FH Weekly Update - 12/4/22


Principal's Message

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

We hope you are well! Two weeks of school remain until the winter holidays, and we look forward to two weeks of learning and fun! Yesterday, I was honored to sing at the Wolftrap Annual Holiday Sing-A-Long with Mrs. Canape and some of our Chorus students. It definitely helped me to feel the holiday cheer! Our students were well prepared and did a fabulous job! 

A few brief notes for this week:

  • This week, we celebrate our inclusive practices with Inclusive Schools Week. The FCPS theme for this year is "United Within Our Community". Our staff believe that every student at Freedom Hill can learn and grow. Though we are all different, we all benefit from the learning community that we have built together. A big thank you to Ms. Shultz and our special education team who have prepared a variety of topics for us to discuss this week during our Morning Meetings.
  • If you have not already, please consider taking a moment to nominate a staff member who has positively influenced your family in the Outstanding Employee Awards section below before 12/11.
  • Are you or someone you know open to working a few hours a day to support our school? We are looking for student monitors to work 3 hours per day to support our students in the cafeteria and at recess. Please send me an email if you are interested in joining us from 10:30-1:30 each day. 
  • Do you use Amazon for holiday shopping? If so, consider logging onto the website through Amazon Smile and selecting the Freedom Hill PTA. A small % of your order will be donated to our school community. 

On Thursday, FCPS will be observing Bodhi Day. A blessed Bodhi Day to all who celebrate.

In continued partnership, 

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • December 5 - 9 - Inclusive Schools Week
  • December 5/6 - PTA Family Dinner Out - Ledo Pizza
  • December 8 - Cultural Observance - Bodhi Day
  • December 11 - Outstanding Employee Awards Submissions Close
  • December 15 -  AAP Level IV Referral Deadline

FH Outstanding Employee Awards

Hello parents! It is time for the annual Outstanding Employee Awards! We will be collecting kind comments for our teachers at the links shared below. If you have a teacher that you would like to share some great comments about, please click on the link below and find that teachers name. There is a very quick google form with descriptions of each category and directions to fill out to share your comments. This year, we will be using these comments for a special surprise for the teachers in the school. Please share your thoughts about your incredible teachers! The forms will officially close on December 11th. If you have any questions please reach out to Eric Kopacz, epkopacz@fcps.edu.

Outstanding Teacher- https://forms.gle/jnSNUeR73KpKASM29

Outstanding New Teacher- https://forms.gle/zgFsycM9XdwUmMss8

Outstanding Professional Employee- https://forms.gle/36zMSRsxGnGWyq1R6

Outstanding Operations Employee- https://forms.gle/FHL65Tpjq5UxSrqFA

Holiday Generosity


We invite you to join our school community in supporting our families during this holiday season through the following:

  1. Donate a reusable shopping bag(s) to the front office to help us send home food and materials to families
  2. Drop off a gift card to a local grocery store (Trader Joe's preferred) at our front office. We will include these with gifts for families in need
  3. Contribute to the Girl Scout Cold Weather Drive. A box for collecting adult and children’s items will be placed at the school from 12/1-12/16.  Any new and gentle used coats, hats, gloves and scarves are appreciated. 

Positivity Project: Helping Others When They Struggle




This week, we are working on ONE of the FIVE overarching components of the Positivity Project. Supporting others when they struggle is an important test of our character every single day.

“We rise by lifting others.”

                    ~Robert Ingersoll

When you put others first, you look to comfort people in the small, day-to-day disappointments, whether they are friends, classmates, acquaintances, family, and even rivals.

Think of a time you went through something difficult and someone encouraged you. How can you pass on that act of kindness this week? 

AAP Referral Deadline

If you are interested in referring your child (grades 2-6) to be screened for full time AAP services, you will need to submit the referral form, questionnaire, and 2 work samples no later than December 15th.  Please submit them electronically to TLFredericks@fcps.edu or to your child's homeroom teacher.  You are also welcome to send in paper copies to your child's homeroom teacher or the front office. Please email TLFredericks@fcps.edu for any questions or help!

Referral form 

Parent Questionnaire

Preparing for Winter Weather

Winter weather will be here before you know it! Watch this video to see how weather-related closing decisions are made

FCPS’ inclement weather procedures will remain the same as last year. The first five inclement weather days will be traditional “snow days” with no school activities. After those five days, we will use the flexibility provided by the Virginia General Assembly to have unscheduled virtual learning days, whenever possible, to maintain the continuity of learning. Virtual learning on these days will be synchronous/live instruction, following the inclement weather virtual learning day schedule (includes a two-hour delay).

FCPS’ website is generally the first mode of communication during emergency weather closings. Other communication channels will be used as quickly as possible including email, text, social media, and news stations. Learn more about how schedule changes are communicated

Be sure to plan ahead for the winter season. Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in weCare@school, bookmark the FCPS website, plan for childcare, if appropriate, and know what items your child may need to take home before a weather event.

Keep Your Child Warm During Outdoor Activities

Your school’s principal will monitor the weather for low temperatures, wind chill advisories and warnings, and weather advisories which may prevent children from being outside. Make sure your child is dressed appropriately with a warm coat and other cold-weather clothing, so they can comfortably enjoy their time outdoors. See the National Weather Service’s tips on staying safe during cold weather.

If you need assistance supplying your child with cold-weather clothing, please call Fairfax County's Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) at 703-222-0880. The multilingual staff can assist with any challenges you are facing, including food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, and healthcare.


Welcome to New Staff!

Please join us in welcoming two new staff members to our Freedom Hill community:

  • Ms. Chitra Chillara is joining us as a special education Instructional Assistant
  • Ms. Sayuri Herron is joining us as a Classroom Monitor


Does your child need homework help or feedback on their writing? How about a practice quiz to get ready for a test? Tutor.com is open to FCPS students in all grades, on-demand, 24/7, at no cost to families. Learn more.


iReady Winter Testing

Students in grades 1-6 will participate in the math and reading iReady assessment (also known as the universal screener) for the winter window. More information about the assessment can be found on the FCPS Universal Screener Parent Notification webpage. For questions, please contact your child’s teacher.

Follow us on Twitter at @FreedomHillES or #FHHighlights



PTA Updates

We hope you had a great weekend. We'd love you all to join us tomorrow and Tuesday to support the PTA with Ledo's Pizza in Falls Church. See you then!


We're excited to partner with Ledo Pizza in Falls Church for a Family Dinner Out for Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 5-6th. 20% of all in person and take out sales those nights will go toward Freedom Hill so please join us there! The location is 7510 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22043 (by Trader Joe's). Catering orders that week count too. Just mention Freedom Hill when you purchase! Flier is here.


Keep your kids entertained these upcoming winter months with before and after school enrichment activities. This is a great opportunity for your kids to check out activities like PE Club, Cooking: Savory & Sweets, Guitar, Basketball, Spanish, Potions & Explosions, Chess, Pottery, and Minecraft. All classes are conveniently at Freedom Hill before or after school. Registration opens Tuesday, December 6th at 9 AMMore details on the flier. For more information, visit the site for class descriptions.


We are seeking 6-10 volunteers to assist us with a teacher appreciation activity for the week before break (12/12-12/16). This will be a short easy activity that anyone can do. We will meet Tuesday, 12/13 in the art room from 4:00-6:00 pm. If you would like to participate, please sign up here. If you can't volunteer but would like to leave a kind note for a teacher, submit an Outstanding Employee form by December 12th! If you'd like more info about the activity, contact president@freedomhillpta.org.


There are lots of ways to support families during this holiday season with the following:
  1. Donate a reusable shopping bag(s) to the front office to help FHES send home food & materials to families
  2. Drop off a gift card at the FHES office for a local grocery store (Trader Joe's preferred). FHES will include these with gifts for families in need.
  3. Contribute to the Girl Scout Cold Weather Drive. A box for collecting adult and children’s items will be placed at the school from 12/1-12/16.  Any new and gently used coats, hats, gloves, and scarves are appreciated. 

We're looking for a new on-site coordinator for our after-school activities starting 1/9/2023-3/17/2023. This is a paid position for 1.5 hours a day Mon-Thur. after school. The primary responsibility is to take attendance and to remain with the students until a parent picks them up after class. So if you, a neighbor, or a high school/college student are interested in helping out our school please reach out to Ross Camara here
PLUS - If you are a parent or relative of a current student we include one free registration to an enrichment class.


Save the date for our Spelling Bee coming up after the break. Between Jan. 24-Feb. 3rd, kids have the option of participating in a class level bee. Depending on student interest, students may be combined at grade levels for the first round. If there are 3 classes in a grade, 6 students (3*2) will be selected from the grade to advance to the School Bee. Study lists supplied by Scripps Spelling Bee are here: https://sites.google.com/site/spellingclubfhes/. To make spelling practice and learning fun, Scripps, for the time first time has released an official free mobile app for iOS and Android platforms available here. The School Bee will be held Feb. 8th at 6pm.


Some key dates to mark on your calendar are:
Dec. 8 - Bodhi Day (for those who celebrate)
Dec. 13 - Teacher Appreciation Activity for Parents
Dec. 15 - AAP Level IV Referral Deadline
Dec. 16 - Last Day to Register for Enrichment 
Dec. 19-Jan. 2 - Winter Break
January  - Winter SOL Growth Assessments
You can always get the latest PTA calendar right here!