Principal's Note - Nov. 4, 2022

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
November 07, 2022

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

We had a great and peaceful week at Holmes this week.  I have appreciated the conversations with families, students, and staff this past week as we plan how to move forward and best support the needs that we are seeing with our students.  The beautiful thing is the vast majority of our students are doing exactly what they are supposed to do to keep themselves and each other safe, and that makes a positive difference.  

Thank you to the families who were able to attend our parent coffee yesterday!  If you were not able to attend, a voiceover of the slides is here:  Our next parent coffee will be at 9 am on Wednesday, December 7th.  

We have a time-change this weekend and a 3-day week next week.  Here's what's coming up:

Daylight Savings Time Ends

Daylight savings time will end this Sunday, November 6, at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to move your clocks back one hour!

Election Day, 11/8 - STUDENT & STAFF HOLIDAY

Don’t forget to get out and vote on Tuesday, November 8! The day will be observed as a holiday for students and teachers. For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Elections website. 

Veterans Day, 11/11 - STUDENT HOLIDAY

As a reminder, Friday, November 11, is a student holiday/school planning day for the Veterans Day holiday. Veterans Day is a time to pause, reflect, and recognize the extraordinary sacrifices our veterans and their families have made on our behalf. We thank them for their service. Learn about the history of Veterans Day

We want to celebrate the veterans in our community!  If someone in your household is a veteran, please share it with us on this form.

November Is Native American Heritage Month

Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native Americans. It is also a time to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges they have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions recognized by FCPS.

Signs of Suicide Program for Students in Grade 7

The week of November 14th, 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. 

Outstanding Employee Awards

Nominations are now open for the Outstanding Employee Awards!  To submit a nomination for a Holmes Hawk Outstanding Employee in one of the categories below, please complete the nomination through this Google form link: Fall 2022 Holmes MS Outstanding Employee Award Nominations

You may nominate one employee at our school or multiple employees (one individual may only nominate one employee per category).  All that is required for a preliminary nomination is a paragraph or two about how this employee demonstrates exceptional work in the criteria for that category.  The Google form link has more information regarding the criteria for each of these awards and the eligibility requirements are below:

Outstanding Teacher

Eligibility: Has at least 3 years of experience as a teacher (in any school/school district); librarians are included in this category

Outstanding New Teacher

Eligibility: Has up to 3 years of experience as a teacher (in any school/school district); librarians are included in this category

Outstanding Principal

Eligibility: Has at least 3 years of experience as a building principal (in any school/school district)                                  

Outstanding Leader

Eligibility: At least 1 year of experience in their current position as a Schedule-C or School-Based Administrator scale employee (that is not the building principal)

Common positions in this category: Assistant and Associate Principals, Director of Student Activities, Director of Student Services

Outstanding Professional Employee

Eligibility: At least 1 year experience in current position as a Schedule-B employee or other non-instructional employee in a school that supports school leadership

Common positions in this category: School-Based Technology Specialist, Technology Support Specialist, Assessment Coach, Career Center Specialist, Instructional Coach, Psychologist, Social Worker, School Counselor, Safety and Security Specialist, Resource Teachers that serve in an administrative role in a school

Outstanding Operational Employee

Eligibility: At least 1 year of experience in current position as Schedule-A or Classroom Instructional Support Scale employee

Common positions in this category: Administrative and Office Staff, Safety and Security Assistant, Custodial Staff, Food Service Staff, IA, PHA, PHTA, All Parent Liaisons (regardless of how they are paid)

The deadline to submit a nomination is 2:15 PM on Friday, November 11

If you have any questions, please contact me at @email 

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

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. 

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
  • 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
  • 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

ASP Student(S) of the Week

  • For the first time ever, we have THREE Students of the Week; Riley Flagge, Benson Mai, & Deborah Esayas.
  • Riley is always one of the first to act when a request is made, and doesn’t hesitate to help out peers. Riley is always positive and a true team player.
  • Benson Mai and Deborah Esayas were nominated for their dedication to Cursive Club and their persistence towards excellence.  We are proud of their efforts.

Hawk Herald Podcast – Students can’t contain their excitement while collaborating in our Podcast club.


Gardening Club - Students put their finishing touches on Gardening Club until the spring.


After School Schedule Next Week

Nov 4Nov 4_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

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

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

Dec 7ent Coffee

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Monday, 11/8 - NO SCHOOL / Election Day
  • Friday, 11/11 - NO SCHOOL / School Planning Day & Veteran's Day
  • 11/23 - 11/25 - NO SCHOOL / Thanksgiving
  • 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

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