FH Weekly Update - 4/30/23


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

We are reflecting on a truly "fun Friday" with a successful 4th Grade field trip to Jamestown, and a fabulous staff volleyball game against Westgate. We were so thankful to see so many students and families cheering in the crowd! Check out the photo album here. A big thank you to our staff members who competed, our team captain Mr. Dowling, all of our PTA volunteers, as well as Rachel Shabica, whose organization helped the event go so smoothly. We look forward to a rematch in 2024.

This week, SOL testing is beginning for our 3rd-6th graders. The schedule has been posted below. This is a great opportunity for our students to shine and show all that they have learned this year. Please help your student(s) by making sure they are getting a good night's sleep and breakfast. We'll be excited to share their success. 

Wednesday is the grand opening of the Freedom Hill Salad Bar, which is included in all school lunch purchases. If you are a parent of a student in grades K-2 and are willing to volunteer for lunch on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to support our students, we would love to welcome you! Here is a helpful video you can also watch at home. 

Lastly, next week is Staff Appreciation Week. Have you started thinking about a way to show appreciation for your amazing Freedom Hill teachers and specialists? 


Have a great week!

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2022-23 FCPS School Calendar

  • May 2 - 23 - SOL Testing for Grades 3-6 - See Schedule Below
  • May 3 - Grand Opening - FH Salad Bar
  • May 8 - Optional Parent Input for Class Placement Due (See below) 
  • May 8 - 12 - Staff Appreciation Week
  • May 12 - PTA Bingo Night    

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar 

SY 23-24 Class Placement Parent Input

If your child is returning to Freedom Hill next school year, we offer you the opportunity to share any comments you would like regarding class placements. If you know that your family will not be joining us for the 2023-24 school year, please call or email Ms. Sujo at 703-506-7800 to let us know.

Our staff will be working on tentative class groupings this spring, with classroom assignments finalized in mid-August. As we make these placements, we consider many factors including individual academic and social strengths/needs, teacher input, and social relationships. Every class will have a blend of children with diverse needs, personalities, and learning interests. Due to the many factors we must consider in creating classroom placements, including the reassignment of some teachers to a different grade level and the hiring of new teachers, requests for a specific teacher cannot be honored.

If you have information that you believe is pertinent to your child’s placement for next year, please complete the optional Class Placement Input Form (one per child) by Monday, May 8th for it to be taken into consideration. There is no need to complete the form if you do not have any information you would like us to consider. Thank you.

Grand Opening - FH Salad Bar

We are excited to share that Freedom Hill will be adding a nutritious salad bar to our cafeteria starting on May 3! The salad bar will include daily fresh fruits, vegetables and protein sources and will be included in the price of our daily lunches. 

For more information, see this website. We will pass along more information as the date draws closer. We will also be asking for parent volunteers to be on hand during this week to assist students in using the bar. Mark your calendars! 

Yearbook Sales

Yearbook sales have opened! Please see our flyer for ordering information.


Positivity Project: Enthusiasm




This week, we are focusing on Enthusiasm. You approach life with excitement and energy. You energize people around you.


“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

           ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • How can you tap into enthusiasm for things you don’t like so much?
  • How can you encourage each other in the things that you love and the things you don’t like so much?
  • What type of mindset do you need to have to be able to approach things in life you don’t like with enthusiasm?

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.

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

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Friday night for a stupendous showing of FHES spirit! Details and photo album below! Don't forget to buy tickets to our May 12th Bingo Night in a couple of weeks on Pay4SchoolStuff!



What an awesome faculty volleyball game on Friday night! Thanks to everyone - the organizers, the volunteers, the staff who played and cheered, the students who became screaming eagles with their signs and spirit and our friends at Westgate E.S. What an amazing turn out! We hope you had a blast. A huge props to Rachel Shabica who was our lead organizer and Coach Ian "Dark Knight" Dowling who did so much to put this together. Check out the photo album here!



Get ready to have an awesome night of fun on Friday, May 12th with FHES Bingo Night! Come play bingo with your friends and win prizes on Friday, May 12th from 6-8pm! Bingo cards are $1 per card or $5 for 6 cards. You can also pre-order your pizza too! Card sales and Pizza sales are available to purchase on Pay4SchoolStuff! Pizza sales help 6th grade moving up activities. Check out the flier for more info! Many hands make the work light! Volunteer here.



We’re so excited to appreciate our awesome staff and teachers and RAISE THE BAR for them! Check out the awesome activities we’ve planned for Teacher Appreciation week in the flier here! Props to Sechin Lee and Sara Lyon for leading this effort! If you can help with set up or clean up (sign up here) or food provisions (here), it’d be greatly appreciated!



This is your chance to give back to FHES through your awesome organizational skills. Apply for the PTA board by emailing this form (also available in word if you email us) to nominating_committee@freedomhillpta.org. Thank you Tori Draude, Angela Waugaman and Michelle Zahalsky for helping with the nominating committee! If you are curious about the time/effort, contact president@freeomhillpta.org or any board member for details!



The end of the year is quickly approaching. Get ahead for next fall and skip back-to-school shopping with our Sprout School Supply Kits for 2023-2024. It's an easy way to save time and money on back to school supplies and support your school community. Check out the flier here or order online with school code: FHES001. Deadline to order is June 20th!



Nominations are open for the Harriette Best Award. Please email the name of your nominee to info@freedomhillpta.org and write a short explanation on why this person should get this award. Nominations due by Monday, May 15th.  What is the Harriette Best Award? The Harriette Ann Best Award was instituted more than a decade ago by the Freedom Hill’s Parent Teacher Association as a tribute to honor our former Assistant Principal.  Mrs. Best was the epitome of dedication to the staff, students, and community of Freedom Hill from 1991 through 2003.  Since its inception, this award has been given each year since to the parent(s) and/or staff member(s) who best exemplify what Mrs. Best continued to accomplish until her retirement. Recent award winners include: Katherine Cadena-Gonce and Elizabeth Spinney (2022), Neda Sarafrazi and Lisa Bliss (2021), Diana Hernandez (2020), Tina Ejtemai Crawford and Louan Hassinger (2019). 

 Check out our FHES Calendar to plan further out in the year.