Principal's Note - March 25, 2018

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
April 02, 2018

Dear Holmes Families: 

    Good afternoon, and Happy Spring Break!  I think that we can safely (hopefully?) say that we have used the last of our snow days!  When students return from Spring Break on Tuesday, April 3rd, we will have 2 weeks of 3rd quarter remaining, and we will be in the final stretch to the end of the school year.  

    We have a big week at Holmes when we return from Spring Break!  Leading up to our Annual Faculty Basketball Game / PTA Fundraiser, we will have a Spirit Week (see flyer below), a pep rally during 7th period on Thursday, April 5th, and the big game that night.  Please contact Mr. Rob Hardin, our PTA president, if you are available to volunteer that evening taking money at the door, working concessions, selling SpiritWear, or helping the 50/50.  We have invited all of our pyramid schools to join us in the fun!

    In our newsletter this week:

    • Spring Break Opportunities for Students - Not too late!
    • Next Week's Schedule of Classes
    • Next Week's After School Program Schedule 
    • Parent Chaperones Needed for April Field Trips for 6th & 7th Graders
    • SCA Spirit Week
    • Holmes Faculty Blue/White Game - PTA Fundraiser - April 5th
    • Register your student for FCPS VIP Summer Camp!!
    • 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
    • FCPS, Northern Virginia Community College Offer Summer STEM Camps
    • FCPS and Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (DNCS) have teamed up to offer a 5 week camp for rising 7th and 8th graders
    • Important Dates
    • May/June SOL Schedule
    • How To Stay In Touch

    Please note that I will not send another parent update until Monday, April 2nd.  Thank you, and have a wonderful week!  


    Margaret Barnes, Principal                   

    Spring Break Opportunities for Students - Not too late!

    Click HERE to register your student!  Click HERE fore information about Teens in Action, a service provided by Fairfax County's Neighborhood & Community Services. 


    Next Week's Schedule of Classes: 4/2-4/6

    Schedule of Classes  

    This week:


    Tues., 4/3 = Blue  Day

    Wed., 4/4 = White Day w/ ER 7 & 8 (ER 8 Lesson: Reminder of Expectations / Finish Strong) 

    Thurs., 4/5 = Blue Day 

    Fri., 4/6 = White Day w/ ER 1 & 2

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

    After School Program (ASP) - Week of 4/2

    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  

    SCA Spirit Week

    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.


    FCPS, Northern Virginia Community College Offer Summer STEM Camps

    Fairfax County Public Schools is partnering with Northern Virginia Community College to offer more than a dozen one-week STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) summer camps during the summer break.

    Open to students currently enrolled in grades 3-12, these one-week camps emphasize hands-on learning, teamwork, critical thinking, and career awareness in a fun and engaging way. Topics include robotics, coding, forensics, cybersecurity, app design, aviation, and pre-health.

    Camps will run June 18 through August 3 at the following locations: Edison High School, Marshall High School, Westfield High School, and Hughes Middle School. Discounts are available to parents who sign up their child for multiple camps or sign up multiple children. Additional information and registration is available online or by contacting STEM Outreach Coordinator Charles Britt at or 703-425-5917.

    FCPS and Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (DNCS) have teamed up to offer a 5 week camp for rising 7th and 8th graders

    What is your middle school child doing this summer?

    Like you, we believe your child is a Very Important Person and deserves a summer experience that is safe and full of fitness, friends, fun and enrichment.  FCPS and Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (DNCS) have teamed up to offer a 5 week camp for rising 7th and 8th graders. 

    Our camp will be a combination of students from the following middle schools: Glasgow, Holmes, Jackson, Kilmer, Poe, and Thoreau.  Bus transportation will be provided from various pick-up locations which will be communicated in June prior to the start of camp. 

    There is a $50 registration fee.  We will take weekly field trips and pricing information for that will be released after we have notified students of acceptance.  Students who do not attend the field trips will not need to pay the field trip fees, but will need to stay home from camp that day as all of our staff will attend the trip.  Students will also have the option of choosing which trips to attend. 

    The staff is led by your local After-School Specialists and trained DNCS staff.  Campers will have a great time playing sports, games, doing arts and crafts and exploring concepts in science and technology.


    Dates: July 2, 2018 - August 2, 2018 (campers are encouraged to attend all 5 weeks)

    Times: 8:00am-4:00pm

    Location: Thoreau Middle School

    Registration:  Begins on Monday, March 19th, and will close on Friday, April 20th.   You can expect to receive notice of acceptance or waitlist status soon after registration closes in late April.  Registration fee payment information will be communicated at that time.  Sign up by picking up a registration packet from Thoreau's main office or visiting this link:

    Cost: $50 registration fee plus field trip fees (admission plus transportation cost)

    With limited spaces available, it’s important to submit your registration as soon as possible. 

    Questions? Contact Shannon Campbell at or 703-846-8089.

    Important Dates

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

    May/June SOL Schedule

    May_June SOL 1May_June SOL 2

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

    How to Stay In-Touch

    Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

    No Place like Holmes