Principal's Note - Feb 14, 2021

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
February 14, 2021

Good morning, Holmes Families!

Happy Valentine's Day!  We are so excited to be planning for the return of our students, who we have missed since last March!! 

Thank you to those families who were able to attend the parent session with me on Thursday evening.  If you missed them, that's okay!  The recordings are below:

This past week, you have received quite a bit of targeted communication from us about forms, your student's status as in-person or virtual, service hours for students with disabilities, and WIDA testing.  We know it is a lot to take in!  Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have. We are here to help!

As a reminder, here are the dates that each group will return:

  • Tuesday, February 16th - Return students in Cat B program (Tuesday-Friday)
  • Tuesday, February 23rd - Small group of students with disabilities  whose families have been notified (Tuesday-Friday)
  • Tuesday, March 2nd - In-person 8th graders return to school 
    • Last names A-K - Tuesdays & Wednesdays
    • Last names L-Z - Thursdays & Fridays
  • Tuesday, March 9th - In-person 6th & 7th graders return to school
    • Last names A-K - Tuesdays & Wednesdays
    • Last names L-Z - Thursdays & Fridays

The new bell schedule that will start on Tuesday, February 16th for all students (virtual and in-person) can be found below.  

On the first day that each grade level returns, we will flip 1st and 3rd periods to give new students an orientation to the school and to go over expectations during their SOAR class.  If your student will be attending in-person, please watch this community video together as we continue to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.

WIDA Testing 

Last week, we had a very successful first week of WIDA testing with our 7th grade English Learners!  (NOTE: Those students who missed test days will have the opportunity to make them up the week of February 22nd.)

As a reminder, if your student is identified as a level 1-4 English Learner, we have either emailed or called you with information about when they will be scheduled to come to the school for their annual WIDA test.  FCPS transportation will be provided to students in addition to breakfast and lunch.  Students will come during one designated week on either Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday.  Here are the dates to keep in mind:

  • February 16th-19th: 6th graders - detailed emails will be sent on Wednesday, 2/10
  • February 23rd-26th: Makeup dates

Application Open for Thomas Jefferson High School of Science & Technology (TJHSST)

I am so excited about the new application process for TJHSST, which will allow more students from Holmes and throughout FCPS greater access to apply.  Scroll down for additional information in the newsletter.  8th grade students in Algebra, Algebra Honors, and Geometry Honors are eligible to apply, and we have notified those teachers as well.  Counselors will be speaking to those students during academic advising and are available to answer parents' questions about the admissions process.  

Materials Pickup for Electives Classes

We invite parents/guardians to pick up supplies that their students may need if they are in an art class with Mr. Hawkins or Mr. Hutto, or if they are in Family and Consumer Sciences with Ms. Fontaine.  Please come to door 1 any time between 8:00 and 3:30 Monday through Friday, and we will bring the supply kit to you once you let us know what class your student is taking.  

NOTE: For the sewing kits for Ms. Fontaine's class, students should not open the sewing kits until the unit starts in the 4th quarter. 


Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on February 15 for Presidents Day Holiday

  • Student Services - Important Information
  • World Language Credit Examination Information
  • Academic Advising for the 2021-22 School Year
  • Online Application for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Opens February 1; Deadline to Apply Is February 26
  • Global Stem Challenges at Edison High School
  • After School Program Schedule - February
  • PTA Restaurant Spirit Night - Koobala - 2/22
  • Important Dates
  • Reporting Student Absences
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS Updates

  • New Employment Opportunity in FCPS: Classroom Monitors 
  • FCPS Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers
  • FCPS CARES Program
  • Healthy Minds
  • Heads Up & Talk It Out
  • CTE Summer Academy
  • West Potomac Academy Virtual Open House
  • Edison Academy Open House

Thank you, and have a great week!

Sincerely,

Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS

@email


Calendar Reminder: Schools and Offices Closed on February 15 for Presidents Day Holiday

Calendar Reminder  

As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed on Monday, February 15, for the Presidents Day holiday. Students are not expected to complete asynchronous assignments that day. Classes will resume on Tuesday, February 16. See the complete 2020-21 school year calendar


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HOLMES UPDATES


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World Language Credit Examination Information

Does your child speak, write, and understand another language?  If so, they could take the world language examination, which is offered in up to 30 languages and potentially receive HS credit(s).  If you are interested and would like more information including how to register for the exam, please contact your child’s school counselor.  Registration for the exam opens February 8th and closes February 26th

Thanks!

Serena Giron, Director of Student Services @email 

Last names A-C - Mariam Amarir - mamarir@fcps.ed

Last names D-K Bessie Fealey - @email 

Last names L-P Kelly Murphy - @email 

Last names Q-Z Erika Davis- @email 


Academic Advising for the 2021-22 School Year

Rising 7th/8th Graders - Transition Events for 2021

  • Online Course Catalog - The online course catalog is available on the school website 
  • Academic Advising and Course Selection February
    • Holmes counselors will provide academic advising through PE and SOAR on course selections.  Students are encouraged to select courses based on teacher feedback, progress in current courses, academic strengths, and personal interests. Holmes counselors are available for individual academic advising to discuss the student’s course selections and answer any questions they may have.
  • February 26 – Deadline for all students submitting course requests.
  • Deadline for all courses in SIS StudentVUE March 5th
  • Draft course requests in SIS ParentVUE/Student VUE
    • Please note that draft course requests will be available in SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE by March 12th

Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s counselor with any questions about this process. We look forward to working with you!

Last Name

Counselor

Email

Phone

A-C

Mariam Amarir

@email

703-658-5942

D-K

Bessie Fealey

@email

703-658-5941

L-P

Kelly Murphy

@email

703-658-5911

Q-Z

Erika Davis

@email

703-658-5943

Director of Student Services, Serena Giron, @email 703-658-5944


Rising 9th Graders - Transition Events for 2021

  • Academic Advising and Course Selection February
    • Holmes counselors will provide academic advising through PE and SOAR on course selections. Students are encouraged to select courses based on teacher feedback, progress in current courses, academic strengths, and personal interests. Holmes counselors are available for individual academic advising to discuss the student’s course selections and answer any questions they may have.
  • Deadline for all courses in SIS StudentVUE March 5th
  • Draft course requests in SIS ParentVUE/Student VUE
    • Please note that draft course requests will be available in SIS ParentVUE and StudentVUE by March 12th

Online Application for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Opens February 1; Deadline to Apply Is February 26

The online application for students interested in applying for admission to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), a Regional Governor’s School in Fairfax County focused on science and technology, will be available beginning Monday, February 1, at 8 a.m. The application will be posted on the admissions web page

The Fairfax County School Board approved changes to the admissions process that will be used to select students for the class of 2025. The changes include using a comprehensive review aimed at improving diversity and access.

Qualified applicants will be enrolled in Honors Algebra or beyond, Honors Science, and one other honors course (waivers available for honors requirements this year only), along with achieving a core grade point average of 3.5. Applicants will also complete a Student Portrait Sheet and problem-solving essay, which will be administered later this spring and are not a part of the initial application.

Applications must be submitted by Friday, February 26, at 4 p.m. Visit the TJHSST admissions website for more information


Global STEM Challenges Program at Edison High School

A limited number of full-time enrollment spaces are available for the 2021-22 school year for rising ninth grade FCPS students who will have completed Algebra I by the start of ninth grade and whose base school is not Edison HS. The Global STEM Transfer Request Form is available on the school website.

Students enrolled in the Global STEM Challenges Program take their honors and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) level mathematics, science, and engineering courses as an integrated class for three periods every other day. In a three-year time span, students complete the content requirements of Biology, Chemistry, IB Physics I, Geometry, Algebra II, IB Math Analysis I, and three years of engineering. Students also have the opportunity to earn a tenth credit in Computer Science, which is embedded throughout the program.


After School Program Schedule - January & February

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 Ms. Taylor, our After School Program Specialist.

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PTA Restaurant Spirit Night - Koobala - 2/22

Koobala

Important Dates

  • Monday, February 15th - President's Day Holiday / NO CLASSES
  • Tuesday, February 16th
    • 1st day back for in-person students in Cat B program
    • New bell schedule begins for all students 
  • Monday, February 22nd - PTA Restaurant Spirit Night - Koobala
  • Tuesday, February 23rd - 1st day back for Group 5 students (specific families will be contacted)
  • Tuesday, March 2nd - 1st day back for in-person 8th graders with last names A-K
  • Thursday, March 4th - 1st day back for in-person 8th graders with last names L-Z
  • Monday, March 8th - Teacher Workday / NO SOAR Monday Minute
  • Tuesday, March 9th - 1st day back for in-person 6th and 7th graders with last names A-K
  • Thursday, March 11th - 1st day back for in-person 6th and 7th graders with last names L-Z

Reporting Student Absences

Do I need to report my student's absence during the virtual classes?


How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:


FCPS UPDATES


New Employment Opportunity in Fairfax County Public Schools: Classroom Monitors

FCPS schools and centers are hiring classroom monitors to provide in-person classroom assistance for students when some staff members continue to work virtually. If you would like more information about the position, review the job description online and apply if interested. Please share information about this opportunity with anyone else you think may be interested. 


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.


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


Healthy Minds

does my child


Heads Up & Talk It Out

heads up


CTE Summer Academy

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