FH Weekly Update - 3/19/23


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

A big thank you to our students, teachers, families, and PTA! Everyone chipped in and we met and surpassed our Readathon goal for the year! We raised over $12,000, which will benefit our school, students, and programs. We were so pleased to hold a fundraiser that simultaneously enhances our school and also encourages literacy. A big thank you to Amber Halaka for again managing this very large event this year! And yes, based on our students' hard work they will be invited to throw a water balloon at the principals on Field Day this year. 

We are also excited to share that Mrs. Finkelstein (our 6th grade teacher) and her husband welcomed their first child last week. We're looking forward to meeting Caleb Simon Finkelstein in the near future. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Ms. Shawn Carson back to Freedom Hill as Mrs. Finkelstein's long-term substitute. 

Wishing all of our Eagles a great week. We hope to see you at the Book Fair! 

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • March 20 - 24 - Spring Book Fair, Volunteers Need (SignUp!) 
  • March 21 / 22 - Spring Book Fair Family Nights, 4:30-6:30
  • March 28 - Family Dinner Out at Noodles & Co. and Midnight Treats
  • April 3 - 7 - Spring Break
  • April 13 - Kindergarten Orientation, 2:30

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar 

Positivity Project: Perspective


This week our school community will be focusing on the character strength of Perspective. Perspective means you appreciate when people see things in different ways. You have the ability to understand the world from multiple points of view.

Perspective is also referred to as wisdom and is distinct from intelligence. People with this strength are sought out for advice because they see the big picture and can make sense of the world’s complexity. This strength of perspective gives individuals the ability to see to the heart of difficult matters and achieve clarity. Most importantly, they are honest and behave in an ethically consistent manner. 

Watch D.O.G.S. Signup

The signups for our daily Watch D.O.G.S. (Dad of Great Students) is ready! You can sign up to volunteer for a day at Freedom Hill with this link. 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

The daily D.O.G.S. will report to the front office at 9:00 to receive their schedule. We look forward to it!


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.

Magnet School Application and Lottery Information

The Magnet Program registration window will be open from Wednesday March 1st, through Wednesday, April 12th, 2023.  No late applications are accepted.


Understanding Virginia Growth Assessment (VGA) Reports

Grade 3-8 students across Virginia took VGA tests in fall and winter of 2022-23. FCPS mailed score reports to families earlier this month that combine Fall and Winter results. When viewing students’ scores, it is important to keep in mind that there is no “passing” or “failing” for VGA tests and that each vertical scaled score reflects performance on a single day. VGA results should be used alongside other available data for a more complete picture of students’ academic progress. Also keep in mind that the VGA asks questions from the entire curriculum, including some standards that will not be taught until later in the school year.  

The FCPS VGA Score Reports webpage now includes a section on Understanding VGA Results, featuring Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). This section will continue to be updated throughout the spring to address incoming questions and to reflect additional state guidance as it is released. 

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.  



This year, the first full day of Ramadan is March 22. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims, who believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam's sacred text, to Mohammed, on a night known as "The Night of Power." During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one's relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran. Read more about Ramadan in National Geographic Kids. This year, Ramadan begins with a half Observance Day on March 22, followed by an Observance Day on March 23. The school calendar recognizes many religious and cultural observances (O days) during the school year. There is school on these days, however, the School Board has directed that tests, quizzes, field trips, graduation, homecoming, or FCPS-scheduled athletic events will not be held on these observance days. Half-Observance days are full school days, but important events will not be held after school on those days. See the complete 2022-23 school year calendar.



PTA Updates

What an incredible Readathon! We managed to raise over $12,500 and read 335,000 minutes!!! WOW! Keep those awesome reading habits going with the Spring Book Fair this week.



Thank you all for a great Read-a-thon!  We read over 335,000 minutes and raised over $12,500!  Reading was celebrated across all classrooms with finger flashlight Fridays and teacher's choice rewards, like PJ day or movie time.

Congratulations to the students this year for meeting our school-wide goal! Students can look forward to throwing water balloons at the Principals during Field Day! Reminder:  Students can still accept donations and should spend their prize money by March 28. Visit https://www.read-a-thon.com/school/Freedom-Hill-Elementary-PTA_52531. Q's? Email readathon@freedomhillpta.org 



If you missed the PTA meeting, you can get the recap in the notes and slides here. Thank you Hyun Yoo for taking those!



Great job to the Staff Appreciation Team for pulling off another awesome breakfast for our FHES teachers and staff for St. Patrick's Day! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped as well as Sara Lyon and Sechin Lee for organizing!



We're excited to get back to our Family Dinner Out fundraisers in Spring! Join us on Tuesday, March 28th between 4-8pm at Noodles & Co. and Midnight Treats. For Noodles & Co, in restaurant and online sales count and 25% goes to the PTA. Be sure you mention Freedom Hill or show the flier in person or put in code: GIVING25 for online or app orders. Noodles is located at: 201 Maple Avenue E, Vienna, VA 22181. For Midnight Treats, just mention Freedom Hill when paying!



Bingo Night is a beloved event that will take place this year on May 12. In order to prepared for it, we'd love to start collecting potential prizes. If you are doing a little spring cleaning, you can drop off prizes at Sahar Javadi's house at 8518 Quaint Lane, Vienna, VA 22182. Just email president@freedomhillpta.org to make sure we know it's a Bingo Prize donation. What makes a good prize? Unopened Games, Toys, Art & Crafts Kits or things remaining from the holidays.



Ms. Rossman is seeking to update our Summer Bookmobile collection with kid-friendly graphic novels, early readers, and chapter books. If you have any of these that you'd like to donate to FHES, please drop them off with a note for Ms. Rossman at the front office.