FH Weekly Update - 1/16/23


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

We hoped you've enjoyed the long weekend and had a moment to reflect on the profound impact of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. 

We have a very exciting and busy end of January ahead - the building will be buzzing with the Band/Strings concert, Chorus concert, spelling bees, preparations for the February Science Fair, and more! Next week also features an early release and two staff development days at the end of the first semester, so please keep an eye on the calendar. 

Lastly, students do engage in outdoor recess daily even during the winter months.  Please make sure you send your child in with a warm jacket, gloves, and a hat so they are ready to be outside.  If you need support obtaining any cold weather wear, please contact the main office or our parent liaison, Vania Espichan

Thank you for your continued support of our school and students. 

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • January 16 - School Closed - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • January 18 - Virtual PTA Meeting, 7:30 PM
  • January 23 - Evening Chorus Concert, 6:00 PM
  • January 24 - Evening Band/Strings Concert, 6:00 PM
  • January 24 - February 3 - Grade Level Spelling Bees
  • January 25 – End of Q2 – Early Release Day
  • January 26/27 - Staff Development Days (Student Holidays)

Front Office Reminders

  • Our doors close in the morning at 9:20. If you arrive with your student after 9:20, please park your vehicle and bring them to the office for a late pass. 
  • If you miss a call from the school, please listen to the voicemail before calling back.  There are almost 100 phone extensions in our building and the office has no way of knowing who called your number.  Not all calls are emergencies, but if there were an emergency with your student, we would continue to try and call you or the emergency contacts listed for your child.
  • As required in all FCPS schools, please be reminded that all visitors to Freedom Hill must display a visitor badge issued from our ScholarChip system.  You must scan your driver’s license and register on the computer located in the main office.  If you do not have a driver’s license, another form of photo ID should be provided and the office will assist you in registering.  Your ID must be brought with you each time you visit or volunteer at Freedom Hill.  If you do not have it with you, you will be denied access beyond the main office.

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:


Combined Fall and Winter VGA score reports will be delivered to families via U.S. Mail as soon as possible after all Winter VGA tests are completed. The anticipated delivery timeline is late February or early March 2023. The intention of combining this VGA reporting is to make it easier for families to view growth in the Vertical Scaled Scores (VSS) from fall to winter and to compare the student’s VSS results to the end-of-year proficiency target. More information pertaining to the VGA can be found here.

Positivity Project: Perseverance




This week, we are focusing on Perseverance. You complete what you start despite obstacles. You never give up.


"It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

                                                          ~Babe Ruth


Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • What is involved in perseverance?
  • How is perseverance related to teamwork? Creativity? Optimism?
  • How can a growth-mindset help as you think about perseverance?

Student Transfer Renewal Applications Open February 15

A student transfer is valid for one year only. A parent or guardian must submit a renewal application each year for student transfer consideration. A renewal application may be submitted for students who continue to meet the same student transfer criteria as indicated on the original student transfer request. For students no longer meeting the same student transfer criteria, a new transfer request must be submitted.

Letters from the principal will be automatically generated from the online student transfer application in February for students eligible and not eligible for renewal and sent to the enrolling parents primary email address. 

For detailed information regarding the renewal process, please visit the Online Student Transfer Application: Renewal Process webpage

FCPS Summer Tech Adventure Camp

Looking for a great summer activity for your student(s)? This weekly summer program gives students the opportunity to explore the exciting pathways in Career and Technical Education including STEAM, culinary, health, trades,
and computer science. Check out the flyer here

Preparing Families for Difficult Conversations about Alcohol & Drugs - Marshall HS

The FCPS Student Safety & Wellness Office is sponsoring a seminar for caregivers in our community to understand the basics around alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and opioids.  They will review what you can do as a caregiver as it relates to your child, and identify and connect you with community resources.  If you are interested in attending this event, you can sign up here.

COVID-19 Compensatory Education Plan Meetings for Families of Students with Disabilities

Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to implementing a plan for COVID-19 compensatory education as part of its obligation to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. Please join us at an informational meeting for parents/guardians and other stakeholders:

Visit our website to see what language interpretation services will be available at each meeting and to learn more about the COVID-19 Compensatory Education Plan.



PTA Updates

Check out the announcements and join us for the PTA meeting this week on Wednesday at 7:30 pm!



Join us for our PTA meeting on Wednesday, January 18th at 7:30 pm. To join us, click here. Meeting ID is: 962 1419 3278 and Passcode: 578340. Or if you are dialing in, use the number 309-205-3325 with meeting ID and passcode.



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. 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. 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 Science Fair is a great way to showcase something your child learned with a posterboard/tabletop presentation, demonstrate a cool hands-on experiment, or more! See the flyer for the form to fill out and an example tri-fold posterboard. Need ideas? Great resources for ideas are at: education.com and ScienceBuddiesForm due Feb. 1st  to Kerrey at kerreyolden@gmail.com or to the PTA Mailbox in the office. We need volunteers to help. Sign up here.



Make a resolution to help Freedom Hill PTA with things you already do. Three easy ways. - Harris Teeter - sign up your Harris Teeter card to benefit Freedom Hill ESSet up Amazon Smile to benefit Freedom Hill ES - Download the Boxtop for Education app and scan your receipts to put savings toward school (how to do it here).