Principal's Note - Jan 05, 2020

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
January 06, 2020

Good evening and Happy New Year, Holmes Families!

I hope that you all had a relaxing winter break and had an opportunity to spend time with friends and/or family.  We are excited to get back to school tomorrow and see students and staff after some much-needed time off!

This month begins the academic advising process for all of our students to help them select their courses for the 2020-21 school year!  Please plan to join us for our Curriculum Night on Thursday, January 16th (scroll down for flyers with more details), one of our most highly attended events of the school year, to learn more about how to help your child select their courses for next year.  As a bit of a boost to support you, the focus of our parent coffee on January 15th (9 am) and our PTA meeting on January 16th (5:30 pm) will be about helping your student plan for the future.  Course selection can be an important part of that planning.  

End of 2nd quarter

We have just 3 weeks of 2nd quarter remaining!  As we did 1st quarter, students will have the opportunity to earn free time during our 2nd quarter Activity Period on Friday, January 24th.  Students who exhibit positive behavior and consistently arrive to class on time will be permitted to participate.  

Mr. Simmons out this month

Due to the recent birth of his son, Mr. Simmons, Assistant Principal for students' whose last names end in M-Z, will be out on paternity leave for the month of January.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your student's counselor, and he or she will direct your concern to the appropriate staff member.  


Our 6th graders taking Math 6 Advanced will be taking the IOWA test in the next couple of weeks.  As required by Fairfax County Public Schools, this is one step that students in Math 6 Advanced take to determine their eligibility to take Algebra Honors in 7th grade.  In addition to scoring at a certain level on the IOWA test to be eligible, students must also score a Pass Advanced (500 or above) on the Math 7 SOL in the Spring.  Parents of students in Math 6 advanced will receive communication from our Student Services Department once we receive the IOWA scores in a couple of months.

Outstanding Employees

Thank you for nominating our Outstanding Employees for this year!  We received the most nominations that we ever have!  The following staff members have been selected to go to the next round in each category:

  • Outstanding Teacher of the Year: Ms. Sloan Waters (7th grade History) 
  • Outstanding New Teacher of the Year (fewer than 3 years experience): Mr. Greg Donitzen (7th grade Science)
  • Outstanding Professional Employee of the Year: Mr. Torey Diggs (School Based Technology Specialist)
  • Outstanding Operational Employee of the Year: Mr. Kelvin Branch (Instructional Assistant)

Congratulations to these staff members!

Security Cameras

I am very excited to share that the FCPS School Board has approved for Holmes Middle School (along with a number of other middle schools) to receive interior and exterior security cameras by the end of this school year.  As part of the process, I will be sending a letter with more details to all families in the next week or so and will follow up with an electronic survey.  I will also be available to answer questions that parents have about the camera installation at the parent coffee on Wednesday, January 15th, at 9 am, and at the PTA meeting on Thursday, January 16th, at 6:30 pm.  If you cannot attend either meeting, please feel free to contact me by email with any questions that you have.  

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

  • Join the Holmes MS PTA!
  • This Week's Schedule
  • After-School Program
  • Capital Coders Applications
  • Free School and Sports Physicals and George Mason University Clinics
  • FCPS Needs Substitutes!
  • 8th Grade Personal Yearbook Ads
  • Important Dates
  • 2019-20 Family Engagement Events
  • 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 you have!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS





Have you joined the Holmes MS PTA?

Your membership supports teacher appreciation and grants for teachers to provide unique programs for students!  Join HERE today!

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.

This Week's Schedule of Classes: 1/6-1/10


This week:

Mon., 1/6 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 6, 4th, 6th)

Tues.,1/7 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th)

Wed., 1/8 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 7, 4th, 6th)

Thurs., 1/9 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th)

Fri., 1/10 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 1, 4th, 6th)

 *NOTE: Students can always find the blue-white calendar in their agendas or on the school website HERE

After-School Program - Week of 1/6

During the school year, a weekly schedule of activities that will be held during the After School Program will be posted.  

  • Late buses are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Students must be picked up by parents/guardians if they stay on Tuesdays or Fridays.  
  • NOTE: There are only 6 late buses, so students' late bus assignments and stops are usually different than their regular bus. 

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.

ASP week of Jan 6

Capital Coders Applications - Spring 2020


Capital One Coders Program is a special 10-week coding curriculum for middle school students. The Capital One Coders Middle School Initiative supports students as they learn how to develop apps for mobile devices using App Inventor blocks-based programming language. Led by Capital One volunteers, hundreds of young students gain exposure to software engineering principles and practices.

     25 Holmes students will have the opportunity to get hands on experience learning software development, problem solving, and even develop their own app.  If you are interested and committed to meet every Wednesday from 2:30-4:30 PM for the entire 10-week program (from February 13th through April 29th), Please sign into your email accounts and fill out the application linked below.  The deadline for all submissions is 3 PM on Friday, January 17th.

     Students who have applied and were not accepted in the past are encouraged to reapply. Students who have participated in this program in the past will not be eligible to participate in the Spring session.

Capital Coders Application Spring 2020


Free School and Sports Physicals at George Mason University Clinics

GMU Free Physicals Flyer

FCPS Needs Substitutes!

Click HERE for more information if you are interested.

sports phy form p4


8th Grade Personal Yearbook Ads

Introducing... 8th Grade Personal Ads

The yearbook staff wants to offer you the opportunity to honor your eighth grader as they move up to

high school. Surprise your student with a personal ad in the yearbook. These special messages can

be from parents, grandparents, siblings or even pets. You may purchase more than one ad; however,

please submit a separate form for each ad. Each ad will be the size shown below. Ads cost $15 each and is due Friday, February 28, 2020.

8th grade yearbook personal ads

Important Dates

  • Wed., 1/15, 9-10 am- Parent Coffee - Theme: Helping Students Plan for the Future (College & Careers)
  • Thurs., 1/16 (AM) - Annandale High School (AHS) counselors visit Holmes to meet with 8th graders who will attend AHS in 2020-21
  • Thurs., 1/16, 5:30 pm - PTA Meeting (Topic: Planning for the Future with your Student)
  • Thurs., 1/16, 6:30-8 pm - Curriculum Night (information to help rising 6th, 7th, & 8th grade parents support students with course selection for 2020-21 school year)
  • Mon., 1/20 - NO SCHOOL (Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday)
  • Fri., 1/24 - Last day of 2nd quarter / 2nd Quarter Activity Period 
  • Mon., 1/27 & Tues., 1/28 - TEACHER WORKDAYS / STUDENT HOLIDAYS

2019-20 Family Engagement Events


How to Stay In-Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: