FH Weekly Update 8/29/21


Dear Freedom Hill Community,

We'd like to thank our students, staff, and families for helping to make our return to school week successful and memorable this year. The halls and classrooms were buzzing with positivity, engagement, and learning. Our students are forming friendships and connecting with their teachers each day. Despite our absence from the building last year, our students quickly learned our many routines, like how to quickly transition outside for a fire drill and to eat safely in the cafeteria. 

As we continue into our second week, we ask for your continued vigilance at home as you check your students for health symptoms each day. If your student is unwell, please help us to keep our community safe by keeping them home and taking them for a test. 

This week we have included some important information in the newsletter. Please see below for health information, news on Back to School and AAP Information Night, and for ways that you can get involved and join our amazing PTA. We look forward to seeing everyone at our Back to School Picnic!

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2021-22 FCPS School Calendar

  • August 31 - Parent Virtual Back to School Night
    • Advanced Academics Info Meetings - 5:30 and 7:30
    • Grades PK-2: 6:00 - 6:40
    • Grades 3-6: 6:50 - 7:30
  • September 3 - No School - Labor Day Holiday
  • September 6 - No School - Labor Day Holiday
  • September 10 - PTA Back to School Picnic - 6-8PM
  • September 14 - Virtual PTA Meeting, 8PM

Safety First!

If you child is experiencing any of these symptoms, please keep your child at home! In addition, if any member of your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, your student may not report to school. Please contact our clinic or the health department for next steps. 


Virtual Back to School Night + AAP Information Meetings

We will be holding our virtual Back to School Night this Tuesday, August 31. Your student's teacher or grade level will contact you with information on joining the event. We look forward to seeing you and celebrating the beginning of a new school year at Freedom Hill!

In addition, Mrs. Fredericks will be holding an information meeting for Advanced Academics services. We will be talking about the 4 levels of AAP in elementary and answering parent questions. The sessions will be held at 5:30 and 7:30 on August 31st via Zoom (passcode is 003730). We will finish the first session before the 6:00 Back to School Night session begins.  

The session will be recorded and shared if you are not able to attend. 

On October 20th, we will be holding another parent session covering how to refer your child for level 4 AAP services. That information will not be covered in detail at the 8/31 meetings.

New Wall!


Check out our new wall! Thank you to the 6th grade class of 2020-21 for the wonderful gift to our school. It was completed by artist Zack Winfrey. 

Did you know...?


That our art teacher, Mr. A., is a graduate student studying Art Education? He is excited to be incorporating new techniques in our art classes this year. Here's Mr. A. with his new sketch of Bernini's David.

Schoology - New to FH

Freedom Hill is excited to launch our new learning management system: Schoology. Schoology is a learning space that enhances face-to-face and distance learning through communication, collaboration, and personalized learning.  

Teachers can use Schoology to post their classroom materials online; to provide a safe forum for students to discuss their ideas and collaborate on projects; and to assign and collect homework electronically. It helps students stay organized and it keeps the class connected.

Parent Accounts

A Schoology Parent Account gives you access to:

  • Your child’s classes.
  • Your child’s upcoming assignments.
  • School, class, and group announcements.

To access Schoology, parents will need to have an active SIS/ParentVUE account. 

More information on how to login and use Schoology is available online

Health & Safety Guidance

The health and safety of our families is our utmost priority. Here is some information from FCPS that gives tips on how to stop the spread, as well as explains the process we use when there is a positive case.

FCPS Health and Safety Guidance Webpage

Our Health and Safety Guidance Webpage has the most current information about our layered prevention strategies, what happens if your child becomes ill at school, and the process when there is a pause in instruction or activities after a positive COVID case.

Flow Chart for Notification of a Positive Case

We know the pause process is frustrating and sometimes confusing for families. The flowchart below is posted to the FCPS website and explains the exact process FH, FCPS, and the Fairfax County Health Department use to identify and notify close contacts after a positive case.

Flowchart outlining process for students identified as a close contact

COVID Dashboard

All FCPS COVID-19 cases are reported via a dashboard posted to the FCPS website and updated daily. While this does not outline the number of students quarantining, it has tabs showing total number of cases, cases by school and cases by date.

FCPS Covid-19 Dashboard


Transportation Updates

Thank you for your patience this week as our Transportation Department worked through new bus routes and processes. All of our buses are now arriving on time to school, with the exception of Bus 4. Bus 4 will continue to be around 20 minutes late picking up students until a bus driver is hired. Students still have the opportunity to eat breakfast when they arrive. 

PTA Updates

We hope you had a great first week of school. Join the PTA and check out the fun below! 


Our Back to School Picnic will be on Friday, Sept. 10th from 5:30-7:30pm on the school's blacktop area. Order a box meal from Jason's Deli on http://www.pay4schoolstuff.com or bring your own food! Grab a tasty ice cream from the Ben and Jerry's ice cream cart! NOTE: Ben & Jerry's will be donating 20% of proceeds to the PTA and a portion of the Jason's Deli order will go to the PTA as well. We're so excited to SEE people again! BIG PROPS to KRUTI VERMA for putting this together for us! Want to use a paper form for your Jason's deli order? Get the form here and drop off in the front office with a check to Freedom Hill PTA by Sept. 7th. Sign up genius is here to volunteer to help. 


Join us for our first PTA meeting of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 14th at 8pm. We'll be meeting virtually so join us here or call 301-715-8592 with meeting id: 934 6979 4615. 


Do you know the PTA is a volunteer-driven organization that helps with programs, activities and traditions NOT provided by FCPS? Things like: capital improvements (new water filling stations), Reading Materials (replenishing classroom libraries), Teacher Wishlists, Technology needs (like Peardeck) and many events through out the year? We have a membership goal to raise $10,000 this year. Do what you can and become a member. See Family Forms details here and Teacher discount form here. See our cool thank you gifts in our Family Forms. You can sign up online at http://www.pay4schoolstuff.com too!


AUTO-EARN MONEY FOR THE PTA Want an easy way to earn dollars for FHES PTA? Designate Freedom Hill ES PTA online for:

  • Harris Teeter TIE program - Go here to designate Freedom Hill PTA or visit your local store and ask the cashier to designate FHES for you
  • Amazon Smile - Go here to designate Freedom Hill PTA as your charity or click HERE to download the app. 


COMMUNICATIONS - STAY IN THE KNOW! Stay in communication with Freedom Hill PTA. Besides this newsletter, you can follow us on Twitter at @freedomhillpta or request to join our private Facebook Group, Freedom Hill ES Community


FHES CALENDAR Want to stay super organized? Check out the calendar we've put together. We combined it with the FCPS School Calendar and consulted with FHES. It will be updated as more things are confirmed during the year.


GET TECH READY Two handy things to have set up are Pay4SchoolStuff and My School Bucks. Pay4SchoolStuff can be used for PTA events, donations, and more. MySchoolBucks is typically used for field trips or lunch money. Sign up for an account today!