Principal's Note - March 15, 2024

By Serena Giron
Principal's Note
March 18, 2024

Please note that Friday, March 22nd is NOT a 2-hour early release day. Students will have a normal full day (White Day)

Student/Staff Basketball Game 3/21, 2024

Thursday, March 21st Holmes will be hosting its annual ASP/PTA Staff & Student basketball game! Families are encouraged to come support our staff and students play basketball together in this incredible event. Tipoff is at 6pm. Doors will open at 5:30. Tickets will be sold at the door for $5.  Students wearing spirit wear will only pay $2. We hope to see you there.




Performance Evaluation Program - Your Feedback Matters!

On Monday, March 18, parents/guardians will be sent an email containing a link to complete the online FCPS Principal Evaluation Parent/Guardian Feedback Form. This questionnaire is part of the VDOE-mandated Performance Evaluation Program for principals and offers parents/guardians an opportunity to provide anonymous input about various topics related to our school. These topics include how the principal demonstrates/impacts instructional leadership, school climate, management, communication and community relations, culturally responsive and equitable leadership, and professionalism within the school.

The questionnaire will be administered between March 18 and April 5. When you receive an email from FCPS Surveys, please take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire. Your feedback matters!

Holmes Chapter of National Junior Honor Society

Seventh and eighth grade students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above are eligible to apply for the Holmes chapter of National Junior Honor Society.  On Friday, March 8th a brief information session was held during SOAR to give students more information about the application process.  The application consists of an explanation of 10 service hours the student has completed in the past 2 years, two teacher recommendations and two essays.  Applications can be found on the NJHS Candidates Schoology group and are due on March 22nd.  If you have any questions please reach out to the NJHS advisors, Sloan Waters, @email, and Emma Gashel, @email.   

Access To Prayer/Reflection Rooms

In alignment with FCPS regulations and expectations, Holmes MS ensures that students and staff of all religious backgrounds have reasonable accommodation and access to meditation and silent reflection spaces within the school building.

If you would like to request that your student use the prayer/reflection room during instructional times, please fill out this form.

Performing Arts Team

A huge congratulations to our performing arts team (Ms. Bongard, Ms. Murphy, Ms. Eddinger, and Mr. Perez), who won the the Region 6 CARES award.  We celebrated them on Monday and even had members of our school board, Dr. Anderson and Mrs. Sizemore Heizer join us in the festivities!

Also, last week our students in Orchestra participated in assessment on Saturday. They performed in front of three stage judges, then had seven minutes to sight read a brand-new piece of music they had not seen before (without playing it first!) for a fourth judge. Each judge uses a rubric to give a score from I-V, with I=Superior and V=Poor. These scores are averaged together to give us our overall rating.  Our groups received a rating of I, Superior, from each judge. This is the highest score possible! Not only did they get the highest ratings, but each judge also left comments about how poised and respectful the students were. They represented Holmes very well! We are proud

Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services Information
  • Admin Team Information
  • 2023-24 Blue/White Schedule 
  • 2023-24 Bell Schedule
  • After-School Program
  • From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • Holmes MS PTA
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS & Community Updates

  • March Observances
  • Fairfax County’s Funding of the FCPS Budget
  • Take the Family Engagement Survey Today! 
  • Join a Conversation on Fentanyl and Other Drugs
  • Measles Is Preventable
  • Nominations Open for First Class Award for Inclusion
  • Summer Camps and Learning
  •  Stay Connected with FCPS

Please feel free to reach out and let us know what questions you have.  Thank you, and we'll see you very soon!


Serena Giron



Contact Information

Student Services

Admin Team Information

Admin Team

2023-24 Blue/White Calendar

Blue and White Days

Bell Schedule 23-24

From Mr. Kruk, our After-School Specialist

After-School Program Weekly News & Notes from 3/15

  • Student(s) of the Week
    • The After-School Program Student of the week: Rantej Singh
    • Rantej was nominated for his responsible and positive behavior.
    • “Rantej is very responsible and always smiling while brightening my classroom each time he stays after-school.”  - ASP Staff member
    • Great job Rantej!

After-School Action

Students enjoyed their first real taste of spring this week during Soccer League.


ASP Schedule 3/18-3/22

Block 1

Block 2

Students Leaving After-School before 4:45 pm

  • Any student staying after school must be signed out of the main office by a parent or guardian if leaving before 4:45.
  • Walkers with parent/guardian permission, may sign themselves out any time after 3:30 when first block ends.
  • Students are not permitted to leave school grounds before checking out in the main office .


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

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

Family Coffee Recording: Drug Abuse Prevention for Youth - 3/12

Thank you to all families who attended this month’s Family Coffee at Holmes Middle School. The topic was Drug Abuse Prevention for Youth. Missed the meeting? The recording and slides can be found on our website.

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Thursday, 3/21 at 5:30 pm - Annual ASP/PTA Staff & Student Basketball Game. Doors open at 5:30 pm. Tipoff is at 6 pm.
  • Friday, 3/22 - 3rd Quarter Ends
  • 3/25-3/29 - NO SCHOOL / Spring Break
  • Monday, 4/1 -  NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday
  • Tuesday, 4/2 - NO SCHOOL / Staff Development Day
  • Wednesday, 4/10 - NO SCHOOL / Eid al-Fitr
  • Friday, 5/3 - NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday & Orthodox Good Friday
  • Monday, 5/27 - NO SCHOOL / Memorial Day

Holmes MS PTA

Don't forget to check out these important links:

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

FCPS & Community Updates

March Observances

Celebrating Arts in Our Schools

The Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers Youth Art Month. Youth Art Month encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety. The program provides a medium for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences unlike any other curriculum subjects, including:

  • Problem solving
  • Creativity
  • Observation
  • Communication

Art shows, special exhibits, fundraisers, and school and community activities take place annually, traditionally during March, to celebrate visual art education for grades K-12.

March has also been designated by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the observance of Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community, and to display the benefits that school music brings to students of all ages.

Theatre In Our Schools (TIOS) is a celebration of theatre in our schools and schools in our theatres. Sponsored by the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) and the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), the goals of TIOS are to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs in and out of school for all students. While TIOS presentations and advocacy may happen anytime in schools, theatres, and other public spaces, AATE and EdTA will recognize and promote March as the official Theatre In Our Schools month.

National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

Good Friday (Falls during spring break) - 3/29

Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, is the day on which Christians annually observe the commemoration of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Good Friday is a day of mourning. During special Good Friday services Christians meditate on Jesus's suffering and death on the cross, and what this means for their faith. Read more at

Easter (Falls during weekend/spring break) - 3/31

A joyful Easter to all in our community who celebrate! The springtime celebration of Easter is the most important Christian holiday. It commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, who sacrificed so that Christians may have life with God after death. #OurFCPS. Learn more about Easter in NatGeo Kids

Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology (TWIST), a student organization at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), promotes STEM through their annual flagship outreach event, Techstravaganza. Techstravaganza is a free, public, hands-on STEM activity fair for elementary and middle school students in Northern Virginia. In previous years, this event hosted more than 4,500 students and 70 labs presenting STEM activities. Exhibitors range from TJHSST clubs and TWIST volunteers to organizations like NASA SCaN, Art of Problem Solving, George Mason University, American Society of Naval Engineers, and the National Air and Space Museum. This year, TWIST will be holding the 20th annual Techstravaganza on Saturday, May 18, 2024 from 10 AM to 4 PM at TJHSST. Admission is free, food will be for sale. Here is the registration link:



Fairfax County’s Funding of the FCPS Budget

The average amount of funds transferred from Fairfax County to FCPS was 52.6% of county disbursements from fiscal years (FY) 2019-2023. It dipped to 51.6% in FY 2024. The County’s budget proposal for next year would transfer 51.4% of total disbursements. 

If the county were to return to transferring 52.6% to FCPS for the upcoming year, that would equate to $63 million more to invest in excellence.

Learn more about the FCPS FY 2025 Advertised Budget. Give your feedback on the County budget

Take the Family Engagement Survey Today! 

If you haven’t already, please take FCPS’ Family Engagement Survey today! Survey results will help us to better recognize, understand, respect, and address family strengths and needs in our school community. Survey topics include:

  • Welcoming environment
  • Communication
  • Student success
  • Advocacy 
  • Family and school partnerships
  • Community partnerships

The survey is available in 10 languages. Please check your email for a message from FCPS partner, K12 Insight, with a link to the survey or access the survey now. Your voice matters!

Join a Conversation on Fentanyl and Other Drugs

A community conversation on the opioid crisis in Northern Virginia will be held Monday, March 18, 6:30-8 p.m., in the auditorium at Lake Braddock Secondary School. (Please enter through Door #14). Attendees will receive free REVIVE! Narcan training during the event and learn about support services within FCPS and Fairfax County.   

This discussion will provide families, staff, and students with valuable knowledge about the dangers of drugs and deadly fentanyl. The material discussed will be suitable for students in grade 6 and higher. Language interpretation will be available as well as American Sign Language accommodation. Childcare and transportation will also be provided, as needed. 

Learn more about the event and register online.

Measles Is Preventable

Measles is making headlines as the number of cases nationwide has topped 40, with three confirmed cases in people living in or traveling through the National Capital Region. 

The good news is that measles is preventable through vaccination! Vaccines help teach the immune system how to defend against germs, helping to build up natural defenses. Give your child the best protection against measles with two doses of the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Visit the Fairfax County Health Department website to find out more about measles.

Extended Hours at Immunization Clinics

To help parents/caregivers obtain vaccinations for their children, the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) will offer immunization clinics with extended hours:

Parents/caregivers should make an appointment but a limited number of walk-ins will be accepted. Please call 703-246-7100 to schedule an appointment.

Learn more about vaccinating your child and find community resources to support their health and well-being. 

Note: All students enrolling in public and private schools in Virginia are required to be adequately immunized per the Code of Virginia.

Nominations Open for First Class Award for Inclusion 

The Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) is seeking nominations for the First Class Awards. The awards are presented annually to educators, administrators, and students who support, design, and/or implement inclusion activities that result in positive outcomes for students. The ACSD will recognize award winners at the Family Summit on Saturday, April 20

Nominate an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to inclusive practices in Fairfax County Public Schools by Friday, March 22. Email @email with questions.


Have you made summer plans for your child yet? Are you looking for a summer camp for your child with special needs?

The Family Resource Center has compiled information on summer camps including local options, camps for students with special needs (sorted by need), and camps for students experiencing grief or who have parents in the military. 

VIP Summer Camp for Rising 7th & 8th Graders

  • Applications will open on Tuesday 3/12 at 6pm
  • Here is the link to the application à
  • Links to the application can also be found on the Holmes website under the Activities Tab à After-School Program à VIP Summer Program
  • Any questions or concerns about the VIP summer program, contact Matt Kruk; @email

Sign Up for FCPS Summer Camps and Learning Programs 

Registration is now open for several summer camps and learning opportunities offered by Fairfax County Public Schools for all students.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) camps and Institute for the Arts camps will be held in July at Lake Braddock Secondary School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bus transportation will be available from select FCPS middle and high schools. 

CTE programs are available for grade 6-11 students to explore CTE program areas, develop skills, and begin career exploration. IFTA allows students to select from nearly 90 classes in art, dance, health and physical education 9, music, and theater. Visit the IFTA webpage to register.

Summer Learning

Programs are also available for high school students to fulfill the Economics and Personal Finance course requirement, earn a high school course credit via this summer’s online campus program, or recover one high school course credit through the Credit Recovery Academy

FCPS’ free online class for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) provides FCPS middle and high school English Learners the opportunity to continue developing their academic, reading, and writing skills in online discussions with an ESOL teacher. 

Find session dates, registration links, and registration deadlines on FCPS summer programs. 

Institute for the Arts

Students in all FCPS secondary schools can enroll in the Institute for the Arts. IFTA is a two- or three-week summer Arts enrichment program for students in rising 7th through 12th grades. Students create their own schedules in Art, Music, Theatre, and Dance from nearly 60 courses offered. Transportation is provided from around the county. Tuition assistance is available for students who qualify. Check out the Institute for the Arts website for more information or email @email.

CTE Summer Academy



Tech Adventure Camp

Tech Adv

Tech Adv

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