Principal's Note - May 12, 2023
Good afternoon, Holmes Families!
Happy Friday and Happy Mothers' Day to all of the mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, godmothers, etc. in our Holmes Community!
SOLs: 1 down, 2 to go
We had a smooth and successful start to our SOL testing this past week with the 8th graders taking the Science SOL on Wednesday. Since this test is based on new state standards, we will have to wait a few more days to get the scores while the state norms the test. Once we have the data, which we should have by Tuesday, we will have remediation with students who are eligible for a retake on Thursday, May 18th, and the retake test on Friday, May 19th (calendar below needs to be updated to reflect that).
For the next two Tuesdays, ALL students will test in reading and Math on the dates below:
- Reading (All students) - Tuesday, May 16th
- Math (All students) - Tuesday, May 23rd
Please note that students who receive certain testing accommodations (e.g., testing over multiple days) may not test on the date listed on the calendar. Mr. Kamar, our assessment coach, will be in communication with you and your students about the date of their SOL test.
Students who score between a 375-399 will have the opportunity to retake the SOL a little over a week after the original test date and after time to remediate and review with teachers. We will be in touch if your student falls in this category.
Middle School Athletics Coming This Fall
FCPS has designated funding in the budget for 2023-24 for middle school spring and fall athletic activities to support student well-being at no cost to students. Pending budget adoption, this will be the first time FCPS has offered middle school students a chance to participate in extracurricular sports programs.
Middle schools will start with cross country this fall. Track will follow in spring 2024.
Any middle school students who would like to participate in athletics will need to have a Virginia High School League (VHSL) pre-participation examination (PPE). The physical exam form must be completed and signed by a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Fairfax County public high schools will offer PPEs at a cost of $50 per student through June 17. Students who receive free or reduced meals are eligible to receive an exam at no cost. Learn more about PPE and middle school athletics.
Parents of 8th Grade Students
Each year, your child develops an Academic and Career Plan that supports their growth. This plan helps your child plan for their future.
Your child will work with teachers and school counselors to discover their personal strengths and interests. They will also create goals to help them achieve success, plan for courses that meet high school graduation requirements, and prepare for life after high school. The development of this plan starts in middle school. Students update their plans during high school as their goals evolve.
This plan supports on time graduation as well as college and career readiness. It is required by the Virginia Department of Education. Each student’s parent or guardian must review this plan at the end of 8th grade and again at the end of 10th grade. Then you can support them as they make decisions about college and careers that match their personal strengths, interests, and goals. There are many pathways to success!
You or your child can log into Naviance Student at www.fcps.edu/Naviance . Naviance supports more than 70 languages which parents can access from the icon of a globe in the top right corner of the website. Please review the following information together with your child:
• Results of the strengths and career surveys
• Personal, academic, and/or career goals
• Draft course plans for high school
Once in your child’s account, click the “About Me” tab and scroll down to “Portfolio.” Once you click on the Portfolio, you can view all the work that your child has completed.
Once you have reviewed your child’s plan, complete the verification form at https://forms.gle/S3qzPJcWzsCJYmPU8. The completion of this form will serve as your signature. Please complete this form by Friday, June 30, 2023. For more information visit www.FCPS.edu and search “Academic and Career Plan.” We encourage you to continue to use Naviance Student with your child to explore college and career options.
If you have questions, please contact your child’s school counselor.
8th Grade Celebration - Friday, June 9th, 7-9 pm
It's time to plan for the 8th grade celebration, and we need your help! Thank you to those parents who have already volunteered. To make it easier to track who is signing up to volunteer, please complete this Google form, and I will be in touch next week. We will need help with food & drinks, decorations, and games/activities for students. If you are not able to give your time, that's okay! We rely on donations for this event, and we have set up two items in our store in MySchoolBucks for this purpose. A small donation of $5 for your 8th grader's "ticket" is helpful, or if you would like to donate more, that option is also available.
Families of Rising 8th grade students (current 7th graders)
Below is the 2023-2024 school year calendar released by the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Admissions Office. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our TJ liaison counselor, Kelly Murphy at (703) 658-5911 or @email.
Four-year In-state Tuition Scholarship to GMU
Holmes and George Mason University have teamed together to offer a four-year instate tuition scholarship to GMU to an eighth grade student who has demonstrated the potential to be successful in a four-year college program (a cumulative 8th grade GPA of 3.5 or higher). You and your child should have received an email this week if your child qualifies. The (online) application packet and teacher recommendations are due by 3pm on Monday, May 15th, 2023. Please reach out to Mrs. Davis (@email) if you have any questions.
Family Coffee: Recording & Slides on Summer Programs
Thank you to all the families who joined us on Zoom and in person for our Family Coffee on 5/11 over Summer Programs and opportunities. Here are the slides and recording for this presentation, if you missed it! We had Erika Deem (FCPS Family Resource Center) and Robert Webster (Fairfax Gov't Neighborhood and Community Services) come talk to us about camps, community centers, and resources available to YOU to help keep your student engaged this summer. They shared information for ALL ages (Elementary to High School) and a ton of links and resources so be sure to check out the slides and recording!
*All Family Coffee sessions are recorded and can be viewed at any time. They are located on Schoology > Holmes Families course > Family Coffee Sessions.
Here are today's newsletter topics:
- Student Services Information
- 2022-23 Blue/White Calendar
- 2022-23 Bell Schedule
- After School Schedule Next Week
- Holmes MS PTA
- From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
- Important Upcoming Dates
- How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS
FCPS & Community Updates
- Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!
- Observance Design Challenge
- No-Cost Hazel Health Teletherapy for High School Students
- Social Emotional Learning Screener Reports
- Parent Resource Center Is Now the Family Resource Center
- Final Feedback Opportunity on Draft Strategic Plan
- An Update on ESSER Funding, and the Proposal for 2023-24
- Summer Camps & Learning Opportunities
- Stay Connected with FCPS
Please feel free to reach out and let us know what questions you have. Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend!
Proud Principal, Holmes MS
Student Services Information
2022-23 Blue/White Calendar
From Mr. Kruk, our After School Specialist
After-School Program Weekly News & Notes from 5/8- 5/12
Student of the Week
- The After-School Program Student(s) of the week: John Hart
- John was nominated by our ASP staff for his continued focus in Podcast Club.
- “Each week, John joins projects with enthusiasm and works hard to collaborate. His patience is so valuable. I love that he is exploring the podcasting tools on his own to support passion projects.” – Mrs. Mollick.
- Great work John!!
Congratulations to our RC Cars Club. Students worked all year to build their cars and had a ton of fun during Holmes’ first ever RC Cars Race Day. Great job students!
After School Schedule 5/15-5/19
Students Leaving After-School before 4:45
- Any student staying after school must be signed out of the main office by a parent or guardian if leaving prior to 4:45.
- Walkers may sign themselves out any time after 3:30 when first block ends.
Contact the After-School Specialist, Matt Kruk, @email
Holmes MS PTA
We invite EVERY family at Holmes to participate in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) because we can do more together! Advocate for your child, and for all the children at Holmes. Connect with other parents, so that we can build a stronger community for ourselves and our children. This year, the Holmes PTA is planning on holding in-person meetings again, so you can meet face-to-face with other parents and with Ms. Barnes. We're also planning restaurant nights, Bingo Nights, a Fun Run, Teacher Appreciation Week, and so much more!
Match Day - 5/13, 7:30 pm
From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
Parents / caregivers can see what their students are learning in their core classes by grade level
We hope this information will allow us to better partner with parents and caregivers to support academic success.
As stated on each grade level and course page, the objectives and outcomes for each unit are common across FCPS and based on the Virginia Standards of Learning. The pacing provides an example of how the curriculum can be organized throughout the year. Teacher teams may adjust the pacing or order of units to best meet the needs of students.
Information will be updated at the start of each school year. To access the grade level and/or course pages directly, visit our Academics page.
Important Upcoming Dates
- Friday, 5/12, 4:30-6 pm - Holmes PTA Fun Run
- Tuesday, 5/16, 5:30 pm - NJHS Induction Ceremony
- Friday, 5/19, 7:00 pm - Voices of Now Performance, Arena Stage, Washington DC
- Wednesday, 5/24, 6:30 pm - Holmes PTA Meeting
- Monday, 5/29 - NO SCHOOL / Memorial Day
- Wednesday, 5/31, 7 pm - Spring Band Concert
- Friday, 6/9, 7-9 pm - 8th Grade Celebration/Party
- Wednesday, 6/14 - Schoolwide All-day Activity Day
- Thursday, 6/15, 8-9 am: 8th Grade Awards Ceremony
- Friday, 6/16 - 2-Hour Early Release / Last Day of School
How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS
Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:
- keeping your contact information up-to-date throughout the year
- visiting the Holmes MS website
- signing up for News You Choose
- following us on Twitter
- monitoring your student's progress with SIS Parent Account
- join the Holmes MS PTA and attend meetings
FCPS & Community Updates
Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!
Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!
A study on elementary and middle schools found that attendance rates in April are 5.8% higher than June. Let's work together to end the school year successfully! Visit our website for attendance resources.
Calling All Student Artists and Designers: Observance Design Challenge
FCPS is looking for middle and high school students to submit artwork to represent the observances on the FCPS school year calendar for 2023-24 (PDF).
The goal of the Observance Design Challenge is to encourage students to tap into their creativity to create visuals that accurately and positively represent the many religious observances celebrated in the FCPS community. Students may also choose to submit a design for Thanksgiving.
Selected entries will be featured on FCPS social media and in newsletters in the next school year!
See all the submission guidelines and instructions on the FCPS website. Entries will be accepted through June 11, 2023.
No-Cost Hazel Health Teletherapy for High School Students
At last Thursday’s School Board meeting, Superintendent Reid presented on FCPS’ partnership with Hazel Health to offer teletherapy to high school students at no cost. Hazel’s therapists can help students address:
- Mood/behavior changes, motivation, grief/loss
- Anxiety, worry, fears
- Social skills, bullying, peer and family relationships
- Academic stress
“Hazel Health has been surprisingly user-friendly for both staff and families,” says Sara Brewer, a school counselor at West Potomac High School. “We were skeptical that it sounded too good to be true, as it offers services for ALL families (including those that need language support for intake services). We were pleasantly surprised that our first referral was processed within THREE days because the family was so responsive and appreciative.”
How to Access Hazel Health Teletherapy Services
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Have you set up your high school student for free mental health therapy?
In order for high schoolers to participate in teletherapy services, caregivers must complete three steps:
- Give permission for FCPS to share basic demographic information with Hazel in ParentVUE.
- Consent for Hazel Mental Health services.
- Students must be referred to therapy by a guardian or designated school staff member. You may refer your child by calling 571-749-2940 or by contacting an FCPS school counselor, social worker, psychologist, or director of Student Services.
Visit the FCPS Teletherapy webpage for more information.
Social Emotional Learning Screener Reports
Twice a year, students in grades 3-12 share their perspectives on how well their school and community help them develop skills they need to succeed through the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener. These skills include achieving goals, understanding and managing emotions, establishing and maintaining relationships with adults and peers, and making responsible decisions. Students also share how successful their school and community are at making them feel valued, included, and supported. These factors are critical to positive academic, social, and emotional success.
Spring 2023 SEL Screener results will be mailed to families in mid-May. The Social Emotional Learning Screener Parent/Guardian Report and Guide has been updated to better reflect how SEL Screener results are used to support school and districtwide planning, in addition to supports for individual students. Visit the FCPS SEL Screener webpage for information in multiple languages, including tips for talking with your student about the report and strategies for strengthening SEL at home.
Parent Resource Center Is Now the Family Resource Center
FCPS’ Parent Resource Center has changed its name to the Family Resource Center (FRC), as a way to acknowledge and support the broad diversity of families in our community. The FRC continues to offer a wide range of essential resources and education for caregivers and students including:
Families can find printable resource guides and details about the center’s free lending library on FRC’s homepage. They may also sign up to receive the FRC newsletter for updates on webinars, resources, and other information. If you have questions, please contact the FRC via email at @email or call 703-204-3941.
Upcoming FRC Webinars
The FRC is hosting the following upcoming webinars. Events are virtual unless stated otherwise:
- Meet the Author Series 1-2-3 MAGIC: The Basics: A Webinar For Families. May 19, 10-11 a.m. This webinar highlights tips for encouraging positive behaviors and strengthening your relationship with your child.
Click on the titles above for more information or to register for a webinar.
Final Feedback Opportunity on Draft Strategic Plan
If you haven’t already, please participate in the final opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Strategic Plan goals, measures, and pillars. Take the survey today! Feedback will be reviewed by the School Board at their May 9 retreat. It will also be discussed at the May 25 Board meeting. The survey will close Wednesday, May 17. Visit FCPS’ website to learn about the strategic planning process.
An Update on ESSER Funding, and the Proposal for 2023-24
In the fall of 2021, FCPS received $188.8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding to support the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on students.
Last week, Sloan Presidio, FCPS’ chief academic officer, presented the proposed ESSER expenditures for the 2023-24 school year, the last year of ESSER funding. This funding is in addition to the FCPS operating budget and is specifically targeting the impacts of COVID-19.
The proposed plan presented at the recent School Board Meeting is intended to maximize the dollars remaining in our funding. At least 20% of the funding must be spent toward unfinished learning. The proposed plan has nearly 80% of ESSER funds allocated to support student learning needs. Read more about the plan.
Summer Camps & Learning Opportunities
Summer VIP Program
Annandale Summer Sports Camps
Looking for fun activities for your child this summer? Annandale High School is offering a variety of summer camps this year for current elementary and middle school students led by our own Annandale coaches. Help spread the word to friends, family and neighbors!
Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp, and they should bring a snack and a water bottle each day. Cash or checks are accepted. Checks should be made out to “Annandale Athletic Boosters”. Payment is due on the first day of camp.
If you have any questions, please email Brandon Sutphin, Director of Student Activities, at @email.
Multi-Sport Camp - Rising 2nd-9th Graders - June 20-23 ($120): Campers will have fun playing a variety of sports including basketball, kickball, volleyball, soccer, and touch football. They will participate in fun contests and win prizes! Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp. Hours are 8:30am-3:00pm. Register Here.
Olympics Camp - Rising 2nd-9th Graders - June 26-29 ($120): This exciting camp features team activities including soccer, volleyball, basketball, touch football, and relay races. Campers will also get a chance to compete and earn medals! Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp. Hours are 8:30am-3:00pm. Register Here.
For questions about Multi-Sport or Olympics Camps, please reach out to Christopher Bagot, Camp Director and Varsity Coach, at @email.
Basketball - Rising 4th-9th Graders - July 10-14 ($250): Campers will spend each day focused on developing their basketball skills. They will also receive a report card on their basketball abilities, a t-shirt, and a chance to win trophies. Campers can bring their lunch or purchase lunch at camp. Hours are 9:00am to 3:00pm. Register Here.
For questions about Basketball Camp please reach out to Jerome McAvoy, Camp Director and Varsity Coach, at @email.
Girls Field Hockey/Lacrosse - Rising K-9th Grade - July 10-14, July 17-21, & July 24-28 ($120/week): For new athletes and those who have been playing for years, camp will be a fun-filled day of training, group competition, and surprise activities. Campers should bring their lunch each day except Friday when lunch will be provided. Hours are 8:00am-3:00pm. Register Here.
For questions about Girls Field Hockey/Lacrosse Camp please reach out to Janan Gokturk, Camp Director and Assistant Varsity Coach, at @email.
Tech Adventure Camp and CTE Summer Academy
We are excited to provide the following information about our 2023 CTE summer enrichment camps! The FCPS Career and Technical Education (CTE) office is once again offering two enrichment programs this year - Tech Adventure Camp and CTE Summer Academy.
What is CTE Summer Enrichment
- Hands-on, exploratory enrichment programs
- Teaches students engaging and exciting content in Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Helps students make connections to careers and develop new skills
- Tech Adventure Camp: Students in Kindergarten - grade 6 explore STEAM, culinary, health, trades, and computer science by rotating through daily classes
- NEW TO 2023: Tech Adventure Camp is now open to current kindergarten and 1st grade students!!
- CTE Summer Academy: Students in grades 7 - 11 choose their classes and dive deeper into CTE program areas, skills, and career exploration
- Cost - $275 per week
- *Fee waived for a select number of Free and Reduced Meal students
- Dates - July 10 - 14; July 17 - 21; and July 24 - 28
- Time - 8:30 am to 2:00 pm
- *Early drop off begins at 7:30 am
- Different weekly offerings
- Transportation from select FPCS schools is provided!
Additional Information can be found on our websites!
Registration for both camps will begin February 1st. Our websites are updated regularly with more information. Feel free to contact Beth Mehr, CTE Summer Programs Educational Specialists, for more information. We look forward to creating, exploring, and learning with your students this summer!
Institute for the Arts Camps (IFTA)
IFTA is a two- or four-week summer enrichment program for students currently in grades 6-11. Students select from nearly 90 classes in art, dance, health and physical education 9, music, self-directed economics and personal finance, and theater. Visit the IFTA website for more information and registration.
E-IFTA is a weekly arts camp for students in grades 2-5 who love to sing, dance, act, perform, make, and create. Students take part in four classes every day related to dance, music, theater, and visual art. They work with FCPS fine arts teachers who create classes that are fun and engaging. Visit the E-IFTA website for more information and registration.
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