee Reports :

  • Wellness: Julie present. First meeting is next week. The expect a few new members and hope to farm to school will continue with a new family to help. Wellness would like to use some of 2016 funds to do mindfulness training with 10 teachers who expressed interest  last year. Amber received training sponsored by wellness this summer. Alison briefly mentioned that funds do not carry over from year to year but she/ Janet could discuss needs. For Harvest dinner the Chef who provided the meal last year will provide the meal again. Discussed if the picnic location was good and if any present had feedback. Picnic good location and positive feedback. Water coolers need a storage spot Julie to discuss with Sue Hofbauer.
  • STEM: Per email from Sherry Mac Kay. Proceeding with Stem Fall festival Oct 20th. Will work with Wellness. Jody Klein will do the haunted stage with help of a K1 family in hopes they take it over next year.
  • Arts : Kerry Sprague reported that Talent night is scheduled for 3/16/18. Bruce Warden will coordinate lunch with an expert series. 4 new members are joining the group. Kerry was informed that the google document has names of people interested in Arts committee and talent night for the members to check that resource.
  • Literacy : per email from Karen Larson. First meeting is in October. Previous fundraising efforts have greatly benefitted the media center with books from Nicola’s but do not earn money for Literacy committee expenses. Last June’s book swap helped kids get started on their summer reading materials. They were not able to do the book sale for last year and will discuss options for this year.
  • PTO website: April Nance present and now has access and will start to update any outdated info. Discussion of updating a website and doing a g-suite to ease transfer of emails and google documents between volunteers and not personal emails. Discussion of having google documents be the internal communication between families and events and having the website be external documents for those looking at the school or events. For example someone not part of the school should not be able to look at documents in the google drive.
  • Room Parents : Abby reports organizing social events vs potlucks this year. 2/3 popsicle event social event occurred last week and was coordinated with aftercare to allow all kids in aftercare to receive a popcicle.. K/1 is doing an event soon. May have off site events. Work in progress to get to know families and make connections. Can the class list be updated before school so room parents can communicate to parents?

Upcoming Events:

September 19: Parent Curriculum night 5:30-7:30 pm

September 23 : Walk and Run a thon: Soccer fields ,rain or shine 9 am-4pm

No further business was brought forward.  Alison motioned to end the meeting and  Abby seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at    4:08         pm. The next PTO meeting will be October 6, 2017 at 2:15 pm in the PIT.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Kovacs

PTO Secretary


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