FH Weekly Update - 2/26/23


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

It was a great week! Our funny February of weather gave us some spring warmth and winter cold. We also welcomed many of our families for our Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) kickoff dinner! Thank you to our "Top Dog" David Hay for organizing this for our community. If you missed it, you can learn more about the program in this quick video. Signups for dads to volunteer at FH will start next week!

We have an exciting and eventful new month ahead, beginning with our Read-A-Thon this week. As many of you know, this is our school's/PTA's primary fundraiser for the year, with proceeds benefitting the many extra programs and materials that we have at our school each year. Please see the PTA section below for more information on how to enroll your student(s). As parents and elementary educators, we know that reading is one of the most enriching activities for a child, and we are pleased to promote it this week during Read Across America Week. A BIG thank you to Amber Halaka, who is the PTA lead for our Read-A-Thon this year! 

Freedom Hill’s Read Across America Read-a-Thon kicks off on March 2nd with author Shannon Earle. All students will have a chance to hear from Ms. Earle about her book, The Penguin of Ilha Grande, and engage in a Q & A with her. Please see more information below on how you can order her book. Thank you to Mrs. Rossman for organizing this for all of us!


Looking forward to a great week,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • March 1 - School Spirit Wear Deadline (see PTA section)
  • March 1 - Spring Enrichment Registration Opens (see PTA section)
  • March 2 - 17 - 2023 Readathon
  • March 2 - 2-hour Early Release at 2:05
  • March 3 - No School - Professional Dev. Day for Staff
  • March 9 - Spring Picture Day w/ Victor O'Neill Studios
  • March 20 - 24 - Spring Book Fair, Volunteers Need (SignUp!) 

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar 

Lost and Found


Last week's weather makes us think that spring is right around the corner. These are also the days when our Lost and Found explodes.  Please make sure your child’s name is on all articles of clothing that they could take off (as well as water bottles, lunch boxes, etc.).  You are also welcome to check in at the office and take a peek in the Lost and Found.    

2023 SOL Calendar


SOL testing will be taking place in the month of May this year for students in grades 3-6. The SOL assessments are content assessments that measure a student’s growth in Mathematics, Reading, and Science (5th grade only). These tests will be conducted during the morning of the dates listed in the table above. It is important that your child attend school on the dates designated for them to test.  Please ensure your child gets plenty of rest the night prior. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Kopacz, our school testing coordinator.

Food Drive Thank You

Dear Freedom Hill,

Thank you for your amazing help on my food drive project. It means so much to me that you helped me to gather food. Thanks to all of you I was able to get food and fulfill my goals for the project. We managed to collect three hundred and seven pounds of food for people in need. Food for Others thanks you for your help.

Thank You,

Andrew Halaka

Positivity Project: Love of Learning




This week, we are focusing on Love of Learning. You master new topics and skills on your own or in school.


"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

                                                          ~B.B. King


Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • What kinds of things do you like learning?
  • Do you think it’s true that you can learn ANYTHING?
  • What do you think are the benefits of loving to learn?

2023-24 Kindergarten Registration Open!

It is already that time of year to start planning for next year.  Our Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open.  Please use the online portal to submit your initial information and our registrar, Ms. Sujo, will follow up with you.  



If you have a child at home who will be five by September 30th, please register now.  If you have any neighbors with rising kindergartners, please send this information to them, as well.  



PTA Updates

Lots of fun stuff happening this week! Enrichment registration opens on March 1st, Spiritwear Sale ends on March 1st and we kick off Readathon officially with the author event on March 2nd! Read below for details!



It’s your last chance to order spirit wear until March 1st! Now is the time to order it! Spiritwear is on sale here. Check out our store online. Spiritwear will be delivered approximately 3 weeks after the sale closes. Check out details here!



Spring Enrichment is here! Registration opens Wednesday, March 1st and closes on March 12th. Check out classes like PE Club, Scratch Coding, Spanish, Chess, Messiest Art Class Ever (but not in your house), Theater – Take the Stage, Cooking Around the World, Chemistry Creations, Young Diplomats, Fencing/Archery Combo, Floor Hockey, Multi-Sports from Love the Ball and Party like a Pop Star Dancing! We hope you check out these options as classes will fill up quickly. A huge thanks to Ross Camara for organizing everything for us! Check out the flier for details for details and visit the site to sign up.



Freedom Hill’s Read Across America Read-a-Thon kicks off on March 2nd with author Shannon Earle. All students will have a chance to hear from Ms. Earle about her book, The Penguin of Ilha Grande, and engage in a Q & A with her. All students who wish to order a book and have it personalized should send an order form (ENG)  (click here for Spanish) send an order form to school.  Books may be purchased on myschoolbucks or by cash/check attached to the order form. Any parent who wishes to purchase a book and request a personalization in person on the day of the event, may do so in the FHES lobby on March 2nd between 10:20-11:15. Let’s get ready to celebrate reading! Please contact FHES Reading Specialist, Ms. Rossman for more information.



Readathon was celebrated last year and the biggest PTA fundraiser of the year. Students logged over 300,000 minutes of reading and raised over $10K last year for FHES. The proceeds collected from Read-A-Thon will be used to refresh two aging non-fiction genres in the book rooms for all students as well as hands-on materials for phonics K-3 too. Here are all the details in the flier. Classrooms will have a weekly goal that will earn a teacher’s choice reward. For every 500 minutes read, a class earns one entry to win the grand prize of Dr. Z as the substitute for a day. If we meet our school-wide goal of $10,000 raised, students get to throw water balloons at Principals during Field Day! To register, go to: https://read-a-thon.com/readers/r/HwhYsZ Search for your teacher’s name Register your reader Send out emails, texts, Facebook posts or donate!



Bring your children their future middle school's spring play! See Into the Woods Jr. on March 17-18, 24-25th. You can purchase tickets here. Set in a fairy-tale kingdom, Into the Woods Jr. reimagines the Brothers Grimm tales with their narratives intertwined, and the various plots are tied together by a Narrator. The musical centers on a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. 


ON THE HORIZON March 2 – 2 Hour Early Release, Readathon Author Event at School

March 3 – Student Holiday (Staff Development)

Early March – NNAT3 Assessments (Grade 1)

March 6-17 – Readathon

March 9 – Spring Portraits and Class Pictures