FHES Summer Update / Fall Dates

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

We hope the summer is well for you and your family! It is hard to believe that August has arrived, and with it our excitement about returning to school. Things have been busy at Freedom Hill, with nearly every classroom used this summer for summer school programs for our school and students from surrounding areas. Our custodial team, led by Mr. Aguilar-Beltran, is hard at work to ensure that our classrooms are in pristine shape for the first day of school. 

We wanted to provide some brief updates to begin August. Please see below for important new information on upcoming dates, vaccinations, a return to paid school meals, and more. 

We've had many families reach out this summer asking "how can I help in this coming school year?" As you likely know, the nation is currently faced with a significant teacher and school staff shortage. And while we are nearly fully staffed at Freedom Hill, we are looking for interested individuals to serve in a variety of essential support capacities. Here are a few opportunities - we ask your help in spreading these to any interested individuals:

  • Student monitors - we are searching for 2-3 individuals who will provide support to students throughout the school day at lunch, at recess, and around the school. This is a 7.0 hour per day role, and more information is provided below. 
  • Daily substitutes - a lack of consistent substitutes can cause significant daily hardship for schools. In order to ensure that our students are safe and supported each day, we would like to develop a list of 5 Freedom Hill community members who are interested in substituting consistently. If interested, please apply on the FCPS website and send an email to Ms. Cadena-Gonce and Dr. Zapadka
  • Calling all FH dads! We will be starting our long-awaited Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program this year. This program gives fathers or other caregivers the opportunity to spend a day volunteering in our school and being a presence in their student's academic life. We will be holding our informational Kickoff Night for the program (which will include pizza and refreshments for dads and students) on September 28. Mark your calendars!
  • PTA Volunteers - our wonderful PTA holds a variety of events throughout the school year that benefit and enrich our school community. Volunteers are needed! Please see the PTA section at the bottom of this newsletter. 

We plan to have some further information for you regarding Open House and the beginning of the school year in the coming weeks. Best wishes until then!

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Asst. Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • August 3 - Last Summer Bookmobile Date, 10:00-11:00
  • August 10 - Beautify the Bed! Come help out in front of the school, 6PM
  • August 16 - Rising Kindergarten Playdate, 5:30-7:00
  • August 19 - Open House for Students, 10:00-11:30
  • August 22 - First Day of School 
  • August 30 - Back to School Night for Families, 6:00
  • September 9 - PTA Back to School Picnic, 5:30
  • September 28 - Watch D.O.G.S. Kickoff Night, 6:30-7:30PM

Beautify the Bed!

Come join Dr. Zapadka, Mr. Kopacz, and our custodial team on August 10 from 6-8PM as we beautify the front bed of Freedom Hill. We will be weeding and mulching, so bring some gardening gloves and any yard equipment that you have! Your help is much needed and appreciated. We look forward to seeing you and preparing our school for a great first day. 


School Supply Lists

School supply lists for the 2022-23 school year can be found on our website


School Immunizations 22-23

As we begin to look ahead to the 2022-23 school year, we encourage everyone to Be Wise, Immunize! Immunizations are required for public school entry and help keep children protected from many diseases. Many children missed their well check-ups and their recommended childhood immunizations during recent years of disruptions from COVID-19. It is critical to catch up now to keep children healthy and protect them from serious diseases.

Please check with your healthcare provider to make sure your child is up to date on required immunizations for the 2022-23 school year as soon as possible. If your child needs a vaccine to complete their records, you can make an appointment with your healthcare provider or visit the Fairfax County Health Department website for a schedule of child immunization clinics. 

Monitor Positions for SY 22-23

Freedom Hill is seeking candidates to serve as student monitors for the coming school year. If interested, please follow the application process below. 


  • provide supervision of students throughout the school day to include but not limited to the classroom, hallways, lunch, recess, specials and at arrival/dismissal
  • ensures all layered prevention/safety protocols and procedures are implemented and followed
  • work with students individually and in small groups 


Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from high school. Must be comfortable managing student behaviors in large and small groups, ensuring all layered prevention/safety protocols and procedures are implemented and followed; and has general familiarity/skills with basic office technology in support of teachers, students, and the classroom.


Pay: $16.34/hour (no benefits) Hours: 8:45-4:15, 7 hour paid day with a 30 minute unpaid lunch


Email your resume and contact information for your two most recent supervisors to Dr. Zapadka. 

Free and Reduced-Price Meals 22-23

Families must submit an application and be approved to be eligible for free and reduced-price meals for the 2022-23 school year.

Interested families are encouraged to submit the Free and Reduced-Price Meal application ten days prior to the first day of the 2022-23 school year. The online application will be available later this summer and accessible via the FCPS homepage.  

Students approved for Free and Reduced-Price Meals may qualify for additional benefits such as waived or reduced fees for instruments, uniforms, field trips, and FCPS class fees. Schools also benefit from funding opportunities based on Free and Reduced Price Meal application numbers. 

Watch your email and our website for more information. Learn more about the Free and Reduced-Price Meal program online. If you have questions or need assistance with the Free and Reduced-Price Meals application, please contact the main office at 703-506-7800.

Follow us on Twitter at @FreedomHillES or #FHHighlights


PTA Updates


Three cheers to Tina Helwig who is organizing our Back to School Picnic on Friday, Sept. 9th from 5:30-7:30pm! Be sure to save the date - it's a fantastic event! We do need help in three areas:

  • FHES Spelling Bee - Thyaga Nandagopal has done this for so many years at FHES and would be a great trainer for you. The timing for this starts in late November/early December and wraps up by February. There are also a great many resources since this is a national program done by Scripps. 
  • Halloween Movie Night
  • In-Person Spirit Wear Sales 

Remember a PTA is nothing without its volunteers to support it and it can not rely on just a few people. Please email Sahar Javadi or Rachel Shabica for more details. We have additional PTA positions available - reach out to find out more info!

KINDERGARTEN PLAYDATE AUG. 16th For our rising kindergarteners, join us for our kindergarten playdate on Tuesday, August 16th! We'll have 5:30-6pm for our special education kindergarteners and from 6-7pm for all the kindergarteners together. Come socialize at the playground to meet other families! We'll have a tasty treat for the kids too - mini ice cream cones donated by Trader Joe's! 


Check out the Bookmobile this summer. The BookMobile is where you can get FREE Books, see FHES Teachers and get some cold treats! Bookmobile will be located at Idylwood Village West at the corner of Los Pueblos and Pimmit Run Streets in Falls Church. The last Bookmobile is at 10-11am on August 3. Keep up your summer reading with the bookmobile! Thank you to Melissa Rossman and Mary Gutenson for running this effort!