Hollymead Buzz

A Newsletter for Parents

October 2, 2020

Thank you for your support!

Dear Hollymead Families,

Last night, we had a great turnout for our virtual Back to School Night. I really appreciate you coming and engaging in sessions with the teachers in order to make this year as successful as possible. This community is very supportive of our school, and we are very grateful.

Please fill out the survey that you got from the County. Your feedback at this stage is extremely important. Once the School Board makes their decision, we will reach out with more details about what instruction will look like here after November 9th. There are some notes from frequently asked questions last night.

Please contact me if for any questions or concerns. You can reach me by phone, 434 973-8301; by email at cdommer@k12albemarle.org; or in person at school.

Craig Dommer

Principal, Hollymead Elementary School

Notes from last night

Some of the FAQs from last night:

When will we know if we are progressing to Stage 3?

The School Board meets on October 8th. A decision will be made then.

Will there still be a virtual option if we move to Stage 3?


Which grade levels would be invited in for Stage 3 hybrid learning?


Will my child get to keep their teacher if we move to stage 3?

We will do everything we can for continuity, but we will staff to fill the number of teachers we need for virtual and hybrid based on parent choices, while also respecting our employees needs based on ADA and CDC guidelines. These things will necessitate some changes in class placement.

Will I know what my child's teacher will be doing before I make my selection?

I do not think this will be possible.

Is there any chance for 4th/5th grade to be included for hybrid learning?

At this point, that would be a board decision.

Who do I contact to let my feelings be known?

You should fill out your survey. If you'd like to appeal to the school board directly, their email is schoolboard@k12albemarle.org

Supplies for Learning

We will be distributing supplies from time to time, usually on Fridays. Your teachers will post messages on SeeSaw if there are supplies for you to pick up for your student's classes. We are working to make sure that we get the most out of virtual learning, while also not requiring a weekly pickup. We will aim to have materials ready for several weeks at a time.

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.

From the School Counselor:

With students spending more time on the computer during virtual learning, I wanted to share a few ideas on how to help them reset so they can focus. I know many of us parents are also working and cannot always break when the kids are on break. You could have students select an activity at the beginning of the day so they have the materials they need or a plan in place to use when it is break time. Making a choice board or writing them down and placing in a bag to select one each day can help keep it fun. If you need more ideas or support please reach out!

What to do during Shorter Class Breaks

1. Go outside and blow bubbles

2. Dance Party- Play a song you like and dance

3. Create an obstacle course in the yard or basement - Get creative - switch activities weekly

  • Station 1 - 20 jumping jacks

  • Station 2- 10 Mountain climbers

  • Station 3- Walk a tightrope (walk a line drawn, taped or place a strap or rope on the floor)

  • Station 4- Criss Cross Toss (toss a ball or scarf from one hand to another- using one hand to toss the other to catch) Repeat 5x with each hand

  • Station 5- Stretch break - slowly reach up as high as you can with feet flat on the ground as you breath in. Then reach down and touch your toes slowly as you breath out. Repeat this 5 times.

4. Dribble a ball or toss a ball - Try to bounce the ball from one hand to the other. Crossing from one hand to the other.

5. Stand outside and breath. Using the 5 senses try and find - 5 things you can see , 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell and one thing that would have a taste.

5 Things to try during a longer breaks

1. Go for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood

2. Read

3. Try one of these online activities to get your body moving https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1iql-xlADbkMT9sA8JqqrTacpAy-xF69dX2_CTbbqt8A/present

4. Practice a screen free hobby (art, music, sport )

5. Build with legos or blocks

Here are a few other resources with suggestions:



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

Last week, there was information sent out about the school lunch program. Please see that information here:


To register, please follow this link: