September 6, 2021

By Allan  


Hey Everyone,

Hope you all had a good 3-day weekend.

Twenty items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Three staffing updates:

• Title 1 EA Updates – Lori Tingue was hired last week as a 2nd grade teacher at Gilham, so instead of reposting for her position, we’ve taken her hours and reallocated them to Annie, Ben, and Iris and have shuffled the EA schedule around a bit.

• Behavior EA Vacancy – Our 6.5-hour Behavior EA Job Posting closes this Tuesday, September 8th, so please encourage anyone you know who’d be good (or even someone who is simply teachable) to apply.

• Classified Sub Shortage – We have one unfilled EA sub job in AESOP are if you know any subs who are available. It’s for Jason Martinez in the CLC while he’s on his parental leave.

• Virtual Meet Your Teacher, WED (KG) & THURS (1-5) @12:00 – The Zoom link is on the Staff and Family Zimbra Calendar. Kinder does theirs on Wednesday at 12:00. Grades 1-5 will be Thursday at 12:00. My plan is to welcome families, have teachers introduce themselves (and maybe name a favorite book to read to students), do a review of arrival/dismissal procedures, what to bring to school, and some covid safety procedures. Next I’ll send people to breakout rooms for 15-minutes, at the end of which I’ll close all breakout rooms, do a short wrap up (GO, BOLTS!), and then I’ll stay on to answer any questions.

• Kinderzone Plans – The Kindergarten Team has already connected with staff where you’ll be helping this day, but linked here is the Fall 2021 Kinderzone Plan.

• Enrollment Updates – At the start of August we were 104 students below our projection of 529, but now we’re around 60 under projection and downtown will hopefully release the 9 kinders on our wait list. Nearly every school in 4J is under projection and we are far from the lowest. If you’re interested, linked here is the District Enrollment as of 09/03/2021.

• Meals Change of Plan – Principals got a message late Friday that 4J is pivoting to eating meals outdoors and that more details are forthcoming. That’s about all I know, meaning we don’t know if this means both breakfast and lunch, for how long we’ll be doing this, what’s the plan when it’s raining, what’s the plan when air quality is hazardous, and not to mention how kindergartners would make it from the cafeteria to the covered play area without spilling their trays. There’s an Elementary Principals’ Meeting Wednesday morning, so hopefully we’ll get additional details then (the day before kindergarten’s first day). Stay tuned.

• Transportation Updates – Schools do not have their morning bus arrival times yet, but 4J’s Find My Bus Stop website is now live for families. I’m planning to call Transportation on Tuesday if I don’t hear from them over the weekend about bus arrival times. More to come.

• Meeting Schedules – Due to the above two items and the “Golden Hour” of prep moved to Fridays and PLCs to Wednesday, on the Leadership Team agenda for Tuesday is to look at revising our meeting schedule. We need to shift our Wednesday meetings to either Tuesday or Thursday (I lean toward Tuesdays). I’m also going to propose we go down to one Staff Meeting a month. Since we’re now meeting twice a week, I figure we can add some business items to those meetings. Also, so that teachers get their guaranteed amount of prep, the length of afternoon meetings may be shortened depending upon when buses arrive and when teacher begin supervision students in the morning. Downtown is requiring teachers get 20-minutes of prep at the start of the day before supervising students. So more to come on this topic as well.

• Tech Updates – Four technology related updates:

• iPads Distribution for New Students – Teachers will give students new to Holt their iPads and chargers on their first day of class. If students new to Holt are coming from another 4J school, they should already have an iPad. Student devices are tracked using Learn21, the districtwide device management system. Brian has a bunch of iPads ready to go. Our plan is to checkout iPads to the new student in Learn21, put a sticky note with their name on it, and give those to teachers to distribute the first day of school. All kindergartners will get new iPads and all 3rd graders will get a new iPad with a keyboard case once they return their 2nd grade iPad (grade 3-5 iPads have a keyboard case).

• Headphones Replacements – Brian has a stash of headphones for all new students as well as for students who lost or broke their headphones over the summer. I’d advise students keep their headphones at school, but teachers may send them home if you choose.

• Seesaw Updates – Justin Huntley and his team were able to go into Clever to activate the Seesaw tile district-wide. This means if a student logins in using their QR code, they’ll be able to see the Clever page and the Seesaw title is back on there. Furthermore, Justin will be setting up our specialist in Seesaw this week.

• EdTech Subscriptions & Tools – If you missed it in the flurry of last week’s tidal wave of PD, here are all of the district purchased EdTech Subscriptions and Tools. Not on the list, we also have a subscription to BrainPOP through December, which is a pretty rad website. Be sure to check that one out and maybe the district will get BrainPOP Jr. and BrainPOP Español if enough people use it. Also, don’t forget GoNoodle Plus is free to educators this school year if you sign-up.


• Missing Classroom Materials Inventory – In the spring, teachers filled out a Materials Inventory Survey. If you have any updates, additional missing materials or or newly discovered excess curriculum materials, please submit an update in the above survey or email me directly with your update. If you need to review what you submitted in the spring, here is the Spring Materials Inventory Results.

• Wear Your Holt Shirt FRIDAY! – The normal spirit day is Wednesday for wearing your Holt shirt, but everyone should wear your new green Holt shirt this Friday for the first day of school where we’ll have all K-5 students in the building!

• Updated School Map – Linked here is an Updated 21-22 Holt School Map of where folks are working this year. Let me know if you spot anything that looks wrong. This doc can also be found on the Staff Google Drive under MISC > Maps.

• Skipped Videos from Friday PD – The COVID Protocols went longer than I’d expected, so I skipped a couple videos at Friday’s Staff Meeting, but if you’d like to watch them or the two documentaries that were mentioned during Learning for All, see below!

“Inside the AC360 Doll Study”

CASEL: SEL 101: What are the core competencies and key settings?

“In the Shadow of Fairview” – Full Documentary (OPB Webpage)

“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” – Netflix Full Documentary


• Care and Connection Resources – SSD Collaboration Facilitators put together these Care and Connection Resources for teachers to use with students during the first week of school. Some are a little too worksheet-like for my taste, but there’s also some really good stuff in there worth checking out.

• Color Printing – If teachers need to print in color, please contact Melanie. The office copier is the only one in the building that prints in color, but this printer hasn’t been added to staff laptops because the office copier is often loaded with labels, special paper, or is needed to copy materials for parents waiting to register children and we don’t want large jobs being sent to it. Also try to avoid printing class sets in color unless it’s a for special purpose or event.

• K-5 Connect & EOA – Families who submitted interest in the online pathways have until Thursday, September 9th to confirm they are enrolling.

• Updated District Retention Policy – 4J has unofficially used this process the past few years, but linked here is the updated 4J Grade Placement and Retention of Students Policy. In the past it was simply principal decision, but the new policy makes it more of a team decision, similar to an IEP eligibility process.

• REPEAT: 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.

• REPEAT: EEF 2021-2022 Grant Applications DUE OCT 1stEEF Grant Application are 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.

• VIDEO: Starting Each Class With A Warm Welcome – One last video I passed over during our PD last Friday is a really good one, so I’m ending this week’s blog to highlight it. Keep in mind that a good welcoming activity is also a proactive classroom management strategy. It builds class community, establishes a sense of shared values, and makes everyone feel included. It can be as simple as a smile and greeting students by name as they enter the classroom, but it makes a HUGE difference. :)


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

September 6 (M)
Labor Day, No School

September 7 (T)
1:00-2:00, Leadership Team Meeting (Library)

September 8 (W)
Teacher Planning Day
8:00-9:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meetin (Zoom)
9:00ish, Optional Q&A Session for Staff (Library)
10:00, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)
12:00-12:30, Virtual Meet the Kinder Teachers! (Zoom)

September 9 (H)
Transition Day – KG First Day
12:00-12:30, Virtual Meet Your Teacher (1st – 5th)
2:30-3:15, IPBS Team Meeting (Library)
6:00-7:00, PAHS Meeting (Zoom) – Checking w/PAHS if they are really meeting

September 10 (F)
Classes Begin for All Students
YMCA After School Care Begins

September 13 (M)
Regular Day

September 14 (T)
2:45-3:30, Staff Meeting (Library) TENTATIVE

September 15 (W)
2:45-3:30, PLC Meetings (Library)

September 16 (H)
Regular Day

September 17 (F)
2:30-3:30, Building Based PD (Library)


Two days to prep for two days of students!