August 10, 2020
August 7, 2020
July 30, 2020
Amended School Start Date
On Tuesday, the school board approved my recommendation that we amend the school start date to August 19. This change in start date will allow additional time for employee training on new procedures, safety, health, sanitation, and new instructional platforms. This will also allow additional time to ensure all schools have an adequate of supply of cleaning products, and for additional student technology to arrive and be prepared for distribution.
Instructional Options for 2020-21
Holmes District Schools will offer three instructional options for 2020-21: Traditional, Holmes Virtual School, and Innovative Learning.
Students enrolled in traditional school do not need to complete any additional paperwork to notify us of your intent to return. Stay tuned to our district app and each school’s Facebook page for information about supply lists, open house, etc.
Students enrolled in Holmes Virtual School will access course work solely from online curriculum. These courses provide flexible scheduling during the student’s day while attending the brick and mortar school, OR can provide a full-time virtual program where the student receives all instruction online. These courses are offered at no cost to the student. Students enrolled in full-time Holmes Virtual School will be required to complete a full semester of course work before returning to traditional school.
Students who choose the Innovative Learning option will receive instruction online with a Holmes County teacher using web conferencing technology. The student will be able to interact with their teacher and their peers while being taught through the same curriculum as students who are in a traditional setting. The schedule will mirror a traditional school day. This option is currently scheduled to occur August through December and students will be able to return to their traditional schools when their families feel comfortable.
Detailed information about each of these options is available on our website at www.hdsb.org on the Back to School 2020-21 page. Look for the red box on the right side of the page.
If your family chooses to participate in Holmes Virtual or Innovative Learning, please use the following link to submit your choice by the end of the day on Friday, July 31. forms.gle/uT6gDWrgQM7oMvFA7
After completing the online form, wait to be contacted by your child’s school to make an appointment to complete the registration process. Schools will be contacting families next week.
Controlled Open Enrollment
Students who wish to attend a district school other than the one they are zoned for must complete a reassignment application each year. Most of these were completed in the spring. However, the application window has reopened for those who missed it in the spring, have moved, or had a change in circumstances. The online form is available on the Controlled Open Enrollment page on our website. The deadline to complete the form is August 14.
July 21, 2020
July 20, 2020
July 9, 2020
HDSB is providing an informational bulletin that explains some of the steps being taken to prepare for the 2020-21 school year and to help prevent the spread of illness, including COVID-19, once students return to school on August 12. Click below for the document.
We understand that there are many more questions to answer and topics to address. Stay tuned for additional updates coming soon over the next few weeks!
June 25, 2020
From the Superintendent
It has been a very challenging few months for everyone in our community. However, during every crisis some positives occur through the process. As we develop our Holmes District Reopening Plan, I feel that you should know what is being planned, the process of planning, and the circumstances surrounding the plan. I want to stress the importance of remembering that the process is fluid, and even after the plan is released to the public, it may change as conditions mandate.
I feel that a positive aspect that has been reinforced is that the connection between schools, families, and communities is stronger than ever. Our community must continue to work as a team and build upon the success that permeates our school campuses. I also feel that this has validated the positive progression in our schools and simultaneously offers us a chance to adopt new, innovative learning strategies that will lead to continued student achievement. Although the final plan will be very detailed and contain numerous guidelines as directed by our Governor and other agencies, I feel the need to reassure parents, students, employees, and community members about a few topics:
1. We plan to begin school on August 12, as previously scheduled.
2. We are committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment, while still following good common sense, as well as CDC and state-directed guidelines. These guidelines change often, and we will adapt as needed to ensure compliance.
3. We are working to revise our Instructional Continuity Plan using lessons we learned from the spring closure. We are planning for both in-person and remote learning so that we will be well-prepared to continue educating our students regardless of the circumstances. Our plan will allow for a smoother transition to remote learning, should the need arise. We are also working to have our own locally-directed virtual franchise to serve any families who choose to enroll their children in virtual school rather than returning to our brick and mortar schools. This will allow our Holmes County students to be taught by Holmes County teachers. Given the rapidly changing nature of this pandemic, we must be prepared for anything!
It is imperative that we show patience, trust, and confidence in each other as we navigate this journey. My staff, the reopening task force, and I are committed to improving upon the current progress that Holmes District Schools are experiencing. We can’t afford to digress. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to continue our investment in their futures.
To our employees, I would like to thank faculty, staff, and administrators for your efforts during this crisis. We all could have thrown our hands up when our schools closed. However, you stayed the course and went above and beyond what was required in order to be sure our students stayed safe, received meals, and continued engaging in learning activities to maintain their skills. To our 2020 graduates, much as been said of all the things that you were deprived of this spring. However, one thing I can say with certainty is that you never gave up. You set a new record for graduation rate in Holmes County with 94% of students graduating with a diploma. This community is proud of you, and America is a better place because of you.
Since we will not publish an update next week due to the Independence Day holiday, I want to wish all of you a safe and enjoyable 4th of July! May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America!
Terry L. Mears
Superintendent of Schools
June 18, 2020
Summer VPK Program
We have just received approval for a Summer VPK program at Bonifay K-8. Summer VPK is for students who were eligible for VPK during the 2019-20 school year but did not attend a VPK program. The program will run June 24-July 30. Information on how to register can be found on our website at the following link: https://bit.ly/3ehNLtO.
Summer Reading Recovery Program
Through the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund, we are able to provide a Summer Reading Recovery Program for students entering 1st through 4th grades in the 2020-21 school year. The program will begin on July 6 and run Monday through Friday until July 22 from 8:00 a.m.– 3:00 p.m. each day. Schools are currently in the process of reviewing student reading data and will be contacting potential attendees over the next two weeks. More details will be announced as plans are finalized.
Holmes District Schools and Holmes County Sheriff’s Department Renew Partnership
At this week’s school board meeting, the board approved the renewal of our contract with the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department to provide SROs (School Resource Officers) for all school campuses. This community partnership helps ensure a safe learning environment for all Holmes County students. We are grateful for our law enforcement officers and appreciate the sacrifices they make to keep Holmes County safe! This spring, Poplar Springs SRO Monty Merchant completed his career with HCSD, and we are thankful for his service and wish him the best in his retirement. The Poplar Springs community will certainly miss Officer Merchant! Filling those shoes next year at Poplar Springs will be Officer Frank Turbeville, formerly at the GAP. We welcome aboard Officer John “Sodie” Braxton who will be filling the SRO position at the GAP.
Controlled Open Enrollment Notification Letters
Principals are currently reviewing Controlled Open Enrollment applications. We hope to issue notification letters within the next two weeks. If you missed the original application window, it will reopen on July 23.
May God bless you and may God continue to bless the United States of America!
Terry L. Mears
Superintendent of Schools
June 16, 2020
8 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
June 24-26 W-F
June 29-July 3 M-F
July 6-10 M-F
July 13-16 M-TH
July 20-23 M-TH
July 27-30 M-TH
Parents will log in to https://familyservices.floridaearlylearning.com/Account/LogOn
Parents must have a valid e-mail address to complete this procedure.
Families must upload (scan & send) the child’s birth certificate and proof of Florida residency as prompted during process. Everything has to be completed on-line. The Early Learning Coalition will email the certificate to the parents, then families print it and take to the school as explained below:
Certificates of Eligibility for Summer VPK will be accepted at Holmes District School Board in Office 10 beginning Monday, June 15, 2020. Parents will need to furnish a copy of child’s birth certificate, current shot & physical record at this time. Parents will be asked to fill out registration forms at this time.
Summer VPK is for students that were eligible for VPK during the 2019-20 school year but did not attend a VPK program.
Please contact Carmen Bush at 547-9341 x 1253 or Danielle Suggs x1228 for more information. Email: [email protected] or [email protected]