Director's Note

Greetings all,

Thanks to all who planned and worked at the harvest Dinner and Fall Festival this year. The food was fantastic, and from all appearances our students had a wonderful time. We are fortunate to have a community so invested in operating these events.

Our AdvancED accreditation visit will take place on November 9,10, and 11. Parent interviews are scheduled for November 9 from 3:30 to 4:15. If you are available to attend, it will significantly aid in our accreditation efforts. If you need child care, please contact Sue Hofbauer in advance. There is no fee if you are participating in the interviews.

Each year we assess our third through eight grade students with the TerraNova assessment. This assessment provides us with consistent information regarding student progress at a time when state assessments continue to change. We plan to begin assessments after Thanksgiving. Your child’s teacher will share with you specific details regarding the assessment schedule.

I had ice on my car this morning, so it is once again time to share information regarding school closures. We do not follow Ann Arbor Public School closings. The decision to close is made by the HCCS administration after consulting with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and reviewing weather conditions. In general, Honey Creek Community School does not close for cold weather; however, if cold weather is accompanied by blowing and drifting snow, which contributes to unsafe driving conditions, the school will close. Snow closings are based on actual conditions on the ground and forecasts. As Honey Creek Community School serves families throughout Washtenaw County, conditions may vary. Students who are unable to attend due to unsafe road conditions will be excused.

Honey Creek Community School maintains several systems for announcing school closings. The most efficient way to receive notification is through the school text messaging system. Families may sign-up to receive text notifications at: Additionally, Honey Creek sends out notifications through our email system and places a banner notification on our homepage: We also post with the following media outlets: FOX 2, Local 4, ABC 7, WWJ-TV 62, CW 50 Detroit, WWJ 950 News Radio, and WJR Radio.

While I’m hopeful that winter will pass without any major weather events, I know it is important for you to have this information in advance.

Have a wonderful November!


Upcoming Events


Election Day
PD: Half Day for students

Sports Banquet@ 4:30pm

4/5 Field Trip to Henry Ford Museum


Board Meeting



2/3 Field Trip to Michigan History Museum


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.


PTO News

The PTO has made it a priority to increase participation this year. We have already made the addition of a remote sign in option for the monthly meeting. In addition, we are going to ensure that we update reporting to the PTO from committees and change the agenda to ensure that going forward all meetings have a length of one hour. We hope once the community can see that the PTO has a short and concise meeting more people will be able to attend. Please come to the November 11th meeting and let us know what you think.
The PTO closet has a lot of users and a lot of materials in it. For the PTO to get a handle on who is using these items, we will be placing a sign in/sign out sheet on the door and would like to ask all users to enter any items removed or added on this sheet.
Spirit wear will once again be available at the school thanks to Abby! Look for online sales from November 7-18, with a distribution date of December 16th at the bagel sale.
A final vote will take place on the PTO budget at the November 11th meeting. To review the budget go to:
The PTO has committed to start a committee that will head a letter writing campaign for local and state political representatives. The more letters we can get to representatives from our community regarding our unique issues as a charter school with a mission to have small class sizes with high results, the more attention we will receive. We all have to realize that Honey Creek, like most schools, will have more financial obligations over the coming 2-5 years then there is revenue. We have to start creating a serious push to ensure our school remains viable to our mission in the coming years. If you are interested in heading this committee or helping, please email
The teachers will be meeting to come up with a project for the Run-A-Thon revenue. We should have an idea at the November meeting. Please ensure you pay all your funds as soon as possible. Thank you to the team for a great event this year.
The teachers will be having a year round supply drive based on feedback that they don't know all the supplies they will need at the beginning of the year. Look for this coming from Lara in the coming month.
Thanks to all that made the Fall Festival a magical night for everyone! Ann did an amazing job as the coordinator this year and will need to be replaced for next year. Please consider stepping up and running this event next year to ensure it continues. Email if you would like to take this over to get all the information from Ann.

Looking forward to seeing you at the November 11th meeting at 8:30am in the PIT,

Alison and Sharon

PTO Co-Chairs

What's Happening in the Classrooms

Early Elementary

In our thematic unit, “My Journey”, children are working towards understanding that learning about families helps them to see family patterns, they can make observations to discover family patterns, and that when they identify patterns in families, it can help them make informed choices.

We recently read the book, “Me and My Family Tree” and the children were asked to create their own. We are connecting this activity to an author study of Patricia Polacco. A pattern in her family is to tell family stories. We have learned about Patricia, her family, and some of her family stories. Whenever we read one of her books, we have identified the family members using Patricia’s family tree. The children are now working in their table groups to retell one of the stories, create a diorama, and reflect on their learning about families.

Additionally, we will be learning about heredity by exploring animal families. Through various books and activities, the children will develop the understanding that young plants and animals are alike, but not exactly like their parents, and parents and offspring have patterns in their behavior that help their offspring survive.


Middle Elementary

For the month of October we have been reading about the Native Americans of Michigan during our CAFE workshop and our read aloud is Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Our focus for math concepts are fractions, geometry, money and math facts. We are learning about properties of materials through various experiments.


Later Elementary

We are excited to share that November will bring about our first later elementary field trip of the year!  On November 16 we will be visiting the Henry Ford Museum to view a movie celebrating and teaching about our country’s National Parks.  From there, we will travel to the River Rouge plant for a tour.  This will nicely supplement our upcoming curriculum about  Michigan’s economy–past and present.

In language arts we are continuing to dig into some of the conventions of writing.  Some upcoming topics will be more on apostrophes and quotation marks.  Once we finish these foundational skills, we will move on to individualized phonics packets.

Literature finds us wrapping up our poetry unit–be sure to check out the gorgeous poetry books at curriculum celebration!  From here, we will be beginning to read Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet and introducing the fall book project–adventure!

Science Rocks!  In science, we are beginning our unit about the planet we live on, Earth!  I am thrilled that the Michigan Science Standards have brought a lot of the study of Earth science into our grade level!  So, we’ll be spending a nice amount of time learning about how our planet works, the materials that form it, how the face of our landscape changes and the forces involved.  We hope to involve the National Parks in our study, as they are often the best examples of the topics covered.  Note to fourth graders:  there is a terrific program currently, called “Every Kid in a Park” through the National Park Service.  Fourth graders can get into National Parks free and there are special incentives for them.  Check out  for more information!


Middle School




In the middle school science classrooms, we just finished up designing and drawing plans for a complex/compound machine that each student will create to complete a task. Next week we plan to prototype many different simple machine ideas to see if our designs will work, and continue to learn and test how mechanical advantages will affect our results. Also we will continue to test the forces that affect our machines and what balanced/unbalanced situations will help us in our movement. The atmosphere of the classroom is a working laboratory where we encourage collaboration, positive approach to failure, and a cyclical engineering process.

Social Studies

Students are still making their way through the Revolutionary War. Each has created a character that has had to express satisfaction or concern with England, discuss his colony’s approach to self-government, voice an opinion on his governor, and recognize key figures that influenced the philosophies of our Founding Fathers. Students are currently breaking down the Declaration of Independence and will analyze the list of grievances at the bottom. Their last requirement will be to put their character through one battle within the war itself. These narratives, aptly called Creating a Characters, will be on display at the curriculum celebration in January. After this unit we will dive into the Constitution, analyzing debates surrounding its creation and discussing both its wonders and shortcomings.

Language Arts


Through the month of October we wrapped up the study of The House on Mango Street with a map project.  Students made maps of Mango Street with information from the book.  These will be on display at curriculum celebration in January.

November should be exciting as we are all, as a middle school, participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).  In the month of November, we will all set word count goals, develop individual stories, and write our first novels.  It will be a huge undertaking, but we’re up for the task.

Also, we will be reading Revolutionary War novels as part of writing workshop.  Thank you to all of the parents who purchased copies of the novel for their kids.  Our picks this time around are Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln and Christopher Collier, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, and The Fighting Ground by Avi.  I look forward to interesting discussions of literature as we read!



Math classes are in full swing as November begins, all four class have had at least one unit test.  It’s easy to develop a routine in math because there is almost always homework (except on test/quiz days), and it’s usually pretty clear what is expected.  Most everyone is in their “math routines” by now.

Course 1 – Our first unit dealing with Multiples and Factors was the first step toward to working with fractions, and our second unit is becoming familiar with Ratios and Proportional Thinking.  We have been exploring ratios with “tape diagrams.”  We’ll be breaking up this unit with a couple of quizzes to make sure we are staying on track.

Course 2 – Our first unit test was over Two-dimensional Geometry… everything from naming point, lines, and planes to angle relationships to polygons.  This unit is quite different, it’s over integers and integer operations, learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide with integers.  Our test for this unit is coming up quickly (Monday, Nov. 7th).  After integers we will be review all operations with all rational numbers (positive and negative).

Course 3 – This is an indication of how important proportional thinking is as a skill and understanding of middle school math, Course 3 students are still working on developing their understanding.  We will use ratios and proportions in many different ways: as conversion factors, as scale factors, to solve problems with similar figures, and more.  We will eventually be moving to relating proportions with direct variations and then with linear graphs.  We will be working on a project with 3-D dilations during this unit.

Algebra – Algebra is going great this year… the  students are dedicated and seem excited to learn, which always makes the class fun for me.  We have had two test already this year and are planning a test over functions next week (Thursday, Nov. 10th).  Currently we are discussing scatter plots and arithmetic sequence, which they are very good at.

Classes are going well this year.  Hope to get a progress report out soon for all classes.  In the meantime please refer to the planner to see if assignments are getting turned in… a stamp means there are turned in, and a circle means they are not.  Enjoy your November!

Don't Forget Our Specials!

Physical Education

Students across all grade levels are working on finishing up their FitnessGram assessments. Last week, students completed the PACER test during class to help them set goals throughout the year to increase their cardiorespiratory endurance.  This week, students have worked on finishing up the following components of the FitnessGram test: curl ups, back saver sit and reach, push ups, and trunk lift.  The Honey Creek students have once again impressed me with their focus and effort during these assessments as well as their constant encouragement to their classmates.

K1 classes have worked a lot in the pool on streamlining off the wall, challenging themselves to see how far they can glide with a single push.  They continue to make improvements in their flutter kick and get more comfortable in the water every week.  In the gym, we have been practicing our underhand and overhand throws by doing both partner skill work as well as various games.

2/3 and 4/5 classes were challenged in the pool to kick on their backs and balance a cup on their foreheads.  This encouraged students to focus on body position during backstroke; some students even swam entire lengths without the cup falling off!  We will continue to progress in backstroke as well as work to increase our treading endurance and learn some open turns over the next couple of weeks.

Middle school has done an excellent job on FitnessGram in the gym.  They have taken a lot of personal responsibility in regards to their individual fitness levels.  Next week, students will begin a volleyball unit in the gym that will continue throughout the month of November.



Greetings all! Here’s what we’re doing in technology class this month.

2/3 Classes:

We finished up with internet safety and began exploring our Google Drives. This month students will learn to create and share documents, create folders, and save pictures to their Drives. We will also be learning the different file extensions for pictures, and creating our own gif images using abcya’s animation maker.

4/5 Classes:

In November the 4/5 students will be working on making Pure Michigan projects. This is a fun collaboration project where they will be researching a place in Michigan and writing a poem about it in Language Arts. Then in technology, they turn their poem into a Pure Michigan video by recording themselves reading the poem and adding music and photos.

Middle School:

In Middle School this month we will be working on creating our own podcasts using audio mixing software. They will be working in groups of 2-3 to create intro music, write and record their scripts, and mix the project. In the technology elective, students are continuing to create their own games.



In K/1 we’ve been exploring the colors we’re wearing with the color song inserted below. The song is to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” so you can learn it and practice it with your kids. See if you can come up with some additional voices with some missing colors!


The middle elementary students have been experimenting with shaker instruments and keeping a steady beat during the chant “Sick Cookie”. We’ve talked about how shaker instruments use seeds, nuts, grains, beads, and many other things to make sound. See if your student remembers the chant and can demonstrate their steady beat for you. If you’d like to participate, they can show you how to split up the chant into 2-4 groups and the whole family can practice!


We’ve taken on the challenge of learning the Star Spangled Banner in 4/5! We’re very excited to present it to you at the winter concert. They’re doing a great job of learning the history of the banner, where it’s sung/played, decoding the lyrics, and connecting to the meaning. Have a talk with your student about the meaning of the banner and places you’ve heard it before!

5th Grade Band 

The beginners have learned their first 3 notes, and how to read whole notes/whole rests. Just recently we’ve learned how to read half notes and rests, which are each 2 beats. They sound more like a band every day, with each and every student steadily improving! Encourage your students to tap their toe to the music they listen to in the car or at home. This helps establish steady beat and teaches their brain to multitask while listening!

Middle School Band

We’re making huge improvements on both of our concert pieces! Furioso is challenging us to focus on listening to the entire ensemble and adjusting your playing to fit the style. The students are also continuing to learn warm-ups by memory, including our newest addition, Fred. Fred is a challenging counting and articulation exercise to practice subdividing and staccato articulations. As always, thank you for monitoring your child’s practice and singing their practice sheets weekly. Ask them to play part of their favorite exercise or piece for you!


In choir, we’re learning to tackle solfeg in warm-ups and their concert pieces. They’re learning to become fluent in the vowels and hand symbols. One song we’ve chosen is partly in Slovakian, and we’ve had fun trudging our way through the foreign language in addition to the challenging vocal parts. Please encourage your choir student to log-on to google classroom to listen to recordings their part broken down as well as complete recordings of the pieces.


Each day we are greeted the cool crisp air of the changing seasons as we watch the world turn from summer to fall. K/1’s are learning more about color as they move from primary colors to secondary colors. There is no better time than Fall to explore green, orange and purple! We looked at a variety of gourds, pumpkins and squashes and discussed the shape, color and textures that we observed. Once everyone had a chance to look, feel and even smell our Fall harvest, we created beautiful artworks using green, orange, and black oil pastel on purple paper. The results are lovely!

November brings a new dimension to art… the 3rd dimension! 2/3’s, 4/5’s and Middle School are all beginning 3D projects.

2/3’s have recently read the book “Mitt the Michigan Mouse” in their classrooms. We will begin making a clay mouse to compliment what they learned from reading the story.

4/5’s are celebrating November by learning about the Mexican holiday, Dia De Los Muertos! We will be making plaster masks inspired by the festive holiday.

Middle School students are just finishing up their human proportions drawings and will now have a chance to make a “mini” humans from polymer clay. We are sculpting a figure from this oven-baked clay which will be painted with acrylic paints.

Art Elective is continuing our exploration of light and shadow as we begin to make shadow puppets. We watched examples of shadow puppetry online including Chinese Shadow Puppet Theatre and Shadow Puppets made just with your hands and light. We will be making our own puppets and then collaborating on original shows written during class.

After School Programs

ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING “EARLY DISMISSAL DAYS:” November 8th; January 25th; February 23rd; 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:  November 24th & 25th, December 23rd-January 6th, January 16th; February 16th & 17th; 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, Basketball (January), Campfire, Capoeira, Chess, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Cross Country Skiing, Dance, Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music, Fitness, Football, French, Gaming, Garden, German, Girls on the Run, Golf, Guitar, Guys on the Go, Gymnastics, 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, Scratch Programming (January), Sewing, Soccer (K-8), Spanish, Speed Stackers, Spiral Scouts, Star Fleet Academy, Strings, Study Skills, Stunts, Swim Lessons, Tap Dance, Tech, Tennis, Theatre, 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.


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!

Board News

The Honey Creek Board of Trustees met on October 26, 2016.

The board reviewed the 2016-17 Strategic Plan. The board uses the Strategic Plan as a working document for the school year. The plan includes a 90 Day, 1 Year, and 3-5 Year Vision Plan. The board accepted the 2016-17 Strategic Plan with one amendment regarding the general fund balance. The general fund balance was lowered to 10% from 15%, under the 3-5 Year Vision.

Yeo & Yeo representative Brian Dixon, presented the 2015-2016 Audit to the Board. The Board of Trustees accepted the 2015-16 Audit.

The Honey Creek Community Foundation gave a $50,000 gift to Honey Creek.

The next Board meeting will take place on November 30, 2016 at 5:30p.m. in the High Point Reception Room (Pit). The community is always welcome to attend.

For more information minutes are available at: 

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 © 2016 Honey Creek Community School, All rights reserved.

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