September 11, 2023


Hello Team,

We made it through our first week of school in one piece!

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• Staff Shout Outs! – We’ll share Staff Shout Outs at the start of Staff Meetings once again, so complete the Staff Shout Out Google Form to recognize or show appreciation for a colleague. The link can always be found on my blog and on the Holt Staff Dashboard.


• Morning Announcements, Monday @8:00 – I’ll start doing Monday morning announcements this week at 8:00 on Zoom. The Zoom link is on the Staff Zimbra Calendar. I’ll do them at this time each Monday until we have our usual student news crew in place. I’ll do a few short announcements and end with the Pledge of Allegiance. Add you name to the Pledge of Allegiance Sign-Up if you’d like some students from your class to lead the pledge.


• Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) Begins Monday – The FFVP program will start Monday. 5th grade student volunteers will deliver snacks to classes in the morning. Nutrition Services never gave me the official procedures, but going off past experience with the program:

• Raw fresh fruits or vegetables will be delivered each morning in bags.
• Staff or students passing out snacks should wash hands or wear gloves.
• Fruits or Vegetables should be served daily (not saved overnight)
• Leftovers should be sent home with students

There were some supply chain issues last year that resulted in no snacks on short weeks, but I haven’t heard if that’s the case this year or not, but there’s a short week Oct. 9, so we’ll find out in a four more weeks.


• N.E. Parking Lot on Monday – Be aware that four spots in the north eastern part of the parking lot along Calvin St.will be coned off for Facilities and EWEB work on an underground water pipe leak. I can’t remember the exact amount (Jeremy knows), but it’s a pretty massive amount of water continuously leaking.


• Short Recesses on Wednesdays – A reminder, now that Wednesday is our early release day, this is also the day we have shorter 15-minute recesses, so remember to blow the while and to pick up your classes 5-minutes early.


• Wednesday PD: SafeSchools Modules – I’ll probably keep our Wednesday PD times limited to business times until our Leadership Plan is officially approved and the Equity & Inclusion Team and Leadership Team have time to plan our PDs for the year. This Wednesday will be one of three Wednesdays where staff will be given time to complete the Vector/SafeSchools training modules. PRO-TIP: If you didn’t know already, the modules allow you to take the test first, if you’re feeling cocky. ;)


• Behavior EA Interviews Wednesday – I’m screening candidates this weekend and will set up interviews for this Wednesday after school if anyone would like to help in hiring our second Building Behavior Support Assistant (BBSA). We had 19 applicants, so that’s hopeful for finding someone good!


• Wednesday PD Next Week: Optional Staff Shared Goals Planning – Wednesday next week will be time for any staff interested in drafting shared licensed SMART goals folks have the option of cuttting-and-pasting into TalentEd. For reference, here are the 22-23 Optional Shared Staff Goals, which were a little light on the “Measurable” part of SMART, but we had an okay from the Licensed HR Admin since SEL was still a mandated focus from ODE.


• CORRECTION: Fall Benchmark Testing – See Debbi and Jenny’s Emails for details, but the short version is Title 1 EAs will begin pulling students next week to administers individual easyCBM assessments for falll benchmarking, though teachers can choose to begin testing earlier on your own.

CORRECTION on EasyCBM fall benchmarking:
Week of Sept. 11-15: Title EAs pull last year’s Title students to hallway for Title screeners (NOT EasyCBM)
Week of Sept. 18-22: Title EAs monitor classrooms while teachers pull all students to hallway for EasyCBM testing one on one

Remember to check 504s and IEPs for accommodations. A schedule for for the week of Sept. 18 is coming soon.


• Title EA Support – Be aware that although Title 1 groups have not started yet that EAs are scheduled for push-in and other duties. It’s fine to ask someone on the fly for help, but be aware they may need to say, “Sorry, I can’t help, I’m supposed to be doing ______ right now.”


• Building Meetings Prior to Leadership Plan Approval? – I put this on the Thursday’s Staff Meeting Agenda, but do we want to go ahead and hold meetings such as Leadership and PBIS/SEL before knowing if our Leadership Plan has been approved and before we officially know who’s on those teams? I’m fine either way, cancelling until the plan is approved or going ahead and meeting with interested staff, but I wanted folks to know our first of these building meetings are on the calendar for next week with PBIS/SEL on Tuesday and Leadership on Thursday.


• EA TEAC3H Training Opportunity – Shared at the Back-to-School Classified Staff Meeting, there’s a PD opportunity for EAs to learn strategies for student behavior support. It is asynchronous, takes 20-25 minutes a month for STEP 1 and 2 for each module (there are 8 modules over the course of the year). Step 3 and 4 are practice-based and take about 5 minutes each within Canvas (outside of “practicing” the skill with kids). It takes 2-3 weeks to complete each module. Participants will receive a $40 (VISA or Amazon) gift for a pre-and post-survey, as well as a $20 (VISA or Amazon) gift if you do a brief interview in the spring. See the Pilot Program Intro Video for details and let me know if any of you are interested.


• Request for Student / Classroom Support – A reminder we combined our assistance forms, so staff should complete the linked Request for Student / Classroom Support Form to request a CARE TEAM staff member to connect with you about a student’s attendance, academics, behavior, classroom management, instructional support, mental health, counseling, basic needs, etc. Also, Kim sent out the Scheduled Break Sign-Up Form to set up scheduled breaks, which will start the week of Sept 18, though right now most of Calming Room team is currently occupied with some new high flyer friends.


• Mental Health Therapist for Elem Schools – Based on current needs, downtown is prioritizing elementary schools for their Care & Advocacy (C&A) efforts to provide direct, on-site, mental health support one day a week. The C&A team will be providing mental health case consultation with administrators and counselors, meeting with referred students up to 3 times to help them build skills and strategies that will support their return to learning, and advocating for community resources as needed. I’ll keep folks posted when this will start, but referrals can be made through the Request for Student / Classroom Support Form.


• DHS Abuse/Neglect Reporting on Dataport – As a reminder, staff are to use Dataport to report all incidents of child abuse and/or neglect. This link can also be found on the Holt Staff Dashboard. Do note that you cannot view Dataport unless you are connected to the 4J Network at school or logged on with a 4J VPN from home. Step-by-step instructions for reporting can be found on the 4J Instructions and Forms for Reporting to DHS Webpage, but directions are more clear on the 4J Student Safety Website, which actually links to Dataport. Linked here are DHS Reporting Training Slides that were presented to counselors. And don’t forget the DHS Call Pro-Tip for skipping the long hold time. When you call, once you start hearing the recording, press 1 and then 6, which will skip you ahead in line to the next screener.


• Start of the Year Feedback – The first week of school seemed to fairly go well besides some high intensity new friends, but let me know your thoughts on anything we should do different so I can make note of that for next year.


• Free LGBTQ+ Books – District admin shared with principals you can Request a FREE Set of LGBTQ+ Affirming K-12 Books from GLSEN. There are four grade-range options: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12. LGBTQ+ students at schools with an LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum, which includes LGBTQ+ affirming books, have higher GPAs, are less likely to hear anti-LGBTQ remarks at school, and are less likely to report missing school due to feeling unsafe. Resources are limited and will be prioritized in part on a first come, first served basis.


• Staff Walk-Up Song Quiz RESULTS! – Ashley R. is the lucky winner who correctly guessed the most Staff Walk-Up Songs with 6 right answers! Here’s a Spotify and YouTube playlist of all the songs and here is everyone’s song picks in the order of submission. Thanks for playing along, everyone!

1. Allan Chinn – No More Mr. Nice Guy (Alice Cooper)
2. Allan Chinn – The Boss (James Brown)
3. Lesli Harmon – Almost There (Princess and the Frog)
4. Ben Duncan – I Still Believe (Tim Cappella)
5. Annie Carpenter – HYFR (Drake)
6. Katharine Ankeney – Roam (B-52’s)
7. Katie Gulewich – Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N Roses)
8. Desiree Talley – if I were a fish (Olivia Barton)
9. Jenny Potter – Beautiful Day (U2)
10. Kim McManus – The Champion (Carrie Underwood)
11. Tracy Zehner – Crowd Chant (Joe Satriani)
12. Leah Willow – ME (Taylor Swift)
13. Caitlin Benavides – Energy (Beyoncé)
14. Caitlin Benavides – Come on Eileen (Save Ferris)
15. Ashley Reich – September (Earth, Wind & Fire)
16. Kelsey Hicks – Let me Clear My Throat (DJ Kool)
17. Emily Henson – Lip Gloss (Lil Mama)
18. Sharon Alberts – Treat People with Kindness (Harry Styles)
19. Lisa Zluticky – Don’t Stop Me Now (Queen)
20. Debbi Henrich – What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger (Kelly Clarkson)
21. Molly Beick – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)
22. Ben Duncan – Triumph Song (Wu-Tang Clan)


• Repeats & Reminders – See prior announcements for details, but take note of:

• PBIS Playground Rules Round-Up MON & TUES – The Playground Rules Round-Up will be Monday at 8:15 for 1st and 2nd grade and Tuesday at 1:45 for 3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade. See the station assignment and maps for where classes start and the rotation order.

MONDAY, Sept. 11 @8:15
5-Minute Rotations (4 min. talk, 1 min. transition)
Classes start at:

1. Structures (Gori)
2. Swings & General rules (Willow)
3. Hard Play, Boundaries (Zluticky)
4. Four Square, Kickball, Wallball, Gaga Ball (Bemiller, Rahborn)
5. Equipment, Lining Up, Restrooms (Gulleckson, Norton)

TUESDAY, Sept. 12 @1:45
5-Minute Rotations (4 min. talk, 1 min. transition)
Classes start at:

1. Structures (Ball, Harshbarger)
2. Swings & General rules (Talley, Longoria)
3. Hard Play, Boundaries (Benavides, Cobb)
4. Four Square, Kickball, Wallball, Gaga Ball (Reich, Heinrich)
5. Equipment, Lining Up, Restrooms (Parks, Ayres)

Reviewing the stations are #1 Vicki, #2 Ben, #3 Felicia, #4 Allan, and #5 Annie, though other available staff can come out to help review the Playground & Recess Supervisors Guidelines.

• PBIS Common Area Rules Review – If you haven’t already, review the PBIS Common Area Rules Review Slideshow with your class.

• Principal Visits to Classrooms – Let me know a 10 minutes block of time I can come and visit sometime this month to introduce myself and read a story to your class.

• SELCO’s Educator Grants, Due 9/30 – SELCO’s SPARK! Creative Learning Grant Program offers grants up to $1,000, which are due Sept. 30th.

• Holt Spirit Gear Sale Deadline, Next Week – See Ashely’s Email for details, but the limited edition Holt Spirit Gear Sale ends September 20th.

• Team Sign-Ups – Feel free to add you name to the Team Sign-Ups Spreadsheet.

• Insurance Open Enrollment Deadline, FRIDAY – Choose your insurance plan by September 15th or else you will lose your health insurance benefits for this year. See the 4J Open Enrollment 2022-23 Website for details.

• Love Food Not Waste Resources – Kids are doing pretty good sorting food in the cafeteria, but it would be great if teachers can review the food waste sorting route by showing the 3-minute video 4J Loves Food Not Waste. If it’s helpful, there’s also a Teacher One-Pager and also a Slideshow, which can all be found on the 23/24 Elementary Love Food Not Waste Resources Folder


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

Monday Mailers:
All school based flyers MUST go home on Mondays. Do not send school information home on other days of the week. This is to provide consistency for families.
Flyers will be in staff boxes by Friday at noon if they are intended to go out the next week
K-4 will use same Monday envelope; 5th will use a folder in their binder


• 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 11 (M)
Fall Benchmarking Window Opens
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) Begins
Library Lessons Begin
8:00, Morning Announcements Begin (Zoom) Pledge Sign-Up
8:15-8:45, PBIS Rules Round-Up, 1st & 2nd (Playground)
3:30-5:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

September 12 (T)
10:35, Allan Reading to Class
1:45-2:15, PBIS Rules Round-Up, 3rd, 4th, 5th (Playground)

September 13 (W)
1:30-2:30, Wed. PD – SafeSchools/Vector Modules
1:30-2:45, Behavior EA Interviews (Library)

September 14 (H)
9:00, Safety Committee Meeting (Office)
2:45-3:30, Staff Meeting (Library)
6:00-7:00, Holt PTO Meeting (Library & Zoom)

September 15 (F)
OEBB Open Enrollment Deadline

September 18 (M)
Library Checkout Begins
Dental Packets Due
8:00, Morning Announcements (Zoom) Pledge Sign-Up
8:05, Allan Reading to Class

September 19 (T)
Talk Like a Pirate Day
2:45-3:30, PBIS/SEL Team Meeting (Library)

September 20 (W)
1:30-2:30, Wed. PD – Optional Staff Shared Goals Planning
7:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

September 21 (H)
2:45-3:30, Leadership Meeting (Library)

September 22 (F)
Regular Day


Let’s get ready for our first full week of school, everyone!



March 6, 2023


Hello Holt Staff,

This week is Classified Appreciation Week! From Kitchen staff, to Title, SPED, Kinder, and Behavior EAs, to custodial, to Family Resource Coordinator, to office staff, to health room support staff, our school absolutely could not run without you! A week of appreciation is really not enough, but our school would not be same without you. 

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• Staffing Information & Survey – Four items related to next year’s staffing:

• NEW 23-24 Staffing Scenario Survey: DUE MONDAY @3:30 – Please weigh in on the linked 23-24 Staffing Scenario Survey. Based on results from the prior survey, Plan B was eliminated, so we are down to Plans A and C. Results of that survey can be found on Friday’s Staff Meeting Slideshow, but a majority of staff (75%) voted in support of Plan A over the other plans. Results of the new survey will be shared at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, so the deadline to weigh in is Monday at 3:30.

• 23-24 Staffing Timeline Update – I shared at the Friday PD downtown is changing some due dates on the staffing timeline, but Instruction Dept. admin emailed principals late Friday the following:

Staffing Due Dates: Given that we are all waiting for additional allocations of staffing, the staffing deadlines have been updated. Notice of displaced staff and staffing plan submission is now Monday, March 20 at 10:00 am. The elementary principal calendar has been updated with these dates.

• 23-24 Staffing Allocation Updates – ELD staffing will remain the same for next school year. Also, the linked HR Email details the reasons for the change of staffing timeline, because the school board first needs to approve the use of these grant funds for SSC, ESC, Library, Family Resource Coordinator, and SIA EA time. The next board meeting is March 15th, so we should know our allocations soon after that. I’m thinking allocation may get posted on the School Board Agenda ahead of the meeting, but it might also just have general info.

• 23-24 Title & Sped EA Staffing Updates – Iris is leaving Holt at the end of the school year to enroll in grad school, which means as long as we do not take cuts to the above staffing awaiting board approval, I think that should offset the increased costs for EA time and allow us to not displace or reduce anyone below their current time blocks.

Regarding SPED EA staffing, we started this year at 35.5 SPED EA hours and over the course of the year added a 6.5-hour position and also a 4-hour position, which means our 35-hour allocation for next year represents an 11-hour cut. There has been a lot of pushback district-wide from EEA, OSEA, and building admins over how SSD handled classified allocations. I’ve also submitted our appeals packet to reinstate all of our lost hours and am already building the case that we need more hours for next year (our exiting SPED 5th graders were not a high-needs group, but word on the street is our incoming kinders next year are a very high needs group).

• REPEAT: Classified Appreciation Week, March 6-10 – Holt Classified Staff ROCK! Come by the Staff Room this Monday anytime after 10:30 for a delicious Potato Bar in your honor! Also, watch from some extra treats in your mailbox this week from me. Licensed staff, be sure to add your name to the Potato Bar Sign-Up if you haven’t already.

• REPEAT: Ems Reading Program Kick-Off Assembly, FRIDAY – The kickoff assembly with the Eugene Emeralds for their Home Run Reading Challenge is this Friday, 8:10-8:40. Classes should arrive by 8:05. This assembly is optional if teachers would prefer to share about the reading program yourselves or skip it altogether, but it’s usually a pretty entertaining assembly. I heard from another principal the Ems are doing something new at the assembly instead of “Casey at the Bat” and the kids were pretty entertained.

• REPEAT: Friday PD: OSAS Training, FRIDAY – This Friday is a “Building Based” Friday and we will use it for our annual Oregon Statewide Assessment System (OSAS) training. We’ll meet in the library at 1:30. All staff, both licensed and classified, who will be part of testing are required to attend. If this is beyond any classified folks’ regular work hours, check in with me and we can work something out.

• REPEAT: Holt Friday at 4:00, @Sunriver Brewing Company! – Come blow off some steam at our March Friday at 4:00 at Sunriver Brewing Company! See you there!

• Fire Drill, 3/15 @8:05 – Not htis week, but Wednesday next week at 8:05 will be our March Fire Drill. Linked here are the Building Evacuation Map and the Fire Drill Lines Map. If we are rained out, we’ll try again next Friday.

• Team Meetings, 3/15 – The first two Wednesdays of the month on non-Staff Meeting weeks are dedicated Team Meeting times. Teams should:

• Meet in their wing so specialists can connect if needed
• Take care of any needed team business
• Complete the Team Meeting Minutes Form (make a copy) and email it to

The Team Meeting Minutes Form can also be found on the Holt Staff Dashboard.

• Spirit Day – Sheldon Pride Day, 3/14 – Tuesday, March 14th is Sheldon Pride Pay, Encourage your students to show their pride for our region high school by wearing green or Sheldon HS gear!

• Holt Night Out Fundraiser – Killer Burger, 3/16 – Thursday, March 16th is a Holt Night Out Fundraiser at Killer Burger at Oakway Center! Remind your students to just mention Holt when ordering and Killer Burger will donate a percentage of their family’s purchase to Holt! Take out and dine in only.


• Staff Workload Relief Day, 3/17 – There’s no school on Friday, March 17th for a Staff Workload Relief Day. Licensed staff are allowed to work from home this day as long as you are availalbe to team members and have notified me.

• Classified Staff Meeting, 3/17 – I’m not sure of the time just yet, but I’d like to hold a Classified Staff Meeting this day. Principals have a PD this day, so I’m still working out a time for us to meet. I’ll get it on the calendar soon and definitely by next week’s announcements. I’d like to review some recess rules to make sure we’re all on the same page and also go over some individual student plans, like we did earlier in the year. Let me know if you have additional agenda items for our meeting.

• Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Safety Unit, Lesson #5 – All classroom teachers should use the Second Step Child Protection Unit for meeting the state Erin’s Law requirements. For each grade level, there are six lessons, which are to be covered at three points in the school year, with Lessons 1-4 in the fall, lesson 5 right before spring break, and lesson 6 right before summer break. 4J purchased only one kit per grade level, but linked here are Child Protection Unit Scans of the teacher guides if that makes things easier. 

• ACE Award Nominations Open – It’s ACE Awards season! Holt has many exceptional staff worthy of recognition. Now is the time to recognize them! Nominations can be made in four categories: teachers and licensed specialists, administrators and supervisors, classified staff, and volunteers. Nominations are due by March 31st. Going by past experience, winners are usually selected when a staff or parents gets together to nominate an individual with a flood of nominations, so feel free to start a campaign. Linked here is the ACE Awards Webpage and the ACE Awards Nomination Form. There is no limit on the number of people you can nominate!

• Lost & Found Donated at Spring Break – Remind your class between now and spring break as you pass by the Lost & Found that we are donating anything left behind the last day before spring break. I’ll start running an article in the Quick News for the rest of the month.

• Student Directory Sample Page – Not on my blog, but attached to my email is a sample page from the Student Directory I’m putting together and will send off to Central Print to make copies for families. It’s nothing fancy, but let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback.

• Seesaw March Madness Tournament – In case you missed the monthly March Edtech Update that Justin sent out, there’s a Seesaw March Madness friendly competition between schools. In my opinion, I wouldn’t advise assigning a ton of work through Seesaw, but I do think Seesaw is a great app for kids to share work with their families.

• 4J Reading March Madness Challenge – If you’re interested, Amy Page emailed principals there’s an elementary 4J Reaching March Madness Challenge. The number of minutes ready by each school will be divided by the student enrollment. The goal is to get students reading for fun and to create a culture of reading. Beanstalk, which student log onto with Clever from the Beanstalk button under “Library and Information Resources,” is the tool being used to track reading. If you’d like help with Beanstalk, here’s a How-To Video or you can schedule a time to meet with district librarian Amy Page.

• March SSD Newsletter – If your’e interested, linked here is the March SSD Newsletter that was shared with SPED teachers and principals. This edition includes info about IEP meeting minutes, abbreviated school days, translation services, and behavior consultation.

• District Admin Updates – See this email sent to principals for full details, but Mike Ingman is returning to Sheldon High School as principal. Interim principal Kay Graham is retiring. Also, South Eugene High School principal Carey Killen is leaving at the end of the year and that position is currently posted. Not in this email, but I also hear the Human Resources Director position is posted.

• 30 Women’s History Month Activities for Students of All Ages – This WeAreTeachers Article lists a bunch of simple activities teachers could do to celebrate Women’s History Month.

• 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 6 (M)
Artist in Residence Continues
Library Week #2 Classes
SPED Staff Room Duty
Classified Appreciation Week8:00, Morning Announcements (Zoom)
10:30-1:00, Classified Appreciation Baked Potato Bar (Staff Room)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)
3:45-5:15, Allan to Elem Principals Meeting (Ed Center)

March 7 (T)
Birthday Drinks & Goodies in Staff Room
9:00-12:00, 4th Grade Water Treatment Plant Field Trip
2:45-3:45, Staff Meeting (Library)

March 8 (W)
8:50-10:45, Book Nook, During AM Recesses (Cafeteria)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)

March 9 (H)
10:00-1:30, 4th Grade School Garden Project (Garden)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Cafeteria)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Cafeteria)

March 10 (F)
8:05-8:40, Eugene Emeralds Reading Program Kick-Off Assembly (Gym)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)
1:30-2:30, Friday PD, OSAS Training (Library)
4:00, Holt Friday at 4:00 (Sunriver Brewing Company)

March 11 (SA)
9:00-2:00, Elementary OBOB Regionals (South Eugene HS)

March 13 (M)
Artist in Residence ContinuesLibrary Week #1 Classes
Office/PE/Music Staff Room Duty
8:00, Morning Announcements (Zoom)

March 14 (T)
PI Day
Sheldon Pride Day
9:00-12:00, 4th Grade Symphony Field Trip (Holt Center)
10:15-11:45, Allan Covering Music Classes
2:45-3:45, PBIS/SEL/Equity Meeting (Kelsey’s Room)
5:30-7:00, K-2 Math Games Night (Classroom & Cafeteria)

March 15 (W)
8:05, Fire Drill
8:50-10:45, Book Nook, During AM Recesses (Cafeteria)
2:45, Grade Level Team Meetings
7:00-9:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

March 16 (H)
Holt Night Out – Killer Burger
2:45-3:30, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)

March 17 (F)
St Patrick’s Day
No School – Staff Workload Relief Day
8:00-11:30, Allan to Principal PD


Just three weeks until spring break!



February 27, 2023

Hello Bolts,

Twenty-three items of note for this week:

• UO Baseball Team Visit Monday @Lunch – The UO Baseball Team asked if they could send some players out to school this Monday from 10:30-12:30 and I figured “Why not?” I’ll have them visit with kids at lunchtime in the cafeteria and maybe go outside to play with kids as well.

• REPEAT: Optional Meeting w/UO Interior Architecture Student, MONDAY – A UO Interior Architecture student contacted me, wishing to speak with and/or tour the school to better understand different types of students and faculty needs. They’re hoping to talk with teachers and educational assistants to understand unique opportunities that may benefit a variety of user groups. If you’re interested in helping this UO student, I’ll be meeting with them Monday at 2:45 in the library.

• REPEAT: Holt Night Out – Pegasus Pizza, TUESDAY – This TUESDAY is a Holt Night Out Fundraiser at Pegasus Pizza at Oakway Center! Just mention Holt when ordering and Pegasus will donate a percentage of your purchase to Holt. Take out and dine in only.

• REPEAT: 22/23 Staffing Survey, DUE TUESDAY – If you haven’t already, please complete the linked 2023-2024 Staffing Survey by Tuesday. I’d like to know staff members’ individual plans and preferences for the future as well as your thoughts on next year’s staffing plan, master schedule, or other thoughts.

• 4J Board Member Visit, TUESDAY4J Board member Michelle Hsu went to the wrong school last week, so she is instead visiting the Holt Library with Geoff’s class this Tuesday at 10:45.

• Team Meetings, WEDNESDAY – The first two Wednesdays of the month on non-Staff Meeting weeks are dedicated Team Meeting times. Teams should:

• Meet in their wing so specialists can connect if needed
• Take care of any needed team business
• Complete the Team Meeting Minutes Form (make a copy) and email it to

The Team Meeting Minutes Form can also be found on the Holt Staff Dashboard.

• Fluoride Varnish & Sealant Clinic (Round 2), WED & THURS – Our fabulous School Nurse Eden emailed teachers last week we are holding round two of our annual Fluoride Varnish & Sealant Clinic this Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00-12:00. The Lane County Dental Prevention Team will come to classrooms to pick up individual students.

• Women’s History Month – March is Women’s History Month. Here’s a WeAreTeachers Article with actives and ideas to celebrate this month. If you know of other good resources, let me know and I can share them in future announcements.

• REPEAT: Read Across America, THURSDAY – NEA’s Read Across America is next week on Thursday, March 2nd. This is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading. For some ideas and resources, check out NEA (National Education Association) or Reading Rockets, or Discovery Education. Or just read aloud high-quality books, invite guest speakers, read with buddies, or any other fun celebration of reading and literacy!

And if you missed it in Amy Page’s latest Library Connection, there’s a Reading is For Everyone Calendar for this week and also Reading is For Everyone Choice Board.

• Staffing Plan Survey: DUE THURSDAY – Shared last Friday is the linked 2023-2024 Staffing Scenario Survey. For staff not in attendance at Friday’s meeting, there did not seem to be much support for Plan B. The discussion focused mainly on Plans A and C, and what SPED support might look like if 1st grade had only three sections. Deadline to provide input is Thursday at 3:30. Survey results will be shared at Friday’s Meeting.

• REPEAT: Kona Ice Fundraiser, FRIDAY @12:30 – Kona Ice is coming to Holt for during Read Across America week. Teachers should sent bus riders who brought money to hard play at 12:30, so they have time to buy and eat their shave ice before having to get onto the bus. 4th and 5th grade will still be on the playground at this time, but I will be out there to crown control. And remember, all staff get a free shave ice as well! Just show your badge!

Also, I forgot to say last week that the Kona Ice people gave me a few tokens for a free shave ice to pass out to students, so let me know if you have a deserving student who might otherwise not be able to affort a shave ice and I’ll get you a token.

• Friday PD: Staffing Discussion #2 – The 4J PD Calendar lists “Building Based” as the topic for this Friday’s PD and we will used this time to go over Staffing Survey Results, discuss the scenarios being considered, possibly eliminate some, and weigh pros and cons of plans.

• Classified Appreciation Week, March 6-10 – What would we do without our amazing Classified Team? We’d fall into complete chaos is what would happen! The Sunshine Committee is cooking up some plans for this week, so stay tuned!

• Ems Reading Program Kick-Off Assembly, March 10th – The kickoff assembly with the Eugene Emeralds for their Home Run Reading Challenge is next week on Friday, March 10th, 8:10-8:40. Classes should arrive by 8:05. If you’re not familiar with the program, kids track a reading goal set by the teacher on an Ems Bookmark and if they meet their goal, they earn two free tickets to a Eugene Emeralds baseball game. This assembly is optional if teachers would prefer to share about the reading program yourselves or skip it altogether, but it’s usually a pretty entertaining assembly.

• Friday PD: OSAS Training, March 10 – This Friday is another “’Building Based” Friday, so we will use this for our annual Oregon Statewide Assessment System (OSAS) training. We’ll meet in the library at 1:30. All staff, both licensed and classified, who will be part of testing are required to attend. If this is beyond any classified folks regular work hours, check in with me and we can work something out.

• Holt Friday at 4:00, @Sunriver Brewing Company! – Mark your calendars! Our next Friday at 4:00 will be Friday, March 10th at Sunriver Brewing Company! See you there!

• Removing Cloth and Fabric Items from Classrooms – Downtown on Friday sent the following to principals on Friday and asked us to share with staff:

Removing Cloth and Fabric Items from Classrooms – Clothes, furniture, stuffed animals, pillows, and other items that do not lend themselves to easy cleaning should be removed from the school. These items can become the source of indoor air quality issues, infection transmission, lice transmission, and harborage for pests. If you are using the plush feeling buddies in your school, there should be a cycle for cleaning these items. Thank you for sharing this update with your building staff.

I don’t think this would apply to decorations students don’t touch and sounds like you can keep items if you are able to clean them periodically. Let me know if you have any questions on this new policy and I will check with district admin.

• REPEAT: Input on 4J Budget Priorities – Think more funding should go towards reducing class size than other district positions? Then be sure to fill out the surveys below, where you share your thoughts on the strategies for each of the three areas, and then rate the thoughts other people shared. FYI, class size is on the third survey, but I’d encourage folks to complete all three surveys to have your say. Downtown has been responsive to survey feedback, so it’s important staff weigh in.

Engaged Community
Equity Advanced
Well-Rounded Education

• REPEAT: Revised 23-24 School Calendar Input – Downtown made big changes in their proposed 23-24 School Calendar based on survey feedback. Share your thoughts on the Revised 23-24 School Calendar Survey. One nice idea I heard from someone news to add a mid-winter break, taking the week off the week of President’s Day in February, like they do in Seattle Public Schools.

• Humane Education Presentations by Eugene Animal Services – The Animal Welfare Unit is part of the Eugene Police Department emailed principals they are offering free 45-minute classroom presentations geared towards 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes. See the email for details, but let me know if you are interested by the end of the week and I’ll coordinate dates and times with interested folks.

Summer School Job Opportunities – It’s not official, but Holt is most likley going to host the SEAL Summer School program again this year and I agreed to be principal again at summer school. I did get confirmation Edison is off limits for this year, which is why we’re likely a host school. If you’re interested in working summer school or KITS, check out the job postings on the 4J website. There are classified and licensed postings up. They’re listed under KITS and SEAL. ESY hasn’t opened their postings other than lead teacher. Summer school will run from June 29-August 15. 

• Getting Consistent with Consequences – Few topics cause as much angst in schools as consequences for problematic behavior. Colleagues can view the same challenging behavior and have wildly different ideas about an appropriate consequence. Educators can struggle with the proper use and role of consequences in schools even more than with academic issues. Why is getting consequences right so hard? This ASCD Article lists as common stumbling blocks:

1. “Consequences” Means Different Things to Different People
2. We Try to Get Consistent with Consequences Before We’re Consistent in Beliefs
3. We Want Consequences to “Work,” but Haven’t Defined What That Means
4. We Miss the Middle Ground
5. We Act with Emotion, Not Reason
6. We Misunderstand Consequences’ Role in the Big Picture



• 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 27 (M)
Artist in Residence ContinuesLibrary Week #1 Classes
ELD/Speech/Counselor/Library Staff Room Duty
8:00, Morning Announcements (Zoom)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)
2:45, Optional Meeting w/UO Interior Architecture Student (Library)
4:00-5:30, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

February 28 (T)
Holt Night Out – Pegasus Pizza8:15-9:15, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Heinrich)
9:20-10:20, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Ayres)
10:45, 4J Board Member Visit – Michelle Hsu
2:45-3:45, PBIS/SEL/Equity Meeting (Kelsey’s Room)
5:45-7:15, Conscious Discipline Parent Night (Library)

March 1 (W)
Women’s History Month
8:15-9:15, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Parks)
8:50-10:45, Book Nook, During AM Recesses (Cafeteria)
9:00-12:00, Fluoride and Sealant Clinic
9:20-10:20, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Lovato)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)
2;45, Grade Level Team Meetings
2:40-3:30, Data Team – 3rd Grade
7:00-9:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

March 2 (H)
Read Across America Day
8:15-9:15, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Heinrich)
9:00, Safety Committee Meeting (Office)
9:00-12:00, Fluoride and Sealant Clinic
9:20-10:20, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Ayres)
2:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting w/Sup (Ed Center)
2:45-3:30, Data Team – 4th Grade

March 3 (F)
8:15-9:15, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Parks)
8:30-9:00, Allan to Title 1 Budget Meeting (Ed Center)
9:20-10:20, 5th Philosophy with Paul Bodin (Lovato)
12:30-2:00, Kona Ice, Shave Ice Fundraiser (Hard Play)
1:30-2:30, Friday PD, Staffing Discussion #2 (Library)
2:30-3:20, Data Team – 5th Grade

March 6 (M)
Artist in Residence ContiinuesLibrary Week #2 Classes
SPED Staff Room Duty
Classified Appreciation Week
8:00, Morning Announcements (Zoom)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)
3:45-5:15, Allan to Elem Principals Meeting (Ed Center)

March 7 (T)
Birthday Drinks & Goodies in Staff Room
9:00-12:00, 4th Grade Water Treatment Plant Field Trip
2:45-3:45, Staff Meeting (Library)

March 8 (W)
8:50-10:45, Book Nook, During AM Recesses (Cafeteria)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)

March 9 (H)
10:00-1:30, 4th Grade School Garden Project (Garden)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Cafeteria)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Cafeteria)

March 10 (F)
8:05-8:40, Eugene Emeralds Reading Program Kick-Off Assembly (Gym)
12:00-1:00, OBOB Tournament Practice (Library)
1:30-2:30, Friday PD, OSAS Training (Library)
4:00, Holt Friday at 4:00 (Sunriver Brewing Company)

March 1 (SA)
TIME TBA, Elementary OBOB Regionals (South Eugene HS)


Have a good week, everyone!



August 16, 2022

Greetings Holt Staff,

I hope you’re all still enjoying your summer! Mine was rather short since I did summer school, but it was pretty quiet and much slower than the regular school year. My summer highlights were a few short trips to Yachats and Portland with the family. I only got one of my summer books read, but I highly recommend CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties if that’s your sort of thing. The movie I most enjoyed over the summer was The Perks of Being a Wallflower, though the actual best films I watched were probably the 1959 Japanese film The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (I still need to watch part II and III of this 9-hour 3-film epic I borrowed from Ben) or the Alfred Hitchcock films I watched with my kids (Rear Window, Psycho, & The Birds). My favorite proud parent moment of the summer was my kids getting into Stranger Things on their own. My 5th grader, Josie, really got into Eddie Munson’s Big Heroic Scene in the final episode and would walk around the house singing Metallica’s Master of Puppets, which I found hilarious. But enough about my summer.

Feel free to read these announcements now or ignore them until closer to your report-back date, but I figured I’d send this info out now for folks wanting to know the plan for the year.

For folks new to Holt, my intention with my weekly staff announcements is to send just one email to all staff per week during the school year, usually Sunday morning, so as not to clutter up your inboxes. My hope is that staff read the announcements by the end of the day Tuesday each week (once school starts, that is). These sometimes get long, but I like to err on the side of over-communicating rather than under-communicating. I’d advise staff to read the bold heading for each bulleted item and you can decide from there if it applies to you or not.

On with the lengthy thirty-two announcements!

• Welcome 22-23 New Staff – Please welcome the following fabulous new staff members to TEAM HOLT!

• 2nd Grade Teachers (Michael Dempsey & Myah Rabourn) – Michael is an experienced teacher who’s taught since 2004, starting out teaching high needs primary grade students in the Bronx, New York to teaching at the Hong Kong International School and most recently teaching at the Ruamrudee International School in Thailand. Myah student taught last year with Ashley and later was a regular sub for us in the spring, but before that was an EA in Lebanon School District and ended her time in Lebanon teaching 3rd grade on an emergency license.

• 3rd Grade Teachers (Kendalynn Ball & Marissa Harshbarger) – Kendalynn student taught at Holt this past year in Liz’s classroom and also taught 2nd grade at summer school. Marissa student taught at Edgewood this past year in a 4/5 blended classroom and had prior experience as a SPED EA and also a Behavior EA in Springfield.

• Behavior EA (Levi Thompson) – Several of us got to work with Levi this summer at SEAL where he was the secretary and did a great job with kids and staff, but his day job last year was as a Behavior EA at South Eugene High School.

• Human Services Coordinator (Felicia LaCuesta) – Felicia comes to us from the Salem-Kaiser School District where she served in a similar role as the McKinney-Vento (homeless) Student Advocate for the past two years. Before that she worked as a Branch Director at the Boys and Girls Club. Also, if you’ve forgotten what this position is (since it’s a new one for us), it is something of a resource/wrap-around coordinator to help families in need get access community resources.

• Kinder EA (Amber Callier) – Amber comes to us from Howard where she was an Education Assistant in the CLC. Before that Amber was a special education EA from her home state of Georgia. Amber also lives right here in the Holt neighborhood!

• Lead Custodian (???) – We conducted interviews back in July and had a strong pool of candidates, but Facilities and HR are moving VERY slow. I’ve been told a job offer has been made, but am still waiting for an official announcement.

• Librarian (???) – We conducted pool interviews with Howard and Chavez last week and have selected a candidate for each of our schools, but are now waiting for HR to do their thing. Hope I’ll have something to announce by next week.

• School Nurse (???) – I’m told SSD has hired a nurse for us, but the person has not gone though the HR intake process yet, so hopefully I’ll have an announcement soon.

• Special Education Teachers (Emily Henson & Whitney Oliver) – Emily is our new full-time SPED teacher and comes to us from Utah where she’s taught in a self contained classroom at an autism charter school. Whitney will be our part-time SPED teacher, at Holt in the morning and Gilham in the afternoon. She’s an experienced teacher who was the CLC teacher at Chavez last year.

• Title 1 EAs (Carol Eichers & Lori Tingue) – We’re welcoming back two Holt Bolts, Carol and Lori. You may remember Carol from last school year when she took over as our COVID Utility EA for the last part of the year. Lori was with us two years ago, teaching with the Dynamos, and started with us last year before taking a temporary teaching position at Gilham.

I’ve also pleased to announce that Sped EA Darrin Heffington will be returning this fall. We’re thrilled to have you back, Darrin!

Below is a list of the classroom teaching assignments and linked here is a complete 2022-2023 Staff List. Also, the Holt Website Staff Directory has been updated. Let me know if I missed anyone.

KG: Katie Gulewich, Lesli Harmon, Robin Seno, Robin Vaughan
1st: Jacque Barton, Heidi Gori, Lisa Zluticy
2nd: Michael Dempsey, Jenna Norton, Myah Rabourn
3rd: Kendalynn Ball, Marissa Harshbarger, James Longoria, Desiree Talley
4th: Caitlin Benavides, Elizabeth Cobb, Ashley Reich
5th: Liz Ayres, Debbi Heinrich, Candace Lovato, Geoff Parks

We’re excited have all of you join our team!

• Updated School Map – Linked here is an Updated 22-23 Holt School Map of where folks are working this year. Let me know if you spot anything that looks wrong. This doc can also be found on the Staff Google Drive under MISC > Maps.

• Building Access & Sign-In – SEAL finished Monday and KITS finishes Thursday. Once your classroom is no longer being used, you’re welcome to come in if you’d like. Facilities is postponing our summer deep cleaning until winter break, partly due to Facilities staffing shortages and partly to allow staff wanting to come in early to do so. For now they’ll just do a quick summer cleaning.

If you do come in early and outside of regular work hours, be sure to remember to sign-in on the sign-in/sign-out sheet, which will ensure the building is armed if you’re the last one out.

• Report Back Dates, CLASSIFIED DATE CHANGE – Please note HR made a mistake on the Classified Work Year Calendar and you now report back one day later than what was originally on the calendar. Here are the report back dates:

• Elementary Secretaries – Monday, August 15
• Licensed Staff – Friday, August 26
• Classified Staff – Tuesday, August 30 (196-day on 8/24)

• Inservice Week Schedule – Linked here is a Draft Inservice Week Calendar downtown shared with principals, which has dates, times, and locations for teachers. It’s still in draft form because they need to confirm host schools can accommodate their plans (I just found out on Thursday Holt is hosting Sheldon Region elementary teachers the 26th and 29th). A final draft will be sent soon. Counselors, Librarians, Music, PE, and SSD licensed staff will have PD different from what’s on the Holt Staff Calendar, so see the above link and watch for additional information from your district admins.

Classified Staff are scheduled to have a district led PD the first day you report back on Tuesday, August 30th, but principals do not have any details on that yet.

For the one day on Inservice Week I’m in charge, I’ll try to keep things useful but succinct, so staff can maximize what little prep time you have (Candace gave me a gentle nudge over the summer and tagged me on the meme below).

I’ll add Zoom links, locations, and other details to the Staff Zimbra Calendar as I get them, but here’s the inservice week calendar as it currently stands:

August 23 (T)
New Teacher Welcome Event (Time & Location TBA)

August 24 (W)
New Teacher Welcome Event (Time & Location TBA)

August 25 (H)
New Teacher Welcome Event (Time & Location TBA)

August 26 (F)
8:00-9:00, Time to Pick-Up Wit & Wisdom Materials
9:00-4:00, Wit & Wisdom ELA PD – Day #1 (Holt)

August 29 (M)
8:00-3:00, Wit & Wisdom ELA PD – Day #2 (K-3 @Zoom, 4-5 @Holt)

August 30 (T)
Protected Teacher Planning
Classified Staff Report Back
Educational Assistant PD (Location & Time TBA)
8:30, Welcome Back Burritos, Coffee, & Supplies! (School Garden)

August 31 (W)
8:00-12:00, Holt Back to School Meeting (Cafeteria)

September 1 (H)
7:30-10:00, 4J Back-To-School Gathering (Tentative)
1:00-4:00, Health for Grades K-2 (Zoom)
1:00-4:00, Math for for 3-5 (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Kidnerzone Meeting (TBA)

September 2 (F)
9:00-12:00, Universal Design for Learning PD (SEHS)
1:00-4:00, Math for for K-2 (Zoom)
1:00-4:00, Health for Grades 3-5 (Zoom)

September 5 (M)
Labor Day – No School

September 6 (T)
Collaborative Planning Time for Lang Arts Adoption
8:00-10:00, Staff Meeting (if needed)
10:00-11:00, Optional New Staff Orientation and Q&A (Cafeteria)
2:00-3:00, Meet Your Teacher
3:00-4:00, Kona Shave Ice Fundraiser (Hard Play)

September 7 (W)
Classes Begin – First Day of School

• Wit & Wisdom Material Available – The new reading curriculum, Wit & Wisdom, has been delivered and classroom sets of materials are labeled and waiting outside each teachers’ classroom. However, K-2 still had a few items in Portland, so they’ll probably get delivered later this week. Also, downtown is having Unit Zero printed and bound for all teachers, but they are not done yet.

• Wit & Wisdom Online Access – All staff have digital access to Wit & Wisdom Online. Just visit the website and log on using the password: elafororegon

• Wit & Wisdom PD Notes – Katie Stiles, K-3 Literacy TOSA, had a few suggestions and notes regarding the PD on August 26th and 29th:

• Print Module #1 – It is available online, but she suggested printing the first model and bringing it to the PD.

• Review Student Text – She also said reading over the student text ahead of time will make staff feel more prepared.

• August 26th PD, In-Person – Friday, August 26th, all Sheldon Region elementary teachers grades K-5 will meet at Holt, 9:00-4:00. 8:00-9:00 is time for teachers to collect your teacher guide and other materials.

• August 29th PD, In-Person and Zoom – Monday, August 29th, K-3 will be on Zoom and grades 4-5 will be in-person at Holt, 8:00-3:00.

• Student Supplies (don’t help yourself just yet) – School supplies have started to be delivered, but teachers should hold off on gathering items. Office staff need to first take inventory to make sure we got everything we ordered and will let teachers know when we’re ready to distribute.

• Welcome Back Burritos, Coffee, & Supplies! Tuesday, 8/30 @8:30! – Join us for burritos, coffee, school supplies and socializing with work friends! Brought to Holt Staff by the amazing group at The Hope Project on Tuesday, August 30th at 8:30 in the School Garden!


• Optional New Staff Member Orientation and Q&A, 9/6 @10:00 – I’ll be available 9/6 at 10:00 in the cafeteria to share some Holt nuts & bolts logistics, answer questions, and provide any assistance for new folks. I can get busy during inservice week, so I like to set aside a time when I’ll be available for new staff. You can also always text, call, or email.

• Meet Your Teacher, 9/6 @2:00 – In-person “Meet Your Teacher” is allowed this year and looking at past staff calendars, it was the Tuesday before the first day of school from 2:00-3:00, so that’s what I’ll send out to families, but let me know if that’s incorrect. I’ve also scheduled Kona Ice to come at 3:00, so hopefully that’ll make it easier to chase families out of your classrooms when the event is over.

• 2022-2023 Class Lists – Here’s the link to the 22-23 Class Lists that were created last spring. As usual, there are quite a few new move-ins and move-outs, so some adjustments will need to be made.

• 2022-2023 District PD Calendar – District admin shared the linked 2022-2023 DRAFT PD Calendar with principals if you’re interested. It’s changed a few times already, including (after input from principals) changing some of the SEL and Curriculum Friday PD days into building based or teacher choice days instead, so we have those at least once or twice a month. All dates are also on the Holt Staff Calendar.

• Work Hours, 7:30-3:30 – For full-time staff, we are back to our regular work hours of 7:30-3:30, and we are going back to students entering the building at the 7:50 morning bell.

• School Hours – Even though the school board approved counting PD, lunches, and recesses towards state required instructional minutes, elementary school hours are staying the same for this year, which are:

Monday – Thursday: 7:55-2:25
Friday: 7:55-1:10

• Holt Meeting Calendar – I stuck with the same meeting rotation as last year, with the exception of PBIS meetings. Downtown wants schools to hold a monthly SEL Meeting, which they suggested for elementary schools to roll into the PBIS Team, which will now meet twice a month:

• Staff Meeting (1st & 3rd Tuesday each month, 2:45-3:25)
• PBIS/SEL Meeting (2nd & 4th Tuesday each month, 2:45-3:25)
• IPBS Meeting (same week as second Staff Meeting, 2:45-3:25)
• Leadership Meeting (same as second PBIS Meeting, 2:45-3:25)
• Classified Meeting (Monthly on  “Staff Choice” Friday PD dates)

There’s a few months where adjustments had to be made because of non-school days, but this is the plan for most months.

• COVID Protocol Updates – We’re pretty much back to normal this year, with in person meetings (parent groups, Title 1 Family Nights, Meet Your Teacher, Book Fairs, etc.), field trips, and volunteers back in buildings. If you saw the most recent CDC recommendations for schools, 4J implemented most of those back in the spring. Principals are supposed to get a copy of the HR presentation we received today, but here’s the scoop on what was shared with us:

• Visitors & Volunteers – Volunteers are allowed in schools, but casual visitors who want to each lunch with their kids, walk them to class in the morning, or just want to stop by to visit are not allowed. Visitors are allowed to come in for IEP meetings, Parent Group Meetings, or enrolling new students, though Zoom continues to be an option for meetings, which I think a lot of families now prefer for convenience. 

All volunteers (even your friends and family helping to set up your classroom) need to check in through the Raptor Sign-In System in the main office. 

• Doors Will Remain Locked – Partly for safety and partly for COVID, all school doors will remain locked, just as we did last year. All volunteers will need to be let in through the main office. 

• Vaccination Requirements – The state is continuing to require staff to have on file a proof of vaccination or an approved exemption. District employees who are unvaccinated will be given a choice of weekly testing or wearing a mask full-time while at work. 

Outside Groups – Kidsports, YMCA, City of Eugene and other outside groups are allowed to rent space at schools again, although they are required to provide proof of vaccination of all their employees if any part of their program overlaps with the regular school day. 

• No Fabric Furniture, Stuffed Animals, or Shag Carpets  – The ABC area rugs 4J purchased for teachers are still allowed and vinyl furniture is allowed, but long shag carpets, classroom stuffed animals, and fabric couches, chairs, or furniture are not allowed since they are harder to clean if your class were to have a COVID (or lice) outbreak. 

• COVID Positive Staff Protocol – If staff test COVID positive, you’re to notify your administrator (me). HR will let you know your official quarantine dates. The protocol for COVID positive students is coming soon according to this HR Email. 4J is working with Bethel and Springfield to so that all three districts are doing something similar for students. But the main message for staff and families is, if you are feeling sick, STAY HOME! 

• COVID Testing Partnership with UO – 4J is continuing their partnership with the UO, but are scaling back what schools are asked to do. Students will get a trimester worth of test kits and will have an unsupervised dropbox to return their kits for the UO to pick up. 

• ArtSpark Artist in Residence Survey – Holt will get two Artist Residencies again this year funded by ArtSpark. I want to get your preferences early, so we can lock in an artist and date before the good ones are taken. Please fill out the linked Artist in Residence Survey to help start the conversation when we make a decision at our Back-to-School Staff Meeting.

• Holt Staff Handbook – For new staff, the Holt Staff Handbook includes most every relevant building policy and procedure. Please take time to review the handbook and let me know if you have questions or if you spot anything that possibly needs revised.

• Conscious Discipline PD for EAs & K/1/2 Teachers, New Date Option – EAs and K-2 teachers have an opportunity to participate in a yearlong Conscious Discipline PD. This was shared in the spring, but downtown added a September kickoff meeting date for anyone wanting to join who is not able to attend the August 22nd or 23rd kickoff meeting. See the linked Conscious Discipline Email for details.

• Student Teacher, Anyone? – Western Governors University is looking for a placement for a student teacher this fall. See the linked email and let me know you are interested.

• Morning Arrival Plan – This is a repeat from last year, but now that we are no longer cohorting, the morning arrival plan for this year will have students eating breakfast back in the cafeteria. Here’s how it will go (depending upon the bus arrival times once we get them):

7:25, buses arrive and students are supervised in the cafeteria.
7:35, students are release to line up at the same grade level entrances we used this year and K/1 going out to hard play (they like to run).
7:35-7:50, students arriving later who want breakfast can go to the cafeteria until 7:50.
7:50, first bell rings and students to go to class.
7:55, tardy bell rings and all doors close.

I’ll review this plan with supervisors at the Classified Staff Meeting on Wednesday, August, 31st for input and any tweaks we might want to make. Here’s my initial plan for where supervisors will be stationed:

Cafeteria (Alex, Ashley C., Levi, Jackie, Lisa G. after buses)
A Wing Doors – 5th Grade (TBA HIRE & Iris)
B Wing Side Doors – 3rd & 4th Grade (Annie & Kelly)
C Wing Doors by Gym – 2nd Grade (Julie, Lisa P., Marilyn)
D Wing Doors – KG & 1st Grade (Cheryl & Wendy)
Crossing Guards (Darren & Ben)
Buses (Lisa G. & Molly)

• Rainy Day Arrival Plan – If get a downpour (kids can be tough if it’s light rain), we will use the same rainy day plan as last year. This would also apply to days with poor air quality, with the exception of moving the 5th graders outside into the gym. :

Cafeteria – (Levi, Jackie, Ashley C., Lisa G. after buses)
5th Grade – Covered Area (TBA HIRE. & Iris)
3rd and 4th Grade – Gym (Annie & Kelly)
     • Enter through gym doors on blacktop
2nd Grade – Library (Julie, Lisa P., Marilyn)
     • Enter through 2nd grade door and walks to library
     • Robbie in Library, Annie at door, Jackie at K-2 intersection
KG & 1st Grade – K-1 Hallway (Cheryl & Wendy)
*Outside – Kim, Allan, Darla directing traffic flow

AT BELL, all stations stay in area to avoid traffic jams. Use radios to coordinate release.
         • K-1 and 2nd graders in Library released first
         • 5th grade enters through A Wing exterior doors
         • 3rd & 4th released down main hall.


• Reimbursement Reminder – Two reimbursement reminders:

• Get Approval Before Purchasing – If you’re purchasing anything, you need to get purchases pre-approved by your principal (me). This is mostly to make sure you’re buying something Finance Dept. rules will allow us to reimburse you for. Food items are particularly tricky.

• Save Original Receipts – The Finance Dept. requires original receipts for reimbursements, so make sure you save those since bank records, credit card invoices, and such will not work.

• Tech Support Requests – Staff can submit tech support requests to our TSS (Technology Support Specialist), Rob Geerling, by emailing, but you can now also use the new 4J Freshservice for technology help requests. At this site you can search the Solutions area of the customer portal, or the system will auto-suggest knowledge articles based on what you have typed in the Subject of the new ticket. You can also call the Tech Support Hotline at (541) 790-7777.

• Make Sure Your Voicemail is Set-Up – All teachers should ensure your 4J voicemail is set up and working. See the linked 4J Phone Voicemail Manual or this Quick Start Voice Mail User Guide for how to set it up, as well as for info on phone functions. If you have questions, please contact our TSS, Rob, at or call (541) 790-7777. And if you are moving classrooms, do not move your phone to your new room. Phones are connected to a particular port, so moving them would cause you issues.

• Preptime for EAs – A reminder for teachers that the Classified Staff OSEA collective bargaining agreement obligates EAs assigned instructional responsibilities prep time and for building admins to notify teachers of the District’s expectation that EAs who provide instructional support to be provided the opportunity to discuss scheduling prep-time. See the linked email for details.

• SELCO’s Educator Grants, Due 9/30 – Super easy grant for free stuff! 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 open August 15–September 30. Visit the above link for details and to apply.

• YMCA is Hiring – For any staff wanting to supplement your hours, the Y’s Youth Development team is hiring for before and after school care program Aides, Teachers, and Site Directors. For any questions reach out to or APPLY HERE

• 2021-22 ODE School Report Cards – These linked State School Report Cards (link on email, not on blog) are embargoed for anybody outside the district until October 16th. For the first time in five years, these report cards are going to be used by ODE to determine the level of state support (comprehensive or targeted) that each school will receive in 2022-23. Overall, Holt scored better than other higher needs schools and better than lower needs schools than Holt, but I haven’t dug into the subgroup data yet.

• District Admin Updates – Linked here is the complete list of 4J Admin Updates (email and webpage), but highlights include:

• Chief of Staff: Rob Hess – Kerry Delf took a job in Beaverton and Rob Hess, who was the the HR administrator in charge of licensed staff, is taking her place. Downtown is hiring a separate Director of Communications, which is a duty Kerry also filled.

• Human Resources Administrator: Mike Ingman – Mike Ingram, former principal at Sheldon High School, is taking Rob’s place in HR as the licensed HR Administrator.

• Sheldon High School Interim Principal: Kay Graham – Kay Graham, former assistant principal at Sheldon, has been named interim principal for the year.

• Director of High Schools: Greg Borgerding – Greg Borgerding, who was the principal at Churchill High School, is taking Superintendent Andy Dey’s position as Director of High Schools.

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

August 18 (H)
KITS Last Day

August 23 (T)
New Teacher Welcome Event (Time & Location TBA)

August 24 (W)
New Teacher Welcome Event (Time & Location TBA)

August 25 (H)
New Teacher Welcome Event (Time & Location TBA)

August 26 (F)
Licensed Staff Report Back
8:00-9:00, Time to Pick-Up Wit & Wisdom Materials
9:00-4:00, Wit & Wisdom ELA PD – Day #1 (Holt)

August 29 (M)
8:00-3:00, Wit & Wisdom ELA PD – Day #2 (K-3 @Zoom, 4-5 @Holt)

August 30 (T)
Protected Teacher Planning
Classified Staff Report Back
Educational Assistant PD (Location & Time TBA)
8:30, Welcome Back Burritos, Coffee, & Supplies! (School Garden)

August 31 (W)
8:00-12:00, Holt Back to School Meeting (Cafeteria)

September 1 (H)
7:30-10:00, 4J Staff Back-To-School Gathering -Tentative
1:00-4:00, Health for Grades K-2 (Zoom)
1:00-4:00, Math for for 3-5 (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Kidnerzone Meeting (TBA)

September 2 (F)
9:00-12:00, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Strategies PD (SEHS Auditorium)
1:00-4:00, Health for Grades 3-5 (Zoom)
1:00-4:00, Math for for K-2 (Zoom)

September 5 (M)
Labor Day – No School

September 6 (T)
Collaborative Planning Time for Lang Arts Adoption
8:00-10:00, Staff Meeting – If Needed
10:00-11:00, Optional New Staff Orientation and Q&A (Cafeteria)
2:00-3:00, Meet Your Teacher
3:00-4:00, Kona Shave Ice Fundraiser (Hard Play)

September 7 (W)
Classes Begin – First Day of School
7:00-9:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

September 8 (H)
Regular Day

September 9 (F)
1:30-2:30, Friday PD – Staff Choice

Let me know if you need anything and please resume your summer!



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!