Principal's Note - April 12, 2024

By Serena Giron
Principal's Note
April 15, 2024

April is the Month of the Military Child!

\Every year we take the opportunity to recognize military-connected youth for their service and contribution to our community. Fairfax County Public Schools is proud to have over 14,000 military-connected youth as a part of our student body. We appreciate the varied life experiences they bring to our school community, and recognize their strength and resilience. Learn more about Month of the Military Child and FCPS’ resources for military families

To show our support for all our military-connected families, we are inviting all Holmes students, families, staff, and community members to “Purple Up!” on April 17  for military children. Why purple? Purple symbolizes all branches of the military as a combination of Army green, Marine Corps red, and Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force and Space Force blue. 

Spring Scholastic Book Fair - 4/12-4/19


Get ready! This year's Spring Scholastic Book Fair is going to be epic! We've turned up the volume with more fun, more choices and more excitement! Remember - every purchase supports our school! Students will be coming to the Book Fair with their History classes, however, they can also purchase books before and after school and during lunch! The Spring Book Fair starts on Friday, 4/12 and ends on Friday, 4/19! The location is the Holmes MS Library.

Please see below for some important information.

Book Fair Website: All of the information you need will be on the website, however, some important links are below as well!

eWallet: Set up an eWallet for your child. 

Volunteer: Parents! Sign-up to volunteer at the Book Fair.

Preview: Get a sneak peak at some of the Book Fair titles!  

Book Fair Contact: Librarian, Jennifer Blanco (@email

Field Trips to Finance Park

On April 8th and 9th Holmes 8th grade Civics & Economics students went on a field trip to Finance Park to take part in a personal finance simulation.  Students got a small taste of what it is like to be an adult! Within the simulation, students had to develop a monthly budget based on their assigned income and family situation. Students learned valuable lessons like--the importance of saving, the dangers of credit cards, the impact of taxes, and the need to develop a financial plan. Beyond typical classroom learning, the Finance Park simulation allowed students to experience these lessons and understand and better appreciate the challenges faced by adults in their own lives.

FP 1

FP 2

FP 3

Holmes Middle School Title I Status

Please refer back to an email that was sent out last week titled "Holmes MS Identified as a Title I School."  In the email, you will find information on our new Title I status.  Please use this form to capture any questions or wonderings that you may have so that I can best prepare for our upcoming May information session.  Stay tuned for details on that informational night.

Title I

Edison HS Jumpstart Program 

Your student's transition to high school is very important to us! This year we will be offering an optional Jump Start program to our rising 9th grade students. Students will be able to register to attend one of the two-day sessions.

  1. August 7 from 9:00AM - 1:00 PM
  2. August 9 from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Students will have an opportunity to meet staff members (administrators, counselors, and some teachers), tour the building, get a couple high school tips for success, hear about our many sports/club programs offered, and more.  Lunch is included in the program. Transportation will be provided at limited locations.

Save the Date: Registration will open on May 30th and a link will be located on the Edison website for those interested in our Jumpstart program. Please contact please contact Greg Dombrowski: @email for further information.

Edison HS

Teacher Appreciation Week - 5/6-5/10


April Family Coffee - 4/18, 9:30-10:30 am

Please mark your calendar for our parent coffee on April 18 at 9:30am-10:30am. We encourage parents to participate in person to connect with school staff and other families. We will be providing refreshments. Language interpretation will be available.

Topic: Positive Discipline  Strategies for Cooperating With Your Teen

Zoom Link:


Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services Information
  • Admin Team Information
  • 2023-24 Blue/White Schedule 
  • 2023-24 Bell Schedule
  • After-School Program
  • From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Holmes MS PTA
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS & Community Updates

  • April Observances
  • Techstravaganza 2024 by TJHS
  • Give Your Feedback on the Budget
  • Family Summit Designed to Enhance Safety, Security, and Inclusion
  • School Health Services Satisfaction Survey
  • Immigrant Family Reunification Class
  • Postsecondary Education and Employment Options
  • Summer Camps and Learning
  •  Stay Connected with FCPS

Please feel free to reach out and let us know what questions you have.  Thank you, and we'll see you very soon!


Serena Giron


Contact Information

Student Services

Admin Team Information

Admin Team

2023-24 Blue/White Calendar

Blue and White Days

Bell Schedule 23-24

From Mr. Kruk, our After-School Specialist

After-School Program Weekly News & Notes from 4/8-4/12

  • Student(s) of the Week
    • The After-School Program Student of the week: Ashley Chevez
    • Ashley was nominated for her willingness  to help assist with many tasks to support the After-School Program.
    • Congrats Ashley!

ASP Schedule 4/15-4/19


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Students Leaving After-School before 4:45 pm

  • Any student staying after school must be signed out of the main office by a parent or guardian if leaving before 4:45.
  • Walkers with parent/guardian permission, may sign themselves out any time after 3:30 when first block ends.
  • Students are not permitted to leave school grounds before checking out in the main office .


Contact the After-School Specialist, Matt Kruk, @email

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

April Family Coffee - 4/18, 9:30-10:30 am

Zoom Link:




Important Upcoming Dates

  • 4/12 - 4/19 - Spring Scholastic Book Fair
  • Thursday, 4/18, 9:30-10:30 am - April Family Coffee
  • Friday, 5/3 - NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday & Orthodox Good Friday
  • 5/6-5/10 - Teacher Appreciation Week by PTA
  • Wednesday, 5/8, 6:30pm - Title I Info Session
  • Monday, 5/27 - NO SCHOOL / Memorial Day

Holmes MS PTA

Don't forget to check out these important links:



Buy a teacher breakfast or donate to their snack cart:

Givebacks (


Donate snacks or your time for teacher appreciation week: 

2023/2024: Teacher Appreciation Snack, Dessert and Drink Donations (

Amazon wishlist:

Buy something off of our wishlist for the teachers and staff to snack on, sent directly to the school.

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

FCPS & Community Updates

April Observances

National Arab American Heritage Month

FCPS is proud to celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month in April. This special month provides an opportunity to recognize the history and valuable contributions of Arab Americans. 

Arab Americans have ancestry in one of the world’s 22 Arab nations, which are located from northern Africa through western Asia. The people of these nations are ethnically, politically, and religiously diverse but share a common cultural and linguistic heritage. 

Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

Muslim American Heritage Month

Muslim American Heritage Month is a time for celebrating the history, contributions, culture, and an enhanced understanding of the diverse population of Muslim Americans. View the Fairfax County School Board resolution honoring Muslim American Heritage Month.

School Library Month

In FCPS libraries, students develop knowledge and skills, experience a sense of belonging, find inspiration and support, and have the ability to freely pursue their personal interests and academic growth. Watch this video to learn how FCPS librarians make a difference.

Autism Acceptance Month

April is Autism Acceptance Month. One in 44 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the United States, according to the CDC. Our schools and staff play a vital role in creating and ensuring inclusive environments that accommodate and affirm autistic students.

Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month

National Poetry Month

Workforce Readiness Month

Public School Volunteer Week - 4/22-26

Earth Day - 4/22

  • Monday, April 22 - wear green for Earth Day
  • Tuesday, April 23 - wear blue for Watershed Day
  • Wednesday, April 24 - wear white for Zero Waste Day
  • Thursday, April 25 - wear red for Climate Change Day
  • Friday, April 26 - wear a nature print for Wildlife Day

Passover and Half-O Days - 4/22-23

Many Jewish communities in the United States celebrate Passover, a recognition of the deliverance of Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Passover is also known as Pesah, Pesach, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Many Jewish families in the United States eat a ceremonial meal known as the Seder, which involves telling the story of the exodus from Egypt as well as eating various symbolic foods, such as meat of the paschal lamb and bitter herbs, recalling the harsh life of slavery. Learn more about Passover in NatGeo Kids

Monday, April 22, and Tuesday, April 23, are designated half-O days in recognition of the first two days of Passover. Half-O days are full school days, but important events will not be held after school on those days. See the complete school year calendar.

Theravada New Year (O Day) - 4/24

In countries where Theravada Buddhism is the most dominant religion, New Year is celebrated for three days from the first full moon in April. Theravada means “the teachings of the elders.” Celebrations begin with people attending the local temple in the morning for chanting and meditation. In the afternoon they have a water festival in which they meet the Buddha image and pay respect to the elderly by watering their hands together. Building sandcastles is also one of the most popular activities during this day of celebration. Wednesday, April 24, is designated as an O day for Theravada New Year. The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances (O days) during the school year. There is school on these days, however tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events will not be held on these observance days. See the complete school year calendar.

Administrative Professionals Day - 4/24

Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology (TWIST), a student organization at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), promotes STEM through their annual flagship outreach event, Techstravaganza. Techstravaganza is a free, public, hands-on STEM activity fair for elementary and middle school students in Northern Virginia. In previous years, this event hosted more than 4,500 students and 70 labs presenting STEM activities. Exhibitors range from TJHSST clubs and TWIST volunteers to organizations like NASA SCaN, Art of Problem Solving, George Mason University, American Society of Naval Engineers, and the National Air and Space Museum. This year, TWIST will be holding the 20th annual Techstravaganza on Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 10 AM to 4 PM at TJHSST. Admission is free, food will be for sale. Here is the registration link:



Give Your Feedback on the Budget

We are now in the middle of the annual budget process, which includes opportunities for you to give feedback:

  • Tuesday, April 16, through Thursday, April 18: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors conducts public hearings on the county budget. Sign up to speak.  
  • Tuesday, May 7: The County Board of Supervisors adopts its budget, tax rates, and transfer amount to FCPS. 
  • Tuesday, May 14: The School Board holds a public hearing on the FCPS budget.
  • Thursday, May 23: The School Board adopts FCPS’ approved budget.

Learn more about the FCPS FY 2025 Advertised Budget and see the full Budget Development Calendar.

Family Summit Designed to Enhance Safety, Security, and Inclusion

The FCPS Family Summit will take place on Saturday, April 20, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Marshall High School. The conference will cover topics that are helpful for all families such as raising resilient, independent children; forming meaningful connections with children; addressing big emotions; and the dangers of opioids and fentanyl. Participants may also join online sessions, which will provide supports for students with disabilities and their families. 

Visit the Family Summit webpage to learn about the guest speakers and to register for the event. The theme — Safe, Supported, and Included — aligns with Goal 2 of FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan

School Health Services Satisfaction Survey

The Fairfax County Health Department and FCPS School Health Services invite parents/caregivers to participate in a survey on the level of satisfaction with support provided to your school community by School Health Services. The survey takes about five minutes to complete and is open until Friday, April 26. Your feedback can help to improve school health services.

Immigrant Family Reunification Class

A class will be held online in Spanish for immigrant families looking to reunite during challenging transitions. Saturday classes will be available April 13, 20, or 27, from 9-11:30 a.m. Register online. For more information, please contact Sussy Tomer at @email

Postsecondary Education and Employment Options

FCPS’ Career and Transition Services will host Flash Forward, to provide students with disabilities seeking a standard or advanced diploma and their families an introduction to options available after high school. 

Flash Forward will be held Thursday, April 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Annandale High School, in the cafeteria. Register online. Representatives from adult education, employment, and community programs (college, military, apprenticeship, trade school, gap year, and employment) will be on site to share information about their services. 


Have you made summer plans for your child yet? Are you looking for a summer camp for your child with special needs?

The Family Resource Center has compiled information on summer camps including local options, camps for students with special needs (sorted by need), and camps for students experiencing grief or who have parents in the military. 

VIP Summer Camp for Rising 7th & 8th Graders

All rising middle schoolers are invited to attend a summer of fun and leisure with VIP Camp. VIP Camp — which takes place Monday, July 1, to Thursday, August 1 — is designed to encourage teens to develop healthy and positive recreation interests and features a wide variety of leisure activities and programs. 

Registration is open. VIP Camp costs $100 to attend. Reach out to your school's after-school specialist for scholarship availability due to financial hardship. This camp is sponsored by Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax County’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. 

  • Applications will open on Tuesday 3/12 at 6pm
  • Here is the link to the application à
  • Links to the application can also be found on the Holmes website under the Activities Tab à After-School Program à VIP Summer Program
  • Any questions or concerns about the VIP summer program, contact Matt Kruk; @email

Sign Up for FCPS Summer Camps and Learning Programs 

Registration is now open for several summer camps and learning opportunities offered by Fairfax County Public Schools for all students.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) camps and Institute for the Arts camps will be held in July at Lake Braddock Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bus transportation will be available from select FCPS middle and high schools. 

CTE programs are available for grade 6-11 students to explore CTE program areas, develop skills, and begin career exploration. IFTA allows students to select from nearly 90 classes in art, dance, health and physical education 9, music, and theater. Visit the IFTA webpage to register.

Summer Learning

Programs are also available for high school students to fulfill the Economics and Personal Finance course requirement, earn a high school course credit via this summer’s online campus program, or recover one high school course credit through the Credit Recovery Academy

FCPS’ free online class for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provides FCPS middle and high school English Learners the opportunity to continue developing their academic, reading, and writing skills in online discussions with an ESOL teacher. 

Find session dates, registration links, and registration deadlines on FCPS summer programs. 

Institute for the Arts

Students in all FCPS secondary schools can enroll in the Institute for the Arts. IFTA is a two- or three-week summer Arts enrichment program for students in rising 7th through 12th grades. Students create their own schedules in Art, Music, Theatre, and Dance from nearly 60 courses offered. Transportation is provided from around the county. Tuition assistance is available for students who qualify. Check out the Institute for the Arts website for more information or email @email.

CTE Summer Academy



Tech Adventure Camp

Tech Adv

Tech Adv

Stay Connected with FCPS

Being connected to your school and division is important every year, and even more so now as we navigate our return to school. The best way to stay informed is to sign up for newsletters through News You Chose

Your school and FCPS have a variety of topics you can choose from, including:

  • School Newsletters- featuring everything you need to know about your child’s school
  • FCPS This Week- a weekly newsletter featuring news and happenings from across the division, published Wednesday mornings
  • School Board Meeting Update- a recap of important news coming out of school board meetings, published the Friday morning after the meeting
  • FCPS Employee News- weekly updates just for staff, published Tuesday mornings