FH Weekly Update


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

We want to say a big thank you to everyone for making our first week of school a huge success! We jumped right back into familiar routines, and were overjoyed to see our students smiling and learning again in classrooms and around the building. We appreciate our families for ensuring that all students have entered the building by 9:20 each day, as this sets a routine for maximizing instructional time each day. We are kicking off our Morning News Show tomorrow at 9:20 sharp each day!

This week, we look forward to continuing our partnership through virtual Back to School Night. You will find a session schedule below, and can expect to receive a link to join from your teacher(s). We recommend joining at least 5 minutes early, as Zoom sometimes needs to update. There are two sessions in case families have more than one teacher to visit. We will also be recording  sessions in case your family is not able to attend on Tuesday. 

As always, please reach out at any time if we can support your family. 

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • August 30 - Virtual Back to School Night for Parents, 6:00
  • September 2 - 5 - No school - Labor Day Holiday
  • September 8 - PTA Fall Enrichment Opens
  • September 9 - PTA Back to School Picnic, 5:30
  • September 13 - Virtual PTA Meeting, 8PM
  • September 20 - Family Dinner Out - Chipotle Vienna
  • September 28 - Watch D.O.G.S. Kickoff Night, 6:30-7:30PM

We Are Communicators!

This year, we will be bringing you instructional updates and showcasing the great work of our students. As we work toward developing students who are ready to make their dreams come true, we are excited to share that Freedom Hill will be focusing on the FCPS Portrait of a Graduate attribute of "Communicators" this year. Our teachers are already working hard to ensure that our students are developing their communication skills each day across a variety of subjects and contexts. 

In addition, our 5th grade team will also be piloting the FCPS POG POL (Portrait of a Graduation Presentations of Learning) program, in which students will not only be developing communication skills, but will also present their learning and growth before the end of the year. 


Attention 4th, 5th and 6th Graders!

Music Signup is Open! Playing an instrument and/or singing in chorus is a wonderful opportunity for a child, and allows for participation in fun school events like serenading the school at the holidays. Options for this school year are as follows:

4th Grade: Strings

5th/6th Grade: Band or Strings

5th/6th Grade: Chorus (in addition to band/strings if desired)

Please click the link below and fill out the Google Form.  If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Hirt for band, Ms. Howell for strings, or Mrs. Canape for chorus.

Virtual Back to School Night - 8/30

We are excited to welcome all to our 2022 Virtual Back to School Night on Tuesday! Your child's teacher will be sending you the link to join one of the first two sessions. We will also be holding Advanced Academics Information Night (link), and an open session with the Principals (link) to ask any questions you have about the year. We look forward to seeing you!


SR&R Acknowledgement

We are extremely happy to have your child in our school with us this year!

The FCPS updated Student Rights & Responsibility booklet is now available online and in the ParentVue section of the Student Information System (SIS). The SR&R booklet explains expectations for student behavior, and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. 

Each year, we ask parents to review, sign, and return the SR&R to their child’s school. In ParentVue, you may now download and digitally sign the SR&R. Every parent/guardian with a ParentVUE account will see the SR&R upon login to ParentVUE until the SR&R acknowledgement has been completed.

Your name in the digital signature box must match the parent/guardian’s first and last name in SIS exactly before the signature will be accepted.

Please take a moment to log into ParentVue in your child’s SIS account to access the SR&R. Signatures are due by September 30, 2022.

Please contact us if you are having difficulty accessing the booklet.

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.

Superintendent Community Conversations - Marshall Pyramid - September 22

Please save the date for a very special event! Dr. Michelle Reid, FCPS superintendent, will host a Community Conversation at Marshall High School from 6:30-7:30 p.m. This event will be a unique opportunity to help Dr. Reid get to know our school community and learn more about her vision for our district.

Language interpretation will be provided, as available, as well as child care and light refreshments. Please register here to attend. 

Follow us on Twitter at @FreedomHillES or #FHHighlights


PTA Updates

We hope your students had a great first few days back to school! Hope to see you at our Back to School Picnic on Friday, Sept. 9th or at one of the many upcoming activities!


Save the date for our Back to School Picnic on Friday, Sept. 9th from 5:30-7:30pm on the Blacktop. You can bring your own food, order a box lunch from Jason's Deli and/or 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 for everyone to get together, play games and socialize. Order your Jason's Deli lunch by Wed., Sept. 7th through Pay4SchoolStuff or turn in the paper form here by Tues., Sept. 6th to the office in the PTA Mailbox or through Wednesday folders. The rain date for this event is Sept. 16th.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Many hands make the work light. Sign up for a shift to help with the Picnic here on our sign up genius:  https://tinyurl.com/FHBTS22


We are so excited to introduce before and after school enrichment classes to you. This is a great opportunity for your kids to check out activities like PE Club, Lego Jedi Engineering, All Kids Sports, Musical Theater, Spanish, Soccer, Chess, Cooking and Scratch Jr (STEM). All classes are conveniently at Freedom Hill before or after school. Registration opens Thursday, September 8th at 9:00 AM and closes Tuesday, September 20th at 11:59 PM. More details on the flier. For more information, visit the site for class descriptions.


Come join us for our 1st PTA meeting of the year on Tuesday, Sept. 13th at 8pm. We will talk about upcoming events, review the proposed PTA budget and have a good conversation with Dr. Z. Zoom info will be coming shortly!


Come join us and support the Freedom Hill PTA with our first Family Dinner Out! Visit Chipotle on Maple Ave. on Sept. 20th between 5-9pm at 213 Maple Ave East in Vienna. 33% of our Freedom Hill sales go to the PTA. You must show the flyer in the store, or say Freedom Hill when you order or order online for pick-up using code A9ME3A7. Check out all the information on the flier in English and Spanish.


We need parent volunteers to help manage classroom funds, organize teacher gifts and assist teachers in planning when there are classroom activities (winter break or field day end of year celebrations). This is a great way to be impactful in your child's class and doesn't require a lot of your time. If you're interested in volunteering, please contact your classroom teacher and Deb Speert. 


There are many ways to help the PTA including volunteering your time or giving a financial donation. To contribute financially, you can:
1) Go to Pay4SchoolStuff and select PTA Membership Donation
2) Print the membership and donation family form here (here for teachers). Fill out and return to the PTA Mailbox in the office with a check to FHES PTA.

Your donation goes directly to the programs sponsored by the FHES PTA that help to enrich our children's education. From orientations to educational programs to fun family friendly events, it all happens through the PTA! But we can't do it without your help - whether it's time you give or a donation. Join our PTA organization online today or volunteer for a position.


Support the Freedom Hill PTA with any Amazon Smile purchase. Choose "Freedom Hill Elem PTA" on your Amazon Smile page today! Visit Smile here.


Stay up to date with Freedom Hill ES Community group - open to all FHES teachers, staff and parents! Get all the updates and interact with other members of the community.


Your PTA is already hard at work! The Teacher Appreciation team, Sara Lyon and Sechin Lee, organized a Welcome Back lunch with Wawa sandwiches, chips and drinks for our teachers last Thursday. Way to go! Thanks to Dr. Z, Mr. Kopacz, Thomas Mawson, Tina Crawford, Jeff Hoffmann and Sahar Javadi for helping out on the day off!