Principal's Note - March 14, 2021
Good evening, Holmes Families!
I hope that you have had a wonderful weekend and have enjoyed this beautiful weather! We had a great week with all of our in-person students back in the building! The last two weeks have been like having 4 first days of school, and we have enjoyed every minute of having students back in the building. Please reach out to us to let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
We did notice that there were a few students were designated as in-person who logged in virtually to class this week and last week. If you have decided to keep your student virtual for the remainder of the year after originally deciding to go in-person, that's okay! Please just communicate with your student's counselor. We have some families who are on a waiting list to come in-person, and we would like to process those requests as quickly as we can, but it is a bit of a complicated process to ensure we don't exceed the capacity in any classroom. It is vitally important that we know exactly who to expect in-person each day so that we can provide as many in-person spots as possible.
We have some details in this week's update about yearbook pictures this week! Scroll down for more information.
New Bell Schedule
Our new (and final - thank goodness!) bell schedule for the year began last week and can be found below. It can also be found HERE on the website. This week we will return to starting with 1st period on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Please note that Friday, March 26th is a 2-hour Early Release Day. That schedule will be shared later in the month.
Teachers should have their assigned lunches posted to their Google Classroom, but I have also included them below, and they are posted to the grade-level Google Classrooms. Your student may have one lunch during 5th period and a different lunch during 6th period. Even students accessing a class virtually from home need to follow the lunch schedule, and need to be logged into class and ready to learn by the class start time.
5th Period Lunch Assignments
6th Period Lunch Assignments
What bus will my student ride?
The FCPS Transportation Office has emailed bus assignments to all families of students coming in person. If you cannot find the email or did not receive it, you can also check the information in ParentVue. If you do not have a ParentVue account, please contact Ms. Hindi at @email to set one up. One of our parents provided these helpful instructions to locate the bus information in ParentVue:
- Click Student Info
- Click Additional Information (lower left corner)
- Scroll down until you see Transportation
Please remind students to wear masks at the bus stop and on the bus, maintain 6 feet of physical distancing at the bus stop, and sit one person to a seat on the bus.
What if I want to drive my student?
That's fine! We just ask that you please not drop your student off before 7:00 am since our doors do not open until 7:10 am, and we do not have staff contracted to supervise students before 7:00.
For those new to our Kiss-n-Ride at Holmes, a few tips:
- Please use the entrance that is closest to Braddock Road. The entrance closest to the pool is for buses and staff.
- You will have cones to guide you, but in order to allow plenty of space, you will turn right when you get into the parking lot to go around the cars. See map below.
- Please do not drive up to Door 1 since that space is reserved for our small buses. A staff member will be posted to show you where to stop.
- When you are waiting to pick up your student in the afternoon, please use the Kiss-n-Ride line. Please be friendly to our neighbors, and do not park on their lawns or in their driveways.
- Because of how narrow Montrose Street is, please turn right out of the parking lot when leaving. A map below and instructions shows you what path to follow to get you where you need to go.
When leaving Kiss-n-Ride, we ask that all vehicles exit the parking lot by making a right turn. All of the communities that we serve may be accessed by following the directions on the map.
Follow the YELLOW line to access Little River Turnpike and points east of the school.
Follow GREEN to access Edsall Road and Bren Mar Park areas.
Follow RED to access Braddock Road.
As a safety consideration, DO NOT pick up and drop off your children on Montrose Street. This is a narrow road and stopping on it causes a road blockage. It also creates a very hazardous situation for your child as they are then crossing roads where others are not expecting children to be. The safest situation is to have your child ride the bus.
What can students do to prepare for in-person learning?
- Practice wearing their masks for long periods of time to get used to wearing it throughout the day (from the time they get on the bus in the morning to the time they get off the bus in the afternoon).
- Practice going through the health questionnaire each morning to ensure they do not have any symptoms before going to school.
- Have a clear idea of what 6 feet of physical distancing looks like so that they can be prepared to help us maintain that at bus stops, in the hallways, and in classrooms and common areas.
- Continue to wash hands frequently throughout the day.
What supplies will students need each day?
- Fully charged laptop
- Laptop charger
- Extra mask
- Small notebook/binder
- Water bottle to be refilled throughout the day (since water fountains will only be available as refill stations, not for drinking)
Lockers will NOT be available, so it is important that students keep it simple and only keep what they need in their backpacks. Some students may choose to carry their own supply of disinfectant wipes, gloves, or hand sanitizer. Breakfast and lunch are free for all students for the remainder of this school year, but students may bring lunch to school if desired. All in-person students will receive the following supplies from the school (students who came for WIDA testing already received these):
- an FCPS mask
- a small hand sanitizer
- a health questionnaire magnet
For Health & PE class, students should wear PE clothes on the days that they have PE class since locker rooms will not be available.
For classes where the teacher is teaching virtually from home, students will be supervised by instructional assistants or classroom monitors. They will be in a classroom with other students and will log into their classes through BBCU like they would from home. The teacher will lead instruction as they have been since the beginning of the year; the monitor is only present for supervision, safety, and support. If you would like to know if any of your in-person student's classes will be supervised by a monitor, please feel free to reach out to me at @email.
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:
- Student Services - Important Information
- Picture Days - March 16-18, 2021
- Important Dates
- Reporting Student Absences
- How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS
- Employment Opportunity in FCPS: Classroom Monitors
- FCPS Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers
- FCPS CARES Program
- Special Education Conference 2021
Thank you, and have a great week!
Proud Principal, Holmes MS
After School Program Schedule - March
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 Mrs. Parker, our After School Program Specialist.
Picture Days are This Week! - March 16-18, 2021
- In-Person Students
- Last Names A-K - Pictures will be taken during PE classes on Tuesday, March 16th, and Wednesday, March 17th.
- Last Names L-Z - Pictures will be taken during PE classes and lunches on Thursday, March 18th.
- Virtual Students
- In-person option - Pictures will be taken on all 3 days from 2:30-3:30. Use this Sign Up Genius to sign your student(s) up for the day and time of their choice. They should enter at Door 1 and will be directed to the cafeteria. To effectively manage the number of people, we ask that parents/guardians wait in their cars while students are taking pictures in the cafeteria.
- Online option - For students who may not be able to come in person at those times, there is an online option! Open this flyer to see the instructions for submitting a picture online.
If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Branch at @email.
When pictures are ready, order your student's school pictures on mylifetouch.com:
- Visit mylifetouch.com
- Enter your Picture Day ID EVTJ2DP49
- Order your perfect package, and don’t worry about returning anything on Picture Day!
- Friday, March 26th - 2-hour early release (schedule above)
- March 29th-April 2nd - SPRING BREAK
- Monday, April 5th - Teacher Workday / NO SOAR Monday Minute
Reporting Student Absences
How do I report my student's absence for virtual or in-person classes?
How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS
Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:
- keeping your contact information up-to-date throughout the year
- visiting the Holmes MS website
- signing up for News You Choose
- following us on Twitter
- monitoring your student's progress with SIS Parent Account
- join the Holmes MS PTA and attend meetings
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.
Special Education Conference 2021
The FCPS 16th Annual Special Education Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, April 17, 2021. The conference will include a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) sessions supporting our conference's theme: Inclusion: The time for inclusion is now.
Registration starts March 2021
Starting in March, parents and community members will be able to register online or by phone. In addition, FCPS educators, administrators, and preservice teachers will be able to register online and earn recertification points for attending the conference.
- A Student Strands for youth ages 14-22
- An Exhibit Hall
- Inclusive Schools Presentation
Each year our conference draws an audience of parents, educators, administrators, preservice teachers, and community members eager to hear the latest research, strategies, and trends in the education of students with learning challenges, special needs, and disabilities.
View the Save the Date Flyer