March 28, 2022

By Allan  


Hello Team,

Hope you all had a good spring break. The highlight of my break was FINALLY getting/forcing my children to watch the first Star Wars film. I’ve earlier tried to get them to willingly watch, but I gave up on that and announced to them that they had no choice and that we were watching whether they liked it or not whether they liked it or not. And if you were wondering, I had them watch the non-special edition versions where Han shoots first. They still preferred “Turning Red” but whatever.

Twenty-one items of note for this week:

• Staffing Updates – Five staffing updates:

• 22-23 Staffing Spreadsheet – Linked here this the complete classified and licensed 22-23 Staffing Plan. Custodial and Nutrition Services staffing are done by downtown, so that is not included here. Let me know if anything looks off or if you have any questions.

• Teaching Assignment Change – One change you may notice in the above linked staffing plan is that Lisa Z. and Elizabeth swapped grade levels, so for next year, Lisa will move back to 1st grade and Elizabeth will move up to 2nd grade.

• New CLC Staff – Joining Richard and Darren in the upper grade CLC is Julie McWhorter as our new CLC EA. Julie is a Holt parent and a former middle school teacher who took time off from teaching to be with her newborn child. She was our first choice for the position, so please say HI to Julie when you see her on Monday. Welcome to the team!

• SSD Staffing Info – I shared earlier Holt’s SSD Allocations, but one thing SSD has done differently this year is they no longer differentiate between LC and CLC allocations. As part of the “Learning for All” initiative, where students regardless of need (excluding Life Skills) stay at their neighborhood school. They have also eliminated 1:1 EA staffing and instead have a section noting “Students needing more intensive adult support.” Holt already does a pretty good job of offering a flexible continuum of services, with students receiving support in the LC or CLC regardless of placement, though for our SPED team this may complicate case management, but I’m sure we’ll figure things out.

• Student Service Coordinator – 4J added this 8-hour classified position to Howard, Chavez, and River Road the year and is now expanding it to Holt and a few other schools. If you’re a 4J old timer, this position is similar to the old Family Resource Center Coordinators, who supported families by directing them to community services, resources, and agencies. If you’re curious, this is the Job Description.

• UPDATED: Artist Schedule – Any classroom teacher who had changes already knows, but linked here is the Updated Artist in Residence Schedule for The Art of Fiddling and the Mystique of Louisiana with Kelly Thibodeaux. Session will be in the Music Room and regular Music classes will be in classrooms during the three week residency.

• Recess Rules Review Monday – A reminder we’re reviewing recess expectations this Monday according to the schedule below. Teachers should come out your class during the review, which will focus less on “Rules” and more on getting along, communication, and problem solving, which is where most of our playground issues stem from.

8:10-8:25 KG Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
8:35-8:50 2nd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
9:00-9:15 1st Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:05-1:20 4th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:30-1:45 3rd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:55-2:10 5th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)

• Recess Pick-Up Reminder – Speaking of recess, teachers, a reminder from classified staff, is to be sure you’re ready to pick-up your classes at the end of your grade level recess times. Many EAs have groups right after recess duty and end up having to start groups late if lines are not picked up on time. Also remember that morning and lunch recess are 5-minutes shorter on Fridays.

• Holt Spirit Day, FRIDAY, Sports Day & Assembly! – This Friday is a Holt Spirit Day and this time it’s Sports Day! Wear your favorite team gear or simply wear your Holt spirit gear. I’m planning to wear my “Furies” baseball jersey and if you know what that’s from without using Google, you are seriously rad.

Linked here is the Sports Day Assembly Agenda. Teachers should log on at 7:40 and then turn on your cameras once kids come to school. Festivities begin at 7:55. 


• FRIDAY PD – OSAS Testing Security Training – Gloria will give the annual OSAS test security training this Friday at 1:30. Teachers and EAs who will be in 3/4/5 classrooms or SPED classrooms when testing occurs should attend. EAs can bank trade time for coming to this training. K/1/2 teachers will have a separate async PD activity I’ll share by email.

• COVID Rapid Tests Going Home with Students 4/4 – ODE has sent rapid tests to school districts with directions to distribute to all students at Title I schools. We’ll count these out for classrooms to send home next week on Monday, April 4th. I’ll include info in the next Quick News, along with the linked Home Kit Instructions (English and Spanish) and the linked videos (English and Spanish) on ​​how to use the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Tests.

• 2022 Electronics Recycling Competition – Remind kids we’re in the middle of the 2022 Electronics Recycling Competition and to drop off any old electronics at NextStep (245 Jackson St.) during March and April (making sure they tell them it’s for Holt) OR drop them off at the collection site in front of the office we’ll set up the week of April 4-8. The school with the most “e-waste” collected wins a $500 gift certificate and a Next Step Robot made by a local artist. Holt won this competition in the past, so let’s see if we can win again!

• April 15 PD/Planning Day – As of the week before spring break, Instruction Department leadership had not met or shared out the plan for the April 15th PD/Planning Day. This day is supposed to be 5.5 hour of PD and 2 hours of prep. We asked at the last principal meeting if the PD would be district based or building based, but they did not not at that point. If it is building based, I am planning on doing an all-staff review of Kelso’s Choice, since we have many new staff and many since we didn’t have to use it for a couple years there. I’d also like to review the Second Step Bully Prevention Unit (which is different from the Erin’s Law Student Safety Unit). I’ll keep folks posted once I know the district plan for this date.

• McKinney-Vento Program Updates – Four updates regarding the 4J McKinney-Vento (Homeless) Program from an email sent to principals:

• 4J McKinney-Vento Referral Form – There is a new online referral option for staff and community members to refer students for McKinney-Vento supports. The 4J McKinney-Vento Referral Form works best, but referrals can also be made by email or phone (541-790-6888). This link is also on the Holt Staff Dashboard.

• Who Qualifies for McKinney-Vento? – Students are eligible if their housing situation isn’t fixed, regular, or adequate. Examples of living situations include:

• living in a trailer or RV
• staying with others (extended family/friends) due to financial or other hardship
• living in a motel/hotel
• living in substandard housing (electricity/water turned off, over-crowded)
• sleeping in a vehicle, tent, RV, public space or other space not meant for habitation

If you become aware of any students in one of these situations, let me know and we can notify the McKinney-Vento Team to reach out to the family for support.

• New McKinney-Vento Website – The McKinney-Vento team as created a new user friendly 4J McKinney-Vento Website that includes resources, eligibility information, and a link to the above referral form for staff, students, families, or community member to make referrals to the team.

• Current District McKinney-Vento Count – Linked here is the current 4J McKinney-Vento Count through March. Holt has more homeless students than any elementary or middle school in the Sheldon Region and has the fifth highest count for any elementary school in 4J.

• No Student iPad Sharing – Although student iPads are staying at school, they are still checked out to individual students, so it’s important students are not using other studnets’ iPads. This is important because the personal liability rules still apply for damaged iPads (we may not know who damaged the iPad if they are sharing) and also for privacy reasons (so students are not getting access to others’ personal files or log-in information).

On a related note, I heard from a Tech Department buddy it was decided right before spring break that all of 4J will start keeping iPads at school, but they’re waiting to announce this change until they figure out the logistics of carts, chargers, and securing iPads at school, so we only went rogue for a few days there. ;)

• Post Mask Policy Transfers – Following the change of mask policy, Holt only had 3 students change pathways and it was 3 students moving from K-5 Connect back to in-person.

• Nut Free Lunch Table – Mentioned at last week’s Staff and Classified Staff Meeting was that for liability reasons, downtown is no longer allowing schools to be “nut free” and instead telling families we will offer “nut free tables” at lunchtime, which they believe will be easier to guarantee as nut free. I’ll be sharing the following article in the next Quick News:

Nut-Free Table In the Cafeteria

In the past, we have designated our cafeteria and school as nut free. School District 4J has determined schools do not have the ability to guarantee that eating areas are completely nut free. The health and safety of students is exceptionally important to us. We can guarantee that we have a nut-free eating area in our cafeteria that guarantees that students eating at that table have nut-free meals. Students sitting at a nut-free table must have a documented nut allergy and may be joined by students who have school provided meals, as we can guarantee that all school provided meals are nut-free.


• Safety Planning (i.e. Risk Assessment) Resources – Mostly for our IPBS Team, but maybe be of interest to others, the 4J Safety & Lagging Skills Planning Webpage lists resources to create a safety plan for a student going through a Behavioral Safety Assessment (BSA). This email provides additional info how 4J is trying to shift focus in plans to identifying the lagging skills driving a student’s behavior and providing an opportunity for learning, modeling, and practicing those skills.

• Sluggo’s Reading Challenge Video – If you want to show a video to kids about the reading challenge, the Ems sent a pretty entertaining 2-minute video explaining the bookmarks.

• District Admin Updates – Downtown emailed principals several admin updates over the break. The Charlemagne principal for next year is Joe Hadley, current South Eugene HS assistant principal. The Camas Ridge principal for next year is Hobie Blackhorn, current assistant principal at Shasta Middle School, The Awbrey Park for next year is Jared Tiecke, current principal at Mt. Angel School Middle School.

• New Resource: Care Solace – 4J has partnered with Care Solace, a new mental health service that matches students, staff, and families in need to verified, local service providers, securing appointments in days, not weeks or months. Principals or counselors can make referrals (don’t ask Max yet, counselors haven’t been trained just yet), so let us know if there are situations that could use a referral.

• Lane County Schools – Suicide Alert Meeting Info – Most of this is geared towards older students, but there is some info in this email from Lane County that does apply to students as young as 4-years old. There’s a Slide Show, Resources (including crisis support, counseling, support groups, bereavement services, and general websites), and a Toolkit for Schools.

• HANDBOOK HIGHLIGHT: Translating – This week’s highlight from the Holt Staff Handbook is on Translating. Most school wide communication falls on me, but for those occasions anyone is sending something out school wide, DeepL is a more accurate translation service than Google Translate.

We will translate school-wide correspondence in Spanish, if possible.

• Intervening Early to Improve Students’ Math Self-Efficacy – This Theory Into Practice Article say that self-efficacy (students’ belief that their efforts will produce success) “is arguably the most powerful motivational resource that drives individuals to engage, persevere, and accomplish goals in various domains.” In classrooms, self-efficacy is “the strongest predictor of students’ academic achievement.” But self-efficacy in math declines during the elementary grades. The authors say it’s urgent to counteract this negative trend before students reach adolescence, and suggest communicating these core messages to all students:

• Anyone can get smart and do well at math.
• My brain is like a muscle, and I can train my math muscles.
• I can do math better by working hard, using good strategies, and getting help.
• Overcoming difficulty is part of doing well in math.
• Girls can perform just as well at math as boys.

Conveying these messages well can change students’ fixed mindsets and gender stereotypical beliefs. The messages are most effective if they are presented in engaging classroom activities and that it’s better to conduct these activities with a classroom of students rather than individually, because some of the beliefs being counteracted are social in nature. See the above link for details.

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

March 28 (M)
Classes Resume
Artist in Residence Begins
Kinder Staff Room Duty
8:10-8:25 KG Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
8:35-8:50 2nd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
9:00-9:15 1st Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:05-1:20 4th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:30-1:45 3rd Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
1:55-2:10 5th Recess Rules Review (Hard-Play)
2:45, Allan to Transiiton Meeting
6:00-8:00, Allan to 4J Equity Action Team Meeting (Zoom)

March 29 (T)
Regular Day

March 30 (W)
9:00-11:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
12:45-2:25, Storyteller, 4th Grade
5:30, School Board Work Session (Zoom)
6:00-8:00, Allan to 4J Equity Action Team Meeting (Zoom)

March 31 (H)
9:10-10:10, 4th Grade School Garden Project Lessons (Garden)
10:40-11:40, 4th Grade School Garden Project Lessons (Garden)
12:45-1:45, 4th Grade School Garden Project Lessons (Garden)
6:00-7:00, Mental Health Parent Night: Suicide Prevention & Awareness (Zoom)

April 1 (F)
Holt Spirit Day, Sports Day
April Fools’ Day!
7:30-9:00, Allan to 4JMAPS Meeting (Zoom)
7:40-8:10, Sports Day, Virtual Assembly (Zoom)1:30-2:25, Friday PD – OSAS Test Security Training (Cafeteria)

April 4 (M)
School Librarian’s Day (5th Grade)
1st Grade Staff Room Duty
2022 Electronics Recycling Competition Drop-Off Week
8:30, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)

April 5 (T)
2:45-3:25, Staff Meeting (Library)
6:00-7:00, Conscious Discipline Parent Nights (Zoom)

April 6 (W)
9:00-10:00, Allan to Elem Principals’ Meeting (Zoom)
12:45-2:25, Storyteller, 4th Grade
2:40-3:30, 2nd Grade Data Team
5:30, School Board Meeting (Zoom)

April 7 (H)
Regular Day

March 8 (F)
8:00, Allan to Truancy Hearing (Zoom)
1:30-2:25, Friday PD – School Improvement Plan (Cafeteria)
1:30-2:20, KG Data Team Meeting
2:25-3:15, 1st Grade Data Team Meeting


Have a good week and remember, lots of review and reteaching!