Hollymead Buzz

A Newsletter for Parents

September 18, 2020

A Great Start

Dear Hollymead Families,

If this year was any year other than 2020, I'd be writing about what a wonderful beginning we've had with happy children in the hallways and cafeterias. As well as, the great community building, and the joyful friendships that have been created.

Well it is 2020, and I can say that a good majority of that message is still true. We may be missing the noise in the hallways and cafeteria, but I have heard joy, wonder, and excitement in Zoom meetings and in students' assignments on SeeSaw. I've signed in to one, and gotten direct feedback from a student about something they'd noticed. I've heard students talk about the things they love to do, come up with story ideas, do science experiments, and settle into new routines.

Being that this is 2020, and we are in the midst of a pandemic, these routines feel strange, but are still comforting. I appreciate all of the students, teachers, and parents of Hollymead for a strong start. I've been particularly touched by feeling from the students how much they have missed school. We've missed them too.

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 Night

We will have our Back to School Night virtually on Thursday, October 1st at 7 pm. Similarly to years past, there will be a school-wide session from 7-7:30 followed by classroom presentations that will run twice so that families with multiple students may attend. We will send all Zoom links through SeeSaw, and we all look forward to interacting that night.

1st and 2nd Grade IPAD distribution

We have received the IPADS for 1st and 2nd Graders. We will distribute these between 10 and 2 next Tuesday, Sept 22. Remember to return the laptop you have been using in order to get the new iPad. There will also be some new supplies for ALL 1st and 2nd graders that day. If you can't pick up at that time, please feel free to contact the school, and we can make additional arrangements.

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.

Playground Usage

Though most students are receiving instruction virtually, there are some students in attendance, and staff members are also present. Albemarle County is asking all schools to enforce the normal playground rules during the school year, which is that they are not available to the public between the hours of 7:30 am and 6:00 pm Monday-Friday.

I appreciate your understanding.

Art Fundraiser

Each year, Mrs. Foster coordinates a fundraiser for our arts program involving the children's art. Mrs. Foster is looking into doing this virtually, and will be sending out more information shortly in SeeSaw. She will also be sending home a special piece of paper with your student's next supply pickup that will be used to create the art! Be on the look out for your SQUARE 1 art paper in your new supply bag. It will be a lot of fun!

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.

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.

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: