February 8, 2021


Hi Everyone,

Don’t forget about the Holt Staff Shout Out Form to recognize fellow Bolts who are doing something awesome or that you appreciate. We’ll share any shout out at next week’s Staff Meeting.

Eleven items of note for this week:

• EA Interviews Wednesday @12:30 – We already have Kindergarten and Title 1 reps lined up, but I like to make a practice of opening up interview committees to ANY staff members who would like to join. We are hiring for a 4-hour Title 1 EA and a 5.25-hour KG/Title 1 EA. Interviews will be this Wednesday 12:30-2:45 and we are interviewing five candidates. Just let me know if you’d like to be part of the team.

• Hybrid/SSO Updates – Three items of note:

• New Hybrid/SSO Info – Late Friday, principals were given a slide show to share with families regarding hybrid and same school online, which included some new concrete decisions by the district. Some were shared at last week’s school board meeting and others were new.

• 5-Hour Day – Hours for early start schools, such as Holt, will be 7:55-12:55 for hybrid. SSO students will also have 5-hour days, though that time may not all be live.

• 4-Day Week – When hybrid starts, the live 5-hour day will be MTHF and Wednesdays will stay the same as they are now with students online only with a shorter Zoom.

• Lunch/Recess 60-minutes – There will be one 30-minute recess and one 30-minute lunch each day. For recess, students will stay in their cohort group. For breakfast & lunch, students will eat in their classroom with the teacher.

• Others – These have been around before, but desks will be 6-feet apart, students and staff must wear masks at all times, there will be plenty of scheduled time for hand washing/sanitizing, restrooms cleaned regularly, and for off-weeks daily synchronous time will be much shorter than it is now. Linked here is a slide show I’ll share in Monday’s Quick News, as well as this video, where I narrate the slides.

• Hybrid Safety Protocols – There’s a lot downtown needs to decide about hybrid and SSO instructional models, but in terms of safety protocols, those plans have largely been in place since August. There will be a more formal of presentations on this in the coming weeks, but if you want a preview, see the district 4J COVID-19 Communicable Disease Management Plan and Operational Blueprint. These protocols have been made in response to ODE’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners.

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time 2/17 – We haven’t had a Wednesday PD/PLC times since 4J made these principal discretion, but downtown is tentatively planning to have principals share hybrid information on Wednesday, February 17th. This is on the Staff Calendar, but be sure not to schedule anything that will conflict with this meeting.


• COVID Protocol Reminders & Info – Three items of note:

• Leaving Work for Vaccinations – HR emailed a clarification to principals that it is okay for staff to not have to use leave time (i.e. sick leave) for a local COVID vaccinations appointment, but you do need to take a leave if it’s somewhere outside of the Eugene/Springfield areas (i.e. Grants Pass or Philomath).

• COVID Suggestion Box – The latest version of Ready Schools, Safe Learners requires schools to have a process that allows for named and anonymous sharing of concerns that can be reviewed on a regular basis by the designated RSSL building point-person (me), so I’ve created a COVID Suggestion Box Google Form that is permanently linked along the side of my blog under Holt Links. I’ll plan to check submissions each Monday.

• Sign-In Means No COVID Symptoms for Self or Close Contacts – When you sign-in at school, you are attesting that you are not currently experiencing any of the known primary COVID-19 symptoms AND you have not been in close contact with, or do not live with anyone who is displaying known COVID-19 symptoms. These may get updated to include secondary symptoms, but the current symptom list 4J is using is:

• Persistent cough
• Fever greater than 100.3 degrees
• Chills
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• News loss of sense of taste or smell
• Diarrhea or vomiting


Gold star to anyone who can name this movie that accurately predicted our no-touch future!


• iPad Reset Instead of Return – If a student iPad is not working, have them reset the iPad before suggesting they return it. Most issues can be resolved this way. The linked How to Reset an iPad Quick Sheet (English and Spanish) provides directions how to do this and guidance on setting up the iPad after it has been reset.

• Report Cards Closed Tuesday – Report card will be emailed to families Monday, so Melanie is going to close report cards in Synergy Tuesday morning.

• 2021-22: Draft Staffing Timeline – HR shared with principals a draft staffing timeline:

February 23: Staffing allocations shared with principals
March 18: Staffing plans due by 11:59 PM
By March 19: Principals must provide a verbal notification to any staff who were displaced in the staffing plan submitted to HR
April 13 & 27: Job Expo for Secondary level administrators
April 15 & 29: Job Expo for Elementary level administrators

• Desks and Dolphins – Our desk-making neighbor is continuing to take requests for student desks and delivered three more last week. On another note, this gentleman is also involved with a Florida nonprofit, the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, who have been studying a population of wild dolphins for 50 years and asked me to help him spread the word about this organization, so check out the above link if you or your class are interested in this topic.

• REPEAT: PAHS Holt Staff Appreciation Day, THURSDAY – On Thursday, courtesy of PAHS, Holt staff are invited to go to the Coburg Road Human Bean (across form Costco) to order your favorite beverage. Just mention you’re a Holt staff member to receive one free drink!

• REPEAT: 2021-2022 Staff Survey, Due Feb. 15 – To help prep for 2021-2022 Staffing, please complete the linked 2021-2022 Staffing Survey by next Monday, Feb. 15th.

• Black History Month Resources – February is Black History Month, so I wanted to pass along this list as a starting point for resources. There are, of course, many other resources available; Rethinking Schools, the Zinn Education Project, and Facing History and Ourselves to name a few.

Info on BHM origins:
• Awesome Video: How Black History Went From a Week to a Month
• Article: Black History Themes
• Article: The Man Behind Black History Month

On Teaching:
How to Be an Anti-Racist White Educator
What Anti-Racist Teachers Do Differently

Black Youth Leaders and Activists:
• Past: Youth in the Civil Rights Movement
• Present: Young Black Activists, Young Black Leaders and Creators Making History Today, Amanda Gorman

Black History Month 2021
For 2021, the BHM theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity. There’s obviously such a wealth of resources to work with here, but these are a few books related to this theme:
• Read-aloud: Me and Mama
• Sony Animation: Hair Love
• Read-aloud (there are a bunch of other great ones on this YouTube channel): We March

Lesson plans, etc.:
Virtual History Journeys
PBS Learning Resources

Keep in mind that black history and teaching the story of historically of marginalized groups should be a year round-activity and not just a sidebar or novelty to the American history typically taught in U.S. schools. It should be viewed as a central part of the American story.

• 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 8 (M)
Report Cards Emailed to Families
No ELD Groups
11:30, Allan to Parent Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-4:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

February 9 (T)
12:30-1:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)
6:30, Yoga Night for Kids (Zoom)

February 10 (W)
8:30-9:00, Allan Meeting with 4/5 Team (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:40, Allan Reading to Class (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
12:30-2:45, EA Interviews (Zoom)
6:00, Family Engineering Night – Straw Rockets! (Zoom)

February 11 (H)
PAHS Holt Staff Appreciation Day at The Human Bean
2:30-3:30, IPBS Monthly CDL Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom)

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

February 14 (SU)
*DANCE BATTLE* Virtual Assembly Videos Due

February 15 (M)
Regular School Day – Presidents Day
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

February 16 (T)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

February 17 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
8:40, Allan Reading to Class (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, KG Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 1st Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 2nd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – District Hybrid Info (Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)
6:30, Cheer with the Ducks – Holt Virtual Event! (Zoom)

February 18 (H)
11:00-10:00, Bo & Vine – Holt Night Out Fundraiser

February 19 (F)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

Dance Battle videos are due this coming Sunday!


January 11, 2021


Hi Holt Bolts,

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

Eight items of note for this week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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 23, 2020


Greetings All,

Thirteen items of note for this week:

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time – Principals have not been given details on this Wednesday’s PD/PLC time, 2:40-4:00, other than the title, Math Lesson Review. Stay tuned and hopefully we’ll get info soon. Linked here is the 4J Draft PD Calendar thus far.

• Holt Spirit Day, Animal Day! – WEDNESDAY! – Don’t forget to remind students that this Wednesday is a Holt Spirit Day and this time it’s Animal Day! Join your class Zoom dressed up as an animal, wear some animal print, make yourself some ears, or just wear some spirit gear!

And also remind students on Wednesday at 7:00PM is Animal BINGO Night. All they need is a BINGO Card and something to mark their card. If they didn’t get a card at Supply Distribution, cards are available at lunch pick up. Zoom

• Dec. 3rd Supply Distribution Sign-Up & Info – Next week’s supply distribution is on Thursday, December 3rd from 8:00-3:00. I know most staff are now teaching groups, but 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.

We’ll plan to pass out the district math packets for all grade levels unless I hear from grade level teams. And we are supposed to have district purchased headphones for this round of distribution.

• Student Materials Delivery – Principals can now submit request for district staff to deliver student materials when families are unable to pick up student materials due to extreme circumstances. Let me know if you have a situation such as this and I can submit a ticket. It’s a 2-day turnaround from when we submit the ticket. See this linked email if you want all the details.

• Staff Shout Out Form – Don’t forget about the Staff Shout Out Form! Complete the form to show some words of encouragement or simply a THANK YOU! I’ve also added a permanent link along the side column of my blog under Holt Staff Links.

• REMINDER: Notify Allan of COVID Positive Cases – If you find out any students or parent/guardians have tested positive for COVID, let me know so I can notify the HR staff working with Lane County Public Health. We had three cases pop up last week.

• Seesaw Feedback – Remember, when you’re in brick and mortar, you’re not giving written feedback to every single piece of student work. It is okay to do some heart-only response and to prioritize your written feedback, such as identifying certain assignments that will be used for formative assessment, and spending more time with that feedback.

• (A Small) Report Card Update – Principals were told the format of the elementary report card is staying the same and that curriculum SDSs are comparing the CDL priority standards with the prior resign work done on the report card. They will not add anything, but may be delete some lines. District leadership is looking at the work and will hopefully have it out to staff soon.

• Snow Days in CDL – Principals learned last week if we do have heavy snow, teaching and leaning will continue, but on site services may be cancelled.

• Weekly Collaboration Log Guide – SSD has provided additional Weekly Collaboration Log Guidance. Nothing seems to have changed, but it may help clarify any lingering questions.

• Zoom Breakout Room Workaround – Following last week’s Staff Meeting, Tammy Christiansen came up with another solution, which is a teacher can host and co-host their own meeting using two devices. She was able to log in to Zoom twice in the same session – once by signing in to Zoom to host the meeting and another time on a different device by simply joining the meeting without signing in to Zoom. The “Tammy host” was able to make the “Tammy guest” co-host of the meeting.

Tammy recommends teachers try using the CSV file upload and hosting a fake meeting a couple of times prior to an actual Zoom session. Linked here is the How to Upload a CSV File of Prearranged Groups Video shared earlier, which includes directions on how to upload a second CSV file for a second set go groups during the same Zoom session. Tammy said it is almost a neat-and-tidy process and that she’d be interested to hear how this works for folks.

• 2020 Winter Holiday Resource List – I’ll share this in Monday’s Quick News, but linked here is an extensive Winter Holiday Resource List from the Oregon Department of Human Services. Included on the list is information on Food Boxes, Meal Site, and Holiday Gift Programs.

• 22 Videos to Help Kids Understand Gratitude – Science tells us that being thankful can make us happier and improve our sense of well-being. Over the course of their lives, our students will face many hardships, and one of the best things we can do is help them learn the skills they need to be more resilient. This WeAreTeachers Article contains a nice collection of heartwarming gratitude videos to watch with students to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

• 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 23 (M)
Scholastic Online Book Fair Begins, 11/23-12/6
1:30, Allan to Data Team Training (Zoom)

November 24 (T)
8:30-9:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
1:00-3:00, Holiday Food Box Distribution (Main Entrance)
1:30, Allan to Parent Meeting (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, PBIS Meeting (Zoom)

November 25 (W)
8:00-2:00, Holiday Food Box Distribution (Main Entrance)
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 – Math Lesson Review (Zoom)
7:00, Animal BINGO Night! – Holt Virtual Event (Zoom)

November 26 (H)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

November 27 (F)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

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

18 days until Winter Break!


November 16, 2020


Hello Holt Bolts,

Ten items of note for this week:

• License Staff 1:1 CDL Feedback – Principals have been asked to do 1:1 interviews with representative licensed staff to get feedback regarding district implementation of comprehensive distance learning. Let me know if any of you are interested/willing to have a short chat to provide feedback.

And for both classified and licensed staff, if you haven’t already, be sure to complete the Staff Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) Check-in and Feedback Survey and if you’re a 4J parent, the 4J Distance Learning Feedback (Parent Survey).

• COVID Protocols Update – Physical Distancing Site Coordinators (that’s me for Holt) had a meeting on Friday and there are some big changes as a result of new state guidance that will be shared by downtown with all staff later this week, but to give you a preview, here’s the Site Coordinator Meeting Doc that was shared with principals last Friday and here are the high points:

• Regardless of Distance, Wear Masks if Sharing a Space (Inside & Outside) – If you are in your classroom or office alone, that is the only time you can take off your mask. If you are sharing an indoor space with another person, even if it’s just two people sitting at opposite ends of a classroom, gym, or library, they must wear masks at all times. Even walking through the parking lot, staff now need to wear masks. 

• Allowable Face Coverings – Face coverings with valves and “gaiter” type face coverings are not permitted. Clear face shields with hooded enclosures are an acceptable alternative to regular face coverings under limited circumstances where and when appropriate (see above link for exceptions). “Face covering” should be a cloth, polypropylene, paper, or other face covering that covers the nose and the mouth and that rests snugly above the nose, below the mouth, and on the sides of the face.

• Returned Items 72-Hour Quarantine – Any item that is returned to school (technology, library books, etc.) now have to be quarantined for 72-hours.

• Staff Meals & Breaks – Since staff must remove their face coverings for eating and drinking, so staff must eat snacks and meals independently, and not in staff rooms or other shared spaces where others are present. Downtown did say, if you eat lunch outside 10-feet apart, that is allowable.

• Transportation (Home Visits, etc.) – For home visits or drop & gos, when multiple staff ride in a vehicle for work-related purposes, regardless of the travel distance or duration, all people inside the vehicle must wear a mask or face covering. This requirement does not apply when all people in the vehicle are members of the same household.

• Exposure Definition – An exposure is now defined as an individual who has close contact (less than 6 feet) with a person who has COVID-19 for more than 15 cumulative minutes in a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before the onset of illness.

• December 3rd Supply Pick-Up – Our next supply pick-up is in three weeks on Thursday, December 3rd. Grade levels and teams should let me know by the end of next week if you have items you’d like families to pick-up.


• Zoom Authentication – The Tech Department let me know the Zoom authentication issue has been fixed, so teachers should re-enable this function to prevent Zoom Bombers.

• Thanksgiving Lessons Reminder  – This is an annual reminder I do each year about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday where I remind staff to 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 reenacting 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 Teaching Tolerance and Education World. 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. See the next items for more details on that.

• 4J NATIVES Program Learning Hub – The 4J NATIVES Program Learning Hub is now up and contains all the recorded presentations, all power point loom presentations, power points, stories, books and resource supports, the 4J land acknowledgment, all the SB13 curriculum segregated by grade (4th, 8th and 10th), the ODE supports for Distance Learning/Teaching and all the curriculum of the 9 federally recognized tribes of Oregon (except Burns Paiute which has not yet provided). A general site for Oregon Indians is included, but they are still collecting items to put in that tab. They also have a tab for media and music, but are working on compiling things to put in those tabs.

• EEF Grants Coming in January – The second round of EEF Grannts will be reviewed in late January. If you have a proposal for an EEF grant, please complete the EEF Grant Application form. In January, Site Council will rank order the grants before I submit them to EEF. And an update on the first round of grants, I checked in with them last week and they are set to evaluate grants this week.

• Focusing on Feedback in Distance Learning – Particularly in this difficult year, providing clear feedback is key to helping elementary students achieve learning goals. See this Edutopia Article for what good feedback looks like, how to integrate feedback into the learning process, and leveraging feedback to make grades more meaningful.

• Local History – The Exploding Whale 50th Anniversary! – How did I miss this last week? To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Florence, Oregon dynamiting a beached whale, the owners of the original film footage had it expertly restored and scanned in glorious meaty wet 4K. Now you can discern individual falling chunks of blubber and everything! Feel free to delight and disgust your students with this memorable bit of local history. Additional dead whale footage can be found at the Oregon Historical Society. Enjoy!

• 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 16 (M)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

November 17 (T)
8:30-9:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Library & Zoom)
7:00, Trivia Night! “Name That Baby Bolt” – Holt Virtual Event! (Zoom)

November 18 (W)
8:30-8:00, Student Council (Zoom)
8:40, Allan Reading to Class (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
3:00, 4J Virtual Field Trip – Fir Butte Feathered Friends and More (Zoom)

November 19 (H)
8:30-4:30, Allan Threat Assessment Training (Zoom)
6:30, Creation Crew w/Ms. Jackie – Holt Virtual Event (Zoom)

November 20 (F)
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
7:30pm, Oregon Football with Mr. Cole (Zoom)

November 23 (M)
Scholastic Online Book Fair Begins, 11/23-12/6

November 24 (T)
8:30-9:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, PBIS Meeting (Zoom)

November 25 (W)
8:30-8:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
7:00, Animal BINGO Night! – Holt Virtual Event (Zoom)

November 26 (H)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

November 27 (F)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

Not that I’m counting, but just five more weeks until winter break!



October 26, 2020


Greetings Bolts,

It’s a short week, but it’ll be a long one for teachers with conferences.

Twelve items of note for this week:

• Want Any Supplies Distributed Nov. 5th? – I didn’t hear from any grade levels last week that you wanted any Math packets or student supplies distributed, but let me know by Friday if you want packets or other student supplies given out to students so we have time to notify families and to arrange for staff to help distribute.

• Synergy Call Log for Attendance – If you have a student who you have attendance concerns, the district is asking that we track our contacts (calls, emails, texts, etc.) in Synergy using the “Log Student Contact” section. For the most part, Darla, Kim, and myself are the team following up on students with attendance issues, so let us know if you have any students you’re concerned about, but if you are reaching out to parents or guardians with attendance concerns, be sure to log it in Synergy. See the linked Log Student Contact Directions on how to record this.

• Conferences Updates – Four items:

• REPEAT: Focus of Conferences – Instead of focusing on grades, assessments, and class work, conferences this year should focus on how students (and adults) are adjusting to the distance learning format and giving time for a conversation about how kids are doing and troubleshooting any issues.

• REPEAT: Share Finale Schedule w/Office & Interventionists – Please share your final conference schedule with SPED and ELD teachers, as well as front office staff.

• Staff Meals Wednesday & Thursday – I haven’t heard back from PAHS about dinner on Wednesday, but I’ll make sure we have something for people working at school to eat on Wednesday 12:00-1:00 and Thursday 12:00-1:00 & 5:00-6:00.

• What if a family never signed-up for a conference? – Let’s follow the same rule we have for setting up IEP meetings, which is to make three documented attempts to connect with the family, which can be phone, email, text, Seesaw message, or another form of communication.

• Home Visit Protocol – If any staff do a home visit, they must be pre-approved me and following these new required steps:

1. Review the linked 2020-2021 Safety Protocols and Procedures for Home Visits Document.

2. Sign the 2020-2021 Home Visits: Safety Protocols and Procedures Sign Off Document.

3. Complete and submit to me the Staff Volunteer Private Auto Insurance Information Sheet.

4. Use the required Home Visit Documentation Google Form prior to each home visit.

5. Building administrator must pre-approve every home visit.

6. Record mileage driven when making Home Visits in your personal vehicle on the Mileage Reimbursement Document. Instructions for submission are included in the document.

• Master Zoom Links (Add Meeting ID & Passcode) – Teachers, some of you have already done this, but if you haven’t, please add your Meeting ID and Passcode to the Master Zoom Links Google Doc. This helps us in the office when parents call trying to get into class Zooms, since trying to share this over over the phone is kind of hard.

• Green/Blue Schedule Explained Slide Show – Linked here is the Green/Blue Schedule Explained Slide Show we reviewed at last Wednesday’s PD/PLC time. The slide show is the same as from the beginning of the year, but with a few new slides with asynchronous suggestions for when students do not attend the live lessons.

• Nearpod Info & Tips – Three Nearpod items:

• Nearepod / Google Slide Integration – If teachers are interested in trying Nearpod, there’s a Nearpod Google Drive and Google Slides Add-On that lets you create slides like normal in Google Slides, and then when you click “Add On” in the menu bar, the Nearpod interactive slides populate on the right and you can easily drop them into your slide deck. Finally, it lets you click one button and upload the whole thing into Nearpod. It’s super easy and really slick. It offers way more flexibility than what’s built into the Nearpod website.

• Nearpod Sub Plans – Nearpod may be able to help with some of the sub issues at elementary. Check out Nearpod for Sub Plans Video on Vimeo.

• Nearpod Beyond this year? – It was asked at Friday’s Nearpod debrief if we’ll have a subscription to Nearpod beyond this school year. Eric Anderson let me know 4J currently has a 1-year purchase with a second year option in the works. 4J is waiting for data/feedback on its effectiveness before making a decision.

• District Admin Updates – If you didn’t listen to Last Week’s School Board Meeting and since it didn’t make the paper, I thought people would be interested to know the school board called off their superintendent search for a year and Cydney will continue as interim superintended for another year.

• Small Group Help – Teachers, please let me know if you’d like to have any extra EA help with your Blue or Green times, either small groups or whole group. We do have EAs available to help on a daily basis.

• Educator Appreciation (Papa John’s) – The owner of the two Papa John’s Pizza restaurants in Eugene emailed me that he is offering a 40% discount to all educators (teachers, classified, and admin) at his two locations. Just use the code EUCTEACH when you order. This code works online at or by calling one of the stores directly. The code is is good through the end of the year.



• 5 ways teachers can connect with students during COVID-19 – Written by a middle school reading teacher, the tips in this ASCD SmartBrief still apply for elementary, which are:

1. Communication with parents is huge
2. Finding new ways to keep students engaged is valuable
3. Reading platforms are foundational
4. Small virtual classrooms are best
5. Recognize the individual “wins”

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

October 26 (M)
Regular Day

October 27 (T)
8:30, Allan Reading to Class (Zoom)
11:00, Allan to 504 Consult Meeting (Zoom)
2:00, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)

October 28 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
11:00, Allan to Conference (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time (Asynchronous on your own time)
4:00-800, Conferences
5:00-6:00, Staff Dinner (Library)
6:30, Holt Costume Dance Party! (Zoom)

October 29 (H)
8:00-800, Conferences, No School
12:00-1:00, Staff Lunch (Library)
5:00-6:00, Staff Dinner (Library)

October 30 (F)
Teacher Comp Day – No School
Regular Work Day for Classified Staff

November 1 (SU)
Ewok Appreciation Day

November 2 (M)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

November 3 (T)
8:30-9:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Library & Zoom)
7:00, All About Pets Zoom! w/Ms. Kim McManus! (Zoom)

November 4 (W)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time (possible)
5:00, Learn Magic with Mr. Chinn! (Zoom)

November 5 (H)
Regular Day

November 6 (F)
Regular Day

November 8 (SU)
10:30am-10:00pm, Holt Night Out Fundraiser – MOD Pizza



October 12, 2020


Howdy Bolts,

We had a great turnout for the supply distribution and and the shave ice was a nice moral boost for everyone, kids, parents, and staff. We’ll have to do that again!

Fourteen items of note for this week:

• COVID Protocol Updates & Reminder – As there have been a few COVID cases in 4J schools, here are a few updates and reminders regarding Return to Work protocols.

• Home Visit Approval Required – Home visits are allowed, but require prior approval from downtown, so let me know if you need to visit a family and I will seek approval. At another school, there is one staff member now in quarantine after a 20-minute contact with a parent on a home visit.

• Deliveries to Families Not Allowed – Schools are no longer allowed to deliver supplies, devices, or food boxes to families. If this is a need, there is a ticket system for principals to request a delivery. Let me know if you have a need.

• Shared Equipment – One outbreak at an elementary school was the result of transmission by staff sharing equipment that had not been disinfected. Try not to share equipment, but when you do use shared equipment, like a copier or paper cutter or even a refrigerator, disinfect it after you’ve touched it.

• Face Coverings – Face coverings are worn over your mouth and nose, are required upon entry to school, when completing the sign in/out process, and when working and moving about in common areas. You are not required to wear a face covering when working privately in an office or classroom. However, when working with colleagues, a face covering must be worn if the 6’ physical distancing requirement cannot be met. If another employee asks you to wear a face covering while interacting at a distance greater than 6 feet apart, you are encouraged to follow their reasonable request. Employees may choose to wear a face covering at all times if they so desire. Face shields may be an additional (optional) barrier of protection but must be accompanied by a face covering. Linked here is additional information on face coverings.

• Sign-In Log – Please write your name legibly (I’m an offender on this one) and also be sure to use your legal name and not a nickname, so if downtown needs to contact trace, they know who contact.

• Notify Allan of COVID Symptoms or Exposure – If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, are being tested for COVID, or have potentially been exposed to someone who possibly has COVID, call, email or text me. What then happen is I’d ask the staff member to telework and would notify the appropriate district staff.

• Weekend Access – The building is open to staff on weekends, but you must continue to follow all the same protocols as you do during the work week (i.e. sign-in/out, face masks, no visitors, etc.).

• Family Technology Agreement & Expectations – Downtown has created a Family Technology Appropriate Use and Protection Letter that will be distributed to families soon, which now has three-strikes type of rule for lost or damaged devices. I’m waiting for the Spanish translation before sending it out. The letter includes points for teachers to take note of, such as expectations that students not record the teacher or others or take screenshots without permission.

• Classified Subs and AESOP – Absence Management has been updated so that when any classified staff member enters an absence, you will now have the option to specify if a sub is needed or not. If a sub is needed, you will be able to assign a sub or let the system find an “available” substitute. Clerical and EA subs must have received COVID-19 trainings before they are listed as “available” in Absence Management. Human Resources is asking everyone to really think if you need to call in a sub before you make the request. Is the work something that could be done by another person in the building? Is there anyone in the building doing non-urgent work who could fill in? If the work cannot be divided up, then a classified sub may be appropriate and in those situations, the Holt will pay for the cost of the sub. Linked here is the email sent to principals, but please let me know if you have any questions or if you have questions about whether a sub is needed or not.

• Crazy Hair Day, Oct 22nd! – Next week on Thursday, October 22nd is Crazy Hair Day. Mark your calendar, start planning your crazy hair, and get your kids pumped! These are the thinks that will keep kids coming back to virtual school. :)



• Journeys Links All Grades Updated – Linked here is an updated Journey Links for All Grades that Kellyclare Gardner sent me (a few links on the prior doc was not linking correctly). Feel free to click the individual links and copy the address from the URL bar to share with students on Clever or Seesaw. Kellyclare also reminded us to not post the entire page on any public sites or share directly with families since the content is copyrighted. This link will also be on the Elementary Learning Hub on the K-5 Technology Resource Page.

• Classified Staff Meeting, 10/22 – There was interest expressed at Site Council to hold a Classified Staff Meeting, so I have put one on the schedule for next week, Thursday, October 22nd at 1:00.

• UPDATE: Shared Building SMART Goals – In light of Rob Hess’ Email regarding the new ODE Guidelines for goals and evals, licensed staff can still use the linked Optional Shared Building SMART Goals and cut-and-paste those into TalentEd if you’d like, but it may be better to instead focus on 4J Sample SEL Goals as suggested by ODE and the district.

• REPEAT: Allan Reading to Classes – Something I like to do every year is introduce myself to students and read a book to each classroom at the start of the year. I’d like to continue to do this during CDL, so if classroom teachers can let me know a date and time I could read to your class online, that would be great!

• Free mini yoga classes for kids during virtual learning! – If you’re looking to mix up your movement breaks, a friend shred with me that the owner of a local yoga studio, Hardcore Yoga, made two yoga videos (one for elementary and one for middle/high) for kids during distance learning. The elementary one is 10 minutes minutes. It’s combination of mindfulness and movement. She said she’d do more if people like them. More free classes and resources can be found on their Instagram account.

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

• Oct. 23rd Professional Development/Planning Day – Details are still coming for what this day will be. It may be district led Zooms or it may be me doing more “PowerPoint Karaoke” and presenting someone else’s slideshow. Stay tuned!

• Focusing on Student Well-Being in Challenging Times – Wellness strategies like positive self-talk and mindfulness practices can help students feel calmer and more in control in this difficult year. See this Edutopia Article for details on how to promote student well-being during a crisis by doing the following:

• Focus on connections
• Place students at the center of mindfulness and social and emotional learning
• Incorporate music and movement
• Breathe
• Introduce positive self-talk
• Encourage social engagement and activism

• FREE COOKIES! – Here’s your reward for making it to the bottom of my announcement. All October long at Insomnia Cookies on campus (632 E 13th Ave), all teachers & school-staff get 1 FREE 6-Pack with any in-store purchase when you show any proof of employment at an educational facility (school I.D., paystub, etc.) to their in-store staff. Offer valid in-store only. exp. 10/31!

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

October 12 (M)
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
Speech Small Groups Begin
Fall Benchmark Testing Window Opens
12:30-3:00, Title 1 EA Interviews (Library)
5:00, Gaming & Roblox Talk w/Mrs. Reich

October 13 (T)
3:00-3:15, Stand-Up Staff Meeting (Gym & Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Optional Leadership Plan Meeting (Gym & Zoom)

October 14 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
3:30, Allan to SPED Evaluation Planning Meeting

October 15 (H)
Regular Day

October 16 (F)
Regular Day

October 19 (M)
1:30-4:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

October 20 (T)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Gym & Zoom)
7:00, All About Pets Zoom! w/Ms. Kim McManus! (Zoom)

October 21 (W)
4:00-8:00, Holt Night Out Fundraiser – Chipotle Mexican Grill
6:30, Drawing w/Ms. Potter! (Zoom)

October 22 (H)
Crazy Hair Day!
1:00-1:30, Classified Staff Meeting (Gym & Zoom)

October 23 (F)
No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
7:30-8:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Board Meeting (Zoom)

And if you want to join in on this month’s virtual assembly video and watch me eat a gross salad selected by students during supply pick-up (spinach, hot sauce, Taki’s, Cheetos, pickles, Goldfish, etc., stop by the cafeteria on Tuesday at 8:30!



September 7, 2020

Howdy Everyone,

It was great finally getting to see folks this past week and getting to see Team Holt in action! It was kind of lonely this summer in a near empty building, but it feels good to be back in a school with real live people again, even if back-to-school inservice week wasn’t the same as in the past. I know not everyone is able to work on-site, but I do feel lucky so many people did come back to work in the building, compared to what I heard from other principals, which makes me feel like Holt is a team who will work together through this bizarre distance leaning thing. Go, Bolts!

Twenty-two items of note for this week:

• Inservice Week #2 Schedule – Below is the schedule for the week. I’ve noted which sessions are for licensed and/or classified staff.

September 7 (M)
Labor Day, No School

September 8 (T)
8:00-12:00, Classified & Licensed Various District PD Topics (Gym & Zoom)

1. Trauma Informed Care (1hr),
2. Mental Health Referrals & Tiered Services (30 min),
3. PBIS in CDL (1 hour),
4. Community Building in CDL (90min)
5. Others

12:00-1:00, Lunch & Planning Time
1:00-4:00, Licensed Collaborative Planning Cross District Content Teams (4J Zoom)

September 9 (W)
8:00-12:00, Licensed & Classified Instructional Tech PD (4J Zoom)
12:00-1:00, Lunch & Planning Time
1:00-2:00, Classified & Licensed Culturally Responsive Teaching PD (Gym & Zoom)
2:00-4:00, Protected Planning

September 10 (H)
8:00-12:00, Licensed & Classified Instructional Tech PD (4J Zoom)
12:00-1:00, Lunch & Planning Time
1:00, Class List Welcome Emails Sent to Families
1:00-2:00, Classified & Licensed Building Operations (Gym & Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Protected Planning

September 11 (F)
Protected Planning Day

Folks seems to like the option of meeting in person, so I’ll continue to hold building led PD in the gym with a Zoom option.

For Tuesday’s PD, much of what principals are to deliver is informational, so to avoid holding a long meeting that could have been an email, I’m going to share the slideshows ahead of time. I will plan to efficiently cover the material, give folks a chance to ask any questions, and maybe end a little early.

Trauma Informed Care and 321 Insight Sept 2020

Mental Health Supports in 4J Fall 2020


Community Building in CDL

• Grade Level Alignment Clarity – It’s important when teachers communicate with families and once we begin working with students that grade level teams are aligned in what they are communicating and teaching. Teachers do not need to be lockstep in everything you do, but we should not have outlier classrooms where one class is doing far less or far more than the others. Grade level teams need to stay in close communication throughout CDL so they are doing mostly the same or similar of communication and instruction.

• Updated “Slow Rollout” Schedule – Downtown gave principals on Friday an Updated 4J CDL Elementary “Slow Rollout” Schedule that fixed some mistakes (such as the green blocks marked “Yellow Time App. Practice – non-content” which was in reference to when the green blocks used to be colored yellow, until the Communications Department sent out the parent version that changed the color from yellow to green), but it’s mostly the same.

One important note on the schedule principals were also told on Friday we should ignore the teacher tabs to the left and to instead go off of the student tabs on the right. They said they would work on updating the teacher section, but hadn’t had time to update those tabs yet.

Regarding the missing and conflicting break/lunch times and the Wednesday schedule issues brought up last week, I asked about these at a principals’ meeting on Friday and the answer I got was that this is being negotiated and then needs to be ratified, so nothing is decided at this point. With conferences next week, hopefully that’ll be time for this to get sorted out. If it doesn’t, we can figure something out at the building level.

• Meeting Zoom Links – To make things easier, starting this week I’m using one reoccurring Zoom link for all building meetings if you want to save the info below (below on my email, but not on my blog). I’ll continue to post building and district Zoom links into the notes section on Holt Staff Zimbra Calendar events, but I’m not going to send calendar invites, which I figure clutter up already full inboxes.

• Holt Quick Links – If you feel like I do, you’re drowning in a sea of Google and Zoom links scattered across dozens of emails, slideshows, and documents. I’ve tried to capture all of those links and put them all onto one document I’ve linked on my blog along the left column called Holt Quick Links. I’ll plan to continue to update this document.

• Class Lists & EOA Student List Update – I emailed teachers earlier, but to keep everyone in the loop, downtown emailed a clarification to principals on the EOA student list they sent last week, which was that it was simply the results from the earlier parent survey, not students who actually enrolled in EOA. Friday at midnight was the deadline for families to enroll in EOA, so I’ll share EOA enrollment info as soon as I get it, and then we’ll finally be able to finish class lists. If you’re curious, linked here are the latest District Enrollment Numbers. We’re under our projection, but so is pretty much every school in 4J right now.

Melanie is continuing to update the 20-21 Incoming Student Spreadsheet she shared earlier. Please have all changes to the Big Class List Spreadsheet by Wednesday. Specialists and classified staff, please take a look at the lists for any potential student combinations you think we might want to reconsider.

FUN FACT! If you have elementary age kids of your own at other schools and want to know their teacher, have your child log onto Seesaw using clever and you’ll see which class they are in. I tried this myself with my 3rd grade daughter Josie and it worked, but the Tech Department is actually trying to unlink Seesaw and Synergy until after teachers notify families on Thursday about class placement, so it may not work for long.

• Thursday Teacher Welcome Email to Families – A few things teacher may want to include in your welcome email to families:

• Slow Rollout Schedule for Families – Linked here is a useful Slow Rollout Schedule for Families by Grade Level in English and Spanish that teachers can make a copy of and customize for your class or grade level. And linked here is another Sharable Schedule for Families you could use that is more specific to the A/B, C/D, E/F schedules, but is not grade level specific. Further down the road, another option is this Sample – Parent Weekly Plan.

• Conference Schedules – Use whatever method works best for you to schedule conferences, whether that’s,, or Google Forms. The BV principal made a 2-Minute How-To Video on the Google Form method.

Linked here is a Sample Pre-Conference Form teachers could send to families before conferences.

• Technology Pick-Up and Support – I’m putting this in my Quick News on Monday, but it may be good to remind families. Here’s a blurb you can feel free to use:

Holt is distributing student iPads for students to borrow during distance learning 6:00PM today. Families are strongly encouraged to borrow a device over using a personal device because you will get access to paid apps, subscriptions, and school district tech support. Also, 4J has created e a new Parent and Student Tech Support Portal to support families. This is intended as a self-help resource and contains many quicksheets designed to help with common problems encountered with devices that went home. Many of these documents are also available in Spanish. 

• Papa’s Pizza Fundraiser, 9/17 – I sent this one out too, but here’s another quick blurb you can cut-and-paste:

The first Holt Night Out Fundraiser of the year is scheduled and it will be at Papa’s Pizza on Thursday, September 17th. It’s good for dine-in or take-out, but not deliveries. Mark your calendars, bring a flyer, and spread the word!

• Family Conference Notes – For family conferences next week, linked here is the Conference Survey Template teachers can, if you choose to, fill out during conferences for each family, which will give you a nice spreadsheet summary of all your conference info. Linked here is a Sample Conference Schedule Google Sheet you can use if you’d like.

• Student QR Clever Codes – The Tech Department has created a custom Student Login Code for all 4J students to support distance learning from home that will be passed out with iPads later this week (Sample Login Code Sheet). These will provide families with the information they need to access their student’s online learning tools from one location (Clever). They also provided a set of Zoom Instructions for how families will access Zoom on student devices that we’ll pass out as well.

• Holt Shared Google Drive – After surveying a few people it sounds like folks preferred the old Holt Staff Documents Shared Google Drive over using the aa-Principal’s Shared Folder. There’s more functionality with a shared drive versus a shared folder and it also just seems easier to use. I’ve moved the “aa-Principal’s Shared Folder” into the Holt Shared Drive as an archival item that won’t be updated. I’ve updated access to the shared drive for all current staff, but let me know if for some reason it does not show up under your shared drives.

• Leadership Team Notes – Linked on the Holt Shared Google Drive and here are the Leadership Team Minutes and Slideshow from last week. Most of the meeting was helping me learn some past building practices as to how we will proceed with master schedule, calendar, the leadership team process, and how best to share information.

• 2020-2021 Elementary Leadership Plans – Elementary Leadership Plans (see linked email for details) are proceeding as usual and are due to HR November 6th (not that we have enough to do already). In discussion with the current leadership team, it sounds like the vision for the Holt Leadership Team has changed multiple times over the years and it it has also varried how the Leadership Plan connects with the Leadership Team. My feeling is a leadership team should be representative of stakeholder groups and that staff should be the ones primarily deciding the purpose and membership of the team. I’ll plan to work on a protocol to use at a future staff meeting for us decide how all these intersect.

• Building Meeting Calendar – I’ve added building meeting dates to the Holt Staff Zimbra Calendar for Staff, PBIS, Site Council, and Tech Team meetings. Meeting will primarily be on Tuesdays, 3:00-4:00, due to the Elementary CDL schedule that has Wednesdays as protected time for PLC Meetings (which we will not have the first few weeks of school).

• Kona Shave Ice Fundraiser Thursday 11:00-12:00Kona Ice it coming to Holt this Thursday from 11:00-12:00 during iPad Distribution and Lunch Distribution, where they will give us a percentage of all sales. As a bonus, they’re also giving free shave ice to all staff members! So turn off you video for a few minutes during the Tech PD Zoom, grab your badge, take a movement break, and enjoy a yummy shave ice!

• BTS Meeting Minutes – I apologize for got having minutes written up from the 9/1 Back to School Staff Meeting. I’ll post them in the Staff Shared Drive and link them here on my blog later this week.

• COVID Protocol Updates – I got a few answers from Dawn Strong, the HR Administrator in charge of COVID Protocols to a few questions asked earlier this week at staff meetings:

• Grant Funded Student Supplies Distribution – Teachers are allowed to include these items when we distribute student supplies as well as other student supplies we deem “essential.” The dates, times, and logistics of supply distribution is yet to be decided by downtown.

• Book Sets Sent Home – Teachers are to send home class sets of books to support online teaching, and for returning books we can simply put a box outside the front office during office hours for student to return them. However, we have not been given an okay to send home student textbooks. This is a bigger issue at middle and high school and is still under discussion.

• Outdoor Socially Distant Conferences – A few teachers were interested in offering parents a chance to do in-person socially distanced conference in the school garden or other outdoor areas instead of Zoom. I did not get a “no” on this, but she said she’d have to talk to the district leadership team about this one.

• No Volunteers in Zooms – Downtown has decided we cannot let volunteers assist with Zooms, either whole group or small group, and only school staff and students can join during lessons.

• Custodial Uptakes – If you’re interested, Custodial Services Supervisor, Trevor White, shared the linked Custodial Updates related to COVID-related Supplies and PPE Locations, Requirements, and Replenishment Request Procedure Update, Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols for Fall 2020 – 9.1.2020 Through Early CDL, and Plumbing System Flushing for Legionnaires Disease Prevention.

• 4J Elementary Learning Hub – You may want to bookmark the 4J Elementary Learning Hub, which is a collection of resources for CDL.

• Oregon Family Support Network (OFSN) – OFSN has created Reach Out Oregon, which is a resource website and chat-line for parents, by parents, providing resources for families specific to their regions and counties, newsletters and updates, discussion forums for parents, COVID-19 specific resources, and the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with staff over the phone or through their live chat feature. They can also provide assistance for any staff member looking for assistance with a child they work with with. Feel free to share this information with families as appropriate. Besides the above website, linked here is a Reach Out Oregon Flyer.

• Architects in SchoolsArchitects in Schools is a program that for 50 years has provided free architecture and design programming for 3rd through 5th grade students. This year, they are prepared to provide virtual curriculum and programming for 3rd through 5th grade teaching staff. See the linked flyer for more info and any interested grade 3/4/5 teachers should complete the linked Teacher Application. Deadline is November 6th.

• Extra Yards for Teachers Nomination – The UO and the Pac-12 have teamed up with the College Football Playoff’s Extra Yards for Teachers program to award one local teacher with over $3,500 to help continue molding young minds during this difficult time of social distance learning. Nominations are being accepted through September 14th.

• 20 Fun Zoom Games for Kids – See this WeAreTeachers Article for 20 fun Zoom games for kids that you can use to take a break from the traditional curriculum and keep kids engaged.

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

September 7 (M)
Labor Day, No School

September 8 (T)
8:00-12:00, Classified & Licensed Various District PD Topics (Gym & Zoom)

1. Trauma Informed Care (1hr),
2. Mental Health Referrals & Tiered Services (30 min),
3. PBIS in CDL (1 hour),
4. Community Building in CDL (90min)

12:00-1:00, Lunch & Planning Time
1:00-4:00, Licensed Collaborative Planning Cross District Content Teams (4J Zoom)

September 9 (W)
8:00-12:00, Licensed & Classified Instructional Tech PD (4J Zoom)
9:00-6:00, iPad Distribution (Front Entrance)
12:00-1:00, Lunch & Planning Time
1:00-2:00, Classified & Licensed Culturally Responsive Teaching PD (Gym & Zoom)
2:00-4:00, Protected Planning

September 10 (H)
8:00-12:00, Licensed & Classified Instructional Tech PD (4J Zoom)
9:00-6:00, iPad Distribution (Front Entrance)
11:00-12:00, Kona Ice – Shave Ice Fundraiser (Front Parking Lot)
12:00-1:00, Lunch & Planning Time
1:00, Class List Welcome Emails Sent to Families
1:00-2:00, Classified & Licensed Building Operations (Gym & Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Protected Planning

September 11 (F)
Protected Planning Day
8:00-12:00, Allan to All Admin PD (Zoom)

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

September 14 (M)
First Day of School

September 15 (T)
9:00-12:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Gym & Zoom)

September 16 (W)
Regular Day

September 17 (H)
11:00-11:00, Holt Night Out – Papas Pizza

September 18 (F)
Regular Day

Enjoy you Monday off, everyone, and see you Tuesday!


June 1, 2020


Hello Howard Roadrunners,

Just two short weeks left of distance learning left and twenty-one items of note for this week as well as notes from Thursday’s Staff Meeting:

• 2020-2021 Staffing Updates – Our three vacancies have been filled from the 4J Early Hire Pool. Joining Jenny and Justine at 4th grade will be Bryan Varga and Quin Nelson. Bryan student taught with Jenny and Ashley and also worked as a BEST EA here at Howard. Quin is coming to us from the Portland area. He graduated from Lewis & Clark and did student teaching in Gresham in a 3rd grade classroom as well as in ESOL. (WOW! Three male teachers at 4/5 this year! Related Video). Joining Robin and Shelly at Kindergarten will be Jennifer Dillon, who is a veteran teacher coming out of Virginia and Florida. She taught preschool the last five years and before that taught 5th grade for ten years. Please welcome these fine folks to the AMAZING Howard Team!

For everyone’s reference, linked here is 19-20 Staffing Plan Spreadsheet, which has everyones FTE/hours and positions. If that looks too messy, on the Howard Staff Shared Google Drive is a simple 2020-2021 Staff List.

And if you’re keeping score for Howard’s infamous same-name club, we now have Jennifer, Jennifer, Jenefer & Jenny, Shelly & Shelley, Robin & Robin, Crystal & Crystal, Bryan & Bryan, Kim & Kimberly, Tami & Tami, Debbie & Deby, Rebecca, Becca & Rebecca, Rhonda & Rhonda, Chris & Christine, Kristi & Kristine, and also Justin & Justine if you want to include them.

• End-of-Year Technology & Library Book Return – We will collect devices Tuesday, June 9th for 5th graders during their Drive Thru Clap-Out Celebration (see next item for details) and Wednesday & Thursday, June 10 & 11 for grades K-4. Linked here are the District Collection Process Guidelines, but we’ll essentially do the reverse of our device distribution. Here’s how it will work:

• Return Process – As with distribution, this will be done out of the gym side door near the Music Room ramp. We’ll have some staff working behind a table at the gym door and others working out of the gym organizing and tracking items returned on a Google Spreadsheet (Y/N if device, hotspot, chargers were returned, and any notes on the device condition).

• Lost & Found – Though we’ve been doing this different at lunches, for these two days we’ll have one staff member in charge of the Lost & Found, to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed and that items are not touched except when it is being picked up and taken.

• Kindergarten Registration Forms – We’ll have a box available for families in case they need to pick-up or turn in a kindergarten registration forms.

• End-of-Year Materials Return Sign-Up – If you’re able to help with device collection on any of these days, June 9, 10, and/or 11, please sign-up on the linked End-of-Year Materials Return Sign-Up.

• 5th Grade Drive Thru Promotion & Clap-Out – Howard hosts a 5th Grade Promotion Celebration each year, complete with certificates and a “Clap-Out,” but due to the school closure we cannot hold our usual event, so instead we are holding a “Drive Thru Clap-Out” for 5th graders and families. Staff are invited to line the sidewalk and bus loop to give our 5th graders a final send off, cheering and/or holding signs with well wishes (while social distancing) on Tuesday, June 9th from 11:00-1:00.

What: 5th Grade Drive Thru Clap-Out
When: Tuesday, June 9th (see class times)
11:00-11:30, Carpenter
11:30-12:00, Rock
12:00-12:30, Cortez
12:30-1:00, Callihan
Where: Howard Bus Loop (see map)

This is also the time for 5th graders to return borrowed iPads, hotspots, chargers, and library books, so I can use volunteers to help at a device/book return station and volunteers at a separate station to pass out certificates, t-shirts, and belonging if they hadn’t already been picked up. I’ll make signs for each station so it should hopefully be clear for families. I’ll have a bullhorn to announce students as they collect their certificates and shirts as staff cheer them on.

Families may go through the bus loop in a car, on a bike, or walking, but we will want to remind families about social distancing guidelines:

• Stay 6-feet apart from others
• No high-fives, fist-bumps, etc.
• Staff collecting or passing out items will wear masks and gloves

We can do this PBIS-style, modeling it ourselves and using language such as: “Thank you for staying in your car” “Thank you for doing an air hug.”

If a family cannot come at their classroom’s assigned time, they will contact their teacher about an alternate time.


• BEST Goodie Bags – BEST is assembling bags for our 79 BEST students. Linked here is the list of what’s going in the BEST Goodie Bag. These will be distributed by BEST Staff during our K-4 Device Collection Days, June 10 & 11.

• Distance Learning Guidance for Final Week – There’s no official guidance on the last week of school, but my suggestion is for teacher to do a farewell Zoom on Monday. Then push out supplemental types of actives (one’s that don’t require students to submit anything or for you to provide feedback) for the rest of the week on Monday for 5th Grade and on Tuesday for K-4 since we’ll start collecting devices and hotspots the next day.

• June 4th Transition Day – June 4th is the new transition day. An email will be forthcoming from downtown regarding options for this day, which will be similar to last year’s options. Teachers are welcome to meet, but activities this day are teacher directed and not directed by admin.

• Licensed Staff Summative Evals – Rob Hess emailed teachers the agreement negotiated with EEA regarding summative evaluations for licensed staff. Probationary teachers will have their summative evaluations completed by the end of the school year based on the information principals have collected prior to March 16th. Contract teachers and principals can come to a mutual agreement if the summative evaluation will be completed before summer or by the end of September. I’ll be available by phone or Zoom if any teachers would like to discuss their evaluations.

• Licensed End-of-Cycle Goals Reflection DUE – Teachers will be required to submit a goal reflection document in Talent Ed, but are not required to reflect upon their original goal, which may not be possible now due to the statewide school closure. Teachers may: (a) provide a reflection on either their original goal or distance learning, or (b) state that “Due to the pandemic in 2020, the district did not require completion of the goal reflection.”

• REQUIRED Staff Meeting, Wednesday @12:30 – Due to the added furlough days, I’m moving our required June Staff Meeting to this Wednesday at 12:30 instead of Thursday. I’ll also move next week’s Optional Staff Meeting to Wednesday as well. On my email and on a forthcoming Zimbra calendar invite, but not on my blog, are the Zoom Meeting Invite links.

• Corridor Updates – No decision has been made whether Corridor is closing or not, but last week’s School Board Work Session made it sound like they are most likely closing (I’ve already gotten emails from a number of parents), which will mean some of those students will be coming to Howard. Linked here is a breakdown of Corridor Neighborhood Schools of Residence, which includes a grade level breakdown. Howard has 43 students and River Road has 11 who are set to attend Corridor next year, so there there is a strong possibility we’ll add a classroom or two next year, but we’ll have to wait to see at which grade levels they actually enroll before we make any decisions about staffing and where these new classrooms would go.

• ACE Awards Tuesday @6:00 – Howard has quite a few ACE Aware nominees this year (Charissa, Justine, Jessy, Allison, Linda, Ashley, Rebecca H., Bruce the Gardener, and me). Watch the 2020 ACE Awards Ceremony live on the 4J Facebook Page Tuesday, June 2nd at 6:00PM. Linked here is the ACE Awards Ceremony Program.

• REPEAT: 2020-2021 Leadership/Building Rep. Positions – Don’t be bashful. Sign-up to be a leader or a team member on the 2020-2021 Leadership/Building Rep. Positions Google Sheet!

• REPEAT: Summer Reading Staff Picks! – Don’t be bashful on this either. What are you reading this summer? Email or text me your summer reading plans or suggestions and I’ll share them in my final staff announcements of the year next week. Another book on my list is what I’m guessing is a nasty piece of crime fiction, Mean Business on North Ganson Street by S. Craig Zahler. I haven’t read any of his books, but he’s subsequently become a filmmaker of some shockingly original films (though not for all tastes), including Bone Tomahawk, Brawl in Cell Block 99, and Dragged Across Concrete. Send me your book picks and I’ll share them next week!


• REPEAT: Class Lists – Make sure that your team connects to create balanced classrooms for next school year, preferably sometime this week so support staff have time to review class lists to provide input. Linked here is a view only version of the 2020-2021 Class Lists.

• REPEAT: Supply Lists – Classroom teachers, connect with you 2020-2021 teams to decide on your supply list and email any updates to Lori by the end of the school year. Linked here is the 2019-2020 Supply List.

• JUNE/JULY Birthday Zoom Lunches With the Principal – Wednesday, June 3rd at 12:00 will be the virtual June & July Birthday Lunches with the Principal. August birthday will be celebrated in September. In my email, but not on my blog, are the Zoom links and a short blurb for teachers to send to families. Also in my email and not on my blog are a list of the June & July birthdays. And feel free to drop in as a Special Guest! The kids love that.


June/July Birthday Lunches with the Principal

Each month, Mr. Chinn celebrates student birthdays with Birthday Lunches with the Principal. Students with birthdays in June and July (August birthdays will be celebrated in September) are invited to join Mr. Chinn for a Zoom birthday lunch celebration on Friday, June 5th,12:00-12:15. Enjoy some corny jokes, magic tricks, and special guests!


• SSD Newsletter – If you’re interested, linked here is the latest Student Service Newsletter. The main point of interest is a note about ESY being a continuation of distance learning, which means ESY will not be teaching out of Howard this year, although teachers may be using some of our spaces to prep. I’ll share updates regarding that as I get more info.

• Registration Reboot – Schools are not currently open for enrollment, but if parents ask you about enrolling for next year, you can direct them to the 4J Enrollment Webpage, which is still a work in progress. There will soon be a district registrar who will take care of registrations, with paperwork dropped off at the Ed Center.

• Oregon Learning Hub – I attended an ODE webinar last week about the a new resource, the Oregon Learning Hub, which is an ODE Teachers Pay Teachers free website of sorts. Educators can find and share open educational resources (OER) that are curated and created for and by Oregon educators. If you’re working on a project, think about exploring or sharing something here.

• “Clean” Text Paste (Command + V + Shift + Option) – Another tech nerd tip I recently learned. 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. Okay, super nerdy, but I was super excited to learn this.

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

June 1 (M)
PBIS Monthly Theme – Celebrating Your Success
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

June 2 (T)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals
11:00-12:00, Kelly MS 6th Grade Parent/Student Orientation Zoom
6:00, ACE Awards Ceremony (live on Facebook)

June 3 (W)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families
12:00-12:15, June/July Birthday Lunches With the Principal
12:30-1:00, REQUIRED Howard Staff Meeting
12:30-4:00, Classroom teachers take attendance

June 4 (H)
No School – Transition Day
Last Day for Preschool
11:00-12:00, Free Meals
7:00-8:00, Kelly MS 6th Grade Parent/Student Orientation Zoom

June 5 (F)
No School – Furlough Day (Classified, Licensed, Admin)
Happy “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Day (video)

June 8 (M)
Furlough Day (192 & 196-Day Classified Staff)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

June 9 (T)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals
11:00-1:00, 5th Grade Drive Thru Promotion/Clap-Out and Device & Book Return

11:00-11:30, Carpenter
11:30-12:00, Rock
12:00-12:30, Cortez
12:30-1:00, Callihan

June 10 (W)
Last Day for Students
8:00-4:00, End-of-Year Technology & Library Book Return (Gym)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families
12:00-12:15, May Birthday Lunches With the Principal (Zoom!)
12:30-1:00, Optional Howard Check-In Meeting
12:30-4:00, Classroom teachers take attendance
2:45-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Evaluation Committee Meeting

June 11 (H)
Grading Day/Last Day for Teachers & Classified Staff
Nutrition Services Furlough Day
8:00-4:00, End-of-Year Technology & Library Book Return (Gym)

June 12 (F)
No School – Furlough Day (Licensed, Admin, Classified 10, 11, & 12-month)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals – Nutrition Services Takes Over

Six more student days of distance learning!


May 17, 2020


Hello Roadrunners,

It was fun seeing everyone who came out for last Thursday’s Zoom Dance Party. We had nearly 80 participants, which I thought was pretty darn good! It was a fun way to keep families connected.

And speaking of missing our students and families, if you didn’t catch it on the Howard Facebook or Instagram, check out the video below. If you’re a film nerd like me you might recognize the music from the excellent action film True Romance, but my first choice of music was flagged by YouTube’s autodetect system for copyrighted music and wouldn’t let me use it, so if you want to see my preferred “Director’s Cut” of our video (which the music for makes me all sentimental and sappy), watch this one I saved to my Google Drive.

One last bit of good news, if you come by school this week, our former PTO President, Brande, donated a TON of Girl Scout cookies for staff. I’ll leave them in the offie by the sign-in sheet, so feel free to help yourself. Anything left after this week, we’ll give out during lunch distribution times.

Y’all are an amazing group of people to work with, even we don’t get to see either other all that much lately.

Fourteen items of note for this week as well as notes from last Thursday’s Staff Meeting:

• Job Expo Updates – For the final round of the Job Expo, HR did not fill either of our two 4th grade vacancies or our kindergarten vacancy. In all likelihood, these vacancies will be filled by the 4J Early Hire Pool, where HR made job offers earlier this year to top tier student teachers before they got hired by other school districts.

• Food Assistance for Howard Families – Don’t make a blanket announcement on this, but if you know of families in need, Howard was given $2,000 worth of WinCo gift cards (40 cards of $50) by Trinity United Methodist Church down the road. If you know of families needing assistance, reach out to them and let me know so we can coordinate a date to pick up the gift cards, which would be a MWF during lunch distribution.

• Tech Pick-Up and Swap-Out, MWF Only – Teachers, if families need to swap out iPads or need to pick up an iPad, tell them come when I’m in the building during meal distribution times, 11:00-12:00, Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays. It’s become difficult to sort out what exactly it is families are needing at times for staff passing out meals.

• Summer Clean Out Updates – Two new items from last week:

• Want your board and walls cleaned? – Custodial staff have been directed by Facilities to wash walls and boards, which means taking down all classroom artwork, borders, and wall decorations. However, taking all that down creates a lot of work for teachers in the fall, so I’ve told custodial staff to NOT wash walls and boards unless teachers have told me they want this to happen.

• Technology Checkout Link – Linked here is the Technology Equipment Checkout Contract 2019-20 for staff wanting to take any laptops, iPads, or other devices home over the summer.

• May Birthday Zoom Lunches With the Principal – Not this week, but next week on Friday, May 29th at 12:00 will be the virtual May Birthday Lunches with the Principal. In my email, but not on my blog, are the Zoom links and a short blurb for teachers to send to families. Also in my email and not on my blog are a list of the May birthdays. I’d love to have a “Zoom Bouncer” or two to help me keep an eye on things and I’d love to also have some “Special Guests” if anyone wants to pop in. Kids loved everyone who dropped in last time!


May Birthday Lunches with the Principal

Each month, Mr. Chinn celebrates student birthdays with Birthday Lunches with the Principal. Students with birthdays in May are invited to join Mr. Chinn for a Zoom birthday lunch celebration on Friday, May 29th,12:00-12:15. Enjoy some corny jokes, magic tricks, and special guests!


• Distance Learning Coming Attractions! – Principals got a heads-up on a few items at our meeting on Friday, with the promise of more details to come, but I thought I’d share what what shared so far:

• Class Lists – More info will go out this week, but staff will create class lists as we have every year. Downtown said teachers may want to create classes with an A group and a B group in case we return in the fall only seeing half a class at a time. My own advice would be for teachers NOT to create multiple lists since we typically have a number of move-ins and move-out, which will necessitate reconfiguring classes in the fall anyhow. If teachers do want to do this, we’d need to take siblings into account.

• June 5th Transition Day – More details will come soon, but this day can be used for grade level teams to create class lists or for teachers to work on report cards.

• Report Cards – Report Cards will not be mailed home this year and will be sent to families through Seesaw and/or email. For families not online, report cards will be mailed home. The only marks teachers will record on the report card is if students were “Engaged in Learning” or “No Basis” and if student participated in “Digital” or “Analog” (paper packet) learning. For comments, teachers will not provide feedback, but will instead have two boxes to complete. One is “Well wishes from your school and teacher…” and the other for “Optional Grade-level Summer Learning Ideas…” Detailed directions on all of this will go out this week.

• Facilities Phase III – Phase III will involve the technology drop off and will likely happen June 10-12. The process will be the reverse of the initial tech distribution. Families unable to make it these dates because they are out of town or for other reasons, there will be a central return site at the district office. For families who don’t return devices, the Tech Department will rely on the remote device trackers installed on the iPads to locate them (lost devices are often found misplaced somewhere in schools).

• 5th Grade “Graduation” June 8th – Downtown is putting some parameters on what school can do for purposes of equity, so there are not some schools going overboard and some doing nothing for 5th graders moving onto middle school. Details are coming this week, but yard signs are only being allowed for high school seniors, though we are allowed to do a drive-thru (kids driving, walking, biking, skating, etc. though the parking lot past staff holding signs on a scheduled basis [likely by classroom]) and pass out certificates. All 5th Grade “Promotion” events/celebrations must happen Monday, June 8th. Building funds will be unfrozen to support these events.

• Optional Staff Meeting, Thursday @12:30 – Our weekly Optional Staff Meeting is this Thursday at 12:30. On my email and on a forthcoming Zimbra calendar invite, but not on my blog, are the Zoom Meeting Invite links.

• Call Logs – Save Until Fall – Jessy asked a good question about the call logs teachers should be keeping. There is not official format, but keep track to dates/times, method(s) of communication, and any messages or other relevant notes. You do not need to submit your call logs, but do retain them until the fall just in case any families try to make the claim no one ever tried to contact them during the school closure.

• Retention Process – Should this come up, the state is not allowing any student to be retained, either by parent or staff request, as a result of the school closure. However, if concerns existed prior to the school closure, then the usual district retention process would be followed.

• BEST Surveys Due May 30th – Classroom teachers, you should have received an email regarding the annual BEST Survey for each of your students who attend BEST. The survey was emailed through the student data software-EZ Reports manager with connection to our Federal Programs Coordinator- Julie Quelch, so be sure not to delete it. All surveys must be completed by Saturday, May 30th.

• 4J Library Lowdown – Follow this link to the latest issue of The Library Lowdown from Amy Page, Eugene 4J District Librarian. Highlights inlaced info on May is “National Get Caught Reading Month” and a link to the new updated Library Service Website.

• SSD Newsletter – If you’re interested, linked here is the latest Student Service Newsletter #6.

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

May 18 (M)
Virtual Walk & Roll to School (or Anywhere) Week
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families

May 19 (T)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals

May 20 (W)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families
1:00-1:30, Kindergarten & Interventionist Meeting
1:45-2:15, 1st Grade & Interventionist Meeting
2:30-3:00, 2nd Grade & Interventionist Meeting

May 21 (H)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals
12:30-1:00, Optional Howard Check-In Meeting
1:00-1:30, 3rd Grade & Interventionist Meeting
1:45-2:15, 4th Grade & Interventionist Meeting
2:30-3:00, 5th Grade & Interventionist Meeting

May 22 (F)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families
11:00-12:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting
12:30-4:00, Classroom teachers take attendance

May 25 (M)
Memorial Day – No School

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

May 26 (T)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals

May 27 (W)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families
1:00-1:30, Kindergarten & Interventionist Meeting
1:45-2:15, 1st Grade & Interventionist Meeting
2:30-3:00, 2nd Grade & Interventionist Meeting
2:45-5:00, Allan to Pay Grade Eval Committee Meeting

May 28 (H)
11:00-12:00, Free Meals
12:30-1:00, Optional Howard Check-In Meeting
1:00-1:30, 3rd Grade & Interventionist Meeting
1:45-2:15, 4th Grade & Interventionist Meeting
2:30-3:00, 5th Grade & Interventionist Meeting
4:00-7:00, Allan to Job Expo Zoom Interviews
7:00-7:10, Howard Zoom Dance Party!

May 29 (F)
Fun Friday! – Go to the Beach Day
8:00-9:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting
11:00-12:00, Free Meals & Meal Deliver for M-V Families
12:00-12:15, May Birthday Lunches With the Principal (Zoom!)
12:30-4:00, Classroom teachers take attendance

I’m now switching from weeks to days. 17 student days left and counting!