Principal's Note - Aug 11, 2019

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
August 12, 2019

Good morning & Happy Sunday, Holmes Families!

Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year at Holmes Middle School!  We are so excited to welcome students and families back to Holmes, and we have been working hard throughout the summer to get ready for the school year!

Parent Survey / Encuesta de Padres

Parents/Guardians: Please help us to continue our planning for the school year by completing the survey below about parent events, which will be open for responses until Friday, August 30th.  

2019-20 Holmes MS Parent Survey / Encuesta de padres 

Welcome, New Administrators & Counselors!

We have had some big changes to our administrative and counseling teams this year, including 2 new administrators (Mr. Simmons & Mr. Barrow) and 3 new counselors).  This year (and in years to come), we will be organized alphabetically by the students' last names (rather than by grade level). Take a look at the chart below to see who your student's counselor and administrator will be. Scroll down further for the picture of our team members!


By now, you should have received your packet from our Student Services office in the mail with important information about the start of the school year, including important forms to complete and return.  (Scroll down further down in the newsletter for more information about important schedule pickup dates coming up when those forms can be turned in.)  

Student Rights & Responsibilities (SR&R)

One important document that schools have not received yet is the 2019-20 Student Rights & Responsibilities.  The electronic copy of the document is available at the link, and students will be given hard copies of it to bring home when we receive it at school.  

Parents have the option of printing and signing the signature sheet to acknowledge receipt of the link, but are also welcome to wait until the hard copy of the booklet has been received. Copies of the signature sheet will also be available in the main office.  



While we have not received students' bus assignments yet from the Transportation Department, we do expect to receive them very soon.  Typically, Transportation sends communication directly to each family with the regular and late bus assignments.  (Note: Late buses will be available to students staying in the After School Program on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays beginning Monday, September 23rd.)

Blue-White Calendar

Holmes operates on a block schedule, with Blue Days (periods 1, 3, 5, & 7) and White Days (periods 2, SOAR Time, ER, 4, & 6).  Our Blue-White Calendar for the year can be found below, and will also be located in students' agendas.   (NOTE: The assignment of blue days and white days remains the same throughout the year regardless of cancellations that may occur due to inclement weather.  


Bell Schedule

Our bell schedule has only changed slightly this year to introduce a new period call SOAR time and to decrease the number of ER (Enrichment & Remediation) rotations throughout the year.  More to come in future newsletters about what happens in SOAR Time and ER.  



We are excited to begin SOAR Time this year at Holmes!  SOAR Time will take the place of ER-8 and will occur every white day throughout the year.  SOAR Time will be a homebase for students, who will be in small groups of 12-14 students with a teacher.  This period will provide an opportunity to conduct schoolwide lessons, to help students get and stay organized throughout the year, to have time to stay up to date with their coursework, and have time to read and reflect on their progress.  



Lockers will be distributed to all students on Tuesday, September 10th.  Students must turn in their Emergency Care and Health Information forms in order to receive their lockers.  

NOTE: 6th graders attending the orientation on Thursday morning, August 22nd, will receive their locker assignments so that they can practice opening the combination lock.  They will not, however, be able to store anything in the lockers or use them until they are assigned to all students schoolwide on September 10th.


We are excited to be able to expand our one-to-one laptop program this year to include 7th grade!  8th graders will receive laptops through SOAR Time on Thursday, August 29th, and 7th graders will receive laptops through SOAR Time on Wednesday, September 4th.  Students must turn in the 1:1 Laptop Form (in the packets mailed home) in order to receive their laptops.  



ALL students will be permitted to carry backpacks during the school day through September 10th, when they will receive their locker assignments. 

After September 10th:

  • 7th & 8th graders will be permitted to carry backpacks throughout the day to protect their laptops 
  • 6th graders will be required to store their backpacks in their lockers from 7:30-2:15.  


  • 7th & 8th grade students may want to have a smaller (but sturdy) string backpack to use during the school day.  
  • Encourage students to only carry what they need during the school day.  They will have opportunities to stop at their lockers throughout the day.

In today's newsletter, scroll down for information about:

  • Upcoming Events
  • First Week's Schedule
  • Online Free & Reduced-Price Application Information
  • After-School Program
  • Summer F.E.E.D.S.
  • Important Dates
  • 2019-20 Save the Dates
  • How to Stay in Touch

Thanks, everyone, and have a wonderful week!  Please feel free to reach out to me or anyone on my team with any questions that you have about the upcoming year!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS



Admin Team (standing, left to right): Serena Giron, Director of Student Services; Justin Simmons, Assistant Principal; Rose Moore, Assistant Principal; Margaret Barnes, Principal; Robert Barrow, Dean of Students

Counseling Team (sitting, left to right): Bessie Fealey, Kelly Murphy, Erika Davis, Victor Carias

Welcome to Dana Wallace, our new Special Education Department Chair at Holmes Middle School!  Ms. Wallace is coming to us from Edison High School.  She is excited to welcome our families back and is available as a resource to you with any questions that you have about the support your student is receiving through his/her IEP.  If you need to contact her, she can be reached at @email.


Upcoming Events

Schedule Pick up

  • Wednesday 8/21: 11 AM - 5 PM
  • Thursday 8/22: 9 AM - 3:30 PM

****Please bring completed forms (packets were mailed out to families last week)

  • Attention families of students who are unable to pick up schedules:  On the first day of school, all students' names will be posted by last name in various locations throughout the school with the first period room number and teacher name.  All students will receive an updated schedule on the first day of school.

 6th Grade/New Student and Parent Orientation

  • When:  Thursday, August 22, 8AM -10:30AM

Where: Holmes Middle School

**** Transportation will be provided from your local elementary school (Bren Mar Park, Columbia, Parklawn, and North Springfield,  Weyanoke (Please note Weyanoke students will be picked up at bus stops which will be communicated at a later date)

Who:  All new and 6th grade students and parents to Holmes

***Parents will have an opportunity to learn key information about Holmes with our parent liaisons!

First Day of School

  • When:  Monday, August 26  (Blue Day – periods 1/3/5/7), 7:30AM-2:15PM

First Week's Schedule of Classes: 8/26-8/30


Schedule for first week of school:

Mon., 8/26 = FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th)

Tues., 8/27 = White Day (2nd, 4th, 6th) SOAR Time

Wed., 8/28 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th)

Thurs., 8/29 = White Day (2nd, 4th 6th) SOAR Time


 *NOTE: Students can always find the blue-white calendar in their agendas or on the school website, which is currently in the process of being updated.  

Online Free and Reduced-Price Application Information

Free and reduced-price meal applications may be completed online or by submitting a handwritten, paper application for the 2019-2020 school year.  Electronic meal applications are quick, easy, and available in the following languages:  English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, French, and Vietnamese. 

Both the online application and paper application include a designated section with a consent to share information for potential waiver of fees for other programs. This allows parents/guardians to complete the free and reduced-price meal application and provide consent to share information in the same document.

Paper applications must be the original red print forms, which are available at school offices, school cafeterias, and other FCPS buildings.  Copied application forms cannot be accepted.

For more information visit the Free and Reduced-Price Meals webpage.


After-School Program

ASP Letter

FCPS Cares


Do you know a Holmes Middle School staff member who does ordinary things in an extraordinary way or goes beyond what is expected? If so, then click here to submit your story so we can all acknowledge the good work of Holmes faculty and staff members.

Food for Every Child to Eat During the Summer (F.E.E.D.S.)

FEEDS Flyer page 1FEEDS Flyer page 2

Important Dates

  • Wed., 8/21, 11 am - 5 pm - Schedule Pick up (All grades)
  • Thur., 8/22, 9 am - 3:30 pm - Schedule Pick up (All grades)
  • Thur., 8/22, 8 - 10:30 am - 6th Grade/New Student & Parent Orientation
  • Mon., 8/26, 7:30 am - First Day of School
  • Wed., 8/28 5 - 8:30 pm - Open House / Back to School Night
  • Fri., 8/30 - NO SCHOOL - Holiday for Students & Teachers
  • Mon., 9/2 - NO SCHOOL - Labor Day 
  • Mon., 9/16 - First Day of After-School Program (Homework Rooms & Hawk Club only)
  • Mon., 9/23 - First Day of Late Buses 

2019-20 Save the Dates


How to Stay In-Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: