FHES Back to School Update


Welcome to School Year 2022-23!

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

The first day of school is upon us! It was wonderful to see many families at Open House. I know we speak for our staff when we express how excited we are for our students to return tomorrow. 

Please review the newsletter below for important information on arrival procedures for school. Every beginning and ending of our school day involves the most important goal of the safe arrival and dismissal of our students. It takes a village to supervise this portion of our day but also involves families carefully following our drop-off and pick-up procedures to ensure our students' safety.

As a reminder, school lunches and breakfasts are now paid again. Please ensure your student(s) know your family's plans for breakfast and lunch at school. 

We look forward to continued partnership this year!

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • August 22 - First Day of School 
  • August 30 - Virtual Back to School Night for Parents, 6:00
  • September 2 - 5 - No school - Labor Day Holiday
  • September 9 - PTA Back to School Picnic, 5:30
  • September 28 - Watch D.O.G.S. Kickoff Night, 6:30-7:30PM

Arrival at School

Please see the below for arrival processes. Safety is our number one priority! Thank you for following the labelled routes. 

  • Parents and caregivers will be asked to say goodbye to their students at the door tomorrow if they choose to walk. Kindergarten families may bring students into the lobby for the first day of school only. They will be met by an adult and walked to class. We are not able to accommodate parent/teacher conversations tomorrow. 
  • Students should arrive at school between 9:05 and 9:20. Students arriving after 9:20 will be marked tardy. Tardy students miss important morning events - please arrive on time if transporting your student(s). 
  • Buses proceed through the yellow line (marked below). For safety reasons, parents and students should not walk through the bus lanes
  • Parents may drop off students using our Kiss and Ride lane. Please see the red line below for the route. Please drive safely and only drop off your student when they have arrived at the drop off curb. If you have not done so already, Kiss and Ride families should stop in the front office tomorrow to receive their dismissal number. 
  • There are entrances for student walkers in the front and side of the school. Please see the blue arrows. Walkers may not enter the bus or Kiss and Ride zones. 

Your Help Needed!

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. Email your resume and contact information for your two most recent supervisors to Dr. Zapadka. 
  • 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 10 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.

Transportation Information

Bus transportation information will be shared with families this week and will continue to be populated prior to the start of school. Please access the information via ParentVue. Additional information regarding bus transportation and how to access please access these links: 

Bus Delay Notification System  and the Transportation page.

Breakfast and Lunch Reminders

Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast and lunch are NO longer provided at no cost.  Breakfast will be $1.75.  Lunch will be $3.25, milk $0.60. Breakfast and lunch will be served beginning the first day of school.  Money can be added to your child(ren)’s accounts using www.myschoolbucks.com.  You can find the menu for breakfast and lunch at this link. 

Free and Reduced-Price Status

Students eligible for free or reduced-price meals will continue to receive these benefits through the end of September.  A new application must be filled out each new school year and forms are available online now: https://www.fcps.edu/resources/student-safety-and-wellness/food-and-nutrition-programs/free-and-reduced-price-meals.  Applications are accepted at any time, but we encourage you to apply or renew your application before the end of September. 

Follow us on Twitter at @FreedomHillES or #FHHighlights


PTA Updates


We need help with the FHES Spelling Bee, Halloween Movie Night and a few other positions. We have volunteers ready to train you. Check out our FULL LIST of volunteers here for additional positions needed. 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.