Principal's Note - Nov 18, 2022

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
November 22, 2022

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

As a reminder, Monday, 11/21 and Tuesday, 11/22, are full school days and schools and offices will be closed November 23-25.   Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Classes will resume on Monday, November 28.

Welcome, Mr. Hartman!

Mr. Nicholas Hartman, our new assistant principal, will begin with us at Holmes on Monday, 11/21!  Mr. Hartman is coming to us from Falls Church High School, where he was a Social Studies Teacher, Social Studies Department Chair, and Dean of Students.  He will supervise the Math, Science, and Health & PE departments, and he will support students with last names A-K.  If you'd like to say hello and welcome him, please send him an email to @email.

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!

Slight Change to Bell Schedule

Beginning Monday, 11/28, we are going to make a slight change to our bell schedule to address the unsafe behavior that we are primarily seeing after D lunch.  We will stagger the release to 7th/8th periods.  Students who have A, B, or C lunch will have from 12:40-12:43 to get to their 7th/8th period class, and students in D lunch will remain in the cafeteria.  At 12:43, students in D lunch will be release to get to their 7th/8th period classes and must arrive by 12:46.  We will practice this on Monday, 11/21, and Tuesday, 11/22

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.


Holmes Hawk Herald Podcast

Did you know we started an after school program for podcasting? Students have just released their third episode. You can subscribe to it on Spotify here or listen to it on Anchor here. Students listen to each episode through their SOAR classes. Students are welcome to join the club, which meets each Thursday after school. If you or your student would like to submit a story idea, fill out the Google Form here.


Opportunities to Participate in the Strategic Planning Process

FCPS is offering a number of opportunities for parents/caregivers to be involved in the Strategic Planning process! Check out two immediate options below:

Nominate Yourself or Someone Else for the Family Team 

We are currently seeking nominations for parents/caregivers who are interested in contributing to Strategic Plan development as part of the Family Team. This team will represent the rich diversity of families that make up FCPS’ community, and will focus on identifying engagement and outreach practices that will improve our partnerships with families.If you are interested in being part of the Family Team or would like to nominate someone else, please fill out this form by Tuesday, November 22

Be a Key Communicator

If you are a member of a community organization or group, consider signing up to be a key communicator during the strategic planning process. FCPS key communicators are active members of the community who people turn to for information, and have an interest in sharing information about the school division and encouraging involvement. If this describes you or someone you know, please get the details and complete this form by Monday, November 28.

Calendar Survey: Make Your Voice Heard!

FCPS employees, parents/caregivers, and students in grades 7-12 were emailed an invitation to take the 2023-24 School Year Calendar Survey. This survey is part of an annual process to gather input from the community to help develop the school year calendar for the following year. Please complete the survey by Thursday, December 1, and make your voice heard! For more information or help filling out the survey, please visit our website.

Get Ready! The Scholastic Book Fair is coming our way!

Did you know that choosing their own books empowers kids and inspires them to become Bolder, Prouder, and Stronger Readers. AND—as always—every book they buy earns rewards for our school.   

Here’s what you need to know about the Fair, which will take place from DECEMBER 2nd - DECEMBER 9th in the LIBRARY.

This year, say goodbye to cash and hello to eWallet—your child’s digital payment account. Before the Fair, set up eWallet for worry-free, cash-free purchases. Anyone can contribute! Share each child’s eWallet so friends and family can add funds and give your kids more books to enjoy.

If you can’t make it to the Fair, then shop at our school’s Online Book Fair. All orders ship directly to your home, and shipping is free for book orders over $25. Your online orders will also benefit our school.

Visit our Book Fair homepage to learn more and get started with eWallet and online shopping:

HOLMES MIDDLE SCHOOL BOOK FAIR HOMEPAGEIf you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Blanco, our school librarian, at @email.

The countdown to more Bookjoy is on! Catch you at the Fair!

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
  • 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 11/14-11/18

Student of the Week

  • The After-School Program’s Student of the Week is Gwen Seyffert
  • Gwen is new to the Podcast club and is already a key member.
  • She has taken on facilitating an episode and offered to edit a special, long episode.
  • Thanks for working hard and joining us!

  Fashion Figures – Students were seen creating beautiful pieces of fashion during our Fashion Figures club.

Fashion Club

Lego Masters – Students collaborated on several different Lego sets during our Lego Masters club.

Lego Club

Write Brain Books – Students’ creativity soared while developing their story books in our Write Brain Books club.

Write Brain Books Club

RC Cars Club  - Students designed their race tracks that will be built in the next few weeks in RC Cars club.

RC Cars

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

Join Zoom Meeting: 

Meeting ID: 946 3892 4856




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
  • 12/2 - 12/9 - Scholastic Book Fair
  • 12/7, 9-10 am - Parent Coffee: Positive Discipline (Virtual & In-person option)
  • 12/19/2022 - 1/2/2023 - NO SCHOOL / Winter Break
  • 1/10, 9-10 am - Parent Coffee
  • 1/16 - NO SCHOOL / Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday
  • 1/25 - 2nd Quarter Ends / 2-Hour Early Release
  • 1/26 - NO SCHOOL / Staff Development Day
  • 1/27 - NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

FCPS & Community Updates

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

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