June 17, 2022


Hello Holt Bolts,

Four items of note for what should be my final staff announcements of the school year:

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• Human Service Coordinator Interviews, WEDNESDAY, 9:45-12:00 – If you’d like to be part of interviews for our Human Services Coordinator position, we’ll be doing those here at school Wednesday, June 22nd from 9:45-12:00.

• Open Classroom Positions – With Lindsey and Mandy sadly leaving us, we have two openings at 4th grade. I’m moving Elizabeth into one of the 4th grade openings, which will give her a more stable position (Elizabeth student taught with Ashley and being the fourth person on a grade level team can be tenuous), which leaves us a 4th and 3rd grade opening. Let me know by Monday if anyone is interested in either of these positions. I’m planning to submit a requisition to HR Tuesday morning. Since neither of these positions went through the Job Expo, HR said we are contractually obligated to first post it internally for 5 days. If less than two internal candidates apply, we can repost the position externally. Let me know if any of you would like to volunteer your time to be part of interviews for either of these positions and I will connect with you when we hold interviews over the summer.

• Head Custodian Sub – Until Facilities hires a permanent person we will have Randy Williams, retired Head Custodian from Roosevelt. He and Ryan will connect to get a hand-off of things before he starts next month.

• Summer School Map Update – A few things shifted on the SEAL/KITS Classroom Map. Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions on this.

• No Nearpod Next Year – Downtown is not renewing the district subscription for Nearpod subscription next school year (it’s now more expensive and had low usage rates), but they will get individual licensed for teachers who were high-level users, so let me know if you used it regularly this year and would like it again next year.

• Oregon Kindergarten Assessment Paused – ODE has canceled the Oregon Kindergarten Assessment for 2022, but we will have to administer a new one in 2023. See this ODE Bulletin for details.


Feel free to call, text, or email anytime over the summer if you need anything. I’m pretty much on-the-clock most of the summer anyhow after foolishly volunteering to be the SEAL principal.

Enjoy your time off, everyone!



January 10, 2022

 Hi Everyone,

This is our one and only full 5-day week with students for January.

Fourteen items of note for this week:

• COVID Updates – I did more contact tracing and quarantining of students last week than ever before in a single week. Here are some COVID reminders and updates:

• REMINDER: Keep Seating Charts Updates – Makes sure you’ve given me your most current classroom, cafeteria and/OR specialist seating charts.

• REMINDER: Breakfast & Snack Times – If you can limit breakfast and snack times to less than 15-minutes total per day, then we can avoid most school-based close contacts. I’ve also seen some teachers make different seating charts for breakfast and snack. If a student does test positive, anyone within 6-feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes with their masks off over the course of the day will have to quarantine.

• Quarantine Rule Change – Students and staff now only need to quarantine for 5-days instead of ten. Also, students and staff do not need to be “symptom free” but instead need to have “improving symptoms without meds.”

• School Rapid Tests – Each school has a limited supply of rapid tests. These tests can be given to staff or students who are a close contact due to a school exposure. We cannot use the school rapid tests for an exposure outside of school (i.e. daycare, friend gathering, positive person in the household, etc.).

• Test-to-Stay Only w/School Rapid Test – If someone is a close contact outside of school, they must quarantine for 5-days, even if they receive a negative test from a doctor, clinic, or home test. Test-to-Stay only happens for school based exposures.

• Volunteers for Essential Functions – Volunteers are still allowed in schools for “essential functions,” such as for instruction or safety, but I’m still holding off on advertising this to families since that may change at some point. Still, if you do need volunteers, it is allowable.

• Booster Clinics – If you’re looking for info on where to get your COVID Booster, you can visit

• COVID FAQs – Here a few frequently asked questions I’m getting lately:

I’m a close contact. Do I have to quarantine? If you are fully vaccinated and not displaying any symptoms, you are cleared to come to school, even if the positive person is someone living in your household. This is true for both staff and students.

Are masks still optional for staff outdoors? If you can maintain 6-feet distance from students, masks are optional. For myself, I’ve found it impossible to maintain 6-feet distance when kids are around and am just masking-up.

What are the symptoms that require staff and students to stay home? I’ve heard an updated list of symptoms is coming out sometime soon, but for now, this is the official list.

• Fever of 100.4° F or higher
• Sore Throat
• Chills
• Cough (non-persisten, dry coughs are okay, but congested coughs are not)
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty breathing
• New loss of taste or loss of smell
• Diarrhea
• Vomiting

• Math Benchmarking for 1st – 5th BEST Placements – Teachers, please prioritize completing Math easyCBM Winter Benchmark this week. Our goal is to start BEST in early February and we need this data to help decide which 1st – 5th grade students would be the best match for the math focus in the after school program.

• Report Cards – See the Report Card Email send earlier for details, but please note the following dates.

• Elementary Grading Day – Friday, January 21
• Elementary Staff Work Day – Friday, January 28
• Report Cards Sent Home – Monday, January 31

Also note the following from the Holt Staff Handbook regarding Report Card Grading Day:

Licensed Staff – Grading day is a regular work day. HR allows teachers to work from home if you notify your administrator in advance, but be sure to plan ahead if you need to collaborate with any colleagues on grading. Please be sure to use this time for grading and not use it to run errands around town. Teachers are highly visible members of the community, so keep in mind public perception. HR has said that if working off-site on grading days is abused, we will not be allowed to continue the practice.

• Official Testing Window Has Been Released – ODE’s official testing windows are March 8th – June 3rd for grades 3-5. In the future, downtown will provide a tighter window for when all elementary schools will be expected to assess students.

• PBIS Meeting Tuesday @2:45 – A reminder to staff that anyone and everyone, classified and licensed, are invited to attend the PBIS Meeting this Tuesday at 2:45 in the library. On the agenda to be discussed are:

• Review and finalize Student Support Charts
• Determine Action Plan & use of $500
• Family Awareness of Discipline process (from PBIS Leaders meeting)
• Fidelity Inventory Results
• Classroom Buddies

• Classified Staff and Delayed Start Days – HR emailed principals regarding expectations for classified staff on days when there is a 2-hour delay. Highlights include:

• All Classified staff should report to work as soon as they can do so safely.
• School-based classified staff should report to work as soon as they can safely and in time to perform assigned duties. This should be no later than 2 hours after their regular reporting time.
• Missed work time can be made up during the workweek in accordance with trade time provisions in the collective bargaining agreement (Article 11.3). If an employee is unable to or is not interested in making up the missed work time during the week, they may use available comp time and/or personal time, if eligible.
• Staff are not be permitted to use paid sick time to make up for time missed from work due to the weather.
• Employees and administrators/supervisors should work collaboratively to resolve questions and concerns.
• Human Resources is available if administrators or supervisors have any follow-up questions.

• Fire Drill, Tuesday, Jan. 18 @1:10 – Not this week, but next week on Tuesday, January 10th at 1:10 will be the January Fire Drill. Linked here is the Building Evacuation Map and the Fire Drill Line Map. If it’s raining, we’ll reschedule for Tuesday the following week.

• REPEAT: School Choice Tours – I’m holding virtual school presentations and tours starting this Tuesday, Jan. 11th (12:30PM) and later on Jan. 20th (6:00PM), and Jan. 25th (12:30PM), but I did want teachers to know I’m planning a Zoom tour of the school at the end of my presentation, so you may see me walking around hallways and classes Zooming with my iPad or laptop.

• Attendance Incentives – Have any students needing an incentive for regular attendance. 4J got an EEF Grant to purchase incentives. If you need something, let me know and I’ll make a request to the Student Services Department for the funds.

• 4J Superintendent Selection – Fill out the Superintendent Selection Survey by Jan. 25th if you’d like to make your opinions heard. The main point I made on my survey was I want someone from the northwest who might actually stay and not another outsider short-timer who’ll just use 4J as a stepping stone to something else.

There’s also a series of staff and community forums you may want to attend:

Community Forums
Thursday January 13, 5–6:30 p.m. — Online via Zoom
Tuesday, January 18, 7–8:30 p.m. — Online via Zoom
Thursday, January 20, 5–6:30 p.m. — Online via Zoom
Saturday, January 22, 1–2:30 p.m. — Online via Zoom
Tuesday January 25, 7–8:30 p.m. — Online via Zoom

Staff Forums
Friday, January 21, 9–10:30 a.m. — Online via Zoom
Friday, January 21, 3:30–5 p.m. — Online via Zoom

• United Way Annual Giving Deadline, TUESDAY Campaign Forms will be collected through Tuesday, January 11th. See the linked United Way of Lane County Email for details. LPT: You can make a donation directly to your classroom and then you get a tax deduction!

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Reimbursement Guidelines – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on Reimbursement Guidelines:

Reimbursement Guidelines:
• If you’re asking for a reimbursement, the merchandise must be shipped to the school. You’re not allowed to have it shipped to your home.
• If you are asking for a reimbursement, receipts must be dated in the last 60 days and this includes secretary time to submit paperwork to 4J Financial Services. .
• Submit your receipt before the 13th if you want your reimbursement to show up on your next paycheck.
• There is a $250 monthly limit for reimbursements.
• The best bet is to still use the school’s business Amazon account for ordering. If you need an invitation to your Amazon business account, let the secretary know

• MegaMillions Pool? – Want to join me in being a millionaire? MegaMillions is almost at $300 million for Tuesday’s drawing. Cash or Venmo me $2 by 3:30 Monday if you want to join!

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

January 10 (M)
Office/Library/Music Staff Room Duty
Winter Benchmark Testing Continues
2:45-3:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

January 11 (T)
12:30-1:30, School Choice Presentation & Tour (Zoom)
2:45-3:25, PBIS Meeting (Library)

January 12 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
2:40-4:30, 2.5 Title EA Interviews (Library)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

January 13 (H)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-7:30, 4J/EEA Negotiation Session (Zoom)
5:00-6:30, Superintendent Selection Community Forums (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

January 14 (F)
1:30-2:25, Friday PD/PLC – SEL

January 17 (M)
No School — Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 18 (T)
KG Staff Room Duty
Winter Benchmark Testing Continues
1:10, Fire Drill
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Zoom)
7:00-8:30, Superintendent Selection Community Forums (Zoom)

January 19 (W)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

January 20 (H)
2:45-3:25, Allan to IEP Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:30, Superintendent Selection Community Forums (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, School Choice Presentation & Tour (Zoom)

January 21 (F)
No School – Grading Day
9:00-10:30, Superintendent Staff Community Forums (Zoom)
3:30-5:00, Superintendent Staff Community Forums (Zoom)

January 22 (SA)
1:00-2:30, Superintendent Selection Community Forums (Zoom)

I’m normally kind of averse to inspirational feel-good types of things, but I really like this video of National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman sharing a new poem to kick off 2022.



September 13, 2021


Hi Everyone,

Our first two days of school seemed to go well. There’s a few tweaks we may want to make, but overall things seemed to run quite smooth, so nice work, Team Holt!

Twenty-four items of note for this week:

• COVID: Staff Stay Home If… – A reminder from the 4J COVID-19: Staff Information – Fall 2021-22 Slide Show I went over two weeks ago, staff must conduct a daily self-check and attest to the following:

√ You are not experiencing primary COVID symptoms due to an unknown illness;

• Fever of 100.4° F or higher
• Chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty breathing
• New loss of taste or loss of smell
• Note: Not all persons with COVID-19 exhibit primary symptoms, particularly in the less-likely breakthrough cases in individuals who are fully vaccinated.

√ You have not been identified as a close contact of a person who is COVID-19 positive;
√ You do not live with a person who is COVID-19 positive;
√ You are not awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test that was administered due to COVID symptoms; and
√ You have not been placed in isolation or quarantine by a health provider or by Lane County Public Health.

If in doubt, please call, text, or email me.

• Safety Week, Sept. 27 – Oct. 1 – In two weeks we’ll hold our Safety Week, which is a good way to bring awareness to staff, students, and families about the various safety procedures right at the start of the year. I like to do this when two months overlap within the same week, so we can take care of two monthly required fire drills all in one week. I’ll plan to go over this Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, but I tried to work around recess times and PE/Music times to avoid stepping on anyone’s prep time. I’m proposing the following times and also that on Tuesday and Friday the 8:10-8:40 PE/Music classes move up 5-minutes and the 9:45-10:15 PE/Music classes move 5-minutes later so everyone get’s their prep and we can squeeze the drill in between.

• Monday – Directed Evacuation (i.e. Fire Drill) – 1:45
• Tuesday – Lockout Drill – 8:35
• Wednesday – No Drill or Weather Make-Up Day
• Thursday – Room Clear – Time decided by teachers
• Friday – Earthquake/Fire Drill – 8:35

4J is looking to use a different program in place of ALICE, likely I Love U Guys, so schools were told to wait to practice those drills until staff have been trained.

All of the above drills are listed in the Emergency Procedures Manual, the rainbow tabbed spiral notebook (which is also in the process of being updated) that should be hanging in every classroom. I’ll make a short announcement before each drill, but it’s also good and encouraged for teachers to prep students prior to each drill.

MONDAY– Directed Evacuation (Fire Drill): Linked here is theBuilding Evacuation Map (same as last year) and an updated Fire Drill Line Map. The evacuation routes are similar last spring, but I’ve updated the spots where classes line up to include new classrooms and teachers. Let me know if you have any questions.

TUESDAY – Lockout Drill: I will announce that this is a lockout drill, where if there was something unsafe in the neighborhood we would lock all exterior doors (though right now they’re all already locked), we would not let anyone in or out of the building, but continue business as usual inside the building until the all-clear, which I will announce 10-minutes into the drill.

WEDNESDAY– No Drill – Weather Make-Up Day

THURSDAY – Room Clear: Room Clear Drills will happen at a time determined by classroom teachers. In normal times this drill would be done in cooperation with another classroom where students could go in the event of an actual room clear, but for this year because of distancing rules, I’d advise teachers to use their commons areas, the library, or an empty classroom if you have one nearby. The goal of this drill is for students to know where they would room clear to in the event of an actual emergency since in most cases the teacher would need to remain in the classroom when the rest of the students moved out of the room.

FRIDAY – Fire/Earthquake Drill: For the Earthquake Drill, teach students to “Drop, Cover, Hold,” meaning drop to the ground (so you don’t fall over), cover yourself by going under a desk (to protect yourself from falling objects), and hold onto the desk legs (so you stay under cover and don’t get bounced out). There are many resource on The Great Oregon Shake Out website for you to teach students about Drop, Cover, Hold and earthquake preparedness. See the linked Evacuation Map & Lines for where classes should line up for the Fire Drill following the Earthquake Drill when you hear the fire alarm go off.

Please let me know if you do not have a manual or if you have any questions or suggestions.

• Meeting Calendar Update – Mentioned in the Leadership Meeting Minutes, wtih the added meetings and PDs this year, we had to revise our building meeting calendar. Regular meetings will be:

Staff Meeting (1st Tuesday of the month, 2:45-3:25)
IPBS Meeting (2nd Tuesday of the month, 2:45-3:25)
Leadership Meeting (3rd Tuesday of the month, 2:45-3:25)
PBIS Meeting (4th Tuesday of the month, 2:45-3:25)

In going down to one Staff Meeting a month, we figure since teachers are already meeting twice each week, we can probably take care of short business items at those meetings.

Also, I’m leaving September’s meeting schedule mostly as planned, except for swapping out the Staff Meeting on the 28th for an IPBS Meeting. The above schedule of meetings will begin in October

• Calendar Requests – Related to the above, staff needing to add any event to the school calendar must use the Calendar Data Entry Form found in the IMC. Please fill it out and turn into Melanie as soon as your event is planned. Prior to scheduling an event, check the school calendar for conflicts. If you’re planning an evening event that will be using the cafeteria you can’t start it before 6:30. The cafeteria is rented out to the YMCA until 6:00 each night and while they’ll help us set up before 6:00 we can’t have parents and guests in there until they’re out.

• No Evening Events on School Board Nights – This isn’t new, but a reminder that schools are not to schedule evening events that conflict with School Board Meetings, not that we’ll have as many evens due to COVID restrictions, but I’ve added Board Meeting to the Staff Zimbra Calendar (and also the Zoom link to the meetings if you want to listen in).

• easyCBM Fall Benchmark Testing Window – ODE guidance has been exceedingly clear on schools providing “Care & Connection” with students and families for the first two weeks of school. Schools should plan on starting the 1-minute 1:1 assessments the week of September 20th and the whole group measures starting the week of September 27th (my birthday!). The window will be open through October 14th.

• State Vaccine Mandate Reminder – Fully vaccinated staff must submit a copy of their proof of vaccine even if they received their shot from a 4J clinic and did the district vaccine verification process. OHA requires the district have a copy of employee vaccination documentation. The deadline for submitting the required OHA exception form is Monday, September 13th at noon. Linked here is the HR Vaccine Mandate Email sent earlier to all staff. Also. Lisa G. offered to deliver any paper verification form if you’re not doing the online form. She said to just put the paperwork in her mailbox if that is helpful to you.

• Seesaw and Students in Quarantine & Friday Prep – Downtown is continuing to work with EEA to reach an agreement regarding how to support students in quarantine. For now, teachers should post materials on Seesaw that a student in quarantine could have a window into activities occurring in the classroom. Additionally, downtown is asking principals to provide teachers time this Friday, September 17th to create a “bank” of asynchronous activities in case we need to take a break from in-person learning.

I’ll notify classroom teachers if a student in your class is on quarantine. Almost all cases this year have been due to a student being a close contact of someone who had COVID and not because they tested positive. Students officially put on quarantine will be flagged in synergy with a house icon like the ones below.

• Regular 3-Feet Student & Masking Refreshers – We need to be proactive in addressing three feet and masking requirements. You have probably already thought of this, but It will be important to have regular lessons and reminders in the first few weeks of school to address proper wearing of masks and ensuring 3-feet in the classroom, outside, and around the school.

• Attendance 15-Minutes After Tardy Bell – Downtown wanted principals to remind teachers attendance needs to be taken by 8:10, 15-minutes after the 7:55 tardy bell.

• Behavior EA Interviews Thursday at 2:35 – HR sent me our candidates list Friday afternoon, so interviews will be this Thursday at 2:35 in the school garden. We had 9 applicants and I’ll plan to interview 3-4 candidates. Interviews will be 25-minute each. Let me know if any of you are willing to volunteer your time to help serve on the interview committee. The more the merrier.

• Principal Visits to Classrooms – I’d like to visit every classroom sometime during the first few weeks of school to greet students and introduce myself. I’ll read a favorite story to your class and chat with the kids a bit. Teachers, please let me know a good 10 minutes block of time I can come and visit sometime this month. Thank you!

• Classroom Newsletters – I’d like to have copies (email is best) of classroom newsletters when teachers send or email them home to families. This helps me keep up to date on what’s happening or going to happen in classes when families ask and it also lets me know details of any class activities that I might be able to get local media to come out and cover. I love promoting our school! If you missed it last week, Holt was in the news on KEZI on Thursday and on KLCC on Friday.

• FREE Table in Staff Room – The Staff Room FREE Tables is starting to get quite a pile. If you put something there, only leave it for a week and after that dispose of it.

• Wear Your Holt Shirt WEDNESDAYS! – We wore our Holt shirts last week on Friday to show school spirt for the first day of school, but our regular school spirit day is Wednesday, so remember to wear your Holt shirt, gear, or purple & green this day each week. Go, Bolts!

Speaking of school spirit, If you missed this Instagram & Facebook posts, check out this Level 10 hair tattoo school spirit!

• Upcoming SSD Changes – An SSD Email was sent to principals regarding changes to address significant SSD staffing shortages. Most of the changes involve reassigning duties for a lot of itinerant staff (nurses, consultants, etc.), but SSD admin are also looking at caseloads and may reassign building staff to understaffed buildings.

• Air Quality Info – It wasn’t too smokey this past week, but if you wanted to know the cutoff numbers, if the air quality is in-between 101- 149, kids are allowed to go outside, but we are advised to avoid over exertion for outdoor activities. Any air quality over 150 is when we need to bring kids in for inside recess.

• University Supervisors Allowed in Buildings – If you have a student teacher, HR has said university supervisors are now allowed to come into buildings to observe and meet with student teachers and practicum students. They just need to be sure to sign-in through the main office.

• K-5 Connect & EOA – All families that were offered spots in K-5 connect had to make decisions as of yesterday. Students that have elected to attend K-5 connect are in the program for the remainder of the first semester. We are still taking students from the waiting list at grades where we have room. Families that are contacted on the waiting list will have 24 hours to make a decision before they lose the seat. We hope to have this ironed out in the coming week.

• Mystery Science Subscription – If you know Mystery Doug, he also has a website Mystery Science, which I just found out 4J has a three year subscription to if you log in using Clever.

• REPEAT: Classified & Licensed Self Assessment & Goals – All staff, both classified and licensed, need to complete a self assessment in TalentEd by September 30th. Licensed staff need to also complete a Goals Development Form by October 30th, which later next month we can develop some optional building goals people can use.

• REPEAT: SELCO’s Educator Grants, Due 9/30 – SELCO’s SPARK! Creative Learning Grant Program is now accepting applications for projects up to $1,000 that inspire curiosity, make learning accessible, and spark something new. Applications are due September 30.

• REPEAT: EEF 2021-2022 Grant Applications DUE OCT 1stEEF Grant Application are available on their website and are due October 8th. No one has brought a grant to me yet, but before you submit one, let me know your grant title and idea so Site Council can rank order grant submission if we get multiple grants.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

September 13 (M)
Regular Day

September 14 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Library)

September 15 (W)
2:45-3:25, PLC Meetings (Library)

September 16 (H)
2:30-4:30, Behavior EA Interviews (School Garden)

September 17 (F)
1:10, Kona Shave Ice Fundraiser (Blacktop Area)
2:30-3:25, Teachers Create “Bank” of Async Activities

September 19 (SU)
Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 20 (M)
Schools can begin 1:1 easyCBM measures
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

September 21 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Library)

September 22 (W)
2:45-3:25, PLC Meetings (Library)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

September 23 (H)
Regular Day

September 24 (F)
2:30-3:25, ACT Aligned Activity (Library)

Gird yourself for our first full week with a full-house since March 2019, but look forward to rewarding yourself on Friday with a FREE shave ice from Kona Ice!



May 10, 2021


Hi Everyone,

Only three more 5-day weeks this year!

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – No new candidates applied for our Music opening the second round of the Job Expo, so I’m waiting to hear from HR if we get someone from the first round or if we can post the position externally. I also found out on Friday that SSD is placing Melanie Pinto into Cole’s CLC position for next year. Melanie is currently a special education teacher at Coburg Charter and Twin Rivers Charter School. Before that she was a teacher at Chavez. Please welcome Melanie to Team Holt!

FYI – If you’re keeping track, we now we have not only an Ashley & Ashley, a Debbie & Deb, a Jackie & Jacque, a Jeff & Geoff, a Katie & Katie, a Katherine & Cathy, a Kelly & Kelly, a Lisa, Lisa & Lisa, a Liz & Elizabeth, and a Mandy & Mandy, but now we will have a Melanie & a Melanie to add to the list of same-name-staff-members!

• Yellow Day, Tuesday & Friday – Yellow Day is this Tuesday and Friday. Supplies are in the copy room. It’s an easy-to-do flower craft to post on your classrooms windows (facing out). Jacque has books for you too. Dress in yellow on Tuesday and Friday. See the earlier emails for details.

• Earthquake & Fire Drill 5/18 & 5/21 @12:15 – Not this week, but next week we will conduct our May Fire Drill and our one required Earthquake Drill for the year on Tuesday and Friday at 12:15 for each cohort. For the Earthquake Drill, teach students to “Drop, Cover, Hold” meaning drop to the ground (so you don’t fall over), cover yourself by going under a desk (to protect yourself from falling objects), and hold onto the desk legs (so you stay under cover and don’t get bounced out). There are many resource on The Great Oregon Shake Out website, for you to teach students about Drop, Cover, Hold and earthquake preparedness. My plan will be to get on the intercom and make a short announcement about the earthquake drill and will shortly after announce “EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE!” at which point students will Drop, Cover, Hold. We will pull the fire alarm to signal when the Earthquake Drill is over, at which point classes should evacuate the building (in a real earthquake, you’d evacuate when the quake stops). See the linked Evacuation Lines Map for where classes should line up for the Fire Drill following the Earthquake Drill, which will run the same as last month. Don’t forget your Emergency Binder!

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time – Downtown asked principals to hold this Wednesday’s PD/PLC time for a potential meeting and/or training. I’ll email staff if we do have something, so continue to hold this time free, but if you do not see an email from me, consider the meeting cancelled. I’d instead suggest staff use this time to complete any outstanding TalentEd tasks (CLASSIFIED: 4J Classified Staff Self-Reflection Form, LICENSED: End-of-Cycle Goals Reflection)

The only other district mandated Wednesday PD dates are 5/25 for part two of the Anti-Racist PD and 6/9 for a “Learning for All” PD (see my announcements a few weeks ago for info on that). I’ll plan to leave other Wednesdays for planning and prep unless something comes up that can’t wait for a Staff Meeting.

• Café Yumm Fundraiser Wednesday – Remind students there’s a Holt Night Out Fundraiser Wednesday at the new 5th Street Market Alley Café Yumm location, 4:00-8:00. 20% of all sale will go to Holt!



• Last Week of School Semi-Update – The Elementary Operations Committee is reconvening on May 14th to discuss and make a recommendation for the last week of school. Elementary principals suggested Monday Cohort A, Tuesday Cohort B, Wednesday a longer online day with both Cohorts (like a MTHF during CDL), and Thursday is a short online day like Wednesdays are now. Stay tuned for a final decision.

• iPad Collection Semi-Update – No official decision has been made on this, but right now downtown is thinking they WILL NOT collect iPads and students will keep them over the summer, which principals were told is what many other 1:1 school districts are doing. Elementary principals had concerns about this, so we’re meeting with the Director of Technology soon. Stay tuned on this one as well.

• 2021-2022 School Supplies Update – Schools next year will not do supply fees or supply lists. Instead, downtown is developing a comprehensive list of school supplies, which the Financial Service Department will work with school secretaries on ordering. If there are specific things schools need that aren’t on this list, that will need to be figured out at the building level (i.e. we pay for it or ask families for a “donation” but not say it’s for school supplies or say it’s a “supply fee”).

• Staff Room Duty Reminder – I’ve added Staff Room Duty to the Staff Zimbra Calendar. Teams should take care of daily cleaning, wiping crumbs off surfaces so the custodial staff can sanitize, wrap up/clean up/throw away food, wipe microwave, and load/start/unload dishwasher as needed.

5/10 – ELD/Speech/Title/Counselor
5/17 – 4/5
5/24 – K/1
5/31 – 2/3
6/7 – SPED/Office/Library
6/14 – ELD/Speech/Title/Counselor

• Holt Staff Dashboard Reminder – Don’t forget about the Holt Staff Dashboard, which we hope has all the varios links staff need. And let me or Kim know if there’s another link you think we s hold add. The dashboard is also permanently linked along the left column of my blog.

• OSAS Opt-In/Out Counts – If you’re interested, linked here is the Number of Students Participating in the 2020-21 State Assessment. Holt is right about in the middle when it comes to the number of families requesting tested, but ‘m still kind of surprised how many wanted testing.

• District Admin Updates – Dr. José Salgado from Mississippi will replace Charis McGaughy as the new Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. The new temporary Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services will be Brooke Wagner. That position is temporary because this was Cydney’s position and her superintendent position is interim, so she had rights back to her old job, which was left vacant this school year. See the linked email for full details.

• “1000 Hopes” Activity – An optional activity for classes, the 1000 Hopes Art Installation is outside at the downtown Eugene Public Library all May and students are invited to express (on a bookmark sized piece of paper) a hope, dream, prayer, write a loved one’s name, or unburden a sorrow or worry. If teachers would like to do this, let me know and I will have the organizers deliver the papers to school. The papers will be picked up from the school on May 21st, and will be added to the installation. See this email for full details.

• Teaching Elementary Students About the Concept of Injustice – Students gain a rich understanding of civil rights when they build from their ideas of fairness to the larger issue of justice. See this Edutopia Article for age-appropriate ways to teach the concept of injustice.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

May 10 (M)
ELD/Speech/Title/Counselor – Staff Room Duty
10:00-12:00, Darla to Counselors’ Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

May 11 (T)
Wear Yellow for Yellow Day!

May 12 (W)
8:38, Allan Reading to Class (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team (Tier 3)
10:30-11:00, 4th Grade Data Team (Tier 3)
12:00-12:30, 5th Grade Data Team (Tier 3)
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Library)
1:40-2:40, Leadership Team Meeting (Library & Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Held for Potential District PD
4:00-8:00, Cafe Yumm – Holt Night Out Fundraiser

May 13 (H)
4:00-5:30, Understanding Your PERS Benefits Presentation (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

May 14 (F)
Wear Yellow for Yellow Day!
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Monthly Meeting (Zoom)
11:00-3:00, Allan Testifying for DHS Court Case (Zoom)

May 17 (M)
4/5 – Staff Room Duty
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

May 18 (T)
8:10-11:45, School Pictures – Cohort A (Gym)
12:15, Earthquake & Fire Drill, Cohort A

May 19 (W)
8:00-1:00, School Pictures – SSO Student Drop-In (Gym)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, KG Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 1st Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 2nd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Zoom)
1:00-4:00, State Testing Day – Cohort A (Locations TBD)
1:40-2:40, Staff Meeting (Library & Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Building PD if Needed (Library & Zoom)

May 20 (H)
8:10-11:45, School Pictures – Cohort B (Gym)

May 21 (F)
Online Scholastic Book Fair Begins
12:15, Earthquake & Fire Drill, Cohort B

UNPOPULAR OPINION: Insomnia Cookies are better than Crumbl.

I learned about this one late, but Insomnia Cookies on campus is honoring all school staff through Monday at 3:00 pm with free cookies! Just bring your school ID and get one free cookie OR buy one of anything and get 6 FREE COOKIES! There’s your reward for reading my announcements early in the week. Tell your educator friends!



April 5, 2021


Hi-Diddly-Ho Holt Staff,

The Holt K-5 party begins this week! Last week went surprisingly smooth for K-1, so fingers crossed we have the same this week.

I did the math and we only have 21 days with students left for this year when you break it up by cohorts, so make these precious few days good ones for kids and most importantly help them feel connected and cared for. Go, Team Holt!

And this Sunday was National School Librarian Appreciation Day and April is School Library Month, so be sure to give a shout out to and thank you to our fabulous librarian, Theresa, who even during a pandemic has continued to put books in the hands of students and has even managed to continue the Oregon Battle of the Books for Holt students. You rock, Theresa!

Twelve items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Two staffing updates:

• CLC EA Vacancy – Our CLC EA Job Posting is now up and closes on Wednesday. Tell any excellent people you know that they should apply!

• Part-Time Night Custodian – Our second part-time night custodian who was supposed to start as soon as students returned to in-person learning has been moved to another position and Facilities is working on finding us a replacement.

• Week of April 5th Notes – Four notes for next week:

• Extra Help for On-Site Students – Any and all extra help would be greatly appreciated this week, especially on Monday and Thursday, at the following times next week:

ARRIVAL, 7:40-8:00 – Helping at buses, at the A, B, C, & D Wing Entrances, and directing student, adults, and vehicle traffic in front of the building.

RECESS, 10:20-12:00 – Reminding students stay 6-feet apart and in their designated hard or soft play areas, as well as helping reinforce the usually recess rules and safety practices. Times are:

10:20-10:40, K-1
10:55-11:25, 4/5
11:30-12:00, 2/3

DISMISSAL, 12:50-1:10 – Normally we’ll end supervision at 1:05, but things always take longer the first few days of school, but helping students find their right buses, finding their adult, and reminding kids and adults to stay 6-feet apart.

• PBIS Points to Ponder – Tips from Kim… Help students express their need to have space (especially in our 6ft apart world)

Empower your cohort with an easy phrase like:
Bubble Trouble
Don’t be a space invader
Be a space saver please
“Hey, I need my space”
“Let’s spread apart more”
A secret hand signal

Make time to teach and reteach
Even as adults we struggle to maintain our space
Read aloud from the Seesaw lesson (optional)
Seesaw lesson (optional)

Create a culture of acceptance
It can be hard to ask for space, so we have to deliberately teach that acceptance
And, we have to deliberately teach self-advocacy too

• REPEAT: Intervention Groups Resume – Title, SPED, ELD, and other intervention groups will resume this week.

Comprehensive Learning Center – Service Focused
ELD – Zoom
Learning Center – Service Focused
Speech – Zoom on off-site days
Title 1 – Service Focused

• REPEAT: New Wednesday Meeting Schedule – Building meetings shift to Wednesdays, 1:40-2:40. Staff Meeting will be the 1st and 3rd Wednesday, Leadership the 2nd Wednesday, and PBIS/IPBS the 4th Wednesday of the month. Wednesday PD/PLC time will continue to be at 2:40-4:00.

• Hybrid & Hybrid-SSO Handbook Updates – Nine hybrid updates and updates made to the Holt Hybrid-SSO Handbook:

• “Badge-In” Reminder – Staff must flash their badge at a card reader upon entry. This is for contact tracing purposes. If you hold the door for a colleague, remind them to still flash their badge.

• Keep Interior Blinds Open – Now that we have student back in classrooms, I wanted to remind staff of the expectation that interior blinds must be open.

• Soft/Hard Play Recess Schedule – My original scheduled for which grade is on soft and hard play was wrong, but here is the corrected one. The youngest grade always starts on the soft play:

• Recess Rules Updates – This was already shared with recess supervisors, but so everyone is in the know:

• Recess Mask Breaks – I’m copying a couple other schools who have designated spots on the playground for mask breaks. There are large circles on the outer edges of the soft and hard play areas where if a kid sees an open circle, they are allowed to sit or stand in that circle without their mask. I don’t think we should start with time limits, but if mask-break-hogs become an issue, then maybe we make a rule.

• Lines for Equipment – After a couple K/1 recesses, we realized we need a rule for lining up to get playground equipment, instead of the standard “crowd around the balls” practice, so kids will line up 6-feet apart to get equipment one person at a time.

• Playground Rules – Just so these everyone is on the same page for recess rules, linked here are the Recess Supervisor PBIS Guidelines and the PLAYGROUND GUIDELINES – General Rules for all. Besides the COVID modifications, let me know if anything on here needs updating. I’ve also added links to these in the Holt Staff Handbook.

• Meals Updates (no count & delivered to classes) – Deb is taking lunch counts off teachers’ plates and will instead plan to deliver enough meals for all students with extra vegetarian meals. Later on, when we get a feel for counts, she’ll scale down. Feel free to send home any extra food with kids who’d like it. Also, teachers preferred breakfast be delivered to classrooms instead of passed out at entry points, so that is the new plan as well.

• PE/Music Schedule – Below is the final PE/Music Schedule, which had the Wednesday Bonus PE & Music Dance Zoom times updated, but the rest is the same. 

• Ventilation Minutiae – If you’re interested, here is a VERY detailed email on air circulation from the 4J Facilities Engineer in charge of the HVAC systems in the new buildings. The short version is more outside fresh air is being pushed into classrooms and opening your windows is a good thing.

• Updated Disinfectant Info – If you’re interested, linked here are Updated Disinfectant Product Info and Use Instructions.

• Random Hybrid Q&A – A few items of interest from last week’s Elementary Principals’ Meeting:

If a hybrid teacher has to quarantine with Cohort A, does Cohort B also quarantine? Does a sub teach Cohort B in-person?
Teacher will not have to quarantine – if they are vaccinated

If a teacher does get COVID and can’t teach on-site, do they have to use their own sick leave or is another leave available?
They use their sick leave, then if they run out and its COVID related, they get the 10 days of temporary leave.

With the change to the 100 cohort limit, do we still have to document when students from different cohorts come into close contact? Can we loosen up who can use which restrooms?
More to come – good question

• North Park Community Church Staff Appreciation – PAHS is delivering breakfast burritos to staff who placed an order this Monday at 7:15 and North Park Community Church is planning to provide an appreciation for staff next week on Monday, April 12th. I’m not sure what they have planned, but will help motivate us the next two Mondays.


• ELA PreK-3 4J Team & ELA Adoption Committee – Chelsea Mabie Emailed principals she is still looking for volunteers for the PreK-3 District Literacy Team and also the Language Arts/Social Studies Adoption team. Let me know if any of you are interested.

• Outdoor School Update – The 5th grade team has already seen this, but if you’re interested, linked here is an Outdoor School Update. It will be in-person day trips the week of May 24th, with Cohort A doing on days trips Monday/Tuesday and Cohort B doing day drips Thursday Friday. Both groups have online ODS actives on Wednesday.

• State Testing Update – ODE sent an Amended Assessment Waiver Request Update to school districts. ODE is proposing in their revised waiver for grades to only teach one test and the others would be optional. The required tests would be:

3rd – English Language Arts (ELA)
4th – Mathematics
5th – Science

This 4J OSAS Testing Update Email was sent before the above ODE announcement, but does have some additional information. I sure hope it’s allowed for kids to do testing on off-site days. Why waste the 21 days of in-person learning kids have left this year?

• Oregon College Savings Plan Swag – I’ve ordered free promotional Oregon College Savings Plan folders, pencils, bookmark, sweepstakes flyer, and info packets in English and Spanish to go home with all students, to help kids and families starting thinking about and saving for college.

• Free lecture – Ibram Kendi, in Conversation About How To Be an Anti-Racist – OSU is offering a free lecture featuring Ibram X. Kendi, a National Book Award Winner, historian, and leading anti-racist voice in America on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. Register Here.

• UO Professional Development RSVP – The UO and Washington Ethnic Studies Now is offering a PD series on critical race theory, culturally sustaining pedagogies, and ethnic studies during three class sessions to be offered virtually via Zoom scheduled from 9:00-4:00 June 22, 23, and 24. Teachers will be provided with PDUs and a $1,000 stipend upon completion of the course, and $200 in books and materials for the classroom. The goal will be to actively involve participants in the exploration of race and critical consciousness and to incorporate these new concepts into professional practice. See the linked Email and Flyer for details.

• 3 Phrases That Can Demotivate Students in Math Class – Seemingly innocuous statements can exacerbate math anxiety among learners—and avoiding these phrases can help all students see themselves as “math people.” See this Edutopia Article for details, but SPOILER ALERT: the phrases are:

• This is so easy.
• You’re so smart!
• You should know this already.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

April 5 (M)
7:15, PAHS Breakfast Burritos Delivered!
7:40, Door Open
7:55, All Grades in On-Site Learning (Cohort A)
2:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

April 6 (T)
Regular Day

April 7 (W)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
10:00-10:30, Allan to Student Meeting
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Zoom)
1:40-2:40, Staff Meeting (Library & Zoom)

April 8 (H)
7:40, Door Open
7:55, All Grades in On-Site Learning (Cohort B)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom)

April 9 (F)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Coordinator Meeting (Zoom)

April 12 (M)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

April 13 (T)
6:30, Holt Kindergarten Orientation for Fall (Zoom)

April 14 (W)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Zoom)
1:40-2:40, Leadership Meeting (Library & Zoom)

April 15 (H)
Regular Day

April 16 (F)
Regular Day

Let’s make this a good week, everyone!



March 8, 2021


Greetings Holt Staff,

Nine items of note for this week:

• Hybrid Updates – I’m working on a Quick Sheet of all the Holt specifics COVID and Hybrid procedures, but below are hybrid and SSO updates I’m putting in Monday’s Quick News.

Hybrid School Hours – School hours for hybrid are 7:55-12:55. Doors open and supervision begins at 7:40. Students arriving before 7:40 are NOT supervised.

Arrival Procedures – To help maintain 6-feet physical distancing, each wing has their own entrance/exit with spots along the sidewalk for where student should stand. See the map below for your child’s entrance. A staff member will be stationed at each entrance to welcome students and to do a visual check for any signs of illness. Students will walk directly to their classroom where their teacher will greet them and will also do a daily visual screening of students for signs of illness. Any students showing signs of illness will be walked to the office.

If a student arrives before the doors open at 7:40, they will wait in their car or stand on a sidewalk spot by their assigned entrance.

Families dropping students off by car are encouraged to park in the North Park Community Church parking lot across the street and walk to school. This greatly reduces traffic congestion in our parking lot.

Dismissal Procedures – At the end of the day, students will exit the building with their teacher, using their designated entrance/exit doors. Bus riders will walk directly to their bus. Students biking or walking will be dismissed. Students waiting to be picked up will wait with their teacher in the designated areas below.

Drivers should follow the one way direction traffic flow indicated in the map below.

Breakfast & Lunches – All students will be provided with a free breakfast and lunch, which they will eat in their classrooms. For breakfast, students will pick up their meal upon entering the building and will take it to their classroom. Lunches will be brought to classrooms. Students will eat meals at their desks and are allowed to remove their masks while eating. All meals are supervised by their classroom teacher.

Classroom Set-Up – Students will be spaced 6-feet apart and all students will have their own individual desk and chair. Students will not share supplies and school supplies will be provided for each students.

School Supplies – 4J is providing all students with basic supplies, but families may also want to send students with extra masks (we hear they can get quite wet by the end of the day) and also a water bottle, although we are ordering some custom Holt Bolt water bottles!

Recess – Students will get a daily 30-minute recess with their cohort group. Students will be allowed to play all the usual playground games, minus those where students would come within 6-feet of one another (i.e. soccer, basketball, tag, etc.). Masks will continue to be worn at all times.

Cohort Groups – Students are limited to 100 people they can have close contact with at school each week. We have divided our cohort groups by grade level into K/1, 2/3, and 4/5. These cohort groups will have designated restrooms and designated recess times, so not to come into close contact with other cohorts.

Health Rooms – If a student does become sick, they will be escorted to the office. We have two designated rooms for student showing signs of illness to wait until their family is able to pick them up. These rooms have been outfitted with air purification systems to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

Daily Cleaning – Teachers will sanitize desks after each meal. Custodial staff will clean high frequency touch points through the day. Nightly, a school district crew will sanitize every classroom space using an electrostatic spray.

Masks – All people, both students and adults, MUST wear masks at all times while on school property. The only time students may remove their masks is during mealtimes.

Visitors & Volunteers – Only students and staff are allowed inside the building at this time.

Hybrid & Online Transition Schedule – This is the current schedule, but be aware that with the Governor’s announcement on Friday for K-5 students to return to school the week of March 29th, the 4J timeline below may be changed:

March 15-19: Grades 2-5 will shift into hybrid classes, but will continue following the current CDL schedule.

March 22-26: SPRING BREAK

March 29-April 2: K/1 begins full hybrid schedule with in-person students.
March 29-April 2: Grades 2nd-5th continue with hybrid classes and continue following the CDL schedule.

April 5: All grades in full hybrid schedule with in-person students.

• Hybrid Miscellaneous – In other Hybrid news…

• Governor’s Reopening Order – If you missed it earlier, linked here is Cydney’s Email regarding the governor’s new order for K-5 schools to offer full in-person or hybrid by March 29. The above attachement includes the Governor’s actual order and also includes the email sent to principals, which more plainly states that the hybrid start date for 2-5 may be affected by the order.

• Health & Isolation Rooms – If you’re interested in the protocols for how health and office staff will handle the Health & Isolation Rooms, see this linked email. The main thing is that the HEPA air recirculation devices in these spaces need to run all day with the door closed.

• 6-Food PVC Pipe – I’m copying some other principals and was thinking I’d go to Jerry’s and get some 6-foot PVC pipe for each classroom to give staff and students a nice visual of what it means to be six feet apart.

• Mask Breaks – There have been questions about “Mask Breaks” for students. I’d advise staff NOT to inform students about mask breaks or else you’ll likely end up with a parade of students asking for one. However, if there is a student who is genuinely struggling, here are the official guidelines from Ready Safe Learners:

Group mask breaks” or “full classroom mask breaks” are not allowed. If a student removes a face covering, or demonstrates a need to remove the face covering for a short ­period of time:

● Provide space away from peers while the face covering is removed. In the classroom setting,
an example could be a designated chair where a student can sit and take a 15 minute “sensory break;”
● Students must not be left alone or unsupervised;
● Designated area or chair must be appropriately distanced from other students
and of a material that is easily wiped down for disinfection after each use;
● Provide additional instructional supports to effectively wear a face covering;
● Provide students adequate support to re­engage in safely wearing a face covering;
● Students cannot be discriminated against or disciplined for an inability to safely wear a face covering during the school day.

I think the best spot at Holt for these would be to seat the student in the commons area outside a classroom, where you can continue to supervise them through the glass.

• Cohort & Pathway Change Requests – Principals now get to decide whether to approve or disapprove any pathway changes or cohort changes, and we do not have to go through downtown. I’d like to be flexible on pathway change requests during our build up the switch, but after the switch I will, as a general rule, consider pathways locked. I’ll plan to connect with affected teachers of any future requests for a change of pathway or cohort.

• District Provided Math LessonsJaimee Massie Emailed teachers an update on Math, Science, and ELA. Also in the above link is her reply to my question about prioritized lessons, where she stated downtown will continue to create the SeeSaw and Slides to accompany the LZ lessons. They are hoping teachers will use the FP days as workshop or asynch practice so they’re putting less emphasis on identifying their connection to priority standards.

And don’t forget there are links up on the HUB for science units that are already SeeSaw-ready. They are from Portland Public (4 weeks of 4 lessons each) and the hope is that not only will this get science to kids but will also take some planning for async days off teacher plates.

• Holt Meal Distribution Ends March 19th – There will be a Food Box distribution with food boxes containing 7 days worth of food on this final day. When we return from spring break, the plan is for kitchen staff to focus on preparing to serve students who are on-site. There will be food distribution sites for students who are SSO or who are on their off-site days, but details on that are yet to be worked out.

• SDI and other SSD Updates – Linked here is an SSD Email that went to SPED teachers and principals. The main to points of interest are that SDI (specially designed instruction) should still be happening during gen ed and we still need to record that time. The other item of note is the acknowledgement that SSD realizes it is impossible to stay 6-feet apart at all times. Kids will need help and for us to show them how to do something. It is okay to get close to kids when necessary and is inevitable new will need to do this. Just don’t linger. Be short and sweet.

• Intervention Models – These came out in various emails, but so they are all in one place:

• Comprehensive Learning Center – Service Focused
• ELD – Online
• Learning Center – Service Focused
• Speech – Online
• Title 1 – Service Focused

• Science Kits Collected Monday – Speaking of science, I only heard from one teacher who plans to teach science using the kit, so I’ve asked Ryan to start collecting kits to ship back to the warehouse on Monday. If you do want your kit, let Ryan or myself know by Monday morning.

• NEW INFORMATION Process for Volunteers This Spring – Volunteers are not being allowed into schools this spring except for rare circumstances. However, if teachers would like virtual volunteers, that is allowed. If this is something you’re interested in, linked here is the Principal Email on Volunteers, The Volunteer Liability Waiver, and the 20-21 Volunteer Guidelines.

• Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Protection Unit – Even though we are in CDL, the state still requires we cover the child safety lessons required by Erin’s Law. 4J uses the Second Step Child Protection Unit to meet this requirement. For each grade level, there are six lessons, which are to be covered at three points in the school year. The recommendation is to teach lessons 1-4 in the fall, lesson 5 right before spring break, and lesson 6 right before summer break.

I’m not sure if each teacher has a copy of your grade level’s Child Protection Unit and since CDL makes sharing more difficult, I’ve posted scanned versions of Child Protection Unit in the Staff Google Drive. Holt Staff Documents > Curriculum/Instruction > Social Emotional Learning (SEL) > Second Step

• Staffing Updates – Two staffing updates:

• Hybrid Utility Support – Educational Assistant – HR gave schools our candidates on Thursday. Districtwide there are 19 candidates for 17 positions, so I wanted to hold interviews quickly before other schools scooped up candidates, so I’m holding interviews Monday morning 8:30-10:00. Melanie and I have it covered, but if anyone wants to join us, you’re more than welcome.

• REPEAT: Recess Supervision EA Interviews, WED@2:00 – I now have the applications for our Recess Supervisor EA Position. I’ll plan to hold interviews on Wednesday, March 10th from 2:00-3;30. Interviews will be over Zoom. Let me know if any of you are interested in volunteering your time to help with interviews.

• Holt Jumpathon Wednesday @1:00 – Don’t forget to get kids pumped for the Holt Jumpathon this Wednesday at 1:00. Wear your shirt this Wednesday and feel free to join the virtual event to show off your jump roping skills (if you’re looking to take a break from prepping for hybrid).

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 914 1708 7656
Passcode: jump


• 2021 ACD Award Nominations – It’s ACE Awards season! Holt has an exceptional staff who make a difference for students every day and are worthy of recognition. Now is the time to recognize them! Nominations can be made in three categories: teachers and licensed specialists, administrators and supervisors, and classified staff. Nominations are due by April 15th. Going by past experience, winners are usually selected when a staff gets together to nominate an individual with a flood of nominations, so let me know if staff want to coordinate anything. Linked here is the ACE Awards Email and the ACE Awards Nomination Webpage.

• 4J State Testing Update – The district testing coordinator emailed building testing coordinators that following the blanket national waiver being rejected, 4J’s state waiver has not been processed. That means we don’t know whether we’ll be testing or not, and if we do test, we don’t know what that will look like exactly. See the above email for details, but mostly we’re just waiting.

• Brené Brown on Empathy – Here’s a fabulous short animated video that shows you the difference between empathy and sympathy and is narrated by Brené Brown. The four qualities of empathy are: 1) Perspective taking. 2) Staying out of judgement. 3). Recognizing emotion in another person. 4) And then communicating that you recognize their emotion. She says, rarely does an empathic response begin with the word “At least.” Lots of good lessons here that can be applied to when we talk with kids, parents, colleagues, and others.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

March 8 (M)
8:30-10:00, Allan to Hybrid EA Interviews (Zoom)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

March 9 (T)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, OPTIONAL 2021-2022 Staffing Discussion

March 10 (W)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
11:00-12:00, Allan & Darla meeting w/4J Wrap Coordinator (Zoom)
1:00, Holt Jumpathon! (Zoom)
2:00-3:30, EA Interviews (Zoom
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 11 (H)
11:00-10:00, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream – Holt Night Out Fundraiser
2:30-3:30, IPBS CDL Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Site Council (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

March 12 (F)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day (Async Only)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Monthly Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

March 14 (SU)
Pi Day

March 15 (M)
K/1 Distance learning ends for K/1 Orientation Week
Grades 2-5 shift to hybrid class lists, continue following CDL schedule
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to Admin Meeting (Zoom)

March 16 (T)
12:30-1:00, Interventionist Team Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

March 17 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
8:40, Allan Reading to Kindergarten (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
10:00, Allan to Title 1 Budget Meeting (Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 18 (H)
Regular Day

March 19 (F)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day (Async Only)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
10:45-2:00, Food Box Distribution (Cafeteria)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

March 22-26

March 29 (M)
K/1 Begins Full Hybrid (maybe grades 2-5)
Grades 2-5 continue with hybrid classes and CDL schedule (but maybe full hybrid)

Spring break is almost here!


February 1, 2021


Howdy Team Holt,

This week is National School Counseling Week, so I wanted to take a moment to do a shout out to our rockstar counselor, Ms. Darla. Holt students, staff, and families are very lucky to have a school counselor who’s willing to go about e and beyond on a regular basis. We appreciate you, Ms. Darla!

Twelve items of note for this week:

• Hybrid Updates – Two items of note:

• Class Lists Postponed – If you missed last weeks 4J Family Newsletter, K-12 families are being given another opportunity in February to change their pathway. This means we should hold off on making class lists until those pathways are locked in. My suspicion is more families are going to switch to hybrid, which means we may end up with fewer online blends and more straight grades.

Additionally, this article makes me think downtown isn’t planning to start hybrid until after spring break, although that’s just my speculation.

• Classroom Set Up – I shared this way back at the start of the year, but linked here is Hybrid Classroom Capacity Info, which includes a sample classroom set-up for Holt classrooms that meet the 6-foot distancing requirement. There may be additional specifics in the future, but in the meantime if staff would like to move any furniture out of your classroom, you may place it outside your classroom or you can email Ryan if you’d like help moving any excess furniture out or help rearranging your classroom.

• Report Card FAQ – I’ve had a few questions this week about report cards, so here a quick FAQ:

• When do we email the report cards home? Anytime on Monday, Feb. 8 before the end of the school day.

• Can I put report cards into supply bags? Only do this for rare situations if there is a family who does not have email access or there are other barriers.

• When are specialist reports due? The staff agreement according to the Staff Handbook is that specialist reports (PE, Music, Title, SPED, Parent Reports) are due to classroom teachers the Wednesday following grading day, which this year is Feb. 3. CORRECTION – SSD wants SSD staff to email SPED reports separately on 2/8. 

• How do I schedule email to go out? You can’t do this in Synergy, but you can in Zimbra. Instead of clicking the Send button, click the down arrow to the right and you’ll get the option “Send later…” where you can pick a date and time for them to go out.


• Celebrating Bertha Holt – BINGO Night, FRIDAY @6:30 – This Friday at 6:30, we will celebrate the birthday of our school’s namesake, Bertha Holt, with an extra “ULTIMATE” spirit day, a super fun Bingo Night. Bingo cards can be picked up a this Thursday’s Supply Distribution. Get your students pumped for this event!

Here are some links/ideas to celebrate Bertha Holt if you would like to use them:

Bertha Holt Book Reading YouTube Video:

Bertha Holt TV Segment: The Woman whose big heart started an adoption agency with Rick Dancer:

Bertha Holt Celebration Bingo Zoom Link and IDs:
Meeting ID: 957 2668 7151
Passcode: BINGO

• EA Extravaganza Feedback – Downtown is seeking EA Extravaganza Feedback. Click the above link to let them know how things went. They will use the information and feedback to improve future sessions.

• PAHS Holt Staff Appreciation Day 2/11 – Courtesy of our fabulous parent group, PAHS, on Thursday, February 11th, Holt staff are invited to go to the Coburg Road Human Bean (across form Costco) to order your favorite beverage. Just mention that you are a loved staff member at Bertha Holt to receive one free drink.

• Free Student Desks – I mentioned this at a staff meeting, but as a reminder, a Holt neighbor offered to build free student desks for any students in need of one. Just tell me their name and he’ll deliver them to school for families to pick-up.

• REPEAT: 2021-2022 Staff Survey, Due Feb. 15 – To help prep for 2021-2022 Staffing, please complete the linked 2021-2022 Staffing Survey by Feb. 15. All answers will be kept confidential and let me know if you have any questions.

• REPEAT: Feb. 4 Supply Distribution Sign-Up – If you are available to help with this Thursday’s Supply Distribution, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet to help between 8:00-11:30 or 11:30-3:00. Staff can utilize trade time if you work beyond your normal hours this day.

• District Admin Update – Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Charis McGaughy, has decided she will leave 4J at the end of the school year, exploring options, possibly overseas.

• 2020-21 Statewide Assessment Waiver Update – ODE submitted a request to the Department of Education to waive state assessments for this year. It’s has not been approved and the testing window is still currently set to open March 4th, but I thought staff might be glad to hear this news. See the ODE Bulletin for details.

• Ways to Level Up Your Zoom Skills – By getting familiar with more advanced features of Zoom, teachers can encourage more interactivity and collaboration during online learning. See this Edutopia Article for tips on using nonverbal feedback and reactions, annotation tools, managing breakout rooms, and others.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

February 1 (M)
Black History Month
National School Counselor Week
Second Semester Beings
EOA Student Return
3:00-4:30, Allan to Elementary Health/Safety Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

February 2 (T)
12:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

February 3 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, KG Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 1st Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 2nd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

February 4 (H)
8:00-3:00, Supply Distribution (Front Entrance)

February 5 (F)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)
6:30-7:00, Bertha Holt’s Birthday – Ultimate Spirit Day – Zoom BINGO

February 8 (M)
Report Cards Emailed to Families
1:30-4:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

February 9 (T)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)
6:30, Yoga Night for Kids (Zoom)

February 10 (W)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 4th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 5th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
6:00, Family Engineering Night – Straw Rockets! (Zoom)

February 11 (H)
PAHS Holt Staff Appreciation Day at Human Bean
2:30-4:00, IPBS Monthly CDL Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom)

February 12 (F)
Friendship Day
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Monthly Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

Have a good week and don’t forget to make your 10-15 second dance video for the Staff vs. Students Virtual Dance Battle!


January 25, 2021


Hello Holt Bolts,

If non-lotto players were wondering, the Mega Millions pool members became $4 dollar-airs after Tuesday’s drawing which was reinvested in a Powerball ticket and a $1 Megabucks ticket, but sadly we are all returning to our day jobs.

However, if anyone wants to get in on a pool for the Oregon Lottery St. Patrick’s Day Raffle, send me $10 by the Friday. It has a smaller jackpot, but better odds. One $1 million top prize, 300 prizes of $500, and 1,500 prizes of $100.

Eleven items of note for this week:

• Virtual EA Extravaganza on Friday – Educational Assistants and other interested classified staff, please see the Extravaganza Email and the EA Extravaganza Offerings & Zoom Links for what to do this Friday’s Classified PD offerings while licensed staff work on report cards.

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• KG/Title 1 EA Posting (5.25 hours) – The 5.25-hour KG/Title 1 EA Position was posted last week and closes this Tuesday.

• Title 1 EA Position (4 hours) – We are sadly losing Andrea, who was hired by Camus Ridge as their new Title 1 Coordinator. She will start at Camus on Wednesday, so her 4-hour Title 1 EA Position is now posted and closes on Thursday. Connie Gilhuber will sub for Andrea until we can make a permanent hire.

Please feel free to recruit any educator buddies or solid candidates for these openings!

• 4/5 SSO Blend: Emma Knight – From the district pool, we’ve hired Emma Knight for our Same School Online 4/5 Blend. Emma is currently teaching a part-time CDL job share in an Adams 2nd grade classroom, but before she moved to Oregon she taught 5th grade and kindergarten in Hawaii. Please welcome Emma to Team Holt!

• Vaccination Updates – Principals received an HR Vaccination Email asking us place staff into two groups for receiving the vaccines. I used a randomizer website create the groups, which managed to follow their one requirement, which was to break up grade levels, so we don’t end up with an entire grade level in one group. Linked here is the Vaccination List I submitted to HR. It’s not in the email, but a principal buddy clarified with HR that one group does not have priority over the other, meaning Group A doesn’t necessarily go first.

• Students/Adults COVID Positive or in Quarantine – Staff have been good about notifying me when you find out any families are COVID positive, but HR is asking for us to also notify them if we find out any students or parents or others in the home are in quarantine.

• Report Card Send-Home Info – Following our stand-up staff meeting on Friday to decide how we want to handle supply distribution and report card distribution, we decided on the following:

• Feb. 4th Supply Distribution will stay as originally scheduled.
• Feb. 8th, classroom teachers will email report carts (either through Synergy or Zimbra) to parent/guardians by the end of the day.
• Specialists (PE, Music, Title, and SPED) will email classroom teachers their reports to attach to your email.
• Parent Reports (sample report) will be emailed to teachers the morning of grading day.

• UPDATED: Class Lists, DUE FEB. 12 – Fill in your A/B cohort groups and Same School Online (SSO) info onto the Hybrid Class Lists 2020-21 Google Sheet (Staff Drive > MISC > Class Lists). There’s a tab for each classroom with a column for each of your cohorts. Also note:

• NEW: SSO Blend Breakdown – I forgot to include this last week, but here is the breakdown of how many of each grade should go into the SSO blends:

K/1(23 total) 11 Kinders and 12 First Graders
1/2 (23 total) 6 First Graders and 17 Seconds
3/4 (24 total) 16 Third Graders and 8 Fourth Graders
4/5 (25 total) 10 Fourth Graders and 15 Fifth Graders

• UPDATED: Siblings – The first tab, Siblings, tells if students in have siblings or not. If students have elementary age siblings, place them into Cohort A. If there are siblings at middle or high school, they can go into either cohort group.

• REPEAT: Pathways – The second tab, Pathways, tells if students have selected Hybrid, SSO, or EOA. Be sure to place students at your grade level returning from EOA. There are a handful who are coming back either to Hybrid or Same School Online.

• REPEAT: CDL Placement for Returning EOA Students, DUE MONDAY – We need to notify families this week of class placement for students returning from EOA on Feb. 1. Whether they chose Hybrid or SSO, they will need a classroom placement while we are still in CDL. Grade levels should email Melanie which teachers are taking these students by Monday.

• REPEAT: Keep Class Lists Confidential – Downtown does not want us going public with what students will have what teacher/class A or B until right before we go Hybrid and Same School Online.

• REPEAT: 2021-2022 Staff Survey, Due Feb. 15 – To help prep for 2021-2022 Staffing, please complete the linked 2021-2022 Staffing Survey by Feb. 15. All answers will be kept confidential and let me know if you have any questions.

• Feb. 4 Supply Distribution Sign-Up & Info – Next week’s supply distribution is on Thursday, February 4th from 8:00-3:00. If you are available, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet to help between 8:00-3:00. Staff can utilize trade time if you work beyond your normal hours this day. And this time we really do have headphones to hand out!

• UOTeach-In on Educational Equity & Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies – Misael Flores Gutierrez, the 4J Equity, Instruction & Partnerships Administrator, asked principals to share the linked email about this year’s annual  UOTeach-In. The online events will take place Feb. 22-27. The keynote is Dr. Bettina Love, author of We Want to Do more Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, and co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network. Other speakers and sessions will focus on anti-oppressive pedagogies and anticolonial and Indigenous pedagogy.

• Keeping Story Time Alive in the Pandemic – Story time is a powerful tool for helping preschool and elementary kids and their families feel connected during distance learning. I’m a sucker for a good picture book, so this Edutopia Article clicked for me. And let me know if you’d ever like a guest reader. I love any excuse to read a book to classes!

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

January 25 (M)
Dynamo Groups Resume
1:30-4:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

January 26 (T)
12:30-1:30, School Choice Presentation & Tour (Zoom)
6:00-6:30, Creation Crew w/Ms. Jackie (Zoom)

January 27 (W)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Check-In Meeting w/Jeff Johnson (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
10:30-11:00, Allan Meeting w/Office Staff & SSC (Zoom)
10:40-11:10, 4th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 5th Grade Data Team – Tier 3

January 28 (H)
Make a Hat Day – SPIRIT DAY!
12:00-8:00, Oakway Pegasus Pizza – Holt Night Out Fundraiser
12:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:30-4:00, Allan to Evaluation Planning Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Technology Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)

January 29 (F)
No School – Grading Day

February 1 (M)
Second Semester Beings
EOA Student Return
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

February 2 (T)
12:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

February 3 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:00-3:30, 5th Grade Data Team – Tier 1/2
9:30-10:00, KG Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 1st Grade Data Team – Tier 3
11:15-11:45, 3rd Grade Data Team – Tier 1/2
11:45-12:15, 4th Grade Data Team – Tier 1/2
12:00-12:30, 2nd Grade Data Team – Tier 3

February 4 (H)
8:00-3:00, Supply Distribution (Front Entrance)

February 5 (F)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)
6:30-7:00, Bertha Holt’s Birthday – Ultimate Spirit Day – Zoom BINGO

Have a good week, everyone!


January 11, 2021


Hi Holt Bolts,

I know folks are thinking about report cards and standards and such right now, but do know you have my full permission to take time out to do “fun” dinosaur, ocean, or whatever topics that excite you. Those are the kinds of things that hook kids and make them want to keep coming back, which we especially need right now.

Eight items of note for this week:

• Report Card Notes – With Brooke’s Report Card Update, I wanted to highlight a few related items, the last of which I’ll also go over at the next Staff Meeting.

• Report Cards Open Soon – Once we’ve made sure all ELL students are properly flagged in Synergy, we’ll open report cards for any teachers who want to begin working now.

• Report Card Resources – Most everything you need to know about report cards can be found on either the 4J Elementary Report Card or Elementary Synergy TeacherVUE Documentation websites.

• Grading Performance Key – Mentioned in Tammy Christiansen’s Report Card Email is the Grade Performance Key below, which is intended to guide teachers wether you should mark a 1, 2, 3, or 4 for a student. Looking at the percentages, it should be clear that 4s are reserved for only a few truly exceptional students. 3s and 2s will encompass most students and 1s are for students who are significantly behind or who are not demonstrating what they know (i.e. not submitting assignments and/or participating in Zooms). Related to this is the the linked video on Calculating Report Card Marks, which I’ll also go over at the next Staff Meeting to make sure everyone is aligned in our grading practices.

• Student Engagement Ideas Doc – Linked here is the Student Engagement Ideas we shared out at last Monday’s PD/Planning Day. I know I didn’t capture all of the ideas that were shared, so please add to the doc to share your pro-tips with others. On a related note, here’s a WeAreTeachers Article about a teacher who is using wigs and costumes to up engagement in her classroom, which doesn’t seem too far off from Liz putting stickers on her face. :)

• Keep Hybrid Staffing Confidential – I didn’t say this at last week’s Staff Meeting, but do not to share with students or families the classroom and teacher shifts when hybrid starts. I’m waiting for the all-clear from downtown, which I hope is soon since I’m sure info will leak out if they make us wait too long.

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time – There hasn’t been any direction for this Wednesday’s “Hybrid Planning” and we’re pretty limited what we can plan for at this point (downtown and EEA have yet to meet), so in the absence of any direction, teams can use this time for prep. UPDATE: Meeting Cancelled. See email. 

I was originally thinking of having teachers start working on hybrid class lists, but since we don’t know when that will start and since there will likely be plenty of move-ins and move-outs between now and then, I’m thinking it’s better to hold off. Also, we still need to find out from downtown how we’re handing siblings, families in co-living situations, students with special services (SPED, ELL, etc.) for making and A-week and B-week cohorts.

However, if there are any type-A teams who want to dive in, I did make a new Hybrid Big Placement Form that teams can work on if you so desire. Just know that we may later need to make adjustments later once we get guidance from downtown. UPDATE: Link deleted. Talked at leadership and we’ll use a simpler form.

• easyCBM Updates – Data Coordinators and principals have gotten some easyCBM Updates I thought I’d share:

• Update on the 20-30% of Students Tested – Gloria shared earlier downtown requiring only 20-30% of students be tested, but we’ve now been told that students in the following categories should be tested as usual:

• Title 1 students
• Students with IEP goals that require them to test in easyCBM
• Students on interventions that call for repeated testing

• Can I test other students? – Yes, if you want to test additional students outside of the above listed groups, teachers are welcome to administer those tests.

• Which tests do I administer? – All the typical measures for that grade and testing season are to be given whenever possible. Listed below are all of the normally required assessments by grade-level.

K – Letter Sounds, Phoneme Segmenting, Word Reading Fluency
1 – Letter Sounds, Word Reading Fluency, Passage Reading, CCSS Math
2 – Passage Reading, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, CCSS Math
3 – Passage Reading, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, CCSS Math
4 – Passage Reading, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, CCSS Math
5 – Passage Reading, Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, CCSS Math

• Subs Available – If any teachers want a sub to cover your class while you test your students, there are district funds available to cover. Let me know if you’d like to do this.

• What about my SMART Goals? – If you had easyCBM as a measure for your SMART Goals, don’t sweat it. This year is like none other. When it comes time to reflect at the end of the year, just say the school district did not require these tests to be administered and the data was not collected.

• Testing Window – The winter benchmark testing window closes Feb. 11.

• Report Card Parent Reports – Since the testing window goes past the planned report card send home date, my guess is that there will not be the usual district parent reports (attendance, easyCBM, OAKS, etc.) we send home with report cards.

• Enrollment Updates – If folks are interested, principals receive Monthly Enrollment Reports. Holt is the elementary second largest school in 4J with 491 student. We’re 39 students below our 530 enrollment projection, although if you look at the report, nearly every school in 4J is below their original projections. I’m not sure how downtown is going to factor this year into next year’s enrollment projections. My hope is they treat this year as an anomaly, but I did want staff to be aware we are almost two full-time teachers overstaffed at the moment.

• If you read one article this week… – Diane Ravitch, one of the original authors of No Child Left Behind and also Common Core, who has since renounced both and is now a bit of radical voice in education (who I also think is pretty awesome), shared the text of a terrific Facebook Post from a former upstate New York superintendent who wrote what she thinks educators should do once children actually do return to school.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

January 11 (M)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

January 12 (T)
9:10, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
12:30-1:30, School Choice Presentation & Tour (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-6:30, Talking With Books – Title 1 Family Event! (Zoom)

January 13 (W)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 4th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 5th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Hybrid Planning (Zoom)

January 14 (H)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom)

January 15 (F)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

January 18 (M)
No School – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 19 (T)
12:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

January 20 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, KG Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 1st Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 2nd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Hybrid Planning (Zoom)

January 21 (H)
6:00-7:00, School Choice Presentation & Tour (Zoom)

January 22 (F)
7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

Have a good week and an even better three-day weekend!


September 21, 2020

Howdy Bolts,

This Monday is going to be the strangest and quietest first day of school ever this Monday. We may not have this whole CDL thing completely figured out, but if you make kids smile and feel welcome, count this week a success! :)

Twenty-six items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – We held interviews on Friday for our Essential Skills Coordinator (ESC) and HR did a nice job pushing the hire through quickly and were able to hire we Gloria Speasl. Gloria has worked in 4J the past 15 years as a Title 1 Coordinator and ESC (and also as an ESC when it went by other acronyms), so we got a good one on our second round of interviews!

Also, our new Student Success Coordinator, Kim McManus, is finally being released by her school district and is set to join Holt starting Wednesday, September 30th.

Please welcome Gloria and Kim to Team Holt!

• PE/Music Updates– Late last week downtown give principals some PE/Music Guardrails, which game some clarity around PE and Music specialists during CDL. Here’s how those guardrails look for Holt:

• Slow Rollout PE/Music Schedule – PE and Music teachers are also doing a slow rollout that will look like:

⁃ Week #1 – Introduce selves to students in short video recorded or live at class meeting.
⁃ Week #2 – Asynchronous lessons and possibly live synchronous lessons if they are ready.
⁃ Week #3 – Full PE and Music schedules begin

• Full PE/Music Schedule – Linked here is the PE and Music Schedule for when we are past the slow rollout. Alex and Tim are scheduled to join classes on a rotating basis for SEL/Morning Meeting activities. In the afternoons, they will see all students twice a week. In order to do that, Alex and Tim are seeing entire grade levels at a time for synchronous lessons. Wednesdays will be additional slots for SPED or SEL in the mornings and the afternoons will be a bonus synchronous lesson taught jointly by Alex and Tim for students to join at one of the three slots.

The above schedule will start October 5th. PE will start on the Week A schedule and Music will start on the Week B schedule. After that they will flip flop ever other week.

• Attendance Updates – Three items of note regarding attendance:

• New Present/Absent Criteria – To be more aligned with the ODE definition of present, mark students present if students submitted ANY online work or if licensed or classified staff had ANY communication with the student or parent/guardian via chat, text message, email or other mode of communication. Linked here is the New Attendance During CDL Slideshow, but this is the main update.

• Specialists and Attendance – Part of downtown’s above guidelines for PE and Music is that they will not take attendance, but ELD, Title, and SPED are expected to keep track of attendance. If downtown does not provide guidance, I will work with ELD, Title, and SPED teachers on how we will do this.

• How to take attendance in Zoom – Zoom Hosts can take attendance in following your meeting by logging onto your Zoom account in a web browser. Linked here are the complete Attendance Directions with graphics, but simply go to Zoom -> My Account -> Reports -> Usage -> Select a date or date range -> Search -> Find the correct meeting and scroll all the way to the right. The number of participants is clickable and will generate a list of everyone who logged in.

You can also export the information. I recommend using the “Show Unique Users” so it condenses everyone into single units, otherwise you’ll get duplicates of people who got kicked out or left and came back.

• SPED Slow Rollout – SSD staff has already communicated with SPED staff (at least they told principals they had), but the plan for SPED is to collect baseline data and connect with families the first two weeks of school, begin to pushing into some classes the week of September 28th, and then run full groups beginning the week of October 5th.

• UPDATE: Classroom & SPED Teachers Collaboration Log– There were a few questions at last week’s Staff Meeting regarding the Weekly Collaborative Planning Log for Sped and 504.

To first review, logs are to be completed each Monday by 5:00pm for the previous week of lessons (Sept. 28 will be the first day classroom teachers complete the log). You will complete a separate entry each week for reading, writing and math instruction (for the entire week, not for each daily lesson). One response is required for each content area you teach in which students with disabilities are receiving specially designed instruction or 504 accommodations. If you do not have any students with a 504 or IEP related to reading, writing, or math, you do not need to complete this form.

• 504 Documentation – Since 504 Plans are typically not content area specific, if a teacher completed at least one log entry for a student with an IEP in any content area, that will cover the requirement for students with a 504 Plan.

• Social Skills Only IEP Goals – If classroom teachers are delivering the Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) to meet social skills goals, they would fill out the log form, but in most cases it is SPED staff delivering social skills instruction and they will be the ones documenting this SDI on their own log.

• Grade Level Content Specializing? – If one teacher at a grade level is creating the math lessons for the entire grade level, they can also fill out the log for their entire grade level IF (and this is a big IF), all of the teachers at that grade level are proving the same accommodations (since IEP accommodations can vary widely).

• Parent Initiated 504 Response (new process) – 4J is seeing an uptick in the amount of parents requesting 504 evaluations. In response to this, all requests for NEW 504 evaluations be routed through the District 504 Coordinator. If you receive a call from a parent for a NEW 504 evaluation (their child is not currently on a 504), explain to the parent we are centralizing the referral process and that you will route the call to SSD (541-790-7800). SSD staff have been trained on the procedures to complete child-find obligations and will work with the District 504 Coordinator to that end. In addition, district-initiated referrals are also being routed through the District 504 coordinator. The linked Centralizing New 504 Request Process Document articulates the process for both parent-initiated and district-initiated 504 requests.

• Conference Reminders – We start conferences this week and a few reminders to classroom teachers:

• Contact Non-Responders – If you have families who haven’t respond to conference sign-ups, please follow-up with a phone call, email, and text. I’ve suggested to a few teachers to try texting when emails and phone calls don’t get a response. I’ve often had better luck getting a responses in these situations with texts. Google Voice or other free apps like TextNow, which will hide your real phone number, are how I usually text families.

• REPEAT: Survey Doc is Optional – The Google Form for teachers to use during conferences is optional. Teachers can use whatever method works for you do document information shared by families.

• Family Needs – If you discover any families with needs (food, shelter, bills, etc.) please complete Darla’s linked Student Supports/Needs 2020-2021 Google Form. And if you want a tip on how to ask families if they are in need, try something like, “Our counselor has some resources around food and housing supports. Would you like her to get in touch with you about those?”

• Non-Responding Families for Conferences – If you have families you’ve been unable to reach to schedule a conference, please continue to reach out.

• Allan Available for Conferences – If teachers have any tricky conferences you’d like some back-up on, just let me know and I can join you. Also, if anything comes up during a conference, feel free to send me a text and I can hop onto your Zoom if I’m available.

• Conference Flex Time – Teachers can use flex time if families can only meet in the evening. We are not allowed to use trading time, but we are allowed to use flex time during Week #1. As we work toward the other three times this school year – we will look at the calendar – more to come since we are really only focused on this first week conferences.

• Tips on How to Do Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences – This Post goes over the whys, how-tos, and best practices of how to run a successful virtual parent-teacher conference.

• Latest Instructions Regarding Guest Teachers – HR sent principals a Licensed Sub Email Update with a few new items of note. See the link for complete details, but the three points:

• Sub Needed or Not – When reporting an absence, teachers should use the feature to state whether a sub is needed for the absence and what hours the substitute coverage will be needed.

• Entering Sub & Teacher Absence Hours (not always the same) – Subs are entered into AESOP either in 4 or 8 hours increments, though teachers may enter different hours for the amount of time you will be absent. For example, if you have a 3-hour doctor appointment from 8:00-11:00, you’d record your absence as 8-11, but would enter the substitute report times as 8:00-12:00.

• Sub Seesaw Access – At this time, HR is not creating SeaSaw accounts for subs unless directly requested by a teacher or administrator. Most subs have not been adequately trained on these platforms, but HR does have some long term subs who already have accounts.

• easyCBM Testing – First off, testing is going to very unusual and the validity of the results is going to be highly questionable, but we will do what we can to follow guidelines and try our best to make it useful infomation. I attended all three of the easyCBM trainings this past week and there was new and evolving information each time, so imagine what I’m sharing now might change before we begin testing next week, but here are some highlights:

• Benchmarking Timeline – No testing should happened Week #1, but we are planning to begin testing mid-Week #2. Since testing will be much slower going than in brick-and-mortar, the deadline to complete fall benchmark testing has been extended until November 2nd.

• easyCBM Resource Folder – The easyCBM Training and Information Documentation Folder is a folder maintained by the 4J Data Team. I’m only sharing this link because the docs inside keep getting deleted and new ones uploaded almost daily, as they get questions and feedback. Key document to review here are:

• EasyCBM- Testing Students Online Comprehensive Distance Learning (TEACHER VERSION)
• EasyCBM- Introduction Message to Parents

I’m planning to send home the parent sheet in next week’s Holt Quick News, but teachers can feel free to share this information as well.

• Support for Testing – Jenny emailed teachers earlier, but please let her know if you’d like support from Title 1 staff with benchmark testing. We’re hoping classroom teachers can administer the group assessments (Math, Reading Comprehension, and Vocabulary), but we can help with the 1:1 test administration. However, principals were just recently told EAs cannot go into breakout rooms 1:1 with a student unless it has been prearranged with a student, though they can if it’s with 3 or more students, which is possibly how we will administer these tests. I suspect there will be more to come on testing logistics later this week. See below for new Zoom guidelines.

• Assessment Resources – For information about ALL assessments, not just easyCBM, you can go to the 4J Assessment Resources Google Folder.

• FYI – Even though everyone in 4J spells easyCBM with a capital, I stubbornly insist on doing it without since that’s how they write it out on the Official easyCBM Website. Yep, that’s the kind of person I am!

• Zoom Dos & Don’ts – Here are a couple new district guidelines on Zoom.

• EAs and Breakouts (DO) – Teachers can send students into a breakout groups with EAs.

• EAS and 1:1 or 1:2 Breakouts (DON’T) – Do not send students into a breakout room with EAs 1:1 or 1:2 with students unless it’s predetermined and previously communicated with parent/guardians. Three or more students in a breakout room if fine without parent/guardian permission.

• Students in Breakout w/out an adult (DO, BUT CAUTION) – Teachers are allowed to have students in a breakout room without a staff member, this being likened to having students work in the hallway and teachers being able to “join” a breakout room at any point. However, do not let students be in a breakout room alone for more than 2-minutes. That was the district guidance to principals, but in my own opinion, I would stay away from putting students in a breakout room without a staff member and feel we’re better off putting them into breakout rooms by themselves or into the waiting room.

• Recording Student Sessions (DON’T) – No recording of live lessons this time due to FERPA concerns. However, this is being bargained and may change. In my opinion, I think it would be fine to record a teaching session if a teacher used the “Spotlight” feature, although you wouldn’t be able to interact with students as much, but for now, no recording.

• Allan Reading to Classes – Something I like to do every year is introduce myself to students and read a books to each classroom sometime the first month of school. I’d like to continue to do this during CDL, so if classroom teachers can let me know a date and time I could read to your class sometime over the next few weeks, maybe during your SEL time, that would be great!

• SSC Virtual Break Space – Kim McManus, our Student Success Coordinator, shared with me a Bitmoji Classroom Virtual Break Space she created if any of you would like to link to it if you’ve made a Bitmoji Classroom yourself or would like to link it on your Clever page.

• iPad Distribution Update – We did really good on iPad distribution with only about 40 something students who did not pick up a device. We’ll see on Monday if we can generate a report on which students did not borrow a device and will let teachers know.

• New Students in Seesaw – If teachers have a new student join your classroom over the next few days, Synergy will automatically populate this student to your classroom overnight, so you do not need to add new students manually.

• Lalilo instead of SmartyAnts – Multiple staff have asked about renewing SmartyAnts, but I found out last week downtown does not want school purchasing this and instead want us to use Lalilo, which teachers will need to create an account for and set up your classroom. Linked here is the Lalilo Interactive Teacher Handbook.

• RAZ Kids Plus – I just found out the district purchased RAZ Kids Plus. RAZ Kids isn’t as good as Dreambox (IMO), but maybe it’s worth using if kids seem to be getting bored with Dreambox.

• Student Supplies Non-Update – I think the moving target on tech distribution due to air quality ate up downtown admin planning time for student supply distribution planning, so stay tuned for for dates, times, and logistics for how this will happen.

• OSTA/WSTA Joint Virtual Fall Conference – Former Holt Bolt Jaimee Massie reached out to principals and see if we had a teacher in our building (such as a past Science Teacher Leader) who would be particularly appreciative and interested in an upcoming science PD . Tana & Jaimee attended the OSTA/WSTA Conference in person last year and it was very good at focusing our work on NGSS for ALL students though an equity lens. This year it will again be on October’s inservice day but virtual. While we would not pay extended contract for the teacher’s time, we would reimburse the cost of the registration. The conference registration includes a one year membership to the Oregon Science Teacher Association, a great resource. The keynote speaker wrote the book Science in the City and has a wise outlook on science education. If you are interested, let me know by Wednesday. If multiple folks are interested, I’ll simply draw a name out of a hat.

• Inappropriate Seesaw Posts – If you ever get an inappropriate Seesaw post by a student, the Tech Dept. is able to trace it back to its original location and IP address if teachers DO NOT hold off on approving or deleting the post. We recently learned this over an inappropriate post over the summer.

• 4J Student Services NEWSLETTER – If your’e untested, linked here is a copy of the latest 4J Student Services Newsletter that was sent to SSD staff and principals.

• How to make remote lessons more inclusive – See this Education Dive Article for tips on making remote lessons more inclusive (i.e. Universal Design for Learning). The Cliff Notes version is PRESENTATION and CHOICE.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the next two weeks:

September 21 (M)
First Day of School
3:30, Holt Bolt Meeting/Assembly

September 22 (T)
11:00-12:00, Title 1 Staff PD (4J Zoom)
3:00-4:00, PBIS Meeting (Gym & Zoom)

September 23 (W)
1:00, Allan to District Wraparound Meetings (4J Zoom)

September 24 (H)
1:30-3:00, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (4J Zoom)

September 25 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)

September 26 (SA)
9:00-12:00, Holt Clean Up Day

September 28 (M)
Regular Day

September 29 (T)
Regular Day

September 30 (W)
Regular Day

October 1 (H)
Regular Day

October 2 (F)
Custodian Appreciation Day

Remember to have fun with kids this week!