October 11, 2021

Hey Holt Bolts,

Here’s your good news for the week. Teachers and school staff can get a free Thank You Meal starting Monday through Friday at McDonald’s during breakfast hours! The McGriddle is sadly not on the list, but you can get a FREE sandwich with hash browns and a medium coffee. Just show a school ID!

Fourteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Three Staffing Updates:

• SPED Classified Changes – SSD partway through last week transferred Ganell from our CLC to Spencer Butte Middle School to work in their Learning Center. Taking her place is a new SSD hire, Dylan Johnson, who is set to start this Wednesday.

• COVID Utility EA (Rosie Lenker) – Our new COVID Utility EA started last week, but I told everyone the wrong first name. I shared her legal name and not her preferred name, which is is Rosie, so please welcome Rosie to the team!

• Potential District Staffing Shifts – Downtown emailed the following to principals on Friday, which sounds like they may be shuffling teachers to balance class sizes:

Variance in class size – We continue to have some large class sizes across our elementary schools 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.

• Leadership Plan Meeting, Wednesday @2:45– This Wednesday at 2:45 in the library, I’ll hold an optional meeting for any licensed staff interested in drafting a third Leadership Plan scenario for staff to consider. As discussed at last week’s Staff Meeting, this plan will separate the Leadership Team from the Leadership Plan, redistributing those 7 days. In this scenario, staff taking on extra leadership duties will be compensated in the Leadership Plan and the Leadership Team will be a voluntary committee, similar to those who volunteer to be on PBIS, Safety or other teams and committees. If you’re unable to attend this meeting, but wish to share your thoughts, let me know before Wednesday. I’ll plan to share the new draft with all staff following this meeting.

• PAHS Potluck Lunch This Friday! – Our fabulous parent group is planning a Staff Appreciation Potluck for staff this Friday, so be on the lookout for some good food to be delivered by 10:00!

• Conference Reminders – Conferences will be Tuesday, Nov. 9th, 3:25-7:25 and Wednesday, Nov. 10th, 8:00-8:00 (minimally in 15 minute blocks), with no school that Thursday for Veterans Day or on Friday for the comp day . Once you have your conference schedule, share a copy of it with the office for when parents call the office forgetting their times. One option for scheduling conference is Calendly, which SJ shared at last week’s Staff Meeting, which will email parents the Zoom links and also reminders of their scheduled meeting time. If you need a translator, let me know the date, time, and Zoom link and I’ll put in a request for a district translator to join your Zoom. Still no answer from downtown if teachers may telework or not during conferences. Jenny and I will also keep you posted if Title 1 Compacts will be a Google Form or paper.

• District Calendar Updates – Three items of note:

• October 15th – Work Day – Now that all building and district PD (not including Data Teams) is paused through at least January, this Friday is all yours for planning and prep. The Tech PD on accessing the pre-made Seesaw and Nearpod lessons at 9:00 on Friday is now optional (watch for forthcoming Zoom links). See the linked District Email and Principal Email for additional details.

• October 18th – Work Day – Teachers are to receive at least 5.5 hours of planning time this day, but I’m not planning to hold any meetings this day unless something comes up.

• November 5 & 19 – Downtown has said Friday, November 5th and 19th, teachers will have an additional hour of prep time to compensate for missed prep time on November 12 and 26. If you’re asking yourself, “Weren’t all PLCs and PDs already cancelled these days?” I was wondering the same thing.

• School Bus PBIS & Positive Slips – Bus drivers have their own version of a PBIS positive slip, which teachers should honor just the same as our Zap Tickets for weekly drawings and such. Below is an example of the Bus Positive Slip.

• REMINDER: Set Up Your Voicemail – If you haven’t already, by this Friday set up your 4J voicemail. 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 Brian at

• REMINDER: K-5 iPad Cart Survey (and Allan speculation) – If you haven’t already, classroom teachers should complete the K-5 iPad Cart Survey James Grubic sent to all elementary teachers last week, which will help downtown identify what teachers need. What wasn’t said in that email, rumor has it they are considering allowing us to keep iPads at school instead of having kids take them home every night.

• REMINDER: On Time Recess Pick-Up – Teachers, be sure to pick students up on time from recess. Most EAs are scheduled to leave the playground right at the end of recess.

• 4J TAG Updates – If you’re interested, principals and building TAG Coordinators were sent the 4J October TAG Newsletter and an email about Fall TAG Testing. The short version is schools sign up for a testing block and that’s when we test any TAG referrals.

• ELA Adoption Updates – Another if-you’re-interested item, I volunteered to be the Sheldon Admin rep for the K-5 ELA adoption because I’m nosy and like to be in-the-know, so if you’re curious, here is the Adoption Committee Handouts last week. I had a link to the slide show, but that link is no longer sharable. I did grab a screenshot of the four programs being considered, which are ARC Core, EL Education K-5 Language Arts, Wit & Wisdom, and Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA).

• SSD Updates for Principals – One last only-if-you’re-interested item, SSD shared the following SSD Slide Show Updates covering various SPED related topics.

• United Way Ruby Bridges-Hall Event – Save the Date – United Way is organizing a virtual event with Ruby Bridges-Hall, happening 10:00-10:30 on Thursday, October 28th, specifically for Lane County students and schools. There will be a 10-minute presentation, and 20-minute Q&A session led by students. Linked here is the Event Flyer. As you likely know, Ruby Bridges helped launch the desegregation of New Orleans public schools at the age of 6, in 1960. The event theme is “the power of using your voice for racial justice.” There will be more to come soon regarding this opportunity.


• 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 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)
2:45-3:25, Optional Leadership Plan Meeting (Library)

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 — Planning Day
8:00-2:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Roosevelt MS)
9:00-10:00, Optional District Tech Webinar – Pre-made Nearpod and Seesaw lessons (Zoom)
10:00, PAHS Staff Appreciation Luncheon Delivered (Staff Room)

October 18 (M)
No School — Teacher Work Day
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-4:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting

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

October 20 (W)
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

October 21 (H)
Regular Day

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


And if you missed it on KEZI last week, Holt is now TV news file footage! They did a story on Oregon ‘Care and Connection’ Campaign Eases Return to In-Person Learning and reused footage from when they came out the first day of school. Check out the video below and feel free to share it with students.

Have a good 4-day week everyone!



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!


June 14, 2021


Howdy Holt Bolts,

As weird and awful this school year was, I really did enjoy getting to know everyone and wanted to thank everyone for all your work and for making the best of a (hopefully) once in a lifetime school year.

Twenty-four items of note for this week:

• Class List Review – I’d like all staff to review the 2021-2022 Class Lists to make sure classes look balanced and avoided any bad combinations. I’d especially like for last year’s teachers to review next year’s class lists because this year’s small class sizes may not have been the best representation of student behaviors. (Just ask kindergarten teachers about kinder transition meetings where we’ll hear from Head Start, “They did great in class. They’ll be just fine.” except they forgot to take into account it was a class of 8-10 kids with 4 adults.)

• Materials Inventory Survey DUE WEDNESDAY – Downtown need the Materials Inventory 2021 Form completed by this Wednesday. Since most schools are adding classrooms next year, downtown is requiring an inventory of all core curriculum materials (Journeys, Being a Writer, LearnZillion, Number Talks Books, Second Step, etc.).

• Year End Check-List – Be sure to complete your End of Year Checklist before leaving for the summer. Hard copies were put in mailboxes earlier this month. 

• 21-22 Master Schedule – The 2021-2022 Master Schedule is pretty well set. I’d heard from three teams who requested adjustments, which we were partly able to accommodate. Let me know if there are any other fixes or adjustments that would improve the schedule (without creating other problems). Next we’ll begin building EA schedules and if grade levels are ready, you can let me know which classes will follow the A/B and C/D schedules (thought it’s also fine to wait until fall to decide).

• Monday/Tuesday Field Day Sign-Up – Any licensed or classified staff not directly working with students on Monday or Tuesday should sign-up to help during our two Field Days. Linked here is the Field Day Sign-Up Sheet.

• Rainy Day Field Day PlanNOAA’s Forecast has a 50% chance of rain Monday and Tuesday, so teachers should have a back-up plan (Magic School Bus, anyone?) in case there is a downpour (we’ll stay out if it’s just light rain or drizzle).

• 5th Grade Celebration Sign-Up – Any licensed or classified staff not directly working with students on Thursday should sign-up to help for an hour between 8:55-10:55. Linked here is the 5th Grade Celebration Sign-Up Sheet. You may need to request access to sign up.

• Tech Updates – Three technology related updates:

• Student Summer App Access – Student will continue to have access to all of the apps they’ve used this year until the “August Rollover” when Synergy moves students into their new grades.

• Grade Level iPad Images – If grade level teams want to make any adjustments to your student iPad image (adding, deleting, or rearranging apps or links), send in a ticket to 4jdesktop. This can be done now or in the fall, but Brian is ready to do it now if teams are ready.

• REPEAT: Summer Technology Checkout Form – If you are taking home any school devices (laptop, iPad, doc cam, or other devices) for the summer, please complete the 4J: Technology Equipment Checkout Contract 2020-21. Link is also on the Holt Staff Dashboard.

• Large Print Orders – If anyone is prepping for next year and has large print jobs, be sure to utilize InstaPrint instead of running them on the building copiers. It’s cheaper and it’s also easier on our machines.

• Staffing Updates – Our 6.5-hour Library/Title EA Vacancy posted on Friday and closes June 22nd. Our other openings (EAs 3-hour, 4-hour, 6.5-hour, and Office Assistant) had a total of 76 applicants, so I’m still screening candidates, but I’ll send an email later with final interview date/times for any staff who would like to help pick our newest staff members.

• Birthday & Classroom Celebrations – I put School Birthday Parties on the Leadership Agenda last week to see if we wanted to take the opportunity we had this year to permanently phase these out, but I’ve learned this was already a staff agreement that’s in the Holt Staff Handbook (page 16):

• Birthday parties are not celebrated at school.
• Any celebration in a classroom must follow 4j Wellness Policy if food is present
• If a celebration involves food, even pizza, it must be served following the grade level’s
• lunch period so that students can access full nutritional meals
• Celebrations revolving around birthday treats is discouraged. Currently staff uses their own discretion around other acknowledgements of birthdays since 4j does not have a district policy. The office will not accept deliveries of balloons, flowers, or treats that do not meet district guidelines.

• School Supplies for 2021-2022 – Thank you grade level teams for feedback on supplies not on the district list, but do know that our school supply funds are for items students will use and not teacher items (i.e. containers, organizers, or other teaching materials).

• Desk Update – Here’s a link to the Student Desk and Book Box we’re hopefully ordering. Downtown is slowing the ordering process down, but they’re now telling us we don’t need to receive them by June 30th, so that’s some good news.

• 21/22 Leadership Plan UpdateHR Emailed principals we are now allowed to resume Leadership Plan discussions for next year, but since the contract is currently being negotiated, what plans look like may change. Give that there’s only a week of school left and since leadership plan parameters may change, I think it’s best to save this discussion for the fall. See the above linked email for details.

• Summer K-5 Math Content Workgroup Opportunity (in August) – Interested in being part of a team of teachers to work on resources to support K-5 students as we navigate math next Fall. If so, see this email from Jaimee Massie.

• BEST Staff Openings – The BEST Program will be hiring EAs and also a BEST Site Coordinator for Holt. The district BEST Coordinator told me she thinks the postings will go up in July, so watch for that if you are interested.

• REPEAT: Report Card Info – On the linked Report Card Email, Melanie’s Email, and the Elementary Report Card Blog are the complete details for spring report cards, but the short version is:

JUNE 16: Teachers deliver printed report cards to the office (1 set only back-to-back. Melanie will print the copies for cum files)
JUNE 17: Classified staff stuff report card envelopes (please stop by the office to see how you can help)
JUNE 18: District couriers pick-up report cards from schools
JUNE 21: Report cards sent to EDMS for delivery to families.

The * is an option on the report card for students where there is no basis for a grade. Some report card fields have been pre-populated with a Y. SPED reports should also go to the office and will be mailed if they are four or less pages. Let me know if you have any questions.

• REPEAT: 2nd Grade iPad Return, June 18 – 2nd graders will get a different device in 3rd grade, so we will collect their devices on Friday from 8:00-2:00 (unless they are going to summer school). If you’re able to help with device collection, please add your name to the iPad Collection Sign-Up Spreadsheet. If students from other grades want to return their device, they can also return them this day.

• REPEAT: Olympic Field Day – Spirit Day! – Monday and Tuesday is Olympic Field Day. Teachers should assign a color (Red, Blue, Green, or Yellow) for each student to wear for field day.

• REPEAT: Last Week Plan – This is the schedule for the last week of school:

June 14 (M) – Cohort A attends in-person, regular hours
June 15 (T) – Cohort B attends in-person, regular hours
June 16 (W) – Regular Online Wednesday
June 17 (H) – K-4 async only, 5th Grade Cohort A & B attend in-person, 7:55-10:10
June 18 (F) – 2nd Grade iPad Return, 8:00-2:00

Field Day will be Monday (Cohort A) and Tuesday (Cohort B). Linked here is the Field Day Details.

4/5 – 8:10-9:10
2/3 – 9:25- 10:25
K/1 – 10:50 – 11:50

Let me know if you have any questions.

• You’re invited to Become an Apple Teacher – Teachers are invited to become an Apple Teacher with Apple’s free, self-paced professional learning program for educators. Join colleagues and Apple team members to go through the steps to sign up for Apple Teacher, explore new program resources, and work to earn badges to become a recognized Apple Teacher. See this email for details.

• District Admin Updates – Camus Ridge principal Kevin Gordon has taken a job as principal at Laurel Elementary School in Junction City. That leaves open principal spots at Adams, Camus, and Charlemagne.

• It’s a Wrap: Wins That Inspire From a Weird Year – To close out the year, this PBIS Article celebrates the wins educators experienced in spite of the chaos. One of the wins in the articles is from our very own School Counselor, Darla!

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

June 14 (M)
Field Day Olympics 2021! – SPIRIT DAY
ELD/Speech/Title/Counselor- Staff Room Duty
Hybrid Cohort A – Last In-Person Day
8:10-9:10, Field Day, 4/5
9:25-10:25, Field Day 2/3
10:50-11:50, Field Day K/1
12:45, Kona Ice – Holt Shave Ice Fundraiser! (Hard Play)

June 15 (T)
Field Day Olympics 2021! – SPIRIT DAY
Hybrid Cohort B – Last In-Person Day
8:10-9:10, Field Day, 4/5
9:25-10:25, Field Day 2/3
10:50-11:50, Field Day K/1

June 16 (W)
Regular Online Wednesday
Materials Inventory Survey DUE
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Zoom)
10:00-1:30, EA Interviews (Tentative)

June 17 (H)
Last Day for Students – Early Release
Last Day for 192-Day (most) Classified Staff
7:55-10:10, K-4 Async Only (Hybrid & SSO)
7:55-10:10, 5th Grade Hybrid Cohort A & B Attend In-Person
11:30, Last Day BBQ Celebration (School Garden)
1:00-4:00, EA Interviews (Tentative)
4:30, Monroe 8th Grade Drive Thru Graduation

June 18 (F)
Last Day for Licensed Staff
8:00-2:00, 2nd Grade iPad Return (Main Entrance)

June 23 (W)
Migrant Ed Sets-Up

June 25 (F)
Last Day for Secretaries

June 30 (W)
Last Day for Elementary Principals

July 28 (W)
Elementary Principals Report Back

July 30 (F)
Migrant Ed Packs-Up

August 16 (M)
Elementary Secretaries Report Back

August 30 (M)
Licensed Staff Report Back

September 2 (H)
Classified Staff Report Back

I hope you all have a well deserved relaxing summer and see below for some summer reading ideas!






Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd – Historical fiction story of the most wonderful city!

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – Murder & magic set against the building of the “White City” in Chicago for the World’s Fair

The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt – Good intentions and bad ideas setting up a generation for a failure

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins – Called the “The Grapes of Wrath” of our time



The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss – A sequel to one of my favorite fantasy novels that I have been hoping to get to for awhile. Thanks to Richie for encouraging me to read all the other books in the series!



Daughters of Eville Book Series by Chanda Haun – This summer I’ll be reading more of my fairy tale fantasy series from Chanda Haun. She takes traditional tales and puts twists on them. Her newest series is Daughters of Eville is good so far and her other series is Unenchanted which is really good. It’s a take on the Grimm brothers fairy tales.

Twisted Tale from Disney – Also any new Twisted Tales from Disney publishing I’ll be reading. Those go along the lines of “what if the prince never woke sleeping beauty” or “if Aladdin hadn’t gotten the lamp” Love me some fairy tales. 😊



All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot – I’m planning to read All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I loved the TV series, and my mom read the books aloud to me as a kid. It’s time to read it myself!



Summer of Night by Dan Simmons – Usually I like biographies but this called to me(: We’re road tripping to Colorado in couple weeks so this’ll be my buddy. Probably will take me all summer at 555 pages!



The Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition): Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green – I’m mostly a non-fiction or lore reader, I just got this book on audiobook and it’s fantastic. You’ve probably heard of John Green (The Fault in Our Stars and Youtuber on Mental Floss), I prefer his science brother Hank more typically, but this is his first venture into non-fiction and he covers a variety of hilarious, interesting, and beautiful stories on humans and their willingness to persevere despite the absurdity and cruelty of the world.



Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi – I can’t wait to read Stamped. My daughter is reading it now with her 8th grade class and she recommended it to me. It could be a good one to read and discuss with our teens! :)




Caste by Isabel Wilkerson (looking forward to reading)

Deacon King Kong by James Mc Bride (looking forward to reading)

When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain (read)

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (read)

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars by Joyce Carol Oates (read)

The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora (looking forward to reading)

Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (read)

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner (read)

The Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (new one comes out in August, first book in the series is Relic) ( I am literally jealous of anyone who hasn’t read these and gets to read them for the first time)

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (read) and their new book The Maidens (looking forward to reading)

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (read)

Anything by Elin Hilderbrand for that classic beach read

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse (read)

Anything by Laura Lippman – she has a series about a detective in Baltimore and she has lots of stand alones as well

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb (recently reread this because they made it into a show and it was better than I remembered)



The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson. A gripping tale of curiosity and discovery, patent wars and collaboration, and the age of gene editing.




The Living Dead, an unfinished novel by George A. Romero (the man who invented the “rules” for zombies with Night of the Living Dead) and finished by Daniel Kraus, who wrote the Oscar Best Picture winner The Shape of Water.

The Midnight Club by Christopher Pike. I never read any of his books as a kid, but the director of the smart and incredibly scary Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House is adapting this novel, so I want to read the book first.

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks
From the son of Mel Brooks, who’s other zombie themed books, The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, were a fun mix of mock-nonfiction and genuinely original and clever zombie scenarios, so I’m hoping this new book about Bigfoot rides that same fine line between parody and seriousness.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: A Novel by Quentin Tarantino – This movie is probably by favorite Tarantino film, though I’ll also say it’s probably his most idiosyncratic and probably his least accessible for the casual viewer, but it is a special treat for hardcore film nerds. Uber film nerd that he is, Tarantino grew up reading film novelizations and decided he wanted to write a novelization of his own movie and I can’t wait to read it when it comes out later this month.



May 17, 2021


Hello Everyone,

Did you know there’s only three more Fridays with students this year?

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – 4J has multiple Elementary Music Teacher openings, so HR is doing a “pool hire” for these positions, where principals of the schools with openings will interview candidates all at once and will then haggle over who gets who. Please tell any excellent music teachers you know they should apply!

HR also let principals know they are close to having all classified displacements finished and will soon allow schools to post classified vacancies. We currently have classified openings for Library (6.5 hour), KG EA (6.5 hour), and Title 1 EA (3 and 4 hour).

On a related note, I’m continuing to advocate for Holt to continue to have two secretaries. HR has given a little ground, allowing that we could post for a records clerk instead of an office assistant, which is just one pay grade below an elementary secretary. HR says disallowing two secretaries is not a cost savings measure (because it doesn’t save much), but is an equity issue between buildings that violates state rules. However, there are plenty of other classified positions where additional staffing is provided based on enrollments (i.e. custodial staff, kitchen staff, EA staffing, etc.), so I’m not completely buying this argument. More to come on this.

• Report Cards Open in Synergy – Waiting on Send Home Process – It’s early, but report cards are now opening Synergy. No word yet from downtown how printing and sending them home will work, but since the grading day is before the last day of school this year, I think we’ll likely send home hard copies with hybrid students the last week of school and mail home report cards for SSO students. Stay tuned for the final word on this, though I’m advocating for downtown print and mail all of them.

• 2021-2022 Curriculum Needs – Let me know if any grade levels are short materials for next year (ELA, Math, SEL, etc.). I know we’ll need a full set of kindergarten ELA, Math, and SEL and we need to get back the 5th grade Journeys materials we loaned to McCornack. Outside of those, let me know by Friday if your grade is missing anything and I’ll work on tracking them down.

• 2021-2022 Master Schedule Survey – Linked here is the 2021-2022 Master Schedule Survey. There’s only four questions, but I’d like to get some input in a few areas (2 questions on recess/lunch times, 2 questions on academic time blocks, and 1 for additional comments). Next year’s Master Schedule will be a discussion item at Wednesday’s Staff Meeting, so it may be best to complete this survey until after there’s been a staff discussion.

District Reading Guidelines recommend minimum of 90-minutes daily for Tier I & II (which includes writing) and 60-minutes or more for Tier III. There is no formal district recommendation for math minutes, though most schools have at least 60-minutes for Tier I & II, including Number Talks, and an additional Tier III time.

• Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Protection Unit – The state mandates we teach the child safety lessons required by Erin’s Law. 4J uses the Second Step Child Protection Unit to meet this requirement. For each grade level, there are six lessons, which are to be covered at three points in the school year. The recommendation is to teach lessons 1-4 in the fall, lesson 5 right before spring break, and lesson 6 right before summer break. The hope is students will be reminded and empowered before they leave for a break. I’ll resend the Erin’s Law Parent Info (English & Spanish) in Monday’s Quick News, so please find time to cover Lesson 6 sometime between now and the end of the school year. Lessons can be found on the Holt Staff Drive in the Child Protection Unit Folder.

• TalentEd Wrap Up – I’m finally finishing up formal observations and there are a few tasks in TalentEd for both licensed and classified staff to also finish up.

Classified Staff: Complete your “4J Classified Staff Self-Reflection Form” by the end of the month if you did not complete it in the fall. I’ll use this for when I write up your end-of-year evaluation.

Licensed Staff: Complete your “End-of-Cycle Goals Reflection” by the end of the month. Many licensed staff chose to use the optional building goals, so if you used those goals, lined here is some Optional End-of-Cycle Goals Reflection Language you can use or adapt for your goals reflection. Since easyCBM data this year is sketchy at best, I’m completely fine with people using less rigid of language in your reflection (i.e. rather than saying 82% of students met the target, instead say “most students” or “a majority of students” met the target. This year is atypical, so atypical reflections are allowed.

• School Supply Distribution 5/26 – Wednesday, May 26th next week is the May Supply Distribution for SSO classrooms, from 8:00-2:00. If you are available to help, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet.

• Migrant Ed Summer Classroom Use – The Lane ESD Migrant Ed program is once again using our building this summer. They will move in Wednesday, June 23rd. Student begin Tuesday, July 6th and their final day is Thursday, July 29th. The program packs everything up Friday, July 30th. The program is planning to run five days a week, 8:30-12:30, and are planning to use all the classrooms (since COVID rules limit classroom capacity). Staff are welcome to access the building anytime over the summer, but as a courtesy we should avoid coming in while students are in the building.

Air conditioning is the main factor certain buildings host summer programs, so now that 4J has some new buildings coming being built, my plan is to convince downtown that Holt has done its tour of duty and it’s time for another school have a turn.

• Physical Distancing (COVID) Coordinator Meeting Notes – If you’re interested, linked here are the Physical Distancing Site Coordinator Meeting Notes from last Friday. Highlights include that face covers are still required regardless of CDC’s announcement, since schools are governed by RSSL and OHA, not the CDC. Also of note, the Technology Department will be sending out an update regarding iPad Turn-In soon. The recommendation will be that all students keep their technology over the summer.

• Meal Bags in Classrooms – [A reminder from Nutrition Services – Full Email] The meal bags must be provided in full to students in order for us to report as reimbursable from the state/federal grant. We must serve all of the things in the bags and in the quantities included. Students do not need to eat everything, but we do need to offer the entire bag. I realize this “hard serve” vs a student being able to choose their items is a challenge, and I am really sorry for the food waste that might result because students might receive items they don’t like. This is an unfortunate reality of this method of meal service.

• REPEAT: Earthquake & Fire Drill TUESDAY & FRIDAY @12:15 – We will conduct our May Fire Drill and our one required Earthquake Drill for the year on Tuesday and Friday at 12:15 for each cohort. For the Earthquake Drill, teach students to “Drop, Cover, Hold” meaning drop to the ground (so you don’t fall over), cover yourself by going under a desk (to protect yourself from falling objects), and hold onto the desk legs (so you stay under cover and don’t get bounced out). There are many resource on The Great Oregon Shake Out website, for you to teach students about Drop, Cover, Hold and earthquake preparedness. My plan will be to get on the intercom and make a short announcement about the earthquake drill and will shortly after announce “EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE! EARTHQUAKE!” at which point students will Drop, Cover, Hold. We will pull the fire alarm to signal when the Earthquake Drill is over, at which point classes should evacuate the building (in a real earthquake, you’d evacuate when the quake stops). See the linked Evacuation Lines Map for where classes should line up for the Fire Drill following the Earthquake Drill, which will run the same as last month. Don’t forget your Emergency Binder.

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time – Downtown has moved the Anti-Racist PD to 6/2 due to it overlapping with state testing, so this week and next’s PD/PLC time is building focused. Please use this time for additional planning & prep or for any outstanding TalentEd tasks (CLASSIFIED: 4J Classified Staff Self-Reflection Form, LICENSED: End-of-Cycle Goals Reflection).

• Can We Afford to Ignore the Science of Reading – This TEDx Talk from Melissa Hostetter, a former elementary teacher and current 7th grade teacher, shares what the science of reading means and why implementing it is a moral imperative if we truly want to ensure equitable outcomes for our students far beyond fifth grade. The video is about 10 minutes long.

• JUST FOR FUN: These balls are the same color – This post on BoingBoing shares how David Novick, a professor of engineering education and leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso, is breaking brains with his fantastic color illusions. The balls in the image below are the same color. Here’s why they look different.

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

May 17 (M)
4/5 – Staff Room Duty
12:00, Allan to Formal Observation
2:30-3:30, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

May 18 (T)
8:10-11:45, School Pictures – Cohort A (Gym)
9:00, Allan to Formal Observation
9:30, Allan to Formal Observation
10:00, Allan to Formal Observation
12:15, Earthquake & Fire Drill, Cohort A

May 19 (W)
8:00-1:00, School Pictures – SSO Student Drop-In (Gym)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, KG Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 1st Grade Data Team – Tier 3
10:55, Allan to Formal Observation
12:00-12:30, 2nd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Zoom)
1:00-4:00, State Testing Day – Cohort A (Locations TBD)
1:40-2:40, Staff Meeting (Library & Zoom)

May 20 (H)
8:10-11:45, School Pictures – Cohort B (Gym)
8:45, Allan to Formal Observation
12:10, Allan to Formal Observation

May 21 (F)
Scholastic “Virtual” Book Fair Begins
12:15, Earthquake & Fire Drill, Cohort B

May 24 (M)
K/1- Staff Room Duty
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

May 25 (T)
Crazy Sock Day – SPIRIT DAY
Towel Day (it’s a nerd thing)
9:10, Allan to Formal Observation

May 26 (W)
8:00-2:00, School Supply Distribution (Same School Online)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team (Tier 3)
10:00-11:00, Allan to Suicide & Threat Assessment Meeting
10:30-11:00, 4th Grade Data Team (Tier 3)
12:00-12:30, 5th Grade Data Team (Tier 3)
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Library)
1:00-4:00, State Testing Day – Cohort B (Locations TBD)
1:40-2:40, PBIS Team Meeting (Library & Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – If needed for building items

May 27 (H)
9:10, Allan to Formal Observation

May 28 (F)
Crazy Sock Day – SPIRIT DAY
7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)

May 31 (M)
No School — Memorial Day


Having a rough Monday? I’ve got just what you need right here.




March 1, 2021


Hello Team Bolts,

This week is Classified Employee Appreciation Week, where we honor our hard work and efforts by our fabulous classified staff. Without you all, our school could not function and you will be even more important very soon once students return. Thank you, all, for your dedication and tireless work here at Holt!

In honor of your hard work, classified staff should look for some surprises in your honor this week. One you can mark on your calendar is to swing by The Human Bean across from Costco on Tuesday for a free drink of your choice, courtesy of PAHS. Just mention you are a Holt staff member. PAHS is also extending this offer to all staff, both licensed and classified.

Thank you, Holt Classified Staff! You rock!

Seventeen items of note for this week:

• Hybrid Return Updates – Linked here is the Superintendent Email, Brooke’s Follow-Up Email, and the 4J Parent Communication about all the hybrid updates. Here’s my CliffsNotes version:

March 15-19: K/1 CDL stops and this week is an on-site kinder orientation for small groups of students scheduled over the course of the week.
March 15-19: Grades 2-5 will shift into hybrid classes, but will continue following the current CDL schedule.

March 22-26: SPRING BREAK

March 29-April 2: K/1 begins full hybrid schedule with in-person students.
March 29-April 2: Grades 2nd-5th continue with hybrid classes and continue following the CDL schedule.

April 5: All grades in full hybrid schedule with in-person students.

PE/Music and interventionists (Title, SPED, ELD) will follow the CDL schedule through April 2nd and will start the hybrid schedule April 5th.

SSD knows this may cause an interruption to services the weeks of March 15 and 29 for some students, but said we do not need to adjust IEPs or write any PWNs.



• Which Staff Report for On Site Work? – Everyone, minus SSO teachers, will need to work in the building starting Monday, March 29th. We very likely will need to call in other individuals to assist getting the school ready before then, so I wanted give people that heads up now.

If for some reason you are not comfortable or able to work in the building in-person, contact me IMMEDIATELY. We will need to contact HR and begin either an ADA or leave process.

• Hybrid Instructional Options – At Friday’s Optional Hybrid Model Discussion, I believe there were two good takeaways to share with everyone:

• Instructional Models – There was no support for “Same Page for All” for a variety of reasons, but there was a good discussion on the differences between “In Person Focus” and “Teacher and Practice.” Although the wording is a big clunky, we interpreted them as:

In Person Focus: Teacher makes two sets of lessons for the on-site students and the off-site students do work that is not necessarily connected to the on-site work, such as choice boards, Dreambox, Lalilo, independent reading, etc.

Teach and Practice: Teacher makes two sets of lessons for the on-site students and when that cohort goes off-site the next two days, they will have assignments that provide additional practice for what they learned on-site. Where we got hung up was the last sentence of this description “The work students do pfff-site is important and should be completed to be ready for their in-person time.” We decided this did not mean there was new material being covered off-site days or that kids would be behind if they did not complete all of off-site assignments, but that the work they did these days was additional practice to help get them closer to mastery, which is what the group on Friday preferred.

We’ll discuss more at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, but it’ll be important to have a shared understanding before we make a decision which model we want to follow.

• Intervention Models – I’d previously mentioned my preference for interventionists to remain online to provide students consistency four days a week and for scheduling purposes. However, there were some legitimate concerns about students trying to Zoom from the classroom, so Jenny hatched a plan where we think we could space students out in the library (1st choice) or the gym (2nd choice) and Zoom to their groups from there, which allows both the on-site and off-site students to meet four days a week and to cover more material, while not disrupting the gen ed classroom when they need talk and participate.

For your reference, linked here is my Wednesday Hybrid Presentation and below are links to the primary source documents I pulled all that information from.

Instructional Options
SAMPLE DISTRICT Hybrid (In-person only) Schedule
Holt DRAFT Hybrid Schedule (largely plagiarized it from Howard)
Elementary Hybrid Planning/Prep
Preparing Your Space for In-Person Learning
4J Return to In-Person Protocols Voice Over Presentation
4J Return to In-Person Protocols source presentation with live links

• Schedule & Instructional Model Survey – Linked here is a Schedule & Instructional Model Survey to do a barometer test of what people are thinking when it comes to the Draft Master Schedule and the Instructional Model Options for classrooms and interventionists.

• Hybrid/SSO/COVID Updates – Several hybrid/SSO/COVID items of note and follow-up to questions from meetings last week:

• Science Kits – Let me know by Friday if you’d like your science kit delivered to your classroom. Any kits left after Friday will be shipped back to the warehouse.

• Talking at Lunch – I’d gotten some bad information on this. Students ARE allowed to talk while eating breakfast & lunch. Now we don’t need to break kids spirit like they’re in a Pink Floyd Music Video.

• Tech Wipes – Brian is getting Tech Wipes for each classroom, the front office, and extras to have on hand.

• List of Teacher Responsibilities – I’m working on a Quick Sheet of all the teacher responsibilities in terms of cleaning, contract tracing, student screening, etc. I’ll have it by next week.

• Loose Paper Towels – Ryan has about 12 packs of loose paper towels and is ordering more. If you’d like some for your classroom, send Ryan an email.

• Alternate Locations – If your room becomes unavailable because a student is exhibiting COVID symptoms or you need to room clear for any other reason, classes will need to relocate for about 30 minutes while your classroom is cleaned. Each wing will need a designated “Alternate Location” for their class to go to. My thinking is there is one SSO classroom in each wing (and use Gloria & Kim’s room in the 5th grade wing), which we can set up desks and chairs if a classroom ever needs a relocate temporarily.

• Badge Access – I’ve emailed Facilities to reactivate badges a few days before hybrid starts. I’m assuming this will happen, but I haven’t heard an official answer back yet.

• Seesaw-Clever Cohort Sync Justin Huntley Emailed me back on this question. The short answer is, yes, Seesaw and Clever will will sync and classroom teachers will have two new classes in both Seesaw and Clever for each cohort. See the above linked email for details. One unknown he mentioned is they are not sure what a midyear change like this will do to student progress in every app (especially if they are not district purchased and supported.)

• Electrostatic Spray Schedule – I checked with the Custodial Service Supervisor and classrooms will be sprayed down nightly, so it’s important that anything you consider valuable is safely stored or covered. Linked here is his email with more detail on the cleaning plans.

• Class Lists Parent Notification, Friday – The latest 4J Parent Communication says that elementary families will be notified of classroom and cohort assignment this Friday. Stay tuned for details on how and what time on Friday we will send this email. Downtown is also providing an optional email template (in English and Spanish) teachers can use if they would like.

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• Hybrid Utility Support EA Posting – Elementary schools are getting a temporary 5.5-hour classified “Hybrid Utility Support EA” to help wherever we need. My initial thought is this person will be helping with a lot of supervision and then helping in the younger grades during non-supervisory times, as well as helping with any sick students or other out of the ordinary hybrid situations, such as supervising Title 1 students while they’re online spread out in the library. This is a temporary position through the end of the year, but please tell any excellent people the posting closes this Tuesday.

• YMCA After School Openings – If there are any EAs wanting more hours, YMCA is hiring for after school child care. The posting is linked here as AFTER SCHOOL TEACHER – Youth Development. The program will run here at Holt until 6:00 and Holt’s very own Ben Duncan is the new YMCA Site Director for our after school program.

• Recess Supervision EA Interviews , 3/10 @2:00– I now have the applications for our Recess Supervisor EA Position. I’ll plan to hold interviews on Wednesday, March 10th from 2:00-3;30. Interviews will be over Zoom. Let me know if any of you are interested in volunteering your time to help with interviews.

• Supply Distribution Thursday – This Thursday is the March Supply Distribution from 8:00-3:00. If you are available to help, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet. This will be our final school wide distribution and starting April 1, we’ll just do SSO Supply Distributions.

Pleas remind you class we’ll be passing out Jumpathon T-Shirts and Holt Bolt Jump Ropes and don’t forget to stop outside between 11:00-1:00 for a FREE Kona Ice Shave Ice! Just show your school ID and it’s on the house!



• School Supplies for Hybrid – For on-site students, we have a set of school supplied provided by downtown that we held back from handing out to students earlier in the year. Katie and Melanie will start counting out the following supplies for classes:

• Rulers
• Pencil Boxes
• Pencil Pouches
• Primary Composition Notebooks (K-1), 2 per child
• Wide Rules Composition Notebooks (2-5), 2 per child
• Manual 2 Hole Sharpener
• Sheet Protectors, 3 per child
• Book Bins
• Colored Pencils
• Washable Markers
• Ticonderoga Sharpened Pencils
• Glue Sticks
• Scissors
• Dry Erase Marker
• Pink Pearl Eraser
• White Glue
• Crayons

Schools are not to ask for supply fees or give parents supply lists, so let me know if there are essential supplies you need for the remainder of the year.

• Student Health Alerts – Now that students will be returning in person closer to spring break, Nurse Cathy will email any relevant student health alerts that teaches and staff need to be aware of. Most teachers already know if they have a student with needs because she’s already talked with you, but she’ll make sure you get any information you need to know, so watch for that email.

• Childcare Resource List – Buried in Cydney’s hybrid update email, was the linked Childcare Resource List, as well as a link to Employment-Related Day Care program (ERDC), which helps eligible staff pay for childcare while they are working. Downtown is also working on a program to provide partial subsidies for childcare costs for 4J staff using federal funds, and will share more information if this becomes available to help staff with school-age children.  

• February Student Services Newsletter – If you’re interested, linked here is the February SSD Newsletter that was sent to SPED Teachers and principals.

• REPEAT: Read Across America – This week is Read Across America. This year’s theme is “Create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers.” See the above linked NEA Website for loads of resources for this annual event. Don’t forget about Jacque’s Virtual Reading Corner (here’s a link to an editable version)

• It’s Time to Talk About Dr. Seuss – In this article from Teaching for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance), author Gabriel Smith discusses a study done 2 years ago that analyzed Dr Seuss’s writing from an anti-racist lens. The findings highlighted a number of concerns in Dr Seuss’s work, especially in how people of color are depicted. The author does not suggest abandoning Seuss’s work entirely, although there have been serious calls in the last few years to pull Seuss back from the relative idol status he currently holds in education. The author instead recommends we closely analyze the materials we provide students to determine if a) it should be presented at all given the students’ age and b) if it is presented, what kind of critical conversation students should engage in around the text.

• Anti-Racism Over “Tradition” – Alternatives to Dr. Seuss and Racism – This article from Kaitlin Kamalei Brandon at Colorful Pages elevates anti-racist texts that fill the same needs people have when they turn to Dr Seuss books – namely rhyming patterns, ease of reading, and illustrations. Included are texts like Ada Twist, Scientist and No Kimchi for Me along with many more suggestions.

• White House: Testing to go forward this year – I shared earlier that ODE applied for a waiver for federally required state testing, but the Biden administration said last week that states must administer federally required standardized tests this year, but schools won’t be held accountable for the results — and states could give shorter, remote, or delayed versions of the exams. See this ChalkBeat Article for details and stay tuned for what Oregon decides testing will look like this year.

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

March 1 (M)
Classified Appreciation Week
8:00-9:30, Allan to Hybrid Walkthrough w/Joyce & Dawn Strong
12:30-1:00, SSO Team Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

March 2 (T)
Read Across America
Human Bean Classified Staff Appreciations (Free drink for ALL staff!)
8:00, Allan Meeting w/Facilities RE: Evacuation Plan
12:30-1:00, Interventionist Team Meeting (Zoom)
1:00, PBIS Video Creation for Hybrid
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

March 3 (W)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
1:00-2:00, Classified Recess Protocols Meeting (Zoom)
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 4 (H)
8:00-3:00, School Supply Distribution (Front of School)
11:00-1:00, Kona Ice Fundraiser (Front of School)

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

March 9 (M)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

March 10 (T)
12:30-1:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:00-3:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)

March 11 (W)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
1:00, Holt Jumpathon! (Zoom)
2:00-3:30, EA Interviews (Zoom
4:30, Poetry Club w/Ms. Katharine (Zoom)

March 12 (H)
11:00-10:00, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream – Holt Night Out Fundraiser
2:30-3:30, IPBS CDL Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-6:00, Site Council (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

March 13 (F)
Elementary Transitional Prep Day (Async Only)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Monthly Meeting (Zoom)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)

Two more Mondays until spring break after this week!


February 22, 2021


Hi Friends,

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

Ten items of note for this week:

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

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

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

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

Three additional Class List items:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just four Mondays until spring break!


January 25, 2021


Hello Holt Bolts,

If non-lotto players were wondering, the Mega Millions pool members became $4 dollar-airs after Tuesday’s drawing which was reinvested in a Powerball ticket and a $1 Megabucks ticket, but sadly we are all returning to our day jobs.

However, if anyone wants to get in on a pool for the Oregon Lottery St. Patrick’s Day Raffle, send me $10 by the Friday. It has a smaller jackpot, but better odds. One $1 million top prize, 300 prizes of $500, and 1,500 prizes of $100.

Eleven items of note for this week:

• Virtual EA Extravaganza on Friday – Educational Assistants and other interested classified staff, please see the Extravaganza Email and the EA Extravaganza Offerings & Zoom Links for what to do this Friday’s Classified PD offerings while licensed staff work on report cards.

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• KG/Title 1 EA Posting (5.25 hours) – The 5.25-hour KG/Title 1 EA Position was posted last week and closes this Tuesday.

• Title 1 EA Position (4 hours) – We are sadly losing Andrea, who was hired by Camus Ridge as their new Title 1 Coordinator. She will start at Camus on Wednesday, so her 4-hour Title 1 EA Position is now posted and closes on Thursday. Connie Gilhuber will sub for Andrea until we can make a permanent hire.

Please feel free to recruit any educator buddies or solid candidates for these openings!

• 4/5 SSO Blend: Emma Knight – From the district pool, we’ve hired Emma Knight for our Same School Online 4/5 Blend. Emma is currently teaching a part-time CDL job share in an Adams 2nd grade classroom, but before she moved to Oregon she taught 5th grade and kindergarten in Hawaii. Please welcome Emma to Team Holt!

• Vaccination Updates – Principals received an HR Vaccination Email asking us place staff into two groups for receiving the vaccines. I used a randomizer website create the groups, which managed to follow their one requirement, which was to break up grade levels, so we don’t end up with an entire grade level in one group. Linked here is the Vaccination List I submitted to HR. It’s not in the email, but a principal buddy clarified with HR that one group does not have priority over the other, meaning Group A doesn’t necessarily go first.

• Students/Adults COVID Positive or in Quarantine – Staff have been good about notifying me when you find out any families are COVID positive, but HR is asking for us to also notify them if we find out any students or parents or others in the home are in quarantine.

• Report Card Send-Home Info – Following our stand-up staff meeting on Friday to decide how we want to handle supply distribution and report card distribution, we decided on the following:

• Feb. 4th Supply Distribution will stay as originally scheduled.
• Feb. 8th, classroom teachers will email report carts (either through Synergy or Zimbra) to parent/guardians by the end of the day.
• Specialists (PE, Music, Title, and SPED) will email classroom teachers their reports to attach to your email.
• Parent Reports (sample report) will be emailed to teachers the morning of grading day.

• UPDATED: Class Lists, DUE FEB. 12 – Fill in your A/B cohort groups and Same School Online (SSO) info onto the Hybrid Class Lists 2020-21 Google Sheet (Staff Drive > MISC > Class Lists). There’s a tab for each classroom with a column for each of your cohorts. Also note:

• NEW: SSO Blend Breakdown – I forgot to include this last week, but here is the breakdown of how many of each grade should go into the SSO blends:

K/1(23 total) 11 Kinders and 12 First Graders
1/2 (23 total) 6 First Graders and 17 Seconds
3/4 (24 total) 16 Third Graders and 8 Fourth Graders
4/5 (25 total) 10 Fourth Graders and 15 Fifth Graders

• UPDATED: Siblings – The first tab, Siblings, tells if students in have siblings or not. If students have elementary age siblings, place them into Cohort A. If there are siblings at middle or high school, they can go into either cohort group.

• REPEAT: Pathways – The second tab, Pathways, tells if students have selected Hybrid, SSO, or EOA. Be sure to place students at your grade level returning from EOA. There are a handful who are coming back either to Hybrid or Same School Online.

• REPEAT: CDL Placement for Returning EOA Students, DUE MONDAY – We need to notify families this week of class placement for students returning from EOA on Feb. 1. Whether they chose Hybrid or SSO, they will need a classroom placement while we are still in CDL. Grade levels should email Melanie which teachers are taking these students by Monday.

• REPEAT: Keep Class Lists Confidential – Downtown does not want us going public with what students will have what teacher/class A or B until right before we go Hybrid and Same School Online.

• REPEAT: 2021-2022 Staff Survey, Due Feb. 15 – To help prep for 2021-2022 Staffing, please complete the linked 2021-2022 Staffing Survey by Feb. 15. All answers will be kept confidential and let me know if you have any questions.

• Feb. 4 Supply Distribution Sign-Up & Info – Next week’s supply distribution is on Thursday, February 4th from 8:00-3:00. If you are available, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet to help between 8:00-3:00. Staff can utilize trade time if you work beyond your normal hours this day. And this time we really do have headphones to hand out!

• UOTeach-In on Educational Equity & Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies – Misael Flores Gutierrez, the 4J Equity, Instruction & Partnerships Administrator, asked principals to share the linked email about this year’s annual  UOTeach-In. The online events will take place Feb. 22-27. The keynote is Dr. Bettina Love, author of We Want to Do more Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, and co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network. Other speakers and sessions will focus on anti-oppressive pedagogies and anticolonial and Indigenous pedagogy.

• Keeping Story Time Alive in the Pandemic – Story time is a powerful tool for helping preschool and elementary kids and their families feel connected during distance learning. I’m a sucker for a good picture book, so this Edutopia Article clicked for me. And let me know if you’d ever like a guest reader. I love any excuse to read a book to classes!

• 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 25 (M)
Dynamo Groups Resume
1:30-4:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

January 26 (T)
12:30-1:30, School Choice Presentation & Tour (Zoom)
6:00-6:30, Creation Crew w/Ms. Jackie (Zoom)

January 27 (W)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Check-In Meeting w/Jeff Johnson (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team – Tier 3
10:30-11:00, Allan Meeting w/Office Staff & SSC (Zoom)
10:40-11:10, 4th Grade Data Team – Tier 3
12:00-12:30, 5th Grade Data Team – Tier 3

January 28 (H)
Make a Hat Day – SPIRIT DAY!
12:00-8:00, Oakway Pegasus Pizza – Holt Night Out Fundraiser
12:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
2:30-4:00, Allan to Evaluation Planning Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Technology Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)

January 29 (F)
No School – Grading Day

February 1 (M)
Second Semester Beings
EOA Student Return
5:30, This Week in Sports w/Mr. Cole (Zoom)

February 2 (T)
12:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

February 3 (W)
8:30-9:00, Student Council (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:00-3:30, 5th Grade Data Team – Tier 1/2
9:30-10:00, KG Data Team – Tier 3
10:40-11:10, 1st Grade Data Team – Tier 3
11:15-11:45, 3rd Grade Data Team – Tier 1/2
11:45-12:15, 4th Grade Data Team – Tier 1/2
12:00-12:30, 2nd Grade Data Team – Tier 3

February 4 (H)
8:00-3:00, Supply Distribution (Front Entrance)

February 5 (F)
12:00-1:15, Lunch Bunch – KG 12:00, 3/4 12:20, 1/2 12:40, 5th 1:00 (Zoom)
6:30-7:00, Bertha Holt’s Birthday – Ultimate Spirit Day – Zoom BINGO

Have a good week, everyone!


December 14, 2020


Greetings Everyone,

I’ve said this to a few people, but this year feels like Groundhog Day, so it’s hard to believe it’s already winter break and that we’re nearly halfway through the school year.

Take time over the break to rejuvenate and to gird yourself for the big changes headed our way in the new year.

And look in your mailbox this Monday for a small gift from me.

Sixteen items of note for this week:

• Family Report Card Info – Discussed at last week’s Leadership Team and on the Staff Meeting Agenda for this Tuesday is the topic of prepping parents that grades on report cards may be lower than expected if kids are not turning in assignments to show what they know. I’ve adapted a longer letter the 4th grade team sent to families, which I’ll send home to families on Monday, but we can discuss this at the Staff Meeting since I think we’ll want to remind families of this again after winter break.


Report Cards are coming soon! The Oregon Department of Education has directed schools to grade students as normal on report cards, so we wanted families to be aware that grades will be based on the work students submit through Seesaw and/or their level of participation in Zoom.

We know this is a challenging time for families, but we also did not want families to be surprised if grades are lower than expected if students are not fully participating in distance learning.

A few general reminders to help your child be successful:

• No TV, cell phone, or video game distractions during Zoom class.
• Camera on and be visible for the majority of class time.
• On time for class and returning from breaks.
• Complete all Seesaw assignments
• Wednesday work is also recorded as participation and graded.
• If possible, have your child show you their Seesaw journal and notifications.

Thank you all for taking these suggestions into consideration and for continuing to support your child as best you can.

• Hybrid Updates – If you glossed over the Staff Return to Learning Update Email and the 4J Parent News, downtown kind of soft-pedaled the level of change coming, but based on the number of students at a grade level who chose Hybrid or Same School Online, class lists will need to be changed and some teachers will be be reassigned to teach blended classrooms of students who selected Dame School Online.

Principals are to receive more information on this at our meeting Monday afternoon, so I’ll have more information by Tuesday’s Staff Meeting, but I did want people to be in the know and not to have missed this.

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time, 2:40-4:00 – I’d originally planned for the Leadership Team to select a topic for this Wednesday, but downtown has now requiring school to go over the 2020-2021 Data Teams Overview Slideshow. See you on Zoom!

• January 4th PD PlanEric Anderson Emailed principals the skeleton plan for the PD Day following winter break. The day will start with a webinar from outside experts on mindfulness, move to building-developed PD, and finish with an activity from the SSD team. Here’s the schedule so far:

8:00 – 9:00 – Mindfulness – All certified/admin webinar
9:00 – 12:00 – Student Engagement Strategies – Building Led
12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch
12:30 – 2:00 – Trauma Informed Instruction – SSD provided material

However, at a stand-up principal meeting on Friday regarding preliminary hybrid planning, it sounds like that might become a topic somewhere in the day.



• Holt Spirit Day – Pajama Day, FRIDAY – Get your kids pumped! This Friday, wear your jammies to class and get comfy the last day of school before winter break. I’ve already been celebrating the past few weeks with my new “work slippers” I now keep in my office.

• Fasttmath and Fraction Nation – Principals and Title Coordinators were told that since Adobe is discontinuing Flash as of January 1, 2021, older HMH programs that use Flash are being retired as of December 21, 2020. Be sure to export any student data you would like to retain from Fasttmath or Fraction Nation. See this linked email for the complete list of HMH apps being discontinued, but I believe these are the only two being used by Holt staff.

• Nearpod Resource – Linked here is the Dual Screen on the iPad Loom Video mentioned at last Wednesday’s Nearpod PD.

• Any Gaps in Building Wireless Coverage? – Downtown has funds for expanding wireless coverage within buildings where gaps in coverage may be impacting the delivery of instruction. Let me know by the end of the week if you know of any dead spots or poorly covered areas.

• Dec. 18th Attendance – Short version, take attendance for this Friday on Jan. 4. Read on for the long version… The auto-dialer will make calls Monday afternoon, December 21st for absences entered against the previous week (Dec 14 – 18). By default, the auto-dialer will next make calls Monday afternoon, December 28th for absences entered for Dec 21 – 25 (which in all likelihood would result in no calls being made). Next, would be calls on Monday, January 4th for absences recorded for Dec 28 – Jan 1 (again, no calls would be expected). So waiting until Monday, Jan 4th for teachers or attendance staff to record attendance for Friday, December 18th would be fine, but they won’t be included as part of any auto-dialer/emails.

• COVID-19: Communication and Notification – As we continue to navigate a world with COVID-19 to mitigate spread and impacts of the virus, remember it is critical for all employees to stay home when they are feeling sick. District employees also must notify their supervisor and must stay home if they have a confirmed or presumptive diagnosis of COVID-19, have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, or are being tested for COVID-19 due to symptoms or exposure concerns. Additionally, if someone in your immediate household is being tested for COVID-19 due to illness or they have been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person we ask you to check in with your supervisor prior to coming to campus. The employee’s supervisor will notify the designated Human Resources Administrator, Dawn Strong. See this HR Email for complete details.

• Erin’s Law Async Guidance – A few people asked me what they should do for asynchronous lessons to cover Erin’s Law for students who do not attend class Zooms. My thought is don’t bother trying to recreate this lesson asynchronously since it’s really more of a discussion. I asked some other principals and they didn’t have any ideas either, but if any of you had a brilliant plan PLEASE SHARE!

• PAHS Updates – A few items of note from last week’s parent group meeting. They are working to finalize Jumpathon dates. I shared the staff preference of March #1 and February #2. Linked here is the current PAHS Budget. They are going to develop form for staff requests, so look for that in the future. PAHS is also offering to take over and/or partner on Zoom Evening Events if staff would like that. I have this on the Staff Meeting agenda discuss.

• Regional Sub Update – HR told principals regional subs will start after winter break. Any vacancy will automatically assign our region’s elementary sub and any subsequent vacancies will go out to the system as normal. If you entered your absence as no-sub-required and are doing a 1-2 day absence with async-only lessons, the sub would not be assigned. See the linked HR Email for details.

• 6 Ways Teachers Continue to Promote Student Voice – This year in distance and hybrid learning, elementary teachers are finding it more important than ever to build lessons centered on students’ active involvement. See this Edutopia Article for details on the following six tips:

1. Connect
2. Don’t let up on demonstration and collaboration
3. Check for understanding
4. Holt office hours
5. Arrange for hands-on learning
6. Maintain the routine

• Fridge Magnet Poetry – Looking for a goofy ELA activity for older kids (or yourself)? Check out to play with word magnets on a virtual refrigerator. Every day the word bank is swapped out with new nouns and verbs and emojis you can use to create poetry or funny phrases.

• 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 (SU)
National Cocoa Day!

December 14 (M)
Erin’s Law Fall Instruction Week
International Monkey Day
10:30-11:30, Allan to Sheldon Region Hybrid Staffing Meeting (Zoom)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)
5:00-5:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-6:30, Learn to Draw an Arctic Fox with Ms. Kim (Zoom)

December 15 (T)
9:00-10:00, Allan to ESD Observation in CDL PD (Zoom)
11:30-8:00, Holt Night Out Fundraiser – Hot Mama’s Wings
12:30-1:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Staff Meeting (Zoom)

December 16 (W)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
10:00-11:00, Allan to Elementary Site Coordinators Meeting (Zoom)
1:00-1:30, Allan to Check-In Meeting (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Data Team Rollout (Zoom)

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

December 18 (F)
Holt Spirit Day – Pajama Day!
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)

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

January 2 (SA)
National Science Fiction Day

January 4 (M)
No School – PD/Planning day
8:00 – 9:00 – Mindfulness – All certified/admin webinar
9:00 – 12:00 – Student Engagement Strategies – Building Led
12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch
12:30 – 2:00 – Trauma Informed Instruction – SSD provided material

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

January 6 (W)
Regular Day

January 7 (H)
Regular Day

December 8 (F)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Physical Distancing Monthly Meeting (Zoom)

5 days until winter break!


December 7, 2020


Hi All,

Twelve items of note for this week:

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

• Erin’s Law & Second Step Child Protection Unit – Even though we are in CDL, the state still requires we cover the child safety lessons required by Erin’s Law. 4J uses the Second Step Child Protection Unit. For each grade level, there are six lessons, which are to be covered at three points in the school year. The recommendation is to teach lessons 1-4 in the fall, lesson 5 right before spring break, and lesson 6 right before summer break.

I’m not sure if each teacher has a copy of your grade level’s Child Protection Unit and since CDL makes sharing more difficult, let me know if any grade levels would like me to scan your Child Protection Unit and put a PDF version the Staff Google Drive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 13 (SU)
National Cocoa Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 2 (SA)
National Science Fiction Day

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

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

10 school days until winter break!




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


November 2, 2020


Hi Everyone,

Hope you all remembered to change your clocks and “fall back” this weekend.

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Recording Zooms for Asynchronous Learning – I heard this is through the grapevine so it’s not official, but another principal told me they talked to Jeff and Brooke, who told them it’s fine for teachers to record live Zoom sessions with students (faces, names, voices, and all) and that teachers may also upload these videos to Seesaw for asynchronous lessons. I’m planning to bring this up at the elementary principals’ meeting Monday for some additional clarifications and will share updates at Tuesday’s Staff Meeting.

• New Substitute Guidance – Principals received an email on Substitute Guidance for Licensed Staff, which had some big news (first bullet) and principals heard one other option at an admin meeting (second bullet):

• No Sub, Asynchronous Option for 1-2 Day Absences – If it’s only a one or two day absence, teachers are allowed to simply push out asynchronous lessons and notifying families there are no live sessions that day. However, this option should not be used extensively.

• Splitting Classes Option – If a grade level is keeping pace with each other, another option is to split an absent teacher’s class between the other classrooms (or with one other teacher) for a day or two. This scenario does require all teachers to be willing and agree to do this.

• Thursday Supply Distribution – I’ve heard from KG, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and Title about distributing supplies and am sending out the article below on Monday. I’ll also send out a Seesaw announcement and made a social media post over the weekend. Let me know ASAP if your grade level was left out and I can add it to my article.

School Supply Distribution THURSDAY, 8:00-3:00

The school district office is now allowing schools to distribute materials and supplies the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month as needed. Holt will likely only do this once a month, but we will let families know if grade levels have materials they plan to distribute. The following grades should come this Thursday between 8:00-3:00:

Kindergarten: Math Books & New School Supplies
2nd Grade: Math Unit Work Packets
3rd Grade: Math Unit Work Packets and New School Supplies
4th Grade: Art Supplies
Title 1: All students in Title Groups will get additional materials.

• Thursday Supply Distribution Sign-Up – I realize most staff are now teaching groups, but if you are available, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet to help between 8:00-3:00 this Thursday. Staff can utilize trade time if you work beyond your normal hours this day.



• MOD Pizza Fundraiser, SUNDAY! – This Sunday is a Holt Night Out Fundraiser at MOD Pizza on Coburg Road! Talk this up to your class and see you Sunday! Takeout, delivery, or pick-up orders, and for online orders use the coupon code of “GR166586B” and 20% of your meal’s price will be donated back to Holt. See the Facebook Event or GroupRaise Page for more details.

• Informal & Formal Observations – In normal times, I try to complete the first round of informal observations in the first two months of school, but I wanted to give teachers a chance to get your feet under you a bit before I started. Over the next few weeks, for Probationary and Contract Year-1 teachers, I’ll drop in on clases, most likely during SEL/Morning Meeting times, for a short 10-20 minute observation. I’ll share my notes through TalentEd and will be available to meet if any teachers would like to debrief.

For formal observations, I’m going to wait to see if it looks like we’re moving into in-person teaching or not. If it looks like we’re continuing CDL after winter break, I’ll most likely start formal observations now, but if it looks like we’ll actually have students in the building in January, I’ll wait to do formal observations then.

• Wednesday PD/PLC Time – If you didn’t open the attachment in Eric Anderson’s Email regarding this week’s Wednesday PD/PLC Time, it has some nice options, such as taking a walk, reading a book, or turning off your screen (Option #2, which I highly recommend).

• Virtual Coffee with the Principal – As an FYI, I’m copying the principal at Monroe and starting this Wednesday, 9:00-9:45 will hold a weekly Virtual Coffee with the principal each week. Parents and guardians can ask question, share experiences, and process & collaborate. Zoom link can be found below and on the Holt Family Calendar.

• Civil rights & Safe Routes to School Opportunity – Ruby Bridges Day is coming up mid-November and to celebrate this day, Safe Routes to School emailed principals they want to encourage kids to take a mindful walk with their families to think about Ruby’s bravery and the power children can have toward positive change. They will order the book Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles for any teacher who is interested in teaching about Ruby Bridges in addition to talking to students about taking a mindful walk with families. Linked here are Sample Lesson Plans about halfway down the page. Let me know by Friday if you would like to participate and I will have Safe Routes order you a book!

• New ODE Reopening Metrics – ODE released New Reopening Metrics on Friday. The short version is the metrics for reopening has loosened, but 4J is sticking with our current timeline of after Winter Break as the earliest we’ve move into hybrid, making a decision by the end of November. See this ODE News Release for all the details, but here are the new metrics for reopening:

• Statewide test positivity rates are no longer a factor for school districts
• County data window is changed to one two-week period, instead of three separate weeks
• Thresholds have changed to:
– K–12: < 50 cases per 100,000 over 14-day period, < 5% test positivity
– Elementary (K–3 and expanding up to all elementary grades): < 100 cases per 100,000 over 14-day period, 5–8% test positivity

Lane County currently does not meet the minimum requirements to return to in-person learning, under either the original or revised metrics. (In the most recent two-week period, Lane County had 147.6 cases per 100,000 residents, still well above the expanded cap of 100 per 100K.)

• 4J COVID-19 Communicable Disease Management Plan – Since June, 4J has worked to establish a blueprint to address Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance from ODE and created a COVID-19 Communicable Disease Management Plan. This document has a wealth of information staff can find answers to many important questions. Topics include:

• Cleaning, disinfection and ventilation
• Contact Tracing
• Face Coverings and PPE
• Visitors and Volunteers
• Response to Confirmed Cases and/or Outbreak
• And Much More!

Reviewing and updating this document will be an ongoing. Additionally, as the state updates the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidelines, we may need to make changes. This document will always be posted on the 4J website and available for staff.

• Video.Link Workaround – If you missed James’ Email, he shared a workaround for how to share Video.Link (formerly SafeYouTube) so kids can view the videos on their iPads. Here’s a link to his quick sheets on the Laptop Video.Link Fix and the iPad Video.Link Fix.

• Student Meals & Holiday Boxes – As an FYI, with the holidays and school breaks coming up, Nutrition Services emailed principals their plans for Thanksgiving and Winter Break. For Thanksgiving, they will provide a four-day meal box with the Wednesday meal bag. For Winter Break there will be two meal boxes available. Boxes will be available for pickup or by request through delivery. Sign-up info is coming, but see the above linked email for details.

• 20 Teacher-Approved Educational YouTube Channels – Check out this WeAreTeacher Article for a list of YouTube channels for educational content that will enhance your lessons. I was particularly like Storyline Online, where celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Coster, and even Betty White reading one of my all-time favorite picture books, Harry the Dirty Dog, read a variety of picture books. But as with all media, I recommend screening all videos in advance to be sure they’re appropriate.

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

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

November 4 (W)
9:00-9:45, Allan to Virtual Coffee with the Principal (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time (Asynchronous)
5:00-5:30, Learn Magic with Mr. Chinn! (Zoom)

November 5 (H)
8:00-3:00, Supply Distribution (Front Entrance)
2:00, Allan to 504 Plan Meeting (Zoom)

November 6 (F)
1:00-3:00, Allan to Principal PLC PD (Zoom)

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

November 9 (M)
Regular Day

November 10 (T)
8:30-9:30, Allan to Attendance Meeting (Zoom)
3:00-4:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Zoom)

November 11 (W)
No School — Veterans Day

November 12 (H)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (School Garden & Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (School Garden & Zoom)

November 13 (F)
Fall Benchmark Testing Window Closes
1:00-3:00, Allan to Principal PLC PD (Zoom)

Have a good week, everyone!