FH Weekly Update - 2/11/24


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

It was a fun week on the Hill! Last week we celebrated School Counselors Appreciation Week, the 100th day of the school year, had a special lunch with our Q2 Soaring Eagle Citizens (see students recognized below), and continued our year of learning! We invite you to join us this Monday evening in the cafeteria for our annual Spelling Bee Finals. On Tuesday, Mrs. Tingler and Mr. Grumbach will be sharing more about Special Education for families who are interested (Zoom Link below). We hope you have a great week!


It’s Time For Read Across America 2024!

Author Gabriela Aldeman will visit FHES on March 1st to kick off our Read-a-Thon. To pre-order a copy of Paula’s Patches by Gabriela Aldeman, click this link to purchase from Vienna’s own Bards Alley! Proceeds from book sales will go towards offsetting the cost of the visit. Last chance to pre-order a signed copy of the book is this week! All orders close Friday, February 16th


In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar

FCPS Lunch Menu

  • February 12 - Spelling Bee Finals, 6PM
  • February 13 - Family Learning Series > Special Education (7PM English, 7:30 PM Spanish, Link)
  • February 19 - Presidents' Day - School Closed
  • February 23 - PTA Science Fair, 6:30PM
  • February 24 - Family Donuts Out, Donutchew of Vienna, 8AM-9PM

Substitutes Needed!

Freedom Hill is eager to hire additional substitutes who are interested in working as instructional assistants in our preschool and special education classrooms. These individuals will support the classroom teacher and students from 9:00-4:00. If interested, please email the school principal, and apply for the position on the FCPS website. Pay bonuses are available this year for substitutes who work high volume days and/or achieve milestones of days worked. Thank you!

Congratulations Q2 Soaring Eagles!

Last week we also celebrated our second quarterly Soaring Eagle Citizens. These students were selected by their teachers as students who showcase our Positivity Project traits, and who enrich our school culture through kindness, friendship, and respect. We hope they had fun eating lunch with our school counselors and principals! Many thanks to Ms. Hill for organizing this event. Congratulations to our Q2 Soaring Eagles:

Preschool / Adapted Programs:

Erica S., Aiden I., Diego Z., & Victoria P. 


Camila U., Ali Y., Sahasra S., Maxwell O., Sofia D., Evan H. 

1st Grade:

Sherilyn S., Thiago T., Mason N., Alyson M., Shama A., Ezekiel L. 

2nd Grade:

Omar N., Angela R., Edisson A., Sophia Y., Jean Y., Skyler H.

3rd Grade:

Nadar A., Bareen N., Cullen M., Serena C., William H., Arya S.

4th Grade: 

Shayla R., Ryan H., Kriday A., Keira W., Charlotte H., Marwan S.

5th Grade:

Claudia B., Ezra W., Deven S., Cara N., Daniela G., Gabriel F.

6th Grade:

Arianna C., Panashe S., Chimsom O., Ascary R., Regina V., Linsy F., Jacob C.

Front Office Reminders

  • While it is always a special time when families visit us for lunch, please be sure to 1) notify the classroom teacher, 2) check in at the front office, and 3) be sure to not photograph or share food with another family's student(s).
  • When you know ahead of time that you will be picking up your student early, please notify the teacher and the office so that we can have your student packed up and ready when you arrive.
  • Please consider donating paper towels to school. If you are able to donate, feel free to drop them off in the office anytime, or have them shipped directly to school. 
  • If your child will be traveling home a different way than usual or will be picked up early, please let the teacher and the office know by 2:00.  It is very difficult and not always possible to accommodate the many requests for end of day dismissals during the last few minutes of school.

parent information

Our expert Instructional Support Team is excited to share the dates and topics for our new Family Learning Series. Our goal is to provide learning opportunities for parents / caregivers interested in a variety of topics related to our students' experiences. These will be held virtually so that topics can be recorded for families to view at a later time if desired. The first 30 minutes will be in English, and the second 30 minutes in Spanish. We look forward to seeing you!


  • Introduction to Advanced Academics with Mrs. Fredericks (September 2023, Link)
  • Full-Time Advanced Academics Screening with Mrs. Fredericks - for families with students in grades 2-6 (October 2023, Link)
  • Watch D.O.G.S. Kickoff Pizza Night with Dr. Zapadka, Mr. Kopacz. Please email David Hay with inquiries. 

Coming Soon:

  • Feb. 13 - Introduction to Special Education & Section 504 with Mrs. Tingler and Mr. Grumbach (7PM English, 7:30PM Spanish, Link)

Later this Year:

  • March 13 - The Science of Reading - Our New Approach to Teaching with Mrs. Rossman and Mrs. Mansuy (7PM English, 7:30PM Spanish, Link TBD)
  • April 4 - All About the SOLs with Mr. Kopacz and Dr. Zapadka (7PM English, 7:30PM Spanish, Link TBD)

Black History Month


Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS. Learn more about Black History month.




This week, we are focusing on Love. You value close relationships with others and being close to people.


"Love and compassion are necessities not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

                                                          ~Dalai Lama

Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • Why do you think defining love can be so difficult?
  • Are there times when love is difficult to give others?

Why do you think it’s often difficult to demonstrate love to our families and/or friends?

Hill Happenings


PTA Updates


Good luck to all the students participating in the school-wide Spelling Bee tomorrow, February 12th in the cafeteria beginning at 6:00PM! You don’t need to be a participant to attend.



The school-wide read-a-thon is starting next month and Vienna’s very own author Gabriela Aldeman will visit FHES during the school day on March 1st to kick off the PTA’s Read-a-Thon. To pre-order a copy of Paula’s Patches by Gabriela Aldeman, click here to purchase from Vienna’s own Bards Alley! Proceeds from book sales will go towards offsetting the cost of the visit. All orders close this Friday, February 16th.



We are looking for a few volunteers to help arrange the cafeteria tables, assist students in setting up their projects, direct attendees during the event, and help reset the cafeteria the night of the science fair on Friday, February 23rd. If you can lend a helping hand, or have a student that needs volunteer hours, please sign up here.



Join us Saturday, February 24th for something extra sweet - an all-day family donuts out at Donutchew of Vienna! From 9AM-8PM, Donutchew will donate 20% of all proceeds to the Freedom Hill PTA. Donutchew offers mochi donuts, croffles, and bubble tea - oh my! Located at 107 Maple Avenue West in the heart of Vienna, Donutchew is a great spot to start the day, catch an afternoon snack, or even an after-dinner treat.  



The PTA is looking for folks interested in volunteering with the PTA next school year (July 2024 - June 2025), whether that’s in a Board position or on one of our many committees. 


We are also looking for individuals interested in serving on this school year’s Nominating Committee.  The Nominating Committee will be elected at our March PTA meeting, and will then meet to review the PTA Board applications and determine a slate of candidates for the 2024-2025 school year that they will present at the April PTA meeting. Voting on the Board candidates will then occur at the following PTA meeting in the beginning of June.


If you have an interest in any position or just want more information, please send a message to info@freedomhillpta.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!



Looking for the PTA's School Directory? The directory is online! Visit https://freedomhillespta.memberhub.com/directory and log in using the email address you previously provided to the school. If you log in and do NOT have access, please send an email to directory@freedomhillpta.org with your name (first and last), the name of your student(s), and the corresponding teacher's name(s). Contact directory@freedomhillpta.org with any questions or concerns.