Principal's Note - Sept 29, 2019

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 02, 2019

Good morning & Happy Sunday, Holmes Families!

It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through the first quarter of the school year!  Thank you to our team of parents and staff who volunteered this past Tuesday for our Welcoming Atmosphere Walkthrough (WAWT).  A WAWT is an opportunity for a team to give us feedback about our communication with the school community, the physical environment of the school grounds, and to help us ensure that our school is welcoming and safe.  In addition to the positive feedback we received, we also received some great suggestions for improvements.  I am excited about some of the changes we can make that will continue to build the partnership between Holmes and our families (like providing these weekly updates in Spanish as well...which will start on Sunday, October 6th!) 

This week, we have our next parent coffee on Wednesday, October 2nd, 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!  I'll be visiting the Lincolnia Community Resource Center this Thursday, October 3rd (rescheduled from last week), from 4:30-6:30 pm if you would like to 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.

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

  • This Week's Schedule
  • After-School Program
  • Lunch Bunch
  • 2020 Yearbook for Sale
  • Library & Makerspace Updates
  • Online Free & Reduced-Price Application Information
  • Save the Date: Mental Health and Wellness Conference to Be Held October 5 at Fairfax High School
  • Taste of Annandale - October 5th
  • 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: 9/30 - 10/4


This week:

Mon., 9/30 =  White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 7, 4th, 6th)

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

Wed., 10/2 = White Day (2nd, SOAR, ER 1, 4th, 6th)

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

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

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

After-School Program - Week of 9/30

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 week of 9/30/19



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. 

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 Donationsmakermond1makermond2

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

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.


Save the Date: Mental Health and Wellness Conference to Be Held October 5 at Fairfax High School

The sixth annual FCPS Mental Health and Wellness Conference will be held on Saturday, October 5, at Fairfax High School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m, sponsored by Inova. The morning session will focus on social and emotional learning, with a keynote address given by Dr. Marc Brackett, founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.

A special session for high school students, the Our Minds Matter Teen Summit, will take place in the morning as well. Attendees are encouraged to stay for Inova’s Act on Addiction Summit, which will be held from 12:30 to 4 p.m. 

More information is available at the Mental Health and Wellness Conference website.   

Taste of Annandale - October 5th

Taste of Annandale

The Taste of Annandale is a community festival set for Oct. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tom Davis Drive in the heart of Annandale, Va.

Our Diamond-level sponsors are the Vistas of Annandale, an amenity-filled, conveniently located community of garden apartments and townhomes, and Lambros Goldsmith, an Annandale institution offering fine jewelry.

Plans for the 5th annual event include a 5K race, live music and dance, restaurants, food trucks, expanded beer garden, children’s entertainment and games hosted by the ACCA Child Development Center, a chili cook-off, best-dressed pet contest, law enforcement display, and vendors.

The Taste of Annandale is all about bringing the community together and shining a spotlight on the businesses and organizations that make their home here.

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., 9/30 Tue., 10/1 - Finance Park Field Trips - (Civic Classes)
  • Wed., 10/2, 9-10 am - Parent Coffee - Theme: Using Tech Tools to Support Your Student
  • Thurs., 10/3, 4:30-6:30 pm - Principal visit to Lincolnia Community Resource Center
  • Sat., 10/5, 8 am - 4 pm - FCPS Mental Health & Wellness Conference, Fairfax HS
  • Mon., 10/6 & Tues., 10/7 - PICTURE DAY (through PE classes)
  • Mon., 10/14, - School Planning Day - NO SCHOOL
  • 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
  • Mon., 11/4 -School Planning Day - NO SCHOOL
  • Tue., 11/5, 8-10 am - Mini-Conference Morning with Teachers
  • 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: