Principal's Note - Sept 9, 2018

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
September 11, 2018

Good evening, Holmes Families!  

A smooth 2nd week of school is in the books!  Students spent 2 ER-8 lessons this week focused on the Student Rights & Responsibilities, and students who completed all the forms received their lockers on Friday.  We will continue to issue lockers to students as they complete their forms.  Please remind your students about 2 important things regarding locker usage:

  • They should not share their locker or locker combination with any other student for any reason
  • They should be strategic throughout the day about when they visit their lockers in order to ensure they arrive to class on time.  They may find that they cannot visit their lockers between each class. 

In addition, this week, we conducted our 2nd fire drill and our 1st lockdown drill of the year.  All FCPS schools are required to conduct: 

  • 1 fire drill a week in the first 4 weeks, and then once a month after that
  • 2 lockdown drills in the first 20 days of school, and then 2 more throughout the year after that
  • 2 bus evacuation drills, one within the first month of school, and one in the second semester.  

A tornado drill will be conducted as well in the Spring.  

Security Update

As a follow-up to my email to you last week about the writing in one of the boys' bathrooms containing a threat, we have continued to work with our School Resource Officer to investigate throughout this past week.  We are so thankful to our students and staff who have come forward with helpful information.  

As a support, the FCPS Office of Safety & Security will be conducting a security walkthrough with our administrative team this Tuesday afternoon.  While we review our security procedures and update our crisis management plans annually, this will act as an additional layer of support and preparedness.  I will continue to keep you updated as we get more information.   

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

  • This Week's Schedule
  • Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week
  • My School Bucks
  • Online Free & Reduced Meals Application 
  • 2018-19 Holmes MS PTA Meeting Dates
  • Auditions for Winter Musical
  • Important Info for Music Students & Parents
  • Important Dates
  • How to Stay in Touch


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS


This Week's Schedule of Classes: 9/10-9/14


This week:

Mon., 9/10 = Blue Day

Tues., 9/11 = White Day w/ ER-8 

Wed., 9/12 = Blue Day

Thurs., 9/13 = White Day w/ ER-8

Fri., 9/14 = Blue Day

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


Digital Citizenship Tip of the Week

Click HERE to find out more about how FCPS prepares teachers to support students with Digital Citizenship.  In addition to standard training for all teachers, Holmes is providing professional development this year around the text Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning (Neebe & Roberts, 2015).  Teachers also deliver 4 Digital Citizenship lessons through ER-8 classes throughout the year.  We are committed to developing ourselves to ensure students stay safe and are responsible online in addition to using digital tools to engage in collaboration and learning.  


    Join the PTA!

    Thank you to all who attended the first PTA meeting of the year last week.  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.

    Order Holmes Spiritwear until September 20th HERE!  

    SAVE THE DATE for the PTA's first Dine-Out Spirit Night of the Year on 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!  



    Parents may access the EZ Lunch App to add money to student lunch accounts, see menu options, check ingredients and allergen information, and much more. The official FCPS mobile app is available on the iTunes Store and Google Play at no cost. The app links to to add money to student lunch accounts. Lunch menus may be viewed HERE.  (Note: Fees for certain electives may also be paid through this app.)

    Reminder: Parents/guardians must apply each year to determine eligibility for free or reduced lunch. Paperwork can be provided by the school, and must be sent directly to FCPS' Food & Nutrition Services office.


    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 2018-2019 school year.  Electronic meal applications are quick, easy, and available in the following languages:  English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, French, and Vietnamese. 

    Both the online application and paper application now include a designated section with the consent to share information for other programs. This update allows parents/guardians to complete the free and reduced-price meal application and the 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.

    Auditions for Winter Musical: 9/10, 9/12, & 9/13


    Auditions for Elf The Musical, Jr. are going to be on Monday 9/10 and Wednesday 9/12. A bus will be provided for those students who will audition on Monday who requested a bus.  

    Any other students who wish to audition should sign up in I-Hall, where they can also pick up an information packet. A stage crew sign up page is also in I-Hall. 

    Mrs. Murphy (formerly Ms. Ferrante!) is happy to answer any questions. You can find her in I-12 or by emailing 

    Important Info for Band, Chorus & Orchestra Students


    All music students (band, chorus and orchestra) should plan to attend the Booster parent meeting and uniform sizing on September 11.  Enter through Door #10.  Parents will go to the gym for a brief meeting and students will be measured for their uniforms in I-hall.  Students with last names A-L should attend the 6-7 pm shift and last names M-Z should attend the 7-8 pm shift.  It is important that we get ALL music students measured for uniforms at this time.  If you have any questions, you can contact Karli Eddinger at or Kate Bongard at  

    NOTE for Band students: Luis Perez, our Band teacher, will be on leave for the first couple months of the school year, as he continues to recuperate.  (Visit HERE for updates on his progress!) We were incredibly fortunate to get Ms. Barbara Dobberstein - a retired Band teacher - to substitute for him while he is out.  

    Important Dates

    • Mon., 9/10, Wed., 9/12,  & Thurs., 9/13 - Auditions for Winter Musical After School
    • Tuesday, 9/11 - Music Booster Parent Meeting & Uniform Sizing
    • Monday, 9/17 - First day for Homework Rooms & Hawk Club in After School Program (parent pickup only)
    • Wednesday, 9/19 - 3-Hour Early Release Day (Student dismissal at 11:15 am) - No Homework Room or Hawk Club
    • Thursday, 9/20 - Last day to order Holmes MS SpiritWear
    • 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)
    • Mon., 10/1 & Tues., 10/2 - School Pictures (through PE classes)
    • Wed., 10/3, 6:30 pm - PTA Meeting 

    How to Stay In-Touch

    Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by: