September 20, 2021

By Allan  


Greetings Holt Staff,

Twenty-two items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Five staffing updates:

• CLC Teacher Interviews Monday – Kelsey and I are interviewing a candidate for our CLC Teacher opening on Monday at 2:40 in the school garden if any of you would like to join us. Let me know and I will get interview materials ready for you.

• Behavior Support EA – We had a surprisingly strong pool of candidates and I’ve forwarded a name to HR for hire. Hopefully they make the offer early this week so they can start sometime this week, but I’m predicting they won’t start until next week.

• COVID Utility EA – Just like last year, downtown has decided to staff schools with a 6.5-hour COVID Utility EA. Since this position is so similar to the Behavior EA, HR gave me permission to hire someone from the above pool of candidates we interviewed, we had a strong candidate for this position who I’ve also forwarded on the HR for hire. Fingers crossed they can start later this week, but more likely next week.

• 2-hour Night Custodian – Please welcome Robert Bolden as our newest night custodian. Robert is primarily at Monroe, but when he’s finished over there comes to Holt to help out for 2-hours.

• BEST Coordinator Hires and BEST EA Openings – Our very own Ben Duncan has been hired as Holt’s BEST Coordinator, so congratulations Ben. In my experience, BEST functions better when the coordinator is someone who also works in the building during the day, so I’m glad we were able to get Ben for this job. BEST is tentatively set to start in mid to late October. And speaking of BEST positions, the BEST EA Job Posting was reposted if there are any classified staff members interested in adding 2-3 hours to their day. The posting closes this Thursday, September 23rd.

• Recesses Shorter on Fridays – A reminder that according to the 4J Standard School Schedule, morning and afternoon recesses are 5-minutes shorter on Early Release Fridays. This is noted on the Master Schedule on the supervision tab, but not on the main master schedule tab, which created some confusion around this.

• September PLC Meetings – Downtown has given principals leeway to prioritize building operational needs over starting up PLCs, which I was already planning for one of our PLC dates. The plan for our next to PLC times will be:

• September 22 (W) – Vector (formerly SafeSchools) Training Time Part !
• September 29 (W) – Review & Discuss Leadership Plan Survey
• October 6 (W) – Vector (formerly SafeSchools) Training Time Part 2

• Rain & Smoke Morning Arrival Plan – Kim and I (but mostly Kim) came up with a tentative plan for if we have to let kids inside early in the morning. I’ll bring this to a future meeting for staff approval, but if we HAVE to bring kids in from a downpour, we will put 5th under the covered blacktop area, 4th into the gym through the exterior gym doors, 3rd into the cafeteria through bike cage doors, 2nd into the library though their normal entrance, and K/1 will be seated in the hallway in C and D wings. For smoke days, we’d likely split the gym between 4th and 5th grade. We’re working on EA location assignments, but should have that ready to go soon.

• Curriculum Night – Talking with other principals, it doesn’t sound like many schools are doing a virtual Open House or Curriculum Night Events, instead letting the fall Meet Your Teacher events and sharing class info by email. I think Holt should follow suit, but let me know if I’m reading the room wrong and teachers DO want to hold a Curriculum Night and I’ll add this to a future meeting agenda.

• Artist in Residence – Lane Arts informed me the artist for “Bold & Bright Murals” is not on their roster anymore, but they are reaching out to the “Glass Fusing Fun.” Below is the survey from earlier in the year, but I’ll put this on a future agenda for us to decide our Term 2 Artist. See the Lane Arts Artist in Residence webpage for their complete list of artists.


• Digital Second Step Curriculum – Our online Second Step subscription just got activated this Saturday and I added all licensed staff. Let me know if you did not get an email from Second Step and you wanted access

• iPad Request for Students – If you have a new student who needs an iPad, you do not need to put in a ticket to You just need to let the office know which student you need the iPad for and we will check it out through the Learn21 checkout system. For students who have lost or damaged their iPad, they too can get a replacement iPad through the same method. The district policy is the first lost or damaged iPad is free, the second incident requires families cover half the cost, and a third incident families must cover the entire cost. However, I checked with the Tech Department and families who are unable to pay the replacements costs are to be given another without restriction. My hope was that families who continue to lose or damage iPads, we would issue an iPad that stays at schools, but was told that is not what we are to do.

• COVID News – In the first week of school 4J already has one class that’s been on quarantined for two days while they contact trace, so be vigilant about masks and 3-feet. Here are several other updates:

• COVID-19 Case Dashboard – Downtown created a COVID-19 Case Dashboard that tracks the number of positive on-site COVID student and staff cases by school.

• Assigned Seat Documentation – Do know that if a class goes on quarantine, district contact tracers will need to collect seating charts for classrooms, any small groups classrooms or specialists may have (including Title and SPED), and also cafeteria assigned seats. Please have these ready to scan and email at a moments notice.

• Classroom Cleaning Updates – Ritchie shared an email with me that custodians were directed to change their nightly cleaning of student desks and small group tables. This is interesting because it conflicts with what’s on the district COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan and the COVID-19 Infection Prevention Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols posted on the district website. I’ve emailed the district Custodial Service Managers, but haven’t heard back yet, and I also plan to bring this up Monday’s principals’ meeting, so stay tuned.

On a related note, a few teachers have asked about cleaning desks after m meals. It’s not required this year, as we focus on hand sanitizing instead, but teacher are welcome to clean desks if they choose.

• Chairs Put Up at Dismissal – Kind of COVID cleaning related, It’s best if teachers can have students put chairs up on their desks at the end of the day.

• Quarantine & Tech – I’ve already share this, but In order to respond to quarantine at a moment’s notice, Student iPads need to be traveling from home to school daily. If you need of additional headsets, please submit a ticket at

• Lessons for Students Quarantine – Principals are supposed to get information on Monday at our All Admin Meeting regarding Seesaw and students in quarantine, but a good tip I got from the BV principal is for teachers to simply send out the Monthly Library Choice Board from Amy Page for students in quarantine, asking them to complete X-number of activities each day.



• Reimbursement Updates – For staff turning in receipts, a reminder that checks are no longer being written by schools and reimbursements go on your next paycheck. Melanie has to submit all reimbursements to Financial Services by the sixteenth of each month, so staff need to give her receipts by the 13th if you want the reimbursement to appear on your next paycheck.

• Air Quality Updates – We had some bad air last Friday and the new 4J standard is when the air quality index rises into the range considered “unhealthy,” with the AQI just over 150:

• Keep outdoor activities to a minimum. Students may eat outside, and recess may be held outside, but activity should be limited—no high-exertion activities like running games. (This is a change given the needs of the current year, instead of requiring indoor recess in this air quality range.)
• We should keep all students inside if AQI is 200 or greater.
• The district monitors air quality conditions to guide decision-making around school-sponsored outdoor student activities using

• SPED Referral Process – I already shared this with SPED teachers, but SSD emailed principals How to Refer a Student for Special Education if you’re interested in the current process, which is essentially the school team fills out a Referral Packet, gives it to the school psych, who reviews it and gives it to a district referral review team, who make a recommendation, that is brought back to the school team, and then an Evaluation Planning Meeting takes place to decide whether or not to move forward with an evaluation for special education.

• Calendar Request Form (Electronic Version!) – You can still use the paper version of the Calendar Request Form I shared last week, but Gloria made an Electronic Calendar Request Form you can use instead. Be sure to notify Melanie you complete the form after submitting it.

• 4J NATIVES Program – Linked here is info and sign-up forms for the 4J NATIVES Program. There won’t be a presentation at a staff meeting as there has been in the past due to a new coordinator to replace Brenda Brainard has not yet been hired.

• Holt Water Bottle Update – Water Bottles didn’t start getting printed until last week, which means they will should here sometimes the last week of the month.

• K-5 Connect & EOA Update – Downtown has experienced many delays moving forward with the waiting list for K-5 Connect. Families are now being offered slots in the program and they are still taking students from the waiting list at grades where they have room. Families that are contacted on the waiting list have 24-hours to make a decision before they lose the seat. They hope to have this ironed out in the coming week.

• Google Apps Student Permission Form – I know not many classrooms are using Google Apps, but principals got an email from the Tech Department saying for any students who do not have Google Apps permission, we can now get verbal permission from a parent and complete the form for them.

• SSD Scheduling Ideas – SSD emailed principals and SPED Teachers Scheduling Ideas doc for when buildings are short staffed due to unfilled subs jobs or unfilled job postings. Holt is better off than most schools, but we are down two positions right now (a sub for Jason and a 1:1 for a kinder).

• REPEAT: Safety Week, Sept. 27 – Oct. 1 – Safety Week is next week. See the schedule below and see Last Week’s Announcements for details.

• Monday – Directed Evacuation (i.e. Fire Drill) – 1:45
• Tuesday – Lockdown Drill – 8:35
• Wednesday – No Drill or Weather Make-Up Day
• Thursday – Room Clear – Time decided by teachers
• Friday – Earthquake/Fire Drill – 8:35

Please let me know if you do not have a manual or if you have any questions or suggestions.

• REPEAT: Principal Visits to Classrooms – If you haven’t already, let me know a good 10-minute block of time I can come to visit sometime this month to introduce myself to kids and read a book.

• Education Appreciation Days at Autzen Stadium – The Oregon Ducks are hosting two upcoming Education Appreciation Days at Autzen Stadium. They’re offering a 30% off discount for you, your friends and your family. This discount can be used at the October 30th game against Colorado. Go to and buy tickets using the code “2021EDU”

• 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 20 (M)
Schools can begin 1:1 easyCBM measures
8:30, Allan Reading to Class
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Ed Center)
12:45, Allan Reading to Class
2:40, CLC Teacher Interviews (School Garden)
4:00-5:00, Allan to All Admin Meeting (Zoom)

September 21 (T)
10:20, Allan Reading to Class
2:45-3:25, PBIS Meeting (Library)

September 22 (W)
2:45-3:25, Vector Training (formerly SafeSchools) Training Time
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

September 23 (H)
Regular Day

September 24 (F)
7:30-8:30, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
12:10, Allan Reading to Class
2:30-3:25, ACT Aligned Activity (Email Coming Sunday Monday)

September 27 (M)
Safety Week
Allan turns 50 and gets an AARP Card!
9:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
1:45, Fire Drill

September 28 (T)
8:25, Lockout Drill
2:45-3:25, IPBS Meeting (Library)

September 29 (W)
No Drill or Weather Make-Up Day
2:45-3:25, PLC Meetings – Repurposed for Leadership Plan Discussion (Library)

September 30 (H)
Room Clear Drill – Time decided by teachers

October 1 (F)
8:35, Earthquake/Fire Drill
1:30-2:25, Building Based PD – Repurposed for Leadership Plan Discussion (Library)

After a full week of school with all students in-person for the first time since March 2019, those memes about “There’s no tired like teacher tired” never seemed so relevant, but I’m sure we’re building up our stamina.

Have a good week, everyone, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.