Principal's Note - Sept 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.
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.
- 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.
- Emergency Care Card
- Health Information Form
- NOTE: The Emergency Care and Health Information forms can be accessed at weCare@school to view and update information. (Please note that weCare@school is a part of FCPS 24-7 Learning: Parent View.) In order to log into Parent View, it is necessary to have an active SIS Parent Account - if you need a SIS Parent Account, please contact Mrs. Asma Hindi at @email or 703-658-5940.
- 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.
- 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:
- If applicable, apply for Free & Reduced Meals now and provide Consent to Share information with the school so that class fees will be waived for you.
- Even though meals are free to all students right now, we still need families to complete this application if they would like to qualify for free and reduced meals later in the year.
- We can only waive class fees if you qualify for free and reduced meals AND if you complete the Consent to Share form.
- Opt-Out Booklet: Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy, and Related Rights and Opt-Out Forms
- Family Life Education (FLE) Opt-Out Form
- Homeless Form
- Military Form
Here are today's newsletter topics:
- 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!
Proud Principal, Holmes MS
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:
- Annandale Terrace ES, 7604 Herald St., Annandale
- Braddock ES, 7825 Heritage Dr., Annandale
- Bren Mar Park ES, 6344 Beryl Rd., Alexandria
- Mason Crest ES, 3705 Crest Dr, Annandale
- North Springfield ES, 7602 Heming Ct, North Springfield
- Parklawn ES, 4116 Braddock Road, Alexandria
- Weyanoke ES, 6520 Braddock Rd., Alexandria
- Chelsea Square Apartments, 10-10:15 a.m. 5734 Backlick Road, Springfield (parking lot next to the pool)
- FCPS Food and Nutrition Services, Energy Zone Center, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 6840 Industrial Rd, Springfield
- James Lee Community Center, 12-12:30 p.m., 2855 Annandale Rd, Falls Church
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.
- 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:
- keeping your contact information up-to-date throughout the year
- visiting the Holmes MS website
- signing up for News You Choose
- following us on Twitter
- monitoring your student's progress with SIS Parent Account
- join the Holmes MS PTA and attend meetings
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.
- Forgot Password – If you need to recover a forgotten password or change your password please visit the password management page.
- Parent Help - Complete this online form to request assistance.
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.