Principal's Note - Sept 27, 2020

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
September 27, 2020

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

Thank you for joining us at our virtual Back to School Night this past Thursday!  In case you missed it, please feel free to check out the pre-recorded videos that can be found HERE.  If you have individual questions for you student's teachers, you can contact them using their email addresses found in SIS ParentVue or Blackboard, and you can use the Staff Directory.  

pta

Our Holmes MS PTA website is up and running!!  It is linked from our school website (click on "Get Involved" from the Full Menu, or scroll down until you see this icon (the heart in hand) to take you there.  To find out more about the PTA and to join for the 2020-21 school year, check out this site!  

The first PTA meeting on the year will be on Wednesday, September 30th, from 7-8 pm.  Join the meeting by using the PTA's Zoom link HERE.  The focus of our meeting will be hearing from you about how your student's experience is going in the virtual setting.  We want to hear the celebrations and challenges that your student is having. 

Important Reminders

  • Every student needs to complete the Monday Minute in their SOAR (3rd period) Teacher's Google Classroom by 10:30 am tomorrow (and every Monday).  

Required Forms for ALL Families Must Complete:

It is critically important that we receive the information below from ALL families (be sure to complete the forms for each student you have at Holmes):

  • Parent Consent for Digital Resources Our teachers have been training in a variety of different digital resources to provide high quality, engaging instruction to all students.  Some of those resources require parent consent.  Please click HERE to see a list of resources that we will be using, and HERE to fill out the form to provide consent for each student you have at Holmes.
    • NOTE: You will need your student's ID number and either the phone number or email of the parent in SIS in order to complete this.  If you need any assistance, please contact Mrs. Asma Hindi at @email or call the school at 703-658-5900.
  • Emergency Care Card
  • Health Information Form
  • FCPS' 2020-21 Student Rights & Responsibilities Guide is now available online for review.  Please access THIS FORM to acknowledge receipt of the document for each student you have at Holmes.  Booklets will be available in multiple languages at a later date for families.  
  • Immunizations.  
    • Even though we are starting the year virtually, students' immunizations still need to be update (including the TDAP for 7th graders).  If you have not done so already, please provide that important documentation to Ms. Hindi at @email.

Forms that SOME Families May Need to Complete: 

Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes News

  • Student Services - Important Information
  • 2020-21 Virtual Bell Schedule
  • FREE Grab & Go Breakfast & Lunch Closest to Holmes
  • Frequently Asked Questions & Resources
  • Important Dates
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

News from around FCPS

  • SIS Weekly Progress Reports to Parents Set to Start 10/5/2020
  • 7th Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference
  • Free Meal Program for ALL FCPS Students Extended to 12/31/20
  • Tech Help & Resources for Students & Families
  • FCPS 24-7 Learning: Parent View

Thank you, have a great week, and I hope that you can join us for the PTA Meeting on Wednesday!

Sincerely,

Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS

@email

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HOLMES NEWS

FREE Grab & Go Breakfast & Lunch Close to Holmes

Please note that it is best to check this website for the most updated information.  This food service is available for ALL students.  Here are the curbside and pop up locations closest to Holmes' neighborhoods:

Frequently Asked Questions & Resources

  • For questions about your student's schedule, please contact the counselor using the contact information in the chart below.  
  • For support with technology, check out the new help desk provided by FCPS 7 days a week, 16 hours a day (7 am - 11pm).  You can also call 1-833-921-3277.  
  • Do I need to report my student's absence during the virtual classes?
  • How do I get access to SIS ParentVue? 
  • ​​​​​​​How do we get access to free or low-cost internet?
    • ​​​​​​​Please contact Gary Rossen at @email to learn how to get a MiFi hot spot device
    • Please contact Jeanmarie O'Sullivan at @email to learn how to take advantage of Cox Communications Connect2Compete program with FCPS, which ultimately provides FREE internet access to families who qualify.  
    • Verizon & Comcast also have free and low-cost internet options, but the cost is not supplemented by FCPS.

Important Dates

  • Wednesday, September 30th, 7-8 pm - 1st Holmes MS PTA Meeting!
  • Monday, October 5th - SIS Weekly Progress Reports to Parents Set to Start

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

NEWS FROM AROUND FCPS

SIS Weekly Progress Reports to Parents Set to Start Monday, October 5, 2020

If you have registered for SIS ParentVUE and have a primary email address recorded in ParentVUE, you can receive your student’s Weekly Progress Report via email.  For the 2020-21 school year, Weekly Progress Reports are scheduled to begin on Monday, October 5, 2020.  This report provides a summary of your student’s grades for the current quarter.  To activate the Weekly Progress Reports via email, login to your SIS ParentVUE account and verify that you have a primary email address within the system.  It is listed under the “My Account” tab. 

If it is blank, enter the email address where you would like to receive the progress reports, and click on “Update account.”  Once your email is confirmed, return to the “My Account” tab to activate and select your preferences for receiving these reports.  Emails will be sent according to your selected preferences.  Weekly Progress Reports for all of your middle and high school students will be included in one email.  For additional help, refer to the quick reference guide for FCPS parents/guardians.

Parents can also access student grades through ParentVUE via the Grade Book tab.  

7th Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference

This year we will continue to partner with INOVA and Kaiser Permanente to host the 7th Annual Mental Health and Wellness Conference. The conference will feature multiple keynote speakers who will address social emotional learning and resiliency. Virtual sessions will be offered September 14th-October 3rd. The kickoff panel will be hosted by NBC 4’s Eun Yang. Registration is available at the following website: https://www.fcps.edu/resources/student-safety-and-wellness/mental-health-and-resiliency/mental-health-and-wellness

 Additionally, Our Minds Matter will be hosting a student summit for the Mental Health and Wellness Conference. Students may register here: bit.ly/ommsummit2020

Free Meal Program for ALL FCPS Students Extended to 12/31/20

Under waivers granted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) free breakfast and lunch program for all FCPS students is being extended through December 31, ensuring that students have access to nutritious food during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

FCPS has distributed more than 2.3 million Grab and Go meals since schools closed in March.

Beginning Tuesday, September 8, Grab and Go service hours will be extended to 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) with both breakfast and lunch being served at the same time.  Bus routes for food distribution are being added and the current routes updated.  Meals on buses will be distributed Monday through Friday beginning at 6:30 a.m.  Specific information about meal distribution locations and bus distribution schedules are available here.

“We greatly appreciate this decision by the USDA and Virginia Department of Education that support our efforts to provide meals to as many students as possible,” said FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand. “Extending the summer program authority will also ensure that parents have the security of knowing their children will be fed.”

 These waivers will: •    Allow Summer Food Service Program meals to be served in all areas and at no cost; •    Permit meals to be served outside of the typically required group settings and meal times; •    Waive meal pattern requirements as necessary; and •    Allow parents and guardians to pick up meals for their children.

Tech Help & Resources for Students & Families

  • To support families who are working with their children during virtual learning, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is launching a new Parent Technology Help Desk, effective today, Monday, August 24. The help desk can be reached at 833-921-3277 (833-921-FCPS) and will be answered by staff members between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week.
  • FCPS has also set up an online portal to allow older students and parents/guardians to request technology help directly. 
  • Tips for online learning success can be found on the FCPS website. 
  • FCPS Parent Information Phone Lines are available in eight different languages. 

FCPS 24-7 Learning: Parent View

Find out what's happening in your child's classroom

Please note that it is necessary to have an active Student Information System (SIS) Parent Account to be able to login to FCPS 24-7 Learning: Parent View. The same login credentials will be used to access both the SIS and FCPS 24-7 systems.

General Information FCPS 24-7 Learning provides parents access to available courses the student is enrolled in, Naviance Student to view College and Academic Career Planning (for Middle and High school students), weCare@school to view and update Emergency Care information, and Bus Stop Information via the Bus Stop module.

Support

Content Available to Parents

  • Course Information – This includes content areas such as announcements and course specific information. While most classroom sites are pre-set to provide parents access, some courses may have modified settings, or have been created after the course access settings were made and may therefore be inaccessible. If you have a concern, contact the teacher. Also, should you see course information from a previous school year, you may contact the previous year's teacher to ask them to update their course information accordingly. Please note that the following content areas are not accessible by parents: gradebook – grades can be seen through the SIS Parent Account; wikis, blogs, and discussion boards; and organizations.
  • Naviance Student - Supports academic and career planning for middle and high school students. Only parents with middle or high school students will see student names in the Naviance Student module.
  • Emergency Care Information Management (weCare@school) - Is an emergency care information system, available to FCPS parents and guardians with access to FCPS 24-7 Learning : Parent View.

A Note About Student Data Management

Each student has a unique student ID number which will ensure that a parent is matched to the correct child(ren). Also when a student withdraws from FCPS the student's account on FCPS 24-7 Learning is disabled. Once the student's account has been disabled the parent view will no longer include the student's information.