Principal's Note - Oct 11, 2020

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 12, 2020

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

In July, our Fairfax County School Board voted to rename Columbus Day - Monday, October 12th - as Indigenous Peoples' Day.  If you are interested in learning more, he Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is hosting a virtual program tomorrow at 1:00 pm that is designed for middle and high school students.  


While your students have a holiday tomorrow - no SOAR Monday Minute, no teacher office hours, and no After School Program activities - our instructional staff will be engaged in professional development around assessing thinking skills using the IB Middle Years Program Assessment rubrics.  This is part of our ongoing learning this year as we:

  • explore our beliefs around equity and high expectations, 
  • provide all students with access to rigor; and
  • and continue to develop a Culture of Thinking at Holmes.

Throughout the school year, our staff will also engage in dialogue around Honors coursework and what it means to be an Honors student. While learning new instructional tools and practices like making student thinking visible that support both distance learning and face-to face-learning, Holmes teachers are committed to meeting the needs of all students in all classes while maintaining high levels of academic expectations. Our staff is also committed to ensuring that all students are given the opportunities and access to Honors coursework throughout their enrollment at Holmes and are challenged through rigorous learning opportunities. We are encouraging participation and preparing students for advanced coursework both at Holmes Middle School and beyond. 

Parent Survey

To help us plan for our upcoming PTA meeting and future parent meetings, please complete this survey by Monday, 10/12. 

Phasing In

At the end of this month (the week of October 26th), Holmes will be phasing in two small cohorts of students.  Families of students who will be phasing in have already been contacted and will receive further details in the upcoming week.  Our staff is currently hard at work preparing the building and planning how to safely provide instruction in-person for these small groups, they continue to plan engaging virtual instruction for students.  Our teachers and support staff are truly amazing!  


Required Forms for ALL Families Must Complete

On Thursday evening, all families who are still missing required forms received an email from me letting them know which specific forms still need to be submitted.  Please submit those as soon as possible.  

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
  • After School Program Schedule - October 2020
  • Library Curbside Checkout - Monday 10/19/20
  • Holmes Middle School Theatre
  • Holmes PTA Spirit Night - 10/21/20
  • FREE Grab & Go Breakfast & Lunch Closest to Holmes
  • 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
  • Tech Help & Resources for Students & Families

Thank you, and have a great week!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS




After School Program Schedule - October 2020

Virtual after-school activities will be a blend of school clubs, community service, arts and crafts, leadership, recreation and sports, and other activities. 

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 Schedule October 2020


Library Curbside Checkout - Monday 10/19/20

Library curbside

Holmes Middle School Theatre

  • THEATRE SPORTS - Theatre Sports is Holmes after school IMPROV team. Improv is a style of theatre in which the actors make it up "on the spot" - it is not preplanned or rehearsed and there is no script! When we are in "in-person" school, the Theatre Sports team travels to do improv competitions against other FCPS Middle Schools. During Distance Learning, THEATRE SPORTS will meet THURSDAYS from 3:00-4:00. Students do not necessarily have to come every Thursday.
  • HOLMES NEWS BROADCAST - This is new this year! Since we can't put on a play or a musical, instead we will create a monthly news broadcast. These news broadcasts will be created and recorded, and then aired as part of SOAR time once a month. The NEWS BROADCAST TEAM will meet WEDNESDAYS from 3:00 - 4:00; students do not necessarily have to come every week.
  • VOICES OF NOW - Voices of Now is a partnership with Arena Stage in Washington DC. Typically students artists work together with professional theatre artists from Arena Stage. Together these groups of artists work to devise an original script that is then performed as part of a Festival at Arena Stage. Last year, students made a movie instead. This year, Voices of Now will continue with a film production project. This project is a weekly commitment. Voices of Now will meet virtually on MONDAYS at 2:30pm. In order to participate students must attend a workshop and audition. The first interest meeting is this Monday, October 5, so make sure to fill out the attached form, found below! Still not sure? A video is embedded in the google form, check it out!

For more information about After School Theatre Programming, please COMPLETE THIS GOOGLE FORM, and Mrs. E. Murphy will be in touch.

Holmes PTA Spirit Night - 10/21/20

PTA Chipolte

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:

Important Dates

  • Monday, October 12th STUDENT HOLIDAY / School Planning Day
  • Monday, October 19th, 1-3 pm - Library Curbside Checkout
  • Wednesday, October 21st, 7-8 pm - PTA Meeting
  • Friday, October 30th - Last day of Quarter 1 
    • Reminder: Beginning this year, all teachers at Holmes MS use a Rolling (year-long) Gradebook, NOT 4 quarter grades that average to a final grade.
  • Monday, November 2nd & Tuesday, November 3rd - STUDENT HOLIDAYS

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:


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.  

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.