Principal's Note - Oct 21, 2022

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 22, 2022

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

Happy Friday!  One more week in quarter 1...

Schedule for Friday, 10/28...Activity Day...

Spirit Week...

Join us for PTA meeting on Wednesday, October 26th at 6:30 pm!  We will meet in the Holmes Library and will also offer a virtual option HERE.  Join the PTA on MemberHub between now and December 7th and get entered into a drawing for a gift certificate to Great American Restaurants!

Holmes Spirit Week 

Spirit week

Our Voices, Our Future - Strategic Plan Student Survey

FCPS is launching Our Voices, Our Future, an effort to build our strategic plan. This plan will serve as a roadmap to guide our school division for the next five years. We encourage you to be a part of this journey!

In the coming weeks, we will invite the FCPS community to engage in building our shared future. Our students will be the first to lend their voices to this process by participating in an optional online survey. With students at the very heart of our work, we believe they should have an opportunity to be heard and provide feedback on what they feel is important.  

The optional survey is designed to protect your child’s privacy and is anonymous. It will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Responses to the student survey will be analyzed and included in data reports from the external consulting team FCPS is contracting with to support development of the new Strategic Plan. While the survey is voluntary, we would like all students in Grades 3 to 12 to take part in it. If you would like to review the survey or opt your child out of participating in it, please visit this webpageThe deadline to submit an opt-out form is October 28. through Schoology

Soon, in SOAR we will review with students how to access for help. So families are aware, with students can get an expert help in a safe, secure virtual learning space—anytime, anywhere, on any device. Students access through Schoology. Tutors can help with reading, math, and so much more! Students can connect by voice or text-chat and work together in an online classroom. For more information, visit our website. For information on opting out, click here.

Free Student Bus Pass Program

There will be communication coming from FCPS and the Fairfax county government regarding the free student bus pass program.  Please watch this VIDEO for more information. 

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 24, at 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
  • From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
  • Testing Information & Quarter 1 Testing Windows
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS & Community Updates

  • Superintendent Community Conversation at Annandale HS - 11/29
  • 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

Attendance Continues to Soar in October!

  • This week we had more than 500 students stay for our After-School Program.
  • This is our highest attendance in over 4 years.
  • Keep up the great work students and staff!

ASP Student of the Week – Dawit Derege

  • Dawit was nominated for our Student of the Week because of his willingness to help new students learn the routines of the program, his commitment to several clubs throughout the program, and his positive attitude.
  • Congrats Dawit!

RC Cars Club – Students worked together while learning about “differentials” during RC Cars club this week.

ASP 10-21

Flag Football– Students enjoyed the nice weather while scoring touchdowns in Flag Football this week.

Flag Football


Several students completed their Sillbird robots this week in STEM club.


After School Schedule Next Week

ASP Schedule 10-21

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
  • Join us for our next meeting at Holmes on Wednesday, October 26th, at 6:30!

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

Parent Coffee - 11/3 

Are you interested to learn how to support your child’s academic achievement and emotional wellbeing by connecting with the right staff for attendance, academic progress, grades, mental health, behavioral concerns, advanced academic program, etc.?

We invite you to join our first parent coffee of the year on November 3rd. 

Parent Coffee

Parent Coffee-Spanish

Parent Coffee_Amharic


Training Futures

Testing Information & Quarter 1 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   

Testing Windows

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Monday, 10/24 - NO SCHOOL / Diwali
  • Wednesday, 10/26 - PTA Meeting, 6:30 PM, Holmes Library & Zoom
  • Friday, 10/28 - 1st Quarter Ends / 2-Hour Early Release
  • Monday, 10/31 - NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday
  • Monday, 11/8 - NO SCHOOL / Election Day
  • Friday, 11/11 - NO SCHOOL / School Planning 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

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