Principal's Note - Oct 7, 2019

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 09, 2019

Good afternoon & Happy Sunday, Holmes Families!

It is hard to believe that we have just completed week 6 of the school year and have just 4 weeks to go until the end of 1st quarter (Friday, November 1st)!  This year, we are trying something new and giving our students additional opportunities to celebrate the end of each quarter with activity periods that will be at the end of the day on the last day of the quarter.  On November 1st, we will modify the schedule for the day so that students still see all of their classes, and then we will have a 2-hour activity period when students in good standing (good attendance and behavior as defined by consistent on-time arrival to class and no discipline referrals) will be able to choose the activities they participate in (open gym, watching a movie, and other fun activities).  I will announce this to students tomorrow.  

Our Family Engagement calendar is continuing to be updated!  I am so excited for our plan for the year.  Again, I want to apologize for the rescheduling and cancelling that we have had to do.  I caught a bug this past week and was out on October 2nd, so we will have our rescheduled parent coffee on Wednesday, October 9th, from 9-10 am.  Our theme this month is about Using Tech Tools to Support Your Student's Success.  If you can't make it on Wednesday, that's okay!  Since our event at the Lincolnia Community Resource Center didn't work out for this month, I'll be visiting the Weyanoke Elementary School Family Market on Thurs., October 10th, from 5-7 pm.  I'll be in the teacher's lounge near the market, so please feel free to come by if you would like to learn about some tech tools and talk more about how things are going for your student at Holmes!  We will also have the same topic as our focus on October's PTA meeting on Thursday, October 24th, at 5:30 pm (right before the Fall Preview Concert).   I hope to see you at one of the events this month!

This Thursday, October 9, 2019 at 7 pm, there will also be a very special event this week at North Springfield Elementary School for families in the Annandale Pyramid to attend their PTA meeting and meet with our Region 2 Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Zuluaga, our Mason District School Board Representative, Sandy Evans, and our Braddock District School Board Representative, Megan McLaughlin.  See more details in the flyer below.


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

  • This Week's Schedule
  • After-School Program
  • Lunch Bunch
  • Picture Day
  • Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed on October 14 for Columbus Day Holiday
  • SCA Spirit Week (10/ 21 – 10/25)
  • End of 1st Quarter and SCA Activity Day - 11/1
  • 2019 Biocode Competition
  • 2020 Yearbook for Sale
  • Library & Makerspace Updates
  • Online Free & Reduced-Price Application Information
  • ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety
  • Get Technology Products at a Discount with the Technology@Home Program
  • 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: 10/7 - 10/11


This week:

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

Tues., 10/8 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 3, 4th, 6th)

Wed., 10/9 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th)

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

Fri., 10/4 = Blue Day (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th)

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

After-School Program - Week of 10/7

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 Oct 7 page 1asp oct 7 page 2



Almost 30 students joined me for Lunch Bunch on Friday!  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, October 11th. 

Picture Day

Picture Day will be held on Monday, October 7 and Tuesday, October 8. Pictures may be order online at using Picture Day ID: HJ229047Q0. Let’s make it a day to remember!

picture day

Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed on October 14 for Columbus Day Holiday

As a reminder, schools will be closed for students on Monday, October 14, for the Columbus Day holiday. October 14 is a school planning day for staff members. SACC will be open. Classes will resume on Tuesday, October 15. See the complete 2019-20 school year calendar

SCA Spirit Week (10/ 21 – 10/25)

SCA Spirit Week (October 21 – October 25)

Digital Citizenship Week themes and SCA Spirit Week days will be aligned with one another

  • Monday, October 21: Culture Day Wear something that represents your culture, background, heritage, hometown. Digital Citizenship Theme: Reflect on Tech Use
  • Tuesday, October 22: Athletic Wear Day Athletic wear, sportswear, favorite team, etc. Digital Citizenship Theme: Healthy Tech Habits
  • Wednesday, October 23: Wacky Wednesday Wear something wacky, silly, and creative!! Digital Citizenship Theme: Use Tech to Create
  • Thursday, October 24: Student-Teacher Swap Dress like a teacher, dress to impress. Digital Citizenship Theme: Responsible Media
  • Friday, October 25: Comfy Clothes Day Kick back, relax, wear something comfy. Digital Citizenship Theme: Take a Break from Screens

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…

Library & Makerspace Updates

As we mentioned last week our MakerSpace team is hard at work planning for a MakerSpace in our Holmes Library. A MakerSpace gives students the opportunity to learn, grow and gain valuable skills. Educational research is finding that students engaged in these types of activities are acquiring skills that not only make them better students but more prepared for the world in and out of school.

We had our first successful MakerMonday afterschool on Monday, September 24th. Students followed diagrams, had to take measurements and created a variety of choice projects like this picture frame, all using simple washi tape. Future events include a duct tape project, block coding and making interactive greeting cards using circuits.

“Schools are turning to makerspaces to facilitate activities that inspire confidence in young learners, and help them acquire entrepreneurial skills that are immediately applicable in the real world” (NMC Horizon Report: 2015 K-12 Edition, p. 39).

If you’d like to help out with this initiative please reach out to Ms Haywood, we are seeking donations of time and/or resources. If you’d like to make a one click donation check out our new Amazon Wish List:

All purchases are shipped directly to the school making it easier than ever to support us. Please contact Ms. Haywood if you have any questions or would like to volunteer your time

Makerspace Donations

Access ebooks, Databases and Encyclopedias from Your Computer

Did you know you and your student can access ebooks, databases and encyclopedias from your computer? All of these resources can easily be found at and the required passwords on the attached sheet. Please feel free to reach out to Ms Haywood if you have any questions. 

databases and ebooks

2019 BioCode Competition

Are you interested in biology or computer science? Do you enjoy competing with students? TJHSST Bioinformatics Society is hosting its 4th annual BioCode competition, with over $1000 in prizes. To register, please sign up at this link.

2020 Yearbook for Sale

2020 Yearbook

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.


ANGST: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety


Get Technology Products at a Discount with the Technology@Home Program

The Technology@Home program offers FCPS students and staff an opportunity to purchase technology products from vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard at discounted rates. More information is available online.  

Important Dates

  • Mon., 10/7 & Tues., 10/8 - PICTURE DAY (through PE classes)
  • Wed., 10/9, 9-10 am - Parent Coffee (Rescheduled from 10/2)- Theme: Using Tech Tools to Support Your Student
  • Wed., 10/9, 7 pm - North Springfield Elementary PTA meeting with Dr. Zuluaga, Sandy Evans, & Megan McLaughlin
  • Thurs., 10/10, 5-7 pm - Principal Meet & Greet @ Weyanoke Elementary School Family Market
  • Mon., 10/14, - School Planning Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
  • Mon., 10/21 - Fri., 10/25 - SCA Spirit Week
  • Thur., 10/24 - 5:30-6:30 pm - PTA Meeting (Prior to Fall Preview Concert) - Theme: Using Tech Tools to Support Your Student
  • Thurs., 10/24 - 7:00 pm - Fall Preview Concert
  • Fri., 11/1 - End of 1st Quarter
  • Fri., 11/1 - SCA Activity Day (modified schedule)
  • Mon., 11/4 -School Planning Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
  • Tues., 11/5 - Election Day - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS
  • Tue., 11/5, 8-10 am - Mini-Conference Morning with Teachers
  • Thurs., 11/7, 4:30-6 pm - Principal Meet & Greet @ Bren Mar Park Elementary School Family Market
  • 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: