Principal's Note - Sept 16, 2022

By Margaret Barnes
Principal's Note
September 20, 2022

Good afternoon, Holmes Families!

We have A LOT of important information for you today, so we will get right to it!  

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!

Visit Member Hub for more information.   

Order Spirit Wear -- now delivered directly to you, no waiting.

Our first PTA meeting will be in-person at Holmes on Wednesday, September 28th, at 6:30.  We hope to see you there!

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

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.

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 (;
  • 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

NO mini-conferences this year

We will not hold a traditional “mini-conferences” on a specific date this year.  Please continue to have ongoing communication with your child’s teachers. 

If you have specific concerns in regards to a class, please reach out to that teacher directly.  For example, you are concerned with your child’s math progress, you would contact the math teacher directly.   The staff directory is located here -

If you have concerns that are impacting all of your child’s classes, please reach out to your child’s counselor to schedule an appointment with multiple teachers.  For example, your child is struggling with something that is impacting them across the majority of the school day, and you’ve already communicated with one or more of the teachers, you would contact your child’s counselor. Scroll down in this newsletter for the alpha breakdown.

Staffing Update

Here is the latest information around our staffing:

  • We are officially FULLY STAFFED again at Holmes!  
  • Theater Arts: Unfortunately, Ms. Hill, the substitute we were expecting for Ms. Murphy, has decided to pursue another opportunity. Ms. Isen will be supporting the classes next week. Ms. Eddinger and Ms. Bongard have graciously been planning lessons for the classes.  We are in contact with another substitute with theater experience who will hopefully be able to take over the classes.  We appreciate your patience!

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:

Holmes Updates

  • 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

  • The Parent Project
  • 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 Monday!


Margaret Barnes

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

ASP Student of the Week - Stephany Aguilar-Escobar

  • Stephany is our ASP Student of the week because of her enthusiasm that she brought to Makerspace was amazing to see.
  • She built really cool structures and was ready to go back the next day for more.
  • Congratulations Stephany!

Artistic Vibes - Students had a great time showing off their creativity in art club this week!

Artistic Vibes

  Clubs coming soon to our After-School schedule:

  • RC Car Club
  • International Dramatic Theatre Club
  • Voices of Now
  • Early Identification Program (EIP)

After-School Program Week 2 Schedule: 9/19-9/23

ASP Week 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 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

From Ms. Oncho, Our Family Liaison

About Parent Liaison

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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). 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Health Fair

Important Upcoming Dates

  • Monday, 9/26 - NO SCHOOL / Teacher Workday
  • Wednesday, 9/28 - PTA Meeting, 6:30 pm (In-Person)
  • Wednesday, 10/5 - NO SCHOOL / Yom Kippur
  • 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

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:

FCPS & Community Updates

The Parent Project

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