Message from Holmes MS - 5/9/21


Principal's Note 

Good evening, Holmes Families!

Happy Mother's Day!!  I hope that you all enjoyed the day today and the weekend.  I started the day "running" (jogging/walking) the Mother's Day Mile at West Springfield High School with daughter at her SYC track practice and spent the afternoon with both of my parents and spoiling my mom.  Hence the late newsletter this evening.  Many thanks to all of the mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, and mother figures who support our students every day!  


Thank you to our PTA!!

A HUGE thank you to our amazing PTA Board for making our staff feel so special this week with breakfast burritos from Anita's (a fan favorite of our staff) and donuts added to our Friday coffee!  


Student Project - Mental Health Awareness Month

You may have noticed your student wearing a super cool button recently and here’s why…. Jack Barnes, a 7th grader here at Holmes Middle School, applied for and received a grant through a Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board (CSB). Jack decided to use his grant to promote mental wellness at Holmes and he chose to do so by having students design their own buttons with messages and images that aim reduce the stigma of mental health in our community. Jack then collected those designs and turned them into actual buttons that students can wear. Jack and his family have produced over 300 buttons! Please encourage your student to wear their button during the month of May since May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  We are proud of you, Jack!  



SOL Testing - Week 2!!

Our first week of SOL testing went very smoothly last week!  This week, just our 8th graders will take the Science 8 SOL.  Tomorrow - Monday, May 10th - our virtual 8th graders will come in to take their Science SOL.  Mr. Kamar has sent details, including bus information, to families and students this past week, and students received information in their SOAR classes.  

In-person 8th graders will report directly to their testing location on Wednesday, May 12th for their Science SOL.  There will be NO changes to the schedule this week, so students will go to their normally scheduled class when they finish their SOL. 

It's not too late to opt your student out of SOLs.  If you would still like to opt them out, you can fill out the appropriate form below.

In case you missed it, here's the link again to the PTA meeting on 4/21 where we talked about the specifics of opting out and what to consider.  

If you have any questions about your student(s) and their SOL tests, please feel free to reach out to our testing coordinator, Mr. Kamar, at, or to your student's counselor.



Is your student's laptop ready for SOL testing?

Since most of our virtual students have not been in the building this school year, it is critically important that their laptops have the necessary updates for SOL testing.  Please scroll down to the section about Laptop Care for students, and follow the steps identified there. 

ALL students will need to bring their school-issued laptops fully charged (and bring chargers with them) to school on testing days.  If your student does NOT have a school-issued laptop, they should NOT bring their personal laptop to school for testing.  We will temporarily issue them a laptop for the testing day only.  


Here are today's newsletter topics:

Holmes Updates

  • Student Services - Important Information
  • FCPS End of Year Grading Policies - New Deadline
  • After School Program Schedule
  • Attention 8th Graders: Four-Year Instate Tuition Scholarship to George Mason University Opportunity
  • Summer VIP Camp Registration
  • Opportunity to Represent Class of 2025 for Rising 9th Grade Students Who Will Attend Edison HS
  • Important Dates
  • Reporting Student Absences
  • How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

FCPS Updates

  • Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Take Note of 11 Moments From Asian American History

  • Important Immunization Requirement: Do You Have a Student Entering Seventh Grade or Twelfth Grade This Fall?

  • COVID Recovery Services Available for Special Education Students
  • 2021 FCPS Summer Learning Information

  • Multilingual Family Podcasts: Yes, We Want Your Child Back in School! Attendance Matters!

  • Workcamp - Free Home Repair
  • Standards of Learning Test Schedules for Students Observing Ramadan

  • English Learner Supports for Summer 2021

  • Special Education Parent Newsletter

  • FCPS Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers
  • FCPS CARES Program

Thank you, and have a great week!



Margaret Barnes

Proud Principal, Holmes MS



FCPS End of Year Grading Policies - New Deadline

For the 2020-21 school year, all students with an "F" will receive a "NM" (No Mark) on their report cards.  All students with a "D" will receive a "P" (Pass). Families of middle school students also have until June 1st, 2021, to designate the final mark for their current courses as Pass instead of final grades “A” through “C-“. Additional information is enclosed and available on the following website:

Please see Ms. Giron's email dated to families on Monday, April 19th, to learn more.  

After School Program Schedule - May

Virtual after-school activities will be a blend of school clubs, community service, arts and crafts, leadership, recreation and sports, and other activities. 

For any specific questions related to the After School Program or to share new ideas for after school activities, please feel free to contact Mrs. Parker, our After School Program Specialist.


Attention 8th Graders: Four-Year Instate Tuition Scholarship to GMU Opportunity

Holmes and George Mason University have teamed together to offer a four-year instate tuition scholarship to GMU to an eighth grade student who has demonstrated the potential to be successful in a four-year college program. You and your child should have received an email last week if your child qualifies. The (online) application packet is due by 3pm on Friday, May 14th, 2021. Please reach out to Ms. Davis ( if you have any questions.

Summer VIP Summer Camp Registration Information

Click  HERE to register.

Please make sure you register online to reserve your place because space is limited. 


Opportunity to Represent Class of 2025 for Rising 9th Grade Students Who Will Attend Edison HS

Attention Rising 9th grade students who will go to Edison High School.  Do you want to represent the Class of 2025 on the Edison Student Government Association (SGA) next year?  Do you like being involved with school activities and helping to get others involved?  Do you like taking on the challenges of Leadership? If so, please find more information here -

Important Dates

  • Friday, June 11th: SAVE THE DATE, Outdoor 8th Grade Celebration & Laptop Collection (More details to come)
  • Friday, June 11th - Tuesday, June 15th: Laptop Collection (more details to come)

Reporting Student Absences

How do I report my student's absence for virtual or in-person classes?

How to Stay Connected to Holmes MS

Please stay in touch with us throughout the year by:


Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Take Note of 11 Moments From Asian American History

More than 30 years after President George H.W. Bush signed a law that designated every May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, much of Asian American history remains unknown to many Americans—including Asian Americans themselves. Read more in TIME.

Important Immunization Requirement: Do You Have a Student Entering Seventh Grade or Twelfth Grade This Fall?

While the COVID-19 vaccination is NOT required by schools for the 2021-22 school year, many other vaccinations are.

Seventh-grade students need:

  • One dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) given at age 7 or older.
  • One dose of Meningococcal Vaccine (MenACWY, Menactra, or Menveo) given at age 10 or older.

Twelfth-grade students need:

  • One dose of Meningococcal Vaccine (MenACWY, Menactra, or Menveo) given at age 16 or older.

More information on new immunization requirements is available online

COVID Recovery Services Available for Special Education Students

Special education COVID recovery services may be considered for any student with a disability whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team or Section 504 Committee determines there remains a significant educational impact due to the COVID-19 school closure and the virtual learning this school year. Recovery services are designed to address learning gaps and are determined by IEP Teams or 504 Committees.

Not all students with disabilities will require COVID recovery services. COVID recovery services are based on whether or not the student continued making progress in the general education curriculum, or alternative course of study specified in their IEP/504 plan or toward meeting their IEP goals, and/or if any significant regression occurred during the period of school closure.

IEP Teams and 504 Committees will use a variety of data sources including individual student progress data, teacher assessments, and parent input when considering COVID recovery services. If the IEP Team or 504 Committee decides a student requires recovery services, the team will determine the amount and type of recovery service that is required to address the individual student’s needs.

If you think that your child may require COVID recovery services, please contact your child’s IEP/504 case manager to further discuss and schedule a meeting for the IEP team or 504 committee to consider the need for recovery services.

Additional information regarding FCPS’ Summer Recovery Academy is available online

2021 FCPS Summer Learning Information

This summer, FCPS will offer a variety of school-based opportunities. These include:

  • Credit Recovery: Each high and secondary school will host credit recovery opportunities for its students during two sessions.
  • School-Based Opportunities for Select Elementary School Students: Each elementary school has summer learning opportunities designed to support students as they develop executive functioning skills, mathematics skills, and language arts skills.
  • School-Based Opportunities for Select Middle School Students: Each middle school has summer learning opportunities designed to support students as they develop: mathematics, language arts, and problem-solving skills.

School staff will contact families of students who will be invited in the coming weeks. The total number of students that can attend school-based programs is based on the number of teachers at the school available to work this summer.

There are also a variety of summer enrichment programs open to all students. Information on how to register for these programs is available on the FCPS Summer Learning webpage.

More information is expected to be coming soon regarding details about Camp Fairfax offerings for summer 2021.

Multilingual Family Podcasts: Yes, We Want Your Child Back in School! Attendance Matters!

2020 and 2021 have posed many challenges for all of us. We miss our students who have been absent. FCPS wants your child back in school and is ready to help. Listen to the latest Spanish, Arabic, and Korean podcasts on why we want your child back in school. We care and attendance matters!  

The podcasts hosts and guests engage in a passionate discussion on how we care, why attendance matters, common reasons for absence, school procedures regarding attendance, and what parents can do to partner with the school to get students back on track and in school.

Listen and Subscribe:

Workcamp - Free Home Repair

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Standards of Learning Test Schedules for Students Observing Ramadan

This year, the main Standards of Learning (SOL) testing window has significant overlaps with Ramadan, the Muslim holy month marked by daily fasting. The SOL testing window begins Monday, April 12, for high schools and Monday, April 26, for elementary and middle schools. All schools must complete SOL make-up tests and retakes by Friday, June 4. Ramadan begins the evening of Monday, April 12, and ends with Eid-al-Fitr on Thursday, May 13.

FCPS welcomes and encourages engagement with parents and guardians of students affected by this overlap. School staff will work with parents and guardians to make schedule adjustments or determine how best to address students’ needs. For example, it may be possible to schedule testing early in the day when energy levels are likely to be highest.

If you have a child in an SOL grade-level who will be fasting to observe Ramadan this year, notify the principal or school counselor to take advantage of possible scheduling options.

View more ideas and tips to prepare for upcoming testing during Ramadan.

English Learner Supports for Summer 2021

FCPS staff members will be providing additional academic content and English language development support for our 36,000 English learners (ELs) this summer. 

Elementary and middle school ELs will participate in the division’s inclusive summer program to strengthen core mathematics and language arts skills.  All ELs ELP level 1 and 2 will be invited to participate. Additional ELs ELP level 3 and 4 will be invited based on identified needs.

High school ELs who failed a core academic course will participate in Credit Recovery.  ESOL resource teachers will collaborate with content teachers to support ELs.

High school ELs who are ELP level 1 or SLIFE will be invited to participate in numeracy and literacy essentials based on need, for multiple weeks of math and literacy intervention.

All high school ELs ELP level 1-4 will be invited to participate in online language and literacy lonnections (middle and high school). This is one hour of synchronous online learning with one hour of asynchronous reading, writing, and online assignments per week.

In addition, extended English Language Development (ELD) will be offered to all ELs ELP level 1-4 in elementary, middle, and high school who are not participating in a structured summer program. 

For any questions about the FCPS summer programs, email

Special Education Parent Newsletter

The Department of Special Services (DSS) publishes a regular electronic newsletter for parents of special education students to provide updated DSS information, tips, and ideas to support you and your family during distance learning. The latest issue is available online

FCPS Is Seeking Individuals to Serve as Substitute Teachers

Are you or somebody you know interested in substitute teaching with FCPS? Apply online or attend one of our Friday information sessions to learn more. To sign up for a session, visit the FCPS substitute teacher information page.

FCPS Cares Program

The FCPS CARES Program is an opportunity for parents, staff, and community members to recognize FCPS employees for going above and beyond to help others and show they care. We invite you to submit your story so we can acknowledge the good work of FCPS employees.

Watch this video to learn more