Hollymead Buzz

A Newsletter for Parents

October 30, 2020

Hollymead Spirit

Dear Hollymead Families,

What a great Spirit Week it has been. We appreciate all the extra time that students and staff have put into showing their Hollymead pride! Spirit week is always fun, and we will continue to have events to bring the whole school together as we continue this school year. We will be having a combined hybrid/virtual Hollymead CARES day(s) on November 18th and 19th. Look for details in the coming weeks!

I'd like to thank Mrs. Kopley, and Mrs. Player for their social media help. Seeing so many great smiles this week has been awesome. Teachers from other schools have been asking, how our kids got so good at "making". Our students, families, and teachers are Awesome! Tomorrow, we will send out a great Spirit Week Video!

Have a great weekend, and stay safe!


Stage 3 next steps

We thank you for your continued patience with the process of moving to Stage 3. Here is what to expect next:

Tomorrow at about 4 pm, you will be able to check in Parent Portal for your student's assignment in stage 3 for students PreK-3. 4th and 5th grade student placements are the same. If your teacher has changed, then you will receive an email from that teacher sometime next week.

We will have a parent safety meeting for parents of hybrid students next week. We will send you a Zoom invite. It will be Friday November 6th at 2:30pm. We will tape it and post it - and send out the FAQs.

Hybrid students PreK-3 will come to school on November 11th. On November 9th and 10th they will have a virtual meeting with their new teacher, and do some asynchronous work.

Staffing Changes

With the change from Stage 2 to Stage 3, we have made some staffing changes. Leslie Anderson, our long-time teacher has decided to retire. We are all very sad to see her go. Leslie has made a difference to so many families in the Hollymead community. Her passion for teaching children shone through each day. She plans to spend some time with family at the beach, and I know we all wish her well.

Nancy Brase, our dedicated, and extremely competent office associate is also retiring at the end of next week. Nancy has brought professionalism, and an ability to tackle any task to the front office. We appreciate her, and all feel better knowing that she will handle anything that comes into the office. Her knowledge of the school, community, and families will be impossible to replace, and in fact, we have not done so yet. We will introduce you to our next office associate when the time comes.

To accommodate for Leslie's retirement, and some growing numbers based on parent choices, we have hired two teachers.

Ms. Gita Howeth is joining us most recently from St. Anne's Belfield. She is a graduate of the UVA School of Education, and comes with outstanding recommendations based on her dedication to students and families, creativity, and a willingness to go above and beyond. She has a great knowledge and passion for helping students learn math, and differentiating for different student needs. She will be teaching 1st Grade.

Ms. Alexis Biltz will be teaching 3rd grade. She is currently finishing her student teaching at Baker-Butler Elementary School teaching virtually, and finishing her program at UVA. She has had a variety of practicum and professional experiences with students in both Albemarle County and Charlottesville City, as well as an internship at Charlottesville Catholic School. Alexis will be a great asset to Hollymead, and we are privileged to have her begin her career here.

Please join us in welcoming Ms. Howeth, and Ms. Biltz.

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

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.

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