Holly Area Schools superintendent
I’ve experienced more than 40 first days of school, first as a kindergartner, then as a teacher, principal and today as Holly Area Schools superintendent and a proud parent.
The first day of school should always be filled with excitement and joy. COVID-19 has brought a new dynamic to the first day of school for all of us — one of anxiety, frustration and unanswered questions.
Over the past several weeks, our leadership team has worked tirelessly to compile a comprehensive Return to Learn plan that protects the health, safety and well-being of our entire Broncho community.
Countless unknowns around COVID-19 still remain just three weeks before the new school year as the state’s deadline for our Response and Preparedness Plan has already passed. Our decision to begin remotely was not made lightly, and we are committed to returning to in-person learning as soon as possible.
Our number one priority is reopening our buildings to our 3,700 students and staff in a safe and responsible manner.
With that in mind, I am in regular contact with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office and the Oakland County Health Department to obtain clear guidance on COVID-19 testing turnaround time, reliable contact tracing and school safety metrics.
I’m proud to report we have developed a first-of-its-kind remote learning plan that provides all Bronchos with cutting-edge technology that prepares them for careers and bright futures.
This fall, we will provide Chromebooks for all Bronchos in first- through 12th grades, and iPads for all Young Fives and kindergartners. Our technology integration specialist will help ease the transition to full remote learning.
We will utilize the most up-to-date instructional technology, including the Schoology Learning Management System, which will allow students to follow a specific learning plan, organize their day, and communicate with teachers. Families are now receiving communication regarding the daily virtual schedule for elementary, middle and high school students.
Students will have access to visual math programs including ST Math and Zearn Math, reading programs including Literacy Footprints and Reading Plus, electronic textbooks and more. Our students will also have access to many virtual tools to support learning and comprehension.
We have taken great measures to ensure our students with unique learning challenges have access to the same programs and services they would otherwise receive through in-person learning. These individualized education plans will be reviewed with families, and student progress will be measured and monitored.
All of our teachers have participated in training on our new online management system, which is designed to support both in-person learning and virtual learning. We remain committed to providing all Bronchos with a great educational experience as we continue making progress toward both our in-person learning and 100-percent virtual learning models.
Our leadership team continues to go above and beyond to demonstrate Broncho Pride, and I’d like to personally thank them for their hard work and dedication.
I would also like to thank our families and staff for their patience throughout this difficult process.
We’re in this together. One community. Bronchos United.