February 14, 2022

By Allan  

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 kamens@4j.lane.edu

• 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!