Principal's Note - March 7, 2021

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
March 08, 2021

Good morning, Holmes Families!

We thoroughly enjoyed having our in-person 8th graders back in the building this week!  We were so happy to our see our students and get one step closer to "normal".  The students did a great job of wearing their masks, and we are still working on keeping a safe distance throughout the day, especially in the hallways during class transitions.  We look forward to seeing all of our in-person students this week!

As a reminder, here are the remaining dates that each group will return:

  • Tuesday, March 9th - In-person 6th & 7th graders, last names A-K, return to school Tuesdays & Wednesdays
  • Thursday, March 11th - In-person 6th & 7th graders, last names L-Z, return to school Thursdays & Fridays

Today's newsletter has some preliminary information about yearbook pictures.  We will share more details in next Sunday's update.  

District Chorus Students

Congratulations to our students below who participated in the District X Chorus event in February:

  • Lina Abu-El-Hawa

  • Ainsley Bolin

  • Harper Chapman

  • Claire Delaney

  • Nathaniel Dosen

  • Jack Farnsworth

  • Isabella Melchior

You can check out the completed virtual project of the middle school, high school, and combined ensembles here.

Updated Health Questionnaire

FCPS has updated the health questionnaire that students, staff, and families should go through each day before leaving home.  Please review this daily with your students. It can also be found HERE On the FCPS website.


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. To help students get acclimated to the building, we will hold SOAR (3rd period) class first on each group's first day - March 9th and 11th. 

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

If you are unable to locate it, please feel free to email me directly at @email or call the school, 703-658-5900.

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
  • Headphones
  • Extra mask 
  • Pen/pencil
  • 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
  • headphones
  • 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.  

Classroom Monitors

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:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services - Important Information
  • Picture Day - March 16 & 18, 2021
  • Important Dates
  • Reporting Student Absences
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS Updates

  • 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!


Margaret Barnes

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.

ASP March 2021


Picture Day is Coming! - March 16 & 18, 2021

  • In-Person Students - Pictures will be taken during the school day on 3/16 and 3/18
  • Virtual students (more details to come in next week's update)
    • Option 1: Pictures will be taken 2:30-3:30 on 3/16 and 3/18
    • Option 2: Upload picture with Shutterfly Snaps App.

When pictures are ready, order your student's school pictures on

  1. Visit
  2. Enter your Picture Day ID EVTJ2DP49
  3. Order your perfect package, and don’t worry about returning anything on Picture Day!

Picture Day 2021

Important Dates

  • Monday, March 8th - Teacher Workday / NO SOAR Monday Minute
  • Tuesday, March 9th - 1st day back for in-person 6th and 7th graders with last names A-K
  • Thursday, March 11th - 1st day back for in-person 6th and 7th graders with last names L-Z
  • 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:


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.

Watch this video to learn more

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.

Conference Highlights

  • 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.

For more information please email @email or call 703-204-3941.

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