Hollymead Buzz

A Newsletter for Parents

September 3, 2020

Ready for School

Dear Hollymead Families,

We are finishing up our final preparations, and we are ready to begin learning on Tuesday! We have missed all the students, and can't wait to see them soon.

This newsletter is pretty full of information to help make sure you are ready for Tuesday as well. I'd like to thank you for all of your support; it is overwhelming and uplifting to the entire staff and community.

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

Back to School Parade

After giving out supplies on Friday, we will bring some Hornet Pride into the neighborhood! We'll follow a similar route along the main roads that we did in the Spring. Left out of Hollymead, into the back by Ashwood, then Montgomery Ridge, and then we'll be coming up through Hollymead and the north side of Powell Creek. We'll start at about 2:30 from Hollymead. We hope to see you there for a final welcoming wave!

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, and we can work to get a repair ticket started for you.

In-person attendance in Stage 2

In-person attendance in stage 2 is very limited. In fact, Hollymead has only a very, very few students attending. These students have been notified and plans have been made explicitly with administration. All other students are to attend virtually.

School Supplies

Please see the link below. In addition to the list, we have specific supplies that we are giving to every student. They can be picked up at the following times:

K - Monday 8/31, 1-3

1- Friday 9/4, 8:30-10

2 - Friday 9/4 10-12

3 - Friday 9/4 10-12

4 - Friday 9/4 12-2

5 - Friday 9/4 12-2

Siblings can pick up together in one of the time slots. We will also have some supplies available if you would like them. We don't have enough for everyone, but are very happy to supply them to anyone who needs them for any reason, including the difficulty shopping for anything during these times. The items we have available are starred on the attached list.


Virtual Schedule and Specials

At this point, your teacher should have reached out to you regarding their schedule for virtual learning.

I wanted to speak to Specials (Art, Music, PE, Library) classes, as I know there are a lot of questions about whether they are required/optional. This confusion exists due to a few factors, but doesn't change our outlook on the classes. Here are the key points:

- School Attendance in virtual learning for Virginia Dept. of Education and Albemarle County purposes is based on students attending a section of the day, or completing work. This is to provide flexibility to parents, and to not try to be overly harsh on attendance during this time.

- Hollymead is an Arts Integration school. Our specialists and teachers work collaboratively to integrate academic and arts standards into the student's total learning experience.

- Hollymead, like all schools is required to teach the standards and report on student progress in Art, Music, and PE in the report card. Library also teaches some of the core academic standards (research, media skills, language arts) for students.

- This sets up a situation that makes it difficult to answer the question of "Are specials required?" From and attendance standpoint, they are not. From an instructional standpoint, the teachers work hard to design a learning program of the standards over a school year, including one that may start virtually. Student participation in those classes virtually will make for a more seamless year, should we transition back to the building, and a complete grade-level experience, even if we don't. From that standpoint, we are expecting students to participate.

So in summary, we are planning for, and expecting students to participate in specials. If they don't, we will be following up to see what we can do to help, because we want them to participate and we plan to report out on the standards covered. But no student or family will have any formal attendance or truancy action taken for not attending specials.

Specials classes will be offered during your student's asynchronous block, and each student should attend 1 art, 1 music, and 3 PE classes. The 3 PE classes should be taken one on Monday or Tuesday in your grade level, one on Wednesday or Thursday in your grade level, and one in the Open Gym class. Here is the specials schedule. Library times will be published in the class Seesaw page.

Library Check Out

The Hollymead library is excited to offer circulation services this Fall. The librarian is looking forward to helping students check out books using a pick-up and drop-off system. More details on the entire circulation process will be coming in the next few weeks.


If you don't have a student device, or a plan to get one in the next two days, and need one, please contact your child's teacher.


All students in K-2 will be distributed an IPAD as soon as possible. We are awaiting shipment on the rest.

Any 1st or 2nd grader who needs a loaner laptop until IPADS are ready should let their teacher know, and we will have one ready for supply pick up on September 4th.

3rd - 5th Grade

All 3rd - 5th grade students can be issued a school laptop.

If you still need a laptop, please contact the school, and we will arrange one for pick up on

Sept 4.

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:


Help Wanted!

A wonderful thing about Hollymead is all of the volunteers that help to make our school run smoothly.

As we gear up for virtual learning, we will be in need of volunteers in both a virtual environment - to help with Zoom meetings, or provide additional support to students, and in a physical one - gathering supplies, distributing materials, monitoring bathrooms or providing teacher breaks once we are back in a hybrid model.

I know many of you are beyond busy, but if you were wondering how you could volunteer this year, those are some examples. Teachers and the school will send out specific requests as we need them.