FH Weekly Update - 4/28/24


Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

We hope you had a wonderful weekend! The weather is heating up, and so seem to be our activities at Freedom Hill. It was fabulous seeing so many things happening on campus last week, from several exciting field trips, the Staff vs. 6th Grade Volleyball game, a variety of student projects on display, and much more.

We also celebrated our amazing office staff for Administrative Professionals Day. Their warm and pleasant demeanor does not go unnoticed as many visitors share how welcoming they feel when they enter our school. Our staff treated them to many tokens of appreciation and a wonderful lunch outside of the building. Thank you Ms. Sujo, Mrs. Harris, Ms. Cadena-Gonce, and Ms. Riera! 

As we look ahead to next week, we want to remind families that SOLs will be starting for students in 3rd-6th grade. Please ensure that your child arrives to school on time, gets plenty of rest, and eats a healthy breakfast to fuel their minds for testing. We have full confidence in our students and know that they will do their best! If you'd like to learn more about the Virginia SOL assessments, including our process for taking them at Freedom Hill, tune in to the recording of our recent Family Learning Series session at this link

In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal


Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar

FCPS Lunch Menu

  • April 30 - SOL Testing Begins (full schedule below)
  • April 30 - PTA Family Dine Out Day - MOD Pizza / Ben & Jerry's - Vienna Shopping Center Locations
  • May 3 - Teacher Work Day (No school for students)
  • May 6 - 10 - Staff Appreciation Week
  • May 8 - Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day, Flyer





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?

Parent Input for Class Placement

As the 2023-2024 school year is coming to a close, your Freedom Hill staff is starting to prepare for the 2024-2025 school year. Class placement is one of the most important tasks that our staff engage in during the last weeks of school. When it comes to class placements, we consider many things, such as heterogeneous groupings, balancing academic abilities, and maximizing the support our resource teachers can provide students. 

If you feel that there is pertinent information to support your child’s success, please complete this optional Parent Input Form by Friday, May 24th.

Your child’s current classroom teacher, specialists, counselors, and administrators will collaborate to make well-balanced classes. We value and consider your insight into your child’s learning needs. Please note that this system is not intended for families to request specific teachers. 

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

As we approach the end of the school year, it’s important for students to stay engaged, attend school, and finish strong! Please let us know how we can support your family in making consistent attendance a priority for your child. Visit our website for attendance resources.


Summer Bookmobile Donation Request

The Freedom Hill Bookmobile is getting organized for summer 2024! We are in desperate need of our students’ favorite categories of books (click links to see examples):  I Can Read books,  2nd-3rd grade series books, graphic novels, and novels from easier to more complex for grades 4-6. We are low on storage as FHES grows, so we are accepting books that are within 5-10 years old and, hopefully, mostly I Can Read, 2nd-3rd grade series books, graphic novels and novels for grades 4th-6th graders. We have TONS of picture books, so you can hold onto those for now. Donations can be labeled as Bookmobile or Rossman and dropped in the main office. Students in need of service hours can reach out to Mrs. Rossman, msrossman@fcps.edu, to help her sort books. Our FHES students thank you!

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


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!



🎤 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


We hope to see you this Tuesday, April 30th at another family dinner and dessert out!  Join the Freedom Hill community 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!



This year’s SUN-sational Staff Appreciation Week is May 6th through May 10th. There will be treats for the staff all week long.  If you’re able, please sign-up here to volunteer to lend a helping hand to set up/clean up, or bring in an item as needed. Teacher appreciation week is a great opportunity for each of us to remember that a small note of appreciation goes a long way!



Nominate one (or more) staff or family members of our Freedom Hill community for the annual Harriette Best Award using this online form, or use the paper form that came home with your student(s).  Nominations are being accepted now through May 15th, and the award recipients will be announced at the year-end PTA Meeting on June 5th.

The Harriette Ann Best Award was instituted more than a decade ago by the FHES PTA as a tribute to honor former Assistant Principal Harriette Best. Mrs. Best was the epitome of dedication to the staff, students, and community of Freedom Hill from 1991 through 2003. She devoted hours of her own time and went above and beyond on a regular basis to assure that the staff and students at Freedom Hill had anything and everything they needed to be successful. This award is given each year to the parent(s) and/or staff member(s) who best exemplify the values and contributions for which Mrs. Best was known. A commemorative plaque hangs outside the cafeteria with all award recipients.



For your convenience, the PTA partnered with Sprout School Supplies for the upcoming year. Sprout offers prepackaged school supply kits customized to match the Freedom Hill grade-specific classroom lists.  Supply kits are delivered directly to school prior to the 1st day. Make back-to-school easier than ever and order your school supply kit now through June 18th at sproutsupplies.com with our School Code FHES001.