FH Weekly Update - 1/2/23


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Community,

Welcome back for a new year! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break. Last year at this time, many students had illness in their families after the holidays. Please help us to keep all of our students and staff healthy by screening your student before they return to school tomorrow. If your child does not feel well or presents with any COVID-like symptoms, kindly keep them at home until they have recovered. We appreciate your support helping us kick off 2023 in a healthy way at Freedom Hill. 

January is a busy month of learning, and our PTA also has much planned for us! Please see the bottom section for more information on winter enrichment, the Spelling Bee, the Science Fair, and the next PTA meeting. Families of students in grades 3-6 should note the VGA (winter SOL) testing dates. 


Happy New Year!

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • January 3 - School Resumes
  • January 4 - 17 - Winter VGA Window (Grades 3-6)
  • January 16 - School Closed - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • January 18 - Virtual PTA Meeting, 7:30 PM
  • January 24 - February 3 - Grade Level Spelling Bees
  • January 25 – End of Q2 – Early Release Day

Virginia Growth Assessment (VGA) Dates

The winter Virginia Growth Assessment (VGA) will be taking place at Freedom Hill in January  This is a content-based assessment for 3-6 grade students in math and reading. The assessments will start around 9:30 each morning so please have your child arrive on time. To learn more information about the Virginia Growth Assessment, please visit this website. If you have any questions about the VGA, please email Mr. Kopacz. 

We ask that your family try their best to avoid appointments and absences on testing dates:


COVID Diagnostic Testing

Mark your calendars! COVID diagnostic testing will be available for FCPS teachers, staff, and students at five locations across the county January 3-5 from 5 to 8 p.m. This testing is for those who are either experiencing COVID symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID. Appointments are not required, but registration must be completed before testing. Visit the COVID Testing webpage for more information.

Positivity Project: Optimism


This week we will be focusing on the character strength of Optimism. Optimism means you expect the best from the future and work to achieve it.

Optimism represents a state of hopefulness and confidence about the future (both short and long term). People with this strength are future-oriented. They have a positive vision of what the future holds and maintain confidence that they will get there. Despite setbacks, they keep a positive attitude and often find ways to convert what seems like an obstacle into a stepping-stone to achieving their goals.


Parent Advocacy Handbook

FCPS has published a newly revised Parent Advocacy Handbook for parents and guardians. The handbook contains answers to many questions parents have about the school system and how they can best advocate for their student during various stages of their school experience. The handbook is available in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, and Spanish.


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.




PTA Updates

We hope you had an amazing and restful break and are recharged for the new year. Check out the announcements below.


Join us for our PTA meeting to ring in the new year of PTA activities on Wednesday, January 18th at 7:30 pm. We will be meeting virtually and sending out the zoom info shortly. 


Just a reminder if you signed your child up for Winter Enrichment, classes begin next week! You would have gotten an email confirmation from: bc-ffx-freedomhill@jumbula.com if you need a reminder. 


Our Spelling Bee is on the horizon! Between Jan. 24-Feb. 3rd, kids have the option of participating in a grade-level bee. Participation is optional for students, and 6 students per grade level will advance to the final round. 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 on Feb. 8th at 6 pm.


Freedom Hill's SCIENCE FAIR is making its return on February 15th. The last time we had one was pre-Covid in February of 2020! Now is the time to start thinking about projects with your child. This is an interactive evening where students can showcase what they have learned. The Science Fair is optional but a fun way for students to think out of the box and test things out! Great resources for ideas are at: education.com and ScienceBuddies. More info will be coming out on it!


Some key dates to mark on your calendar are:
Feb. 8 - FHES School-wide Spelling Bee 
Feb. 15 - Science Fair