Principal's Note - Nov 17, 2019

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
November 19, 2019

Good evening & Happy Sunday, Holmes Families!

Thank you to our Student Services team for a series of meaningful lessons around mental health and wellness through History 7 classes last week!  And a big thank you to all of our Social Studies teachers for not only hosting the Student Services team in their classes for SOS lessons but also for administering the Fairfax County Youth Survey, which gives us valuable information to help us support our students. 

International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP) Evaluation Visit This Week!

This week is a big week for us at Holmes as well as at Poe Middle School at Annandale High School.  Every 5 years, our IB programs (Middle Years and Diploma Programs) are evaluated by the IB Organization and provide commendations and recommendations around our work.  The evaluation team will spend a full day at Annandale High School tomorrow (Mon., 11/18), a full day at Holmes on Tuesday, and a full day at Poe on Wednesday.  The team will have the opportunity to talk to students, teachers, parents, and will even meet with members of our School Board and FCPS Leadership Team.  We are excited to show how we continue to grow and develop our IB program at Holmes.  Thank you in advance to all of our staff, students, and parents who will be talking with the team, and a very special thank you to our IB coordinator, Donna Starace, for preparing for this visit!  There is quite a bit of work that is done behind the scenes.  


Next Holmes PTA Dine-Out Night Fundraiser: Noodles World Kitchen Tomorrow Night (Mon., 11/18)!

See details in the flyer below...just mention Holmes Middle School!


In today's newsletter, scroll down for information about:

  • Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed November 27-29 for Thanksgiving Break
  • This Week's Schedule
  • After-School Program
  • Congratulations to Holmes MS Students Accepted into District Orchestra!!
  • Parents: Be on the Lookout for Printed Report Cards; Grades Also Available Online
  • MakerMonday - 11/18
  • Holmes MS Annual Food Drive Ends This Week!
  • Holmes MS Book Fair - 12/2 - 12/13
  • HMS Theatre Presents: Annie, Jr.! - 12/5-12/7
  • SCA Winter Dance - 12/18
  • Guidelines for Joining NJHS
  • 8th Grade Personal Yearbook Ads
  • Important Dates
  • 2019-20 Family Engagement Events
  • How to Stay in Touch

Thanks, everyone, and have a wonderful week!  Please feel free to reach out to me or anyone on my team with any questions you have!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS


Calendar Reminder

Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed November 27-29 for Thanksgiving Break

As a reminder, all schools and offices will be closed November 27-29 for Thanksgiving break. Please note that like last year, Wednesday, November 27, is a holiday. Classes will resume on Monday, December 2. See the complete 2019-20 school year calendar

FCPS Cares


Do you know a Holmes Middle School staff member who does ordinary things in an extraordinary way or goes beyond what is expected? If so, then click here to submit your story so we can all acknowledge the good work of Holmes faculty and staff members.

This Week's Schedule of Classes: 11/18-11/22


This week we have a modified schedule:

Mon., 11/18 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 2, 4th, 6th)

Tues.,11/19 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th)

Wed., 11/20 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 3, 4th, 6th)

Thurs.,11/21 =  Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th) 

Fri., 11/22 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 4, 4th,  6th)

 *NOTE: Students can always find the blue-white calendar in their agendas or on the school website HERE

After-School Program - Week of 11/18

During the school year, a weekly schedule of activities that will be held during the After School Program will be posted.  

  • Late buses are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Students must be picked up by parents/guardians if they stay on Tuesdays or Fridays.  
  • NOTE: There are only 6 late buses, so students' late bus assignments and stops are usually different than their regular bus. 

For any specific questions related to the After School Program or to share new ideas for after school activities, please feel free to contact Ms. Taylor, our After School Program Specialist.

ASP week of 11_18

Congratulations to Holmes MS Students Accepted into District Orchestra!!

Students from our area of Virginia (Eastern Fairfax County, Alexandria City, and parts of Arlington County) in grades 7-9 auditioned for a chance to perform in the VBODA District X Jr Orchestra. Students who successfully audition spend three days in January working with a guest conductor preparing four advanced pieces of music for a performance.

As always, Holmes students were well represented! Out of over 170 7-9th graders, the following Holmes orchestra students received high enough scores to be accepted into this ensemble:

Brock Bartunek (alternate) Madina Fayzieva Melanie Lam Ngan Luu (alternate) Nadia Mautawalli Colin McGee Bridget Murray Gelila Solomon

This is a BIG accomplishment!

Parents: Be on the Lookout for Printed Report Cards; Grades Also Available Online

If you haven’t received your child’s printed report card yet, you should be receiving it very soon. Report cards were mailed out on Friday, November 8th. 

Please note: Progress reports and report cards are also available online by using your Student Information System (SIS) Parent Account.

If you don’t already have a SIS Parent Account, information on how to register for one is available online.

MakerMonday - 11/18

Join us for MakerMonday as we combine our love of science with our love of Harry Potter! We'll be making light up wands, using the same technology we used when we created light cards. All students are welcome, no sign up needed. 

We had a wonderful first quarter in the after-school program!  Click here to see what we have been up to.

Holmes MS Annual Food Drive Ends This Week!

The Holmes MS Annual Food Drive has officially started!  Students can turn in non-perishable food items (rice, flour, pasta, peanut butter, canned foods, etc) to their SOAR teacher from now until November 22nd.  If students donate three food items and complete a reflection, they can receive one hour of service learning.

food drive

Holmes MS Book Fair - 12/2 - 12/13

Save the Date! The Holmes MS book fair will begin on December 2nd! Students will have a chance to visit during the school day with their English classes and the book fair will be open for most of the evening performances through December 13th. 

The book fair is a great opportunity to help support the library, every dollar spent helps the library earn funds to purchase more books. Support the library and knock out some of that holiday shopping!

All forms of payment are accepted. If you have questions or would like to volunteer please email Ms. Haywood

HMS Theatre Presents: Annie, Jr.! - 12/5-12/7


SCA Winter Dance - 12/18

We are excited for our SCA Winter Dance coming up in December!  This is another great opportunity for us to celebrate our students' positive behavior!  Students who have demonstrated good attendance and behavior in November and December will be eligible to purchase tickets for this dance.  

We are looking for chaperone volunteers for the dance.  If you would like to sign-up to volunteer please do so by clicking here.  If you have questions, please contact Mr. Cho or Ms. Aiello.

sca winter dance

Guidelines for Joining NJHS

7th and 8th Grade students interested in joining NJHS this year, please see complete details on the school website here.  Please also note the following dates:

  • End of November: GPA reports distributed from FCPS
  • December 17: information session for students during ER4
  • December 19 and January 6: application help sessions for students after school

January 8, 2020: online applications due by 4:00 pm (10 service hours verified through x2vol due at this time)

8th Grade Personal Yearbook Ads

Introducing... 8th Grade Personal Ads

The yearbook staff wants to offer you the opportunity to honor your eighth grader as they move up to

high school. Surprise your student with a personal ad in the yearbook. These special messages can

be from parents, grandparents, siblings or even pets. You may purchase more than one ad; however,

please submit a separate form for each ad. Each ad will be the size shown below. Ads cost $15 each and is due Friday, February 28, 2020.

8th grade yearbook personal ads

Have you joined the Holmes MS PTA?

Your membership supports teacher appreciation and grants for teachers to provide unique programs for students!  Join HERE today!

Important Dates

  • Mon., 11/18 - 4-8 pm - PTA Dine-Out Night Fundraiser: Noodles World Kitchen
  • Mon., 11/18 - Wed., 11/20 - 5-year International Baccalaureate Re-evaluation Visit (Annandale HS, Holmes MS, Poe MS)
  • Fri., 11/22, SOAR Time - Quarter 1 Honor Roll Celebration (Only Staff and Students Attend)
  • Wed., 11/27 - Fri., 11/29 - Thanksgiving Day Holiday - NO SCHOOL
  • Mon., 12/2 - Fri., 12/13 - Holmes MS Book Fair
  • Wed., 12/4 - 9-10 am - Parent Coffee  - Theme: Student Mental Wellness and Resiliency
  • Thurs., 12/5-Sat. 12/7, 7 pm - Holmes Theater Department presents Annie, Jr.!
  • Wed., 12/18 - Afterschool - SCA Winter Dance
  • Mon., 12/23 - Fri., 1/3 - Winter Vacation - NO SCHOOL

2019-20 Family Engagement Events


How to Stay In-Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: