Principal's Note - March 18, 2018

Principal's Note
March 19, 2018

Dear Holmes Families: 


Good afternoon!  This past week was an exciting one at Holmes Middle School!  

  • We had two very successful Rising 6th grade Parent Coffees, one at North Springfield ES, and one at Holmes!  We had a great turnout with lots of helpful questions and valuable ideas as we transition new students into Holmes.  In addition, our staff has been visiting each of our feeder elementary schools to learn more about our students who are coming to Holmes next year!
  • The AVID students heard from guest speaker Chris Lomax, Senior Admissions Counselor at the University of Mary Washington.
  • About 300 of our students participated in a very peaceful walkout on Wednesday.  (Pictured below.)
  • Ms. Neforos, Ms. Lowson, and the students in AVID, the ABCD club, and Band of Brothers worked collaboratively to plan for a very successful second Mix It Up at Lunch Day! (Pictured below.)
  • A group of 7th grade students visited Redskins park for an Aspire event last week with Ms. Neforos and Ms. Kruger, our counseling intern.  (Pictured below.)
  • Students cleaned out their lockers and watched two videos featuring students from Superintendent Brabrand during ER-8: Oakton HS Senior & Herndon HS Senior.
  • We inducted 51 students into our first class of National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) members on Thursday evening (pictures below).  For those students who weren't able to attend, we celebrated them on Friday by visiting their classrooms to present their certificates and take pictures.  We'll send families a downloadable gallery of photos this week.  
  • We are very proud of our chorus students who had their assessment this past Friday and represented Holmes so well!  Intermediate received an Excellent rating for their performance and a Superior in Sight reading.  Both Advanced groups received a Superior rating in both performance and sight reading!  Congratulations to Ms. Eddinger and her students!

I am so amazed at how our staff and students balance all of this while continuing to provide engaging instruction (as our admin, coaches, and teachers saw during walkthroughs on Friday), taking the Divisionwide assessments for Math & English, and planning for implementation of 1-to-1 instruction in 8th grade for the 2018-19 school year, along with many other responsibilities!  

In our newsletter this week:

  • This Week's Schedule of Classes
  • This Week's After School Program Schedule 
  • Parent Chaperones Needed for April Field Trips for 6th & 7th Graders
  • Holmes Faculty Blue/White Game - PTA Fundraiser - April 5th
  • 2018 Special Education Conference at Hayfield Secondary School - April 21st 
  • 2018-19 Initial Student Transfer Season Opens March 1
  • FCPSOn Community Meetings Scheduled
  • Tech Conference for Teen Girls, March 27 & 28
  • NOVA STEM Day 2018
  • Important Dates
  • May/June SOL Schedule
  • How To Stay In Touch

Thank you, and have a wonderful week!  


Margaret Barnes, Principal                   


This Week's Schedule of Classes: 3/19-3/23

Schedule of Classes  

This week:

Mon., 3/19 = White Day  w/ ER 1 & 2

Tues., 3/20 = Blue  Day

Wed., 3/21 = White Day w/ ER 3 & 4

Thurs., 3/22 = Blue Day 

Fri., 3/23 = White Day w/ ER 5 & 6

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

After School Program (ASP) - Week of 3/19

For any questions you have about the After School Program, please contact German Cabezas at


Parent Chaperones Needed for April Field Trips

  • All 7th graders will be visiting the Hidden Oaks Nature Center for the Science 7 Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience between Tuesday, April 3rd, and Friday, April 6th.  If you would be interested in being a parent chaperone, please contact Ms. Cara DiFiore at
  • All 6th graders will be visiting Washington DC on Tuesday, April 24th, and Wednesday, April 25th.  If you would be interested in being a parent chaperone, please contact Ms. Lynette Faight at  

Join us on April 5th for our Annual Holmes Faculty Blue/White Game & PTA Fundraiser!

This is a big family event each year, and we would love to have you and your children join us for a little friendly competition to help us raise money for our Holmes MS PTA!

Our SCA is busy planning an exciting Spirit Week and Pep Rally in preparation for this event.  Stay tuned for more information!


2018 Special Education Conference to Be Held Saturday, April 21, at Hayfield Secondary School

Mark your calendars now for the 13th annual FCPS Special Education Conference, which will be held on Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hayfield Secondary School. Go to the Special Education Conference website for further information and to register for conference workshop sessions. 

2018-19 Initial Student Transfer Season Opens March 1

For initial (New) student transfers effective at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, the enrolling parent will submit transfer applications and pay fees online. The enrolling parent will access the online student transfer application on the Student Transfer website at The application will be unavailable from 12:00am-5:00am daily for maintenance.

The following staff may access the online student transfer application administrative view at logging in using their FCPS user name and password: Principals, Principal AAs, SIAs/Registrars, Middle/High DSS, and Elementary APs.

Weekly reminders will be emailed to the following staff if an application requires action: Principals and High School DSS.  

Decision letters from the Student Transfer Office will be emailed to: Parents and SIAs/Registrars.

FCPSOn Community Meetings Scheduled

FCPS is on a journey to enhance learning through FCPSOn, a 1-to-1 digital transformation. The term 1:1 means each student will have access to one device to use for learning.  Holmes will be beginning this journey next year by going 1-to-1 with all 8th graders.  

FCPSOn extends student learning and increases equitable access to technology and instructional practices that lead to personalized, meaningful learning experiences which provide opportunities for deeper understanding and development of Portrait of a Graduate attributes. The FCPS Strategic Plan Ignite includes access to contemporary and effective technology as a component of the Student Success goal. 

Students will have access to the device at school, and in some schools and grade levels, students will also be able to take their device home. 

Community Meetings Scheduled in Each Region

A plan has been developed to engage community stakeholders on the next phase of FCPSOn. This plan involves regional as well as school-based community engagement.  Five community meetings (one in each region) are scheduled in March and April to explain how FCPSOn supports the division’s Portrait of a Graduate and Ignite goals.

In 2018-19, school-based community engagement will begin for schools scheduled to implement FCPSOn during SY 2019-20. These school-based engagement activities will help stakeholders develop a deeper understanding of FCPSOn and the instructional practices that will be implemented when 1:1 technology is deployed in their local schools. 

Learn more about FCPSOn and how it supports the Portrait of a Graduate and Ignite Strategic Plan goals by attending one of five community meetings. All meetings will begin at 7 p.m.  To request an interpreter, please click on Interpreter Request Form.

Dates and locations for the community meetings and more information about FCPSOn are available here


Tech Conference for Teen Girls, March 27 and 28

Over Spring Break, AFIT (Assisting Females in Technology) will be hosting a Teen Tech Conference for Girls at the NOVA Annandale Campus.  The informational flyer (Why Study Tech Forum Flyer) is attached.  Please share this with your female students who may be interested in attending.  

Tech Conference for Teen Girls

NOVA STEM Day 2018

The second annual NOVA STEM Day ( will be held at the Alexandria Campus on Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 10am to 3pm. NOVA STEM Day is a free public festival celebrating STEM. They expect to have mostly elementary and middle school aged attendees with their families, but also hopefully some older ones as well.


Important Dates

  • Monday, 3/26 - Friday 3/30 - NO SCHOOL / SPRING BREAK
  • Tuesday, 4/3 - Friday, 4/6 - MWEE - 7th Grade Field Trip (Hidden Oaks Nature Center)
  • Thursday, 4/5, 6:00 PM - Faculty Basketball Game 
  • Friday, 4/13 - Advanced Theater Trip to NYC
  • Friday, 4/13 - 3rd Quarter Grading Period Ends / 2-hour early release

May/June SOL Schedule

Interested in learning more about the SOL exams your child will take?  Here are links from the Virginia Department of Education for:

May_June SOL 1May_June SOL 2

How to Stay In-Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: