August 30, 2021

By Allan  


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!