FH Weekly Update - 11/6/22


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

Wow, what a fun week! A big thank you to all who made one of our favorite events, our International Parade, a success. It was a special day seeing our students demonstrate such incredible pride in their heritage and to learn more about one another. Though we come from many backgrounds, we are united in our belief that our cultural diversity is what makes Freedom Hill a truly different and special elementary school!  A special thanks to our PTA, and especially our event chairs Smriti Choudhary and Rachel Shabica, for helping to make the event possible this year. 

Last week we also celebrated our first quarterly Soaring Eagle Citizens. These students were selected by their teachers as students who showcase our Positivity Project traits, and who enrich our school culture through kindness, friendship, and respect. We hope they had fun eating lunch with our school counselors and principals! Many thanks to Ms. Hill and Mrs. Coleman for organizing this event. Congratulations to our Q1 Soaring Eagles:

Adapted Programs:

Emilia L. & Jordan B.


Daniel L., Kaliana V., Vasudev W., Belkis M., Ezekiel L., Selene C. 

1st Grade:

Saleh A., Francheska M., Katie M., Abigail G., Tara K., Duncan J.

2nd Grade:

Sophy C., Antonio S., Brittany M., Nihaal S., Sofia G., Ayman N.

3rd Grade:

Abdullah A., Miraya A., Sergio L., Shreya M., Romy Y., Anas E.

4th Grade (pictured below): 

Ethan L., Ameen R., Daniela G., Elijah J., Owen O., McKenna L.

5th Grade:

Arianna C., Hannah B., Muhammad K., Lexington Y., Julia L., Adonay V.

6th Grade:

Toula A., Ibrahim Q., Dylan L., Anna N., Deborah M., Shariffah A. 


November is a busy month! We encourage you to see the list of important dates below.

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Asst. Principal


Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • November 8 - Election Day (School Closed)
  • November 9 - Q1 Report Cards Sent Home
  • November 9 - PTA Meeting, 8PM
  • November 10 - Dunn Loring Elementary Project Community Mtg., 6PM
  • November 11 - Veterans' Day (No school for students)
  • November 14 - 18 - Scholastic Book Fair
  • November 17 - Makeup Picture Day
  • November 18 - Thanksgiving Luncheon (Schedule Forthcoming)

Arrival/Dismissal Safety Reminders

A reminder to our community that our school doors open at 9:05, and we do not have outdoor staff supervision before that time. Please do not drop off students before 9:05 at our front door. 

At the end of the day, parents picking up students should enter the Kiss N Ride line, or pick them up personally at the SACC doors. The front office doors are used exclusively for bus riding students. 

Thank you for your support in keeping our students safe!

Positivity Project: Bravery



This week, we are focusing on Bravery. You act with mental, moral, or physical strength even when you know things are difficult or scary.


“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”

                    ~Mary Anne Radmacher


Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • What are some situations that may call for bravery?
  • What are the differences between moral, mental, and physical bravery?
  • Why is it sometimes difficult to be brave?

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.


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.

Substitute Bonus and Incentive Program

Work More - Earn a Bonus!!

FCPS has developed a bonus program for substitutes who accept more than the 10 required jobs.  For each milestone substitutes will earn a bonus.  If you meet all 3 milestones, your total bonus will be $900.00.  Bonuses will be paid quarterly.

  • If you work 50 substitute jobs within a school year, you will earn a $200.00 bonus.
  • If you work 100 substitute jobs within a school year, you will earn a $300.00 bonus.
  • If you work 150 substitute jobs within a school year, you will earn a $400.00 bonus.

Work on a High-Volume Day and You will receive Premium Pay!!

FCPS has identified high-volume days.  When you work on a high-volume day, your hourly pay will increase to 1.5 times your regular hourly pay.  All you need to do is accept a job in SmartFind Express and your pay rate will be adjusted for that day. 

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)

Follow us on Twitter at @FreedomHillES or #FHHighlights


PTA Updates

Thanks to everyone who helped out and participated in the International Day Parade this year. It was heartwarming to have this event return after an absence of 3 years! We had a blast. Join us for our PTA meeting on Wednesday at 8pm!


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 Mr. Kopacz. Mrs. Kelly, our Technology Specialist, will also be joining us to talk about digital resources and the kindergarten iPad initiative. Join us here or call in to 646-558-8656 and use meeting id 751 932 7167. 


What a wonderful celebration we had for International Day on Friday! It was amazing to see 120 children participate in the parade with flags from over 40+ countries! We also were excited to see children participate with country poster board projects in their classrooms as well as be represented on one global map. It was a true testament to how the diversity of Freedom Hill makes us special! A huge round of thanks goes to our International Chair: Smriti Choudhary, co-chair: Rachel Shabica, all the volunteers who helped, Dr. Z, Mr. Kopacz, Miss Katherine, the teachers for incorporating it into their classrooms and all the staff, and most importantly, the kids! We hope everyone had a great time. If you have photos, feel free to add them here. Special thanks to Sara Haddad who has been covering our social media accounts this year and doing an awesome job!    


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!


Tony Jensen won the Amazon gift card for our membership raffle. Congratulations Tony and family! We are concluding our fall membership drive and thank everyone who has contributed to the PTA membership. You can always join the PTA though at Pay4SchoolStuff.