Principal's Note - Oct 7, 2022

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
October 10, 2022

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

Happy Friday!  We have another 4-day week coming up for students on Monday, October 10th, which will be a Staff Development Day.  Students will return to school on Tuesday, October 11th, which will be a WHITE day.  Correction to my email last week: There is one 5-day week this month from October 17-21.  


Safe in the Hallways

This morning, I talked to students about things that I notice they are doing well - getting to class on time, cleaning up after themselves, and appropriate behavior in the classroom - and one thing that we need to work on together: being safe in the halls.  Since Holmes is just one floor with just one major hallway, most of our almost 900 students end up passing through the main hallway during a class change.  Unfortunately, many students are using that class change time to "loop" the main hallway by walking up and down multiple times before going to class.  When they loop, stop and talk as groups, or when multiple students walk arm-in-arm across the hallway, it makes the hallways unsafe, which is unacceptable.  When students contribute to disruption in the hallways, they will receive disciplinary consequences.  

Added to that, students should not confront another student about a conflict in the hallways or any other place on school grounds, on the school bus, or on the way to and from school.  If students are having difficulty resolving a conflict with another student, they need to talk to a counselor or an administrator to help them avoid escalating the conflict.  The majority of the time, we find that students are willing to talk through a problem with an adult present facilitating.  

I hope that with continued conversations about this with staff at Holmes and with you at home, we will see an improvement in the hallways during class changes (particularly after lunches)!  Our #1 priority is to ensure our students and staff are safe, and we all have to help with that.  

Staffing Announcement 

I am excited to share the news with you that Steve McFarlane was just announced as the new principal for Kilmer Middle School!  While Steve has only been here at Holmes for a few short months, his impact has already been significant.  He has quickly formed positive relationships with students, staff, and families, supported the design of a new structure for recess, and collaborated with admin, teachers, coaches, and central office staff to develop our new Tier 2 Intervention structure that will begin soon.  I have already learned so much from him in just a short time!  While I will miss working with him on our admin team here at Holmes, I am very excited have him join me as a colleague in the Middle School Principals Association.  Please join me in congratulating Steve McFarlane on this amazing accomplishment!

Digital Resource Consent

Click HERE to sign or check the completion status for your student's Digital Resource Consent as soon as possible. Many digital tools require parent permission this year and students are opted out by default. By completing this form, you will help provide teachers with the necessary information they need to plan impactful lessons using digital media.  

Contact Mel Mollick, School-Based Technology Specialist for Holmes, at @email if you have any questions or concerns.

Holmes PTA

We invite EVERY family at Holmes to participate in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) because we can do more together! Advocate for your child, and for all the children at Holmes.  Connect with other parents, so that we can build a stronger community for ourselves and our children. This year, the Holmes PTA is planning on holding in-person meetings again, so you can meet face-to-face with other parents and with Ms. Barnes.  We're also planning restaurant nights, Bingo Nights, a Fun Run, Teacher Appreciation Week, and so much more!

  • Join the PTA on MemberHub
  • Are you able to volunteer?  Submit this Google form
  • Want to order Spiritwear
  • Did you miss the PTA meeting last Wednesday?  You can access the recording HERE, and use this passcode: aG&UvRH%N6

Join in the Holmes Book Drive (spearheaded by Holmes students)!

Book Drive

Become an AVID Tutor!

AVID Tutoring

Fall INSPIRE 2022 Conference

As we progress through the start of the 2022-2023 school year, we have some exciting news for all students currently registered at Glasgow, Holmes and Key Middle Schools. To truly kick off the year, these three schools have partnered together to host a Fall INSPIRE 2022 Conference. This event seeks to promote health and wellness AND provide parents and students with the tools they can use to advance their thinking and learning. This event will be held at Glasgow Middle School for more information on sessions click here

For questions regarding the program, please contact: Alex Anderson  @email 

Date and Time: October 15, 2022 from 8am - 1pm.  

To attend you must register using this link: (one form submission per student)

Due to limited spacing, we must cap this conference registration to the first 300 registered participants. 

We look forward to seeing you and your child there! 

Fall Inspire Conference


Inspire Flier

Online Application for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Opens October 24; Deadline to Start Application is November 16.

The online application for students interested in applying for admission to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), a Regional Governor’s School in Fairfax County focused on science and technology, will be available beginning Monday, October 24th. The application will be posted on the TJ admissions website

Please view the TJ admissions video with your child.  It is also located on their website with other relevant application information.

Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services Information
  • 2022-23 Blue/White Schedule
  • 2022-23 Bell Schedule
  • After School Schedule Next Week
  • From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison
  • Testing Information & Quarter 1 Testing Windows
  • Important Upcoming Dates
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS & Community Updates

  • Feedback on ESSER III Funding
  • Stay Connected with FCPS

Please feel free to reach out and let us know what questions you have.  Thank you, stay safe and dry this weekend, and we'll see your students on Tuesday!


Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS




Student Services Information


2022-23 Blue/White Calendar



From Mr. Kruk, our After School Specialist

ASP Students of the Week – Kaleigh Rosania

  • Kaleigh was nominated as our Student of the Week for her enthusiasm and interest in two new clubs: coding beats and podcast club. Learning new tools can be difficult and she approached each with excitement and a resilient attitude. She even helped peers who needed support. Way to go, Kayleigh!

Basketball Club – Students had a fun time competing in basketball club this week.

Basketball Club

Fitness Club – Students were seen working hard in fitness club.

Fitness Club

After School Schedule Next Week

Block 1Block 2

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 any time after 3:30 when first block ends.


Contact the After-School Specialist, Matt Kruk, @email

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

Dear families,

Please fill out this survey. We would like to know your needs and your interest area for workshops and training.

We are collecting donations to support Holmes families in need. Please consider donating to the Holmes closet . We appreciate your generosity in advance.

Holmes Closet

Computer Classes for Job Seekers

Computer Core

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 (;
  • Spring Standards of Learning (SOL) standardized tests in reading, mathematics, and science. More information is available on the SOL assessments webpage (;
  • 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 (

The Grade Level Tests webpage ( 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   

Testing Windows

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Monday, 10/10 - NO SCHOOL / Staff Development Day
  • Monday, 10/24 - NO SCHOOL / Diwali
  • Friday, 10/28 - 1st Quarter Ends / 2-Hour Early Release
  • Monday, 10/31 - NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday
  • Monday, 11/8 - NO SCHOOL / Election Day
  • Friday, 11/11 - NO SCHOOL / School Planning Day
  • 11/23 - 11/25 - NO SCHOOL / Thanksgiving

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

FCPS & Community Updates

ESSER III Funding Supports Student Success: Your Voice Matters

In the fall of 2021, FCPS received $188.8 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) funding to support the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on students. 

ESSER III focus areas have included resources for prevention and mitigation of COVID, academic services, multilingual engagement, support for students’ social emotional needs, and professional development. 

Your Voice Matters!

A feedback form has been live on the ESSER III webpage Friday, September 23. Your input will inform the School Board and FCPS staff on the community’s view of our work. Watch this video to see the impact ESSER III funds are having in our schools. Learn more on FCPS’ website

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