Principal's Note - Oct 27, 2019

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 28, 2019

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Good afternoon & Happy Sunday, Holmes Families!

I enjoyed seeing our families for our first performing arts event of the year this year - the Fall Preview Concert this past Thursday night, featuring our advanced ensembles in band chorus, and orchestra!  Thank you so much to our students for their hard work to prepare for the wonderful performance, and a special thank you to our teachers - Ms. Bongard, Ms. Eddinger, and Mr. Perez - for their work with the students!

PTA Update - Please join!

Also, a special thank you to our PTA board for our meeting this past week, which focused on Tech Tools to support students (e.g., FCPS 24-7 and SIS).  Our PTA board also approved grants for the following programs: 

  • National Junior Honor Society
  • Attendance Circles with the counselors
  • AVID Field Trip to James Madison University
  • Supplement costs for costumes for the winter musical

Thank you so much for those who have joined the PTA!  Your funds help to support enrichment programs for our students!  If you haven't joined yet, please join today by clicking HERE.  Your membership dues and your participation in upcoming dine-out nights will help us to offer another round of grants in the spring!

Guidelines for Halloween

If your student would like to wear something festive for Halloween this Thursday, they certainly can and must follow these guidelines: 

  • Dress up as movie or book character or wear halloween-themed outfit
  • Keep it simple - no masks and no props, please; students are still expected to participate in all class activities 
  • Outfit must still be aligned with the FCPS dress code and may not include images that are gang-related or represent violence, weapons, alcohol, or drugs

Activity Day this Friday - Parent Volunteers Welcome!

Our first quarterly Activity Day will be this Friday, November 1st, from 12:15-2:15!  This celebration is to honor academic successes of our students, and support positive behavior and morale within our halls. We would love to have your help as a chaperone.  If you are available and willing to help, please sign up on this SignupGenius.

SAVE THE DATE: Mini-Conferences - November 5th, 8-10 am

We hope you can join us on November 5th at our annual mini-conferences, which are in the morning this year.  If Holmes is your polling site, you can come and vote, and then come chat with your students' teachers!  See the flyers below for more details.  


In today's newsletter, scroll down for information about:

  • This Week's Schedule
  • After-School Program
  • Lunch Bunch
  • Weekly Progress Reports
  • Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact AID
  • Youth Survey Parent Notification Letters
  • Holmes 5K Fall Fun Run & Annual Canned Food Drive
  • Holmes MS Annual Food Drive
  • National Junior Honor Society Bake Sale on November 5th
  • Guidelines for Joining NJHS
  • End of 1st Quarter and SCA Activity Day - 11/1
  • Signs of Suicide (SOS) Lessons through 7th Grade History Classes
  • Library MakerMonday
  • 8th Grade Personal Yearbook Ads
  • Online Free & Reduced-Price Application Information
  • Important Dates
  • 2019-20 Family Engagement Events (Updated)
  • How to Stay in Touch

Thanks, everyone, and have a wonderful week!  Please feel free to reach out to me or anyone on my team with any questions you have!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS



FCPS Cares


Do you know a Holmes Middle School staff member who does ordinary things in an extraordinary way or goes beyond what is expected? If so, then click here to submit your story so we can all acknowledge the good work of Holmes faculty and staff members.

This Week's Schedule of Classes: 10/28-11/1


This week:

Mon.,10/28 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th) 

Tues., 10/29 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 3, 4th, 6th)

Wed., 10/30 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th) 

Thurs., 10/31 =  White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 4, 4th, 6th)

Fri., 11/1 = Blue Day Modified Schedule

  • 1st - 7:30-8:20
  • 3rd - 8:25-9:15
  • 7th - 9:20-10:10
  • 5th - 10:15-12:15
  • Activity Period - 12:20-2:15 

 *NOTE: Students can always find the blue-white calendar in their agendas or on the school website HERE

After-School Program - Week of 10/28

During the school year, a weekly schedule of activities that will be held during the After School Program will be posted.  

  • Late buses are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Students must be picked up by parents/guardians if they stay on Tuesdays or Fridays.  
  • NOTE: There are only 6 late buses, so students' late bus assignments and stops are usually different than their regular bus. 

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 week of Oct 28



Each month, I invite students to join me for lunch to talk about whatever is on their minds, and I always get lots of great feedback and ideas for the After School Program.  It is always a lot of fun!  Students can sign up HERE to express their interest, and the sign-up is also available on their grade-level Google Classroom. The next one is on Friday, November 15th. 


All parents/guardians of Middle School and High School students who have registered for a SIS ParentVUE Account and have a primary email address recorded in SIS ParentVUE can receive Weekly Progress Reports via email. 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 first 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 confirmed, parents/guardians are able to activate and select their preferences for receiving these reports within the SIS ParentVUE “My Account” tab.

Weekly progress reports for all of your Middle and High School students will be included in one email. FCPS Elementary Schools do not use the SIS grade book and therefore are not included in these reports. 

For questions about a specific progress report or grade you can login into your SIS ParentVUE Account to find detailed grade book information. Additionally, your student’s teacher is always the best resource to answer any grade book questions that you may have.Weekly Progress Report Parent Quick Reference Guide

Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact AID

Impact Aid

Youth Survey Parent Notification Letters

Below is the text of the letter from the Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent about the annual Fairfax County Youth Survey.  6th and 8th grade students will receive a copy of this letter to bring, and parents have the opportunity to opt their child out of the survey. 

For access to the links in the letter:

Youth Survey EnglishYS S 1

National Junior Honor Society Bake Sale on November 5th

Bake Sale

The National Junior Honor Society is active this year at Holmes!

NJHS members will be holding a bake sale during elections and mini-conferences on November 5. Please bring small bills and support your NJHS members!

Poster by NJHS candidate Aja

Guidelines for Joining NJHS

7th and 8th Grade students interested in joining NJHS this year, please see complete details on the school website here.  Please also note the following dates:

  • End of November: GPA reports distributed from FCPS
  • December 17: information session for students during ER4
  • December 19 and January 6: application help sessions for students after school

January 8, 2020: online applications due by 4:00 pm (10 service hours verified through x2vol due at this time)

Holmes 5K Fall Fun Run & Annual Canned Food Drive

Fun Run EngFun Run Spanish

Holmes MS Annual Food Drive

The Holmes MS Annual Food Drive has officially started!  Students can turn in non-perishable food items (rice, flour, pasta, peanut butter, canned foods, etc) to their SOAR teacher from now until November 22nd.  If students donate three food items and complete a reflection, they can receive one hour of service learning.

food drive

End of 1st Quarter and SCA Activity Day - 11/1

 End of Quarter: Activity Day

  • The purpose of this EOQ: Activity Day is to reward students for their good academics and good behavior
  • Activities currently include: Field Games (basketball, football, soccer, kickball, etc.), Movie, Gym
  • Logistics of production is currently in development
  • More information to come…

Chaperones Needed

We are looking for chaperones to support our End of the Quarter – Activity Day Celebration.  This celebration is to honor academic successes of our students, and support positive behavior and morale within our halls. If there are any additional questions about EoQ- Activity Day, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Cho or Ms. Aiello with any concerns. Link to Signup Genius

Signs of Suicide (SOS) Lessons through 7th Grade History - Nov. 11th-14th

Holmes Middle School Student Services along with Clinicians will be presenting the SOS program to 7th grade students through History classes during the week of November 11.  As you may know, anxiety and depression are all too common in our youth today.  Educating them about the signs of depression, and on steps they can take for themselves and/or their friends to get help is critical to healthy development and overall wellness. The SOS Program includes both a video and a Wellness Screening.  The psychoeducational video is child-sensitive, with language and images that are developmentally appropriate.  The characters in the video portray what a child might go thorough when suffering from depression, how it differs from sadness, and how they know when to seek help.  It also coaches students on when to seek help if a friend is exhibiting these behaviors using the acronym ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell).  The Wellness Screening used for FCPS in a short survey in which students will check off “yes” or “no” to questions about themselves.

Parents/guardians will have various opportunities to view the “Time to ACT” video and ask questions about the wellness screening: During Mini Conferences on November 5 at the following times: 8am, 9am, and 10am.

We also encourage you to visit for information on warning signs and risk factors for youth suicide, to access useful resources, and to learn more about the key message all students will learn: ACT (Acknowledge, Care, Tell). You can preview the video your student will watch and take an anonymous online mental health screening on behalf of your child. 

If you have any questions about the screening, please feel free to contact your child’s counselor. If you do not wish for your child to participate in the SOS Program, please indicate this on the permission slip (which will be mailed home the week of October 15th) and return it to Mrs. Girón, Director of Student Services no later than Wednesday, November 6, 2019. 

Informacion en Espanol:


Library MakerMonday

Halloween card

The library's MakerMonday on Monday afterschool is going to be spooktacular! Join us as we make spooky (or not) light up Halloween or Seasonal Fall cards. The picture included here is similar to what we'll make as students learn about conductivity. 

No need to sign up, student just report to the cafeteria and Ms Haywood will make an announcement that MakerMonday is beginning. 

Read more about the process here and follow be sure to follow us @HolmesMS_FCPS to see pictures of our finished projects. 

Making Connections With Conductive Tape -

8th Grade Personal Yearbook Ads

Introducing... 8th Grade Personal Ads

The yearbook staff wants to offer you the opportunity to honor your eighth grader as they move up to

high school. Surprise your student with a personal ad in the yearbook. These special messages can

be from parents, grandparents, siblings or even pets. You may purchase more than one ad; however,

please submit a separate form for each ad. Each ad will be the size shown below. Ads cost $15 each and is due Friday, February 28, 2020.

8th grade yearbook personal ads

Online Free and Reduced-Price Application Information

Free and reduced-price meal applications may be completed online or by submitting a handwritten, paper application for the 2019-2020 school year.  Electronic meal applications are quick, easy, and available in the following languages:  English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, French, and Vietnamese. 

Both the online application and paper application include a designated section with a consent to share information for potential waiver of fees for other programs. This allows parents/guardians to complete the free and reduced-price meal application and provide consent to share information in the same document.

Paper applications must be the original red print forms, which are available at school offices, school cafeterias, and other FCPS buildings.  Copied application forms cannot be accepted.

For more information visit the Free and Reduced-Price Meals webpage.


Important Dates

  • Thurs., 10/31 - 7th Grade Science Water Quality Field Trip (selected students)
  • Fri., 11/1 - End of 1st Quarter
  • Fri., 11/1 - Chorus Field Trip
  • Fri., 11/1 - SCA Activity Day (modified schedule)
  • Mon., 11/4 -School Planning Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
  • Tue., 11/5 - Election Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
  • Tue., 11/5, 8-10 am - Mini-Conference Morning with Teachers
  • Tue., 11/5, NJHS Bake Sale (during elections and mini-conferences)
  • Thurs., 11/7, 4:30-6 pm - Principal Meet & Greet @ Bren Mar Park Elementary School Family Market
  • Fri., 11/8-Fri., 11/15 - Administration of Fairfax County Youth Survey for 6th & 8th graders 
  • Mon., 11/11-Thur., 11/14 - Signs of Suicide lessons through 7th grade History classes
  • Mon., 11/18-Wed., 11/20 - 5-year International Baccalaureate Re-evaluation Visit (Annandale HS, Holmes MS, Poe MS)
  • Fri., 11/22, SOAR Time - Quarter 1 Honor Roll Celebration (Only Staff and Students Attend)
  • Wed., 11/27 - Fri., 11/29 - Thanksgiving Day Holiday - NO SCHOOL
  • Wed., 12/4 - 9-10 am - Parent Coffee  - Theme: Student Mental Wellness and Resiliency
  • Mon., 12/23 - Fri., 1/3 - Winter Vacation - NO SCHOOL

2019-20 Family Engagement Events


How to Stay In-Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: