Hollymead Buzz

A Newsletter for Parents

September 17, 2021

All Are Welcome

Dear Hollymead Families and Caregivers,

We have been having a lot of fun here at school, and this week kids are working on projects that are representative of our goals this year. While we continue to educate during this pandemic, and have everyone return to the building, we wanted to make sure that we returned to our focuses: integrating our curriculum with the arts, having a strong focus on curiosity, creativity, and imagination, and creating a learning community that is supportive of all of our families regardless of background or culture.

Dot Day was on Wednesday and the students had a great time wearing their dots, and participating in very creative activities in Art and around the building this week. The Dot is a book by Peter Reynolds that encourages students to make their mark as individuals, and teaches that everyone is creative and artistic. Young students are already primed to be better understanding of this than most adults, and we are trying to encourage and foster that as they grow!

We also started our first whole school read of All Are Welcome. Each class has read the book and begun coming up with ways to make others feel welcome at Hollymead. As a staff, we are also discussing this concept. How do we form stronger partnerships with families? How do we make visitors feel welcome rather than intrusive? Even with more restrictions due to COVID, how do we make people feel like they belong here?

The mission of Albemarle County Public Schools is, "Working together as a team, we will end the predictive value of race, class, gender, and special capacities for our children’s success through high quality teaching and learning for all. We seek to build relationships with families and communities to ensure that every student succeeds. We will know every student." At Hollymead, we think that starts with making it so that All Are Welcome.

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

Student Verification

Thank you all for sending in your forms from before school.

There is one more record keeping piece for the 21-22 school year. We need everyone to log in and verify your information. This allows us to put your name in the PTO directory, have a yearbook entry, find out your preferences for media, and make sure your contact info is correct. This should be done for all students, including Kindergartners and other newly registered students.

Here are the steps:

1. Make sure you have a Parent Portal account for each student (if you don't please contact the office).

2. Log into Parent Portal for each student.

3. Follow the steps on this webpage.

Thanks for doing that!

Back to School Night

All of the elementary schools in ACPS have decided to hold back to school night virtually. With cases rising in the area, as well as in school, we are trying to protect full-time instruction as much as possible, and feel this night can be accomplished virtually.

Our night will follow this schedule. You will get zoom links and a taped message from Mr. Dommer and Mrs. Provines around next Tuesday. There is no mandatory session that night, so you can make the evening fit your schedule as best as possible.

6:20 -7:20

Q & A with Mr. Dommer and Mrs. Provines

Special Education Teacher Sessions

Counseling Session

Specialists Session


Classroom Sessions


Classroom Sessions

We are looking forward to seeing you all!

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.

Thanks for the Shade!

To all that families that brought in pop up tents, we really appreciate them! We've eaten outside every day but one so far. With the break in the heat - we are ready for you to collect your tents. You may pick them up anytime during regular school hours.

Thank you!

Arrival and Dismissal

School arrival begins at 7:40 and ends at 7:55 when all students are expected to be in their classrooms.

We will use three entrances and exits this year.

  • Walkers will enter and be dismissed from the door by the auditorium.
  • Bus drop off will be in the bus loop.
  • Car drop off will be along the front.

In order to promote distancing, please wait for a staff member to open your car door, but again, we will not be taking temperatures.

No parents will be allowed to accompany children to class this year.

At 7:40 we will begin opening car doors, opening the side door for walkers, and unloading the buses. If you arrive after 7:55 please walk your student to the front door and ring the bell.

In order to speed up drop off - please have your student ready with mask on, and unbuckled from their car seat, before a staff member comes to open your car door. That helps quite a bit.


Car pickup will begin at 2:25 (2:10 the first three days).

Walkers will be dismissed at 2:35 (2:25 the first three days)

ALL KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS MUST BE MET AT THE BUS STOP OR AT THE SIDE ENTRANCE IF THEY ARE WALKERS. Thank you for your support to make arrival and dismissal run smoothly.

A reminder that we will be allowing e-mails and phone calls to change dismissal plans. E-MAILS ARE BEST and you should send the e-mail to hesattendance@k12albemarle.org before 1pm. If you need to make a phone call- please call 973-8301.

School Lunch

All student breakfasts and lunches are free this year.

We will eat outside on all nice weather days.

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.

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.

The Buzz

We will be sending this newsletter out on Thursdays to correspond with Thursday folders about every 2-4 weeks. If you've signed up for the electronic notification system through Albemarle County, then you will receive it. If you haven't here is the link with more information!