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Holmes Highlights
A Newsletter of the Holmes Junior High School PTA
School Dance 7:30-10:00 p.m.
Book Fair
Holmes Toy Shop 6:00-8:00 p.m.
DSHS Semester 1 Final Exams
NO SCHOOL: Winter Break
Holmes Semester 1 Final Exams
End of Semester 1
Secondary Teacher Workday –
School is NOT in session for
grades 7-12
Start of Semester 2
DJUSD Parent Engagement
Promising Practices Workshop,
North Davis MPR, 6:30 p.m.
DSHS Incoming Sophomore
Parent Info, DSHS Brunelle Hall
7:00 p.m.
NO SCHOOL: Local Holiday
Valentine’s Day
End of Progress Quarter 3
NO SCHOOL: Presidents’ Day
Holmes Incoming Freshmen
Parent Info, MPR 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Da Vinci Incoming Sophomore
Parent Info, DSHS Brunelle Hall
6:30-8:00 p.m.
Holmes Incoming 8th Grade
Parent Info, MPR 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Holmes Incoming 7th Grade
Parent Info, MPR 6:00-7:30 p.m.
December 2013/January 2014  Issue 3
A Message from Your
PTA President
It’s hard to believe that it is already December, but
here we are! Wishing you and your family a happy
and safe holiday season. Cheers!
Lisa Haass, PTA President
[email protected]
A Message from the Principal
Dear Holmes Families,
Although this time of year can be
uplifting and exciting for most of us, we need to
remember that for some the holidays are very
difficult. Some of our students may be living with
painful loss, poverty, mental illness, or crisis in their
families. It is very hard for these young people to
hear about the family trips, holiday gifts and other
benefits that so many others enjoy at this time of the
year. This might be a good time to help our young
adolescents not only appreciate and value the
privileges they enjoy, but also remain sensitive to the
struggles of others. As we take time to celebrate the
holidays, let us remember that our families are our
support systems, and we should always be working
on keeping it strong.
Student Connectedness
The Holmes staff is continuing to focus on the
following guiding principles as we work on the goal
of student connectedness at our school:
Students are connected and motivated.
Interactions and relationships at our school
are respectful.
Students are successful at learning the
knowledge and skills they need for the future.
This year, during some of our meetings, the staff will
be discussing ways to support our students through
the various stresses and pressures they experience in
early adolescence. I hope to focus on these three
areas to achieve our goal:
Our responsibility as educators to engage our
To ensure all students are learning
Continue to find ways to build relationships
with all students
By helping students find the pleasure in learning, we
can make that learning infinitely more successful.
If the experience of “ doing school” destroys children’s
spirits to learn, their sense of wonder, their
curiosity about the world and their willingness to
care for the human condition, have we succeeded as
educators? No matter how well our students do on
standardized tests?
Steve Wolk, Joy in School
Thanks to our generous parent community,
the PTA Un-Fundraiser hopes to raise over $10,000
to help support the following activities:
7th Grade social studies experience a
reenactment of the Renaissance Period.
8th Grade social studies experience a
reenactment of the Civil war.
(More information to follow as the plans for
both events are finalized.)
9th Grade Walking Trip
The Holmes Physical Education Department
is sponsoring a 9th Grade Day Hike. Students
will be invited to spend the day in Marin
County at a State Park. The trail is a 4.3-mile
loop that takes our students from the forest
to the sea. This activity meets some of our
California PE Standards for Grade 9.
Technology Support
Your support will help us rebuild and replace
out student computers and other technology
that will support student learning.
I want to thank all of you who have taken time out of
your busy schedule to support and participate in
many Holmes activities. I feel fortunate to work with
such a positive and generous community of parents,
students and staff.
Derek Brothers, Principal
Notes from the Vice Principal
How is the weather at Holmes Junior
High as we welcome the 2013-2014
school year? Is it calm? Safe and
peaceful? There are many, many
variables that contribute to a positive
school climate. A positive school climate happens
when many people guide students toward respectful
interactions with each other. I often tell students,
staff and parents that we work very hard at Holmes
to keep our weather sunny, safe and healthy for our
seventh, eighth and ninth graders. Each day is a new
opportunity to develop positive friendships and build
safe connections that will sustain students in their
future years of schooling. This fall, Holmes students
and staff will participate in two key experiences to
help keep our campus safe for students.
Holmes School Ambassadors is a very important
program, once again sponsored by our wonderful
PTA. Joanna Littell, our counselor, has taken the lead
once again, coordinating the school-wide effort to
train and support recommended students as they
learn how to mediate situations one incident at a
time. She organized an off-campus training day for
65 students in November. The Holmes School
Ambassadors Program is designed to build alliances
between the student leaders and Holmes staff, to
educate the student leaders about bullying and
nonviolent intervention, and to empower the student
leaders to minimize bullying and violence among
their peers. By doing this we hope to reduce bullying
and social mistreatment, improve school climate, and
ultimately decrease administration time on
disciplinary issues. Key Holmes staff members
volunteer to be “family leaders”, each of them leading
a group of about ten School Ambassadors throughout
the school year. Family leaders meet with their
groups approximately twice a month during regular
class time, which will sustain commitment, sharpen
awareness, and increase reporting of unsafe behavior
on campus.
Our first Mix-It-Up Lunch of the school year was
held on November 1st. Twelve ninth-grade students
planned lunch activities that hopefully encouraged
students to participate out of their familiar friendship
groups. These ninth graders took the lead in planning
and organizing a three-on-three basketball
tournament, a cakewalk, chariot races in the gym,
and eating contests in Area 51. For the next Mix-ItUp we will be selecting eighth-grade students to help
in the planning process. This special lunch is one
more way to get out of the regular lunch routines,
promoting team building, fun and new friendships.
You are welcome to visit and share in the fun. Our
next single lunch will be from 11:50 to 12:35 on
February 14, 2014.
holiday cheer. Please come and watch our students
dressed in elves’ clothing work on toys and play
games while listening to holiday music provided by
our very own Music Department.
Parents are also always invited to our Holmes
Climate Committee Meetings. These site meetings
are for students, parents and staff, and they help
support school-wide efforts to maintain a positive,
healthy climate at school. Our next meeting is on
February 11, 2014 at 3:40 p.m. in Room B23.
Yes, that’s right: our students dressed as elves! All
are welcome to attend, and a few toys may be
available for the community, but the focus is on the
Davis K-3 children. The event starts on Monday
December 16th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the
Holmes Junior High School Room G45/46. Goodies
and Refreshment will be served. We are expecting
over 200 guests this year and need your help!
Jean Kennedy, Vice Principal
Un-Fundraiser Forging
The Fall Un-Fundraiser has been very successful and
we are two-thirds of the way towards our goal of
matching last year’s amount. Over 100 families have
contributed for a total of $11,000 raised at the end of
November. Our goal is 100% participation by the
630 Holmes families. Never fear, there is still time to
donate and help us achieve our goal!
Our PTA works to support all students and teachers
at Holmes Junior High. Monies raised will be used to
fund field trips for every student in 7th, 8th and 9th
grade. Any amount over our budget of $12,000 will
be donated to support technology at Holmes.
The PTA appreciates your support of these important
programs and we thank you for your donation. To
donate, please make a check payable to HJH PTA and
write “un-fundraiser” in the memo. Check may be
mailed to the school at 1220 Drexel Drive, Davis CA
95616 or dropped off in the office.
Joy Klineberg, PTA VP Fundraising
Decorations Team for Set-up: (December 14th,
15th and 16th)
We have to set up a Decoration Team schedule and
are requesting volunteers for the following dates and
times. Saturday and Sunday are the MOST important
Saturday, Dec. 14th 10:30 to 5:30 (maybe
Sunday, Dec. 15th 10:30 to 4:30 (maybe
Monday Dec. 16th, the day of the event,
starting at 4:00 p.m. up until the start time of
6:00 p.m.!
If you can help with decorations, please sign up at:
We also need goodies! If you can help with homebaked goodies, please contact Julia Huddleson at
[email protected] or Lance Gunnersen
(Instructor) at [email protected] or 916-7044746.
Club Corner
NEW! Holmes Gamers Club
Industrial Technology
& Wood Shop Flash
The Toy Shop is almost here! To celebrate the
holiday season this year, Emerson, Da Vinci and
Holmes Junior High Schools Industrial Technology
and Wood Shop classes are hosting a very special
event called the “The Toy Shop”. We have invited a
group of kids from the Davis school grades K-3 to our
workshop for a toy giveaway and party.
Our students have been hard at work making wooden
toys for the kids and are dressing up the shop in
A new club at Holmes gives kids a chance to interact
socially while enjoying computer games. Much recent
research has shown that electronic games can help
students learn. Of course we also know that they can
distract students from academics, but everyone
needs a little recreation in their day.
This club was started by 7th-grade students who are
enthusiastic about electronic games. We meet at
lunch on Wednesdays in room E-34 to play games,
talk about games, and share tips. In October students
finished a Minecraft building contest. Winners were
announced November 4th. If your child is into video
games, please suggest that they check out our new
Robotics and Computer Programming Club
In this relaxed club, any student can come and build a
robot, and learn to write code to control their
creation. Students interested in computer
programming also practice their skills in C++, BASIC
and other languages, and help each other to learn.
Last May club members participated in a Robotics
competition at UC Davis and brought home a trophy
from the C-STEM center.
Open to any interested student, the Robotics Club
meets after school on Thursdays 3:25 to 4:30 in room
E-34. Beginners are welcome. BONUS: We have
snacks every week!
sports include basketball and soccer. Has your
student chosen to participate?
We accept gently-used sporting equipment any time
during the year. Please drop off your donation in the
main office and tell them it is for PE. We can always
use donations of laundry soap that we use to launder
our loaner clothes. Again, drop it off at the main
office. The girls’ side accepts shoes and sock
donations as well. Your donations save us a lot of
money that we can spend in other ways to enhance
our program for Holmes students. Thanks in advance
for your donations, and GO PATRIOTS!
Paul Rooney, PE Department Chair
Jennifer Sommer, Computer Science Teacher
Physical Education: Dashing
Through the Holidays
Winter months and physical education
classes can sometimes be a problem.
When your student’s class is outside, it can be tough
without good sweats. Uniform rules require that
sweats be only blue, black, or gray with no
We sell Holmes sweatshirts and sweatpants for $15
each. We have small, medium and large sizes. They
are adult sizes and do not shrink, so they run big. We
also have a small number of used sweatshirts for sale
for $5. They are mostly small sizes. Ask the PE
teachers for help.
In December, 9th graders are playing tennis and
learning multi-cultural games. Our 8th graders are
playing football and soccer. Our 7th graders are
learning self-defense and medieval games.
Our always-popular dance unit begins in January
2014. Our 7th graders will be learning cultural
dances. Our 8th graders will learn square dancing.
Our 9th graders will learn social dancing. We
videotape your students and show the tape at the
Spring Open House. Be sure to check it out!
Have you talked to your student about our intramural
lunch program run by our athletic director, Ms.
Wade? She organizes sport activities for both
lunches that your student should consider. In
addition, check the school bulletin for
announcements regarding after school team sports.
Holmes winter sports teams are in full swing. Winter
From the Counseling Office
Student Achievement
The first quarter of the 2013-14 school
year ended on November 1st. First and
second quarter grades are used to
determine the first semester grades, which appear on
student permanent records. The first semester ends
on January 17, 2014 and the second semester starts
on Wednesday, January 22rd.
Low grades are usually linked to poor study skills,
lack of organization, assignments not being
completed and turned in, and inadequate preparation
for tests. Here are some suggestions to increase and
maintain grade performance:
For Students
1. Attend school every day, be on time to every
class, and make the most of class time.
2. Take responsibility for your grades: do your
homework every day and turn it in.
3. Be organized: Keep your backpack and locker
neat, use a 3-ring binder with
folders/dividers, and keep your homework in
a consistent place.
4. Write your assignments in your planner
every period.
5. Break up large assignments into smaller parts
and set reasonable deadlines to complete
each part. Use a large wall calendar to plot
and plan your schedule and progress.
6. Get the phone number of at least one study
buddy in each class that you can call to clarify
assignments, and refer to your teachers’
7. Check School Loop often. If you do not have
your password, see the school Registrar
before or after school or at lunch.
8. Make an appointment with your teacher if
you have concerns or need help.
9. Complete weekly progress reports to monitor
grade improvement (available in the
Counseling Office).
student’s attendance, which will be excused. First
period final will be on Friday, December 20th, and
second period final will be on Wednesday, December
18th, both from 7:45-9:50 a.m.
For Parents
1. Foster growth and independence by
encouraging your child to accept
responsibility for his/her homework and
2. Provide encouragement and support.
3. Maintain a regular bedtime and provide a
healthy diet. See that all electronic devices
are turned off at bedtime. Consider collecting
your child’s cell phone at bedtime so that
his/her sleep is not interrupted by text
messages. Sleep loss due to texting during the
night is emerging as a factor in poor academic
4. Provide an appropriate setting and schedule
to complete homework.
5. Review planner nightly to make sure
homework has been completed. Monitor
academic progress with weekly progress
reports that your child completes and with
School Loop. To sign up for School Loop, visit
the DJUSD website at and
click on the School Loop Support Quick Link
in the left hand column.
6. Help your child use a large calendar to track
long-term assignments and mark due dates.
7. Contact teachers via email, voice mail or
written note after the above steps have been
implemented and/or if you have any
8. After contacting and problem solving with
teachers, consider contacting your child’s
counselor if academic improvement
continues to be a concern.
DSHS Semester Final Exam Schedule
Because of positive responses from students, parents,
and staff about last year’s semester 1 finals schedule,
Davis Senior High School is scheduling finals so that
students will be finished with their exams before
winter break. Work completed during the two weeks
after break will be factored into the final grades.
Holmes currently has 28 students attending 1st or 2nd
period in math or World Languages at DSHS. This
schedule may have a one-time impact on a Holmes
Absences: Report absences at 757-5445 as
early in the day as possible. If your child is ill
for five or more days, please bring a note
from a medical professional verifying the
Extended illnesses: If your child is absent for
three days or more due to illness, a
homework request can be made through the
Registrar, Judy Stafford, at 757-5445,
extension 115, on the morning of the third
day. Until that time, your child can call his or
her study buddies and check the teachers’
Leaving campus during school hours: If your
child must leave school, have your child bring
a note signed by the parent or guardian to the
attendance office before school, stating the
time and the reason that the student must
Extended absence for travel: If your child will
be absent for at least five days due to travel,
contact the Davis School for Independent
Study at 757-5333 to arrange for travel study
a week or more in advance. Maximum
enrollment in travel study is 10 consecutive
school days and 15 school days total in a
school year. Please also notify the attendance
Change of Information
If you have any changes to your child’s or family’s
information (telephone number, address, email,
medical insurance, doctor/dentist name and number,
emergency contact, adults authorized to take child off
campus, etc.) contact Registrar Judy Stafford by
phone or email.
2014-15 Academic Program Planning
During February and March, counselors from Holmes,
Davis Senior High School and Da Vinci Charter
Academy will be presenting information about school
and course options to students and parents. Student
presentations are during the school day and parent
presentations are in the evenings. Please refer to
Upcoming Events on page one for dates, times and
locations of the presentations for parents.
Golden Heart Award
Nominations Due
Do you know a teen who has overcome a significant
challenge in their life or has given significant service
to the community, their peers, and/or their school?
The Golden Heart Award recognizes exceptional
youth in the Davis community. Created by the City of
Davis in response to the death of Andrew Mockus in
April 1992, the Golden Heart has two categories: the
service award and the personal challenge award.
Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. Friday, December
20th. The nomination of “non-traditional” achievers
is encouraged, and anyone in 7-12th grade may be
nominated. Find a link to the Nomination Form at Contact Community Services at 7575626 or email the program coordinator, Christine
Foster at [email protected] for more info.
Beating the Holiday Blues
The Holmes Counseling Office offers this
timely article by David Hafter, a marriage
and family therapist practicing in Davis.
The lead-up to the holidays brings hopes of peace,
love and plenty; plenty of all that we want, from
joyful interactions with loved ones to special food
and lots of great presents. Movies, television and
other media fill us with images of Happy Holidays.
For some of us, however, the holidays bring up sad or
upsetting memories. Still others will find themselves
struggling with stresses to finances or physical or
emotional health. For these folks, the holidays can
bring an uninvited visitor: the Holiday Blues. This is
normal; those bad feelings will usually fade either
through your efforts to feel better (we’ll discuss those
in a minute) or with the passing of the holidays.
The feelings and symptoms associated with the
Holiday Blues, however, mimic the symptoms for
clinical depression: feeling sad, lonely or hopeless;
experiencing weight changes, loss of interest in
pleasurable activities, insomnia, fatigue; having
trouble concentrating or having unusual memory
lapses. With clinical depression, the symptoms last
more than a few weeks and are significant enough to
interfere with your normal lifestyle and the handling
of your responsibilities. In those cases, see your
doctor to rule out potential physical reasons for your
depression and to discuss various treatment options,
including, perhaps, some counseling.
Fending off or handling some temporary Holiday
Blues means taking some action. The following
suggestions can work wonders:
Think ahead. If you have difficult memories
or painful anniversaries associated with the
holidays, acknowledge them; don’t try to hide
from them. Share your feelings with a person
or two so that you feel understood. Don’t
suffer alone or in silence.
Expect the stress the holidays bring. There
will be extra pulls on your time, money and
Be realistic with your family about what you
can do/afford in terms of activities and gifts.
Most kids will understand if kept in the loop.
They don’t need all the details; only enough to
curb their expectations.
Don’t blame your kids for ‘wanting
everything’. Advertising is powerful.
Get out of the house & take in the free holiday
season activities.
Get exercise. When we feel blue we don’t
breathe deeply enough (except when we are
sighing) and this negatively affects our mood.
Serve others. Volunteering and helping
others less fortunate than you brings good
feelings and can create some perspective
when feeling blue.
That said, I hope you have lovely holidays!
David Hafter, MFT
Victor Community Support Services
The DJUSD Board of Education meets in
Community Chambers at 23 Russell Boulevard at
7:00 p.m. BoE agendas are working documents,
and changes to the list of agenda items are
frequent, but some of the items on December
and January’s agendas include:
12/ 19 Public Hearing on Collective
Bargaining Proposals for 2013-14
School Year
1/ 2
(May be rescheduled)
Annual Parcel Tax Oversight
Committee Report
Secondary Course Approval
2014-15 School Calendar Approval
Da Vinci MOU