FH Weekly Update - 10/30/22


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

What a blast we had last week during Harvest Spirit Week. It was great to see so many students AND staff participating with harvest colors, pajamas, fall sports apparel, and dressing as some of our favorite book characters. Mrs. Kelly put together a short slideshow of some of the excitement. This is definitely a learning community that loves to have fun together while we make more progress in the grade level curriculum. 

We begin the 2nd quarter of our school year tomorrow with a Teacher Workday. During this time, our fabulous staff will be engaged in conferences with each of their families, planning instruction for the 2nd quarter, and beginning to finalize grades / report cards. It is a busy day, but we are happy to welcome you to the Front Office tomorrow if you need anything between the hours of 8:30-3:30. 

As with most months, November holds several exciting events. On Friday of this week we hold our annual International Day & Parade (thank you to the PTA and Smriti Choudhary for helping to plan this!).Look for more information soon on Veterans' Day, our Scholastic Book Fair, and our Thanksgiving Luncheon. We look forward to seeing you soon!

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Asst. Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • October 31 - Teacher Workday (No school for students)
  • November 4 - International Day & Parade, 9:30AM
  • November 8 - Election Day (No school for students)
  • November 9 - Q1 Report Cards Sent Home
  • November 10 - Dunn Loring Elementary Project Community Mtg., 6PM
  • November 14 - 18 - Scholastic Book Fair (Info next week!)

Positivity Project: Knowing My Words and Actions Affect Others







This week, we are working on ONE of the FIVE overarching components of the Positivity Project. Knowing that everything you do and say can affect others-and your relationships with them.


“Solid character will reflect itself in consistent behavior, while poor character will seek to hide behind deceptive words and actions.”  

                    ~Myles Munroe

Often times, knowing something and acting like you know it doesn’t line up with each other. For example, you know that your words and actions impact other people, but your behavior doesn’t always show that understanding.

What does it look like to KNOW that your words and actions impact others?


2022-23 Strategic Planning

You may have heard FCPS is developing a Strategic Plan that will serve as the school division’s roadmap for the future. We encourage every parent/caregiver, student, employee, and community member to participate in this important work. 

The first engagement opportunity will be an optional survey, which will be open to students in grades 3-12. Knowing what is important to students will be very helpful to Dr. Reid, as she leads the planning of FCPS’ future. All schools, including ours, will schedule a date and time during the school day to administer the survey between November 2-18. If you would prefer that your child not participate, you may opt your child out of taking the survey. Please visit FCPS’ website for more information.


Impact Aid Survey

FCPS will be asking ALL families to fill out a Student-Parent Survey for Federal Impact Aid that was sent home. Returning this form is important because information from this survey results in an additional $3 million in grants each year from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are used to support all Fairfax County Public Schools and centers.

For each school-aged child in your household, please complete, sign, date, and return the survey to Freedom Hill. If sections 1 and 2 of the survey do not apply to you, just check the box in Section 3. All forms must be signed, dated, and returned by November 4. All results are confidential. Please contact Ms. Cadena-Gonce in the front office if you have 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.

Dunn Loring Community Meeting

Join FCPS on Thursday, November 10, for a community meeting to learn more about the Dunn Loring repurposing project, a Fairfax County Public Schools capital project funded by a voter-approved bond referendum. During this meeting, you will learn more about the project and design process to date and have an opportunity to share your views on the project and design process. Public feedback will be shared with the Fairfax County Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors, School Board, and FCPS staff on the community’s view of the project and design process to date. Please be aware, at this stage in the design and construction process, no major changes may be made but small adjustments may be considered. 

The November 10 community meeting will be a hybrid event, allowing participants to choose to attend in person at the Gatehouse Administrative Center (8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church) or virtually via Zoom. The meeting is scheduled for 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Language interpretation will be provided based on the availability of interpretation staff.

Please be aware, the November 10 meeting will focus on the proposed design and future construction. Boundary discussions will begin at the start of construction, which may be as early as spring 2024. We will share future engagement opportunities with the community as they are scheduled.

Register for the November 10 community meeting

Learn more about the Dunn Loring project (and sign up for email updates)

About the project

The Dunn Loring Administrative Center was originally built to address the needs of a rapidly growing population. Additions were needed throughout the 1940s and 50s as the Baby Boom generation entered elementary school in this thriving community. Needs changed and by 1978, the school was repurposed, eventually serving FCPS staff as an administrative center. As our community grows in a new era, we have the opportunity to return the building to its original purpose and support the needs of students in the surrounding community. 

The repurposing of the Dunn Loring Administrative Center will provide approximately 900 students with an elementary school rooted in history and poised to provide 21st-century learning, preparing young children for bright futures. Through this single project, FCPS supports quality education in ten other schools by relieving the pressures of increasing enrollment growth. 

Feedback Welcome on Proposed Family Life Education Changes

The Fairfax County School Board is reviewing recommended changes to the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum and invites public feedback as part of the review process. In May 2022, the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee (FLECAC) presented recommended curriculum changes, to go into effect for the 2023-24 school year. Those changes include adopting gender-combined instruction, and exploring instruction of gender identity, recommended media, and other instructional changes. 

The recommendations reflect leading education and child development research and expert advice. According to research cited in the recommendations, these changes will create a more inclusive learning environment, result in higher academic achievement for students, and improve school climate.

Public feedback will be shared with FLECAC and the School Board. FCPS staff and the School Board will consider all feedback but are unable to reply to individuals. 

Learn more about the recommended changes on our website. The public feedback form will be available on our website and will be open October 31 through December 1.

Follow us on Twitter at @FreedomHillES or #FHHighlights


PTA Updates

Thanks to those who helped out with our Family Dinner Out last week! We look forward to the return of the International Parade this Friday! 

Have you heard about International Parade? Open to everyone, we all celebrate our countries of origin and our diverse community at Freedom Hill. Your child can pick a country that has meaning to them and find a creative way to represent that country. It could be wearing the traditional dress from that country to wearing the country colors to wearing a shirt with the flag on it. Our team will be printing out flag for children to hold in the parade. It takes place on Friday, November 4th at 9:30am on the back soccer field (inside the school hallways if it rains).

If your child would like to participate and represent a country and dress up in the traditional/creative 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. 4th 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


PTA MEETING Nov. 9 at 8pm
Join us for our upcoming PTA Meeting on November 9th at 8pm. We'll be talking about upcoming events for the rest of the year and get some time with Dr. Z and hopefully some special staff members! Join us here or call in to 646-558-8656 and use meeting id 751 932 7167


Our FHES staff is onsite on 11/11 for a staff development day (also Veteran's Day). The Teacher Appreciation team thought this would be an awesome time to give them a great breakfast. To help with this effort, check out the flier for details! You can either help financially through Pay4SchoolStuff and select Teacher Appreciation or volunteer to help too! Contact Sara Lyon for details!