FHES Weekly Update: 12/6/2020


Principals' Message

Happy Sunday, Freedom Hill Community!

We hope all are doing well. With the end of the calendar year approaching, we'd like to provide this helpful student calendar link for families who'd like to view or print:

2020-21 School Calendar

We look forward to providing continued updates as our return to school plans are reassessed. Look for an update this Thursday at the School Board meeting. The table below will be updated as we receive important dates for return to school:

Grade Level:

PreK, K, Specialists

Grades   1-2

Grades 3-6

Teacher Assignments Mailed:




Teacher Planning Days (Asynchronous Days for Students)




Students return:





Have a great week!

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Asst. Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

  • December 7 - Eagles Read! Bedtime Stories Night
  • December 7 - 11 - National Inclusive Schools Week
  • December 21 - January 1 - Winter Holiday

Eagles Read! Bedtime Stories

Join us on December 7th from 7:30 – 8:00 pm for a read aloud night  with Dr. Z, Mr. Fenton, Mrs. Stewart, Ms. Damon and Ms. Connors.  You’re never too old to listen to a read aloud! So, be sure to join us in your coziest pajamas at our Eagles Read! monthly bedtime story-time program and start our week together as a PK-6 Freedom Hill community. Look for a link on Monday, Dec 7th in your email.

Inclusive Schools Week


This week is National Inclusive Schools Week. We spend time celebrating inclusion of all students in our community. Freedom Hill teachers will be leading some short discussions on inclusion. Please let your teacher know if you have a topic you'd like to contribute!

This Virtual Classroom has a variety of resources that you may wish to share with your children this week. 

Positivity Project - Words and Actions Matter


This element means that everything we do, say, text, tweet, snap, or post can positively or negatively impact other people. According to research from McKinsey & Co, “the typical American hears or reads more than one hundred thousand words every day.” Think about that for a moment: 100,000 words every single day. Now, stop and ask yourself, “Are the percentage of words someone else hears or reads from me helping or hurting that person?” As Rachel Wolchin says, “Be mindful with words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you may stick with someone for a lifetime.”

Our actions can also have ripple effects long after we make them. Deeds highlighting our character – such as forgiving a sibling, being present and enthusiastic about a colleague’s presentation, or kindly holding the elevator door for a stranger – can impact the people we love, work with, or even just bump into on the street. Through your actions you have the power to make somebody happy, sad, inspired, or discouraged. And, always remember, our words and actions are our choices to make.

Encouraging Positive Behaviors at Home: A Behavioral Support Series for Families

In collaboration with FCPS Behavior Intervention Services, the Parent Resource Center brings you this series of webinars. This series will provide families with strategies and positive supports to help encourage social, emotional, and behavioral growth. For more information about each session visit: https://bit.ly/3hahky7 

  • Thursday, December 17, 2020: All Behavior Happens for a Reason: Behavior as Communication
  • Thursday, January 21, 2021: Strategies for Increasing Replacement Behaviors
  • Thursday, February 18, 2021: Teaching your Child to Follow Directions

Return to School Form

For students who are returning for in-person learning, families must complete the Health Screening Commitment form prior to the first day of when your student will return. 

Please email the Health Commitment Form to ssujoromero@fcps.edu or drop off to the front office between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It can also be acknowledged through ParentVue. Again, we need the form prior to the student’s return to school.

Health Commitment Form- English

Health Commitment Form- Arabic

Health Commitment Form- Chinese

Health Commitment Form- Farsi

Health Commitment Form- Spanish

Health Commitment Form- Urdo

Family Resources

 Parent Technology Help Desk  833-921-3277 (833-921-FCPS) 

Parent and Student Technology Support Portal 

Freedom Hill Digital Tools Webpage  

FCPS Parent Resource Center 

FCPS Return to School

Updates from the PTA


Do all your holiday shopping while helping raise money for your FHES PTA! Gift cards make fabulous presents for family, friends, neighbors, teachers, staff, childcare providers, tutors, coaches and scout or community leaders. Great options include Starbucks, Amazon, Target, Bath & Body Works, Home Depot and more! Deadline: THIS Wed. Dec. 9th (to get by Tues. Dec. 15th) More brands and full list of retailers here that can be added to the form. Gift card forms are here to download. Orders can be emailed to Tina Banach at tina.banach@outlook.com or dropped off in the PTA mailbox at school. Q's or issues with the form? Contact Tina Banach.


Thank you to everyone who ordered spirit wear during our Fall sale!  If you ordered spirit wear and didn’t pay to have it shipped to your home, it is ready for you to pick up at Michelle Zahalsky’s house, down the street from the school. Email her at mzahalsky@gmail.com to let her know when you want to pick it up, and she’ll put it outside her door for you.  


ENTER THE VA PTA CITIZENSHIP ESSAY CONTEST Virginia PTA is committed to promoting a sense of citizenship and responsibility in the lives of our children – tomorrow’s leaders. To demonstrate the value that Virginia PTA places on good citizenship, we are proud to sponsor, support, and encourage Virginia students to write an essay for the 2021 Citizenship Essay Contest. This year’s selected theme is “How can we stand together when we are so far apart?” There are different requirements for various grade levels. Details are here. Essays are due by February 1, 2021. Winners can receive a cash prize and may be sent to the state finals!


SEPTA FREE SCREENING  SEPTA (the Special Education PTA) is doing a free movie screening of an impactful movie on restraint and seclusion called "The Kids We Lose" on Dec. 7 from 7:00-9:30 pmThe Kids We Lose is a 90-minute documentary film about the human side of being a child or student with behavioral challenges, and the struggles faced by parents, educators, staff in facilities, mental health clinicians, and judicial and law enforcement professionals in trying to ensure that these kids receive the help they need. The Kids We Lose also exposes the often brutal, inhumane ways in which kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges are treated in schools, inpatient psychiatry units, residential facilities, and prisons. Please note the movie is somewhat graphic. If you'd like to learn more about this important topic, check out the trailer here or register for the free viewing here.


FHES TEACHER APPRECIATION LOVE We are happy to report the Teacher Appreciation Committee has delivered a very special gift to the school mailboxes of all Freedom Hill teachers and staff. We know our staff and teachers are working tirelessly so please accept this small token of our unwavering gratitude! Though we are unable to be together in-person for a breakfast or luncheon, being “virtually unstoppable” is pretty amazing! Thanks to Angela Waugaman and Ina Soepangkat for putting these together and Kelly Harris for distributing.