Principal's Note - Nov. 11, 2022

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
November 14, 2022

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

Veterans Day is a time to pause, reflect, and recognize the extraordinary sacrifices our veterans and their families have made on our behalf. For all of the veterans in our community, thank you for your service!! Learn about the history of Veterans Day

The Holmes staff members are veterans:

  • Kate Fitzpatrick, ESOL Teacher - Air Force, 24 years
  • Kendrick Hayes, Tech Ed Teacher - Army National Guard, 7 years
  • Sherisse Kenerson, ESOL Teacher - Army, 4 years

We also heard from one family (also pictured below) in our community, but I know there are more!  We would love for you to share with us who the veterans are in your families on this form.  

  • Lynnsy & Keith Snook - Air Force (Lynnsy - 8 years, Keith - 22 years)


Quarter 1 Honor Roll Celebration

On Monday, November 21st, we will be hosting the Quarter 1 Honor Roll Celebration during SOAR in order to acknowledge the hard work and academic achievement of our students who earned all A’s or A’s & B’s on their 1st quarter report card. Students will be receiving invitations through their SOAR class. Congratulations to those students, and keep up the great work! 😊

Signs of Suicide Program for Students in Grade 7

Next week (11/14-11/18), seventh graders will participate in the Signs of Suicide program. This program teaches students about the difficult topic of suicide and encourages them to seek help for themselves or a friend. We encourage you to visit for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn. You can also view this parent video to learn more.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s participation in this program please contact Bessie Fealey at @email. If you do not want your child to participate, please fill out this form (Spanish version) no later than Friday, November 11, 2022. 

FCPS Youth Survey for Students in Grades 6 & 8

The FCPS Youth Survey will be administered to students in grades 6 and 8 next week as well. Parents and/or guardians will be given the opportunity to review the survey prior to its administration by either making arrangements with the school counseling office of their child’s school or accessing the survey online at

If you would like to opt your student out, please send an email to Chris Kamar at @email.  

Apply for admission at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology 

Middle school students who have an aptitude and passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are encouraged to apply for admission to the Class of 2027 at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST). 

The application will be available on the TJHSST Admissions Office webpage starting October 24at 4 p.m. Applications must be started by 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 16, with a deadline to submit the application by Friday, November 18, at 4 p.m. Visit the TJHSST registration website for more information. 

FCPS Calendar Survey Coming Soon!

In an annual planning process, FCPS uses input from the community to help develop the school year calendar for the following year. The Calendar Survey will be sent to parents/caregivers, FCPS employees, and students in grades 7-12 next week. 

Our framework for creating the calendar is available online to ensure transparency, as we work to build a calendar that is inclusive and equitable.

FCPS Strategic Planning that Reaches All

The strategic planning process is a community-wide effort. There will be many opportunities to share feedback or participate in a community meeting. We want our community to stay informed and be involved. Students will have the opportunity to take a survey during SOAR class this week if they choose.

You can also help! If you are an active member of a community organization or group who people look to for information, please consider signing up to be a key communicator during the strategic planning process. FCPS key communicators should have an interest in sharing information about the school division and encouraging involvement. Key communicators will:

  • Receive regular updates including news, information, future events, and engagement opportunities. 
  • Share the information they receive with their group in a timely manner.
  • Encourage group participation in engagement and feedback opportunities where appropriate and possible. 

If you or someone from your organization would like to serve as an FCPS key communicator during the strategic planning process, please submit this form by Monday, November 28

Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services Information
  • 2022-23 Blue/White Schedule
  • 2022-23 Bell Schedule
  • After School Schedule Next Week
  • Holmes MS PTA
  • From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
  • Testing Information & Quarter 2 Testing Windows
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS & Community Updates

  • Superintendent Community Conversation at Annandale HS - 11/29
  • Feedback Welcome on Proposed Family Life Education Changes
  • Thanksgiving Feast at South County Senior & Teen Center - 11/23
  • Free 2 Day STEAM Seminars
  • Basic Java and Java Coding Workshops
  • 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!


Margaret Barnes

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 11/7-11/11

Student of the Week

  • The After-School Program’s Student of the Week is Isabella Phillips.
  • Isabella was nominated for her commitment to the program and several different clubs.
  • Isabella demonstrates responsible behavior, an open-mind by trying new clubs and activities, and she always brings a positive attitude to the program.
  • Great job Isabella!

Intramural Sports – Our students had a great time learning and playing the sport of Cricket this week.


After School Schedule Next Week

Block 1Block 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.


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!

  • Join the PTA on MemberHub between now and December 7th and get entered into a drawing for a gift certificate to Great American Restaurants!
  • Are you able to volunteer?  Submit this Google form
  • Want to order Spiritwear

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

Dec 7 Parent Coffee

Thanksgiving Food Drive - 11/19

Thanksgiving Food Drive

Thanksgiving Meal Distribution - 11/19

Food Drive

Food Drive

Testing Information & Quarter 2 Testing Windows

State assessments measure the extent to which students have learned the content and skills reflected in state standards and may also be used to measure growth in learning state standards. The format and timing of state assessments vary by grade level and content area, as noted in the table below. These include:

  • Fall and winter Virginia Growth Assessments (VGA) standardized tests in reading and mathematics. More information is available on the VGA webpage (;
  • Spring Standards of Learning (SOL) standardized tests in reading, mathematics, and science. More information is available on the SOL assessments webpage (;
  • Ongoing local alternative assessments (LAAs) including performance-based assessments (PBAs) completed as part of classroom instruction in science, writing, and social studies; More information is available on the LAA and PBA webpage (

The Grade Level Tests webpage ( provides information by grade level about the general assessment schedule and reporting method for each required assessment type in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). School staff will contact you with the specific dates your student is scheduled to take the standardized VGA and SOL assessments. If you have questions about state assessments, contact your student’s teacher or Christopher Kamar, our test coordinator, at @email   

Qrt 2 Testing Window

Important Upcoming Dates

  • 11/23 - 11/25 - NO SCHOOL / Thanksgiving
  • 12/7, 9-10 am - Parent Coffee: Positive Discipline (Virtual & In-person option)
  • 12/19/2022 - 1/2/2023 - NO SCHOOL / Winter Break

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

FCPS & Community Updates

Superintendent Community Conversation at Annandale HS - 11/29

Please join us for a Superintendent Community Conversation at Annadale HS on November 29th at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Learn more about Dr. Michelle Reid, FCPS superintendent, and help her get to know our school community. Language interpretation will be provided, as available, as well as child care and light refreshments. Please register to attend

Feedback Welcome on Proposed Family Life Education Changes

The Fairfax County School Board is reviewing recommended changes to the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum and invites public feedback as part of the review process. In May 2022, the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee (FLECAC) presented recommended curriculum changes, to go into effect for the 2023-24 school year. Those changes include adopting gender-combined instruction, and exploring instruction of gender identity, recommended media, and other instructional changes. 

The recommendations reflect leading education and child development research and expert advice. According to research cited in the recommendations, these changes will create a more inclusive learning environment, result in higher academic achievement for students, and improve school climate.

Public feedback will be shared with FLECAC and the School Board. FCPS staff and the School Board will consider all feedback but are unable to reply to individuals. 

Learn more about the recommended changes on our website. The public feedback form will be available on our website and will be open October 31 through December 1

Thanksgiving Feast at South County Senior & Teen Center - 11/23

SoCo Teen Center

Free 2 Day STEAM Seminars

Free Youth Seminar

Youth Seminar_Spanish

Basic Java and Advanced Java Coding Workshops

Fairfax High School students will be offering a virtual workshop to middle school students in Basic Java and Advanced Java coding. They are doing this as their fundraiser for buying supplies to build their Robot and pay competition fees.

Java Coding

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