March 2017

Dear community.


While the number of students out each day due to illness has dropped significantly since January, we are still sending one or two students home each day for intestinal and respiratory issues. Our cleaning staff continues to disinfect regularly, but this effort is compromised when students return to school prior to completely recovering from their illness. If you child contracts the respiratory or intestinal virus, please keep him or her home for at least 24 hours after the child’s fever, vomiting, or diarrhea ceases. This will assist us in curbing the spread of the illnesses. Please help us keep our community healthy.


One thing that makes Honey Creek such a special place is the community. Because of your involvement, we are able to hold events like the Fall Festival, STEM Fair, and Talent Show. Recently, concerns have been raised regarding the difficulty in finding volunteers to organize and operate a number of these events. To continue to provide these outstanding opportunities for your children, we need your support. Please consider volunteering so that these events continue to enrich our community experience.


This past week, at the intersection of Wagner and Scio Church, the Road Commission began taking down some trees in anticipation of the roundabout installation. There may continue to be some delays in moving through the intersection but it will not be closed. However, down the road, they are looking at closing the intersection from mid-June to mid-August 2017, when the actual construction of the roundabout will occur. The commission plans to hold an information meeting in May to provide more details. 


Stay healthy,












1/2 day

1/2 day

Board Meeting

Talent Show

1/2 day


Spring Break begins

School resumes

Board Meeting

1/2 Day



The Honey Creek Mission

Honey Creek Community School develops the whole child by integrating a rigorous, project-based curriculum, real-life experiences and expertise, a focus on relationships, and an emphasis on the importance of community in a supportive, multi-age classroom setting.
If we all follow these rules it will make for much safer and more orderly pick-up and drop-off periods.
Firstly, I want to thank Sherry MacKay for all her hard work and effort putting together the STEM fair. I think everyone who was there had a wonderful time and she was able to recruit a lot of middle school students to help which is vital as we look for solutions to our volunteer shortage at the school. 

Secondly, a broader question of event sustainability is taking place. We will be reviewing each event and asking the following questions:

1) Is there a consistently good volunteer base for this event?
2) Can we group events as to reduce the requirement for volunteers? (e.g. STEM with Science Olympiad or STEM with Talent Show)
3) Do we have the participation and community engagement to keep this event?

In the coming weeks you will see an email from us with the list of volunteer positions, time requirements and what spots are needed for next year. Please take the time to review this and contact us if you can step up for one of these positions.

Thirdly, we will have another CPK fundraiser in March. Look for an email to come out about this soon.

Lastly, the Wellness Committee and coordinators of our community's Edible Garden will be hosting the annual spring clean-up and soil prep day on Saturday, April 8, at 10AM, with a rain date scheduled for Sunday, April 9. Please plan to join us!  

As always, we are always open to questions and comments.

- Alison (Julien 2 and Sebastian K) and Sharon (Teo 1)


What's Happening in the Classrooms

Early Elementary


In our third thematic unit of the year, “My Journey through the Community”, children will begin to learn about resource use. Social Studies and science goals for this unit include describing ways in which people modify and adapt to the environment, describing ways in which the physical environment in a place or region affects people’s lives, constructing an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs, and communicating solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

We will end the unit by identifying possible service-learning projects related to resource use. Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

We have been recently participating in mindfulness practice on Monday afternoons. So far, we have used our mindful ears to listen to the sound of a singing bowl and signal when it has stopped producing sound. We learned to zip ourselves up to get into a mindful posture with a straight back. We have also been practicing mindful breathing:

  • We noticed how it feels to take some slow deep breaths (holding up one finger, breathing in to “smell the flower,” breathing out to “blow out the candle”)

  • We passed the “breathing ball” around the circle (a Hoberman Sphere) and practiced breathing in when the ball expands, breathing out when the ball contracts. This amounted to about 3 minutes of mindful breathing, and the kids reflected that they felt calm and relaxed afterward.

  • We briefly noticed how our bellies rise and fall when we breathe, and we can place on hand on our bellies to take “belly breaths” to calm ourselves down when we’re upset.



Middle Elementary

The middle elementary students have been exploring geometry by making three dimensional shapes such as a pyramid, rectangular prism, cube, triangular prism, and hexagonal prism out of newspaper, tape and paper. Students learned about faces, edges and vertices. This project is being integrated with their technology class by creating a movie trailer about their geometric shape that they created. We are also working on a project where students are designing a floor plan to learn more about area and perimeter. Learning more about the three branches of government for social studies has been the focus and will soon begin to explore magnetism and force and motion for science. The students continue to work on reading and identifying the main idea and supporting details as well as the who, what, when, where and why of fiction reading. Narrative writing is based on a small moment (event) and expanding this small moment with details, setting, character and dialog. We look forward to attending a field trip to the Ann Arbor Hands Museum in the latter part of April.

Later Elementary


Later Elementary has been tackling a lot of challenging topics since returning from winter break.  In literature we are reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor.  This has brought up a lot of issues of equality, discrimination and justice.  We’ve examined Jane Elliott’s work with the blonde eye/brown eye experiment which gave some new perspective in understanding the racism that comes from a group being told they are superior.  We also conducted an activity called Cross the Line where students were able to self identity with a variety of statements.  It helped students connect with and understand each other more deeply and we’ve gotten some great feedback from this!

Thanks once again to the generosity of the fine arts committee, 4/5s will be taking a field trip to the UMMA on March 8.  We will participate in two different programs and are excited about the ways that they will tie in and support our science and social studies curriculum.

Finally, the time is here to begin our biography project.  Students have selected their historical figures and will be starting to research and prepare for writing essays.  Look for news of the final culmination–our wax museum–in April!


Middle School



We are just wrapping up our Light Waves mini-project “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Middle school students incorporated their understanding of how light waves behave into a digital photograph that they captured. Artistic components were included and at curriculum celebration we hope to display and run an art exhibit/competition. Stay tuned! In March we will quickly move to sound waves and learn more about them. We hope to include an ASL (academic service-learning) project involving everyone’s ears, so listen for announcements!



Social Studies

Students are cruising right along in American history. They have recently studied some of the challenges facing the young nation, including passing the political torch after Washington, living with the hypocrisy slavery, and balancing relationships with Spain, France and England. What’s taken a fair amount of time in the past few weeks has been our efforts to better understand the United States’ relationship with native nations. We asked the question, “What happened?” after such peaceful relations emerged with Lewis and Clark. This led us down a path through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries all the way to the Standing Rock Tribe’s resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. As most of you know, we’ll be taking a trip to Washington DC on March 9th to march with and support Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies. Thanks to everyone for your support.
For the rest of the month of March, students will begin comparing the economies and politics of the Northeast and South and start assessing the impacts of westward expansion.

Language Arts


In the month of February, we continued working on informational and persuasive writing, focusing on finding and citing trustworthy sources to back up our claims.  We also started making use of a new web based tool called Citelighter, which helps students compile and properly cite internet research.  Parents, remember the days of using the MLA style guide?  They are growing ever more distant.

As we wrapped up our work on nonfiction writing, we have turned our attention toward narrative writing.  We are focusing on how to choose meaningful topics, developing a “so what” for the piece, and filling it with thoughts and feelings and meaningful details.


After School Programs


ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING “EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS:” March 10, 17th & 28th; April 27th, and May 5th.  If you have not already registered online, please register by emailing  Also, please remember that you MUST give us 48-hour WRITTEN notice to cancel any pre-registered care without being held financially responsible.


REMINDER: NO ON-SITE STUDENT CARE DURING BREAKS OR ON CERTAIN HOLIDAYS.  This includes:  April 3rd-7th; May 29th; and June 14th.


Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board and stay tuned for information on these and other activities:


4H, Ballet, Baseball, Campfire, Capoeira, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Cross Country Skiing, Dance, Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music, Fitness, Football, French, Gaming, Garden, German, Golf, Guitar, Guys on the Go, Gymnastics, Handwriting, Harp, Hip Hop, Japanese, Juggling, Knitting, Korean, Music Lessons, Open Swim, Orchestra, Personal Training, Photography, Pilates, R.E.C.E.S.S., Rocks & Robots, Rockets, Sewing, Skateboarding, Soccer (K-8), Speed Stackers, Spiral Scouts, Star Fleet Academy, Strings, Study Skills, Stunts, Swim Lessons, Tap Dance, Tech, Tennis, Tutoring, Volleyball, WESO, Writing, Yoga, Youth In Government, Zumba



PLEASE CARE WHAT YOU WEAR.  Recess will be outside everyday.  Except for hazardous weather conditions (lightning, severe storms, wind chill below -10° F), we will always go outside for recess.  There is limited indoor space that allows the children opportunities to move around energetically.  Children should always dress for the weather.  Students must wear snow pants, boots, coat, hat, and mittens or gloves in order to play in the snow and sled.


CAFETERIA MICROWAVE USE:  Please do not send your children to school with lunches that need to be microwaved - ESPECIALLY if your child needs assistance.  We do not have enough adults available to help prepare student lunches, and Honey Creek staff will not be held responsible for burned lunches or students.



Please keep our fabulous camp with field trips, daily swimming, and flexible scheduling, and specialty camps on your list of summer fun.  Although we work hard to keep our camp affordable, did you know that any and all excess summer camp funds directly support our school?  Please forward this information to friends and colleagues who may also be interested and encourage them to email us so we can add them to our list.  In the meantime, LIKE us on Facebook!



Service-Learning and building a spirit of service in order to positively impact the world are core components of Honey Creek Community School's mission.  Curriculum-Based Service-Learning happens in the classrooms, but many students are motivated to serve others outside of school hours as well.  Each year we recognize students and families who spend 50+ hours/year serving others with the President's Volunteer Service Award.


The deadline to submit hours is June 14th, 2017.  An awards ceremony will be held the following year to honor all recipients.


In the meantime, thank you for supporting our students as they learn to become philanthropists: giving of their time, talents, and treasures to benefit the common good.  In short, thank you for being heroes!




Honey Creek Community School will advance transformative education practices to ensure all students reach their full potential while preparing them to successfully address the emerging challenges of the twenty-first century.

Copyright © 2017 Honey Creek Community School, All rights reserved.

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