Principal's Note - April 25, 2021

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
April 25, 2021

Good morning, Holmes Families!

What a joy it was to have 400+ students in the building Tuesday through Friday this week and through the remainder of the year!  If you missed our PTA meeting this past Wednesday, you can find the recording HERE to hear about the 4-day return last week, SOL testing, end-of-year grading, summer programs, and plans for next year.  There was a lot of important information shared there, so please let us know what questions you have after you listen.  


SOL Testing (FINAL)

Please see the testing calendar below.  Virtual students will test on Mondays (transportation will be provided), and in-person students will test on Thursdays.  The only exception to that will be that in-person students will take the Science 8 SOL on Wednesday, May 12th.  

Before Spring Break, I sent information to families about how to opt a student out of taking the SOL this year if desired.  The links for opting your student out are below:

If your student is taking Algebra or Geometry, please keep in mind high school graduation requirements before deciding to opt your student out.  Students will receive a high school credit when they pass the Algebra or Geometry SOL and pass the course, which is required for graduation.  

NOTE: Students in Geometry already have a high school credit for passing Algebra last year and may choose to opt out of the Geometry SOL without penalty. 

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Is your student's laptop ready for SOL testing?

Since most of our virtual students have not been in the building this school year, it is critically important that their laptops have the necessary updates for SOL testing.  Please scroll down to the section about Laptop Care for students, and follow the steps identified there. 

ALL students will need to bring their school-issued laptops fully charged (and bring chargers with them) to school on testing days.  If your student does NOT have a school-issued laptop, they should NOT bring their personal laptop to school for testing.  We will temporarily issue them a laptop for the testing day only.  

Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services - Important Information
  • After School Program Schedule
  • Laptop Care for Students
  • Opportunity to Represent Class of 2025 for Rising 9th Grade Students Who Will Attend Edison HS
  • Summer VIP Camp
  • Important Dates
  • Reporting Student Absences
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS Updates

  • Meal Kit Sites Moving to Monday Distribution Starting April 19
  • Standards of Learning Test Schedules for Students Observing Ramadan

  • English Learner Supports for Summer 2021

  • Special Education Parent Newsletter

  • FCPS Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers
  • COVID-19 Vaccines & the Vaccination Process in Fairfax County: A Webinar for Families
  • Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)
  • FCPS CARES Program

Thank you, and have a great week!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS



FCPS End of Year Grading Policies

For the 2020-21 school year, all students with an "F" will receive a "NM" (No Mark) on their report cards.  All students with a "D" will receive a "P" (Pass). Families of middle school students also have until May 10, 2021, to designate the final mark for their current courses as Pass instead of final grades “A” through “C-“. Additional information is enclosed and available on the following website:

Please see Ms. Giron's email dated to families on Monday, April 19th, to learn more.  

After School Program Schedule - April

Virtual after-school activities will be a blend of school clubs, community service, arts and crafts, leadership, recreation and sports, and other activities. 

For any specific questions related to the After School Program or to share new ideas for after school activities, please feel free to contact Mrs. Parker, our After School Program Specialist.

April ASP


Laptop Care for Students

It is important that all students (including students taking classes virtually) to connect their laptops to the FCPS network on a regular basis.  If your student is taking classes virtually, please find time in the next couple of weeks to come to the school parking lot (the administrators' parking spaces or pulling up at door 2 gives you the best access to the network), and have your student complete the steps below.  


Clearing the Cache

It it also important for students to regularly clear the cache in Google Chrome.  Students should follow these steps:

  • On your computer, open Chrome.
  • At the top right, in three vertical dots, Click More tools.
  • Select Clear browsing data. For the time range, select All time.
  • Next to "Cookies and other site data" and "Cached images and files," check the boxes.
  • Click Clear data.

Please Congratulate our Newly Elected 2021-2022 NJHS Officers

2021-2022 NJHS Officers  

Please congratulate our newly elected 2021-2022 NJHS officers

NJHS officers  

We would like to recognize our officers this 2020-2021 school year, probably the one of the most difficult ever, but they carried out their responsibilities beautifully despite the circumstances: taking leadership roles in our Induction ceremony, training the new officer candidates, creating virtual cards, and running meetings formally with parliamentary procedure. 

Opportunity to Represent Class of 2025 for Rising 9th Grade Students Who Will Attend Edison HS

Attention Rising 9th grade students who will go to Edison High School.  Do you want to represent the Class of 2025 on the Edison Student Government Association (SGA) next year?  Do you like being involved with school activities and helping to get others involved?  Do you like taking on the challenges of Leadership? If so, please find more information here -

Summer VIP Camp

VIP Camp

Important Dates

  • Friday, June 11th - Tuesday, June 15th: Laptop Collection (more details to come)

Reporting Student Absences

How do I report my student's absence for virtual or in-person classes?

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:


Meal Kit Sites Moving to Monday Distribution Starting April 19

Many FCPS Grab and Go food distribution sites have switched this month from daily food pickup to weekly Fairfax Meal Kit distribution. Fairfax Meal Kits contain seven days of breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and supper items packed in bulk.

On Monday, April 19, all meal kit sites are permanently moving to a Monday distribution day. Hours remain 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or until supplies are exhausted. Grab and Go locations and bus routes remain the same. Go to the food distribution webpage for more information.

Standards of Learning Test Schedules for Students Observing Ramadan

This year, the main Standards of Learning (SOL) testing window has significant overlaps with Ramadan, the Muslim holy month marked by daily fasting. The SOL testing window begins Monday, April 12, for high schools and Monday, April 26, for elementary and middle schools. All schools must complete SOL make-up tests and retakes by Friday, June 4. Ramadan begins the evening of Monday, April 12, and ends with Eid-al-Fitr on Thursday, May 13.

FCPS welcomes and encourages engagement with parents and guardians of students affected by this overlap. School staff will work with parents and guardians to make schedule adjustments or determine how best to address students’ needs. For example, it may be possible to schedule testing early in the day when energy levels are likely to be highest.

If you have a child in an SOL grade-level who will be fasting to observe Ramadan this year, notify the principal or school counselor to take advantage of possible scheduling options.

View more ideas and tips to prepare for upcoming testing during Ramadan.

English Learner Supports for Summer 2021

FCPS staff members will be providing additional academic content and English language development support for our 36,000 English learners (ELs) this summer. 

Elementary and middle school ELs will participate in the division’s inclusive summer program to strengthen core mathematics and language arts skills.  All ELs ELP level 1 and 2 will be invited to participate. Additional ELs ELP level 3 and 4 will be invited based on identified needs.

High school ELs who failed a core academic course will participate in Credit Recovery.  ESOL resource teachers will collaborate with content teachers to support ELs.

High school ELs who are ELP level 1 or SLIFE will be invited to participate in numeracy and literacy essentials based on need, for multiple weeks of math and literacy intervention.

All high school ELs ELP level 1-4 will be invited to participate in online language and literacy lonnections (middle and high school). This is one hour of synchronous online learning with one hour of asynchronous reading, writing, and online assignments per week.

In addition, extended English Language Development (ELD) will be offered to all ELs ELP level 1-4 in elementary, middle, and high school who are not participating in a structured summer program. 

For any questions about the FCPS summer programs, email

Special Education Parent Newsletter

The Department of Special Services (DSS) publishes a regular electronic newsletter for parents of special education students to provide updated DSS information, tips, and ideas to support you and your family during distance learning. The latest issue is available online

FCPS Is Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers

Are you or somebody you know interested in substitute teaching with FCPS? Apply online or attend one of our Friday information sessions to learn more. To sign up for a session, visit the FCPS substitute teacher information page.

COVID-19 Vaccines & the Vaccination Process in Fairfax County: A Webinar for Families

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Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)

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FCPS Cares Program

The FCPS CARES Program is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. We invite you to submit your story so we can acknowledge the good work of FCPS employees.

Watch this video to learn more