October 4, 2021

By Allan  


Howdy Holt Bolts,

The above meme has been floating around quite a bit this past week, but also keep in mind it’s been 3 years since staff have had a normal school year. Don’t forget to take care of yourselves!

Seventeen items of note for this week:

• PBIS Updates – From your PBIS team. Please review to understand process and procedures this year.

• Green tickets given to student for following a rule, showing kindness, etc
• Frequency: A LOT – give these out!!
• Tickets are placed in the red spinner by the teacher
• Name and room number need to be written legibly.
• During weekly announcements on Mondays, Allan will announce winners from the drawing. (2 students from each grade)
• ZAP’S may also be drawn at an Assembly.
• Some ZAPS have an Electra Instant Winner and those students can instantly pick a Prize (see the office schedule below)
• Students are given a menu of choices for their prize (in the office). More info on menu below.

• Given to a class for doing an exceptional job – walking quietly, helping out, listening, etc
• Frequency: as needed but we are trying to earn the prize each month
• Tickets are placed on the Orange You Fantastic wall by teacher (Wall is by the Calming Room)
• When the school earns a particular amount (50 right now) they earn a prize. They are earning an extra recess at this time.
• Sometimes we will work together as a whole school and sometimes by class in which the teacher can choose the reward.
• Allan will announce what prize we are earning and Kim will send out an email to remind teachers as well

• Given to an individual for outstanding demonstration of character that goes above and beyond just following rules
• Frequency: this is a VERY SPECIAL award that is not given all the time.
• Student receives a certificate to go home

• We know that trinket prizes have some impact and certainly bring happiness to students for a short period of time.
• We also know that experiential rewards can have a longer period of positive reinforcement and the district is moving that direction.
• ZAP winners will go to the office to pick out one of these “non-tangible” prizes at the office. PRIZE COUPON You can use this link to show students what they can earn if their name is drawn.
• Ideas for additional rewards are more than welcome
• OFFICE SCHEDULE: 9 AM and 2 PM (Fridays until 12 PM). No more than 2 students at a time.

• Working within the COVID guidelines for tracking and our capacity to provide the Golden Ticket Table, the following is a starting approach that may be adapted as go along.
• The GOLDEN TICKET is a prize option on the PRIZE COUPON list for the ZAP drawing each Monday.
• The GOLDEN TICKET table is available on Fridays.
• The ZAP drawing will include 2 students from each grade who can choose from the PRIZE COUPON list. If they choose the GOLDEN TICKET, they can choose (2) friends to eat with them at the GOLDEN TICKET TABLE on that Friday. They will also be released first to go to recess.
• GOLDEN TICKETS can only be earned this way. We are not able to accommodate other options (like turning in 10 ZAPS) due to the tracking necessary for COVID.

• October 15th PD Update – I shared last week the PD plan for this day was, “Professional Development (5.5 hours), Guest speaker – Race/Equity, SEL Building Specific, Teacher Planning Day” so I asked for details at a last week’s principal meeting and found out downtown got busy did not scheduled a guest speaker and instead are doing a 1-hour district tech webinar and turning the rest of the day over to principals. The ELA adoption committee is meeting, so I won’t be in the building to lead any PD (I’m sure you’re devastated), so the plan for the day will be:

8:00-9:00, Team Collaboration
9:00-10:00, Tech Webinar – Pre-made Nearpod and Seesaw lessons
10:00-12:00, Team Collaboration
12:00-12:30, Lunch
12:30-2:00, Team Collaboration
2:00-4:00, Prep

For collaboration team, teams can choose what’s useful for you; planning lessons for students on quarantine (since TOSAs are no longer providing canned lessons), review the library of pre-made Seesaw and Nearpod lessons, begin looking at fall benchmark data, or other tasks useful to your team. I’ll add this to Tuesday’s Staff Meeting agenda to make sure this plan works for folks. I’ll keep you posted if downtown changes anything.

• Monday Announcements Begin This Week – I’ll do announcements this Monday at 8:00, announcing Zapp Winners, the Pledge of Allegiance, and reminders of upcoming events. We have auditions for student announcers this week, so hopefully we’ll have kiddos doing it soon!

• School Picture Day, WEDNESDAY – Shared earlier, lined here is the Picture Day Schedule. Grade levels have been assigned times and teams should decide who takes which of your grade level spots (or if you want us to choose, we can do that too). A few classes had to be given specific times to work around specialists.

• Quarantine Student Lesson Option– I heard another idea one principal gave teachers for students in quarantine. Since the direction states “Teachers send the essential components of their daily in class learning and activities as a Seesaw assignment.” one school has teachers simply sending that day’s Journeys story and/or activity through ThinkCentral and the LearnZillion video for that day’s lesson. Other options shared earlier are using the TOSA created 10-day lessons, which are good through October 15th (found on the 4J Student Quarantine Extended Absences K-5 doc) or sending out the Monthly Library Choice Board from District Librarian Amy Page.

• Site Council Reps – Our first Site Council Meeting of the year is next week. There are 5 licensed reps and 3 classified rep positions. Rep positions are 2-year terms, though I don’t recall who was on year-one or year-two, but I do know we have at least one classified and one licensed rep opening. There were only two classified reps last year and Kristina was one of the licensed reps. If other reps can let me know if you are on year-one or year-two, we can decide how many open positions we have. Classified reps were Jackie and Lisa. Licensed reps were Geoff, Jenny, Kristina, Leslie , and Liz. I’ll add this to the Tuesday Staff Meeting Agenda as a check-in item.

• Classified Meetings are Back! – I’d originally had these on the calendar for the first Friday of each month, but then took them off when Friday PDs got scheduled on top of them, but since those on pause I’ve added Classified Staff Meetings back to the calendar, though it’ll be the second Friday for October. See a separate email for that agenda.

• 2019-2020 Mandatory Elementary School Bus Safety Training – The state requires all students, even non-bus riders, to receive instructions on bus safety before the end of December 2021. Linked here is a Bus Training Info Sheet (English and Spanish) and Emergency Exits Handout sent to principals, but all classroom teachers need to do is show a bus safety video. There’s the  Newer Bus Evacuation Training Video or the quaint 1990s relic The Safest Way Out. Teachers then let me know the date you showed the video for the report I have to submit to Transportation.

• Walk+Roll to School Day, WEDNESDAY – Get your students pumped for our first Walk & Roll to School Day! All students are encourage to walk, bike, carpool or ride the bus to school. If they live a long way from school, they could try parking a ten minute walk from school and walking the rest of the way. Older students can walk on their own. Younger students will need to walk or bike with an adult. The goal is to reduce traffic and pollution around our school and to promote physical activity for students. Students who ride the bus are doing their part by participating in the biggest carpool of all.

• Staffing Updates – Two staffing updates:

• Kyla Lenker (COVID Utility EA) – Kyla is set to start this Wednesday. She’ll work out of the Calming Room with Kim and Max.

• Emergency Sub Licenses – Classified subs now only need a high school diploma, so if you know of anyone interested in applying for the sub pool, please refer them to the 4J Jobs website.

• TalentEd Professional Goals – There’s been talk by downtown about reducing TalentEd tasks, so I’m going to ask at the principals’ meeting on Monday if licensed goals are required or not. If they are required, I’ll schedule a time for a group of interested teachers to come up with optional building goals teachers can use if they want. Stay tuned.

• Safety Week Feedback – Let me know if you have any feedback that would make any drill we did last week go smoother, whether it’s changing around evacuation lines, flow exiting the building, or anything else.

• 4J Nutrition Services Updates – This Nutrition Services Update was shared with principals in response to last minute menu changes. The short version is there are supply chain issues and menus are having to unexpectedly change when items aren’t getting delivered. The other piece of info is they are not taking any requests from buildings at this time while they sort through their current set of problems (I was one of the troublemakers who last week contacted them about bringing back chocolate milk for kids).

• Student iPads Potentially Staying at School – Principals got fired up last week about having to send home iPads daily and the issues it’s creating. In response, downtown is now looking at how best to address these issues. More to follow.

• Updated 4J COVID Reporting Process – If you’re interested, the linked COVID Reporting Email and Docs were sent to principals and office staff regarding how and when to report suspected COVIC cases. The short version is we report if a student is COVID positive or has been a close contact to someone who is COVID positive, but we DO NOT report if a student has primary COVID symptoms or if a student is taking a COVID test and does not have any symptoms.

• Taking Small Steps Toward Equity – It can be difficult to know how to keep going with equity work, but starting with culturally responsive teaching is helpful in getting past, “Okay, I get it… what do I do now?” See this Edutopia Article for ideas on diversifying explicit the curriculum as well as diversifying implicit curriculum. Making small changes can make a big 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:

October 4 (M)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

October 5 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Cafeteria)

October 6 (W)
Walk+Roll to School Day
8:00-1:00, School Pictures (Gym)2:45-3:45, Asynchronous Content Prep Time
7:00-10:00, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

October 7 (H)
4:00-5:30, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Zoom)
5:30,6:30, 4J Virtual Job Fair (Zoom)

October 8 (F)
1:25-2:25, Asynchronous Content Prep Time
1:30-2:30, Classified Staff Meeting (Library)

October 11 (M)
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
9:00, Allan to Elementary Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)

October 12 (T)
2:45-3:25, PBIS Meeting (Library)
4:00-6:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Zoom)

October 13 (W)
2:45-3:45, Asynchronous Content Prep Time

October 14 (H)
5:00-6:00, Site Council Meeting (Zoom)
6:00-7:00, PAHS (Parents at Holt School) Meeting (Zoom)

October 15 (F)
No School — Professional Development/Planning Day
8:00-2:00, Allan to ELA Adoption Meeting (Roosevelt MS)
8:00-9:00, Team Collaboration
9:00-10:00, Tech Webinar – Pre-made Nearpod and Seesaw lessons
10:00-12:00, Team Collaboration
12:00-12:30, Lunch
12:30-2:00, Team Collaboration
2:00-4:00, Prep

Have a good week, y’all!