Dear Holliman parents,

 

Hope you are enjoying time this summer as a family. Here are some important items for your consideration.

 

Next Tuesday, August 28th, we will hold our first annual Back-to-School event starting at 6:00 PM and concluding at approximately 7:30 PM.  

For this first year – of what we hope will become an annual event, we will keep our activities rather informal, with…

  • A simple bring-your-own picnic (supplied by each family, as you see fit);
  • Plenty of time for Holliman families to enjoy our playground, play areas, basic play yard toys (wiffle balls and bats, a kickball, jump ropes, hula hoops, etc;
  • Optional staggered tours for incoming students and their parents (no need to rush to get there for these; we’ll make sure that everyone who would like a tour, gets one);
  • Informal, individual Q & A time with the principal and PTA parents;
  • The good company of future classmates and fellow parents;
  • An ice cream or freeze pop treat that we will supply for students and their parents (courtesy of Mr. Alan Shawn Feinstein, who continues to be exceptionally supportive of Holliman and so many other Rhode Island schools).

 

Summer Learning – Reading and Math

  • Many of you have reported having difficulty accessing and/or using the summer math work. Apparently, there have been problems both with the Prodigy program’s record keeping system and with IXL, in general. There have indeed been glitches in the math program, in general.  Students and parents are encouraged to do the best they can with the math program, but not to let it frustrate them. We’ll do our best to address these challenges in a way that is fair to students.
  • On the other hand, most reports about the reading program have been positive.   

 

Here are a few other important items for parents to consider as we approach the beginning of a new school year:

  • First of all, we look forward to welcoming all of our new students and parents, not only from John Brown Francis, but also from a number of other schools and pre-schools (and even directly from home in some cases).     
  • Our website should be fully updated shortly before the first day of the school year; this will include an updated version of our school handbook, which you should find to be highly informative; reworking the website has been a big undertaking; I apologize that the site has been truly lacking for quite some time now; you should see a big difference soon;
  • Our first day of school for Warwick elementary students is on Tuesday, September 4th;
  • Holliman’s Open House event will be held on Monday, September 24th, at 6:00 PM;
  • We open the doors each school day morning for students at 8:40 AM and start the school day promptly at 8:55 AM;
  • Each school day we dismiss our students at 3:05 PM; students are dismissed at the end of each school day from specified doors, by grade level; details will be forthcoming prior to the first day of school;
  • This year parent packets will be sent out electronically and will also soon be available on our website; we will help out any parent (upon request) who is lacking computer or printer access;
  • Students are not officially assigned to their classrooms and their teacher until the first day of school (per District policy);
  • First day procedures and related information will go out to parents several days before the first day of school.  We post signs of all types to help students and parents find where to go and what to do, as they arrive that morning. More to come on that!
  • The PTA is looking for some veteran parent volunteers to welcome our students and their parents back to school on the first day; the PTA’s email address is: hollimanpta@gmail.com
  • We have a full time nurse. Mrs. Alison Coccoli, who addresses allergy concerns and other student medical issues; her email address is: alison.coccoli@warwickschools.org

She is usually available to return emails shortly before we return to school; classroom teachers, and all other school adults, also play an important role in such safety issues;

  • Our Beginning-of-Year event is a great opportunity to get clarification on any of these items and more (from the principal and PTA parents).
  • More to come!

 

Once again, regarding school supplies for September, a few years ago the Warwick School Committee decided that Warwick parents should not be required to purchase basic school supplies for their children. Since that time we have made it a practice to have each of our teachers order (via the District) the basic supplies that they need for their students.  Knowing that for this coming school year the District has had a dramatic budget shortfall, I recently reached out to Ms. Dambruch, Warwick’s Director of Elementary Education, to see if we would be able to continue the practice of providing basic school supplies for our students. She told me that we will strive to continue this practice, even though it will be more challenging this year.  

 

Therefore, as of this time, there is no need for parents to purchase any basic classroom school supplies, such as rulers, pencils, binders, notebooks, lined paper, student planners/agendas, etc. (by the way our PTA graciously provides planners/agendas for Holliman students who are expected to use them).  Should this District school supplies policy change by necessity, your child’s teacher or I will let you know. Some of the things that we are not able to provide include backpacks and pencil/pen cases (which are generally not mandatory, but are very helpful).  Thanks to the ongoing generosity of the JC Penney Corporation, we do have a limited number of backpacks (and school supplies contained within them) that we can offer to parents who may be struggling financially. If you feel this applies to you – or your family –  please consider reaching out confidentially to the following Holliman School representatives a few days before the start of the upcoming school year:

 

Once again, please consider joining the Holliman PTA and/or becoming a VOWS (Volunteers of Warwick Schools) volunteer.  These are both great organizations that make great things happen at Holliman.  There are not enough words to say how important their contribution is to our students and teachers.  They have been hard at work, even during the summer months. Please know that they are happy to see their members volunteer at any level, even if a parent is only able to help out once in a great while.  Here are their respective email addresses:

 

 

 

Thank you all for your continued support.

 

Joe Coffey

Holliman Principal

joseph.coffey@warwickschools.org

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Aug 21, 2018

Follow-up Message Regarding Our August 28th Beginning-of-the-Year-Event

Holliman PTA representative wisely pointed out to me that – for many working parents – preparing their own picnic for our Beginning-of-Year-Event may pose a challenge at that time of day.  Therefore, we’ll have a limited number of bakery pizza slices and water bottles available at no charge, while they last. Parents in this situation may also elect to attend the event after they have dinner at home.  A third option would be for parents (on their way) to stop by a local food establishment for food to bring to the school. We would simply ask that all attendees pick up after themselves, refrain from bringing food into the building, and – ideally – consider pitching in with the overall clean up, given children’s natural tendency to travel with their food. Please also strongly consider bringing picnic blankets, though we will have some tables and chairs available. Finally, should it rain, we will come inside to our all purpose room, but in such a case I would have to stay in that room (rather than give tours – anytime there are large numbers of students and parents present).  Tours would then follow as the numbers decrease. Hope to see you there! Thanks.

Joe Coffey, Holliman Principal