FH Weekly Update - 4/14/24


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

We hope you are enjoying a great weekend! We have a few reminders for you as we kick off another exciting week of learning. 

Don't forget! Our annual Staff vs. the Westgate Staff Volleyball game is this Friday, April 19! Our students love to see their teachers in action, and this is also a great fundraiser for our school. Don’t forget to pre-order your pizza and tickets, and sign-up to lend a helping hand during the event. See you at 6PM at Marshall HS!

On Wednesday, we invite your family to join us in recognizing the 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.

Speaking of color coordination, we also hope your family will join us for an Earth Spirit Week next week as we reflect on our planet and our responsibility to protect it. Lastly, this Thursday evening we have some very creative Eagles participating in the Marshall Pyramid Art Show at Marshall HS. Stop over if you have a moment to see their great work!

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar

FCPS Lunch Menu

  • 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
  • April 22 - Earth Week Spirit Week
  • April 23 - Full Time AAP Family Orientation, 10AM
  • April 24 - Theravanda New Year Observance - No tests/assessments at school
art showart show




This week, we are focusing on Purpose. You have beliefs about the meaning of life and your life’s purpose. You seek to be part of something greater than yourself.

“Regardless of whatever I do, I know my purpose is to make a difference in people’s lives.”

           ~Tim Tebow

Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • Do you ever wonder what your purpose is?
  • What kind of person do you want to be? What things could you be doing now to enhance the life of those around you?
  • What gifts, talents, and ideas do you have that you want to share?

Earth Week at Freedom Hill

For Earth Week, students are invited to wear the color matching each day’s theme to show your Earth Week spirit! You may also engage at home with this BINGO choice board!

  • Monday, April 22 – Earth Day - wear green
  • Tuesday, April 23 – Watershed Day - wear blue
  • Wednesday, April 24 – Zero Waste Day - wear white
  • Thursday, April 25 – Climate Change Day - wear red
  • Friday, April 26- Wildlife Day - wear nature print

School Health Services Survey

The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) employs school health aides and public health nurses who provide school health services to the students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).

To determine the quality of these services, a survey has been developed by the FCHD to be shared with all parents or guardians of FCPS students. Parents/guardians will be asked for feedback on the level of satisfaction with School Health services provided to the school community. The survey will be distributed electronically via FCPS This Week. The survey window is April 15 - April 26, 2024.

Survey link: www.redcap.link/FCHDSchoolHealthSurvey.

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)
  • Daily Substitute Teachers and Assistants 

School Pictures Available Soon!

Currently the photography company is working on processing all of the photos taken at Freedom Hill last week.  This usually takes 2-3 weeks.  Upon completion, you will be notified by email that the individual portraits and class photos are available to view and purchase through the Victor O’Neill Studios website.  You will also get a hard copy preview with ordering information in your child’s backpack after they arrive here from the company. We will provide an additional update when online viewing is ready.

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 Soon

  • 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.


Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day 2024


Is April 25! Designed to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work program goes beyond the average practice of “shadowing” an adult. Exposing children to what a parent or mentor does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities of work and family life, providing boys and girls a chance to share how they envision the future, and allowing them to begin steps toward their goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success. Learn more here

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



Help us rock the Marshall High School gym this Friday night, April 19th, from 6:30-8PM during the annual Freedom Hill ES vs. Westgate ES staff volleyball game. To show your support, wear red, gray or Freedom Hill spirit wear!

Tickets are $5 for adults and children age 5 and older. You can pre-order your tickets and cheese/pepperoni pizzas or slices by Wednesday night to save time. Check-in at the door for pre-ordered tickets, or purchase there. Pom-poms, etc and a limited number of pizza slices will be available for purchase. If you can, sign-up to lend a helping hand during the event. 

Pictured below is last year’s winning team (missing Mr. Kopacz), and a school wide postgame celebration on the court!



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!



Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in serving on the PTA Board next school year, and thank you to the Nominating Committee of Sohni Azim, Sandy Shadchehr, and Reena Shah who slated the following individuals for the 2024-2025 PTA Board as announced during the PTA meeting last week. If you are still interested in serving on the Board, you can self-nominate from the floor during the elections at the next (and last) PTA meeting on June 5th. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to join or lead a committee next year - more details to be shared at the end of the month.

  • ○ President: Kerrey Olden
  • ○ Secretary: Hyun Yoo
  • ○ Treasurer: Emily Jacobs
  • ○ VP: Amber Halaka
  • ○ VP of Communications/Technology: Thanya Kiara Osorio
  • ○ VP of Membership: Aleksia Forster
  • ○ VP of New Business Development: Camille Paredes