January 17, 2021

Howdy Everyone,

Nineteen items of note for our 3-day student week:

• COVID Updates – Here are eight COVID reminders and updates:

• Fully Vaccinated Definition Change – The CDC, State of Oregon, and Lane County Public Health now consider “Fully Vaccinated” for adults 18 years and older to mean you’ve received your booster and the two weeks to take effect. This means if a staff member is a close contact, they would need to quarantine if they are not boosted. Fully vaccinated staff DO NOT need to quarantine if they are a close contact, including even if a COVID positive person is in their home, as long as they do not have any COVID symptoms.

• Close Contact & Contact Tracing Change – Schools are not contact tracing at this time for students, but are for any positive staff member. Student grade level cohorts are notified by downtown if a student in their cohort tested positive and to watch their child for symptoms. This also means that Test-to-Stay is also paused until we resume contact tracing.

• Testing for Staff – Schools are now allowed to administer rapid tests to staff members who develop symptoms while at school.

• If you are sick, STAY HOME! – Do not be the person who tests positive and then tells the 4J COVID Team, “I had a sore throat all week, but went to work not thinking it was anything.” If you have any of the following symptoms, STAY HOME:

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

• COVID Positive, Same as Vaccinated for 90-day – If a student had COVID in the last 90 days, they are treated as if they’re fully vaccinated, so if they were a close contact to someone positive in that time, as long as they have no symptoms, they can come to school.

• COVID Call Script – If you’re curious, here’s the COVID Call Script schools are using when a parent calls to report their child was either a close contact, tested positive, or their child in sick. It’s more invasive than what we do during normal times, but we do need to collect all this info from families.

• Seesaw Tip for Students in Quarantine – A good idea for managing workload. Send a Seesaw lesson for the first day of a student’s quarantine, but wait to see if they complete it before sending subsequent days. Some kids are too sick to do their work, so don’t create more work for yourself.

• COVID Testing for EducatorsWVT Lab in Corvallis is offering free weekly COVID testing for educators, where they’ll mail you a test each week. With tests in short supply, thought folks may want to sign up. And starting Jan. 19th, Every home in the U.S. can order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests at The tests will be completely free—there are no shipping costs and you don’t need to enter a credit card number.

• Holt Winter Wonderland BINGO Night, Thursday, Jan. 27th – Get your student’s pumped! Not this week, but next week on Thursday, January 27th is a Holt Virtual Event and this time it’s Winter Wonderland BINGO Night!


• Report Card Info – Four Report Card items of note:

• Report Card Printing – Teachers are NOT to print report cards until the secretaries work their Synergy magic or else the attendance data on the report cards will not be accurate. I haven’t connected with Melanie or Sharon on this, but I believe teachers can print starting Thursday, Jan. 27th.

• Report Card Completion Deadline – Downtown wanted principals to tell teachers they shared with EEA that teachers will have until 11:00AM on Friday, January 28 to complete report cards, as they want to ensure staff who are interested in attending the Superintendent Staff Forum on their grading day from 9:00-10:30am are able to do so.

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

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

• REPEAT: Working from Home – Grading day is a regular work day, but HR allows teachers to work from home if you notify me in advance. Plan ahead if you need to collaborate with any colleagues on grading.

• Science Kit Restocking – Holt has permission to keep out kits and downtown will restock whatever materials we need. Teachers should let me know by Thursday if you need anything for your winter science kits. Jamie Tait said she’ll get us whatever it is we need.

• 2022-2023 Enrollment Projections – We got our budget for next school year and buried in that document is our enrollment projection for next year, which has us at 529 students for next year. That is the same as what we were projected for this year and it looks like downtown did the same for all schools. If downtown sticks with these projections and staffing ratios are kept the same, we shouldn’t see any staffing reductions.

• Student Semester Changes – With the extension of the survey window, downtown anticipates having lists of students transitioning between programs by Wednesday. Buildings that were significantly impacted by additional enrollment have already been communicated with and Holt was not one of those schools, so I expect our numbers to remain relatively the same. I shared this earlier, but this is the count for Holt students who are currently online:

KG: 5
1st: 9
2nd: 7
3rd: 5
4th: 4
5th: 10

• EAs can get a sub on Day #1 – HR is now allowing all EAs to get a sub on the first day of an absence, so please put in for a sub if you are out. In the past, only SPED and Title EAs could get a sub the first day of an absence and Kinder or Building EAs had to be out three days before they could get one.

• Jan. 28 EA Extravaganza – Downtown is putting together some learning for EAs for Friday, Jan. 28th in the morning. Due to limited capacity among presenters, most/all of the offerings will be asynchronous, so stay tuned for more info later.

• Teacher PD Survey – I’ll give teachers time at a future Staff Meeting or a Friday PD to complete the linked PD Survey, but if anyone wants to give their input how, feel free.

• Shoe Donations for PE – I’m putting the article below in the next Quick News about donating used shoes, particularly for KG – 2nd grade sized shoes, but feel free to ask your students and/or include this article in your next classroom newsletter.

Shoe Donations for PE

Holt’s Physical Education teacher, Mr. Alex, is looking for donations of used shoes. We particularly need kindergarten through 2nd grade sized shoes. These shoes are for students who come to PE with shoes that no longer fit, break, or are not the proper shoes for PE activities.

• EEF Grants Due Feb. 4 – EEF is now accepting grants for round two of the school year. See the EEF Email or EEF Website for details. Unlike in the past, staff may directly submit grants without first going through Site Council. This year, after the Feb. 2 deadline, all submitted grants will then go to Site Council for rank ordering.

• BEST Updates – The BEST After School Program at Holt is set to start Monday, February 7th. The program will run Monday – Thursday from 2:25-5:25 and will partner with the YMCA. They will use the gym, cafeteria, playground, and library and Title 1 areas for small group instruction. The academic focus will be on math. Students will have enrichment opportunities in addition to academics. They will also be given dinner. The program will start small with 20 something students, but will hopefully grow from there. Aubrey Bulkeley is the Holt BEST Site Coordinator is you have any questions, though you can check in with me as well.

• ELA Pilot Information – If you’re interested, the ELA adoption team leaders emailed teachers participating on the pilot last week, which included updates to the schedule, info for K-2 EL teachers, and helpful links.

• REPEAT: Fire Drill, Tuesday @1:10 – This Tuesday at 1:10 will be the January Fire Drill. Linked here is the Building Evacuation Map and the Fire Drill Line Map. If it’s raining, we’ll reschedule for Tuesday the following week.

• REPEAT: 4J Superintendent Selection – Fill out the Superintendent Selection Survey by Jan. 25th. Make your opinions heard. There’s also a series of staff and community forums you may want to attend:

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

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

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

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

Principal (Quick News):
Weekly communication sent to families electronically with school news & events. PAHS can contribute their information here as well

Classroom Teacher:
Teachers communicate with either electronic or paper newsletters. Teachers have discretion as to how often communications go home, however, communication with families on some level is the expectation. Some grades coordinate newsletter, others do not. Currently there is not a standard electronic platform.

Our parent group communicates through flyers, Quick News, and Facebook

• A More Equitable (and Engaging) Way to Teach Writing in Elementary School – When teachers tie writing instruction to what students are reading, learners begin with a more level playing field. We discussed some of these ideas back on Jan. 3rd and our adopted writing curriculum, Being A Writer, does tie writing to literature, but see this Edutopia Article for details.

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

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

January 18 (T)
KG Staff Room Duty
Winter Benchmark Testing Continues
1:10, Fire Drill
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)
7:00-8:30, Superintendent Selection Community Forums (Zoom)
January 19 (W)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

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

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

January 22 (SA)
1:00-2:30, Superintendent Selection Community Forums (Zoom)
January 24 (M)
1st Grade Staff Room Duty
Winter Benchmark Testing Continues

January 25 (T)
12:30-1:30, School Choice Presentation & Tour (Zoom)
2:45-3:25, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)
7:00-8:30, Superintendent Selection Community Forums (Zoom)
January 26 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:15-5:15, Morning Meeting Professional Learning Opportunity (Zoom)

January 27 (H)
Holt Spirit Day, Winter Wonderland!
2:45-3:25, IPBS Meeting (Library)
6:30, Holt Winter Wonderland BINGO Night! (Zoom)

January 28 (F)
No School – Staff Work Day
7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
9:00, Allan to SSD Meeting (C1)

Enjoy the short week!


January 3, 2022


Happy New Year, Everyone!

Hope you all were able to relax during your break and maybe even forgot what day of the week it was at some point.

Sixteen items of note for this week:

• Jan. 3 Professional Development  – We’ll meet in the cafeteria for the Jan. 3 PD. 7:30-8:00 is an optional social time and the meeting will start at 8:00. I’ll have some continental breakfast type of food and drink. I’ll resend the agenda I shared right before the break. SSD, ELD, and staff on the ELA adoption team will leave the meeting early for a different meeting 9:30-12:30.

• Friday PD/PLC Time – This Friday’s PD will focus on the 4J ACT strand Achieve Equitable Outcomes, with a particular focus on Anti-Racism & Anti-Bias. Watch for a separate email with details on this Friday’s activity.

• School Choice Info – School Choice season has begun and school choice tours will again be over Zoom. I’ll hold virtual school presentations and tours on Jan. 11th (12:30PM), Jan. 20th (6:00PM), and Jan. 25th (12:30PM). Holt is closed to most students (we’re allowed to take about 10 kinders), so these tours serve more to retain neighborhood families who are considering trying to lottery into other schools. I’ll reach out to PAHS this week to see if a parent rep would be willing to share about the parent group and about Holt from a parent perspective. If there are any staff who are interested/will to join me in the presentations, I’d love to have more voices than just myself. You could share as little or as much as you’d like. Staff merely being present during these Zooms also helps families feel like we’re a family and a team and makes it more welcoming. Below is an article I’ll put in the next Quick News.

School Choice for the 2022-23 School Year

Spread the word to all of your friends that HOLT ROCKS! With Holt’s focus on the whole child we are an excellent school and a positive choice in your child’s education. With School Choice coming soon, please invite friends and acquaintances to visit Holt (virtually) and seriously consider joining the Holt family.

We’re holding virtual school presentations and tours on Jan. 11th (12:30PM), Jan. 20th (6:00PM), and Jan. 25th (12:30PM)

Please watch the 4J website at> Parents > School Choice for information on upcoming visitation opportunities and the upcoming lottery applications timeline.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 958 6321 2123
Passcode: 908361

• Artist in Residence Update – Lane Arts go back to me over the break about our artist preferences. None of our top picks were available winter term (Jan, Feb, Mar), but our #1 pick, the fiddle artist, is available right after winter break. However, we need to find a dedicated space for him to see classes, such as the library or somewhere else. Space is pretty tight and I’m stumped on finding a spot outside of the library, so I’ve added this to Monday’s meeting as a business item. Please let me know if any of you have ideas on how we might make this work or if you think we should look for a different artist.

• COVID Protocol Updates – Five updates:

• REPEAT: Outdoor Mask Requirement (Students) – Downtown announced that starting January 4th students will no longer need to wear masks outdoors. Make sure students take their masks to recess so they can put them back on when they re-enter the building. Remind students to keep track of their masks at recess by:

• Mask lanyard,
• Pocket
• Slid below their chin
• Wrapped around their arm

• Outdoor Mask Requirement (Staff) – Downtown clarified that staff outside can only take their masks off if they can maintain 6-feet distance from students. With kids running up to adults at recess and arrival/dismissal on a pretty regular basis, I’d suggest staff use a mask lanyard so you can quickly mask up when you are closer than 6-feet with students.

• Masks at Recess Line-Up – At the end of each recess when kids line up, we will have students mask-up so they are ready to go when they re-enter the building. This will avert traffic jams at the doors going back in from recess.

• Masks at Arrival Line-Up – For morning arrival, staff should tell students to mask up a minute before the bell rings. Staff supervising entrances should get some extra masks to pass out as needed.

• CDC Quarantine Changes – You may have read in the news the CDC has revised their 10-day quarantine guideline to a 5-day quarantine. I emailed the 4J COVID person and they said this won’t change anything for us until the new guidelines are first filtered through the state, then the county, and then 4J, so we are status quo on 10-day quarantines and test-to-stay for unvaccinated students.

• 2.5-hour EA Vacancy – Our runner-up candidate for this position accepted another job with more hours, so I reposed the position. It closes on Sunday, Jan 2nd. HR will give me the candidate list sometime this week, so I’ve tentatively scheduled interviews for Wednesday, Jan. 12th, 2:40-4:30. Let me know if any of your are interested/willing to volunteer your time to help with interviews.

• Social Emotional Teaching Reminders – Two SEL reminders:

• Second Step Pacing Guide – I’ve shared this before, but linked here and also on the Holt Google Team Drive is the Second Step Year-Long Pacing Guide.

• Starting Each Class With a Warm Welcome – I see most teacher starting class each day with a morning meeting, which is great. This Edutopia Article and video below reinforces the importance of morning meetings as not just a good welcoming activity but also a proactive classroom management strategy. It builds community in the classroom, establishes a sense of shared values, and makes everyone feel included. These were made for the fall, so they reference the start of the year, but their lessons apply all year.

• UO International Student Free Presentations – The UO ICSP (International Cultural Service Program) is offering in-person and virtual cultural presentations to schools. See the linked UO ICSP Brochure and UO ICSP Website for student profiles, presentation topics, and how to request a presentation.

• Walk+Roll to School Day, WEDNESDAY– Remind kiddos this Wednesday is the monthly Walk+Roll to School Day, where we encourage students to walk, bike, carpool, or ride the bus to school. The goal is to reduce traffic and pollution around our school and to promote physical activity for our students. This happens the first Wednesday of each month.

• District Admin Update – Jose Salgado, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, has resigned from his position with 4J. Downtown has yet to decide on the future of this position (though I have my theories).

• District McKinney-Vento Student Data – Linked here is the most recent district-wide McKinney-Vento Student Report. These totals represent students for the entire school year, not necessarily who’s in buildings now. Holt server the fourth highest number of homeless students and families than any other elementary school in 4J. Not on my blog, but attached to the email is of which of our students qualify for McKinney-Vento.

• EEA Seminar Brochure – Linked here is the EEA 2022 Professional Development Seminar Series, which is filled with useful PD opportunities for EEA members, as well as an option to earn collect credits that can bump you up a column on the pay scale.

• Hazardous Weather Information for 4J Staff – With all the now we had over the break, as a reminder, linked here is the Hazardous Weather Information for 4J Staff district webpage, which has everything you need to know what to do when winter weather comes. Setting up the Text Message Alerts for whether closures and delays can be especially helpful.

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Accidents – Staff & Students – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on accidents involving staff and/or students:

Any staff member involved in a workplace injury needs to inform the administrator and fill out an injury form immediately. If a form is not completed, personal loss may not be covered by workman’s compensation insurance. If you find it necessary to see a physician due to a work injury, please get information from office staff. The designated district facility is indicated on the form. Forms can be found on the 4J website.

In the case of minor accident or illness, send the student to the office with a Health Pass, or call the office to inform them that the student is coming to the office. Don’t hesitate to send another student as an escort if you feel the need. In the event of an injury, be sure to fill out an accident report. If the student is vomiting or feels they are going to, please send them with a trash can.

If a student is seriously injured then must be accompanied by a staff member. Please press the emergency wall button nearest the location of the injury and request assistance. If you are unable to leave the student having a health emergency to call the office, send a student to the office with a red card.

• JUST FOR FUN: The Far Side Returns! – Were you also a child of the ’80s or ’90s? If so were you also obsessed with The Far Side? Then you may be interested to know that after 25 years of silence Gary Larson occasionally posts new stuff on his Far Side Website.


• 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 3 (M)
No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
SPED/PE Staff Room Duty
7:30-8:00, Optional Visiting and Social Time (Cafeteria)
8:00-1:00, Staff Meeting/PD (Cafeteria)
1:50, Allan Meeting w/Angela Crum (Office)

January 4 (T)
Winter Benchmark Testing Opens
2:45-3:25, Allan to IEP Meeting (Zoom)

January 5 (W)
Monthly Walk+Roll to School Day
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-7:30, 4J/EEA Negotiation Session (Zoom)

January 6 (H)
Regular Day

January 7 (F)
1:30-2:25, Friday PD/PLC – Equity

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you all soon!


December 13, 2021

Hey Holt Bolts,

The week before winter break is usually a crazy one, with more than normal of escalated behaviors (kids and adults), so be prepared. Also, give yourself permission to just have fun with kids this week, which can lessen some of the undesired behaviors. That’ll also send kids off to winter break on a positive note and help them feel good about coming back from the break in January. Make this week a fun one!

Eighteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Four staffing updates:

• Behavior EA Update – Hannah Connor, who recently started as a 2.5 hour Title 1 EA, is our new Behavior Support EA, filling Max’s former position before he became our school counselor. Besides working here at Holt, Hanna also currently works as a Behavior Technician at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and prior to that worked as a Personal Support Worker.

• 2.5-hour EA Vacancy – HR is allowing me to submit to hire our runner-up for this position without having to start over. My hope is HR will make the job offer next week and the person can start after winter break.

• Holt BEST Coordinator Update – Downtown is shuffling BEST Coordinators. The person originally assigned to Holt is being moved to Howard and Howard’s coordinator, Aubrey Bulkeley, is coming to Holt. Aubrey will start at Holt in January, though she’ll be visiting Wednesday after school, and the goal is for BEST to start up in early February. Depending upon available curriculum and hiring of BEST EAs, they are planning to start small with 15-25 students.

• BEST Academic Coordinator Opportunity – If any staff are interested in supporting BEST as the Academic Coordinator, see this linked Email and Job Description. The best fit for this position is a licensed staff member who has an interest in/comfort level with math and data, but classified staff with this skill set can also take it on. Here’s the basic overview:

• Oversee EA instruction in Do the Math small groups (similar to Title groups happening during the day).
• Look at data, and with consultation of the Data Team, determine who should be invited to BEST.
• This is an extended contract position for 1.5 – 2 hours per day.
• There are Academic Coordinators at other sites who can help, with regular collaboration meetings planned.

Since this is extended contract, there’s no interview or job posting or anything like that. Just let me know if you’re interested and I’ll put you in touch with Molly Lajoie, the District BEST Afterschool Coordinator.

• REPEAT: Crazy Hair Because We Care! FRIDAY! – Get kids pumped and plan your own crazy hair! If families want to share their crazy hair on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #crazyhairbecausewecare, Papa’s Pizza will award the “BEST Hair” photo with a FREE Large Pizza of their choice!

• December Virtual Assembly, Friday @7:55 – The December Spirit Day Virtual Assembly will be this Friday at 7:55. Here’s the agenda for the event:

Start Zoom meeting with each class.
Music will be played until start time.

Assembly begins Live! Mr. Chinn Starts us off!

Miss Kim pulled out 23 winners (Pre drawn…one from each class) and adds to the wheel (pre-written) 😜
These kids will STAY IN CLASSROOM!  Pizza coupons Prize will be delivered!
Mr. Chinn will then Spin the wheel with all 23 names on it for the big prizes!

1st Spin = Connect 4
2nd Spin = Large Pop-It!
3rd Spin = Bubble Wand
4th = Drone

These winners can come down to get their prize!

Ms. Reich does BOLT WINNER DRAWING for Vending Machine Coins by
They can come to get their prize!

While we are waiting for Holt Bolt Winners to get their prize, Lets share ourCrazy Hair (Highlight each room!)

We drew 8 Spirit Tickets and have 4 teams for the game!
Today we are playing Reindeer Games!

4 teams of 2
One person wears the reindeer antlers
The Other player throws the rinds on the antlers.
The first one to get 3 rings on the antlers wins!
PRIZE??? Gold Coins and something else for “losers” 🙃

End Assembly portion. Congratulations to the teams!

School cheer and goodbye!

• SIA Library Pick-Up WEDNESDAY – The SIA Classroom Libraries are being delivered this Wednesday. Teachers should pick up your three book sets at the end of the school day.

• Science Kit Transition Survey + Information – I connected with Jamie Tait, District K-5 STEM Specialist, regarding Eric Anderson’s Email and Holt’s past agreement with Sue Wilson and Jaimee Massie where each grade level kept their kits and had them refilled by the district. Jamie is fine with this arrangement and she and Eric are seeing if they can possibly use this arrangement at other buildings.

So don’t send you kits back, but if you have kits that need restocked, let me know and I’ll contact Jamie.

• January PD & PLC Times – For January and February, district admin have reduced the amount of PD and PLC time to just 1-hour per week on Fridays, though it’s actually 55-minutes, 1:30-2:25 to ensure staff get their golden hour, but I’ve deleted the Wednesday PLC times off the calendar. There’s only two Friday PDs this month and I will send a separate email with the plan for those days.

• COVID Updates – Two updates:

• Outdoor Mask Requirement – Downtown emailed principals that starting January 4th students will no longer need to wear their face coverings while outside at recess. When students go to recess, make sure they take their masks with them so they can put them back on when they re-enter the building. Ideas for taking masks out are:

• a mask lanyard,
• in a pocket
• slid below their chin
• wrapped around their arm

• Test to Stay – Downtown is planning to start using BinaxNOW rapid testing at schools in January. Specifics are going to be shared with principals later, but linked here is the OHA Release from earlier this month.



• Cabinets Blocking Doors – This Monday is our Fire Marshall re-inspection. The main issue on the Fire Inspection Report is moving rolling cabinets, wagons, or other items from blocking the 3-foot required fire egress, so I’ve told Ryan to move anything not already moved before the re-inspection.

• Work Room Doors Closed – We have a few students who elope now and then, so we need to make sure the two work room doors are kept closed. They don’t need to be locked, but being closed is probably enough to keep students from wandering in.

• Leadership Plan Approved – The 4J JCAC (Joint Contract Administration Committee) last Thursday officially approve the Holt Leadership Plan.

• K-5 Health Adoption Reps – Downtown is looking for Churchill or Sheldon Region reps on the K-5 Health Adoption Committee. They are specifically looking for Special Education, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 4th grade, and PE reps. If you are interested, see the linked email and add your name to the K-5 Health Adoption Team Interest Google Form.

• Holt School Choice Tour Input – I’m prepping for January School Choice Tours and wanted feedback on the School Choice Tour Slideshow and the Holt School Choice Webpage. Although Holt is closed to most transfers, this is our chance to retain students and families who live in our neighborhood who are considering leaving us for other schools. Let me know if you see anything we should add to highlight for families or if there’s anything that looks incorrect. This is where we want to seriously brag about ourselves!

• Send Me Photos for Social Media! – Related to the above and showing ourselves off, please text me pictures of anything fun or interesting happening at school. I love getting good content to post to our social media pages, which potential families also often check out when shopping for schools.

• $600 Kindness Mini Grant – The Choose Kindness Foundation is offering schools $600.00 to design and implement kindness activities that may be used for classroom or school-wide kindness events or celebrations as well as specific Teacher Wellness through kindness activities. Linked here is the very simple Choose Kindness Mini Grant Application and also Sample Ideas for potential kindness activities. The due date is Feb. 25, 2022 and notification of awards will be by March 11, 2022.

• Choose Kindness Foundation Music Video – Related to the above, the music video below, from the Choose Kindness Foundation, highlights four kindness skills kids can practice: be friendly, offer help, show appreciation, and reach out to those with needs. It’s a tad corny, but feel free to share with you class if you’d like.

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Child Abuse – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on Child Abuse and Child Abuse Reporting:

Child Abuse
Any employee of the district who has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, or who has observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that could result in abuse or neglect will immediately report these observations to the counselor and/or principal, completing the Suspected Abuse Reporting Form. School employees are mandated reports and should contact the Department of Human Services with their observations/concerns, immediately (within 24 hours) or the EPD Non-Emergency line:

Oregon Child Abuse Hotline, 1-855-503-7233 (SAFE)
Eugene Police Department Non-Emergency Number, (541) 682-5111

School employees should not contact the child’s family, or any other persons, to determine the cause of the suspected abuse or neglect. It is not the responsibility of the school employees to determine or prove that the child has been abused or neglected.

• 5 Days of Holiday Resources for Educators – While Character Strong is a curriculum for the secondary level, they shared some links that could be used at elementary to wrap up the week before winter break.

• 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 13 (M)
ELD/Speech/Title/Counselor Staff Room Duty
Artist in Residence Continues
National Cocoa Day
Fire Marshall Re-Inspection
2:30-3:30, Allan to Care Team Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

December 14 (T)
2:45-3:25, PBIS Meeting (Library)

December 15 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
2:45, Teacher SIA Library Pick-Up (Library)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

December 16 (H)
Regular Day

December 17 (F)
Holt Spirit Day, Crazy Hair Day!
7:50-8:10, December Virtual Assembly (Zoom)

December 18 – January 2
No School – Winter Break

January 3 (M)
No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
SPED/PE Staff Room Duty
8:00-1:30, Staff Meeting/PD (Cafeteria)

January 4 (T)
2:45-3:25, Allan to IEP Meeting (Zoom)

January 5 (W)
Monthly Walk+Roll to School Day
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

January 6 (H)
Regular Day

January 7 (F)
1:30-2:25, Friday PD

FIVE days until winter break! Make them good ones!


November 22, 2021

Howdy Bolts,

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Five staffing updates:

• Behavior EA Job Posting & Interviews – Our Behavior Support EA Job Posting is now up and closes Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll get candidates on the 24th and can set up interviews for the following week, most likely on Tuesday, Nov. 30th or possibly Thursday Dec. 2nd if HR is slow getting me the candidate list, so let me know if you’re interested in being part of interviews and I’ll send you candidate applications and interview questions.

• 2.5-hour Title 1 EA (Hannah Connor) – Hannah Connor was offered and accepted our 2.5 hour Title 1 EA job. She currently works and is planning to continue to work as a Behavior Technician at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and prior to that worked as a Personal Support Worker.

• School Nurse (Lisa West) – Nurse Cathy has been the school nurse for the ENTIRE Sheldon Region, but she is getting some relief. Lisa West has joined 4J and will be taking over at Holt and Monroe. She was at Health Screening last week, so some of you may have already met her. I actually met her about 30 years ago, because we went to high school together (Go, Highlanders!).

• BEST Coordinator (Lily Hamilton) – I realized I hadn’t included in prior announcements Ben decided to decline the BEST Coordinator position in favor of retaining his building hours, which he would have had to give up job rights to, so downtown has been conducting interviews for a while and has hired a new coordinator for Holt, Lily Hamilton. She’s a recent graduate from the UO and has worked as a Garden Educator, a Summer Program Leader at Willamalane, and as a Preschool Teacher. Downtown is still hiring BEST EAs for Holt and once they are hired, we’ll be able start things up.

• Holt Same Name Fun! – If you’re keeping track, we now we have Ashley & Ashley, Debbie & Deb, Jackie & Jacque, Jeff & Geoff, Katie, Katherine & Kathy, Kelly & Kelly, Liz & Elizabeth, Melanie & Melanie, Robert & Robbie, and Robin & Robin. Most impressively, we now have Lisa, Lisa, Lisa & Lisa, who should really start their own band.

Please give a big welcome to all our new folks!

• Artist in Residence Survey 2021 (Term 2) – For our Term 2 Artist in Residence, teachers should take a look at the LaneArts Residency Descriptions to pick your top five artists. Then fill out the linked Artist in Residence Survey 2021 (Term 2), which will help facilitate our discussion and decision at our December 7 Staff Meeting. Please complete the survey by Friday, December 3rd.

• Fire Marshall Inspection Results – Ryan is connecting with folks who had items the Fire Marshal flagged as needed correcting. If you’re interested, linked here is the complete Fire Marshal Inspection Report, which also including additional emails and documentation. The two main items we got dinged for were:

• Combustable items hanging from ceilings
• Door egress width (3-feet) blocked by rolling carts and other items

Door egress is something they’ve always been stickers for, but items hanging from ceilings is a new one to me. The Marshall will be coming the first week of December to make sure we have corrected items on the report.

• Staff Meetings, Library or Cafeteria? – It was asked last week if we need to continue to meet in the cafeteria or if we could move back to the library. I checked with downtown and even though staff are vaccinated and we are wearing masks, we still need to maintain 3-feet distance, which we cannot do with a staff our size in the library, so for now we’ll continue holding Staff Meetings in the cafeteria.

• Timeline for Potential Staffing Shifts at Semester – It was asked at last week’s Staff Meeting what the timeline would be for potential staffing shifts as a result of students changing pathway from online to in-person or vice versa. I asked at a principals’ meeting and was told they should have more information following the middle and high school shifts, which are happening now at their trimester break. They’ve realized a lot of survey data need cleaning up, with duplicate, incomplete, and/or conflicting submissions. Once that is cleaned up, the process should move fairly quickly, but as of right now, we were not given any firm dates outside of January 10th is the deadline for elementary families to submit a change request and that second semester, when students would start their new pathway, is only twenty-one days later on January 31st.

• Current Online & In-Person Numbers – Related to the above, linked here Enrollment as of 11-01-21. Holt has 486 total students, including both online and in-person. 25 are in K-5 Connect, 15 in EOA, and 446 are in-person. The grade breakdown for online students is:

KG: 5
1st: 9
2nd: 7
3rd: 5
4th: 4
5th: 10

• FREE Students CoatsJessica Cristobal, wife of UO Football Coach Mario Cristobal, donated a bunch of student sized coats to Holt. If you know of students in need of a winter coat, please check in with Melanie if we have coats in their size.

• Seesaw Family Connect – Downtown backed off on saying ALL school communication must go through Seesaw, but teachers should try to use Seesaw as a way for families to see what students are doing in class (recording videos of themselves or taking pictures of their work). This will hopefully build a connection with families, which is more challenging right now due to safety protocols. A short video message now and then can be another method for families to feel more connected to their child’s teacher.

• K-5 Health Curriculum Adoption/Pilot Opportunity – Let me know if any of you are interested in being on the adoption team to help select a new 4J Elementary Health Curriculum. See the linked email for details, but let me know by the end of the week if you’d like me to submit your name.

• Student Quarantine Change – Lane County Public Health notified 4J they are changing the 14-day quarantine for student close contacts to a 10-day quarantine. See this email for details. Another state change coming next month is a test-to-stay option.

• Reminder: Heath and Safety Protocols – HR asked principals to share a few reminders about face masks:

• Our team does not anticipate ODE or Lane County Public Health changing the requirement that face masks are required indoors for all students and staff.
• Masks should be worn at all times unless actively eating or drinking or if you are in a room with the door closed.
• Many staff have elected for an increased level of protection and use an N95 or KN95 mask. It is not appropriate to assume this means they are not vaccinated. If you recall, last year many of our employees were fit tested for N95 masks.

If you have any concerns about colleagues not following current protocols, please contact me.

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Toys – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on Toys, which are supposed to stay home:

Toys are to be left at home. If a student brings a toy, it is teacher discretion to remove and hold if it becomes a distraction. Toys for after school programs or events should remain in a student backpack

• Computer Science Education Week / Hour of Code Dec. 6-12– December 6-12 is Computer Science Education Week, which include the Hour of Code, which was started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities at Hour of CodeComputer Science Education WeekKhan Academy, and these Edutopia Articles. Let me know if any of you are doing something cool for the Hour of Code. I’d love to see if we can get some media coverage for some of our activities during Computer Science Education Week.

• JUST FOR FUN: What to Watch! – Ever wonder what’s new and good to watch on the streaming services? Check out Variety’s What to Watch page, which is updated weekly. They cover new and recommended shows on the major streaming platforms. I can usually find one or two new shows or movies that interests me.

• 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 22 (M)
3rd Grade Staff Room Duty
9:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)
4:30-6:30, Allan to Conscious Discipline PD (Zoom)

November 23 (T)
1:00-3:00, Holiday Food Box Pick-Up
2:45-3:25, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)

November 24 (W)
Regular Day (maybe)

November 25 (H)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

November 26 (F)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

November 29 (M)
4th Grade Staff Room Duty

November 30 (T)
2:35-4:00, Behavior Support EA Interviews (potential)

December 1 (W)
Monthly Walk+Roll to School Day
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
2:40-3:25, KG Data Team Meeting
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

December 2 (H)
9:45-10:45, Elem Director of Elementary Visit
2:35-4:00, Behavior Support EA Interviews (potential)
5:30-8:00, Holt Staff Annual Gingerbread House Event (Katie’s House)

December 3 (F)
7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-2:30, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)
1:30-2:20, 1st Grade Data Team Meeting
2:25-3:15, 2nd Grade Data Team Meeting
2:30-4:00, Allan to New Teacher Mentor Meeting (Zoom)

Fingers crossed for a nice and quiet short week.


November 15, 2021

Hi Everyone,

Eight items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Two staffing updates:

• CLD EA (Andrew Raasch) – SSD and HR have hired Andrew Raasch as our new CLC EA, filling the vacancy left by Jason. Andrew has worked as a Direct Support Professional in a group home setting as well as worked as recreation staff at River House Outdoor Center. Andrew had to give two weeks notice to his current employer, so he’ll start with us December 1st, but please welcome Andrew to the team!

• 2.5-hour Title 1 EA Update – We interviewed three solid candidates last week and have forwarded a name to HR. Hopefully they will make a job offer soon.

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

• Holiday Food Boxes – Only about 20 families have signed up for Food Boxes if teacher can share the following blurb with families if you’re sending a newsletter out before Friday. I’ll also send a Seesaw announcement on Monday. Staff can also reach out to individual families or mention it to your class as a whole. The link can also be found on the front page of the Holt website.

Holiday Food Boxes: Garden Way Church is offering 40 Holt families a holiday food box for Thanksgiving Break. If your family is in need of a holiday food box over Thanksgiving break, please complete the Food Box Sign-Up Form by noon on Friday, November 19th. Family will be able to pick up Food Boxes Tuesday, November 23rd between 1:00-3:00. If more than 40 families apply, we will conduct a lottery. Families will be notified the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 19th.

• REPEAT: November Fire Drill, TUESDAY @1:10 – Tuesday at 1:10 will be our November Fire Drill. Linked here is theBuilding Evacuation Map and the Fire Drill Line Map. If it’s raining, we’ll reschedule for Tuesday the following week.

• Nov. 24th School Day Status – If I were a betting man, I think there WILL be school this day. This Calendar Change was proposed earlier this month to address workload, but the school board response was not positive. An official vote will be held this Wednesday regarding November 24 and January 14.

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Electronic Devices – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on Electronic Devices. The short version if student may have them at school, but they must be off and out of sight during school hours:

Electronic devices:
To prevent distractions to student learning, cell phones, all electronic devices, and toys are prohibited during school hours. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen devices. Staff is not able to investigate lost or stolen devices. Students may have a cell phone/electronic device, or toys on their person that is turned off and out of sight from 7:30 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. Students who need to contact a parent/guardian, must use the school phone in the main office. If an electronic device makes itself evident visually or auditorily, the consequences will be the following:

Upon the first infraction, the cell phone and/or electronic device or toy will be confiscated and held in the main office. A parent or guardian must pick it up. If a second infraction occurs, administration will determine the consequence. Multiple infractions can result in a permanent banning of a cell phone or the need for the student to check in their phone with the office each day.

Watches with cellular capabilities are considered to be under the same parameters as cell phones. They should be off or away during the school day. They may not be worn in class or out to recesses

• How to Avoid Common Classroom Management Problems – In this Edutopia Article, Youki Terada says that when Steve Jobs was in elementary school, he was bored in school and became (in his own words) “a little terror,” constantly playing pranks in class. Punishments made him defiant and even more disruptive, and the school ended up expelling him. This dynamic is the first of seven that Terada describes, with research-based strategies for avoiding them:

Mistake #1: Responding to surface-level behavior and not the underlying cause – In the case of the young Steve Jobs, the lack of challenging work was the problem. With another student, it might be trauma at home, for another a learning disability that makes classroom assignments extremely challenging. “If teachers can figure out what a student’s goals are,” says Terada, “they can address the misbehavior in a more-productive way.”

Mistake #2: Assuming it’s not an academic issue – One study found that 20 percent of classroom misbehavior stemmed from students not understanding the assignment or finding it too difficult.

Mistake #3: Verbally confronting every minor infraction – The injunction to “sweat the small stuff” can be taken too far, says Terada. Constantly reprimanding students who aren’t paying attention or who are having side conversations can create a “negative reinforcement pattern,” sparking defiance and making the problem worse. Nonverbal tactics such as “the look” or an agreed-upon hand signal can be much more effective.

Mistake #4: Using time-out corners – Sending students away from the group as a punishment “can cause feelings of shame or embarrassment,” says Terada, “undermining your relationship with them and jeopardizing the trust you’ll need for productive learning.” An alternative is a time-out “peace corner” that’s explained as a space where students can calm down, reflect on their emotions, and practice self-regulation. The key is taking the stigma away from the time-out area and encouraging students to sit there anytime they feel the need to pull themselves together.

Mistake #5: Writing names on the board and other public shaming – Some schools post the names of students who’ve had detentions and low test scores in the halls, and a common classroom practice is tracking behavior with color-coded stickers – red for bad behavior, blue for good. Practices like these, say researchers, fail to deter misbehavior and may make things worse. Far better is dealing with misbehavior in private conversations, after determining the root causes.

Mistake #6: Demanding obedience – “It’s a losing battle to expect compliance from students without putting in the emotional work,” says Terada. “Demand it and many students will simply rebel, test boundaries, or engage in power struggles.” The alternative is building relationships, warmly greeting students at the door, co-creating classroom norms, and working continuously to develop social and emotional skills.

Mistake #7: Not checking the biases we all have – Study after study has shown how implicit bias can lead teachers to give African-American students fewer disciplinary warnings before imposing consequences, as well as expecting less of them academically. “Such perceived unfairness can contribute to a ‘trust gap’ among students of color,” says Terada. Teachers and schools need to track data, he says, looking for patterns, raising educators’ consciousness, and working toward an equitable environment for all students.

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

November 15 (M)
Holt Annual (Virtual) Book Fair Continues!
2nd Grade Staff Room Duty
Melanie Out – Katie Subbing
9:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

November 16 (T)
Darla’s Last Day
District Science Kit Pick-Up
1:10, Fire Drill
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)

November 17 (W)
Picture Retakes (Library)
Ruby Bridge Walk to School Day
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

November 18 (H)
9:00-12:00, K-3 Vision Screening/K-5 Dental Screening (Gym)
5:00-6:00, Site Council (Zoom)
6:00-7:00 PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

November 19 (F)
Holt Spirit Day, Team Color Day!
7:50-8:10, Holt Spirit Day, Color Day – Virtual Assembly

November 22 (M)
1st Grade Staff Room Duty
4:30-6:30, Allan to Conscious Discipline PD (Zoom)

November 23 (T)
1:00-3:00, Holiday Food Box Pick-Up
2:45-3:25, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)

November 24 (W)
Possible Work Day
Probably Regular Day

November 25 (H)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

November 26 (F)
No School — Thanksgiving Break

Heads-up! Full moon this Friday!



November 8, 2021


Greetings Bolts,

Thirteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• School Counselor Update – Max Taylor, our Behavior EA, was selected to take over as our school counselor for the rest of the school year. He’s already made great connections with some of our toughest kids and should be a great match for the position and for our school!

The transition plan is for Darla to stay on at Holt through conferences and to use the following Monday to have some closure with students and pass the torch to Max.

• 2.5-hour Title 1 EA Interviews, Wednesday – Let me know if you are interested (and available) in being part of interviews for a small 2.5-hour Title 1 EA Position we’ve created with our remaining Title funds. Interviews will be the Wednesday, 10:10-12:00 in the library.

• CLD EA Vacancy – We’re still waiting on HR to get back regarding their job offer to a candidate to fill Jason’s vacant CLC EA position.

• November Fire Drill, 11/16 @1:10 – Not this week, but next week on Tuesday, November 16th at 1:10 will be our November Fire Drill. Linked here is theBuilding Evacuation Map and the Fire Drill Line Map.

• Conferences Updates & Reminders – Seven parent/teacher conferences updates and reminders:

• Conference Schedules to Office – If you haven’t already, send a copy of your schedule to Melanie.

• Seesaw and Families – Make sure families are signed up with Seesaw Family at conferences. You can see which family members are connected by logging into your Seesaw account and clicking on the ADD families button.



• Resources for Families – Should any families request tutoring, the Eugene Rotary (WEBSITE and FLYER) offers free virtual tutoring and the NAACP (WEBSITE and FLYER) also offers a free in person tutoring program for all BIPOC students. Teachers should NOT suggest tutoring, because that puts the district on the hook to provide or pay for tutoring.

• Allan’s Conference Tips – Parents generally just want to see that teachers “know” their child and care about them. If you can convey that at your conference, usually by sharing a story or two, mission accomplished! My other advice is to start conferences off with “How do things look on your end?” or other open ended question so parents to share anything that’s on their mind, rather than making them wait until the end and possibly running out of time.

• REPEAT: EA Extravaganza, WEDNESDAY – Educational Assistants should attended the EA Extravaganza on Wednesday from 8:00-12:00 via Zoom. See the above link for sessions, times, descriptions, and Zoom links, and see Marlee Litten’s Email for additional details.

• REPEAT: Title 1 Compacts & Conferences – Title 1 Compacts (English and Spanish) should be reviewed with all families at conferences. For the signatures, the teacher and student should sign the form and for parents review the permission section at conferences and then just date the form in the parent signature line that the parents agreed to do their part.

• REPEAT: Wednesday PAHS Lunch – PAHS is planning to provide a big lunch for staff on Wednesday, with enough to be left over for dinner if staff are still working in the building then, so I’ll need to get a head count at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting of how many people will be in the building this day.

• Recess and New Kickball Rules – Linked here is the Recess Equipment and Activity Rules Doc, which is a living document of the most current recess rules. Most recently we added Kickball Rules to the doc, which Kim and I will come around to review with grades 3, 4, and 5. Teachers should email us a good date and time to come in for a 10-15 minute block of time to go over the “official” kickball rules.

• Referral Reminders – When writing a referral remember to:

• Press Hard with a Pen – Minor and Major referrals are on NCR paper, so use a pen and press hard so what you write goes all the way through the three layers.

• No Student Names in Description – Major referrals are sent home to parents, so do not include other student names in the description section. On major referrals, there is a spot on the second page of the NCR paper to include this information.

• List Just One Behavior Type – SWIS, the system we enter minor referrals, only allows for one violation/behavior type, so check off the most egregious behavior if an incident has multiple offense types (i.e. if a student called someone a name and then pushed them, check off just “Physical Aggression”).

• Parent Requests for SPED Eval – Any time a parent requests their child get an IEP or wants them tested, make sure you notify me or our school psychologist, Kelly Kirk, immediately. A legally mandated timeline starts from the moment parents make that initial request.
• Artist in Residence – Our first Artist in Residence, Glass Fusing Fun with Rachell Jarvis, is finally set-up and will be Nov. 29 through Dec. 17. See Lesli’s Email if you have any scheduling requests (though no promises).

• Staff Directory Photos Update? – Anyone hate their picture on the Staff Directory Webpage? Let me know and I can update it with this year’s photo. If you don’t have a photo on the school website, be sure sure to get your picture taken on Picture Retake Day next week on Wednesday, November 17th. BONUS FUN: If you log onto Adobe with your school email and password, you can have some fun removing your school picture background to make some much more fun of backgrounds.


• Language Arts Adoption Updates – If you’re interested, Expeditionary Learning (EL) and Wit & Wisdom are the two curriculums that will be piloted this year. One of them will be adopted for implementation next school year. Linked here is an Adoption Update Email that gives an overview of what’s happed so far in the adoption process as well as a timeline for next steps.

• Franz Bakery Virtual Field Trip – Franz Baker is offering a virtual field trip and will give classes bakers’ hats and a voucher per. If you’re interested, linked here is their Franz Bakery Virtual Field Trip Email, but you just need to email a few dates and time to Jodie Kelly

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Head Injuries – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on Head Injuries. See the 4J Students with Concussions Webpage for additional details, including the letter that is to go home with students who’ve had a head injury:

Head Injuries:
• Any students who has incurred a head injury must be sent to the office for evaluation.
• Students should be escorted
• Parents must be informed of any head injuries, even if minor

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

• 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 8 (M)
1st Grade Staff Room Duty
2:30-3:30, Allan to Care Team Meeting (Zoom)

November 9 (T)
3:25-7:35, Parent/Teacher Conferences (Zoom)
4:00-8:00, Holt Night Out Fundraiser – Chipotle Mexican Grill4:05, Allan to Conference (Zoom)
5:30-6:30, 4J Parent Info Session: COVID-19 & Schools (Zoom)
November 10 (W)
No School – Conferences
8:00-12:00, EA Extravaganza (Zoom)8:00-8:00, Parent/Teacher Conferences (Zoom)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
10:10-12:00, Title EA Interviews (Library)

November 11 (H)
No School — Veterans Day

November 12 (F)
No School — Parent/Teacher Conferences Comp Day

November 15 (M)
2nd Grade Staff Room Duty
Melanie Out – Katie Subbing
Darla’s Last Day
9:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

November 16 (T)
1:10, Fire Drill
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)

November 17 (W)
Picture Retakes
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

November 18 (H)
K-3 Vision Screening
K-5 Dental Screening
5:00-6:00, Site Council (Zoom)
6:00-7:00 PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Zoom)

November 19 (F)
Regular Day

And remind students about the Holt Night Out Fundraiser at Chipotle this Thursday, 4:00-8:00!


November 1, 2021


Hello Friends,

We survived a week of Halloween excitement, so now we just need to survive this week’s sugar crash.

Eleven items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• Molly Beick (CLC EA) – Molly has been subbing in the CLC most all of this year, but she has now officially been hired to fill Ganell’s 6.5 CLC EA vacancy, so please welcome Molly as our newest Holt Bolt!

• School Counselor Update – We interviewed three candidates for our Temp School Counselor opening this past Friday and will hopefully have a job offer out from HR by the end of the week.

• CLD EA Vacancy – The person HR offered Jason Martinez’s 5-hour CLC EA position never responded, so SSD had HR make the job offer to another candidate. Darrin has taken over Jason’s morning crossing guard duties, but hopefully we’ll get someone for the rest of the position soon. In related news, Jason is now working online with K-5 Connect.



• Conferences Updates – Five parent/teacher conferences updates:

• EA Extravaganza, Wednesday, Nov. 10th – Educational Assistants should attended the EA Extravaganza on November 10th between 8:00-12:00 via Zoom. See the above link for sessions, times, descriptions, and Zoom links, and see Marlee Litten’s Email for additional details.

• Title 1 Compacts & Conferences – Title 1 Compacts (English and Spanish) should be reviewed with all families at conferences. For the signatures, the teacher and student should sign the form and for parents review the permission section at conferences and then just date the form in the parent signature line that the parents agreed to do their part. This should be less work than sending the forms home for parent signatures and then having to collect and track them again. Title 1 staff will put class sets in teacher mailboxes this week.

• Wednesday PAHS Lunch – PAHS is planning to provide a big lunch for staff on Wednesday, with enough to be left over for dinner if staff are still working in the building then, so I’ll need to get a head count at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting of how many people will be in the building this day.

• Allan Available to Attend Conferences – Teachers can let me know if you have any tricky conferences you’d like me to attend. Send me a date, time, and Zoom link and I’ll be there!

• REMINDER: Conference Dates – Dates for conferences are:

Nov. 9 (T), 3:25-7:25, Evening Conferences
Nov. 10 (W), 8:00-8:00, All-Day Conferences
Nov. 11 (H), Veterans Day – No School
Nov. 12 (F), No School, Teacher Comp Day

• PAHS Volunteer Request Form – PAHS is looking to help and volunteer however they can. Library is the only place volunteers are allowed inside the building, but if you have other uses for volunteers (prepping materials, grading, sorting, etc.), please filled out the linked PAHS Volunteer Request Form. Last week they set out pumpkins in the school garden for the Kinder Pumpkin Patch “Field Trip.”

• REMINDER: Mandatory Elementary School Bus Safety Training – If you haven’t already, be sure to show your students the required Bus Safety Training Video and then let me know the date you showed it.

• Walk+Roll to School Day, WEDNESDAY – The first Wednesday of each month is Walk & Roll Day, so please encourage your students to walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus to school. If students live a long way from school, they can try parking a ten minute walk from school and walking the rest of the way. The goal is to reduce traffic and pollution around our school and to promote physical activity for our students.

• Campus Safety and Security Team Offer – Kari Skinner, Director of Student Wellness and School Safety, emailed principals that our new Campus Safety and Security Team (kind of the new SROs) are offering to be a sort of mentor and/or “seeing” a student to make a connection. If you know of a student who could use this kind of big buddy, let me know the student name and a brief description of what you’re hoping for.

• Seesaw Usage – The following was sent to principals on Friday regarding how teachers should use Seesaw, but I don’t think the first bullet (sending class newsletters over Seesaw) is right (there’s no formatting option and if you link or attach a newsletter, that’s one more click you might lose someone). I’m going to ask about this at my elementary principals’ meeting on Wednesday, so feel free to ignore that bullet for now. I think the other three bullets are nothing new:

Now that the year is well underway, we want to give some reminders on what should be happening in each teacher’s Seesaw account. Make sure that you start engaging in Seesaw walk throughs in the coming weeks. If you need Seesaw assistance, please reach out to Justin Huntley.

• Home communications from the classroom. Classroom newsletters should be disseminated through Seesaw. These are automatically translated into the home language.
• Each classroom teacher should have an asynchronous lesson, learning links, and/or choice board posted for students on quarantine.
• When students are on quarantine, daily assignments for students.
• Zoom links for grade level TOSA supports.

• 4J Care Teams – 4J has started Regional Care Teams to assist schools needing assistance when they feel they have exhausted their resources to assist a family. For additional info, here is the Sheldon Region Care Team Flyer and a Slide Show that was shared with counselors. For initial request for assistance for families, please connect with Darla. Referrals could be for assistance regarding, though not limited to:

• Death of a parent
• Incarcerated parent -­ concerns about recent incarceration or pending release
• Homeless or impending homelessness
• Unknown if open child welfare case but has concerns that were called in
• Domestic Violence
• Extreme behavior issues – ­additional supports needed outside of school
• Specific resource needed but unknown where to refer
• Medical concerns about the child or other family

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Hoods off indoors, Hats OK indoors – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook, is on Hats and Hoods:

Hats may be worn on the playground, halls, and cafeteria at Holt. Teachers may ask a student to remove the hat if it becomes a distraction. Teachers may decide if hats may be worn in their own classrooms and guidelines for students must be clear and consistent. If hats become a distraction, the teacher may ask a student(s) to remove the hat. Continued disruption with hats may require teachers to communicate with parents about their classroom policy.

Hoods may be worn outdoors for warmth, but must come off once inside the building for visibility and safety; this includes halls, cafeteria, and classrooms.

• Team Building Activities for Kids – We all know that a sense of community and belonging helps kids feel safe, take risks, and (hopefully) make better, kinder choices. This list from WeAreTeachers offers a list of some ideas for helping students connect and cooperate with one another.

• 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 1 (M)
KG Staff Room Duty
Ewok Appreciation Day
1:45-2:00, 4th Grade PBIS Bonus Recess (Playground)

November 2 (T)
1:45-2:00, 3rd Grade PBIS Bonus Recess (Playground)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)

November 3 (W)
Monthly Walk+Roll to School Day
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

November 4 (H)
8:30-9:30, Allan to Safety Committee Webinar (Zoom)
2:00-2:15, 2nd Grade PBIS Bonus Recess (Playground)
4:00-5:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Zoom)

November 5 (F)
1:30-2:30, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)

November 8 (M)
1st Grade Staff Room Duty
2:30-3:30, Allan to Care Team Meeting (Zoom)

November 9 (T)
2:45-3:25, PBIS Meeting (Library)
3:25-7:35, Parent/Teacher Conferences (Zoom)
4:00-8:00, Holt Night Out Fundraiser – Chipotle Mexican Grill

November 10 (W)
No School – Conferences
8:00-12:00, EA Extravaganza (Zoom)8:00-8:00, Parent/Teacher Conferences (Zoom)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

November 11 (H)
No School — Veterans Day

November 12 (F)
No School — Parent/Teacher Conferences Comp Day

If you missed it in Saturday’s Register Guard, Holt made the local news gain. Check it out and feel free to share with students!




October 18, 2020


Hey Bolts,

Let’s start things off with some cheery news. This past Friday SJ welcomed a happy healthy baby to the family when Elliott Joseph Anthony Moore joined the Moore clan. Wish them all well while SJ takes the next few months off!

Ten items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Four staffing updates:

• Temp Counselor Job Posting – The Temp Counselor Job Posting for Darla’s replacement for the remainder of the year went up last Friday and is posted through this Thursday.

• Welcome (back) Nichole Roy – SJ’s long term sub is former Holt student teacher and regular Holt sub Nichole Roy, who will start this Monday. Please welcome Nichole to the team!

• New CLC EA – Dylan Johnson was moved to Camus Ridge instead of Holt. SSD is instead sending us a new hire who should start this Wednesday. They told me her first name is Elizabeth (I haven’t gotten her full name yet), so please welcome Elizabeth to the team!

• District Teacher Moves – District admin sent the following message to principals, which is mostly the same as what they send the week before. This message makes it sound that it will be after the impact of the Oct. 18th Vaccination Mandate when downtown will assess the need for teacher shifts.

Variance in class size – We continue to have some large class sizes across our elementary school and the luxury of some small classes. We will be revisiting building staffing allocations following the impact of the October 18 vaccine mandate to address any teacher shortages or to ameliorate our large classes across the district.


• Arrive to Cafeteria On Time (not early) – With only 5 minutes between classes, it is important teachers enter the cafeteria on time and not early, which allows for a cafeteria reset between cohorts. We do want to give a BIG thank you and very much appreciate teachers helping students get through the line. :)

• Tips to Avoid Student Quarantines – We’ve had two positive student cases and a possible third case we’re waiting on test results. Now that I’ve had to contact trace a couple times, I have some tips on  minimizing close contacts (i.e. kids who’ve eaten breakfast, snacks, and/or lunch with masks off within 6-feet of a positive student longer than 15 minutes) having to quarantine.

• Keep Breakfast and Snack Under 15 Minutes – If students have their masks off eating within 6-feet of another student with their mask off longer than 15 minutes, all of those students will have to quarantine for 24 days or 10 days from the onset of COVID symptoms if they eventually test positive. If teachers keep your breakfast and snack times under a cumulative 15 minutes total (for example, 10-minute breakfast, 4-minute snack). Then no students in your class would have to quarantine if you had a positive case.

• Mix Your Class and Cafeteria Seating Charts – Related to the above, even if you keep your breakfast and snack below 15 minutes, if the same students ALSO sit within 6-feet of one another in the cafeteria, either next to, across the table, or from behind on the next table, they WILL have to quarantine. Please check your seating charts to make sure the same students in your class are not also sitting together in the cafeteria.

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

• TalentEd Notes for Probationary Teachers – Now that we know contract teachers (those who have taught in 4J four or more years) do not need to complete any tasks in TalentEd this year and probationary teachers (those who are in their first three years with 4J) will complete all tasks as usual (self evaluation, goals, 2 informal observations, and 1 formal observation) here’s my plan:

• Informal Observations – I’m going to start doing informal observations this week and will swing by classrooms for 10-15 minutes, after which I’ll submit my write up through TalnetEd. We do not need to meet, but I’d be happy to meet with folks if you’d like.

• Formal Observations – I’ll email probationary teachers a date to observe a reading lesson sometime next month. We’ll do a pre conference the day before the observation and a post conference sometime (hopefully) soon after.

• Educator Goals – Probationary teachers are supposed to have two SMART Goals and one professional goal. Since the state is pushing “Care & Connection” this year feel free to make ALL three goals about SEL, morning meetings, building community, and not focused around academics and testing data. HR provided a SEL Goal Template and a Technology Goal Template you may use if you’d like, but also let me know if you’d like any help or want to bounce any ideas around.

• Calling Office by Intercom (send a runner or adult do the talking) – If you have an emergency in your classroom, you can call the office by phone or the intercom, but know that if you use the intercom it is very difficult to understand student voices. If you need to relay something quickly, it’s likely faster to send a student to the office or for the teacher to talk/yell across the room into the intercom if you’re unable to call.

• Autodialer Attendance Calls – As an FYI, downtown is finally starting the autodialer tardy call to families this week, which will hopefully lessen the number of tardies we’re currently seeing, which seems unusually high. Absent calls started last week.

• Learning for All Update/Pause – There’s currently a pause on all district ACT PD until at least January, but the Learning for All PD is indefinitely postponed for the year. If you want more details, see the linked SSD Email.

• Smithsonian Resources for Teaching and Learning – The Smithsonian Institution and PBS have teamed up to make extensive materials available online. Check out this link for free PK-12 resources on coral reefs, ocean ecosystems, air and space exploration, African-American history and culture, and more.

• 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 18 (M)
SPED/PD Staff Room Duty
No School — Teacher Work Day
8:30-9:25, KG Data Team (C04)
9:00-2:05, Optional Teacher & EA Tech Support Sessions (Zoom)
9:35-10:30, 1st Grade Data Team (C04)
10:40-11:35, 2nd Grade Data Team (C04)
11:40-12:25, 3rd Grade Data Team (C04)
1:10-2:05, 4th Grade Data Team (C04)
2:15-3:10, 5th Grade Data Team (C04)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting

October 19 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)

October 20 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

October 21 (H)
4:03-6:30, Allan to Conscious Discipline PD (Zoom)

October 22 (F)
7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)

October 25 (M)
Office/Library/Music Staff Room Duty
4:30-6:00, Health Insurance In Retirement Presentation (Zoom)

October 26 (T)
2:45-3:25, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)

October 27 (W)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

October 28 (H)
2:45-3:25, IPBS Team Meeting (Library)
4:00-6:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Zoom)

October 29 (F)
Holt Spirit Day – Dress-Up Day!

Have a good 4-day week, everyone!


October 4, 2021


Howdy Holt Bolts,

The above meme has been floating around quite a bit this past week, but also keep in mind it’s been 3 years since staff have had a normal school year. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves!

Seventeen items of note for this week:

• PBIS Updates – From your PBIS team. Please review to understand process and procedures this year.

• Green tickets given to student for following a rule, showing kindness, etc
• Frequency: A LOT – give these out!!
• Tickets are placed in the red spinner by the teacher
• Name and room number need to be written legibly.
• During weekly announcements on Mondays, Allan will announce winners from the drawing. (2 students from each grade)
• ZAP’S may also be drawn at an Assembly.
• Some ZAPS have an Electra Instant Winner and those students can instantly pick a Prize (see the office schedule below)
• Students are given a menu of choices for their prize (in the office). More info on menu below.

• Given to a class for doing an exceptional job – walking quietly, helping out, listening, etc
• Frequency: as needed but we are trying to earn the prize each month
• Tickets are placed on the Orange You Fantastic wall by teacher (Wall is by the Calming Room)
• When the school earns a particular amount (50 right now) they earn a prize. They are earning an extra recess at this time.
• Sometimes we will work together as a whole school and sometimes by class in which the teacher can choose the reward.
• Allan will announce what prize we are earning and Kim will send out an email to remind teachers as well

• Given to an individual for outstanding demonstration of character that goes above and beyond just following rules
• Frequency: this is a VERY SPECIAL award that is not given all the time.
• Student receives a certificate to go home

• We know that trinket prizes have some impact and certainly bring happiness to students for a short period of time.
• We also know that experiential rewards can have a longer period of positive reinforcement and the district is moving that direction.
• ZAP winners will go to the office to pick out one of these “non-tangible” prizes at the office. PRIZE COUPON You can use this link to show students what they can earn if their name is drawn.
• Ideas for additional rewards are more than welcome
• OFFICE SCHEDULE: 9 AM and 2 PM (Fridays until 12 PM). No more than 2 students at a time.

• Working within the COVID guidelines for tracking and our capacity to provide the Golden Ticket Table, the following is a starting approach that may be adapted as go along.
• The GOLDEN TICKET is a prize option on the PRIZE COUPON list for the ZAP drawing each Monday.
• The GOLDEN TICKET table is available on Fridays.
• The ZAP drawing will include 2 students from each grade who can choose from the PRIZE COUPON list. If they choose the GOLDEN TICKET, they can choose (2) friends to eat with them at the GOLDEN TICKET TABLE on that Friday. They will also be released first to go to recess.
• GOLDEN TICKETS can only be earned this way. We are not able to accommodate other options (like turning in 10 ZAPS) due to the tracking necessary for COVID.

• October 15th PD Update – I shared last week the PD plan for this day was, “Professional Development (5.5 hours), Guest speaker – Race/Equity, SEL Building Specific, Teacher Planning Day” so I asked for details at a last week’s principal meeting and found out downtown got busy did not scheduled a guest speaker and instead are doing a 1-hour district tech webinar and turning the rest of the day over to principals. The ELA adoption committee is meeting, so I won’t be in the building to lead any PD (I’m sure you’re devastated), so the plan for the day will be:

8:00-9:00, Team Collaboration
9:00-10:00, Tech Webinar – Pre-made Nearpod and Seesaw lessons
10:00-12:00, Team Collaboration
12:00-12:30, Lunch
12:30-2:00, Team Collaboration
2:00-4:00, Prep

For collaboration team, teams can choose what’s useful for you; planning lessons for students on quarantine (since TOSAs are no longer providing canned lessons), review the library of pre-made Seesaw and Nearpod lessons, begin looking at fall benchmark data, or other tasks useful to your team. I’ll add this to Tuesday’s Staff Meeting agenda to make sure this plan works for folks. I’ll keep you posted if downtown changes anything.

• Monday Announcements Begin This Week – I’ll do announcements this Monday at 8:00, announcing Zapp Winners, the Pledge of Allegiance, and reminders of upcoming events. We have auditions for student announcers this week, so hopefully we’ll have kiddos doing it soon!

• School Picture Day, WEDNESDAY – Shared earlier, lined here is the Picture Day Schedule. Grade levels have been assigned times and teams should decide who takes which of your grade level spots (or if you want us to choose, we can do that too). A few classes had to be given specific times to work around specialists.

• Quarantine Student Lesson Option– I heard another idea one principal gave teachers for students in quarantine. Since the direction states “Teachers send the essential components of their daily in class learning and activities as a Seesaw assignment.” one school has teachers simply sending that day’s Journeys story and/or activity through ThinkCentral and the LearnZillion video for that day’s lesson. Other options shared earlier are using the TOSA created 10-day lessons, which are good through October 15th (found on the 4J Student Quarantine Extended Absences K-5 doc) or sending out the Monthly Library Choice Board from District Librarian Amy Page.

• Site Council Reps – Our first Site Council Meeting of the year is next week. There are 5 licensed reps and 3 classified rep positions. Rep positions are 2-year terms, though I don’t recall who was on year-one or year-two, but I do know we have at least one classified and one licensed rep opening. There were only two classified reps last year and Kristina was one of the licensed reps. If other reps can let me know if you are on year-one or year-two, we can decide how many open positions we have. Classified reps were Jackie and Lisa. Licensed reps were Geoff, Jenny, Kristina, Leslie , and Liz. I’ll add this to the Tuesday Staff Meeting Agenda as a check-in item.

• Classified Meetings are Back! – I’d originally had these on the calendar for the first Friday of each month, but then took them off when Friday PDs got scheduled on top of them, but since those on pause I’ve added Classified Staff Meetings back to the calendar, though it’ll be the second Friday for October. See a separate email for that agenda.

• 2019-2020 Mandatory Elementary School Bus Safety Training – The state requires all students, even non-bus riders, to receive instructions on bus safety before the end of December 2021. Linked here is a Bus Training Info Sheet (English and Spanish) and Emergency Exits Handout sent to principals, but all classroom teachers need to do is show a bus safety video. There’s the  Newer Bus Evacuation Training Video or the quaint 1990s relic The Safest Way Out. Teachers then let me know the date you showed the video for the report I have to submit to Transportation.

• Walk+Roll to School Day, WEDNESDAY – Get your students pumped for our first Walk & Roll to School Day! All students are encourage to walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus to school. If they live a long way from school, they could try parking a ten minute walk from school and walking the rest of the way. Older students can walk on their own. Younger students will need to walk or bike with an adult. The goal is to reduce traffic and pollution around our school and to promote physical activity for students. Students who ride the bus are doing their part by participating in the biggest carpool of all.

• Staffing Updates – Two staffing updates:

• Kyla Lenker (COVID Utility EA) – Kyla is set to start this Wednesday. She’ll work out of the Calming Room with Kim and Max.

• Emergency Sub Licenses – Classified subs now only need a high school diploma, so if you know of anyone interested in applying for the sub pool, please refer them to the 4J Jobs website.

• TalentEd Professional Goals – There’s been talk by downtown about reducing TalentEd tasks, so I’m going to ask at the principals’ meeting on Monday if licensed goals are required or not. If they are required, I’ll schedule a time for a group of interested teachers to come up with optional building goals teachers can use if they want. Stay tuned.

• Safety Week Feedback – Let me know if you have any feedback that would make any drill we did last week go smoother, whether it’s changing around evacuation lines, flow exiting the building, or anything else.

• 4J Nutrition Services Updates – This Nutrition Services Update was shared with principals in response to last minute menu changes. The short version is there are supply chain issues and menus are having to unexpectedly change when items aren’t getting delivered. The other piece of info is they are not taking any requests from buildings at this time while they sort through their current set of problems (I was one of the troublemakers who last week contacted them about bringing back chocolate milk for kids).

• Student iPads Potentially Staying at School – Principals got fired up last week about having to send home iPads daily and the issues it’s creating. In response, downtown is now looking at how best to address these issues. More to follow.

• Updated 4J COVID Reporting Process – If you’re interested, the linked COVID Reporting Email and Docs were sent to principals and office staff regarding how and when to report suspected COVIC cases. The short version is we report if a student is COVID positive or has been a close contact to someone who is COVID positive, but we DO NOT report if a student has primary COVID symptoms or if a student is taking a COVID test and does not have any symptoms.

• Taking Small Steps Toward Equity – It can be difficult to know how to keep going with equity work, but starting with culturally responsive teaching is helpful in getting past, “Okay, I get it… what do I do now?” See this Edutopia Article for ideas on diversifying explicit the curriculum as well as diversifying implicit curriculum. Making small changes can make a big difference.

• 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 4 (M)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

October 5 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)

October 6 (W)
Walk+Roll to School Day
8:00-1:00, School Pictures (Gym)2:45-3:45, Asynchronous Content Prep Time
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

October 7 (H)
4:00-5:30, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Zoom)
5:30,6:30, 4J Virtual Job Fair (Zoom)

October 8 (F)
1:25-2:25, Asynchronous Content Prep Time
1:30-2:30, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)

October 11 (M)
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
9:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

October 12 (T)
2:45-3:25, PBIS Meeting (Library)
4:00-6:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Zoom)

October 13 (W)
2:45-3:45, Asynchronous Content Prep Time

October 14 (H)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

October 15 (F)
No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
8:00-2:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Roosevelt MS)
8:00-9:00, Team Collaboration
9:00-10:00, Tech Webinar – Pre-made Nearpod and Seesaw lessons
10:00-12:00, Team Collaboration
12:00-12:30, Lunch
12:30-2:00, Team Collaboration
2:00-4:00, Prep

Have a good week, y’all!



August 30, 2021


Hello Holt Staff,

Welcome back to the 2021-2022 school year! If you hadn’t read my prior announcement from earlier this month, be sure to go back and review those for info about this school year.

Sixteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• Staffing Reduction – Last Thursday I was notified Holt was being reduced by one full-time teacher due to under-enrollment (nine other schools also lost 1-2 teachers each), but since Ashley Wolf is joining Eugene Online Academy (EOA), we do not have to displace anyone. However, we did need to shift someone into Ashley’s 2nd grade position. Downtown suggested and I agreed that one of our four 1st grade teachers should move into that position, so the 1st grade team met on Friday and Lisa volunteered to take Ashley’s spot. Thank you, Lisa.

In terms of overall enrollment, we were projected at 529 students and currently have 440 enrolled, which puts us 89 students under-projection. We only had 37 students request to go online (ten at 1st grade, four at KG, nine at 2nd, four at 3rd & 4th, and eight at 5th), which is fewer than most schools our size.

• Behavior EA Vacancy – Mandy has been offered a position with more hours at Spencer Butte Middle School, so we have a vacant Behavior EA position. HR said they would get the position posted this week, so if you know of anyone good who wants a 6.5-hour position, please encourage them to apply.

• BEST Updates – Holt is slated to open a BEST After School Program this fall, but 4J is having a hard time filling vacancies for even existing BEST programs. Right now there are five BEST Coordinator vacancies out of seven programs. If it comes down to it, downtown is rightfully going to prioritize existing programs over new ones, so it’s a possibility we may have to wait another year before we get BEST at Holt. I have mixed feelings on this. I’m disappointed we won’t have this additional support for students, but I’m also a little relieved at not having to coordinate one more new thing. I’ll update folks as I find out more. Job postings for a BEST Coordinator, Assistant, and EA positions are on the 4J Jobs Website if you or anyone you know is interested.

• Class Lists Update – Not in my blog, but attached in my email is a spreadsheet of of students who chose EOA or 4J K-5 Connect. 2021-2022 Class Lists should be updated by Wednesday at noon. Sending and receiving grade levels should connect regarding who, when, and how you want to update your lists. Let me know if you’d like me to be a part of any class list meetings or discussions.

• “Golden Hour” and Meeting Schedule Updates – I’ve added this to Monday’s agenda, but the “Golden Hour” is no longer on Mondays and is back on Fridays, but schools need to decide if they want the PLC and district PD to happen on Wednesdays or Fridays. Below is what was shared with principals on Friday.

Building Schedule – The feedback was exceptionally valuable in developing the following guidelines. Please note, the 60 minutes of continuous prep is being scheduled for Friday this year only.

• 60 minutes of continuous prep must be provided on Friday this year.
• At least 20 minutes of daily prep must happen prior to teachers supervising students.
• Building decides how much morning transition time is necessary to bring kids in the building, get them breakfast and off to the classroom. (At least 10 minutes)
• PLC weekly (Wednesday or Friday).
• Professional development in ACT and building priorities weekly (Wednesday or Friday).
• No administrator initiated meetings on Monday.
• Building and staff meetings can happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

• School Supplies for 2021-2022 – School Supplies are being provided by downtown. They are in the library and teachers should take what you need, but not more (no hoarding). If grade levels need additional items not purchased by the district, connect with Melanie.

• COVID Protocol Updates – Six COVID Protocol updates of note:

• 2021-2022 Elementary FAQ – The school district as created a 2021-2022 Elementary FAQ. It’s a pretty exhaustive document, but let me know if you have any questions about protocols or if there are questions you have it does not answer. Additional info can be found on the previously shared 4J COVID Rules – Visitors, Volunteers & Field Trips.

• PE and Music Protocols – I’ve already shared this with Alex and Ashley, but if you’re interested in the guidelines for PE and Music this year, they are:

• Students must maintain 3-feet physical distance “to the extent possible.”
• Masks must be worn inside the building.
• Masks are not required outside.
• Staff do not need to clean surfaces or equipment between groups (We’re not seeing spread via surfaces).
• Every student washes hands or uses hand sanitizer leaving PE or Music (we’ll station a hand sanitizer station in the hall outside Music and PE hallway).
• No wind instruments in Music.
• Singing with masks on is allowed.

• Breakfast Update – Student will need to collect their breakfasts at the exterior building entrances and not at classrooms. This is due to 4J being out of compliance with Federal Meals Program rules and Nutrition Services likely being audited this year.

• Restroom Cohorting – Each wing should use the same restrooms they were assigned in the spring (see linked Cohort Map), but we do not need to use these restrooms during lunch or recess.

• COVID Testing Partnership with UO – I don’t yet have all the details yet, but 4J schools are participating in a voluntary COVID testing system with the UO where students can choose to be tested weekly at home. Our only role would be to distribute test kits and later ship the returned tests to the UO. Linked here is a Program Flyer.

• New Water Bottles – We did purple last year and this year we have green. They should hopefully arrive next week.

• Inservice Schedule Updates – I’ve sent updated Staff Meeting Agendas in a separate email for the principal led portions of inservice week. Zoom links are now all on the Staff Zimbra Calendar. Linked here is complete Inservice Week Zoom Links. For the all-district PD where everyone is joining the same Zoom (Keynote, ELA + Math Acceleration, and Literacy PD), downtown is hoping schools and/or grade level teams will watch one Zoom feed. Last spring when everyone joined separately, it caused some lagging issues. Here are some additional inservice week reminders and info:

• REPEAT: Report Back Dates– Here are the report back dates:

• Licensed Staff – Monday, August 30
• Classified Staff – Thursday, September 2

• REPEAT: K-1 & Title EA Heggerty PD – Any K-2 or Title 1 EA who have not participated in a previous Heggerty training should attend one of the Zoom sessions on Friday, September 3rd at 8:00-9:50 or 10:00-11:50. Zoom links are on the Staff Zimbra Calendar. I’d recommend attending the second session so you can attend the first part of the Staff Meeting on Friday.

• REPEAT: ArtSpark Artist in Residence Survey: DUE: SUNDY NIGHT – Teachers should fill out the linked Artist in Residence Survey by Sunday night to help start the conversation when we make a final decision at our Back-to-School Staff Meeting on Monday. Artist info is on the Lane Arts Website.

• REPEAT; Single Student Desk Raffle! – The single student desks are to arrive Tuesday morning. We have enough desks for 8 (maybe 9) classrooms. Add your name to the Single Desk Lottery Google Form if you’d like something other than your current desks.

• REPEAT: Breakfast Burrito Orders Due 8/31 – Want a delicious breakfast burrito on Friday? Fill out the linked Breakfast Burrito Google Form by 9:00am, Tuesday, August 31st (student teachers included). You’ll need to log onto your 4J Google Account to complete the form. Let me know if you have any trouble with the form and I can input it for you.

• Keynote Speaker: Keith Jones – See the YouTube video Keith Jones: Un-Rapping Disability to learn about this year’s Keynote speaker, Keith Jones, a musician and disability rights advocate.

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

• EEF 2021-2022 Grant Applications DUE OCT 1st – EEF usually accepts applications in the spring, but last year was not typical, so EEF made the decision to move the granting process to this fall. EEF Grant Application will be available on their website under the “Grants” tab at the top of the page by September 1st. Applications will due October 8th, 2021. Before submitting grants online, let me know your grant title and idea so Site Council can rank order grant submission (no need to do a full write up for this step). Let me know if you have any questions or care to discuss grant ideas.

• GoNoodle Plus is FREE! – GoNoodle Plus is Free to all educators for the 2021-2022 school year. See the GoNoodle News Release for info, but just sign up for an account to get in on the deal.

• LTD Bus Passes for Students – This program is more utilized by middle and high school, but free bus passes are available for all 4J students. If you know of a student who could use this, let me know and I can arrange for them to get a free pass. Additional information can be found on the LTD Website.

• FREE Program: Architects in Schools – Free design program for 3-5th – Architects in Schools (AiS) provides free architecture and design programming to 3rd-5th grade students and teachers. AiS materials can link to almost any classroom subject and is proven to be most impactful among low-income students, ELL students, and non-traditional learners, and reinvigorates student interest in school. If teachers are interested in using this program, see the linked AiS Flyer, Application Info, and Teacher Application. The deadline to apply is October 22nd.

• REPEAT: Who is A/B and C/D on the Schedule? – If you haven’t already, grade level teams should let me know which classes will follow the A, B, C, or D schedules and I’ll add names to the Master Schedule and PE/Music Schedule.

• REPEAT: Make Sure Your Voicemail is Set-Up – Ensure sure your 4J voicemail is set up and working. See the linked 4J Phone Voicemail Manual or this Quick Start Voice Mail User Guide for how to set it up. If you have questions, please contact our TSS, Brian Lambert, at or call (541) 790-7777.

• District Admin Updates – If you’re interested, linked here are a few District Admin Updates, including District Athletic Director (Patrick Brown), Health Services Supervisor (Joy Maxwell), Human Resources COVID Support (Heather Stein), and South Eugene High School Assistant Principal (Rhiannon Boettcher).

• Which Reading Strategies to Try, and Which to Ditch – Research shows that some popular activities for reading instruction don’t actually result in more fluent readers—so this Edutopia Article and video below round up the most classroom-worthy ones (and the ones to ditch).

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

August 30 (M)
Licensed Staff Report Back
8:00-8:30, Welcome Back Social w/Breakfast Treats! (Cafeteria)
8:30-10:00, Building Welcome Back & A.C.T. PD (Cafeteria)
10:00-11:30, 4J Keynote – Keith Jones (Zoom)
12:30-3:00, PLC Info & Business Meeting (Cafeteria)
4:00-5:30, Optional KinderZone PD (Ed Center)

August 31 (T)
8:00-11:30, 4J Instructional Tech (Zoom)
8:00-10:00, 2nd Grade Heggerty Phonemic Awareness (Zoom)
12:30-4:00, 4J ELA + Math Acceleration PD (Zoom)

September 1 (W)
Teacher Planning Day
8:00-9:00, Allan to Elementary Principal Meeting (Zoom)
8:30-9:00, Treats & Supplies from Project Hope! (Front of School)
9:00, Optional Q&A Session for New Staff (Library)

September 2 (H)
Classified Staff Report Back
8:30-9:00, Welcome Back Social w/Breakfast Goodies! (Library)
9:00-11:00, District Kick-Off Event (Zoom)
12:00-4:00, 4J Literacy PD (Zoom)
12:00-4:00, SSD Staff Meeting with SSD Dept. (Zoom)

September 3 (F)
8:00-8:30, Welcome Back Social w/Breakfast Burritos! (Cafeteria)
8:30-12:00, Principal Led PD – Learning for All, Anti-Racism Instructional Strategies, SEL (Cafeteria)
September 6 (M)
Labor Day, No School

September 7 (T)
8:00-12:00, Staff Meeting, if needed (Cafeteria)
1:00-2:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)

September 8 (W)
Teacher Planning Day
9:00, Optional Q&A Session for New Staff (Library)
10:00, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)

September 9 (H)
Transition Day
2:30-3:15, IPBS Team Meeting (Library)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom)

September 10 (F)
Classes Begin for All Students

See you soon!