April 26, 2021

By Allan  


Hello Holt Bolts,

A big congratulations to Holt’s ACE Award Nominees, Ashley, Darla, Desiree, Jackie, Lisa, and Theresa! I know families, students, and peers appreciate the hard work and efforts of ALL staff, especially durning these times, but these sorts of public recognitions are nice affirmations we don’t always receive. Keep up the great work, Team Holt! 

Fifteen items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – HR is being slower than usual on Job Expo job offers, so no updates yet, but we did fill our CLC EA vacancy and have hired Ganell Snocker, who comes to us from Fox Hollow where she worked as a Special Education EA. She was able to start last week, so some of you may have already met her, but please welcome Ganell to the team!

• Sub Folder Prep Wednesday PD Time – This Wednesday’s PD/PLC time is scheduled as “Building Based” so I’m not holding a formal meeting, but teachers should use this time to complete your sub folder if you have not done so already.

• Single Desk Survey, Due Thursday – I haven’t gotten an answer whether downtown is purchasing new furniture for schools next year or not, but linked here is a 2-question Single Desk Furniture Survey. I estimate we’ll be able to buy 150-200 desks, so not enough for everyone who wants them, but we can do the WheelofNames or some other festive method to pick the lucky winners.

• School Pictures May 18 & 20 – Mentioned at the Staff Meeting, schools are allowed to offer school pictures. Linked here are the 4J School Pictures Protocols, which the highlights are that we can’t have parent volunteers, we can’t fix kids hair, masks stay on until kids are told to take them off, and SSO kids have to come after hybrid dismissal. We’ll likely do pictures in the gym, but we’re still working out details with LifeTouch. More to come.

• Potential Inside Recess This Week – There’s rain in this week’s forecast, so take note of the inside recess plan in the Holt Hybrid-SSO Handbook.

• Grade Retention Information – There have been questions around retention this year and 4J is leaving retention decisions for the building level, so we can decide. My own feeling is this is something we should only do in rare cases. Pretty much every study about retention concludes that it increases student risk of dropout and failure as opposed to decreasing risk. However, I’m not unilaterally opposed to retention and have done it in a few cases, typically at kindergarten. Still, we need to proceed carefully about retaining students due to chronic non-attendance, considering the number of students in the situation across the district, state, and country for that matter.

The current official 4J policy is that retention is the principal’s decision, but there is a Proposed 4J Retention Policy that’s floated around the last couple years, but hasn’t been finalized. This policy has schools follow more of a team decision process, kind of like an IEP eligibility meeting, which is the process I will follow to address any retention situations that are initiated by families or staff.

For additional information on retention, I suggest the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Position Statement on Grade Retention & Social Promotion (Short Version and Long Version), which urges educators to use methods other than grade retention and social promotion to ensure that all students have access to effective and equitable education.

• Remind Kids Crumbl, Superhero Day, and BINGO! – Get students pumped for Tuesday’s Crumbl Cookies Fundraiser (just show the digital flyer or mention the fundraiser to the cashier), the Superhero Sprit Day on Friday, and the Superhero Bingo Night at 6:30 on Friday.



• End-of-Year Events & Field Day Protocols – The district is allowing these activities, but the protocols we’d need to follow make events like Field Day, 5th grade Promotion, or Kindergarten Promotion impossible to hold like normal. Basically, all the same protocols that are in place now will still be in place, meaning no volunteers and no gathering by non-school employees on school grounds. If we did a field day we’d have to build in time to clean all of the equipment between cohorts. I’m not sure a Field Day will be feasible, but if teachers wanted to include families in smaller classroom based end-of-year parties, I suppose you could let them Zoom in if you wanted.

• Student Supplies for Next Year – Principals learned that schools will be provided with a pot of funds to purchase school supplies for next year. It’s looking like we won’t need to do supply fees and will just need to ask families supply backpack, headphones, and a water bottle. Please plan on keeping student supply boxes and the book boxes for use next year, just in case.

• Where did the Playground Funnel Ball Go? – We put in a work order about the funnel ball post being loose and Facilities determined the funnel ball basket was also dangerously insecure and took it down. However, Katie has ordered a new one, so hopefully we’ll be able to get it back up soon.

• REPEAT: SSO Supply Distribution WEDNESDAY – This Wednesday is the April Supply Distribution for SSO classrooms, from 8:00-3:00. If you are available to help, please add your name to the Supply Distribution Sign-Up Sheet.

• Send Me School Pics & Vids! – I want to post more fun stuff on our Facebook and Instagram pages, so if any of you are doing something fun or interesting with your class, snap a picture or video and then text or email it my way!

• District Admin Updates – Joyce Johnson is Springfield’s new Elementary Director and David Jacobson is leaving his position as the Federal Programs Coordinator. See the linked email for full details and also some assistant principal updates.

• Hidden iPhone Doc Scanner – If you have an iPhone, here’s a cool trick I just learned. The latest iOS has a scanner hidden within the Notes app and works just as good as a paid subscription app. All you have to do is create a new note in your Notes app and above the keyboard you’ll see a row of icons, one of which is a camera icon. Select the camera icon and you’ll find the option to “Scan Documents.” Further geeky instructions here.

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

April 26 (M)
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

April 27 (T)
8:00-10:00, Crumbl Cookie – Holt Night Out Fundraiser

April 28 (W)
8:00-3:00, Supply Distribution – SSO (Front of School)
8:30-11:30, Allan to Elem Pool Interviews (Zoom)
9:00-9:45, Virtual Coffee w/the Principal (Zoom)
9:30-10:00, 3rd Grade Data Team (Tier 3)
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)
1:40-2:40, IPBS Meeting (Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – Sub Folder Prep
4:30-5:00, Poetry Club w/Ms. Ankeny (Zoom)

April 29 (H)
Regular Day

April 30 (F)
Superhero Day – HOLT SPIRIT DAY!
2:45-3:45, Allan to 504 Eligibility Meeting (Zoom)
6:30-7:00, Superhero BINGO Night! (Zoom)

May 3 (M)
Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week
1:30-3:30, Allan to Elem. Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

May 4 (T)
12:45, Kona Ice – Holt Shave Ice Fundraiser! (Hard Play)

May 5 (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
12:30, Lunch Bunch w/Ms. Darla (Zoom)
1:40-2:40, Staff Meeting (Library & Zoom)
2:40-4:00, PD/PLC Time – SEL – Anti-Racism Training

May 6 (H)
School Nurse Appreciation Day
12:45, Kona Ice – Holt Shave Ice Fundraiser! (Hard Play)
3:00-7:00, Allan to Job Expo (Zoom)

May 7 (F)
School Lunch Worker Appreciation Day

Depending what the last week of school looks like, there’s just 14 or 15 days left with each cohort (not including Wednesday and async off-days)!