Principal's Note - Oct 11, 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:
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.
To help us plan for our upcoming PTA meeting and future parent meetings, please complete this survey by Monday, 10/12.
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.
- 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
- 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!
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.
Library Curbside Checkout - Monday 10/19/20
Holmes Middle School Theatre
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
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
- 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:
- 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.
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.