Holly Academy News & Views

July 30, 2020

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It has been a very busy July in the office! On June 30th, Governor Whitmer published her MI Safe Schools: Michigan's 2020-2021 Return to School Roadmap. We immediately got busy writing the required Holly Academy COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan and the Holly Academy Workplace COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. These two plans have to be approved by CMU (as our authorizing body) and our Board of Directors. On July 21st we submitted both plans to CMU. They have been tentatively approved by CMU in anticipation of the Board's approval last night. Now that the plans are approved at the Board and CMU levels they will be sent to MDE. On Monday, August 3rd, Holly Academy's plans will be available on our website. The plans outline how Holly Academy will conduct teaching and learning in the Safe Start Phases:

Phases 1-3: schools will not be open for in-person instruction (students will be 100% virtual on Odysseyware)

Phase 4: schools open for in-person instruction with stringent required safety protocols

Phase 5: schools open for in-person instruction with moderate required safety protocols

Phase 6: schools open for in-person instruction with minimal required safety protocols

Next Monday, we will be sending a survey to families for you to choose which option is best for your family/student while we are in Phases 4 or 5. You must choose an option for an entire marking period or more due to the structure of the units and grading on Odysseyware and our in-person teaching/learning.

Families may choose one of three options:

  • Full time in-person
  • Blended option: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, in-person (Odysseyware on Tuesday, Thursday)
  • 100% virtual (on the Odysseyware platform)

Please understand that if you choose the blended option your child will be in the classroom cohort with his/her peers that chose the full time option.

Last night the Board of Directors also approved that our first week of school (August 31st - September 3rd) will be half days. Our reasoning for this is as follows:

  • After over five months out of the classroom a gradual return will improve student stamina.
  • Staff will use these days to teach health and safety procedures.
  • Establishing staff/student relationship building.
  • Staff will introduce students to Odysseyware.

Our half day schedule is from 8:00am - 11:30am. Tuesday, September 8th we will begin our full time, 8:00am - 3:15pm schedule.

Thank you for being patient with us as we navigate through these uncharted waters. It is great to be a Husky!

Return to Learn

1. What kind of mask or facial covering will my student have to wear? Is a scarf or face shield okay to wear instead of an actual mask?

According to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, a face covering is a cloth mask that fully covers your nose and mouth. Medical grade masks need to be saved for use by health care providers. A face shield cannot be used in lieu of a mask. Holly Academy will provide each family with one mask.

2. If my child does not wear a mask and is required to do so, what will happen?

If we are in Phase four (4) of the Governor's "Safe Start" plan, your child will not be permitted to attend school without a face covering. In grades Y5-5: students will be required to wear face coverings (masks) in the hallways, entering and exiting school, and when they use the restroom. Face coverings will not be required in the classroom, but if parents want their students to wear face coverings, they are welcome to do so.

In grades 6-8: Students are required to wear face coverings (masks) at all times other than while eating. Middle school students will go outside for a "mask break" every 35 minutes.

3. If a parent chooses face-to-face instruction but their student or someone in the household has a positive COVID test result, will they have to go to online instruction?

Yes. Any student or staff that tests positive for COVID 19 or is in close contact with a clinically diagnosed patient will not be allowed to return to school for 14 days and they show documentation of a negative COVID 19 test.

4. Will parents be notified if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.

Families will be notified of the presence of any laboratory positive or clinically diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the classroom and/or school to encourage closer observation for any symptoms at home. In the event of a lab or clinically diagnosed case of COVID-19, immediate efforts will be made to contact any close contacts (those who spent more than 15 minutes less than six feet in close proximity to the student or staff member) so that they can be quarantined for 14 days at home. Students and staff should be closely monitored for any symptoms of COVID-19. At this time, empiric testing of all students and staff members in the class is not recommended. Only those who develop symptoms will require testing for COVID-19. Siblings of students who are quarantining that haven't been in close contact with the COVID patient need not quarantine.

Oakland Health Department contact tracing: https://www.oakgov.com/covid/best-practices/prepare/Pages/contact-tracing.aspx

5. Will there be a temperature check before entering the school?

The guidance from the Governor's Roadmap is that the parents are expected to take their child's temperature daily before they bring their child to school. As a recommended practice, families are encouraged to check their child's temperature at home every morning using oral. tympanic, or temporal scanners; students with a temperature of 100.4 or greater should stay home, consider coronavirus testing if symptoms of COVID-19 are present, and consult their doctor.

6. Is Holly Academy going back to school five days a week or using an every other day schedule to allow for deep cleaning?

School will take place five days a week for face-to-face and online instruction. Procedures are in place to provide safe cleaning of surfaces throughout the school day and thorough cleaning and sanitation after school.

7. Will all elective courses be available to online students?

No. Only core subjects and specials classes will be available on Odysseyware.

8. If I choose online learning, will the teacher be available to interact via Zoom? Or answer questions they have during school hours.

Yes, but not immediately. In an online setting, the response to questions are not as immediate as they would be in a face-to-face setting. Odysseyware online classes will follow the 24-hour rule for responding to questions. Students or parents should receive a response within 24 hours except on the weekends.

9. Would an online student be marked as absent if they did not check-in for the day?

Yes. Some form of two-way communication between the student and instructor must occur. The frequency of that two-way communication will vary depending on the students' grade level. Elementary students should have daily communication while secondary students, at a minimum, must have a least weekly two-way communication.

10. Are Chromebooks being offered to students who opt for online learning and need access to a learning device?

Yes. Holly Academy would once again offer Chromebooks for use at home for those students who opt to participate in online learning.

11. If a parent picks the online option and there is a working vaccine offered for COVID-19 by the end of the year, will students be able to return to school, or are they stuck online for the entire year?

Students may return to in-person at the beginning of a marking period.

12. What is the difference between online learning and homeschooling?

With online learning, the student has a teacher that provides lessons, assignment, assessments, feedback, and determines the students' grade or mark in a course or subject. If you choose to homeschool your child it is up to you to find or create the curriculum, assignments, and assessments. Your student will not earn credit or receive grades or marks from Holly Academy. There is no cost to participate in the Holly Academy online program; however, many times there is a cost to the parent to purchase homeschool programs if they choose not to enroll in the Holly Academy online learning program.

13. If I enroll in another online program, does that mean my student is no longer enrolled at Holly Academy?

Yes. If you enroll your child with any other program not offered by Holly Academy your child will no longer be considered a Holly Academy student. Before making the decision to enroll your student in another school or program we ask that you contact us. Please contact Ms. Kildee, Mrs. Potteiger, or Ms. Burns.

14. The grade level supply lists ask for Clorox wipes but I cannot find them in stores.

We realize that wipes are in short supply. If you/we cannot locate them we will use alternate cleaning methods such as disinfectant spray.

15. Will Kidz Klub (before/after school care) be available in the 20/21 school year?

Yes. You will receive information in the next few weeks.

16. If my student is enrolled in online learning and requires intervention services, will they be available?

Yes, although intervention will be done through Odysseyware and with the online teacher.

17. If my child is enrolled in online learning, which teacher do I contact?

There will be a dedicated teacher(s) assigned to your student.

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Last week, Holly Academy teachers and administration received training on Odysseyware, our online platform. Things you need to know about our online program.

  • Odysseyware is a full year program with 180 days of learning.
  • Odysseyware will support Holly Academy's rigorous curriculum.
  • The online program requires the same amount of hours as face to face learning, but does not require students to be online from 8-3.
  • Early elementary students (Y5-2) should plan on spending approximately 30 minutes per subject.
  • Upper elementary and middle school students (3-8) should plan on spending approximately 1 hour per subject.
  • Parents will have the ability to oversee and access their student's coursework via their own username and password.
  • Online students will be assigned to a Holly Academy teacher who will be checking in frequently with your student to ensure they are staying on track, answer questions, and provide support.
  • Students will receive traditional grades in Skyward for the assignments, projects, quizzes, and tests.
  • Attendance will be monitored through participation and daily/weekly check-ins.

Please take a moment to watch the following video for parents from Odysseyware.


If you have any additional questions, please contact Mrs. Potteiger at potteigj@hollyacademy.org.

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Positive Behavior Support Resources

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UPCOMING EVENTS (pending State mandates)

  • June 12 - Aug. 31 - Summer break
  • Aug. 3-7 - Camp Invention
  • Aug. 31 - First day of school for 1st-8th grades (half day)
  • Sept. 1 - First day of school for Y5 and kindergarten (half day)
  • Aug. 31- Sept. 3 - Half days (8:00am-11:30am)
  • Sept. 4 - No school
  • Sept. 7 - Labor Day
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