Holly Academy News & Views

December 10, 2021

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As Monday approached after our closure, some of you reached out with your concerns and fears. We responded to your emails and phone calls to reiterate our dedication to school safety. Internally, we are discussing additional safety protocols, while also continuing with the procedures that are currently in place at HA. These include:

  • A daily State Police presence monitoring our campus. We cannot get police presence each minute of the day; however, several times a day the State Police will be visible driving through the campus and stopping into the office.

  • All exterior doors are locked at all times with the exception of 7:40-8:00am. This is during morning drop off, where adults monitor the entry doors by welcoming the students.

  • Interior doors are locked at all times.

  • Staff and students are ALICE trained routinely (including a training for new staff members on Monday). All staff has ALICE training on February 18th.

  • Leadership: every staff member at HA takes concerns seriously. We thoroughly investigate all aspects of concerns, appropriate consequences follow, and accurate communication of the result is shared. It's great to be a Husky!

Half Day Attendance

As you may or may not know, all Michigan schools have daily attendance requirements. The State of Michigan expects each school/district to have at least 75% of their student body in attendance each and every day. Again, this minimum threshold is required. When schools fall under the minimum threshold, there are consequences. Schools/districts are put in a position to make one of two choices: use one of our six "forgiven days", which we use for snow days and other "acts of God", OR, lose a portion of our state aid payment commensurate with the shortfall in attendance. On the half day prior to Thanksgiving, we fell short of the 75% threshold, as we only had 72% of our Huskies in attendance. Because we had yet to use any of our forgiven days, we decided to use one for that day, leaving us with a remainder of five. Unfortunately, as you know, we had to close school last Thursday and Friday. At this time, we are reasonably sure the Governor will forgive those two days, due to the highly unusual circumstance surrounding our closure. However, should that not happen, we will have only three forgiven days remaining. Heading into winter, should we exceed these three days due to weather, we would have to extend the school year or lose state aid. As winter break approaches, it is so important your Husky is present at school, if able. Therefore, for next Friday's half day (the 17th), please assist us in meeting our minimum 75% attendance requirement by making this day a priority for your students. Power of the Pack!

Community Input: ESSER III Use of Funds

Holly Academy is applying for a grant from the Michigan Department of Education based on funds received from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSERIII). Our plan must include stakeholders’ input on how we plan to use the funds to academically, socially, and emotionally serve our students.

To receive these ESSER III Funds, Holly Academy must create a plan that includes the following:

How the funds will be used to implement strategies aligned with CDC guidance;

How the district will use at least 20% of the funds to address the academic impact of interrupted learning;

How the district will spend the remaining ESSER III funds;

How the district will ensure that the interventions will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of ALL students.

Please take a brief moment to share your opinions regarding how you believe Holly Academy can ACCELERATE learning for our students. In order to help our students succeed, what would be helpful?

Please complete the survey by Friday, December 17th.

Thank you!


"Thank You"

A huge thank you to Amber Rowen and Laura Petrauskas who made our holiday party extra special! Power of the Pack!

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It is that time of year to begin thinking about this year’s Spelling Bee! Unfortunately, the MI Charter School Spelling Bee is canceled, BUT Holly Academy will still be hosting theirs! Here is what you need to know:

  • SAVE THE DATE: February 10th, 2022

  • Where: Holly Academy Auditorium

  • Who: 3rd-5th grade and 6th-8th grade students

  • Time: 3rd-5th grade: 8:15am-11:00am (or until done) 6th-8th grade: 1:00pm-2:00pm (or until done)

  • Sign Up: Monday, December 13th. Have your student come to the office to sign up and pick up their practice word packet.

  • DEADLINE: Students can sign up until February 9th. However, the sooner they sign up, the sooner they can get their packet to have more time to practice!

In addition, the public will be allowed to attend, while following the required mask-wearing and social distancing policies. These policies will be enforced. I will provide reminders of this event in the upcoming newsletters. When we get closer to the Spelling Bee date, I will outline the above information, again.

Speaking of that time of year, we often hear it is a time to remember the reason for the season. Well, I would like to remember the reasons we all have chosen to be a part of the Holly Academy family by highlighting some of the many wonderful things going on in your student’s classroom/s.

  • Young 5’s and Kindergarten are feeling the holiday spirit! They have been busy little elves working on activities created around daily themes that incorporate counting, sight word vocabulary, and patterns. Not to mention, they have had some special visitors (elves on the shelves) to report back to Santa all the good choices they are making!

  • Sixth grade just finished up a persuasive letter writing unit to ask for donations to build a well in Southern Sudan. They learned about the need for this after reading the book A Long Walk to Water. They currently have raised $1000.

  • In social studies, second grade is learning about maps and landforms, third grade is learning about Michigan and the Revolutionary War, and fourth grade will begin their economics unit. Here, they learn through real-world experience by creating a mini-society. They will begin with job interviews next week!

  • No matter what level of math, students are becoming their own ‘success stories.’ By utilizing strategies being taught in the classroom and their own hard work and dedication, math concepts from subtraction and division, all the way to Algebra, are being accomplished and celebrated.

  • From Spanish-style Jeopardy, where Mr. Summers plays Alex Trebek, to Mrs. Pena-Sweetman teaching Spanish in YMCA style, students are actively engaged in learning numbers, vocabulary, and creating scripts in this language. It is wonderful to see them having so much fun!

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Holiday Tradition

Dress down following the theme!

Monday: holiday hat

Tuesday: holiday socks

Wednesday: holiday accessory or flannel

Thursday: holiday top

Friday: ugly holiday sweater or "you choose"

* students who do not celebrate holidays can dress down each day without following the theme

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From the Board of Directors

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HA Snowboard & Ski Club

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2021-22 Yearbooks for Sale

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Healthy Huskies

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OCHD Covid Guidance

Please remember if anyone in your household is getting a COVID test any members in the home need to be excluded from school.
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Boys Basketball

December 14th

JV Maroon away vs SOTL- 5:00pm

Varsity Maroon away vs SOTL - 6:00pm

JV White away vs CSA - 5:00pm

Varsity White away vs CSA - 6:00pm

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Husky Helps Pantry

Earlier this school year our Huskies donated items to help replenish our Husky Helps Pantry. We are excited to open the pantry to any families in need. We have been patiently waiting for the installation of a door buzzer to allow families to enter the school near the pantry. However, like most things these days, labor and material shortages have continued to be an issue.

If you are in need of any assistance, please reach out to Angie Cryderman at crydermana@hollyacademy.org to schedule a time for you to gather any items you need from the pantry. She will let you into the building near the Husky Helps pantry. If you are not comfortable entering the building, you can also email her a list of items you need, and she will gather these items and let you know when they are ready and you can do a curbside pick up. Please know that she will keep your identify confidential.

In addition to the food items in the picture, there are also cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, and other personal hygiene products.

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  • Dec. 13 - Holiday hat day - dress down following the theme
  • Dec. 14 - Holiday sock day - dress down following the theme
  • Dec. 15 - Holiday accessory or flannel day - dress down following the theme
  • Dec. 15 - Board of Directors meeting at 5:30pm in the media center
  • Dec. 16 - Holiday top day - dress down following the theme
  • Dec. 17 - Half day of school, dismiss at 11:30am - free dress down
  • December 25- Merry Christmas
  • Dec. 20 - Dec. 31 - Holiday break
  • Jan. 1 - Happy New Year!
  • Jan. 3 - School resumes
  • Jan. 7 - PTO dress down day, $1.00
  • Jan. 12 - PTO meeting at 8:00am in the auditorium
  • Jan. 17 - No school, MLK Jr. day
  • Jan. 18 - 25 - Vision testing for Y5, 1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th grades
  • Jan. 19 - Board of Directors meeting at 5:30pm in the media center
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