Principal's Note - Sept 23, 2018

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
September 24, 2018

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!  

It is hard to believe that we are heading into week 5 already!  (It's also hard to believe that the Redskins just beat the Packers...Go Skins!)  So far, all students have gone through a library orientation, have taken a Reading Inventory, and probably getting ready to take some of their first major assessments in classes.  Our administrative team has been visiting classrooms since the first week of school, and we are so impressed with our teachers and the high level of student engagement, collaboration, and discussion during instruction!  


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.

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

  • Library Updates 
  • This Week's Schedule
  • After School This Week
  • Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week
  • Holmes MS PTA Information
  • World Languages Credit Exam
  • Teen Volunteer Information Nights
  • George Mason Regional Library Book Sale
  • TJHSST to Host Information Sessions; Application Deadline is September 28
  • Guidelines on Religious Accommodations for Students
  • Federal Employees: Show some Love to the Foundation for FCPS through the Combined Federal Campaign
  • Plan Now to Attend the FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference on September 29 at Fairfax High School
  • Important Dates
  • How to Stay in Touch


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS


Library Updates

Library Books  

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!  

Seeking a Parent Representative

We are looking for a parent representative to serve on a committee to examine school/library books should any questions or objections arise from a school community member. This committee will not meet on a regular basis, only when needed. If you’re interested please contact our Librarian, Corina Haywood – or by phone 703-658-5938.

This Week's Schedule of Classes: 9/24-9/28


This week:

Mon., 9/24= Blue Day

Tues., 9/25 = White Day w/ ER 3 & 4

Wed., 9/26 = Blue Day

Thurs., 9/27 = White Day w/ ER 5 & 6 

Fri., 9/28 = Blue Day

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

After School Program This Week

Late buses start tomorrow (Monday, 9/24)!  A student's late bus number is different than their regular bus (the stops may be different as well).  We will post each student's late bus assignment in the cafeteria to avoid confusion.  

Each teacher stays after school at least one day a week to provide extra help to students.  We will also send our ASP schedule out for the week on Monday and will announce activities to students at lunches.  For a list of activity offerings, click HERE.  

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.  

Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week



Click HERE for this week's Digital Citizenship tip with Social Media Best Practices for Students!

    Join the PTA!

    Be sure to join the Holmes MS PTA for this school year.  Your membership will go towards mini-grants to support teachers and after school opportunities for students, teacher appreciation, and the 8th grade celebration, just to name a few things.

    Our first PTA's  Dine-Out Spirit Night of the Year is Tuesday, September 25th at the Chipotle in Springfield Plaza!  See details below.

    We hope to see you at the next meeting on Wednesday, October 3rd at 6:30 in the library!  Our topic will be the After School Program!


    World Languages Credit Exam

    Students in Fairfax County Public Schools who are already proficient in a language other than English have the opportunity to take a credit exam to count towards high school credit.  

    The 2018 Credit Exam for World Languages will be administered November 6th, 7th and 8th. Twenty-nine languages will be included:  American Sign Language, Amharic, Arabic, Bengali/Bangla, Chinese/Mandarin, Farsi/Persian, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Pashto, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit/Samskritam, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog/Pilipino, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinia, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

    Registration opens Monday, September 10, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. and closes on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.  Students who are interested in taking an exam should let their counselor know, and the counselor will register him/her.  Late registrations will not be accepted.

    Credit exam information can be accessed HERE

    Teen Volunteer Information Nights

    This fall, Volunteer Fairfax and Fairfax County Public Library are co-hosting three teen volunteer info nights at library branches across Fairfax County. 

    This opportunity gives students a head start on their volunteer opportunities either for clubs or class requirements.  It also allows them to engage in different non-profit organizations and gain a wide range of skills.

    The information night closest to the Holmes MS community is at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, 7584 Leesburg Pike.  The Fair will be held in the library meeting room Monday, October 15th, and will be open to teens and their parents from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.  Teens are being asked to pre-register for the Fair but will be able to register at the door as well.  The fair will end at 8:30 pm and the library will close at 9:00 pm. 

    Teen volunteer nights

    George Mason Regional Library Book Sale

    George Mason Region Library Book Fair

    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

    TJHSST to Host Information Sessions; Application Deadline Is September 28

    TJHSST to Host Information Sessions; Application Deadline Is September 28

    The deadline to complete the online application for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), the governor’s regional school for science and technology, is September 28. Applicants must currently be enrolled in eighth grade, live with a parent or legal guardian who resides full time in, and meets the residency requirements of, a school division that participates in TJHSST. TJHSST is also hosting a series of information sessions at schools in Fairfax County and participating jurisdictions through September 26

    Guidelines on Religious Accommodations for Students

    FCPS makes reasonable accommodations so individuals are able to meet their personal religious obligations. Parents, teachers, and administrators are encouraged to consult the Guidelines for Religious Activities for Students.

    These may be accessed directly from the Calendar of Religious and Cultural Observances on the Calendars menu from the home page of the FCPS website, or by going directly to the Guidelines for Religious Activities.

    If you have questions, call the Office of Equity and Employee Relations at 571-423-3070.

    Federal Employees: Show Some Love to the Foundation for FCPS through the Combined Federal Campaign

    September doesn’t just mean back to school for our students, it also means the start of the fall Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). If you are a federal employee, consider supporting the Foundation for FCPS (CFC #17182) by designating it as your CFC charity. Funds raised through CFC donations help support the Foundation’s initiatives including Kids in Need, which provides basic necessities and school supplies to over 53,000 FCPS students living in poverty; Teacher Grants for work-based learning opportunities in the classroom, or Employee Recognition activities such as the FCPS Honors.

    The campaign runs now through January 11, 2019, and this year’s theme is “Show Some Love.” More information is available online

    Plan Now to Attend the FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference on September 29 at Fairfax High School

    The fifth annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference will be held on Saturday, September 29, at Fairfax High School from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dr. Amy Przeworski, associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Case Western University, will give the keynote presentation, Using Stress to Your Advantage in Achieving Academic Success and Emotional Well Being.

    For the first time, the conference will also include an Our Minds Matter Teen Summit for middle and high school students, sponsored by the Josh Anderson Foundation. 

    Participants in this free conference will be able to choose from a wide variety of breakout sessions, and there will be many resource tables available, representing public and private offices and agencies providing services within our schools and community. 

    More information is available online

    Important Dates

    • Monday, 9/24 - First day for late buses, academic help with teachers, and after school clubs
    • Tuesday, 9/25, 5-9 pm - PTA Fundraiser: Chipotle Dine-out night (Springfield Plaza)
    • Monday, 10/1 & Tues., 10/2 - School Pictures (through PE classes)
    • Wednesday, 10/3, 6:30 pm - PTA Meeting (Topic: After School Program)
    • Thursday, 10/25, 7 pm - Fall Preview Concert
    • Friday, 11/2 - Last day of 1st quarter
    • Monday, 11/5 & Tuesday, 11/6 - STUDENT HOLIDAYS / TEACHER WORKDAYS

    How to Stay In-Touch

    Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: