Principal's Note - May 21, 2023

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
May 22, 2023

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

I hope you have enjoyed this beautiful weekend!  I apologize for the delay in sending the newsletter.  I didn't get a chance to get it out before leaving school on Friday, and then came home to no internet Friday afternoon.  How did we ever survive without it?!  Thank goodness, the Barnes Family is back in the 21st century as of a couple of hours ago.  

Congratulations to our Voices of Now team of students (pictured above) - Isabella Phillips, Kaleigh Rosania, Kiah Van Heerden, and Myla Van Heerden - who performed their original work of theater at Arena Stage in Washington, DC Friday night!  A big thank you to Ms. Murphy and Ms. Fealey and the professional actors from Arena Stage who coached and supported the team!

It is hard to believe that we have just 19 school days remaining!  There will be so much packed in between now and then.  I hope that you can join us for our last PTA meeting of the year this Wednesday, 5/24.  We'll present our PTA Board slate for the 2023-24 school year, and our after school specialist, Matthew Kruk, will be visiting to share about the after school program.  We welcome our families of rising 6th graders (current 5th graders) to join us for that meeting! 

SOLs: 2 down, 1 to go

All students took their Reading SOL last Tuesday, and we did remediation for students who were eligible to retake the Science SOL on Friday.  

This Tuesday, May 23rd, ALL students will take their Math SOL exam. 

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.  

SOLs

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

• Resume

• 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 Graders Who Will Be Attending Annandale High School Next Year 

Please join us to receive information about the clubs and activities at Annandale High School as well as summer camps/activities. 

  • Rising 9th Grade Night to learn more about the clubs and activities at Annandale – May 22nd 6:30 p.m.– 8:00 p.m. in Annandale’s Main Gym
  • Annandale Physical Night, students will have the opportunity to get their physicals for sports and Band – May 31st 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

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. 

Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • 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!
  • Tutoring Grants Available for Families
  • Updates on Online Student Registration
  • Making the Transition to Middle School
  • Observance Design Challenge
  • No-Cost Hazel Health Teletherapy for High School Students
  • 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!

Sincerely,

Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS

@email

#TeamHolmes


HOLMES UPDATES


Student Services Information

Student Services Info


2022-23 Blue/White Calendar

calendar


New Bell Schedule


From Mr. Kruk, our After School Specialist

After-School Program Weekly News & Notes from 5/15- 5/19

 

Student of the Week

  • The After-School Program Student(s) of the week: Zachary Noyes
  • Zachary has been nominated for his consistent participation in many clubs including RC cars, Basketball League, Fitness, and more.
  • He is a responsible and respectful student and is a positive influence on others.
  • Great job Zachary!

After-School Action

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Basketball League Champions; Alexis Salamanca Vasquez, Abenzer Zelalem, Zachary Noyes, Muhammad Chaudhary, & Nebyou Daniel.

ASP

After School Schedule 5/22-5/26

Block 1

Block 2

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.

Questions/Concerns

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!


From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

2022-23 School Year Family Coffees

All Family Coffee sessions have been recorded and can be viewed at any time. They are located on Schoology > Holmes Families course > Family Coffee Sessions. 

How to watch parent coffee

Important Upcoming Dates

  • 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:


FCPS & Community Updates


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


Tutoring Grants Available for Families

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is now accepting applications from parents for tutoring microgrants for their children through the K-12 Learning Acceleration Grants program. 

The program was created to help Virginia families address the impact of the pandemic on student learning. It provides $1,500 grants to parents of school-age children for tutoring in specific subjects. Children from homes with family incomes at 300% or less of the federal poverty level may qualify for $3,000 grants. 

Available services include in-person, online, and hybrid tutoring provided one-on-one or in small group or large group settings. The first step in the process is to visit VDOE’s K-12 Learning Acceleration Grants page and create an application account.

von


Updates on Online Student Registration

FCPS plans to have online registration in place at all schools across the district starting June 30, ensuring a simple and efficient new student registration application process for the upcoming school year. Learn more about registration


Making the Transition to Middle School

Making the move from elementary school to middle school can be an exciting and unsettling time for a parent and child. In a recent episode of FCPS multilingual podcast, En Pocas Palabras, learn ways to ease the transition including:

  • Understanding the developmental changes in your child.
  • Getting to know middle school culture.
  • Encouraging independence, but remaining available.
  • Offering emotional support to your child.
  • Reiterating your family values and expectations.
  • Staying involved in your child’s school.

The podcast is available in Arabic, English, Korean, and Spanish. Listen and subscribe. 


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:

  1. Give permission for FCPS to share basic demographic information with Hazel in ParentVUE
  2. Consent for Hazel Mental Health services
  3. 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. 


Summer Camps & Learning Opportunities


Bus Pass Summer


Summer VIP Program

Summer VIP Camp


Annandale Summer Sports Camps

Annandale Community:

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!

Registration for all camps can be found HERE. See descriptions of the various camps below. More information can be found at AnnandaleAtoms.net

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.

Camp Information

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

2023 Programs

  • 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

Details

  • 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. 

Art Academy


CyberPatriot Summer Cyber Camp

Chantilly Academy will host an AFA CyberCamp Monday, June 26, to Friday, June 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. This camp is recommended for rising fifth through eighth graders of all skill levels interested in learning more about the importance of cybersecurity and gaining skill to protect themselves and others from cyber threats. Discounts are available for students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. Visit the camp website to learn more about registration, curriculum, and schedule.  


Other Summer Camp Opportunities

Registration is still available for Elementary-IFTA (E-IFTA) arts camps, Credit Recovery Academy, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s Middle School Technology Institute (MSTI).


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