June 14, 2021

By Allan  


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.