Hollymead Buzz

A Newsletter for Parents

November 29, 2020


Dear Hollymead Families,

As we end our break for Thanksgiving, I wanted to report that we had a very successful Hornet Helper week. We have sent many wonderful cards, greetings, and water bottles to those in need this season, and as tokens of thanks to those helping our community. I'm proud of our community, and it is a wonderful statement on the generosity and thoughtfulness of our students and families.

Some things about this holiday may be different for some this year. While celebrations may change and the people we see may not be as many, the spirit of being thankful will hopefully persist. I have much to be grateful for this year, and I wanted to take an opportunity to share some of those things with you.

I am grateful for our students. Each day they either come to the school or log in with their best effort, enthusiasm, curiosity and brain power. They are why we are here, and they remind us of that so often!

I am grateful for our teachers and staff. I don't think that the incredible flexibility, determination, and ingenuity of our teachers, assistants, and support staff can be overstated. They are the heroes of our educational efforts, and we are lucky to benefit from such strong educators and professionals!

I am grateful for our families because we know that you have also shown flexibility, determination, and ingenuity. Your support keeps us going, and is helping your students to get the most out of virtual or hybrid learning. They count on you, and so do we.

Thank you all for giving me so many reasons to be grateful to be here at Hollymead.

Have a great week, and stay safe!


Things we're learning in Stage 3

Absences - We have had no confirmed cases of COVID - 19 here at Hollymead, but we have had absences. If your child is absent with symptoms that could be associated with COVID, please inform us, and we have a protocol to safely allow them back into school. I would also say that if your student is absent for a reason other than illness, at this particular time, it's best for us to know that, because we are going to be extra cautious in making sure everyone is healthy before returning.

Arrival and Dismissal - These are going very smoothly. Thank you for your patience in dropping students off and picking them up, especially in the car pickup lane.

Flow of the Day - Students are adapting well to this. They are getting outside, and we have alternative spaces for poor or cold weather. Students are academically engaged, and getting the hang of being here, even with the mitigation strategies.

Report Cards

Report Cards are posted in parent portal. Please contact the main office if you do not have a log in.

Any Changes in Stage and Their Effects on Hollymead

As you are aware from the email yesterday, the county is monitoring the rate of infections and test positivity rate when deciding whether it is safe to continue with in-person instruction. If it is deemed unsafe, and we stop in-person instruction - we will make the following immediate changes:

Students will stay with their current teachers.

Monday/Wednesday Hybrid students will move to virtual AM

Tuesday/Thursday Hybrid students will move to virtual PM

Virtual students will remain with the same teacher, and the same time.

If we get any kind of indication that the closure will last more than a few weeks, we will take requests for adjustments.

Big picture

Each year, Hollymead collaborates with the Toy Lift Charities to assist families in need of holiday gifts for their children. This year, families need to go to the following link, bit.ly/32Co8QT , to complete the application by NOV 3rd ! If you have questions about Toy Lift you can contact our School Counselor, Megan Kopley, at mkopley@k12albemarle.org or 434-973-8301.

If you family is interested in donating to Toy Lift, you can purchase an item from their Amazon Wish List – https://zurl.co/JHfd

Library Checkout

We are very excited about starting library circulation next week. Checking out books from the library will be different this year. The Hollymead library will be using a system of picking up and dropping off books on Fridays from 10:30 to 2:30 at the front of school. This system is similar to one used by the public library.

How many books may students check out and how long may they check them out for?

Each student will be allowed to check out five books at a time and the books will be checked out for one month. Please be considerate and return your old library books so that other students may read them.

How will the students select books?

Students will select books by using our library catalog. You can find it by going to the Hollymead library webpage and clicking on the Follett Destiny Library System icon. Once you are in the catalog, you will need to log in using your school username and password. After that you can search for the books that you want to check out. You will notice a hold symbol in the corner of the book cover icons. When you click on that hold symbol, the book will automatically be placed on hold for you and a notification will be sent to the librarian. The hold message may include a date that you should ignore.

You may also email the titles of the books that you want to the librarian to check out for you. It is important to place your books on hold or email the librarian before Thursday at 2:30.

How will the students know if their selections were available and checked out to them?

The librarian will check out your selected library books and place them in a bag with your name on it. She will email you to confirm that your book selections were available and checked out to you. She will also tell you the date of when the books may be picked up. Library book pick-up and drop-off will be held every Friday from 10:30 to 2:30 in the front of school.

How will we return the library books?

We will also be collecting those on Fridays from 10:30 to 2:30. Remember to return your old library books so you may check out new ones.

Will the library circulation system always work this way?

In the future, we may need to make adjustments to this library circulation system depending on the demand for library books and other factors like the weather. We will send out updates as appropriate.

What if I need help or have questions?

If you have questions or need help, you may email me at jcrone@k12albemarle.org. You may also come to the Library Help Time Zoom sessions. They are held Monday through Thursday from 11:00 to 11:30 and from 2:30 to 3:00. Check Seesaw for the links.

Hollymead Virtual Student Learning Handbook

Here is the official handbook supplement to cover virtual learning. It is the same at each school, and hope it provides some clarity. It may be modified as we learn and grow through this experience.

Seesaw and Zoom

Seesaw and Zoom will be the critical tools for virtual learning. Teachers have been working so hard to improve the Seesaw experience from the spring, and we expect that the daily interaction of students and teachers over Zoom to be critical in making this Fall a success. Please see the links below that the Department of Technology has created for Seesaw and Zoom to help you at home.


Zoom for IPADS

Zoom for Computers (school laptops in particular)

If there are technology hardware or software issues with your device, please call the school, or ACPS technology support directly at 434-975-9444 and we can work to get a repair ticket started for you.

Student Meals - 2020-21