Principal's Note - March 10, 2023

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
March 13, 2023

Good evening, Holmes Families!

Daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m.Don’t forget to move your clocks ahead one hour! 

Holmes PTA Basketball Night Success!!

Thank you to all of those who made last night's staff/student basketball game a success!  The turnout was incredible, our student and staff players played their hearts out, the pep band was amazing, and our parent, staff and student volunteers took care of all of the details behind the scenes.  It felt so good to see our community come together to just have some good, plain fun.  

  • Join us for our next PTA Meeting next Wednesday, 3/15
  • Save the Date for the Holmes PTA Fun Run on Friday, May 12th!  

Opioid Awareness Meeting: The Dangers of Fentanyl in Our Community

Across the country, we are losing students to the dangers of fentanyl every day. This crisis is here, in our schools and communities. It is time to have an honest conversation about it. We can all agree, there is nothing more important than the safety and wellbeing of our students, families, and communities. 

 Please join Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for a community meeting on Opioid awareness, Monday, March 13, 6:30 - 8 p.m. at Fairfax High School. During this event, you will hear from individuals and family members affected by the opioid epidemic, medical experts, and law enforcement representatives. You will also have an opportunity to hear directly from Fairfax County Public Schools and the Fairfax County Police Department about local initiatives to address this issue.

 Register for the March 13 event.

 For more information, please watch this short video and visit our website.

Family Coffee Recording-- Digital Citizenship: Balance & Boundaries

Thank you to our families who came out and tuned in on Zoom for our March Family Coffee over Digital Citizenship: Balance & Boundaries. If you missed it, the recording, slideshow, and resources are available in Schoology > Holmes Families Course > Family Liaison Center. The recording has translations in Arabic, Dari, and Amharic.


Holmes Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society Will Hold an Information Session - 3/17, during SOAR

The Holmes chapter of the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) will hold an information and short Q&A session for eligible 7th and 8th Grade students on Friday, March 17th during SOAR.  NJHS is a national program that promotes community service, scholarship, and citizenship.  At the information session students will learn more about NJHS as well as the application process.  To apply, students must complete a minimum of 10 service hours (at some point in the past 1 - 2 years), write two essays, get two teacher recommendations and maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA.  Students who are eligible to apply and attend the information session will receive a pass in their SOAR class on March 16th.  If you have any questions before then you can reach out to the NJHS advisor, Sloan Waters at [email protected]  

College Planning Program (CPP) for 8th Graders

The CPP program is open to all 8th graders that are interested in participating. CPP is designed to systematically mitigate the impact of barriers to access, opportunity, and attainment and support students who are from populations that are historically underrepresented on college campuses. The main goal is to familiarize 8th graders with what the college expectations will be for freshman admissions.

Please direct all questions to Ms. Sandra Turner at @email.


Holmes Middle School Theatre Department Presents:



Based on the Original Screenplay by Dean Pitchford



Friday, March 24 at 7:00pm

Saturday March 25 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm

All Tickets $5


Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services Information
  • 2022-23 Blue/White Calendar
  • 2022-23 Bell Schedule
  • After School Schedule Next Week
  • Holmes MS PTA
  • From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
  • Testing Information & Quarter 3 Testing Windows 
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS & Community Updates

  • Request Your Free Student Bus Pass Today!
  • Parental Notifications and Policy 3290: Sexually Explicit Content
  • Review Draft Goals for FCPS’ New Strategic Plan
  • Braddock and Springfield District Town Hall
  • Medicaid Policy Changes
  • Youth Substance Use Presentation
  • Summer Camps & Learning Opportunities
  • Stay Connected with FCPS

Please feel free to reach out and let us know what questions you have.  Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS




Student Services Information

Student Services Info

2022-23 Blue/White Calendar


New Bell Schedule

From Mr. Kruk, our After School Specialist

After-School Program Weekly News & Notes from 3/6-3/10

Student of the Week

The After-School Program Student of the week: Kiah Van Heerden

  • Kiah always shows up ready to work at Voice of Now!
  • She is kind, empathetic, and creative. Kiah’s calm energy helps anchor the group and keep people focused on the task.
  • Great work Kiah!

Basketball Game Action

Congratulations to all that participated in our staff & students basketball game Thursday night.

basketball game

Summer VIP Program is back!

  • What?:
    • FCPS and Neighborhood & Community Services come together to provide a 4-week all day summer program.
    • Our VIP Program will combine 6 middle schools this summer; Holmes, Poe, Glasgow, Luther Jackson, Thoreau, and Kilmer Middle School.
    • Program supports students’ social, emotional, physical, and academic growth through a wide-range of academic and recreational opportunities.
    • There is a registration fee associated with the program to be determined soon. Last year’s cost was $50 per student for the 4 weeks.
  • Who?: For any rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Holmes student.
  • When?: June 28th – July 27th (tentative timeframe 9am-4pm)
  • Where?: Luther Jackson Middle School
  • How?:
    • Registration is set to open on Monday, March 20th via google link.
    • Registration link and payment form will be sent home to all Holmes families when available.
    • Bus transportation is provided but only from Holmes MS to Luther Jackson MS in the morning, and then from Luther Jackson MS back to Holmes MS in the afternoon.
  • Interested? Please complete this interest form
  • More details to follow in the next few weeks.

After School Schedule 3/13-3/17

ASP March 10

Students Leaving After-School before 4:45

    • Any student staying after school must be signed out of the main office by a parent or guardian if leaving prior to 4:45.
    • Walkers may sign themselves out any time after 3:30 when first block ends.


Contact the After-School Specialist, Matt Kruk, @email

Holmes MS PTA

We invite EVERY family at Holmes to participate in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) because we can do more together! Advocate for your child, and for all the children at Holmes.  Connect with other parents, so that we can build a stronger community for ourselves and our children. This year, the Holmes PTA is planning on holding in-person meetings again, so you can meet face-to-face with other parents and with Ms. Barnes.  We're also planning restaurant nights, Bingo Nights, a Fun Run, Teacher Appreciation Week, and so much more!

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

Upcoming Family Coffee Events:

Family Coffee Events at Holmes occur monthly. The topics coming up over the next few months can be found below. You can attend in person or over Zoom. You will receive Zoom links via News You Choose and e-Notify. Click here to register for an upcoming Family Coffee. All presentation recordings and resources are saved to Holmes Families on Schoology.

Upcoming Family Coffee Events

Virtual Concurrent Teen & Parent Recovery Groups - Thursdays, 6-7 pm

Heads up

Testing Information & Quarter 3 Testing Windows

Qrt 3 Testing

Important Upcoming Dates

  • 3/10-3/11 - Band Assessment - Sandburg MS
  • 3/10-3/11 - Orchestra Assessment - Alexandria City HS
  • Tuesday, 3/14 - Pyramid MS Chorus Concert - Justice HS (7 pm)
  • 3/17-3/18 - Choral Assessment - Sandburg MS
  • Friday, 3/24, 7 pm  Musical - Footloose
  • Saturday, 3/25, 2pm & 7 pm -  Musical - Footloose
  • 4/3/2023 - 4/7/2023 - NO SCHOOL / Spring Break 
  • Thursday, 4/13 - 2-Hour Early Release / End of 3rd Quarter
  • Friday, 4/14 - NO SCHOOL / Orthodox Good Friday /Teacher Workday
  • Friday, 4/21- NO SCHOOL / Eid al Fitr
  • Friday, 5/12 - Holmes PTA Fun Run
  • Monday, 5/29 - NO SCHOOL / Memorial Day
  • Friday, 6/16 - 2-Hour Early Release / Last Day of School

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

FCPS & Community Updates

Request Your Free Student Bus Pass Today!

Free Student Bus Pass

Parental Notifications and Policy 3290: Sexually Explicit Content

A Virginia law passed in spring 2022 requires schools to create a policy for parental notification of sexually explicit content/materials. In December 2022, the School Board adopted FCPS Policy 3290: Parental Notification Regarding Instructional Materials with Sexually Explicit Content

FCPS has had policies in place for many years regarding the review of instructional materials, communication with parents, and options for alternative instructional materials.

An expectation of this new policy is the 30-day parental notification requirement of sexually explicit content in instructional materials assigned or selected by teachers. After reviewing the notification letter, parents or caregivers who prefer to choose alternative instructional materials for their child must submit this form to the appropriate teacher within the 30-day notification window. View Policy 3290 for more information.

Review Draft Goals for FCPS’ New Strategic Plan

Please take a moment to share your perspectives on the draft work-to-date related to the development of FCPS’ new Strategic Plan. Your input is important to this work and will help ensure a thriving future for each and every FCPS student.

FCPS emailed the survey link to all parents and caregivers on Monday, March 6. Please check your email, if you haven't had a chance to take the survey yet. If you are a community member who does not have a student enrolled in FCPS, please use this link to participate. 

The survey is available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Urdu, and Vietnamese. All responses are anonymous and confidential. Information from the survey will be shared with and analyzed by Performance Fact, Inc. (PFI), the company FCPS hired to help create our Strategic Plan. Visit our Strategic Planning webpage for more details.

Braddock and Springfield District Town Hall

Join Springfield District Representative Laura Jane Cohen, Braddock District Representative Megan McLaughlin, FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid, and Student Representative to the School Board Michele Togbe for a town hall. All Braddock and Springfield District parents/guardians, staff, students, and community members are welcome. We hope to see you there!

When: Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Where: Lake Braddock Secondary School (Little Theater), 9200 Burke Lake Road, Burke, VA

*If American Sign Language or language interpretation is needed, please submit your request by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 10, 2023.

Town Hall

Medicaid Policy Changes

A change in federal Medicaid policy could impact the health care coverage of millions of students. In order to avoid gaps in coverage, families need to know:

  • Families, especially those who have moved residences during the pandemic, should contact their state Medicaid offices to ensure their contact information is up to date.
  • Families should watch their mail for letters about Medicaid and the state Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, status. 
  • Recipients must submit any renewal forms they receive to maintain coverage, which states could mail at any point between March 2023 and February 2024.
  • Families who no longer qualify for Medicaid after the review may qualify for coverage through their state’s health insurance exchange.

Youth Substance Use Presentation

  • FCPS is dedicated to providing parents and community members with the most accurate and up-to-date information on youth substance use, prevention, addiction, interventions and available supports. Please join us and our partners from the Fairfax County Police Department and Community Services Board as we discuss these topics as well as the ongoing opioid crisis. Attendees will walk away with an understanding of:
  • Alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and opioid.
  • List what you can do as a caregiver.
  • How to identify and connect with community resources.

Please see below for more information about presentation in Edison HS. 

Difficult Conversations_Edison

Summer Camps & Learning Opportunities

Tech Adventure Camp and CTE Summer Academy

We are excited to provide the following information about our 2023 CTE summer enrichment camps! The FCPS Career and Technical Education (CTE) office is once again offering two enrichment programs this year - Tech Adventure Camp and CTE Summer Academy.

What is CTE Summer Enrichment

  • Hands-on, exploratory enrichment programs
  • Teaches students engaging and exciting content in Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • Helps students make connections to careers and develop new skills

2023 Programs

  • Tech Adventure Camp: Students in Kindergarten - grade 6 explore STEAM, culinary, health, trades, and computer science by rotating through daily classes
  • NEW TO 2023: Tech Adventure Camp is now open to current kindergarten and 1st grade students!!
  • CTE Summer Academy: Students in grades 7 - 11 choose their classes and dive deeper into CTE program areas, skills, and career exploration


  • Cost - $275 per week
  • *Fee waived for a select number of Free and Reduced Meal students
  • Dates - July 10 - 14; July 17 - 21; and July 24 - 28
  • Time - 8:30 am to 2:00 pm
  • *Early drop off begins at 7:30 am
  • Different weekly offerings
  • Transportation from select FPCS schools is provided!

Additional Information can be found on our websites!

Registration for both camps will begin February 1st. Our websites are updated regularly with more information. Feel free to contact Beth Mehr, CTE Summer Programs Educational Specialists, for more information. We look forward to creating, exploring, and learning with your students this summer!

Institute for the Arts Camps (IFTA)

IFTA is a two- or four-week summer enrichment program for students currently in grades 6-11. Students select from nearly 90 classes in art, dance, health and physical education 9, music, self-directed economics and personal finance, and theater. Visit the IFTA website for more information and registration. 

E-IFTA is a weekly arts camp for students in grades 2-5 who love to sing, dance, act, perform, make, and create. Students take part in four classes every day related to dance, music, theater, and visual art. They work with FCPS fine arts teachers who create classes that are fun and engaging. Visit the E-IFTA website for more information and registration. 

Art Academy

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