Author Archives: cdommer

Fall is here!

Dear Hollymead Families,

Well after a few record-setting days, the temperatures seem to be turning to Fall. Thank goodness! As the new season is here, it brings many fun events to Hollymead. The first, is the Book Fair. The PTO runs our Book Fair, and hosts a Bingo Night on the last night, next Friday, October 11th. This is a fun family event, and the Book Fair is a wonderful opportunity for students to get books, and support the school.It should be a week full of excitement, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of you next Friday night.

Last week, we had our United Way Day of Caring. Many local businesses helped us clean out our courtyards, finish some work on the outdoor classroom, clean up the front of the school, get some books into and out of circulation in the library, and provided our younger students with a reading buddy for the day. It is a great day here at Hollymead, and the school looks amazing. A special thank you to UVA Pediatrics, National Ground Intelligence Center, and the Center for Financial Research Analysis.

The pre-schoolers are really getting into a rhythm now, and are enjoying their songs, routines, and free play experiences! Kindergartners have been to Wildrock and the fire department in the last few weeks. They are having a blast. First graders have made apple pizzas, apple sauce, and have begun work on a gift for their parents! Second grade has been excitingly working outdoors. I saw them out there observing birds, painting benches, and planting entire beds of herbs. Third graders have been exploring multiplication – a practical rite of passage for any 8-year-old. Fourth grade students have been working on an arts integration project around animals and habitats. 5th graders have been making art out of arrays, working on their writer’s eye submissions, and designing learning spaces.

We so appreciate getting to be with your students every day! As always, please let us know if we can do anything to serve you better!

Best,

Craig Dommer

Principal, Hollymead Elementary School

Hollymead C.A.R.E.S.

Dear Hollymead Families,

Here at Hollymead we are always talking about Hollymead C.A.R.E.S. Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control. Each of these characteristics leads to being a better student and person, and creating a better and more positive Hollymead community. We try to show and talk about how Hollymead CARES throughout the school year, and it also provides a great opportunity for you to talk to your students about those character traits. Ask how they showed they CARE today!

It has been a great first month of school. Students have already been on field trips, and have been working on creating outdoor learning spaces. Some of the younger students have benefited from our improved teaching kitchen through Alphabet Cafe, and homemade Apple Pizzas. We are so excited to see you all this Thursday, and share our plans for the year. It will be a great evening. See you then!

Best,

Craig Dommer

Principal, Hollymead Elementary School

What Do You Wonder

Dear Hollymead Families,

What a great first couple of weeks here at school. Today we had our first school-wide morning meeting. The staff and students were full of Hollymead pride. We spoke about curiosity, and even shared with partners about questions we have in our head. We are going to post these questions around the school, and work to explore answers as a community of learners!

If you are in the school visiting, you should also feel free to write something (dry erase only) on the board. Kids are so naturally curious, and showing them that we adults are as well, will only help to keep that curiosity going.

We are looking forward to the rest of the year. Have a very safe long weekend!

Craig Dommer

Principal, Hollymead Elementary School

Welcome to 2019!

Dear Hollymead Families,

What a great time of year! The building is humming with activity, and you can sense the excitement from the students and community as the start of school gets closer. We’re very much looking forward to our second year. For families new to Hollymead, welcome! This newsletter will have some useful information for the beginning of the school year.

This year, as a staff, we will be continuing to challenge our students to be curious, and passionate about learning. We will also use student choice and relevance as areas that will drive the work in which students engage. Creating an environment where students feel inspired to be curious and creative, critical thinkers is an ultimate goal.

We are always interested in the thoughts, questions, and expertise of all of our stakeholders. The Hollymead community is very diverse, and we want to take advantage of all the knowledge, creativity, and enthusiasm of our entire community. Let us know how we can better help you, and how you could help us!

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

Welcome to Hollymead 2018

Dear Hollymead Community,

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year!  I’m so excited to start my first year here at Hollymead.  I believe in the power of students to embrace their learning through curiosity, and the power of teachers to inspire it.  This is my 15th year in Albemarle County, and I have been a teacher, math specialist, Lead Instructional Coach, Assistant Principal, and Principal.  I enjoy listening to all stakeholders, and figuring out how to help a school best support its students and community.

The focus at Hollymead on meeting the academic, social, and emotional goals of children is something that has inspired me this summer.  I’ve spoken with many parents, teachers, and some students, and it is extremely evident in those conversations, how much care is taken with the learning of students.  The community is active in making the school a special place, and the teachers are dedicated to each student. These are admirable qualities in any school.

This year, I’ll be spending a lot of time listening and learning from all of you about Hollymead and what makes it special.  In addition, I’m interested in how we can engage students in learning that they are curious about while making sure that they are all growing skills that will help them in their future schooling and beyond.  I’ll be asking students about their passions, what excites them about learning, and how we can make them more excited to be at school. I am planning to share some of those stories in this space throughout the year, as well as on the Hollymead twitter feed @HornetNews.

Throughout the year, I hope that you’ll come to the school to see learning, to volunteer in a classroom, to attend a PTO event, or to just share your thoughts.  I know that this community has a lot of built-in expertise, and I’m hoping that some of you will come to see how you can share that expertise with our students. Hollymead is a great place to be, but I’m sure that by working together we can make it even better!  Thank you for your commitment and your support of our students and our school.

Best,

Craig