FH Weekly Update - 4/7/24


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

We hope you are well! 

A heartfelt thank you to all the families who joined us last week to volunteer for School Picture Day, and for our Kindergarten Orientation event. If you were unable to attend, please refer to the newsletter for details on registering your child for the 2024-2025 school year. This Thursday, please join us for our April PTA meeting, which has some important topics related to next school year. This month's meeting is virtual and the link is below. 

Mark your calendars! Our annual Staff vs. the Westgate Staff Volleyball game is next week, April 19! Our students love to see their teachers in action. Don’t forget to pre-order your pizza and tickets, and sign-up to lend a helping hand during the event. 

On April 17, we invite your family to join us in recognizing, honoring, and appreciating the resilience, sacrifices, and contributions of our military-connected students and their families as we celebrate the Month of the Military Child. One of the most visible displays of support for military-connected youth occurs on Purple Up! Day, a day dedicated to showing appreciation by wearing purple – to represent the combined colors of branches of the military.

Finally, an early Eid Mubarak to our families who will be ending the season of Ramadan this week. Please see below for more information about this cultural observance. School will be closed on Wednesday in observance of this holiday. 

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar

FCPS Lunch Menu

  • April 10 - Eid al-Fitr, School Closed
  • April 11 - 3rd Quarter Report Cards Sent Home
  • April 11 - April PTA Meeting, Virtual, 7:30PM, Link
  • April 17 - Purple Up! Day
  • April 18 - Marshall Pyramid Art Show @ Marshall HS, 6-7:30PM
  • April 19 - Freedom Hill vs. Westgate Faculty V-ball Game, 7PM




This week, we are focusing on Humor. You like to laugh and bring smiles to other people.

“A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles.”

           ~Mignon McLaughlin

Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • How does humor affect relationships? How does it connect people?
  • How can you incorporate more humor into your everyday life?

Have you ever been in a situation where you just couldn’t stop laughing? What happened?

National Assistant Principals Week


Freedom Hill is privileged to have our wonderful Assistant Principal, Eric Kopacz. We are so thankful for all he does to support our community's students, families, and staff. He supports many areas of our school, including school testing, behavior supports, special education, and much more. He always does so with positivity and the belief that every child's future matters!

Join NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators in honoring the enormous contributions of assistant principals to student success.

National Library Week

This week is National Library Week! Please join us in appreciating the one and only Katherine Trott, our librarian at Freedom Hill. Mrs. Trott enthusiastically wears many hats at Freedom Hill - teacher, specialist, instructional partner, leader, library administrator, book fair coordinator, and much more. 

Explore all that school library programs have to offer for student learning, and the important roles that school librarians play in the school community.


2024-25 Staff Hiring

We are expecting openings in the following areas, and ask for our families' support in referring interested candidates to us:

  • Teacher, Special Education (Autism)
  • Teacher, Special Education (Preschool Autism)
  • Instructional Assistant, PreK
  • Daily Substitute Teachers and Assistants 

Family Learning Series

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. Sessions are simulcast in English and 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. 
  • Introduction to Special Education & Section 504 with Mrs. Tingler and Mr. Grumbach (Link)
  • The Science of Reading & Supporting Your Child at Home with Mrs. Rossman and Mrs. Mansuy (Link)

Recording Coming Next Week

  • All About the SOLs with Mr. Kopacz and Dr. Zapadka 

Kindergarten Registration

As a reminder, kindergarten registration is now open.  Students that turn five prior to September 30, 2024 are eligible to attend kindergarten this fall.  Please reach out to our Student Information Assistant, Ms. Sujo, at ssujoromero@fcps.edu to schedule a registration appointment.


2024 SOL Testing Schedule

SOL testing will be taking place starting at the end of April 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 below. As always, please try to avoid absences/appointments during testing days and ensure that your child has a full night’s rest and good breakfast on their testing dates. Thank you!


April is Autism Acceptance Month


This year, the National Institute of Mental Health is providing resources in honor of Autism Acceptance Month.  These resources highlight and focus on inclusivity and connectedness and honor the unique perspectives of people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

ASD is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. 

Autism Acceptance Month Resource List

Calendar of Self-Paced Learning Opportunities (from the Applied Behavior Analysis Team)

Month of the Military Child


April is the Month of the Military Child! Every year we take the opportunity to recognize military-connected youth for their service and contribution to our community. Fairfax County Public Schools is proud to have over 14,000 military-connected youth as a part of our student body. We appreciate the varied life experiences they bring to our school community, and recognize their strength and resilience. Learn more about Month of the Military Child and FCPS’ resources for military families

National Arab American Heritage Month


FCPS is proud to celebrate National Arab American Heritage Month in April. This special month provides an opportunity to recognize the remarkable history and valuable contributions of Arab Americans. Arab Americans have ancestry in one of the world’s 22 Arab nations, which are located from northern Africa through western Asia. The people of these nations are ethnically, politically, and religiously diverse but share a common cultural and linguistic heritage. Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

National Muslim American Heritage Month


Muslim American Heritage Month is a time for celebrating the history, contributions, culture, and an enhanced understanding of the diverse population of Muslim Americans. View the Fairfax County School Board resolution honoring Muslim American Heritage Month.

Dr. Bussey Memorial Equity Award

Nominations are open for the 2024 Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award.  The Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee (MSAOC) sponsors this award to honor the legacy of Dr. Bussey, a founding member of the MSAOC and a longtime advocate for students and families.  

This award recognizes staff or community members who have demonstrated significant and impactful efforts to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students from groups who are marginalized or underserved.

Any FCPS employee, student, or community member can nominate an individual or group for the award. All nomination materials must be submitted by Wednesday, May 1st, 2024.  The winner will be recognized at the FCPS Equity Symposium.

Full details and the nomination information form can be found at the Dr. Lawrence Bussey Memorial Equity Award website

Safe, Supported, and Included — the FCPS Family Summit 2024

Register Today for the FCPS Family Summit Registration is open for the FCPS Family Summit, which will take place on Saturday, April 20, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Marshall High School. The conference will cover topics that are helpful for all families, such as social-emotional resources, along with a specially curated online component to provide supports for students with disabilities and their families.

Some of the topics include raising resilient, independent children; forming meaningful connections with children; addressing big emotions; and the dangers of opioids and fentanyl. The theme — Safe, Supported, and Included — aligns with Goal 2 of FCPS’ 2023-30 Strategic Plan.

🎤 Our Schools, Our Future: Community Conversations Continue

Join Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid for Our Schools, Our Future – A Community Conversation. Your voice matters! Share your thoughts about FCPS and bring your questions to a conversation on:

Pre-registration for a Community Conversation is not required but will help FCPS plan. Childcare and interpretation services will be provided for all events based on staff availability. Events are open to all. Learn about other opportunities to connect with Dr. Reid.

Hill Happenings


PTA Updates


Attend the virtual PTA meeting this Thursday, April 11th at 7:30PM.  Use this Zoom link.  This is our next to last meeting of the school year and the agenda is packed! We’ll highlight the remaining PTA events planned for this school year, present the slate of candidates for next year’s PTA Board, and much more. The full agenda and year-to-date financials will be posted to the PTA website prior to the meeting. 



Mark your calendars for the annual Freedom Hill ES vs. Westgate ES staff volleyball game on Friday night, April 19th, from 6:30-8PM at Marshall High School. Students, families, and staff LOVE watching and cheering for Freedom Hill!  Fliers came home last week with more information. Don’t forget to pre-order your pizza and tickets, and sign-up to lend a helping hand during the event. 

Thanks to Rachel Shabica for coordinating with Westgate PTA to ‘serve’ a great time and we hope you ‘dig’ the event! (All puns intended!)



Save the date for another opportunity to dine out (or take out) with the Freedom Hill community on Tuesday, April 30th at the Vienna Shopping Center located on Maple Ave West in downtown Vienna. Grab pizza at Mod Pizza all day (10:30AM to 10:00PM) and dessert from Ben & Jerry’s from 4PM to 9PM. If ordering online at Mod, use code MODGIVES20.  The PTA receives a portion of all sales from both locations!