Hollymead Buzz

A Newsletter for Parents and Caregivers

November 14, 2021

Celebrating Community

Dear Hollymead Families and Caregivers,

This fall has brought some wonderful opportunities to celebrate our community with some group events that we had really been missing! The Book Character Parade was a huge success, and we loved seeing student and staff creativity with all of their costumes. We also celebrated CARES Day, spent time giving back to our community, and then gathered near the playground for a schoolwide meeting led by our fifth grade class. We're thankful for good weather that allows us to safely gather outside.

In the coming weeks, many classrooms will be having new Activ Panels installed for student and teacher use. We are very excited to begin to use this technology. If your students come home talking about the "giant TVs" in the classroom, these are them.

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

Spirit Wear Shop

The Hollymead Spirit Store is open for 2 more days! Order online to confirm our now and get your items before winter break. All items will arrive at the school unless otherwise specified.

Spirit Wear Link

ACPS Calendar Updates

At the school board meeting last Thursday, 5 full teacher workdays were added to the calendar, including 2 days previously on the calendar as half-days. Also, 2 days originally designated as half-days for students were changed to full days of instruction. The revised 2021-22 School Year Calendar includes the following changes:

Tuesday, January 25, No School for Students

Wednesday, February 16, Full Day (had been a half day)

Friday, February 18, No School for Students

Friday, March 18, No School for Students

Wednesday, April 20, Full Day (had been a half day)

Friday, April 22, No School for Students

Friday, May 20, No School for Students

Substitute Teachers

You have probably seen in the news that school systems around the country have teaching shortages and need more substitute teachers, and that is true for us, too! Hollymead needs substitute teachers, and we'd love for you and your neighbors to consider signing up. Register with Albemarle County Public Schools, and then we can call on you when we need a substitute. When we don't have enough substitutes, we have to use our teaching assistants and specialists to fill in as classroom teachers.

Report Cards

Report Cards will be viewable on the Parent Portal on November 22nd at 4pm. We are piloting a new math report card, so you will receive that section on paper on either Monday or Tuesday.

Square 1 Art

Online and phone orders for Square 1 Art can be made through November 16th: www.square1art.com and (888)332-3294

This school fundraiser is a great way to support Hollymead and get some great items with your artist's work of art on it. Orders will arrive December 3rd, just in time for the holidays! Email Mrs. Foster with any questions.

School Lunch

All student breakfasts and lunches are free this year.

We will eat outside on all nice weather days, even with lower temperatures. As days get colder, make sure your children have appropriate clothing to stay comfortable during lunchtime.

When we are inside, each class will be assigned an area of the cafeteria. We will be using both the cafeteria and the auditorium, and classrooms. Lunches are arranged so there are never more than 65 kids in the lunchroom at once, which is less than half of our old capacity, in double the space. We will seat only 1 student at a table. Half of each class will eat in their rooms at least 6 feet apart.

We are also doubling the number of supervising adults to make sure we are able to enforce distance.

We will clean and sanitize tables in between groups.

Golden Apple Nominations

Community nominations are now open for the 2022 Golden Apple Awards. The program, which began in 2001, honors outstanding teachers in public and private schools in Albemarle County and Charlottesville City. Sponsored by Better Living Building Supply & Cabinetry, the awards recognize educators from preschool through the 12th grade for their influence on the success of their students.

Honorees are selected for a Golden Apple based upon their demonstrated excellence in the classroom, their innovative instructional strategies and techniques, and their partnership with parents and other community members. Nominations can be made by students, parents, other educators, and members of the community. The Golden Apple Nomination Form is available on Albemarle County Public Schools’ Golden Apple Awards web page.

One teacher will be selected from each of the 42 public and private schools and teaching programs in the city and county. Among the teaching programs included are, for example, the University of Virginia’s Hospital Education Program and the county school division’s Virtual School.

“All of us, regardless of our life experiences, can remember, even from our earliest days in school, how a teacher changed our lives for the better,” said Richard Nunley, a retired president and the current chairman of the board of Better Living Supply & Cabinetry. Nunley began the Golden Apple program in partnership with local schools as a way to recognize the service of teachers, not only to their students, but to the business community.

Nomination criteria include creating a love of learning among all students; stimulating thought and dialogue in the classroom; raising student expectations for success; understanding and providing for individual student needs; and involving families in the education process. In addition to receiving a Golden Apple, each award recipient will also receive a $500 grant, which can be used for classroom materials or to support the teacher’s professional development.

Dr. Kevin Castner, a retired superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools, again is chairing the selection committee for the awards. The committee also includes parents and educators from both school divisions and representatives from the Virginia Association of Independent Schools.

The deadline for nominations is January 24, 2022. Previous Golden Apple recipients can be nominated for a second award providing that three years have elapsed since they received their award.

Supporting Families

When it comes to us and our children, we are the ‘pitchers’ and they are the ‘cups’.

It is hard to “fill them up” when you are running on empty. We at Hollymead Elementary understand the stress that families feel as they juggle work, home life, and their children’s school needs. We want to help. Our goal is to find out what our Hollymead families need that would make their lives a little easier. We know that we aren’t miracle workers, but maybe there is something that we can do. Please take a few minutes and fill out this CONFIDENTIAL survey to help us to better support our Hornet families! All forms will be handled with discretion and responded to by your School Counselor, Megan Kopley, School Counseling Intern, Alexandra Biazzo or Social Emotional Learning Coach, Cherly Cottrell.

Medication at School

We want to make parents aware of the main points of Albemarle County School Board Policy JGCD-E regarding student medication at school, which is included in the Parent-Student Handbook.

Here are the highlights:

· Whenever possible, medication should be scheduled outside of school hours.

· If prescription medicine must be dispensed during school hours, a medication form (see the Student-Parent Handbook) MUST be filled out and signed by a parent/guardian and the prescribing physician. Forms are available in the school office.

· Parents/Guardians may complete the medication form for school personnel to administer non-prescription medication during school hours if necessary.

· No more than one month’s supply of a prescribed medication shall be stored at school.

· Medications are housed in a locked cabinet in the clinic and administered by the nurse or a designated staff member.

· Medication cannot be dispensed to a child without the appropriate form.

If you have any questions, you may contact our nurse, Eileen Gomez at 973-8301 or egomez@k12albemarle.org.