FH Weekly Update - 5/5/24

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Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

We hope you are well! Last week, some summer weather finally arrived, and things were heating up both inside and outside our school building. The principals took to the roof to have some fun with our grade levels who won our Read-A-Thon competition this year. Our 3-6 graders completed the Reading SOL. Initial scores are coming in, and we are so pleased to see our students demonstrating that they have learned at very high levels this year. In our classrooms, we continue to see our students engaged in fun and hands-on learning, which is a huge testament to our teaching staff. Check out some pictures below of our 3rd graders "operating" on non-fiction texts to identify common text features. 

And speaking of our staff... this week is Staff Appreciation Week! We are so thankful for our amazing teachers and staff who make Freedom Hill the wonderfully supportive school community that benefits our students each day. This is a great week for your family to express appreciation for our teachers, specialists, and instructional assistants. Need an idea? 

  • Gratitude - a heartfelt note about the impact the staff member has had on your family goes a long way!
  • Snacks - do you know your teacher's favorite snack? Providing a snack is a simply and thoughtful gesture to keep our educators energized
  • Gift Card - our staff are often spending their own money on making their classrooms special places for our students. Consider returning their kindness with something special. 

We want to thank Sarah Lyon and our PTA who have been doing a fabulous job with many events and meals for our staff during their busy days of teaching! We know it will be a great week. 

All the best,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar

FCPS Lunch Menu

  • May 6 - 10 - Staff Appreciation Week
  • May 8 - Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Day
  • May 16 - SOL Testing Resumes
  • May 27 - Memorial Day (School Closed)
  • May 31 - FH Culture/Heritage Day

Spring Photos Are Now Online!


For questions, please email: underclass@vosphoto.com




This week, we are focusing on Leadership. You value each member of your group and inspire other people to do their best.

“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and actions.”

           ~Harold S. Geneen

Questions you might enjoy talking about:

  • What are some of the characteristics of a good leader?
  • Do you consider yourself a leader? If not, what are some characteristics that might make that more possible? If so, what are the characteristics of leadership you need to build on to make stronger?
  • How does it make you feel to think about yourself as a leader?

Congratulations, Arianna!


A big congratulations to Arianna Cimino, who is the 2024 recipient of the Helping Hands Award presented by the Optimist Club of Greater Vienna! Arianne was selected as the 6th grader who embodies the tenet of Optimist International that “giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.” Arianna was presented the award last week, accompanied by her teachers, Ms. McFarland and Ms. Bayraktar. 

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.


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!


Hill Happenings


PTA Updates


This year’s SUN-sational Staff Appreciation Week is this week, 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 - feel free to send an email or even a handwritten note to school in your student’s backpack!



Do you know a staff member or parent/guardian that continually goes above and beyond to support the Freedom Hill Community? Nominate them today! We are seeking nominations of staff and family members of our Freedom Hill community for Freedom Hill’s annual Harriette Best Award.  You can use 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.



Save the date of Friday, May 31st for the annual Freedom Hill Culture/Heritage Day (formerly International Day) parade. Additional details, including time and how to sign up to participate, will be finalized and communicated soon!



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.


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