Principal's Note - April 5, 2024

By Serena Giron
Principal's Note
April 08, 2024

Eid al-Fitr 

In Islam, Eid-al-Fitr is a three day festival to mark the end of Ramadan. Muslims dress in new clothes, give charity, and pray in congregation. Eid is celebrated with the exchange of presents and delicious food with family and friends. Read more at

Tuesday, April 9, has been designated as a half-O day. Half-O days are full school days, but important events will not be held after school on those days. Wednesday, April 10, is an FCPS holiday and all schools and offices will be closed. See the complete School Year Calendar

Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse is happening on April 8, 2024. It's a rare and exciting astronomical phenomenon, and one that requires important safety reminders. Looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can permanently damage your eyes. 

Here's what you need to know:

  • Don't look at the sun without approved eyewear. This applies to students and staff, and we encourage you to reinforce this at home.
  • Regular sunglasses are not good enough. The NASA website has more information about eye safety.  
  • Eclipse timing: The eclipse starts around 2:04 p.m., peaks at 3:20 p.m. (which coincides with dismissal for some students), and ends around 4:32 p.m. Please remind your child to be especially vigilant about eye safety during dismissal. If you have concerns about your child walking or riding the bus home, please arrange for alternative transportation.

For more details, visit the FCPS Solar Eclipse webpage.

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

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


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
  • Advertised Budget Focuses on Schools and Instruction
  • New Regulation on Meditation and Silent Reflection Spaces
  • Register Today for the FCPS Family Summit
  • Nominations Open for the Bussey Memorial Equity Award
  • Community Forums on Middle School Start Times
  • Lexia Parent Night: How We Help Your Child Learn to Read
  • 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 3/22

  • Student(s) of the Week
  • The After-School Program Student of the week: Dominic Ersoy
  • Dominic was nominated for going out of his way to help our Holmes staff when they were experiencing technical challenges.
  • He was able to problem solve and provide solutions that helped to support our program.
  • Great work Dominic!

ASP Schedule 4/8-4/12



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

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




Important Upcoming Dates

  • Wednesday, 4/10 - NO SCHOOL / Eid al-Fitr
  • 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 - 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

Month of the Military Child

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

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

School Librarian Day - 4/4

National Assistant Principals Week - 4/1-5

Join NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators in honoring the enormous contributions of assistant principals to student success.

National Library Week - 4/7-13

April is School Library Month and it's a great time to celebrate the essential role that school librarians play in the lives of students. School librarians ensure students have access to a wide variety of high-quality books and resources that connect them to the world and build a culture of literacy. Librarians develop lessons that are meaningful to students and help them develop critical thinking, inquiry, and information literacy skills. They support learning across all subject areas by teaching students the skills to be independent problem-solvers and creative thinkers. By creating a safe environment for all students to be engaged and curious learners, FCPS libraries are places where everyone belongs.

Take a moment to learn more about FCPS Library Programs and share your appreciation of your school librarian!

Purple Up! Day - 4/17

To show our support for all our military-connected families, we are inviting all Fairfax County students, families, school employees, 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. 

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:



Advertised Budget Focuses on Schools and Instruction

Investing in excellence means putting our dollars where it matters most — schools and instruction. Nearly 93% of FCPS full-time staff work directly in our schools. And nearly 86% of FCPS’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Advertised Budget is dedicated to instructional programs across all grade levels, including special education. 

Only 5% of the advertised budget is for general support and central administration. Central office administrators represent only 0.8% of total full-time positions.

For more details on FCPS’ advertised budget, view budget documents, including the FY 2025 Budget Book. 

Check out the Budget Calendar for important dates in the budget process as well as opportunities for the community to provide feedback.  

New Regulation on Meditation and Silent Reflection Spaces

FCPS has developed Regulation 1502 to ensure all students and staff have reasonable accommodation and access to meditation and silent reflection spaces within the school division. The regulation provides guidance for schools on how to manage requests for silent reflection during instructional and non-instructional time, and for students to leave school for religious activities.

These spaces are for individuals to engage in prayer, meditation, or silent reflection, inclusive of their religious or non-religious beliefs. Parents/caregivers must provide written permission for students requesting to miss instructional time on a regular basis. Families are encouraged to contact [the principal/family liaison/their child’s teacher] regarding accommodations. View Regulation 1502. Visit FCPS' Religious Accommodations in Schools for Students webpage for more information.

Register Today for the FCPS Family Summit

Registration is open for the FCPS Family Summit, which 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 social-emotional resources, along with a specially curated online component to provide supports for students with disabilities and their families.

Some of the topics include raising resilient, independent children; forming meaningful connections with children; addressing big emotions; and the dangers of opioids and fentanyl. The theme — Safe, Supported, and Included — aligns with Goal 2 of FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan

Nominations Open for the Bussey Memorial Equity Award

The Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC) sponsors the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award to honor the legacy of Dr. Bussey, a founding member of the MSAOC and a longtime advocate for students and families. Read more about Dr. Bussey

This award recognizes staff or community members who have demonstrated significant and impactful efforts to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students from groups who are marginalized or underserved.

Any FCPS employee, student, or community member can nominate an individual or group for the award. All nomination materials must be submitted by Wednesday, May 1.  The winner will be recognized at the FCPS Equity Symposium on Tuesday, June 18.

Full details and the nomination information form are available on the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award webpage

Community Forums on Middle School Start Times

Fairfax County Public Schools is exploring options for adjusting middle school start times and invites the public to be part of the process. All forums will deliver the same presentation and provide the same feedback opportunities. Please attend the event that works best for your schedule: 

Registration is not required but does help with planning. Click one of the dates above to register. Language interpretation and childcare will be provided. Learn more about the project exploring middle school start times.  

Lexia Parent Night: How We Help Your Child Learn to Read

Attend a virtual information night to learn about Lexia on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. Participants will discover how FCPS is integrating this program into the classroom to support student literacy growth. Tips for supporting students at home will also be shared. Integrating Lexia into the literacy curriculum aligns with the Virginia Literacy Act, FCPS’ Equitable Access to Literacy, and FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan Goal 3, which aims to have all students reading on level by the end of third grade. 


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