Principal's Note - March 8, 2024

By Serena Giron
Principal's Note
March 11, 2024

Hello families,

This year, the first full day of Ramadan is Monday, March 11. In Islam, Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year. During this month Muslims abstain from food and drink from dawn to sunset each day while striving to increase their spirituality, through prayers, charity and good deeds. Read more about Ramadan in National Geographic Kids. 

FCPS — in conjunction with the Virginia School Boards Association — observes March as Equity in Education Month, a division-wide opportunity to deepen our commitment to creating a climate and curriculum where all students receive the resources they need to reach their fullest potential.  

Daylight Saving Time Begins - 3/10, 2am

Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., daylight saving time begins. Don’t forget to move your clocks ahead one hour! As a result of the time change, many students will be walking to school or to bus stops in the dark. Help your child stay safe by having them wear reflective clothing and bright or light colors, or add reflective items to their backpacks or clothes. Also, encourage your child to be especially alert for cars that are turning or backing up and not to run into the street or cross between parked cars.

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.   

Save the Date: 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!

Access To Prayer / Reflection Rooms 


March Family Coffee - 3/12, 9:30-10:30 am


Our March Family Coffee will be held in-person and virtually on March 12 at 9:30-10:30 am. We encourage you to come in person to make connections with school staff and other families. Language interpretations will be available, and we will provide refreshments. Zoom link:

We will be discussing the following:

  • current trends in the community and issues with vaping, THC vapes/edibles, and fentanyl
  • basic understanding of alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and opioid
  • the risk factors for drug misuse
  • the symptoms of drug misuse and withdrawal
  • what you can do as caregiver

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
  • Take the Family Engagement Survey!
  • Bipartisan Study Finds Virginia Public School Divisions Receive Less Funding per Student Than Other States
  • New Regulation on Meditation and Reflection Space
  • Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!
  • Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8
  • Lightspeed Classroom Management
  • 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 3/4-3/8

  • Student(s) of the Week
    • The After-School Program Student of the week: Sergio De Leon Rios
    • Sergio has been a consistent & positive member of the After-School Program this school year.
    • He participates in many different clubs including Flag Football, Soccer League, Fitness, Basketball, & Academic Tutoring.
    • Keep up the great work Sergio!

After-School Action

This past week kicked off our first official Track and Field practices with over 30 students participating. Students learned how to perform dynamic warmups and proper cooldowns to help support a healthy body and mind for the upcoming season.


ASP Schedule 3/11-3/15



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 Assistance Questionnaire For Winter Coat

Holmes Middle school is committed to ensuring that all our students have the resources and support they need throughout the school year to reach their full potential in school and within the community. Family Assistance Questionnaire for Winter Coat  is entirely optional and confidential. Since we only have limited amount of donated new coats, we may use lottery if requests exceed the amount of coats we have. If you have any questions about this form, please contact our Family Liaison Ms. Oncho at 571-326-8370 or email @email

March Family Coffee - 3/12, 9:30-10:30 am


Important Upcoming Dates

  • Sunday, 3/10 at 2 a.m. - Daylight Saving Begins (Spring Forward)
  • Tuesday, 3/12 at 9:30-10:30 am - Family Coffee
  • Thursday, 3/21 at 5:30 pm - Annual ASP/PTA Staff & Student Basketball Game
  • Friday, 3/22 - 3rd Quarter Ends
  • 3/25-3/29 - NO SCHOOL / Spring Break

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.

Ramadan Begins - 3/11

March 11 is an O day. The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances (O days) during the school year. There is school on these days, however, the School Board has directed that tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events will not be held on these observance days. Half-O days are full school days, but important events will not be held after school on those days. See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.

Throughout the year, as we celebrate and recognize various cultural holidays and observances, families are encouraged to contact their student’s principal regarding accommodations, including but not limited to those around lunch, prayer/meditation and silent reflection spaces and times, and instruction. 

Pi Day - 3/14

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

Take the Family Engagement Survey!

FCPS’ Family Engagement Survey is now open. Survey partner K12 Insight emailed a link to families on March 3 and again on March 6. Please participate! Your feedback is critical in helping to inform and improve FCPS practices to best support our students.

The survey is available in 10 languages. Parents/caregivers may stop by the front office to fill out a paper survey or complete the survey online. Please check your email for the survey invitation or use this survey link. Get more information on the Family Engagement Survey webpage

Bipartisan Study Finds Virginia Public School Divisions Receive Less Funding per Student Than Other States

The School Board recently adopted FCPS’ FY 2025 Advertised Budget. Meeting budget needs becomes more of a challenge with underfunding by the state, using staffing formulas that continue to result in school districts not receiving the actual support needed for excellent public education. A staffing formula is the method for calculating the number of positions that need to be assigned to meet program needs. 

Did You Know?

In July 2023, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) released a study of Virginia’s K-12 funding formulas. The report found that Virginia school divisions receive less funding per student than the 50-state average, the regional average, and many of Virginia’s neighboring states including West Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky. Learn more about the JLARC study. View FCPS’ budget development timeline

Contact your state officials to provide feedback on funding for K-12 education. 

New Regulation on Meditation and Reflection Spaces

FCPS has developed Regulation 1502 to ensure all students and staff have reasonable accommodation and access to meditation and silent reflection spaces within the school division. The regulation provides guidance for schools on how to manage requests for silent reflection during instructional and non-instructional time, and for students to leave school for religious activities.

These spaces are [designated areas within a school or on school premises] for individuals to engage in prayer, meditation, or silent reflection, inclusive of their religious or non-religious beliefs. Parents/caregivers must provide written permission for students requesting to miss instructional time on a regular basis. Families are encouraged to contact [the principal/family liaison/their child’s teacher] regarding accommodations. View Regulation 1502. Visit FCPS' Guidelines for Religious Activities webpage for more information.

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

This year, spring break is March 25-29. We will be eager to welcome your children back to school on Wednesday, April 3, after two teacher work days. Student attendance is very important. Every day, our teachers will be teaching, and students will be learning. Studies have shown that just two absences per month can cause students to fall behind. Let’s finish this school year strong. Visit FCPS’ website for attendance resources

Safely View the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8 

A total solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, and will be viewable, depending on weather, in Fairfax County. The eclipse will begin in our area around 2:04 p.m. and end around 4:32 p.m., with the maximum eclipse occurring around 3:20 p.m.  

Because the timing overlaps with dismissal, it is crucial that students understand the importance of safe viewing practices. We encourage families to review these Solar Eclipse Resources, especially the eye safety information. We hope everyone takes the opportunity to learn more about this extraordinary natural phenomenon while prioritizing safe solar viewing.

Lightspeed Classroom Management

As part of our commitment to creating a safe and focused learning environment for our students, our school is using a classroom management tool that will help teachers better connect with student devices during classes. We are continuing to expand our use over the coming weeks. This tool will provide teachers with a number of helpful features:

  • Easily view student screens in real time from the teacher console to see which students may need guidance or support.
  • Focus student attention on a particular website on their device to minimize distractions.
  • Pause student access to the internet to focus on other classroom tasks.

We believe this classroom management tool will allow us to maximize class time to support your student’s learning while at school. Please note that student devices will not be monitored outside of school hours. The regular filters remain in place on school devices, but once they are home, teachers cannot monitor students. As parents, we would like to encourage you to sign up for your own Lightspeed reports, which will allow you to see how your child is spending time on the computer during and after school hours.


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