Category Archives: Announcements

April PTO minutes

Note: these are unapproved minutes to be approved at the next PTO meeting May 12, 2017.

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

Date April 13, 2017

Location: Pit

Alison acted as chairperson, and Ann acted as secretary of the meeting. The meeting was called to order at 8:29 am Alison and seconded by Sharon.

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 Alison Polidano Al Waters  
Lara Thomas Abby Adams Sarah Hakala  
Sherry MacKay Sharon Maccini Janet Nichols  

Proceedings:

The minutes were distributed at the meeting, in the meeting announcement and on the PTO website. A motion was made by Lara to approve the March minutes and was seconded by Abby. Minutes approved.

Director’s reports- Al Waters

  • Testing has started. M-step for grades 3-8 and K/1 second semester assessments. Grant received for a 3 week “literacy camp” to be offered this summer for those kids who need to increase reading skills.
  • First district (WISD) wellness committee meeting was attended by Al. If school sell /provide food like Bagel day and bake sales before and after school it will have to be reported to the state. Al will be looking at these regulations with the wellness committee (High Point representative, WISD nurses, and Honey Creek persons are on the committee).
  • HC 2017-8 Calendar discussions continue. HBON survey sent out, 12-15 responses so far. Al will communicate more with the community with responses he has received and the school board’s decision in the future.
  • Faculty appreciation luncheon will be May 5th but due to High Point staff having a full school day it will just be HC staff and will be in conjunction with PTO. Jenna and Matt are providing this for their final time. Someone else will need to coordinate with HC and HP staff next year to continue.
  • School Board meeting: Sustainability officer for securing long term grants, inventory volunteer hours, seeking benefactors will be hired. 3 interviews were conducted an offer will be extended to one candidate next week. Initially, a 1 year contract to be offered with benchmarks to meet with extension if goals are being met. HC Foundation will support the school board’s decision to benefit the school.
  • Beauty school is moving out of the building. It is likely that by end of 2017 Honey Creek will move 3 classrooms to this new area (MS math, MS science, Cheryl’s). 2 modular buildings in the rear of the building to be built as “remodeling” spaces so as classes get remodeled this will temporarily act as classrooms until classroom remodels are finished.
  • Ann Arbor Learning Community (AALC) enrollment down and may have space to rent to Honey Creek. Honey Creek may be able to open classes K1 and 2/3 based on our current waiting list within the AALC space in the hopes to replicate another HC school and grow over time. The school board is considering this if is feasible and will know more by May. WISD will have to authorize a replication and Al has submitted a proposal to them.

School Board Report– see above in Al’s report.

HC Foundation Report– see above in Al’s report.

Discussion Points:

  • Earth day events Friday April 21: Email from Catherine Marquardt. Leslie Science and Nature Center is providing an assembly in the morning focused on animals and the food chain. Teachers will do activities with classes when their kids are not in the assembly. The afternoon activities are set to be outside. Help will be needed and a sign up will be sent out.
  • Stem fair is combining with fall festival and will work with all PTO committees to make it happen. Sherry MacKay will take this on and Ann will help transition.
  • Teacher appreciation week is May 1-5 PTO will be bringing treat or gift each day. Details were discussed.
  • An email will be sent out summarizing, executive committee PTO needs, event coordinator positons and helpers that are needed for the PTO next year. There is a critical need for volunteers across all of the school: board, foundation and PTO entities.

Teacher Liaison Report– Jeannie not present.

Budget:  Janet Nichols reported normal budget activity. Talent show will net nearly $2000 and will be used for the 8th grade trip. Money will be deposited, expenses paid, then back to school as they pay for the trip expenses ( buses, etc ) It will have a line item in the budget to show the money in/out with expenses from year to year. Sherry Mac Kay asked what costs so much for this annual trip when parents were also asked to put in additional money. Small discussion was had and Sherry will follow up with questions to Shelley.

PTO Committee Reports

  • STEM: Sherry MacKay reported Fall festival and STEM fair will be merged this year. STEM committee will try to work in more science related activities during Fall Festival and will work with Wellness and the Harvest Dinner, and Arts committees as have been done in the past. Integrating student projects has not been worked out. STEM will also be working with Arts committee for lunch with an expert series.
  • Wellness: Welcome back picnic sites have been toured by Julie. Requested by staff to make sure it has parking, bathrooms, BBQ, and a pavilion that can be reserved. Meeting all requirements is Southeast Park at Ellsworth and Platt Rds. Concern if baseball/soccer games are played that night that parking may be an issue. Alison suggested looking at Mill Pond Park in Saline (down Wagner Rd.)  Mindfulness pilot in K/1 continues to go well with parents receiving weekly updates in a newsletter. A speaker will be hosted April 24th from 6-7:30. Dr. Scott Becker will speak on parenting/media/screen time. RSVP for pre speaker dinner to Julie. Onsite child care will be provided. Wellness will provide fruit and popsicles for PE play day on June 2nd.  A parent interested in leading the farm to school program is needed for next year as both parents for this year are unable to continue next year.
  • Arts: email from Chris Untalan. He reported the talent show went well and was well attended. Al reported feedback from some parents and staff: Some unsupervised students were on the playground, wandering through the halls and some disorganization of the talent show team had trouble cueing the acts and were not performing their tasks. A discussion of when at school functions parents must supervise their children. Organization and performing assigned tasks will be important teaching for the Life Skills class next year with a new teacher. A list of tasks and responsibilities is available on the shared drive. Discussion on who might teach this next year with discussion to talk with Joe or MS teacher coordinating Life Skills classes next year. High point students were involved in the arts show for the first time.
  • Literacy: Email from Karen Larsen. Gently used book will be collected in A wing lobby for the end of year book sale. Books have been ordered for the school media center from the money raised at our Nicola’s book fair earlier this year. Teachers and staff had input for the books that were needed. We have invited Nicola’s Books to the May curriculum celebration to sell books. Also, they have agreed to have an in store sale the same weekend ( Fri-Sun) 20% of purchased are received as credit at Nicola’s to purchase more books for the media center.
  • Room Parents – Lara Thomas reported that end of year collection for teachers and staff will be done. Room parents may do something for their classes in addition to PTO for teacher appreciation week.
  • Letter writing campaign for Charter advocacy: It would be helpful to get talking points for families to send letters to Lansing to senators and representatives on the education committee, governor and lieutenant governor. Draft letter by April 30th. Charter Day at the Capital is May 3rd at 10:00 am. We could get addresses from MAPSA. Al to help us with talking points.

Completed events:             Talent show

Upcoming Events:               Earth day

Teacher appreciation week May 1-5

No further business was brought forward. Alison motioned to adjourn and Lara seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 9:47 am. These minutes will be reviewed at the beginning of the May 12, 2017 meeting, 8:30 am in the PIT.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Kovacs

PTO Secretary

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CPK Fundraiser March 17-19

Go to California Pizza kitchen at Briarwood Mall for lunch or dinner, bring the flyer in the link and 20 % of your check goes back to the PTO to fund school activities and assist the teachers and the school. This flyer was also emailed to you.

Honeycreek flyer March 2017 (1)

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March PTO minutes

These minutes will be reviewed and approved at the next PTO meeting April 14, 2017. Please leave any comments below the post or email me at hccs.pto.secretary@gmail.com.

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

Date March 10, 2017

Location: Pit

Alison 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:

Sherry MacKay Julie De Jong Illia Mantle  
Lara Thomas Sharon Maccini Eric Moore  
Al Waters Abby Adams    
Ann Kovacs Mary Edlund    

Proceedings:

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

Director’s reports- Al Waters

  • Discussion/proposal to use WNRAT funds for library shelves to replace failing shelves, and Ellison Dies to support the geometry curriculum across the school grades. Al has submitted a proposal with the shelves and dies with costs included. If total is more than available some of the order can be adjusted. All in attendance agreed with the proposal.
  • School Board approved raises 5 % for most, new faculty 2%. HC Fund balance will be 10-11% by end of school year. Other Michigan schools average 8-9 % fund balance. HC school board is looking to set aside $25,000 to get a person to establish large grant asks to bring more money into the school now to get funds committed to the school. The board is looking into to bring on a principal to take on administrative role and learn the school before Al retires, this will help with continuity. Community input is welcome.
  • Working on calendar for 2017-18, fewer half days are planned. With the state mandating certain hours in classroom and days of attendance schedule changes are difficult. We have to coordinate with High Point, HP buses and start time. We have enough in classroom hours required by the state adding days also increase class hours. The school board discussed an idea to end school day at 2:15 on Fridays (1 hour early). Community input would be appreciated. High point buses come at 2:30 so work would be needed to be done to coordinate an early dismissal.
  • HC Foundation met this week. Total family participation in the foundation is down; the number of monthly donors is up, ultimately revenue is up. 40% of families are participating in foundation donations.
  • Greenhouse updates to occur in June of this year. An Eagle Scout project will be to update the greenhouse, install wheelchair height tables, add a watering system, and clear out unused items. Al recommended the purchase a shed next to the outdoor science cabinet to keep tools in for the summer garden to make access easier .Wellness will looking into purchasing cabinet. Discussion of greenhouse key and possibility it can be locked in the shed that is purchased to give access when needed. For harvested food that is not taken: Food gatherers will take extra food. Girl scouts may be able to assist in summer garden caretaking. MS may be able to work with HP buddy in the greenhouse for watering seeds if no one is able to do this. Al will ask k1, 2-3 who usually plant seeds and will contact Tom Kovacs if K/1, 2/3 classes will assist in seed starting and watering in the greenhouse before the Spring clean-up in early April.

Budget:

  • PTO budget seems stable. Requests made by Joe in MS to assist with $50-100 for sign making supplies for their trip to Washington, DC. Al requested the use of WNRAT funds of up to $6500 for the library shelves, and math dies for all grade levels. We are waiting to find out how much expense there is for medals and t-shirts from the (WNRAT) walk and run a thon money. It seems that most of the total requested by the school can be obtained within the funds raise by kids at the walk and run a thon in September.

Teacher Liaison Report– no report

School Board Report– see Al’s report above

HC Foundation Report– see Al’s report above

PTO Committee Reports:

  • Wellness: Julie De Jong reported. Tom Kovacs (tkovacs@emich.edu) will continue the edible garden program this year. He will be looking for help for planting, spring clean up, and caretaking. April 24th parent screening of webinar on “screen time on kids brains”, 6-8 pm in the cafeteria childcare will be provided. More information to come. Grace Kotre continues mindfulness training on k-1 and has been well received. Looking to expand next school year to other classes.
  • STEM: Sherry MacKay discussed linking fall festival and stem fair or talent night and stem fair to combine events. Sherry is organizing how to coordinate the care and use of the trebuchet with Bruce Worden in the future. Cheryl and Jon have given feedback about the benefit of Stem fair. Allison praised the STEM fair this year. Ilia expressed concerned that the STEM committee has had less participation and feels the STEM fair should continue. Less than 30 projects were submitted, most from K-1 and 4/5 levels. Still considering MS STEM club afterschool, not enough participants this year. Sherry suggested a need for a group of people to make event posters for all activities to help event organizers. Discussion of moving STEM fair within fall festival. Sherry will contact Wellness committee. Ann will provide assist as needed and send copy of fall festival documents to Sherry.
  • Arts: Eric Moore reported. Performers are set for Talent show March 24th, 5-8 pm. There will be 30 acts. Programs are being worked on, more sponsors are needed, and shout outs from parents are $5. Meal before the talent show will occur. $8 meal cost. Raises money for the 8th grade trip. Volunteers are still needed. Art show is also occurring during the talent night. Talent show person needed for next year as Eric will not be in the school. This is run as a MS life skills class to produce the show.
  • Literacy: No report.
  • Room Parents –Lara Thomas. Discussion of some classrooms getting together with parents and students to get to know them better. This may be a new way to get to know families if we do not do grade level potlucks next school year. Communicating the PTO needs through the room parents to help with recruitment of PTO positions.
  • Earth Day : Spirit of Alexandria grant won by STEM committee but the activity had to be rescheduled from the STEM fair. Topic: Birds of prey from the Howell Nature Center. Maybe this could be the earth day assembly? Sherry MacKay to contact Jody and/Catherine. Catherine Marquart with Jody Klein will coordinate earth day activities following a similar format from previous years. Earth day 4/21/17. Assistance will be needed.

Completed events:

2/24 STEM fair

Upcoming Events:

3/10 and 3/17 teacher potlucks

3/17-19 CPK fundraiser (see email)

3/24 Talent Show/ Art show/Dinner

4/21 Earth Day Celebration

No further business was brought forward. The meeting was adjourned at    10:05     am. Alison motioned and Mary seconded. The next meeting will occur April 14th at 8:30 am in the Pit.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Kovacs

PTO Secretary

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February PTO minutes

These minutes will be reviewed/approved at the beginning of the next PTO meeting March 10,2017

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

Date February 10, 2017

Location: Pit

Alison 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:

Erin Peterson Allison Polidano Lara Thomas Jeannie Crayne
Mary Edlund Sharon Maccini Julie De Jong Al Waters
Eric Moore Katy Kramp Sara Hakala  
Ann Kovacs Karen Larson Abby Adams  

 

Proceedings:

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

Discussion Points: PTO priorities and open positions

  • PTO mission: supporting the teachers and the community, how do we best accomplish this?
  • PTO board openings are secretary and co-chair next school year. Time commitments for positions will be sent out in the near future.
  • Discussion in the meeting centered around setting up coordination between the PTO committees, organizing with the resources we have in determining if any activities need to be put on hold next year.
  • Discussion about working families and how they can to get involved with the PTO. We have many families who volunteer their time during evening events and in the classrooms and many ways. For next year we may revisit a couple of meetings in the evening, but off site to prevent administrators from staying late.
  • Discussion of integrating new families and the parent mentor program established a few years ago; suggestion of having a welcome packet that discuss volunteer time needs and the portions of the school parent pledge.
  • Discussion of networking with room parents to help determine any families who may be able to fill some of the PTO needs.
  • Al mentioned the school will need to approve the calendar by April/May so we need to try to have organizational pieces for activities moving forward for next year. If not they can be added later.  All school Sign up genius is helpful for events but someone needs to be an administrator to get the lists to the event organizers.

Director’s reports- Al Waters

  • Email from earlier this week as to how families can impact efforts to create equitable funding, reduce regulatory policy, and create greater freedom in curriculum. The Michigan Association of Public School Academies will be hosting a Parent Ambassador Network meeting in Ypsilanti on February 27th 6-8 pm Ypsilanti public library on Whitaker Rd. For more information: http://www.charterschools.org/charter-parent-ambassador-network to register.
  • Terra Nova results are in, pick up results from Karen. Left over results will be mailed.
  • Kristyne Russell (PE teacher) is working to update the MS maturation curriculum: Committee will be Kristyne; parent Danielle Cardinal-Terry; a minister; and a healthcare worker. The latter two are required to be on the committee and have been chosen. They will meet, review the curriculum, revise, and invite families to review, make corrections then send to the school board for approval. Contact Kristyne if you are interested in being involved.
  • School attendance policy: WISD is considering chronic absenteeism as missing 10 days of school. There is/will be a process the school will have to follow to address going forward if children miss a lot of school days.
  • Last school board meeting: The board did vote to give staff 5% raise. First pay raise in 5 years.

Budget: Budget update unable to be obtained due to internet problems during the meeting.

Teacher Liaison Report- Jeannie Crayne

  • Discussing welcome back picnic sites with Julie. Welcome back picnic requests: local, good parking, and bathrooms.
  • WNRAT funds: Teachers need funds for die cut sets ~$500 for math and other curriculum. Al also discussed the need Media center book shelving, refreshing book collection. Katy Kramp mentioned Literacy committee has some funds for media center as well from Nicola’s book sale.

School Board Report– held until next meeting. See Al’s report about approving raises.

HC Foundation Report– held until next meeting

PTO Committee Reports

  • Wellness: Julie De Jong reported. Grace Kotre is doing Monday morning mindfulness in K1 class. May be looking at continuing in the future with additional HC parent who is also mindfulness certified. Has wellness received feedback on maturation bags? Help is needed organizing bags this year. Contact Julie De Jong.
  • STEM: No report. Allison spoke with Sherry who thinks we should not hold STEM fair next year. The WISD has a stem fair we have been invited to and she will provide more information at a later time.
  • Arts: Eric Moore reported. Talent show will need an organizer for 2018. We need help for the 2017 talent show dinner running a life skills class this year. Matt Cyrulinik has done it the past he would like to show someone how to continue the tradition. Meeting discussion: could the life skills class order pizza, collect money ahead of day, make salad and desserts for talent night? Could it be organizational class vs a cooking class. This could be a back-up plan if a life skills class can’t be run. The talent show and dinner raises money to pay for 8th grade trip. Sign up for talent show night volunteers is coming.
  • Literacy : Kaaren Larsen reported. March is reading month is in planning stage, and planning end of school book sale.
  • Room Parents –Request sent to families via room parents for Clorox wipes for the classrooms. Lara will send email to see if there are alternatives to grade level potlucks for next year. We still need graduation coordination and set up help. There is a stage set up for ceremony, dinner and dance. Sharon Maccini and Mary Edlund  will talk to Lara about needs.

No further business was brought forward. The meeting was adjourned at    9:45     am. Alison motioned to end meeting and Sharon seconded.

The next meeting will be March 10.2017 at 8:30 am in the PIT.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Kovacs

PTO Secretary

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January PTO minutes

Please note: The following minutes will be reviewed and approved at the next meeting on February 10,2017.

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

Date January 13, 2017

Location: Pit

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

The meeting was called to order at 8:35 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 Christine Kelley    
Al Waters Jeannie Crayne    
Sharon Maccini      
Alison Polidano Online: Janet Nichols    

Proceedings:

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 Ann. Motion passed.

Director’s reports- Al Waters

  • Attended a seminar put on the Citizens Research Council of Michigan. State general fund has decreased by 61.5 % lower than 2000 due to economy and state tax cuts. School Aid fund 7 % lower than where it was in 2000. Funding of schools is lower than 2000. State is increasing money, $1.4 billion since 2011 but it has gone to state mandated retirement fund not to school costs. Over all funding going in classes has gone down since 2011 even though there has been a slight increase in fund allowance mostly due to required money to be put in retirement fund. The seminar also looked at Massachusetts ( highest funded schools with highest performance, all schools get the same and those who are in high need areas get more $) vs. Michigan ( one of the lowest funded states and inequitable $ distribution)
  • External review Advanced ED accreditation results:
  1. Findings show Honey Creek is using best practice for individualized learning, project based learning; Parental involvement enriches education and builds a strong sense of community; strong collaboration with staff, students, instructional consultants to positively impact learning.
  2. Improvements recommended: review school improvement process ; regular meeting/information to community to update schools purpose/plans to monitor student achievement, design a formal professional development process for governing body and individuals qualifications, evaluate the use of technology for student learning, facility collaboration to resolve concerns and update plan to solve concerns.
  • Discussion occured about state funding and if there are going to be changes that effect any increase funding for our school.

Budget: Budget review.  Janet was present online. Alison presented YTD budget. Things are going well. Scrip sales are doing well, trying to fill teacher requests from holiday gifts. California Pizza Kitchen made $250; check will be picked up soon.

Teacher Liaison Report– Jeannie Crayne

  • No consensus for the Walk and Run a thon (WNRAT) funds for a particular school need. Each grade level has needs and wants: air purifiers in all rooms, iPad , chrome books , professional development for teachers, outside speakers, library books.
  • Discussion occurred in the meeting Re: Would a new iPad/chrome book cart be useful for WNRAT funds? Al mentioned that more iPad and chrome books would require additional access points for internet for a fee. Al will ask Jessica to assess needs/obtain costs.
  • Teachers also feel the back to school picnic should move closer to school (ie Veterans Park) for a variety of reasons discussed at previous PTO meetings. Ann will email Julie De Jong who has organized the picnic the past few years to make sure a new site can be secured before next year.

School Board Report– Al reported that the school board  voted to decrease schools fund balance from 15 % to 9 % This is to support the goal of giving the teachers a raise and to compensate teachers for extra work days this year. Al and Shellee are working on revised budget for the next school board meeting. Next meeting Jan 25th, 5:30-8:30 in Pit.

HC Foundation Report– Sharon reported that the HC foundation was able to raise $11,000 with the end of year campaign. Thank you to the community! Per email from Sara Brintnall, all money raised through the Foundation goes to Honey Creek to assist with operational costs. There is also an increase in the number of monthly donors to the Foundation which provides the school with both predictable and sustainable funding.  Tax letters for 2016 will be mailed out soon. The next Foundation meeting on February 6th  at 6pm at the meeting room of Sunward Co-housing.

PTO Committee Reports:

  • Wellness: Emails from Julie DeJong and Jane Pacheco. Wellness continued to discuss mental health initiatives at their December meeting. A new parent, Grace Kotre, leads children’s classes in mindfulness and will be starting a pilot program at the end of January (Jan. 30) in the K/1 classes. She is planning to spend 15 minutes in each class, per week. She may be able to expand it next year to other classrooms depending on feedback from the K/1 teachers and interest from other teachers and her availability. Try It Tuesday was potatoes for December. Christine and Eric are working on January Try it day. Wellness also discussed avenues for bringing in other speakers on mental health issues with Al but there are no formal plans as of yet. Next Wellness meeting is 2/17 at 8:15 am.
  • STEM: No official email received. Alison will follow up with Sherry to see how plans for the STEM fair are progressing.
  • Arts : A list of needs/supplies for Christine Bruxvoort are being purchased , discussing purchasing Art books for the media center as a resource for students, and collaborating with STEM committee for “lunch with an expert” series.
  • Literacy: Nicolas book fair raised $539 for the media center. Al discussed having 2 media specialists review collections at the end of the year and inventory. Then maybe they can work to invest the Nicola’s funds. March read-in with High point students is on March 3rd.
  • Room Parents – holiday gift collection went well. Teachers are using spreadsheet for supplies. Parents should check the spreadsheet to see if your teacher has updated needs.
  • Sharon Maccini: Letter writing in the spring to contact legislators in hopes of improving school funding. Considering starting with an information session to families around March/ April.
  • Discussion about communication and filling PTO positions for next year. Difficult to obtain volunteers with numerous other committees (board, foundation, other PTO sub-committees.)

Upcoming Events:

  • Jan 20th Curriculum Celebration
  • Jan 25th Half day
  • Feb 24th STEM fair

No further business was brought forward. The meeting was adjourned at 9:49 am. The next PTO meeting will be held February 10, 2017 at 8:30 am in the Pit.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Kovacs

PTO Secretary

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