FH Weekly Update - 10/16/22


Principal's Message

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

Fall is in the air! As the leaves change and the temperatures begin to drop, our learning for the year is heating up! Check out the pictures above of our 4th graders' very successful field trip to the Kennedy Center. It's a joy to see these experiences returning for our students after several years on hold. 

There are some exciting FH events planned as the first quarter draws to a close. We hope to see you this Friday for PTA Spooky Movie Night, and next week for a Family Dinner Out at Mod Pizza and Ben & Jerry's. On November 4, we will celebrate our incredible cultural diversity through our International Day and Parade. Please see this flier to sign up your child(ren) and for how to be involved with this very special tradition at Freedom Hill. The flier will also be coming home in Wednesday folders this week. 

As you may have heard, I was out of the building last week (and will be again this week) after successful surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. I'd like to say a big thank you to Mr. Kopacz (AP) and Mrs. Tingler (Special Ed. Chair) for their support in the building. Our staff at Freedom Hill are simply fantastic in the lengths they go to support our students. I will see everyone next week for Harvest Spirit Week!

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • October 17 - 19 - CogAT Testing Dates (2nd Grade)
  • October 21 - Spooky Movie Night
  • October 24 - School Closed - Diwali 
  • October 25 - Family Dinner Out - Mod Pizza / Ben & Jerry's
  • October 26 - 29 - Harvest Spirit Week
  • October 28 - First Quarter Ends
  • November 4 - International Day & Parade

Positivity Project: Integrity



This week, we are focusing on Integrity. You are honest and speak the truth. You present yourself genuinely and sincerely.

“Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it.”  


Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • What does integrity mean to you?
  • When is it difficult to show integrity in your day-to-day life?
  • Why is it important to show integrity in your relationships with others?

CogAT Testing Dates

All 2nd grade students will be taking the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) on October 17th. 18th, and 19th.  There are 3 sections for this test which will each be held on a different day.  Any makeups will be held on October 20th and 21st.  Please email Tara Fredericks (TLfredericks@fcps.edu) with any questions. 

We're Hiring!

We have one current job vacancy at FH:

  1. Student/Classroom Monitor - hourly position (7 hours, 5 days per week) supporting students and teachers in a variety of capacities. 

Please email Dr. Zapadka with your interest and resume.

Office Requests

  • The Art Department is in need of baby wipes to help little hands get cleaned up.  Please consider picking up a package or two of baby wipes as you’re doing your grocery shopping and donating them to school.
  • When calling the school or picking up your child early please know the following:
    • Your child’s first and last name
    • Your child’s teacher’s name
    • Your child’s grade

Special Education Review Final Report

FCPS is committed to providing excellence for all students, and continues to seek ways to improve and ensure the highest quality of special education and related services for students and families. At the request of the School Board, the FCPS Office of Auditor General engaged a consultant to conduct an independent, third-party review of FCPS’ special education program in October 2020. 

American Institutes for Research® (AIR) presented their final report during the School Board’s October 4 work session. Watch the video of AIR’s presentation and visit FCPS’ Office of Auditor General webpage for more information.

The School Board will hold a second session to discuss a framework for the Special Education Enhancement Plan at their Tuesday, November 15 work session.

Follow us on Twitter at @FreedomHillES or #FHHighlights


PTA Updates

Thanks to those who joined us for the PTA meeting last week. We look forward to seeing you FRIDAY for Spooky Movie Night. Be sure to get your pizza orders in by Wednesday.

We can't wait to spend a Halloween Spooky Movie Night with you on Friday, October 21st! The people (well the Facebook people) voted and Encanto will be the movie we see! LOCATION CHANGE: We are going to be moving this event into the cafeteria! Still bring your blankets and yoga mats to sit on and tune in for the show. While we aren't charging for formal admission fees, we are asking for a suggested donation for the evening of activities ($5 per person, $15 per family, any amount appreciated) which you can send via Pay4SchoolStuff. You can also pre-order Dominoes Pizza on Pay4SchoolStuff thanks to our 6th grade who'll be managing that. All the details on the night are here in the flier! Visit Pay4SchoolStuff to get your donations and pre-orders in or turn in a check with the form here. Thank you to Avanti Desai for organizing!


Just a few more spots to fill to help with Spooky Movie Night. Here is the main one: https://tinyurl.com/fh-hsmn-22. This one is for 6th grade volunteer hours: tinyurl.com/fh6th-hsm. Sign up today!


Join us for the return of our International Parade on Friday, November 4th at 9:30am on the back field (inside if it rains). If your child would like to participate and represent a country and dress up in the traditional dress, please complete the form at:  https://tinyurl.com/fh-pta-intl-22. The participating students will need to be at school by 8:45am on Nov. 5th to be in the rehearsal. More details here on the flier. 

We always need extra volunteers to help us during the parade rehearsal and/or the parade itself - check the box if you want to help. Q's? Contact Smriti Choudhary at: choudharysmriti@gmail.com.


Thanks for joining us for the PTA meeting. For a recap, check out the minutes and powerpoint. There was great information passed on by Ms. Rossman on great changes in the reading program which is available here. Unfortunately the recording did not work so we don't have that. Apologies about that! 

Additionally this a suggested resource from Ms. Rossman of decodable texts. This comes with a caveat that parents can use these to reinforce a skill, but these shouldn’t be the thing they FOCUS on for their students because when kids feel happy about reading they want to keep reading.  The kids need to be our guide at home in their reading journey. Decodable texts here.


Thank you to all the Room Parents who have volunteered to help out! We really appreciate your time and energy. Regarding grade level funds, we will be sharing a spreadsheet to help with the tracking in the next couple of days. Room Parents should be able to stop by the front office and pick up any cash donations. Teachers, if you have any funds - please give them to the front admin team so the room parents can pick it up in the next week or so. We will combine the amounts donated online with cash donations and share with the grade level room parents and teachers for transparency. Also still looking for one more room parent for Ms. Layne's class - let us know if you can help! Email us here.


Save the date for our next Family Dinner Out on Oct. 25th at Mod Pizza and Ben & Jerry's on Maple Ave. They are BOTH generously donating back to the PTA for our sales between 4-9pm.


Stay in the know with the latest and greatest PTA Calendar with all the year's details here! Always check the newsletter as events may be updated/changed.