Principal's Note - Oct 28, 2018

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 29, 2018

Good morning, Holmes Families!  Here we are already at the last week of the quarter!  Time truly flies.  The last day of the quarter is this Friday, November 2nd, and will be a full day of school, no early release.  Then students have a nice long weekend with 2 student holidays on Monday and Tuesday, November 5th and 6th.  

There have been so many great things happening at Holmes these past couple of weeks...scroll through today's newsletter to see how our #HolmesHawksSoar!

And...BIG NEWS!!!  Make sure you tune into the Redskins game next Sunday, November 4th, at 1:00 when our Holmes students will be on the field being recognized for their participation in the Redskins Aspire program!

Morning Drop-off

As a reminder, we ask all parents to please not drop off students at school before 7:10 am.  As the weather gets colder and the mornings get darker (daylight savings time is next weekend), we want to ensure our students are safe and supervised, particularly at the front of the building.  Our staff is not required to be at school until 7:10, which is when our main office opens as well.  Please help us to keep our kiddos safe by either sending them on the bus or not dropping them off until 7:10.  Thank you so much for your help!

Outstanding Employee Nominations

It is time to submit nominations for outstanding employees at Holmes Middle School.  You can find details about the criteria for each award (teacher, new teacher, leader, support, hourly employee) on the nomination form or here.  This is a great way to recognize our hardworking staff members!  The deadline for nominations is Friday, November 2.  If you have any questions, please send them to Karli Eddinger, HMS Awards Liaison, at  

October 31st at Holmes

We love fun festivities at Holmes Middle School, but we love a focus on learning even more!  We invite students and staff to wear something that is Halloween/Fall-themed or that represents their favorite book, movie, or TV character on Wednesday, October 31st.  We ask that students and staff keep it simple: Whatever they wear must be in compliance with the dress code, and they must be able to fully participate in instructional activities.  

Save the Dates!

Save these upcoming dates for November, when we will share tips for supporting your students with organization, study skills, and SIS ParentVue!

  • Wednesday, November 7th, 8-9 am - Parent Coffee
  • Wednesday, November 7th, 6:30-8 pm - PTA Meeting

These 2 opportunities will take place right before 1st quarter report cards arrive home and before our Mini-Conference Night on Thursday, November 15th, when parents will have the opportunity to meet with their students' teachers.  Mini-conferences will start at 6:30 pm, with a few early bird sessions being offered at 5 and 5:30 that evening.  

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

  • This Week's Schedule
  • After School Program Information and Schedule
  • Voices of Now
  • Music Department Fundraiser Pie Delivery
  • Library Updates
  • Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week
  • Virginia Tech Maker Festival
  • Important Dates
  • How to Stay in Touch


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS


AVID College Visits

#HolmesHawksSoar by learning about their future college and career options.  Check out our AVID students visiting Marymount University for a lacrosse game and the University of Maryland for a football game!




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: 10/29-11/2


This week:

Mon., 10/29 = Blue Day 

Tues., 10/30= White Day w/ER 3 & 4

Wed., 10/31 = Blue Day

Thurs., 11/1 = White Day w/ER 5 & 6

Fri., 11/2 = Blue Day

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

After School Program - Week of 10/29

For any specific questions related to the After School Program or to share new ideas for after school activities, please feel free to contact Mr. German Cabezas, our After School Program Specialist.  


Voices of Now

What is Voices of Now?

Voices of Now is an acting, writing, devising program for young artists provided by Arena Stage, D.C.’s oldest, largest producing theater. Voices of Now artists learn the tools of theater performance, such as movement, vocal expression and collaboration, by taking a series of workshops in the fall. Participants who attend a full series are eligible to audition for the exclusive Voices of Now Holmes Middle School Ensemble, which meets from January through May at Holmes. Ensemble members work with professional actors and directors to study acting and to write an original play performed at Arena Stage. (2017-18 student participants pictured below.)

When is Voices of Now?

Each Voices of Now workshop series are from 2:30-4:30 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Students can choose from 1 remaining series:

Students must be able to attend all four dates of a series to sign up.

The AUDITION will take place on Wednesday, December 12 from 2:30-4:30 pm.  The program is limited to 20 students per series. Turn in your application ASAP!  No experience is required. Spaces are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

How Do I Sign Up for Voices of Now?

Pick up an application from Mrs. Murphy in I-12, and then return it to her as soon as its complete

#HolmesHawksSoar by Mixing it Up!


This past week for Spirit Week, our students and staff stood against bullying by wearing orange and were superheroes during lunches by Mixing It Up and making everyone feel welcome and appreciated in the cafeteria!


Music Department Fundraiser Pie Delivery

The music department pie fundraiser began October 1 and ran through October 15th. The music department sells pies to raise money for a number of things, including the purchase of instruments, funding of a summer study scholarship, and to pay for the busses which take students on our spring trips.  

Pie delivery day is Monday, November 5th from 2:30 - 6:30 pm. All pie orders MUST be picked up on this day, during these hours. This is a teacher work day. We will have thousands of pies delivered that day, and will not have space to store pies in a school freezer. If you will not be able to pick up your pies on that day, please make arrangements with someone else to pick up your pies for you.  We will also need parent and student volunteers on this day to organize the delivery.  Parents can sign up at  A student volunteer sign-up sheet will be placed in I-hall two weeks prior to delivery day.  

We are also in need of donations of cases of name brand soda or water, individual bags of snacks (chips, Cheetos, fritos, etc) and candy to sell at our concessions tables for concerts.  If you are willing to donate an item, you can send it with your child, or leave it in the front office labeled for the music department. 

Library Updates


Volunteers Needed!

Our library is actively recruiting parent volunteers. If you’re interested in signing up to help, the hours and time commitment are completely flexible. We can use help shelving books, straightening the books on the shelves and various small tasks. As little as an hour a week would be welcomed! If you are interested please sign up on the link below or if you have questions please contact our Librarian, Corina Haywood –  or by phone 703-658-5938. 

Sign up to volunteer HERE!  

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week

Our focus on Digital Citizenship continues!  Click HERE to explore resources around privacy and parental settings for devices, apps, websites, and games.


#HolmesHawksSoar at Lunch Bunch!

I was so excited to have a record number of students sign up for lunch bunch this past Friday to let me know what's going well and what could improve here at Holmes!  The next lunch bunch is in 3 weeks on Friday, November 16th.  Students can sign up HERE


Virginia Tech Maker Festival

The Virginia Tech Maker Festival is entering it’s 4th Year. For 3 years, the Virginia Tech Maker Festival has hosted its STEM festival at the Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, VA. The goal of this event is to increase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) learning in all ages, nationalities, genders, and socio-economic backgrounds.

Virginia Tech is one of the leading research universities in the country specializing in Engineering, Science, and Math. Our very own students and Professors discovered the lead in the water in Flint, Michigan. With our partnerships, and laboratories, Virginia Tech wants to expand the STEM growth in the National Capital Region with the Virginia Tech Maker Festival. We hope to inspire future generations of Science, technology, engineering and math students, researchers, professors, leaders, and beyond.

We will have robots, experiments, and interactive games. Come join the fun, & Register Now!

We are also in need of volunteers. This is a great way for high school students to earn service hours, support the local community, and learn more about STEM. As a thank you, lunch will be provided and you will receive a Certificate of Appreciation.

If you are interested, please complete the volunteer application here and you will be signed up.

Thank you and we hope you will join us on Nov. 3rd!

VA Tech Maker Festival

Important Dates

  • Friday, 11/2 - Last day of 1st quarter
  • Monday, 11/5 & Tuesday, 11/6 - STUDENT HOLIDAYS / TEACHER WORKDAYS
  • Monday, 11/5, 2:30-6:30 pm - Music Department Fundraiser Pie Delivery
  • Wednesday, 11/7, 8-9 am - Parent Coffee (Topic: Organization, Study Skills, & ParentVue)
  • Wednesday, 11/7, 6:30-8 pm - PTA Meeting (Topic: Organization, Study Skills, & ParentVue)
  • Thursday, 11/15, 6:30-8:30 pm - Mini-Conference Night (Early Bird Sessions to start at 5/5:30)

How to Stay In-Touch

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: