Principal's Note - Sept 30, 2018

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 01, 2018

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!  

What a beautiful weekend!  I hope that you and your loved ones had an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend.  My 4-year-old daughter, Jamie, and I had the chance to go to the Fall for Fairfax KidsFest at the Fairfax County Government Center and had a blast!  It is so important to balance the work with fun!  

It looks like the weather is going to stay beautiful throughout the week for our 7th Grade Science Field Trips to Hidden Oaks Nature Center.  Each 7th grader in Fairfax County Public Schools participates in a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) every year.  Our amazing Science 7 team of teachers provided students with a preview of the content through an interactive lesson of stations about the watershed right on school grounds this past week to prepare students for the trip! 

There is much more information and updates below.  We hope to see you all at our 2nd PTA meeting of the year this Wednesday evening, October 3rd, at 6:30 pm in the library.  Our topic of focus will be the After School Program.  For those who can't make it to the library, we will also have a parent coffee that morning at 8:00 am featuring the same topic!  ALL PARENTS & GUARDIANS are welcome!

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

  • This Week's Schedule
  • After School Program Information and Schedule
  • Voices of Now
  • School Picture Day - October 1st & 2nd
  • Celebrate Scientists at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology
  • Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed for Students on Columbus Day, Monday, October 8
  • Library Updates
  • Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week
  • Holmes MS PTA Information - Join the PTA and Box Tops
  • Bus Notes - Students Going Home with a Friend and Bus Delay Notification System
  • FCPS Students to Participate in International Walk to School Day on October 10
  • World Languages Credit Exam
  • Virginia Tech Maker Festival
  • Moving On To Life in the Community: A Resource Fair for Students with Disabilities
  • Family and Community Engagement Conference
  • Important Dates
  • How to Stay in Touch


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS



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: 10/1-10/5


This week:

Mon., 10/1= White Day w/ ER 7 & 8

Tues., 10/2 = Blue Day

Wed., 10/3 = White Day w/ ER 1 & 2

Thurs., 10/4 = Blue Day  

Fri., 10/5 = White Day w/ ER 3 & 4

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

After School Program - Week of 10/1

The first day of late buses was Monday, 9/24.  A student's late bus number is different than their regular bus (the stops may be different as well).  We have posted 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.  

ASP 10-1-18

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.

Choose from three series:

Series 1: October 3, 4, 10 & 11

Series 2: October 17, 18, 24 & 25

Series 3: November 7, 8, 14 & 15

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!


School Picture Day - Monday, Oct.1 & Tuesday, Oct. 2

Picture Day  

Picture Day will be held on Monday, October 1st  and Tuesday, October 2nd. Students will have their portrait taken through their PE classes.  Picture Day flyers were distributed during 7th period classes on Friday, September 28th. 

You can order online before Picture Day with the Holmes Middle School Picture Day ID at  The Picture Day ID is HJ228049Q0.

Celebrate Scientists at TJ - October 5 from 6:00-8:00pm

Thomas Jefferson High SChool for Science and Technology is excited to announce an event to “Celebrate Scientists at TJ”. Students and families are invited to attend the event and participate in fun, educational activities. Students in 2nd - 8th grade are encouraged to register and submit projects.  1. Register on our website by September 30.


Calendar Reminder: Schools Closed for Students on Columbus Day, Monday, October 8

Calendar Reminder  


All schools will be closed for students on Monday, October 8, for the Columbus Day Holiday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, October 9. See the complete 2018-19 school year calendar

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 - UPDATE TIP???



Click HERE for this week's Digital Citizenship tip about how we protect students' digital privacy in FCPS!

    PTA Information

    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.

    Thank you for helping our PTA to raise over $400 for the year at last week's Family Dine-Out Night at Chipotle!!

    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!

    Box Tops

    Its almost time to turn in our Box Tops! Bring in Box Tops by filling up a submission sheet (found here --> or by bundling Box Tops in a sandwhich bag. Box Tops can be turned into the front office! You can find BoxTops on participating products in your grocery store, as well as by downloading the Box Tops app on your phone. Help our school earn money to support our teachers and students! Turn in Box Tops by October 26th.

    For questions or to volunteer for this program, please contact our Box Tops Coordinator by visiting the PTA website (

    Bus Notes


    Students Going Home with a Friend

    When students are going home with a friend on the bus, a hand-written note, with a parent’s signature, is required from both parents of the students making the request. A temporary bus pass will not be issued without the note from both parents or guardians. These policies are in place for your child’s safety, and is required by the School Transportation Department of Fairfax County Public Schools.

    Bus Delay Notification System

    Stay up-to-date on school bus arrivals with FCPS' bus delay notification system. This system provides parents with timely notification of late bus route information. Access it directly online. Morning bus route information will be available until noon. The afternoon bus route information will be available from 1 to 5:30 p.m.  

    E-Notify (BlackboardConnect) email messages will also be sent to announce bus delays.

    Need assistance or have questions? Visit the FCPS Transportation page for more information.

    FCPS Students to Participate in International Walk to School Day on October 10

    For the seventh consecutive year, students in Fairfax County Public Schools will join together to participate in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 10. The day is celebrated as a way to promote physical activity while reducing traffic congestion and pollution near schools.

    All students are encouraged to walk or bike to school where safe to do so or walk to their bus stops on October 10. Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school and to work with their schools, PTAs, or PTOs to gather in groups for the event. Schools that are launching a schoolwide effort to participate can register online

    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

    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

    Moving On To Life in the Community: A Resource Fair for Students with Disabilities

    All Ages Welcome - Wednesday, October 17 – Lake Braddock Secondary Rod – Entrance 14 or 15 – from 6:30pm-8:45pm. This is a free resource fair for students with disabilities and their parents. Learn about vocational, residential, leisure, recreational, independent living and advocacy options. This Resource Fair is for all individuals requiring ongoing employment and community support services after graduation. If you have questions or need to register by phone, please contact the FCPS Parent Resource Center: 703-204-3941. Otherwise, register here

    Family and Community Engagement Conference

    The Fairfax County Council PTA invites you to FACEing the Future Together, an event to welcome and encourage all families throughout Fairfax County to become active participants in their school community. 

    Saturday, October 20, 2018

    8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

    6560 Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22312

    Let's FACE the Future Together!

    Registration: Early Bird $8.00

    $10.00 after October 1st

    (Includes continental breakfast, lunch and snacks)

    Scholarships are available for the conference and can be requested on the registration form. 

    Click on REGISTER NOW or go to

    Interpreters will be available 

    Keynote speaker: 

    Nina Thomas, Coordinator, FCPS Office of Professional Learning and Cultural Responsiveness

    Target Audience: 

    Families, guardians and caretakers, PTA officers, PTA members, educators, volunteers, and community organizations

    Workshop Topics Include:

    Engaging Military Families - Male Engagement - Effective Two-Way Communication - Building PTAs through Cultural Proficiency - Special Education Updates - Parent Liaison and Community Outreach - Mental Health and Stress Management - Advocating for Children and Families - Title I Schools - Take Your Family to School Week

    Family engagement increases student success! 


    Important Dates

    • Monday, 10/1 & Tues., 10/2 - School Pictures (through PE classes)
    • Tuesday, 10/2 - Friday, 10/5 - 7th Grade Science Field Trips
    • Wednesday, 10/3, 8:00 am - Parent Coffee (Topic: After School Program)
    • Wednesday, 10/3, 6:30 pm - PTA Meeting (Topic: After School Program)
    • Thursday, 10/25, 7 pm - Fall Preview Concert
    • Friday, 10/26 - Box Tops Due
    • 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: