Principal's Note - August 9, 2022
Good evening, Holmes Families!
I hope to see you all this evening at Annandale High School's football game at 7:00 pm! It's pyramid night, so elementary and middle school students will be able to attend free as long as they attend with a paying adult. See the flyer above for details and use the QR code to purchase tickets. If your students will be attending, please communicate that they need to be accompanied by an adult and need to follow the same expectations for behavior that we have here at school.
After School Program
The After School Program and late buses start NEXT WEEK! The program is FREE and all students are able to attend as long as they sign up during lunches in advance. Scroll down in this newsletter to get more details about the schedule, late buses, and expectations.
Picture Day is coming up!
On Monday, September 12th and Tuesday September 13th we will be having our Fall Pictures during P.E. Classes. This is the time for your student to really shine with their brightest smiles! Parents may order school portraits online by using their credit or debit card. Go to www.mylifetouch.com and enter this picture day ID: EVT3NZN9Z. If you wish to pay with a check or cash, order forms will be available at the school on picture day. Ordering portraits online prior to picture day provides you the best value as it allows you to customize your portrait package with a different background for each portrait sheet at no extra charge.
Safety Drills During the School year
Keeping students and staff safe is a priority for all of us. Each school has an emergency preparedness plan to respond to incidents such as fires and tornadoes. Schools are required by state law to practice emergency drills, including lockdown drills, each year. Schools are required to notify parents and guardians at least 24 hours before a school conducts a lockdown drill. However, schools are not required to give the specific date and time of the drill in advance. The first lockdown drill of the school year must take place within the first 20 days of school. We will be holding our first lockdown drill of the year next week. Your child may come home and talk about their experience during the drill. We encourage you to talk with your child about the importance of being prepared for emergencies. Here are some helpful tips for families to use to support their students before and after school lockdown drills.Working together, we create a safe, secure environment for students to learn and grow in our schools. I recommend watching this video about safety and security procedures with your students.
World Language Credit Exam for Another Language Speakers
Does your student speak, read and write in another language? If so, the World Language Exam is for them! Students can earn high school credit for what they already know! World Languages Credit Exam will take place on November 3rd, 9th, and 10th, 2022.
If your student is interested in taking the exam, please have them talk to their counselor and check out the World Language Exam website here! Registration closes on Thursday, October 6th.
The thirty (30) languages that are included are: American Sign Language (ASL), Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin), Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Pashto, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya, Turkish, Twi, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
Testing Information & Quarter 1 Testing Windows
State assessments measure the extent to which students have learned the content and skills reflected in state standards and may also be used to measure growth in learning state standards. The format and timing of state assessments vary by grade level and content area, as noted in the table below. These include:
- Fall and winter Virginia Growth Assessments (VGA) standardized tests in reading and mathematics. More information is available on the VGA webpage (https://www.fcps.edu/node/43932);
- Spring Standards of Learning (SOL) standardized tests in reading, mathematics, and science. More information is available on the SOL assessments webpage (https://www.fcps.edu/node/35021);
- Ongoing local alternative assessments (LAAs) including performance-based assessments (PBAs) completed as part of classroom instruction in science, writing, and social studies; More information is available on the LAA and PBA webpage (https://www.fcps.edu/node/45043).
The Grade Level Tests webpage (https://www.fcps.edu/student-assessment/grade-level-tests) provides information by grade level about the general assessment schedule and reporting method for each required assessment type in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). School staff will contact you with the specific dates your student is scheduled to take the standardized VGA and SOL assessments. If you have questions about state assessments, contact your student’s teacher or Christopher Kamar, our test coordinator, at @email
Here is the latest information around our staffing:
- Special Education/6th Grade History (showing as "Powell" on student schedules): Mr. Damian Phillips started at Holmes yesterday and will be taking over the classes next week!.
- Theater Arts: We are still expecting the long-term substitute for Ms. Murphy to start any day now. Ms. Hill is coming to us with both teaching and theater experience, so we are very happy to have her. The onboarding process is just taking a little longer than normal, so another one of our strong substitutes - Ms. Isen - will be in to support her classes next wee.
Remember that FCPS needs teachers, counselors, bus drivers, substitutes, student monitors, etc. If you know of someone who is looking for work, please send them to explore our Career Opportunities.
SR&R Parent/Guardian Signature Sheet
Please log on to your SIS ParentVue account and sign to acknowledge review of this document OR sign and return this form to your child’s school by September 30, 2022.
Here are today's newsletter topics:
- Student Services Information
- 2022-23 Blue/White Schedule
- 2022-23 Bell Schedule
- After School Schedule Next Week
- Apply for Free & Reduced Meals
- From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
- Important Upcoming Dates
- How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS
FCPS & Community Updates
- Superintendent Community Conversation at Edison HS - 9/14
- Safety Drills During the School year
- Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!
- Parent Information Line Available in 8 Languages
- Stay Connected with FCPS
Please feel free to reach out and let us know what questions you have. Thank you, and we'll see your students on Tuesday!
Proud Principal, Holmes MS
Student Services Information
2022-23 Blue/White Calendar
Most classes at Holmes are 85-90 minutes blocks. Blue days are odd periods, and White days are even periods. This calendar will also be posted to the website, and each student will receive a copy on the first day of school.
UPDATE: This week, we caught a mistake in our blue-white calendar for the week of February 27th. We will update you as we get closer to those dates.
After School Schedule Next Week
After-School Weekly News & Notes
The After-School Program is back this Monday, September 12th! The After-School Program and staff is excited to provide a wide-range of opportunities that support our students. The program is offered Monday through Friday every week, with late buses offered Monday through Thursday. The Program will start after school at 2:15 and will end at 4:45. Late buses will depart Holmes at 4:45. Students being picked up by a parent or guardian will need to be picked up by 4:45.
A note about late bus numbers: Your student's late bus number and stop will not necessarily be the same as their regular bus number and stop. There are fewer buses and fewer stops during the late bus runs. Students received their late bus numbers in SOAR today and will be reminded on Monday. You can also find your student's late bus number in ParentVue. It will start with HOLR (Holmes Late Run).
After-School Program Week 1 Schedule: 9/12-9/16
New Clubs available after week 1:
- Capital One Coders
- Coding Beats
- Write Brain Books
- Film Club
- TJ Tutors
- International Club
Students Leaving After-School before 4:45
- Any student staying after school must be signed out of the main office by a parent or guardian if leaving prior to 4:45.
- Walkers may sign themselves out after 3:30.
- Students will not need to be signed-out of the main office, if picked up at 4:45 when the program ends.
Contact the After-School Specialist, Matt Kruk, @email
Apply for Free & Reduced Meals
All students will have to pay for breakfast and lunch this year unless they qualify for free and reduced meals.
Families will need to apply for free and reduced-price meals, which they have not had to do since the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
- Online applications are now available.
- Paper applications will be available at schools (except ones designated as a CEP school) at a date to be determined.
- Approved FRM eligibility letters may also be used to provide additional benefits.
- Please know that we will not share your data or personal information with anyone else. See FCPS’ Trust Policy.
When applying for FRM, don't forget to complete the "Consent to Share"
The Consent to Share Information Letter informs parents that their children may be eligible to participate in several fee-based programs (art, music, Family & Consumer Sciences, etc.) at either no cost or a reduced cost, if they participate in the Free and Reduced-price meals program, and provide a consent to share information form.
Some students are directly certified (i.e. Medicaid recipients) as receiving Free and Reduced-Price Meals. Even though they do not need to submit a Free and Reduced-Price Meals application, they will need to submit the Consent to Share Information form to be eligible for additional benefits.
The FRM application also includes a section with the Consent to Share information for other programs. If section four of the application is completed, the Consent to Share Information form does not need to be filled out.
From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
- https://fairfaxcountyemergency.wpcomstaging.com/2022/07/26/covid-19-updates-new-vaccine-option-baby-vaccine-data-1-million-vaccines/Free hotspot and internet for families with students who receive free and/or reduced-price meals or Fairfax County services. Free Internet for Students: Project 10Million | T-Mobile
- The Fairfax Health County Health Department continues to provide monkeypox vaccinations for individuals who have a known exposure to a confirmed case and is now providing screening to other individuals to assess risk. Exposure most commonly happens when a person has direct contact with rash, scabs, or body fluids of someone who has the virus. Learn more here.
- 988 is now active across the United States. This new, shorter phone number will make it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services. (Please note, the previous 1-800-273-TALK (8255) number will continue to function indefinitely.) Click here to learn more about 988.
- Locations to receive recommended child and adolescent immunizations are available throughout the Fairfax Health District, including at many pharmacies and groceries that have pharmacies. Please click here to find a location near you.
5. COVID-19 Updates (Information available in multiple languages. Language preference is located under video on webpage).
- Fairfax County Youth Substance Use Trends and Supports Webinar (recording). Due to the rise in opioid overdoses in the Fairfax Health District, which is consistent with national and state trends, Fairfax County Public Schools has partnered with Fairfax County Government to provide an educational webinar on youth substance use trends and supports.
- Healthy Minds Fairfax has a 1-pager on how to know when your child may have a mental health concern and where to get help.
Important Upcoming Dates
- Monday, 9/26 - NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday
How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS
Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:
- keeping your contact information up-to-date throughout the year
- visiting the Holmes MS website
- signing up for News You Choose
- following us on Twitter
- monitoring your student's progress with SIS Parent Account
- join the Holmes MS PTA and attend meetings
FCPS & Community Updates
Superintendent Community Conversation at Edison HS - 9/14
Please join us for a Superintendent Community Conversation at Edison HS on September 14 at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Learn more about Dr. Michelle Reid, FCPS superintendent, and help her get to know our school community. Language interpretation will be provided, as available, as well as child care and light refreshments. Please register to attend
Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!
The beginning of the school year is the best time to develop strong attendance habits! Students who attend school regularly are more likely to perform well in reading and math, develop strong social and emotional skills, and graduate from high school on time. Help prepare your child for future success. Visit FCPS’ Attendance web page for tips and strategies.
Parent Information Line Available in 8 Languages
Parents who speak Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, or Vietnamese can call a telephone information line for general information about FCPS and to receive support if they are having difficulty communicating with their children's schools due to a language barrier.
Stay Connected with FCPS
Being connected to your school and division is important every year, and even more so now as we navigate our return to school. The best way to stay informed is to sign up for newsletters through News You Chose.
Your school and FCPS have a variety of topics you can choose from, including:
- School Newsletters- featuring everything you need to know about your child’s school
- FCPS This Week- a weekly newsletter featuring news and happenings from across the division, published Wednesday mornings
- School Board Meeting Update- a recap of important news coming out of school board meetings, published the Friday morning after the meeting
- FCPS Employee News- weekly updates just for staff, published Tuesday mornings