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Coronavirus Updates

posted Mar 12, 2020, 7:15 AM by Winnie Carey   [ updated Mar 26, 2020, 5:19 PM by Dan MacLeod ]

Update #8- School Closure Extended until May 1, 2020

Dear Holliston Parents/Guardians and Staff:

At 3:30 this afternoon, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that he was extending his state-wide school closure order through Friday, May 1, 2020.  This means that the Holliston Public Schools will continue to be closed through that date. The earliest date for school reopening is now Monday, May 4, 2020. 

We anticipated that the shutdown period would be extended and the plans we developed to keep our students engaged with learning activities were designed to be expandable to meet the needs of our families and students for a longer shutdown period.  In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that it will be issuing specific guidelines for districts to follow for the remote learning opportunities we provide. Once these guidelines have been shared with us, we will review our current Enhanced Learning Opportunities program and make any adjustments needed to ensure compliance with these new state guidelines.  If modifications to the plan are required, we will share those changes with students and parents as soon as possible.

In the meantime, even though many expected that the school closure period would be extended, it is a hard reality to face.  We recognize that for many staff, parents and students this new reality will only serve to increase anxiety, concern and a yearning for the return to normalcy.  Unfortunately, there is no substitute for the face-to-face, in-person schooling experience and no amount of technology or creativity can ever replace the connections that our students establish when they are physically present in school.  Nonetheless, we will do everything we can to establish and maintain meaningful connections with your children during this extended shutdown period. We can not recreate the school experience that existed in February. We are, however, doing everything we can to adapt that model to meet the unique social, emotional and educational needs of our students while we are unable to be together. 

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as Holliston Public Schools adjusts to these remarkable, unpredictable and unprecedented events.  


Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Update #7- Food Service News

Dear Holliston Families:

Holiday Dreams, partnering with Pepperoncini’s of Milford, Anthony's on the Green in Holliston, and the Holliston Public Schools, will offer lunches to families-in-need beginning Wednesday March 18, 2020 through the end of the school closure period.  This program is designed to assist all Holliston families who may have a need, regardless of whether or not you have a child attending the Holliston Public Schools.  As is the case throughout Massachusetts, we will be using a "grab-and-go" method of distribution in line with the Governor's instructions on social distancing.

Curbside pickup will be available at the Miller Elementary School, 235 Woodland Street from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM to any family who does not have any member of their household who is in quarantine or is showing any symptoms of COVID-19.  For those unable to leave their homes, a volunteer will deliver lunch to your doorstep. If you are in need of delivery please email: by 9:00 PM the night prior.  Please provide the following information: your family name, the number of people in need of lunch and your street address.  This information will be kept in the strictest of confidence.

This lunch program will be available on the following days:

  • Wednesday March 18, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020 (excluding Saturday and Sunday, March 21st and March 22nd)
  • Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, we will go to a three-day per week model (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) where we will distribute/deliver lunch for two days at a time.

Community volunteers and employees of the Holliston Public Schools Food Service program will be staffing this program.  At this time, community volunteers are not needed.  Should this change, we will inform you.  Also, unfortunately, we are not able to accept food donations of any kind. 

For families in need, this lunch program will likely not serve all of your needs.  In these cases, the Holliston Pantry Shelf is ready to help with expanded food delivery services. Please contact them directly for assistance.

Finally, this email is being sent through the distribution system of the Holliston Public Schools and will only reach a subset of our community.  Please distribute this information widely.

All community agencies are working together to support the Holliston community.


Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Update #6- School Cancellation Extended Through April 6, 2020

Dear Holliston Parents/Guardians and Staff:

On Sunday evening, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker ordered ALL schools in Massachusetts be CLOSED through (and including) Monday, April 6, 2020.  This means that the Holliston Public Schools will be CLOSED THROUGH MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020.  The earliest date we will be re-opening will be Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Central Office and Building Administrators have been working throughout the weekend to begin to plan for this likely announcement.  Our expectation is that we will begin to provide enhanced learning activities for our students beginning Monday, March 23, 2020.  Parents received preliminary information from building principals earlier this weekend and you should expect more information will be forthcoming in the coming days.

In the meantime, it is critical to remember that these are NOT snow days.  The reason the Governor took this extraordinary action is to promote thoughtful social distancing to limit exposure to the Coronavirus for our students and their families.  Please take these recommendations seriously.

Additional information will be shared as it becomes available.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to react to this rapidly changing set of circumstances.


Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Update #5- School Cancellation Notice Beginning March 13, 2020

Dear Holliston Parent/Guardians and Staff:

I am writing to inform you that, while there are still no Coronavirus cases reported in Holliston, there are a large number of school districts in our area that are closed tomorrow and next week.  Many of our staff members have children who attend these schools, which will understandably result in an abnormally high level of staff absences. I have concluded that it is unlikely that we would have an adequate number of staff members present to be able to ensure a quality school day tomorrow and over the course of the next week.

As a result, the Holliston Public Schools is cancelling school for Friday, March 13th, Monday, March 16th, Tuesday, March 17th, Wednesday, March 18th and Thursday, March 19th.  Friday March 20th is a scheduled Professional Development Day for teachers. There will be no school for students on that day as well.  A decision regarding the possible cancellation of the PD Day for teachers will be made next week.

The Holliston Extended Day Program will be closed and will not re-open until Monday, March 23, 2020, at the earliest.

In accordance with the current advisories issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Holliston must make up a total of 5 school days lost to either weather or health related conditions.  This means that the last day of school will now be Wednesday, June 24, 2020. All total cancelled days beyond 5 do not have to be made up.

Further information will be shared over the next few days should it become apparent additional school cancellations are required. 

I sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we progress through this unprecedented set of circumstances.


Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Dear Holliston Parent/Guardians and Staff:

On March 10, 2020, Governor Baker announced that executive branch employees should discontinue all out-of-state work-related travel, cancel conferences or hold them virtually, and not attend external work-related conferences, seminars, or events. While schools are not part of the executive branch, the Governor also urged employers and other large organizations to "limit or eliminate non-essential travel" and "limit or eliminate large events where possible."  

In light of this advisory, I am taking several steps to limit possible exposures, particularly from outside elements.  Effective immediately:

  1. All after-school events, concerts, and exhibitions scheduled to take place between March 12, 2020 and Friday, March 20, 2020 are cancelled.  Cancellations are likely to be extended beyond March 20th, but that decision will be made mid-next week.

  2. I am respectfully asking parents who are scheduled to volunteer in our schools between March 12th and March 20th to cancel those plans. 

  3. Any previously-approved use of our school buildings by outside organizations is cancelled for that same time period.

For staff, I am cancelling all attendance at external professional development seminars and conferences through March 19th.  At this time, the Professional Development Day, scheduled for March 20, 2020 will proceed as planned.

As of today, our plans for our middle school and high school spring athletic season are not being changed, in order to allow time for the MIAA and/or Tri-Valley League to make some initial determinations.

As expected, as we receive increased reports of either confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus in some MetroWest communities, public and private institutions are being asked to curb all but essential elements of their operation.  This announcement is aligned with that objective.

Still, this issue continues to evolve at a rapid pace with even more restrictions a distinct possibility. Parents and staff should now begin to consider developing contingency plans should more fundamental changes to our overall operation become necessary.



Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Read Across America - Spirit Week

posted Feb 28, 2020, 7:42 AM by Winnie Carey   [ updated Feb 28, 2020, 9:46 AM ]

Read Across America Spirit Week 2020


posted Jan 3, 2020, 9:21 AM by Winnie Carey

OPEN HOUSE on January 28, 2020

Holliston parents who are interested in enrolling their children (must be 3 years or older by September 1, 2020) in any of our Preschool Programs at Placentino Elementary School in Fall 2020 are invited to a Preschool Information Night on January 28th at 6:30PM at Placentino Elementary School.  We ask that only parents/guardians attend the information night as this evening is explicitly geared to adults.

Online registration will take place from January 30th through February 6th.  If you prefer to register in person to utilize a school computer to fill out the registration form, prefer not to upload documents, and/or need to speak with a nurse regarding a health concern you have for your child you may come into the Placentino office on February 3rd, 4th and 5th between the hours of 10:00AM-2:00PM.

A $100 non-refundable deposit, an original birth certificate, immunizations and two proofs of residency are required at the time of registration. Payments can be made online or by bringing a check to our school office. Our Preschool programs are open to Holliston residents only.  If you have any questions, please contact the school at 508-429-0647.

Snow Date for Information Night:  January 30th.

School Committee Reaffirms New School Start Times for 2020-2021 School Year

posted Dec 17, 2019, 9:46 AM by Winnie Carey

At their December 12th meeting, the Holliston School Committee unanimously voted (with one member absent) to reaffirm and move forward with the plan they previously approved in May 2019, to adjust the school hours for the Holliston Public Schools as follows:
  • HHS:                8:10AM – 2:43PM
  • RAMS:             8:10AM – 2:33PM
  • Miller:             7:30AM – 1:53PM
  • Placentino:    8:50AM – 3:15PM
Originally approved in May, these revised school hours generated concerns among some parents in the community. In response, the School Committee engaged with these concerned parents and held a public forum that outlined the science behind the changes and offered people the opportunity to ask the Committee and Superintendent Jackson questions about the change. An open debate also took place at October Town Meeting.

Following these events as well as numerous meetings that individual Committee members held with concerned parents, the Committee reviewed a set of 10 proposed alternative start times scenarios proposed by this group of concerned parents. At their November meeting, the School Committee publicly reviewed each proposed scenario and concluded that eight of the ten proposed scenarios were untenable and removed those proposals from further consideration. The Committee then directed the administration to review the remaining two scenarios and report back to the Committee on their impact and viability.

At their December 12th meeting, the Committee reviewed the comprehensive analysis prepared by the administrative team and agreed with their conclusion that the drawbacks associated with either scenario were significant, making both remaining alternative solutions unviable. Following that discussion, the Committee unanimously voted to reaffirm their originally voted plan.

With this decision reaffirmed, parents and staff are strongly urged to begin planning for the impact that these changes could have on your individual family routines.  At the same time, Holliston administrators will begin finalizing the detailed plans needed to implement these new school hours. In addition, the School Committee and Superintendent will discuss the process we will use to collect the impact of these changes and how we will use that data to see if refinements of this plan are needed in future years.  

In addition to planning already under way at each school, the administration has already reported that they have a plan to open up a number of spots in our Extended Day program next school year to meet the anticipated demand for additional before and after-school care  Holliston Extended Day is also planning to offer an 80-minute “gap” program to cover the time between the dismissal of Placentino students and Miller students, so that siblings might be picked up together. The Holliston Extended Day program will formally announce the availability of their options later this winter and share sign-up information.  Further, the Committee reached out to the “Y” in Hopkinton regarding availability in their program for after-school care and that effort is showing promise. Interested parents should contact the YMCA directly if they wish to learn more about their after-school programs. Finally, the School Committee has authorized a transportation audit to see if we can find ways to make our bus system more efficient and/or convenient. The administration will share the results of this audit with the School Committee at one of their upcoming meetings as soon as the review has been completed.

HPS' Triennial State Review Scheduled for Week of December 9th

posted Nov 5, 2019, 8:12 AM by Winnie Carey

During the week of December 9, 2019, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Holliston Public Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.


In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview a member of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations. 

Parents and other individuals may call Michelle Hennessy-Kowalchek, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338-3704 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.


Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the Superintendent with a report with information about areas in which the district meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the district requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at

School Start Times Public Forum

posted Oct 2, 2019, 8:11 AM by Winnie Carey   [ updated Oct 2, 2019, 9:27 AM ]

The Holliston School Committee voted to hold a public forum on the new school start times for the 2020-21 academic year. The forum will be held Thursday, October 10, 2019, in the Holliston High School auditorium, at 7:00 p.m. It is open to the public. Judith Owens, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, will present on the science of pediatric sleep. There will be a Q+A so that members of the public may ask questions of Dr. Owens, the School Committee, and Dr. Brad Jackson, superintendent of schools. For more information on the issue of School Start Times in Holliston, please review the information on the School Start Times website.

Substitute Teachers Are Still Needed!

posted Sep 26, 2019, 6:15 AM by Winnie Carey

Thanks to our very successful Open House for Substitutes we held on September 5th, we have seen an increase in our daily Substitute Teacher pool.  But we can ALWAYS use more!! 


In the past, we have found that many of our most-effective and supportive Substitutes are Holliston residents who are either seeking part-time, school-year employment; are looking to ease back into the workforce; or are looking for ways to actively support their community and their schools. Regardless of your motivation, being a Substitute Teacher is an excellent way to work with Holliston’s great teachers and school staff and, of course, our remarkable students.


Please check out our Information Packet for more information.

Become a Substitute Teacher in Holliston - Open House 9/5/19 at 7PM

posted Aug 28, 2019, 11:49 AM by Winnie Carey

This year, Holliston, like all near-by school districts, is facing a critical shortage of Substitute Teachers. 

In the past, we have found that many of our most-effective and supportive Substitutes are Holliston residents who are either seeking part-time, school-year employment; are looking to ease back into the workforce; or are looking for ways to actively support their community and their schools. Regardless of your motivation, being a Substitute Teacher is an excellent way to work with Holliston’s great teachers and school staff and, of course, our remarkable students.

The Holliston Public Schools is hosting an Open House for those who want to learn more about this exciting opportunity. Join us on Thursday, September 5, 2019, at 7 PM in the Holliston High School Library to learn more!

Please share this information with your neighbors and friends.

Hope to see you there!


posted Aug 22, 2019, 2:31 PM by Winnie Carey

August 21, 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians,


I would like to officially welcome you back to school for the 2019-2020 school year.  I hope you all had a wonderful summer and look forward to hearing about the students’ adventures.  This year we look forward to continuing our innovative practices including our Makerspace for our children in Kindergarten through Grade 2, further implementing the co-teaching model in some of our classrooms, and continuing to expand social and emotional learning tools and knowledge in all of our classrooms.  Our amazing staff has been working extremely hard preparing for a successful start of school on Tuesday, August 27th for Grades 1 and 2 and on Wednesday, August 28th for Preschool and Kindergarten.  I look forward to meeting both you and your child in the near future. 

The First Week of School 

The first day of school for grade 1 and grade 2 students is Tuesday, August 27th and will be a regular school day. There is school Tuesday, August 27th through Thursday, August 29th the first week. There is no school on Friday, August 30th  due to a teacher professional development day or on Monday, September 2nd in observance of Labor Day.

Kindergarten and Preschool students will attend an orientation day on Tuesday, August 27th and will have their first full day of school on Wednesday, the 28th. Please follow your child’s Preschool or Kindergarten schedule below on the 27th:

For Traditional Kindergarten and Montessori 3-6 (both Kindergarten and Preschool), and French Immersion Kindergarten children please plan a 45-minute visit.
Children whose last names begin A – K            9:30am – 10:15a
Children whose last names begin L – Z          10:45am – 11:30am
Preschool children (except Montessori Preschool), please plan a 45-minute visit.
Children who will attend the AM session          12:00pm – 12:45pm
Children who will attend the PM session           1:15pm – 2:00pm

Where should my child go on the first day?   

There will be many staff members present to greet and guide your child to their teacher. 

On Tuesday the 27th, students should report to the following areas as they exit their buses or get dropped off:

All grades will enter through the Placentino Cafeteria.  Grade 1 students will be greeted by their teachers in the Placentino cafeteria and Grade 2 students will be greeted by their teachers in the Miller cafeteria. After the first day, students who are dropped off in the loop will sit at a grade level designated table in the cafeteria until the bell rings and will then be led to the first and second grade hallways.  Students who arrive by bus will enter the building through the front door and will go directly to their classrooms. 

On Wednesday the 28th, Kindergarten students will be escorted off the bus and from parent drop off on their first day. Teachers will meet the students outside and walk them inside through the kindergarten door and to their classrooms.

How does arrival and dismissal work at Placentino?


  • Parents who wish to walk their child to the Preschool door should park in the designated “Preschool Parking Only” spaces or parents may also park in the Placentino Main Parking Lot. Parents and children will walk along the sidewalk in the painted “safety” area to the Preschool door. 

  • Parents who choose to “drop off” their child will enter the access road from the Adams Middle School entrance and proceed to the “drop off” area.  There are 3 designated spaces marked 1-2-3 for parents to stop, exit their vehicle, remove their child/children from their vehicle, and “hand” their child to one of the preschool paraprofessionals assigned to this area. If the spaces are full when parents arrive, it is important that they stop and wait in line by the playground area until the Preschool paraprofessionals signal the next 3 cars to move forward.

  • At dismissal, parents may park in the spaces designated “Preschool Parking Only” or in any available space in the Placentino Main Parking Lot. 

  • For dismissal:  

    • Please have a photo ID with you. You will be asked to “sign out” your child and show your ID. If someone other than a parent/guardian is picking up your child please ensure a note has been sent to the school with your child, detailing who is picking up your child, and the adult picking up your child has their ID with them.

    • At 11:25am -  Parents will enter through the Kindergarten Entrance and meet their child in the hallway.

    • At 3:15pm - Parents will “pick up” their children at the Preschool door.  Please do not enter by the Kindergarten or Main Entrance doors.  

Half-Day Kindergarten

Half-Day Kindergarten pick up is located at the front entrance of the building in the Placentino School Atrium at 11:47am. Parents should “buzz” into the building via the buzzer located to the left of the front doors and wait in the Atrium for your child to meet you. IDs will be checked daily until staff members are very familiar with you and your child. If someone other than a parent/guardian is picking up your child please ensure a note has been sent to the school with your child, detailing who is picking up your child, and the adult picking up your child has their ID with them. A Placentino staff member will be in the Atrium with your child and will ask you to sign your child out in a book. After you have signed out your child for the day and made contact with the placentino staff member, then you may take your child home. 

Full day Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2

If you transport your Kindergarten, Grade 1, or Grade 2 child to school in the morning, please note that our “drop off” area is in the loop in front of the Cafetorium.  The Placentino drop off loop opens at 8:30 and closes at 8:50. If you are dropping your child off at school, please only use the drop off loop. A staff member will greet you and your child at the car and open the door for your child to safely exit the vehicle. Children attending Placentino School should be seated on the backseat passenger side of the vehicle. Please stay inside your car. Supervision cannot be provided prior to 8:30. This is a safety issue, to which we request parents adhere. All arrivals after 8:50AM are considered tardy, please park your vehicle in the parking lot and accompany your child into the Office to sign him/her in our attendance log.


For dismissal, those students who will be taking a bus will be escorted to the appropriate bus.  Students who are being picked up will be walked to the cafeteria where our “pick ups” occur and will be seated by grade. The designated person who is picking up a student should park their car and enter the cafeteria through the exterior Placentino cafeteria doors.  Please have a photo ID with you. You will be asked to “sign out” your child and show your ID. If you have a child in more than one grade, please be prepared to show your ID at each pick up area in the cafeteria. If someone other than a parent/guardian is picking up your child please ensure a note has been sent to the school with your child, detailing who is picking up your child, and the adult picking up your child has their ID with them.

Please note that parking in areas designated for “Handicapped Use” is not allowed unless you have Disabled Person plates or a Disabled Person Placard. Parking in areas that are marked as fire lanes is not permitted at any time. Our School Resource Officers enforce these parking restrictions to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and visitors. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we try to make this process as safe and efficient as we can. 

How do I notify the school if my child is going to be out?

The Placentino School has a "Call Back System" for when your child is absent or tardy. If you know that your child will be absent or tardy, please call (508) 429-0647. When the voicemail greeting activates, press 3 and report your child's name, teacher, and the reason for the absence or tardiness. Please report absences or tardies prior to 8:45am.  If we don’t hear from you, you will receive a phone call, email, and text asking for you to call the school.  

What food can I send in with my child?

The Placentino School classrooms are “Nut Free.” This includes tree nuts and peanuts. As you are all aware, each year we have more and more students with life threatening allergies to nuts and peanuts. Because of this, it has been decided that all classrooms within the Placentino School will be "Nut Free". All personal snacks brought into the classroom must be peanut/tree nut free, regardless of whether or not there is a student with a nut allergy in the class.  This includes not only food with explicit tree nut and/or peanut ingredients, but also those foods that contain the warning “may be processed in a facility that manufactures tree nut/peanut products.” All birthday celebrations are “food free”. Lunches do not need to be peanut/tree nut free (note: lunch prices are $3.25 for lunch (including milk)/milk cost .60 cents).

Please view the “'Recommended Foods for Classroom Distribution'” and snack ideas developed by the wellness committee.  

What events are happening the first few weeks of school?

Back to School Nights are scheduled for the following dates:

  • September 16th- Back To School Night (for parents/guardians) Preschool and Kindergarten- 6:30pm-8:00pm

  • September 18th- Back To School Night (for parents/guardians) Grades 1, 2, & Montessori 6:00pm-8:00pm  (this will include a presentation from our unified arts staff at 6:00pm (PE, Music, Art, Science, World Language, Library/MakerSpace) 

Each of these evenings will begin in the cafetorium and conclude at approximately 8:00PM from your child's classroom. This will be an evening for parents to meet the classroom teacher and learn more about the curriculum and expectations for the year.  We expect to have full parking lots, please utilize both the Miller and Placentino parking lots. 

School pictures will be taken on Thursday, September 19th

This summer you should have received an email from with the heading Holliston Public Schools Returning Student Forms for (your child’s name). This form is for ALL students, including those who are entering their first year at Placentino. Please make sure you have filled out and submitted this form.  If you have not received this email please contact Maureen Ohnemus in the Placentino office at 508-429-0647 x1202 or by email at

Important Links:

2019-2020 School Year Calendar

Placentino Library Volunteer Sign Up Form

In Search of a GRADE 1 Parent/Guardian for School Council

CORI Form 

Backpack Express

Placentino Family Google Calendar

I look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday, August 27th. Enjoy the remainder of the summer.


Jaime Slaney

Principal Placentino Elementary School 

Placement Update

posted Jun 21, 2019, 11:52 AM by Winnie Carey

Dear Parents and Guardians of Placentino Students,

Placement letters for PreK, Grade 1, and Grade 2 were mailed on Friday, June 21st. 
Kindergarten placement letters will be mailed the first week of August. 

Thank you and have a wonderful Summer!

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