June 12, 2023


Hello Holt Bolts,

We made it! Another year down and I can’t think of another group I’d rather have spent it with!

Nineteen items of note for this week:

• Water Balloon Launch AM Recess, MONDAY – AM Recess Monday we are going to have some wet fun if any of you want to join. Kids will stand behind the kickball backstop while any interested staff can come out to hurl water balloons towards waiting students through the chainlink backstop (I have a few water balloon launchers to add to the fun).

• Field Day, TUESDAY – Field Day is this Tuesday. Grades 3-5 will be 8:45-10:15 and grade K-2 will be 12:00-1:30. See the linked Short-Version Field Day Doc for details, but the main things teachers need to prep for is to divide students into 4 color groups before field day, Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. Two related items:

• Missed PE/Music Prep – If teachers want their PE/Music prep time, let me know and we will work to have someone cover your class for a 30-minutes during your field day time.

• Recess Still Happening (Hard Play & Field Closed) – Recesses will still take place during their usual times, but only soft play will be open while Field Day is in progress.

• Kona Ice Fundraiser, TUESDAY @1:30 – Kona Ice will be here TUESDAY at 1:30. Teachers should send bus riders who have money to hard play at 1:30. And remember, all staff get a free shave ice! Just show your badge!

• Team Meetings, CANCELLED – Team Meetings are on the calendar for Wednesday, but since it’s the last week of school, teams do not need to meet or send out minutes unless you have info you think is important to be communicated out.

• Holt Spirit Day – Summertime Tie-Dye Day, THURSDAY – Student Council didn’t set a firm date, but we’re calling the last day of school Summer Tie-Dye Day!

• Last Day Lunch Plan, THURSDAY – Grade levels will come to the cafeteria to pick up a sack lunch on a 5-minute rotating basis. Kids will put lunches in their backpacks to take home (bus riders included).

10:25 – KG
10:30 – 1st
10:35 – 2nd
10:40 – 3rd
10:45 – 4th
11:10 – Early Dismissal
*5th Delivered to classrooms

See the next item why we could use some help from any available staff to deliver lunches to 5th grade classrooms.

• 5th Grade Clap Out, THURSDAY @11:00 – This came up at Site Council, but let’s try a “Clap Out” for this year’s 5th graders on the last day of school at dismissal. The plan will be for classes on Thursday at 10:55 to line the hallways, and starting at 11:00, the 5th grade will parade through our hallowed halls one final time while staff and students clap and cheer them on. See the linked Clap Out Map for the path, which will be D > C > B wing, and when the parade is over, all grade levels can dismiss students.

• Office Assistant Interviews 6/22 @10:30 – I’ve tentatively scheduled interviews for Sharon’s replacement on Thursday, June 22nd, 10:30-12:00. If anyone would like volunteer their time to help with interviews, let me know and I will send you the interview materials.

• Technology Summer Checkout Form – If staff are planning to take home any school technology (laptop, iPad, doc cam, etc.), complete the linked Technology Summer Checkout Form 2023-24.

• iPad Configuration Proposal – Our excellent TSS, Rob, is hoping to create a K-2 and 3-5 iPad configurations, which would make iPad setups easier and would pretty much eliminate the possibility of an iPad having the wrong configuration. Rob crated a Google Sheet listing all the apps what would appear in the two configurations. No one would lose apps you currently use, but you might see some additional apps (6 at most) you don’t currently have. Let me know by the end of the week if you think this should be a staff conversation in the fall. If I don’t hear from anyone, I’ll tell Rob to go ahead with this plan.

• PAHS Updates – Linked here is the PAHS Draft Calendar of Events for next year. I’ve also added these to the Staff Zimbra Calendar. The main dates of note are that they want to have the school carnival and the Holt Bolt both in the spring. They’ll still do the October Costume BINGO Event, which can say is the opportunity for kids to dress up at school if we don’t want to do a Halloween/Dress-Up Day during the school day. Also of note, Kimberly Brown and Amanda Knight are the new Co-Facilitators (both kinder parents, so we’ll get them for a while!), who are looking into making PAHS their own 501(3)c, which I think is a good move. They’re also rebranding PAHS the Holt Parent Group, since they heard from a number of parent they were confused by the name PAHS.

• Summer School Dates – These are also on the Zimbra Staff Calendar, but these are the dates and times summer school will be in session:

KITS: June 27 – August 18, Tuesday – Thursday, 7:30-3:30
SEAL: July 10 – August 15. Monday – Friday, 7:30-3:30



• Leadership Plans for 2023/24 School Year – Principals on Friday were given supporting documents for the New Leadership Plans. I’m not sure if these are final or are still being negotiated, but figured I’d share for anyone interested.

• New Kinderzone Format – I already shared this with the kinder team, but the linked Kindergarten Smart Start Proposal (i.e. the new Kinderzone) was shared with principals, which will go to the school board for input next month.

• Suggested Elementary Content Minutes – Linked here are the 23-24 Elementary Content Minutes and Schedules Guidelines. This has the suggested minutes for each content area, although downtown did acknowledge that the suggested minutes exceed the available minutes in the days, so this is merely information for us to consider.

• 23-24 Elementary PE Info – Linked here is an email that was sent to PE teachers regarding the new PE minutes expectations. I shared this information earlier at a staff meeting, but here it is all in writing.

• Repeats & Reminders – See prior announcements for details, but eight reminders:

Report Cards Sent Home Last Day – Report cards are to go home with students on Thursday.

LICENSED: Goals Reflection Due & Sample Language – Complete your Goals Reflection in TalentEd if you haven’t already . You can use the 2023-2023 SMART Goals Reflection Sample Language if you’d like.

CLASSIFIED: TalentEd Self Reflection Due – Completed the Self Reflection in TalentEd, if you haven’t already.

End of Year Checklist – Linked here is the End of Year Checklist. Turn it in at the office when you are done.

Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Safety Unit – Teach Lesson 6 of the Child Protection Unit if you haven’t already.

End-of-Year Pizza Party Sign-Up – Don’t forget to add your name to the End-of-Year Staff Pizza Party Sign-Up Sheet.

Science: End of Year Wrap-Up – From the June Science Update, see the guidelines for Restocking & Storing Science Kits and the End of Year Science Survey.

End of Year 1 Implementation Survey ELA – Share your thoughts on the ELA Implementation.


• JUST FOR FUN: Mac Emulators Through the AgesInfinite Mac is a website that takes you on a nostalgic journey through Macintosh software from the years 1984 to 2000. The entire Macintosh experience runs seamlessly in your browser. I’m so old I wrote all my college papers on a typewriter and it was in my masters program I used a Macintosh LC II to write my thesis. I had some serious geek nostalgia visiting this website.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note going into summer:

June 12 (M)
Spring Benchmarking Window Continues
1st Grade Staff Room Duty
PE & Music Both in Gym
8:00, Morning Announcements (Zoom) Pledge Class Sign-Up
3:45-5:15, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)

June 13 (T)
No PE or Music Classes
8:45-10:15, Field Day, Grades 3-5
12:00-1:30, Field Day, Grades K-2

1:30-3:00, Kona Ice Fundraiser (Hard Play)

June 14 (W)
PE & Music Both in Gym
8:30-10:30, KG Walking Field Trip (Country Lane Park)
9:00-11:30, 5th Grade Walking Field Trip (N. Park Church)
2:45-3:30, Grade Level Team Meetings

June 15 (H)
Last Day for Students – Release Time 11:10
Last Day for Classified Staff
PE & Music Both in Gym
8:30-10:00, 5th Grade Breakfast & Celebration (Cafeteria)
9:00-10:00, Kinder Magic Show (TBD)
Grab-and-Go Lunches
-10:25 – Kinder
-10:30 – 1st
-10:35 – 2nd
-10:40 – 3rd
-10:45 – 4th
10:55, Grades K-4 Line the Hallways
11:00, 5th grade Clap Out
11:10 – Early Dismissal
11:30-12:30, Annual End-of-Year BBQ (Cafeteria)

June 16 (F)
Last Day for Licensed Staff
7:30-9:00, Allan to MAPS Board Meeting

June 22 (H)
10:30-12:00, Office Assistant Interviews (Staff Room)

June 27 – August 18
KITS at Holt, 7:30-3:30 (TWH)

July 10 – August 15
SEAL at Holt, 7:30-3:30 (MTWHF)

July 26 (W)
Allan Reports Back (though I’m at SEAL July 10-21)

August 14 (M)
Secretaries Report Back

August 25 (F)
Licensed Staff Report Back

August 30 (W)
Classified Staff Report Back


Three and a half days to go!



November 14, 2022


Greetings Holt Bolts,

That long weekend really hit the spot.

Fourteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Two staffing updates:

• 1st Grade Updates – Jacque shared earlier that she has resigned her position to take a break from teaching, which leaves us with a 1st grade vacancy. Chastity, who is already covering for Jacque through the end of December, is interested in finishing out the year. I’ve submitted a requisition to HR, so hopefully it will go up soon.

For notifying families, I checked in with Jacque, and I’ll email parents Monday when I send out the Quick News, which I don’t think will be too much of a shift for them since Chastity will continue as their teacher and may very well become the permanent hire.

• PE/Music Additional Staffing – Now that we’re adding a 1st grade classroom, downtown is posting for additional PE and Music staffing to take over two of Alex and Ashley’s classes. The district guideline is try to keep PE & Muic to 8 or fewer sessions per day, but no more than 9. Adding a new 1st grade classroom will push it to 10 classes per day for Alex and Ashley, which is why we’re getting the additional staffing.

• Artist in Residence Beings MONDAY (pencils & scissors need) – Our artist in residence, Tom Miller, starts this Monday. Linked here is the Artist in Residence Schedule. The artist asked for teachers to make sure every students has their own set of scissors and a pencil, so let me know if you are in need of either of these.

• REPEAT: Holt Night Out – Bangers & Brews, TUESDAY – This Tuesday is a Holt Night Out at Bangers & Brews, just across from Sheldon High School. Reminder your kids to drop by between 5:00-8:00pm and just mention Holt when ordering.

• REPEAT: Holt Spirit Day – Crazy Hair & Socks Day, FRIDAY – Get kids pumped! The November Holt Spirit Day is Friday and this time it’s Crazy Hair and Sock Day!

• School Spirit Assembly, FRIDAY @8:15 – We’ll have our monthly School Spirit Assembly on Friday in the gym. The assembly will start at 8:15 and all classes should be seated at that time. We’re planning on doing the Holt Bolt jog-a-thon prize of taping me to a wall at the assembly, along with some other fun games while the taping is happening. Stay turned for details!

• REPEAT: Med Administration Training, FRIDAY @1:25 – For our Building Based Friday PD Day, each grade level should send one rep for a med training being put on by our fabulous school nurse, Eden. Anyone interested may attend, but med training is required for any field trip when there is a student who takes daily meds (usually around lunchtime), so that’s why each grade level needs at least one rep to attend this Friday at 1:25 in the library.

• Rescheduling Missed Conferences – We’ll treat no-shows for conferences the same as we treat missed IEP meetings, which is make at least two documented attempts to reschedule, either by phone or email, though doing one of each is best.

• No Fresh Fruis & Vegetable Program (FFVP) on Short Weeks – Nutrition Services emailed me they are not offering the FFVP on short weeks (i.e. any week that’s not a 5-day week). I checked with the other FFVP schools and they were told the same thing. It’s not in the email, but I suspect this is a supply chain issue. On a related note, Nutrition Services shared that one of the items for next week will be a Cucamelon, which is a Mexican miniature watermelon.

• 4J Communications Audit – Want to let district admin know how they are doing on communication? Communications sent and email saying they would be conducting a communications audit and sending a link soon. I just noticed a Communications Audit Link on the 4J webpage if you want to weigh in with your thoughts on how things are going.

• CORRECTION: DHS Call Pro-Tip to Skip the Line (1 + 6) – I just learned this from Darla, but if you ever need to make a child abuse/neglect report, when you call and once you start hearing the recording, if you press 1 and 6, that will skip you ahead in line to a screener.

And as a reminder, we are now using 4J DataPort to document all DHS reports. For the new reporting system:

1. Go to 4J DataPort
2. The first time you log on, click RESET PASSWORD, and follow the direction to set up your account.
5. Select your school and type in the student name.
6. Student info will auto populate and all you need to enter is:
• Description of the Event
• Perpetrator Information
• Other Information (if relevant)

A link to this reporting form can be found on the Holt Staff Dashboard.

• SSD Newsletter – I haven’t seen one of in a while but if you’re interested, linked here is a SSD Newsletter. The topic this month is “Who can be the Parent at Special Education meetings?” There are also some FAQs on IEP census, Recovery Services, Manifest Determinations.

• Thanksgiving Lessons Reminder  – Here’s my annual reminder about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Staff should keep in mind that student conceptions of Native Americans often come from classroom activities around the First Thanksgiving. These conception of Native Americans gained from such early exposure is often both inaccurate and potentially damaging. When planning activities, be aware that what most of us learned in school about the “Pilgrims” and “Squanto” and the “First Thanksgiving” is a mixture of both history and myth. Thanksgiving activities should avoid reinforcing historical myths and should also avoid stereotypes (ie. NO warbonnets!) It’s often best to shift the focus away from the “First Thanksgiving” and instead focus on items children can be thankful for in their own lives and on their families’ celebrations of Thanksgiving at home. Some resources on what to avoid and what to teach can be found at the National Museum of the American IndianLearning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance), and Education World. This Google Doc links to a ton of read aloud stories, primary sources, site, and other information about Native and Indigenous People. Here is a good article with a Native American Perspective on Thanksgiving as well as one on The True Story of the First Thanksgiving. Also, the 4J Natives Program is available for classroom presentations year-round and can offer an accurate picture of Native American culture.

• Lessons on Probability via Powerball Example – The odds of winning the multi-state Powerball lottery are nearly impossible, and this Big Think article breaks down the actual probability, providing information that educators could use with students. For example, the 1-in-292 million odds of a person winning the most recent Powerball contest, the mathematical definition of “expectation value”, and the chances of winning the smaller prizes.

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

November 14 (M)
Library Week #1 Classes
3rd Grade Staff Room Duty
Artist in Residence Begins
Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day
4:00-5:30, Allan to Equity PD (Ed Center)

November 15 (T)
2:45-3:30, Staff Meeting (Library)
5:00-8:00, Holt Night Out – Bangers & Brews (across from Sheldon HS)

November 16 (W)
7:00-9:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

November 17 (H)
2:45-3:30, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)
10:00-1:30, 4th Grade in the Garden
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Cafeteria)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Cafeteria)

November 18 (F)
Holt Spirit Day – Crazy Hair and Socks Day
8:15-8:45, School Spirit Assembly
1:25-2:25, Medication Administration Training (Library)

November 21 (M)
Library Week #2 Classes
4th Grade Staff Room Duty
Artist in Residence Continues
4:00-5:30, Allan to All admin Meeting (Ed Center)

November 22 (T)
Regular Day

November 23 (W)
Regular Day

November 24 (H)
No School – Thanksgiving Break

November 25 (F)
No School – Thanksgiving Break


Have a good week, everyone!



June 13, 2022


Hello Holt Staff,

We’re almost at the finish line! 

Twenty-four items of note for this final week:

• Two Staffing Updates – Two staffing updates:

• 4-hour Title EA Updates – HR has filled our two 4-hour EA vacancies. Lori Tingue, who was a Title 1 EA at Holt last year before taking a temporary 2nd grade classroom position at Gilham this year, is filling one, and Lisa Neeley, a Title 1 EA from Family School, is filling the other. Please welcome Lori and Lisa to Holt, though both are applying for teaching positions, so we may have vacancies to fill later on.

• Want to be the Holt Summer School Admin Intern? – Downtown can’t find any assistant principals interested in doing the second part the summer SEAL program, so they changed the job to a licensed position, so teachers or any licensed employees can apply. I’ll be principal the first two weeks to get things started, July 12 – 22, also working with this person, and after that they would be in charge though August 12th (though I actually report back to work the following Wednesday, so there’s only two days where I’m not there). If any of your are interested in some extra summer mad money, feel free to find me and here’s the Job Posting.

• SEAL Room Assignments – SEAL officially need 12 classrooms and the Music Room, and KITS needs two kinder classrooms. I’ve come up with the following Summer School Classroom Map, which doesn’t require us to move desks and chair to match the different sized students and also allows Holt teachers teaching summer school to remain in their classrooms. However, I am open to discussion, so let me know if you have other ideas or if you can twist the arm of a colleague to volunteer their room.

• General Summer Cleaning Schedule – I’ve only gotten general details that the summer deep cleaning will happen before summer school and a quick refresh clean will happen after summer programs. I’ll add details to the calendar once I know of any off-limits days. I’ve heard the hold up is the carpet cleaner vehicles are being fixed up in Portland right now and they don’t know for sure when they’ll be ready to start.

• 22-23 Master Schedule Coming Soon – The schedule is still being worked on, but we should have a draft ready to share out with staff before the end of the week. Stay tuned!

• REPEAT: Schedule Your Gaga Ball Rules Lesson – If you haven’t already, let me know a good 10-minute block to go over the Gaga Ball Rules Slideshow with your class sometime before Field Day.

• REPEAT: Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Safety Unit, THIS WEEK – If you haven’t already, teach lesson 6 of the Second Step Child Protection unit this week. Linked here are Child Protection Unit Scans of the teacher guides.

• UPDATED – REMINDER: Field Day Details – See the linked Schedule for Field Day for details and the Field Day Map for the layout of the event, which Alex emailed out earlier. UPDATE: There are no PE or Music classes this day. 

There will be 8 minute rotations. Teachers, see the schedule where you will start and be sure to have your students divided into 4 color groups before field day:

• Red
• Blue
• Green
• Yellow

• Keep or Send Home Reusable School Supplies – Since 4J paid for school supplies, we can keep any reusable or unused school supplies, but it’s also okay to send stuff home with kids. Do note we’re not ordering more book bins or pencil boxes replacements, so hold onto those if you want them for next year.

• End of Year BBQ Sign-Up – Don’t forget to sign up for the Staff End of Year BBQ happening this Friday.

• Return School Radios to Office FRIDAY – All school radios should be returned to the front office on Friday, so Facilities can do their yearly maintenance.

• REMINDER: Consumable Ordering – Teachers should place orders for Math and Science Consumables you (or your replacement if you are leaving your grade or classroom) this week:

2022-2023 Math Consumables Order (Due Wednesday)Jamie’s Email

2022-2023 Science Kit Consumables Restocking (Due Friday)Jamie’s Email

• REPEAT: Report Cards Go Home Friday – Report cards are to be send home with students this Friday. If any students are absent, you can bring their report card and belongings to the office.

• Technology Checkout Contract 2022-23 – If you are taking home your school laptop, iPad, or other equipment over the summer, complete the linked 4J Technology Equipment Checkout Contract 2022-23.

• REPEAT: End of Year Checklist – Linked here is the End of Year Checklist 2021-2022. This needs to be completed by all staff in charge of an area before you start your summer and need both mine and Ryan’s sign-off. Let me know if you have any questions.


• REPEAT: ELA Materials Packing Directions – Linked here is the list of ELA Materials to Keep or Discard, as well as Eric Anderson’s Email.

• Teachers will get 6 boxes per classroom.
• Most Journeys and Being A Writer materials: Box and attach this Label Template on each box.
• Leveled Readers: Box separately and use the Leveled Reader Label Template ere.
• Trade books and big books: Keep them for 4J use. If your building does not want them, please send them to Bailey Hill using this label.

• REPEAT: Diverse Classroom Libraries Inventory – Teachers (or Title staff if you connect with Jenny) will inventory the SIA Diverse Classroom Library Book Sets. There are two processes depending whether you are teaching the same grade next year or if you are moving grade levels or schools.

If not moving: Inventory books, cross any missing books off of the inventory list, keep books in your room.

If moving: Inventory books, cross any missing books off of the inventory list, leave bins in classroom, and write the bin barcode number on the End of Year Checklist 2021-2022.

• UPDATE: June 20th, Juneteenth Expectations – This HR Email sent to staff explains how Monday, June 20th is the last regular workday for licensed staff, but it is also a new Federal Holiday, so staff have the option to work extra days prior to Juneteenth and not work this day OR you can take June 20th off and work on Tuesday, June 21st instead.


• 22-23 Arrival Plan – For anyone who missed it at the Staff Meeting or in the minutes, the morning arrival plan for next year (assuming we are no longer cohorting) will have students eating breakfast back in the cafeteria. 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). Students arriving late who want breakfast can go to the cafeteria until 7:50, when the first bell rings for students to go to class, with all doors closing at the tardy bell at 7:55.

• Fall PD Plan – If you’re wondering what the PD plan is for when teacher report back early, so are principals. I asked about this at a principals’ meeting a couple weeks ago and still haven’t gotten an answer what the plan is yet.

• No “Huggy Wuggy” Talk – I’m old and uncool and did not know about this, but if you hear kids talking about Huggy Wuggy, it’s a fairly scary and inappropriate character from a horror survivor video game, so tell kids that’s not something to talk about at school.

• EOA School Choice Process for Next Year – The back and forth between online and brick-and-mortar has been frustrating to say the least, but next year downtown has made the decision to treat EOA as it’s own school and that parents will have to go through the regular school choice process, which will hopefully cut back on the back and forth we’ve seen this year.

• Fox Hollow Redesign – SSD’s Fox Hollow program is being redesigned to be more of a temporary placement and not as much of a permanent placement. Linked here is the Fox Hollow 2.0 Redesign Slideshow that was presented ot principals last week if you are interested.

• FREE Summer Camps – I’ll share this in the Quick News but feel free to share this list of FREE 2022 Summer Camps with kids and families.

• Schedule of Upcoming Events – See the Holt Staff Calendar for future events, but here are the events of note for the rest of the school year:

June 13 (M)
2nd Grade Staff Room Duty
Erin’s Law Lesson #6
8:00, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Ayres)
8:15, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Barton)
8:30, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Gori)

June 14 (T)
8:00, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Vaughan)
8:15, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Seno)
8:50, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Reich)
9:50, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Lovato)
11:45, Allan Teaching Gaga Ball Rules (Harmon)

June 15 (W)
8:45-10:15, Field Day, Grades 3-5 (Field)
9:00-10:00, Allan Skipping Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-1:30, Field Day, Grades K-2 (Field)
7:00-9:00, Sheldon HS Graduation (Hult Center)

June 16 (H)
10:30-10:50, Kinder Lunch Outside (Bike Cage Area)
1:15-2:15, Kinder Bubble Party (Hard Play)
1:30, Allan to BEST Meeting (Office)

June 17 (F)
Summertime Tie-Dye Day
Last Day for Students
Last Day for 192 & 196 Day Classified Employees
8:30-10:00, 5th Grade Breakfast & Celebration (Cafeteria)
10:15-10:30, 4th & 5th Grade Recess
10:45, Grab-n-Go Lunches Delivered to Wings
11:10, Early Dismissal
Staff Social – End of Year BBQ

June 20 (M)
Last day for licensed staff
8:00-4:00, Allan to I Love U Guys Training (Ed Center)

June 21 (T)
8:00-4:00, Allan to I Love U Guys Training (Ed Center)

June 26 (SU)
4:00-8:00, “Holt Night” at the Ems!

August 26 (F)
Licensed Staff Report Back

August 29 (M)
Classified Staff Report Back

Have a fabulous summer, everyone!








The Overstory by Richard Powers – It was recommended by two different friends, who don’t know each other, so it must be good!




Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

The Kite Runner by Khaled Husseini

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai




Shogun by James Clavell – I loved the Richard Chamberlain 1980s TV mini-series, but am curious to read to the book

V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic – A horror staple I never read, though I did see the terrible movie version, but feel I should read it since it’s such a pop culture icon of horror. 

Consumed by David Cronenberg – David Cronenberg has made some of the most seriously weird movies you’ll ever watch (The Fly, Dead Ringers, Videodrome, Scanners, etc.), so when he’s not limited by budgets or special effects, I’m curious what kind of story he’ll tell. 

Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties by Tom O’Neill – I’m not usually a true crime kind of guy, but this is supposed to be THE definitive book on Manson, so I have to read this. 

Mark Harris Books on films of the 50s, 60s, and 70s – I heard Quentin Tarantino talk about Mark Harris as a terrific writer on the behind the scenes history of Hollywood, which piqued my interest, so I bought a few of his books. I’m planning to start with Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood.

March 28, 2022


Hello Team,

Hope you all had a good spring break. The highlight of my break was FINALLY getting/forcing my children to watch the first Star Wars film. I’ve earlier tried to get them to willingly watch, but I gave up on that and announced to them that they had no choice and that we were watching whether they liked it or not whether they liked it or not. And if you were wondering, I had them watch the non-special edition versions where Han shoots first. They still preferred “Turning Red” but whatever.

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Five staffing updates:

• 22-23 Staffing Spreadsheet – Linked here this the complete classified and licensed 22-23 Staffing Plan. Custodial and Nutrition Services staffing are done by downtown, so that is not included here. Let me know if anything looks off or if you have any questions.

• Teaching Assignment Change – One change you may notice in the above linked staffing plan is that Lisa Z. and Elizabeth swapped grade levels, so for next year, Lisa will move back to 1st grade and Elizabeth will move up to 2nd grade.

• New CLC Staff – Joining Richard and Darren in the upper grade CLC is Julie McWhorter as our new CLC EA. Julie is a Holt parent and a former middle school teacher who took time off from teaching to be with her newborn child. She was our first choice for the position, so please say HI to Julie when you see her on Monday. Welcome to the team!

• SSD Staffing Info – I shared earlier Holt’s SSD Allocations, but one thing SSD has done differently this year is they no longer differentiate between LC and CLC allocations. As part of the “Learning for All” initiative, where students regardless of need (excluding Life Skills) stay at their neighborhood school. They have also eliminated 1:1 EA staffing and instead have a section noting “Students needing more intensive adult support.” Holt already does a pretty good job of offering a flexible continuum of services, with students receiving support in the LC or CLC regardless of placement, though for our SPED team this may complicate case management, but I’m sure we’ll figure things out.

• Student Service Coordinator – 4J added this 8-hour classified position to Howard, Chavez, and River Road the year and is now expanding it to Holt and a few other schools. If you’re a 4J old timer, this position is similar to the old Family Resource Center Coordinators, who supported families by directing them to community services, resources, and agencies. If you’re curious, this is the Job Description.

• UPDATED: Artist Schedule – Any classroom teacher who had changes already knows, but linked here is the Updated Artist in Residence Schedule for The Art of Fiddling and the Mystique of Louisiana with Kelly Thibodeaux. Session will be in the Music Room and regular Music classes will be in classrooms during the three week residency.

• Recess Rules Review Monday – A reminder we’re reviewing recess expectations this Monday according to the schedule below. Teachers should come out your class during the review, which will focus less on “Rules” and more on getting along, communication, and problem solving, which is where most of our playground issues stem from.

8:10-8:25 KG Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
8:35-8:50 2nd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
9:00-9:15 1st Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:05-1:20 4th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:30-1:45 3rd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:55-2:10 5th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)

• Recess Pick-Up Reminder – Speaking of recess, teachers, a reminder from classified staff, is to be sure you’re ready to pick-up your classes at the end of your grade level recess times. Many EAs have groups right after recess duty and end up having to start groups late if lines are not picked up on time. Also remember that morning and lunch recess are 5-minutes shorter on Fridays.

• Holt Spirit Day, FRIDAY, Sports Day & Assembly! – This Friday is a Holt Spirit Day and this time it’s Sports Day! Wear your favorite team gear or simply wear your Holt spirit gear. I’m planning to wear my “Furies” baseball jersey and if you know what that’s from without using Google, you are seriously rad.

Linked here is the Sports Day Assembly Agenda. Teachers should log on at 7:40 and then turn on your cameras once kids come to school. Festivities begin at 7:55. 


• FRIDAY PD – OSAS Testing Security Training – Gloria will give the annual OSAS test security training this Friday at 1:30. Teachers and EAs who will be in 3/4/5 classrooms or SPED classrooms when testing occurs should attend. EAs can bank trade time for coming to this training. K/1/2 teachers will have a separate async PD activity I’ll share by email.

• COVID Rapid Tests Going Home with Students 4/4 – ODE has sent rapid tests to school districts with directions to distribute to all students at Title I schools. We’ll count these out for classrooms to send home next week on Monday, April 4th. I’ll include info in the next Quick News, along with the linked Home Kit Instructions (English and Spanish) and the linked videos (English and Spanish) on ​​how to use the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests.

• 2022 Electronics Recycling Competition – Remind kids we’re in the middle of the 2022 Electronics Recycling Competition and to drop off any old electronics at NextStep (245 Jackson St.) during March and April (making sure they tell them it’s for Holt) OR drop them off at the collection site in front of the office we’ll set up the week of April 4-8. The school with the most “e-waste” collected wins a $500 gift certificate and a Next Step Robot made by a local artist. Holt won this competition in the past, so let’s see if we can win again!

• April 15 PD/Planning Day – As of the week before spring break, Instruction Department leadership had not met or shared out the plan for the April 15th PD/Planning Day. This day is supposed to be 5.5 hour of PD and 2 hours of prep. We asked at the last principal meeting if the PD would be district based or building based, but they did not not at that point. If it is building based, I am planning on doing an all-staff review of Kelso’s Choice, since we have many new staff and many since we didn’t have to use it for a couple years there. I’d also like to review the Second Step Bully Prevention Unit (which is different from the Erin’s Law Student Safety Unit). I’ll keep folks posted once I know the district plan for this date.

• McKinney-Vento Program Updates – Four updates regarding the 4J McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Program from an email sent to principals:

• 4J McKinney-Vento Referral Form – There is a new online referral option for staff and community members to refer students for McKinney-Vento supports. The 4J McKinney-Vento Referral Form works best, but referrals can also be made by email or phone (541-790-6888). This link is also on the Holt Staff Dashboard.

• Who Qualifies for McKinney-Vento? – Students are eligible if their housing situation isn’t fixed, regular, or adequate. Examples of living situations include:

• living in a trailer or RV
• staying with others (extended family/friends) due to financial or other hardship
• living in a motel/hotel
• living in substandard housing (electricity/water turned off, over-crowded)
• sleeping in a vehicle, tent, RV, public space or other space not meant for habitation

If you become aware of any students in one of these situations, let me know and we can notify the McKinney-Vento Team to reach out to the family for support.

• New McKinney-Vento Website – The McKinney-Vento team as created a new user friendly 4J McKinney-Vento Website that includes resources, eligibility information, and a link to the above referral form for staff, students, families, or community member to make referrals to the team.

• Current District McKinney-Vento Count – Linked here is the current 4J McKinney-Vento Count through March. Holt has more homeless students than any elementary or middle school in the Sheldon Region and has the fifth highest count for any elementary school in 4J.

• No Student iPad Sharing – Although student iPads are staying at school, they are still checked out to individual students, so it’s important students are not using other studnets’ iPads. This is important because the personal liability rules still apply for damaged iPads (we may not know who damaged the iPad if they are sharing) and also for privacy reasons (so students are not getting access to others’ personal files or log-in information).

On a related note, I heard from a Tech Department buddy it was decided right before spring break that all of 4J will start keeping iPads at school, but they’re waiting to announce this change until they figure out the logistics of carts, chargers, and securing iPads at school, so we only went rogue for a few days there. ;)

• Post Mask Policy Transfers – Following the change of mask policy, Holt only had 3 students change pathways and it was 3 students moving from K-5 Connect back to in-person.

• Nut Free Lunch Table – Mentioned at last week’s Staff and Classified Staff Meeting was that for liability reasons, downtown is no longer allowing schools to be “nut free” and instead telling families we will offer “nut free tables” at lunchtime, which they believe will be easier to guarantee as nut free. I’ll be sharing the following article in the next Quick News:

Nut-Free Table In the Cafeteria

In the past, we have designated our cafeteria and school as nut free. School District 4J has determined schools do not have the ability to guarantee that eating areas are completely nut free. The health and safety of students is exceptionally important to us. We can guarantee that we have a nut-free eating area in our cafeteria that guarantees that students eating at that table have nut-free meals. Students sitting at a nut-free table must have a documented nut allergy and may be joined by students who have school provided meals, as we can guarantee that all school provided meals are nut-free.


• Safety Planning (i.e. Risk Assessment) Resources – Mostly for our IPBS Team, but maybe be of interest to others, the 4J Safety & Lagging Skills Planning Webpage lists resources to create a safety plan for a student going through a Behavioral Safety Assessment (BSA). This email provides additional info how 4J is trying to shift focus in plans to identifying the lagging skills driving a student’s behavior and providing an opportunity for learning, modeling, and practicing those skills.

• Sluggo’s Reading Challenge Video – If you want to show a video to kids about the reading challenge, the Ems sent a pretty entertaining 2-minute video explaining the bookmarks.

• District Admin Updates – Downtown emailed principals several admin updates over the break. The Charlemagne principal for next year is Joe Hadley, current South Eugene HS assistant principal. The Camas Ridge principal for next year is Hobie Blackhorn, current assistant principal at Shasta Middle School, The Awbrey Park for next year is Jared Tiecke, current principal at Mt. Angel School Middle School.

• New Resource: Care Solace – 4J has partnered with Care Solace, a new mental health service that matches students, staff, and families in need to verified, local service providers, securing appointments in days, not weeks or months. Principals or counselors can make referrals (don’t ask Max yet, counselors haven’t been trained just yet), so let us know if there are situations that could use a referral.

• Lane County Schools – Suicide Alert Meeting Info – Most of this is geared towards older students, but there is some info in this email from Lane County that does apply to students as young as 4-years old. There’s a Slide Show, Resources (including crisis support, counseling, support groups, bereavement services, and general websites), and a Toolkit for Schools.

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Translating – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook is on Translating. Most school wide communication falls on me, but for those occasions anyone is sending something out school wide, DeepL is a more accurate translation service than Google Translate.

We will translate school-wide correspondence in Spanish, if possible.

• Intervening Early to Improve Students’ Math Self-Efficacy – This Theory Into Practice Article say that self-efficacy (students’ belief that their efforts will produce success) “is arguably the most powerful motivational resource that drives individuals to engage, persevere, and accomplish goals in various domains.” In classrooms, self-efficacy is “the strongest predictor of students’ academic achievement.” But self-efficacy in math declines during the elementary grades. The authors say it’s urgent to counteract this negative trend before students reach adolescence, and suggest communicating these core messages to all students:

• Anyone can get smart and do well at math.
• My brain is like a muscle, and I can train my math muscles.
• I can do math better by working hard, using good strategies, and getting help.
• Overcoming difficulty is part of doing well in math.
• Girls can perform just as well at math as boys.

Conveying these messages well can change students’ fixed mindsets and gender stereotypical beliefs. The messages are most effective if they are presented in engaging classroom activities and that it’s better to conduct these activities with a classroom of students rather than individually, because some of the beliefs being counteracted are social in nature. See the above link for details.

• 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 28 (M)
Classes Resume
Artist in Residence Begins
Kinder Staff Room Duty
8:10-8:25 KG Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
8:35-8:50 2nd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
9:00-9:15 1st Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:05-1:20 4th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:30-1:45 3rd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:55-2:10 5th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
2:45, Allan to Transiiton Meeting
6:00-8:00, Allan to 4J Equity Action Team Meeting (Zoom)

March 29 (T)
Regular Day

March 30 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
12:45-2:25, Storyteller, 4th Grade
5:30, School Board Work Session (Zoom)
6:00-8:00, Allan to 4J Equity Action Team Meeting (Zoom)

March 31 (H)
9:10-10:10, 4th Grade School Garden Project Lessons (Garden)
10:40-11:40, 4th Grade School Garden Project Lessons (Garden)
12:45-1:45, 4th Grade School Garden Project Lessons (Garden)
6:00-7:00, Mental Health Parent Night: Suicide Prevention & Awareness (Zoom)

April 1 (F)
Holt Spirit Day, Sports Day
April Fools’ Day!
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
7:40-8:10, Sports Day, Virtual Assembly (Zoom)1:30-2:25, Friday PD – OSAS Test Security Training (Cafeteria)

April 4 (M)
School Librarian’s Day (5th Grade)
1st Grade Staff Room Duty
2022 Electronics Recycling Competition Drop-Off Week
8:30, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)

April 5 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Library)
6:00-7:00, Conscious Discipline Parent Nights (Zoom)

April 6 (W)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
12:45-2:25, Storyteller, 4th Grade
2:40-3:30, 2nd Grade Data Team
5:30, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

April 7 (H)
Regular Day

March 8 (F)
8:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)
1:30-2:25, Friday PD – School Improvement Plan (Cafeteria)
1:30-2:20, KG Data Team Meeting
2:25-3:15, 1st Grade Data Team Meeting


Have a good week and remember, lots of review and reteaching!


February 14, 2022

Howdy Everyone,

Twelve items of note for this week:

• State Mask Updates – Staff were sent the 4J COVID Update, but linked here is the ODE Update if you want to more nitty gritty of the rules that go into place if a school district does eliminate the indoor mask mandate. The short version is we are status quo until March 31st, at which time 4J will work with Lane County Public Health to decide if indoor mask rules will change or not.

• Friday PD – Downtown said they are creating an ELA Adoption Infomercial Video for teachers this Friday. They also said there will be an optional Zoom Q&A with the district ELA Adoption Team for teachers to join if they choose. Principals don’t have the video or the Zoom link or times yet, so I’ll email and post them on the Staff Zimbra Calendar before Friday.

• Gifts of Hope Project – Ashley already emailed details, but the short version is:

1- Collect dollars, along with the slips of paper stating how they earned their dollar.

2 – Keep a record of who has turned in a dollar on the class list on the front of the envelope.

3 – Visit the Gifts of Hope Collection Counter Google Sheet to update the total amount of dollars your class has collected. Ashley will use this to update the fundraiser thermometers on the wall.

4 – On February 24th, your grade level will come up with the gifts of hope item that they would like to purchase.

• Holt Spirit Day – PJ Day, Friday, Feb. 25 – Not this week, but next week on Friday, Feb. 25th is a Holt Spirit Day and hit time it’s Ultimate Cozy Pajama Day! Get your kids excited and start planning your own PJ Day outfit!

• Staff Social, Friday at 5:00, Feb. 25 – The Social Committee emailed info earlier, but Friday next week will be a Friday at 5:00 at the Public House in Springfield. There’s pizza, Hawaiian food, Fisherman’s Market, Indian & Latin fare, and all sorts of good food to choose from (pretty sure I’ll get a bratwurst from Pig & Turnip), as well as a variety of beverages. Hope to see you there!

• Data Team Options for Missed Prep – For Data Team meetings on Fridays, we’d previously given teachers the option to skip the PD in order to make up for the missed prep, but downtown is also offering extended contract. Teachers can choose either of these options. If you choose extended contract, just fill out the linked Extended Contract Form and give it to me to get signed for payroll.

• Free UO Basketball Tickets – Holt had free basketball tickets donated for the UO vs USC men’s game on Saturday, Feb. 26th. I’ll put 10-12 tickets in each teacher’s mailbox teachers can use with students as incentives, rewards, or however you see fit. If you don’t want them, put them in my box and I’ll redistribute them. Thank you, Ashley R., for scoring these!

• K-8 Summer Enrichment and Academic Learning Program – See the linked 4J New Summer Programs Doc if you’d like to learn about some of the new student summer programs being offered this year. If you have questions about programs or summer job opportunities, contact Casandra Kamens at

• Superintendent Search Update – If you didn’t catch it in The Register Guard, The school board last week met with Alma Advisory Group, the firm hired coordinate the superintendent search, who recommended the board extending the timeline, citing board dysfunction as a reason why 4J did receive many quality applicants. The board did not make a decision regarding the timeline, but this will likely be discussed at this week’s board meeting. Linked here is a video of last week’s meeting.

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Library – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on Library. Teachers, please note it is an expectation to stay with your students to help with supervision during your library time:


• A Library schedule is created each year, posted in the library, and given to staff via paper. Staff sign up for times based on their availability

• All classes will visit the library each week for a story/lesson as well as for check out.
• Some classes will have access to the media specialist and some will not depending on the time their class is scheduled.
• Students are expected to talk with a level 1 voice, walk, use shelf markers, and sit at tables quietly following their check out.
• Class periods are 25 minutes.
• Teachers are expected to monitor students and be present during their scheduled time.
• Classes should arrive and leave at their scheduled time.
• Classes can trade times should a conflict arise. Please notify the media specialist of the change.

• Get Ridiculous! – From Ian Byrd’s blog Birdseed:

I used to aim for “real world” problems when planning lessons. But this was often a pathway to the mundane. I mean, how many times did I ask students to calculate how much paint they’d need for a wall? Real world? Yes. Interesting? Not even close. Our brains are drawn to the unusual and the unexpected. Let’s take advantage of that and purposefully seek out weird outliers, oddball examples, and unexpected constraints. Let’s get ridiculous!

Get ridiculous with Math:

If you’re writing a fraction problem, PLEASE don’t make it about pizza! No one uses fractions when eating pizza. But if your question has to be about a pizza, then make that pizza unbelievably huge. Make it the size of a football stadium. Or have Tiny Tim eat just 2/999 of the pizza. Make the numbers weird!

Get ridiculous with Language Arts:

Rather than pushing kids to write 500 word stories, we’d practice very very very short stories. Or ask students to rewrite sentences or paragraphs without using a particular letter.

See the full Byrdseed Article for more ideas on how to get ridiculous and grab kids’ interest. If you’re intrigued by this, you can subscribe to the Brydseed Newsletter.

• 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 14 (M)
4th Grade Staff Room Duty
Winter Benchmark Testing Continues
9:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

February 15 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria or Library)

February 16 (W)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
2:30-4:00, Mobile Food Pantry (Cal Young MS)
2:40-3:25, 4th Grade Data Team
5:30-7:30, School Board Work Session (Zoom)

February 17 (H)
5:30-7:30, 4J/EEA Negotiation Session (Zoom)

February 18 (F)
Winter Benchmark Testing Closes
SJ Visits Her Class!
1:30-2:20, 5th Grade Data Team
1:30-2:25, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)
1:30-2:25, Friday PD – ELA Adoption Update (Async)
2:25-3:25, 3rd Grade Data Team

February 21 (M)
No School – Presidents Day

February 22 (T)
5th Grade Staff Room Duty
1:10, Fire Drill
2:45-3:25, Leadership Team Meeting (Volunteer’s Classroom)

February 23 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
2:30-4:00, Mobile Food Pantry (Ed Center)

February 24 (H)
2:45-3:25, IPBS Team Meeting (Kelsey’s Room)
5:30-7:30, 4J/EEA Negotiation Session (Zoom)

February 25 (F)
Holt Spirit Day, Ultimate Cozy Pajama Day
7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-2:25, Friday PD – High Leverage Strategies
5:00, Staff Social! Friday at 5pm (Public House)

Have a good week and an even better 3-day weekend!


March 15, 2021


Hi Everyone,

Kids are finally coming back into the building this week. Guess that means it’s time to put away my “work slippers” and get out my principal ties.

Eight items of note for this week (though the second one is a long one):

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates

• Recess/Title 1 EAs – Please welcome Lisa Phillips and Kelly Stapp as our two newest EAs. Lisa and Kelly interviewed for Ben’s old position, but we had enough funds left in our Title 1 budget to hire two new staff members. Lisa comes to us from Utah where she worked as a Title 1 EA and is currently in the process of getting her teaching degree. Lisa is also a new Holt parent this school year. Kelly comes to us from Redmond, OR where she was a Title 1 EA for almost 10 years before moving to the Eugene area. Please welcome Kelly and Lisa to Team Holt!

• Hybrid EA – None of our Hybrid EA candidates worked out, so we’re back to the drawing board. However, I’m wheeling and dealing with HR to get a reliable sub into the position who was not in the original candidate pool, so hopefully I’ll have something to good announce next week.

• 21/22 Secretary Staffing – One bit of upsetting news, which I’m not done pushing back on downtown yet, is that HR informed me they are not staffing Holt with two secretaries next year. Their rationale is this is an equity issue concerning other large elementary schools who only have one secretary. I’d agree this is an equity issues, but there seems to be some even more gross inequities when every middle school gets a program staffed secretary and registrar, when a majority of 4J middle schools are smaller than Holt. Size of school should really determine whether a school gets additional office staff program staffed. I’m not sure I’ll be able to win they battle, but I’m certainly going to try.


• Hybrid Updates – Several Hybrid related items of note:

• Holt Hybrid & SSO Handbook – Linked here is the Holt Hybrid & SSO Handbook. I don’t expect staff to read this cover-to-cover, but use this as a reference guide if you need to look up something specific. There is no new information in the above plan, outside of the items listed below. It’s really just a consolidation of all the emails, slide shows, meeting minutes, district videos, and various docs that have been shared over the past few months. Let me know if something is missing or wrong or if you have questions on anything.

• Snacks for Grade 2-5 Orientation – Nutrition Services is not providing snacks for the K/1 Orientation this week, but they will provide snacks for the grade 2-5 orientations. Deb said she would bag up a snack to simulate the morning breakfast pick-up when studnets first enter the building and which students can practice the meal protocols in their classroom later.

• Attendance/Contact Tracing – Student attendance is now less about tracking attendance and more about contact tracing. Classroom teachers will meet students at classroom door to complete the Visual Screener, looking for student symptoms of COVID.

• Unusual color
• Unusual behavior (behavior change, lethargy, unusual fatigue)
• New or significant coughing
• Respiratory symptoms not typical for student (noisy breathing, voice changes, nasal dripping)
• Shortness of breath
• Chills (shivering, teeth, goosebumps)
• Appearing ill (sweating, sunken eyes)
• Vomiting

Teachers will then ask ALL students the following two questions:

• Are you feeling okay?
• Have you felt anything that’s different for you in the last few days?

If students answer yes to either question, they are to be escorted by an adult to the office. Call the office if you need assistance.

Classroom teachers are expected to take attendance daily before 8:10. The district is working on logistic if this will be done through Synergy, paper/pencil, email, or other means.

• Routine Cleaning by Teachers – Teachers are responsible for spot cleaning throughout the day within the classroom. This includes items or objects students or adults touch that will then be handled by others, such as shared items or any object students touch that shouldn’t be touched. Teachers will also need to spray down student desks and wipe them down after meals. All classrooms will have disinfectant spray, rags, and “Tech Wipes” for teacher use (not for student use). Place dirty rags on the lip of your garbage can and a clean rag will be left for you near your sink.

• Outside Recess Protocols (UPDATED) – Students will get a daily 30-minute recess with their cohort group. Students are allowed to play all the usual playground games that allow for 6-feet distance (4-Square, Horse, Hopscotch, etc.), minus those where they would come within 6-feet of one another (i.e. soccer, basketball, tag, etc.). Masks will continue to be worn at all times.

Before Recess: Teachers will walk students from the building to either the soft play or hard play if it is their day in that area. Students are released once EAs signal readiness.

During Recess: One grade level will be assigned to soft play and the other to hard play. The next day, the grade levels will rotate.

Restrooms: If a student needs to use the restroom, they will use their wing’s designated entrance/exit and will use their designated cohort restroom.

Equipment: Each cohort will have their own set of balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, etc. which will be sprayed down nightly.

End of Recess: At the end of recess, students on hard play will line up on the tic marks. Students on the soft play will line up on their own sidewalk (up front next to the fence by the parking lot, middle by the tether balls, and next to fence by the buddy bench). Bolts will be painted on the ground where students will stand. Teachers will meet their class to walk them into the building, maintaining 6-feet distance.

All classes need to have an assigned line for the end of recess times. Please work with the teachers/grades to assign class to lines. Consider flow, entrance to buildings, etc. when determining lines. A copy should be given to the office so that supervision staff can be informed.

• Inside Recess – Each class must be supervised by an adult. An indoor recess supervision schedule will be drafted. Students must remain 6-feet apart. Students should not share items. Electronics are allowed.

• Students may not go in the cubbies
• Students should choose a seated activity
• Games and activities should be provided and taught
• Students must stay in their own classroom
• Permission is needed by supervision staff to use the restroom
• When the lights turn off turn and look at the adult by the door
• Classroom expectations/choices should be posted above your classroom door
• In the future we may allow some access for under cover supervision
• Classroom teachers will have expectations in Guest Teacher binder and post on the wall (near or above the door) what room expectations are.
• All certified staff will teach their students what appropriate activities are prior to the first indoor recess.

• Hybrid Meals (Breakfast & Lunch) Process – All students will be provided with a free breakfast and lunch, which they will eat in their 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.

Breakfast: Students will receive a bagged breakfast upon entry at their designated entrance.

Lunch: Lunches will be delivered to classrooms on a rolling cart. There will be a box of cold food (milk, fruits, veggie, etc.) and a warmer-bag of the individually packaged hot food (bagged pizza, hamburger, burrito, etc). The teacher will hand students one of each bag.

Extra Food: If there are extra breakfast or lunch bags, these may be given to students to take home. However, do not send home any hot items from breakfast, since that will go past their 4-hour lifespan.

Home Lunches: It’s encouraged that students eat food provided by the school but if students bring food from home, students should be able to open containers and bottles without staff assistance. Of course, we won’t allow a student to not eat because they can’t open their food and we can step in and help but we will want to follow up with the family to ensure they practice with their child so we don’t make a practice of touching students’ food/containers. Home lunches need to be nut-free.

Lost & Found Cohort A & B – We will have two separate lost and found racks. One will be out for Cohort A on Mondays and Tuesday. The other will be out for Cohort B on Thursdays and Fridays. Custodial staff will move the lost and found racks between cohorts.

• Transportation Update – The Transportation Department has contacted all K-1 families eligible for bussing and will soon reach out to grade 2-5 families. The number of students allowed on buses is limited this year, so the Transportation Department is wanting to know who is riding the bus and who is getting to school by another method. Health and safety measures for riding the bus will be:

• Students will receive a visual screening before entering the bus
• Seats by the driver will be reserved for ill students and the school will be contacted
• Green dots will be marking places for students to sit. They are staggered left to right and on each row of seats.
• Drivers will assign a seat to each student
• Students will wear face coverings while on the bus.
• Students may not eat while on the bus.
• Drivers will use windows, fans, and roof vents to increase ventilation.

• REMINDER: IEP/504 Collaboration Log (UPDATED – Left of Unit Info) – The IEP/504 Collaboration Logs are to be completed each Monday by 5:00pm for the previous week of lessons or at the end of a unt. This has been the same all year and will continue into hybrid. You will complete a separate entry each week or unit for reading, writing and math instruction (for the entire week or unit, not for each daily lesson). One response is required for each content area you teach in which students with disabilities are receiving specially designed instruction or 504 accommodations. If you do not have any students with a 504 or IEP related to reading, writing, or math, you do not need to complete this form. Linked here is an SSD Slide Show w/Voiceover on this topic.

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

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

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

• Contact Tracing and Attestation Google Forms – I will cover this at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, but if you want a preview, downtown is going to reactivate staff badges to work at all entrances. Swiping your badge will take the place of the paper/pencil sign-in we’re currently doing for contact tracing. For this switchover to happen, all staff will need to complete two Google Forms. One, the COVID-19 Attestation: Daily Screening and Reporting Requirements for Reporting to the Worksite form, and two, the Eugene School District 4J Contact Tracing form. Once all staff have submitted their forms, I will notify downtown, who will activate all of our building’s card reader access pads.

• Monday Mailer Pause – Leadership discussed continuing to primarily use digital communication over using paper. This is for reasons of being a green school, trying to avoid germ transmissions, and also making sure families during hybrid all get the same information at the same time, since we’d have to end up with Monday and Thursday Mailers for each cohort. There will be families with extenuating circumstances where will need to do paper communication, though that should for exceptions and not a family preference. We want families to get used to digital communication.

• Hybrid Master Schedule – Survey feedback on the hybrid schedule was generally supportive, ranging from I can live it (a 3) to it’s the greatest thing ever (a 5) and no 1s or 2s. After discussing with the Leadership Team, we are going to move forward with the Holt Hybrid Schedule. The schedule should be up to date, but let me know if you spot any mistakes or something that needs tweaking.

• Schedule the Next 4 Weeks – Will all the calendar changes, here’s the current plan:

Week of March 15: Kids shift into their new classes but nothing else changes. CDL schedule stays the same. K/1 zooms for blue time and does orientation events. 2nd-5th zoom as a whole group in their new class using the current CDL schedule. Interventionists continue to provide services.

March 22-26: Spring Break

Week of March 29: K/1 shifts into their cohorts and begins following the new hybrid/SSO schedule. 2nd-5th stay in their whole groups and continue to follow the CDL schedule, but each grade has an assigned day where they will do an in-person orientation (no optional Zoom orientation is required, as is for K/1). Grade levels DO NOT have any synchronous time on their orientation day. K-5 groups are canceled this week.

Week of April 5: 2nd-5th shift into their cohorts and begin following the new hybrid/SSO schedule.

• Synergy Rollover – The new hybrid cohort sections became “real” in Synergy Friday night. The SIS staff will be end-dating student class enrollments in the original homeroom sections. That should cause those original classes to drop out of Clever and probably anything that pulls data from Clever. The new cohort sections should be available in Clever as of Saturday. It may take a day or two (or three) for them to find their way into the other online applications that roster from Clever, depending on how often a vendor pulls data.

• Food Box Deliveries – Weekly food box deliveries will continue through the end of the year. Location for pick-up may change. If you become aware of a family needing food assistance, please contact Darla.

• Purell Professional Disinfectant Spray Product Literature – If you’re interest, linked here is an Email and Product Information for the replacement disinfectant products coming to schools. The Oxivir Five-16 Disinfectant spray bottles currently in classrooms will be replaced by Purell Professional Disinfectant Spray and the bottles in restrooms will be replaced by Oxivir Tb Wipes. Directions on using these products are in the above link, but will also be delivered to classrooms when you get your new products.

• Welcome Back Bolts Video – Here’s a short video covering some of the protocols we’ll follow when student return to in-person learning in the coming weeks:

• 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

• Changes to the Staffing Timeline – As an FYI, this year’s Staffing Timeline was revised. The main impact for elementary is the Job Expo dates got moved back a week.

• Single Desk Samples – I went over the Edison to check out the furniture samples they had. There were a couple single desks that kind of worked with Holt’s extra wide chairs. Below are a few pictures. School Specialty is getting me a quote on these to make sure they’re in our price range and will then bring us some physical samples for staff can check out. Ignore the wheels on the one desk. We’d get them without wheels. Also, desks come with different styles of book boxes; clear plastic, solid colored plastic, wire basket, or no basket.


• REPEAT: 2021 ACE Award Nominations – How about nominating a fellow Bolt! Nominations can be made in three categories: teachers and licensed specialists, administrators and supervisors, and classified staff. Nominations are due by April 15th. Linked here is the ACE Awards Email and the ACE Awards Nomination webpage.

• Mars landing engineer is Jaime Escalante’s former student – Here’s a cool inspirational education story. Decades before leading a team of more than 100 engineers responsible for The Perseverance Rover that landed on Mars recently, East L.A. native Sergio Valdez was a student of none other than Jaime Escalante at Garfield High. In case you’re too young to remember or so old you forgot, Escalante was such a bad-ass math teacher that they made a movie about him in the ’80s called Stand and Deliver. Guess he’s still got it.


• 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 15 (M)
K/1 Distance learning ends for K/1 Orientation Week
Grades 2-5 shift to hybrid class lists, continue following CDL schedule
12:00-1:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, 1st Grade Orientation
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom) & KG Orientation
3:15-4:15, 1st Grade Orientation
4:00-5:00, Allan to Admin Meeting (Zoom)

March 16 (T)
12:00-1:00, Kindergarten Orientation
1:00-2:00, 1st Grade Orientation
2:00-3:00, Kindergarten Orientation
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

March 17 (W)
St Patrick’s Day
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
10:00, Allan to Title 1 Budget Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-3:00, Bolt Stencil Party (Playground and Sidewalks)
4:00-5:00, Allan to BusinessPLUS Training March (Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 18 (H)
12:00-1:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, Kindergarten Orientation
2:00-3:00, 1st Grade Orientation
3:00-4:00, Allan to SSD Elem SPED Meeting (Zoom) & 1st Orientation
3:15-4:15, 1st Grade Orientation

March 19 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Board 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)
1:00-2:00, 1st Grade Orientation

March 22-26

March 29 (M)
K/1 Begins Full Hybrid
Grades 2-5 Orientation Week & continue hybrid classes on CDL schedule
2nd Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this day)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30-6:00, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

March 30 (T)
3rd Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this Day)
3:00-4:00, PBIS Meeting (Zoom)

March 31 (W)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – SEL – Trauma Informed Module #3 (Library & Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

April 1 (H)
4th Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this Day)
3:00-4:00, Allan to SSD Elem SPED Meeting (Zoom)

April 2 (F)
5th Grade Orientation Day (No Zoom this Day)

April 5 (M)
All Grades in Full Hybrid

It’s the first day of school again the last third of the year.

Ready or not, here they come!



February 22, 2021


Hi Friends,

Don’t forget to savor your final days with your online classes before we shift to hybrid classes in a couple weeks. You have my full permission to give “learning” a break and instead focus on community and “fun.” This is kind of like the last two weeks of school before the summer (if summer was filled with unknowns and anxiety).

Ten items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Now that Ben has shifted into a Title 1 EA posiiton, the posting for his Recess Supervision EA Position is now posted and closes Tuesday. If you know any fabulous candidates, please encourage them to apply!

• REPEAT: Class Lists, DUE WEDNESDAY – I emailed this to staff last week, but the Hybrid Class Lists 2020-21 Google Sheet (Staff Drive > MISC > Class Lists) now includes a tab called “Pathways (NEW)” which has the most current pathway choices.

Class Lists should be updated by Wednesday. Teachers will send a welcome email to their new and returning families on Friday. Hybrid teachers will send two emails, one welcoming their Cohort A families and one welcoming their Cohort B families, letting them know which cohort they are in and which days of the week they will be attending. SSO teachers will send one welcome email to their new and returning families. In your welcome email, you can share hybrid and SSO information with families if you’d like, but you can also just say to watch for the Holt Quick News each Monday for updates. That might save you from having to answer a lot of parent questions and let parents direct their questions to me instead of you.

Melanie will build the new classes in Synergy on Thursday and will email a spreadsheet with parent emails sorted by the new classes and their cohort groups, so teachers can just cut-and-paste all the email addresses into the BCC when you email families.

Three additional Class List items:

• Online Class Breakdown – I accidentally left off our 4/5 blend in the email I sent last week, but the online blend counts should be about this.

K/1(24 total) 14 Kinders and 8 First Graders
1/2 (23 total) 10 First Graders and 13 Seconds
3/4 (21 total) 15 Third Graders and 6 Fourth Graders
4/5 (20 total) 10 Fourth Graders and 10 Fifth Graders

I’m open to adjusting these numbers as needed, but wanted to share how they might break down in order to keep class sizes fairly even. There are other configurations we might have considered, but given the tight timeline, the fact that the numbers don’t change all that much between alternate plans, and also not wanting to throw a curveball at SSO teachers as to what they will be teaching, I vote we just stick with this plan for the last three and a half months of the year. Linked here is the Pathway Report I shared earlier.

• REPEAT: Siblings Reminder – All siblings should be placed into Cohort A. The first tab, Siblings, tells if students have siblings or not, but if the siblings are at middle or high school, they do not have to go into Cohort A. It’s only if there are multiple elementary age siblings. Also, if a class is having trouble fitting all siblings into Cohort A, it’s okay to place those students into Cohort B if you connect with the teacher of the other sibling(s).

• Staff Input on Lists – Particularly for the in-person hybrid classes, I’d like specialists and classified staff to take a look at the lists to make sure there aren’t any bad combinations of students. If you spot something you think should be changed, contact that grade level team.

• Holt Spirt Day – Fancy Day – THIS FRIDAY! – This Friday is a Holt Spirit Day and this time it’s Fancy Day! Make a fancy hairdo! Wear a Tiara! Sport a bow tie! Or just wear Holt colors, a Holt shirt, or a funky outfit. Get kids pumped and see the Fancy Choice Board for ideas.

• Classified Appreciation Week is Coming! – March 1-5 is Classified Appreciation Week, so licensed staff, don’t forget to show your thanks next week to the folks who assist you each day!

• March 4th Supply Distribution Sign-Up & Info – Not this week, but next week is the March Supply Distribution on Thursday, March 4th from 8:00-3:00. If you are available, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet to help between 8:00-3:00. Staff can utilize trade time if you work beyond your normal hours this day. And this time we have Jumpathon T-Shirts and Holt Bolt Jump Ropes to pass out!

As a bonus for what might be our last major supply distribution (SSO students will still need to do periodic supply pick-ups), Kona Ice is coming to Holt from 11:00-1:00 for a fundraiser and they are again offering a FREE shave ice to all staff members!



• Math & ELA UpdatesChelsea Mabie and Eric Anderson send principals a few updates. Two highlights:

• Printed Materials – Both ELA and Math printed materials for the rest of the year will arrive by March 1st. If grade levels are not going to use the materials, do not recycle them and let me know so I can ship them back downtown for potential future use.

• ELA and Social Studies Adoption – Downtown is looking for a K-2 and 3-5 rep to join a district adoption team. Each region gets to send two reps and Chelsea has asked for nominations. Volunteers would begin meeting in June and would work over the summer (extended contract available). Reps would also pilot materials in the fall. Let me know by the end of the week if you are interested in being on this team.

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time – This Wednesday’s PD/PLC time will focus on the nuts-and-bolts  of hybrid and will hopefully answer many of our questions (schedules, classroom set-up, protocols, etc.). Principals meet on Monday and I suspect we’ll get a preview of what’s going to be shared, but at this point I haven’t seen any of it. See you at 2:40 on Wednesday for ALL the answers!

• Read Across America, March 2nd – Not this week, but next week is Read Across America. This year’s theme is “Create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers.” See the above linked NEA website for loads of resources for this annual event.

• “Clean” Text Paste (Command + V + Shift + Option) – Nerd tech tip here, but when I discovered this last spring, it was life changing. Everyone knows the paste keyboard shortcut Command + V, but not as well known, though it should be, is that if you do Command + V + Shift + Option, you will paste plain text and wipe clean any formatting it might carry from its source. You’re welcome!


• 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 22 (M)
11:30, Allan to CICO Planning Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-4:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

February 23 (T)
No Dynamos Groups – Title Staff at SIPPS Training
12:30-1:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, OPTIONAL Arrival/Dismissal Planning Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, PBIS Meeting (Zoom)
6:30, “Pictionary With the Ducks!” – UO Athlete/Holt Virtual Event (Zoom)

February 24 (W)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 4th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 5th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – District Hybrid Information (Zoom )

February 25 (H)
2:00-3:00, IPBS CDL Meeting (Zoom)

February 26 (F)
Fancy Day – SPIRIT DAY!7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
10:00, Allan (as Electra) Posing for School Mascot Vaccinations (Cal Young)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

March 1 (M)
Classified Appreciation Week
3:00, Allan to Dentist Appointment

March 2 (T)
Read Across America
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

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

March 4 (H)
8:00-3:00, School Supply Distribution (Front of School)
11:00-1:00, Kona Ice Fundraiser (Front of School)
11:00-10:00, Bo & Vine – Holt Night Out Fundraiser
2:00-3:00, IPBS CDL Meeting (Zoom)

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

March 8 (M)
Shift to Hybrid and Same School Online Classes

Just four Mondays until spring break!


December 7, 2020


Hi All,

Twelve items of note for this week:

• Social Emotional Learning Items – Three SEL related items of note:

• 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. 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, let me know if any grade levels would like me to scan your Child Protection Unit and put a PDF version the Staff Google Drive.

I’m including the linked article in Monday’s Quick News and it’s recommended teachers follow-up with the linked Family Message (English and Spanish).

• Second Step CDL Scope & Sequence – Related to the above, this was shared way back at the start of the year, so it may have gotten lost in the avalanche of emails in the fall, but linked here is the recommended Second Step CDL Scope & Sequence. This is not an expectation, but is simply a recommendation. Linked here are Second Step COVID-19 Resources.

• Social Emotional Learning Remote Learning – As a follow-up to the Morning Meeting sharing at last week’s Staff Meeting, Fulton County Schools has a bunch of canned SEL lessons, most of which involve watching a video and then responding, so they work well for both synchronous and asynchronous. They have quite a few other CDL resources worth checking out.

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time, 2:40-4:00 – Shared earlier, schools now are in charge of their Wednesday PD/PLC times and have to report our topics to downtown. I reached out to some downtown folks for a Nearpod and Lalilo refresher, but got NOs or no response, but Jacque has stepped up and will lead a Nearpod refresher this Wednesday at 2:40. See the Zimbra Staff Calendar for the Zoom link.

• Supply Distribution Updates – We’re learning what works for distribution as we go, so next round we’ll add a few new measures:

• Uniform Bags – With many items being added from from specialists, last minute flyers, and other sources, sturdy bags that are easy to open and close work best, so we’ll purchase some sort of Large Slider Ziplock Bags for everyone to use next round.

• Labels on Bags – A lot of teachers are already doing this, but if you’re not, office staff will print labels with student names for bags next round, which also makes it easier when adding items later for individual students.

• Knock & Drops for Non-Pick Ups – For students who do not get their supplies, some staff have done “Knock & Drops,” which are allowed, but if you do, let office staff know so we can track who has and has not picked up supplies.

• Hot Mama’s Wings Fundraiser 12/15 – Mark your calendar’s for Tuesday, December 15th, this month’s Holt Night Out Fundraiser at Hot Mama’s Wings. I highly recommend the Beer-Battered Pickle Basket!


• Human Resources Items – Three HR related items of note:

• Leadership Plan Approved – JCAC met last week and approved Holt’s 2020-2021 Leadership Plan.

• CDL Resident Sub Update – HR has changed building resident subs to “regional” resident subs, so we will sadly not have an extra body to help with small groups or covering for absent teachers on short notice.

• Willing to have a sub shadow you for two days? – Related to the above, HR is still looking for willing teachers to be shadowed by a sub for a couple of days so they can see first hand what they will be asked to do when subbing during CDL. Leslie had a sub shadow her for a couple days, so she can tell you how that went, but let me know if any of you are will do help the district train up more subs for CDL.

• Seesaw Math Lesson Feedback – Downtown is considering creating optional ELA Seesaw lessons as they have done for Math, but before the do that, they want to know what teachers think of the math lessons. Are you using them? Are they helpful? What would improve them? Fill out this linked anonymous Math Lesson Feedback Survey by Friday. I’ll share the results with Eric Anderson.

• Hour of Code 2020 This Week! – This week is Computer Science Education Week which includes The Hour of Code. Let me know if any of you are doing something cool for the Hour of Code during CDL. I’d love to see if we can get some media coverage for some of our activities during Computer Science Education Week. See the above links for some fun and easy online actives for all grade levels.Khan Academy also has quite a few quality activities and Edutopia has quite a few links as well.

• Safe Routes to School & UO OHeroes Read-Aloud Videos – Linked here is a Google Folder of UO Athletes Reading Books about biking, which comes to us from the Safe Routes to School Program. TIP: some of the athletes are more fluent and engaging readers than others. Check out Tillie the Terrible Swede, Duck on a Bike, and Born to Ride, along with the rest. And keep in mind copyright laws and do not make any of the videos publicly available on YouTube or other sites on the open web.

• 2020–21 Hazardous Weather Information – Staff were emailed the 2020–21 Hazardous Weather Memo, but principals were asked to review it with staff. The short version is:

• For a snow day during CDL or Hybrid, classes will be taught remotely, but on-site services such as food services, may be cancelled.
• A decision to close would be announced by 6:15AM
• Staff should prepare to telework if inclement weather is in the forecast and buildings are closed.


• School Choice Updates – School Choice timelines this year will stay the same as in the past, but deadlines may be extended for this year. Official dates and info will go up on the district website soon. The Elementary School Showcase is cancelled for this year, but schools will conduct “Virtual Tours” for families at some point in January. More info should be coming on this.

• “Can I Have a Hug?” Tools for Teaching Consent to Elementary Students – Opportunities abound to teach young children the language to say “yes” or “no” as they learn how to respect personal space. See this ASCD Express Article for tips on how.

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

December 7 (M)
Computer Science Education Week / Hour of Code.
1:30, Allan to Data Team Training (Zoom)
6:00-6:30, How to Draw Baby Yoda with Ms. Kim (Zoom)

December 8 (T)
National Pretend to Be a Time Traveller Day
12:30-1:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Share a Joke for the Next Virtual Assembly!

December 9 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
10:00-11:00, Allan Meeting w/Charis McGaughy (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Topic is TBD (Zoom)

December 10 (H)
10:00, Facilities Dept. Site Security Visit
1:00-2:00, Allan to Video Security Training (Sheldon HS)
2:30-3:30, IPBS Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-5:30, Learn More Magic w/Mr. Chinn (Zoom)
6:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom)

December 11 (F)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Monthly Meeting (Zoom)

December 13 (SU)
National Cocoa Day!

December 14 (M)
Erin’s Law Fall Instruction Week
International Monkey Day
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-5:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-6:30, Learn to Draw an Arctic Fox with Ms. Kim (Zoom)

December 15 (T)
12:30-1:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
11:30-8:00, Holt Night Out Fundraiser – Hot Mama’s Wings
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

December 16 (W)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – TBA (Zoom)

December 17 (H)
1:30-2:30, Allan to IEP Meeting (Zoom)
7:00, Holt Holiday Gift Exchange Party (Zoom)

December 18 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)

Dec. 21 – Jan. 1 (SU)
No School – Winter Break

January 2 (SA)
National Science Fiction Day

January 4 (M)
No School – PD/Planning day
Classes Resume

January 5 (T)
Classes Resume
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

10 school days until winter break!




FYI – Pretty happy about my Spotify Wrapped top song of the year. Go, Yacht Rock!


November 30, 2020


Howdy Bolts,

Hope you all were able to take it easy over the four-day weekend.

Eight items of note for this week:

• PAHS Coffee or Hawaiian Lunch, TUESDAY! – As an appreciation for staff, PAHS has arranged for the Everyday Kine Grindz from Hawaii Coffee & Food Cart to come to Holt on Tuesday from 11:30-1:00ish, where staff will be treated to a free coffee or $5 off any lunch plate courtesy of PAHS. See the above link for their menu, but there will be a chicken, pork, and veggie options with rice and choice of Mac Salad or Asian Slaw.

• Staff Collaboration Log Option – I shared this at the last Staff Meeting, but I’d forgotten to put it on this week’s Staff Meeting Agenda for a decision if we want to stick with the Current SPED/504 Collaboration Log or if we want to switch to the Revised SPED 504 Collaboration Log. Please look at the two logs before the meeting so we can focus on discussion & decision instead of explaining them again. Let me know if you have questions about the two logs.

• Pie in the Face Videos! – Come on, join the fun! Make a video of yourself getting hit in the face with a pie for the next Virtual Assembly! You know, for the kids! They love this stuff. See Ashley’s Email for details, but compared to brick-and-mortar staff-pie-in-the-face volunteering, you can do this at home so you can shower and change right afterwards. Send you videos to Ashley by Thursday!

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time, 2:40-4:00 – Principals have again not been given details on this Wednesday’s PD/PLC time other than the title, Elementary Report Card. Linked here is the 4J Draft PD Calendar for Wednesdays, but stay tuned for details.

• Follow-Up to Last Wednesday’s PD/PLC Time – Hopefully teachers have all had a chance to view the Routines for Increasing Access to Rigorous Math slide show. Note that teachers were asked to plan with your grade level teams to try to incorporate one of these routines into your lessons in the next few weeks. The PD Calendar looks pretty tentative after this week, but last week’s PD may be revisited on a future Wednesday.

• REPEAT: Supply Distribution Sign-Up for Thursday – Thursday’s supply distribution is 8:00-3:00. Please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet if you’re able to help. Staff can utilize trade time if you work beyond your normal hours this day.

• No, Elementary Students Are Not Too Young to Talk About Race – Research shows that children can critically engage in conversations with thoughtful reflection, ideas, and questions. See this ASCD Article for their advice. On a related note, here’s another ASCD article on How to Talk “Taboo” Topics with Young Students.

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

November 30 (M)
Scholastic Online Book Fair Continues, 11/23-12/6
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

December 1 (T)
8:30-9:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

December 2 (W)
Allan Teleworking
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Elem Report Card (Zoom)
6:30, Dance Party with Sluggo, Hosted by Mrs. Benavides (Zoom)

December 3 (H)
8:00-3:00, School Supply Distribution (Main Entrance)

December 4 (F)
Regular Day

December 6 (SU)
Last Day Scholastic Online Book Fair

December 7 (M)
1:30, Allan to Data Team Training (Zoom)
6:00-6:30, How to Draw Baby Yoda with Ms. Kim (Zoom)

December 8 (T)
National Pretend to Be a Time Traveller Day
8:30-9:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Meeting (Zoom)

December 9 (W)
8:30-8:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Topic is TBD (Zoom)

December 10 (H)
5:00, Learn More Magic w/Mr. Chinn (Zoom)
6:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom)

December 11 (F)
Regular Day

December 13 (SU)
National Cocoa Day!

Three weeks until winter break!



April 20, 2020


Hello from Home!

I’ve continued to get emails see nice social media posts from families about our Howard Roadrunner Car Parade. Families were so grateful for that event and it makes my so glad we held this event. Thank you to Mellissa and Corianne for organizing the event and figuring out all the logistics! I’m thinking staff loved seeing each other just about as much as students did. Thank you everyone who was able to come out!

One other shout of for this week. This Wednesday is Administrative Professionals’ Day, formerly known as Secretaries’ Day, so I’d like to recognize the hard work of Howard’s excellent office staff, Lori and Elizabeth, who even during these extraordinary times continue to be available to help staff and families. Thank you both for all you do!

Thirteen items of note, including items from last week’s optional staff meeting:

• Enhanced Elementary Distance Learning Guidance – See’s Brooke Wagner’s Emails (Email 1 and Email 2) for details, but please take note of the Updated Elementary Distance Learning Video, the Two Weeks at a Glance (by grade level), the 4J Distance Learning for All Website being created as we speak by SDSs, and the K-5 Optional Lesson Plans: April 20-24 that were emailed Friday evening. Here are the highlights to take note of:

• Teacher-Led Minutes (classroom & interventionist) – These are the MAXIMUM minutes for daily teacher-led activities by classroom teachers and by interventionists (Title, SPED, ELL).

K/1: 40 min. Classroom, 5 min. Interventionist
2/3: 50 min. Classroom, 10 min. Interventionist
4/5: 75 min. Classroom, 15 min. Interventionist

Teacher-led time includes the time it will take student to read any text you provide, watch any videos you assign, complete the assignments, and also any synchronous time. Classroom teachers are not responsible for providing supplemental or health/wellness activities, but may share ideas and activities if you’d like.

• Asynchronous or Synchronous – Asynchronous (non-Zoom) is the district recommended method for teaching. Synchronous time should only be for class meetings or an occasional small groups, but it’s not an expectation. Teachers recording themselves teaching a lesson and posting the video is the preferred method, which allows students and families not to be tied to a specific time and also allows students to review a lesson multiple times as needed. If teachers do teach content (non-SEL or class meetings) synchronously, you are expected to provide the same learning opportunity for students unable to log-in, meaning you will need to record yourself teaching the same lesson (you can’t record the lesson live with students due to FERPA) and make that video available. So generally speaking, don’t teach content synchronously.

• Weekly Essential Skills – Lesson should focus on the weekly essential skills for your grade level in the Two Weeks at a Glance Doc, which narrows the focus during our limited instructional time. This also allows for SPED, ELL, and Title staff to provide targeted support.

• PE/Music & Seesaw – The Technology Department has set up PE and Music teachers with their own Seesaw Classrooms and Brooke Wagner shared the linked Elementary P.E. & Music Specialist Guidelines, which has PE and Music specialists creating two supplemental Music and two PE lessons per week for students. Siera and Tami are planning to provide an additional activity on alternating Fridays.

• REPEAT: Office Hours – Teachers should choose and inform your families of three 1-hour windows where they are available to families (your choice of phone, text, email, Seesaw, and/or Zoom), with one of the 1-hour blocks being an evening time to accommodate working parents. Note that this is not a time for 1:1 tutoring, but is a time for parents to connect with teachers.

• Attendance During Distance Learning – I shared a preview of this earlier, but linked here is the official Attendance Procedures During Distance Learning for All (Spring 2020). These new attendance procedure will start this week (4/20-4/25) and last until the end of the school year. The goal is to track which students are not engaged, avoiding leaving any students behind. To make it as easy and simple as possible, attendance will be taken only once a week (on the last teaching day of the week) by teachers as you normally do in Synergy. If a student made any form of contact with teachers (case managers included) during the week (completed an assignment, participated in a Zoom, send a message, etc.), they will be considered present. If a student is not connecting with school at all and parents are unresponsive to teacher attempts to reach out, let me know and I will reach out to make sure we’re not losing any students

• Universal Design for Learning (UDL) – Buried in the 4J Distance Learning for All Website and on an earlier email is a video on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), which explains ODEs mandate for how lessons should be designed for students, so that it’s accessible for students of all levels and abilities. Here’s a link to a UDL Video.

• Next Steps – Teachers this week will receive the week-by-week target skills for the rest of the school year. Direction for how SPED will support students is still being worked out by SPED directors and ODE, but something should be coming out soon. And remember to give yourself permission to go slow, keep it fun, and not overwhelm families.



• Zoom Security & Zoom Bombing – This has happened already in 4J and the district is currently re-evaluating Zoom as a platform for synchronous learning, but in the meantime 4J is sticking with Zoom. However, remember that asynchronous learning is the recommended method for teaching and the sample week provided for teachers includes only one day for a synchronous class meeting.

See Mellissa’s Zoom Bouncer Email if any teachers would like a co-host for your Zoom Class Meetings. Lots of us are excited and willing to help! And FYI, teachers do not have “Co-Host” access, but you can turn over host duties to another staff member while you focus on running your class meeting.

If you do use Zoom, keep in mind the Safety & Security Email sent to staff earlier, some highlights of which include:

• Use your 4J email to set up your Zoom account.
• Do not make meetings publicly accessible
• Require a password
• Create a “Waiting Room”
• Confirm participants’ identity
• Be present from start to end in every meeting
• Do not record video meetings with staff or students
• Mute participants on entry
• Keep control of the screen share setting
• Hosts can “Lock” a meeting
• Hosts can remove anyone by hovering over the ellipsis (…)
• Accept software update prompts from Zoom

For more tips on Zoom meeting security and safety, see:

4J Technology: Zoom Privacy Considerations – Guidelines and step-by-step instructions for Zoom settings
Zoom: Best Practices for Securing Your Virtual Classroom
Zoom: Keep Uninvited Guests Out of Your Zoom Event

• SSD on Student Discipline – If you encounter discipline issues during a Zoom, SSD is advising that banning a student from Zooms counts as a “suspension” and will need to be documented as such, so contact me if you encounter this situation. More information on this is coming, but see Kat Lange’s Email if you want the details so far.

• LaneESD Paper Packets – 4J is not producing any more work packets, but the Lane ESD is creating 10-day project based learning (PBL) supplemental learning packets families can access if they choose. Since Friday’s Staff Meeting, downtown released their Analog Distance Education Guidance, which further explains how the ESD packets will work. Packets for the first two weeks are:

K-1 PBL: Student Facing Materials: Identity Mapping
2-3 PBL: Student Facing Materials
4-5 PBL: Student Facing Materials: (coming this weekend)

For implementing these at the elementary level, classroom teachers or case managers assigned to the student are responsible for checking in once per week (call, email, or message to families) to make sure the students feel connected to what is going on at school, marking attendance, and providing feedback to students.

4J’s hope is for all students to participate in online distance learning, but if families request a paper option, let me know and I will print a packet for families to pick-up at meal distribution times.

• REPEAT: Connecting w/Families – If there are families you have not hear from or or have been unable to contact, please continue reaching out and also let me know so we can take additional steps to re-connect families with school.

• REPEAT: Building Access – If you need to access the building, remember you need to notify me first to arrange a time for me to meet with you. Staff should enter ONLY through the main office entrance and sign-in on the clipboard on the front office desk, being sure to note all areas you went to so custodial staff can disinfect those areas behind you. If you need to use the restroom, only use the two staff restrooms in the office. Please try to limit your amount of time in the building, but if you do need to come into the building, try to make it on Mondays, Wednesday, or Fridays between 11:00-12:00, which is a set time that I will be in the building.

• Optional Howard Check-In Zoom Meetings, Thursday @2:00 – We decided at Friday’s Staff Meeting to go down to one meeting a week, which will be on Thursdays at 2:00. I’m following the district guidance on Zoom Meetings, so each meeting will have a different URL, Meeting ID, and Password, which I’ll include in my announcements email and on a Zimbra Calendar Invite, but not on my blog.

• Tech Support for Families – If families are needing tech support that you cannot quickly answer, and if they have school owned device, you can share the following info:

For technical support on 4J owned devices, call 541-790-7770 or email

Para obtener asistencia técnica en dispositivos propiedad de 4J, llamaré al 541-790-7731 o enviaré un correo electrónico a

• 5th Grade Honk-By – Corianne has begun working on a 5th Grade Honk-By in lieu of our traditional 5th grade celebration activities. If you have ideas feel free to share them with Corianne.

• UPDATE: 4J Wraparound Resources – Matt and I are your contacts for families in need, but the 4J Wraparound Team Email sent to us included a link to their Wraparound Resources for Staff Doc, which can help you locate what families need and continues to be updated daily.

Some highlights added this week:

• More food sites and a food box locator. Casa de Luz is one site open this Saturday where Spanish is spoken and they offer foods that are more familiar for many Latino families.
• Info. for families who receive SNAP – increased emergency benefits and ability to order delivery from Amazon or Walmart.
• Easier ways to apply for OHP.
• Links to tech support for parents in English and Spanish, including videos.

And linked here are the following flyers:

Info. about CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Expansion (flyer)
Info. about COVID-19 in Spanish
• Tenants’ rights flyer in English and Spanish
Oregon Childcare Provider Relief Guide (website has guide in several languages)

• 5 Home Learning Experiences for the Elementary Grades – See this Edutopia Article for activities that incorporate speaking and listening, reading and writing, math, music, science, art, and drama—and are parent-friendly.

• FREE Live Concerts! – Not education related, but for fun while in quarantine, I’ve been checking this Live Nation – Live form Home website every day, which includes links to daily live streams from some well known bands and musicians around the globe. It seems like there at least a few big names performing every day. On Sunday I’m planning to check out Carly Pearce at 5:00 (maybe John Mayer at 6:00) and Alice in Chains on Monday at 6:00 for some throwback 90s grunge.

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

April 20 (M)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

April 21 (T)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals

April 22 (W)
Administrative Professionals’ Day (formerly Secretaries’ Day)
Earth Day
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

April 23 (H)
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (that’s easy this year)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals
2:00, Optional Howard Check-In Zoom Meeting

April 24 (F)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

April 27 (M)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

April 28 (T)
10:00-11:00, Allan at All Admin Zoom Meeting
11:00-12:00, Free Meals

April 29 (W)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families
1:00-2:00, Allan to HR Zoom Meeting

April 30 (H)
2:00, Optional Howard Check-In Zoom Meeting
4:00-8:00, Allan to Job Expo Zoom Interviews

May 1 (F)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Positive Attitude
Better Hearing & Speech Month
Transition Day (possible hazardous weather [pandemic?] makeup day)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

If you didn’t catch them on social media, enjoy the videos below of last week’s Howard Roadrunner Parade.

Have a good week and remember to take care of yourselves!



From a Howard parent’s Facebook post

From David Nelson’s Ring Doorbell

Swift’s pan of all the cars getting ready!