FH Weekly Update - 5/12/24

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Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

Happy Mother's Day to all of our Freedom Hill moms!

We want to extend a heartfelt thank you for your support making Staff Appreciation Week very special for our staff. Our PTA and families were instrumental in making it a great week! We completely lost track of all of the notes of appreciation we read written to our teachers and staff, and are truly proud of the impact our staff has on our students each day and every year. Thank you for supporting our hardworking educators! 

And speaking of the PTA, Ms. Camille Paredes has been heading up our Family Dinners Out this year and is interested in your feedback on potential locations for next year. You can email her here

As we continue to fly through the month of May, we want to take a moment to tell you how proud we are of our students as they work through many end-of-year assessments. SOLs continue this week - make sure to double check the schedule for when your students are testing. 

A couple of things we know to have a positive impact on students taking tests:

  • A good night's sleep
  • Encouragement/belief from families and teachers
  • A healthy morning meal

Have 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 16 - 3rd/5th Grade Math SOL Assessment
  • May 17 - Last Day for Harriette Best Award Nominations
  • May 20 - 5th Grade Science SOL Assessment
  • May 21 - 4th/6th Math SOL Assessment
  • May 27 - Memorial Day (School Closed)
  • May 29 - Marshall HS Senior Walk @ FHES, 2:45
  • May 31 - FH Culture/Heritage Parade, 10:00-10:30
  • June 7 - Field Day
  • June 12 - Last Day of School (2 hour early release at 2:05)


Spring Photos Are Now Online!


For questions, please email: underclass@vosphoto.com




This week, we were working on reviewing our year-long exploration of Character through the Positivity Project. During these last thirty-four weeks, we have learned that our character is a family of thoughts, feelings, and actions that are recognized and encouraged across our different cultures for the values they cultivate in people and society. Our character is complex. It is the combination of our thoughts, feelings and actions. 

Just like other things in our life, we have strengths and weaknesses of character, as well. As you spend time together at home, now and throughout the summer, consider the following questions:

Character, not circumstance, makes the person.”

           ~Booker T. Washington

Fairfax Summer Camp Opportunities

2024 Summer Parktakes:

The 2024 Summer Parktakes guides are available in the front office if you have any families who may be interested. Page 37 has all the Camps info. New this year is extended care for before and/or after camp.  This is a great option for working parents.

Here’s the summer Parktakes link.


RecPac Camps:

June 24-August 1 from 8:30am-4pm for grades 1-6 (students who have completed kindergarten through rising 7th grade and are residents of Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Falls Church. Children with disabilities may attend any location or select one of the lower ratio sites (specialized inclusion sites with staff trained to support children with disabilities). Students can register for one or more specific sessions. Fee is determined by a sliding scale based on your family’s total annual income. Students who are Fairfax County residents and currently receive public assistance are eligible for partial scholarships.  Please see the attached Recpac brochure with registration form in both English and Spanish.


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!


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month


People with ancestral roots in Asia and the islands of the Pacific have been integral to the story of America. In 1992, May was designated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to celebrate their heritage and contributions.

Learn more about the heritage months, celebrations, and traditions celebrated in FCPS.

Jewish American Heritage Month


May is a national month of recognition of the history of Jewish contributions to American culture, acknowledging the diverse achievement of the Jewish community in the U.S. 


In case you missed it in FCPS This Week, the school division shared updates on the following topics:

  • Celebrating Students, Teachers, and Nurses
  • Help Raise Awareness of Fentanyl
  • 2025 FCPS Budget

Read FCPS This Week to learn more about these topics. If you are not already receiving this weekly newsletter, please sign up today.

Hill Happenings


PTA Updates


Thank you to Sarah Lyon and all the volunteers that contributed their time and various treats as part of this year’s SUN-sational Staff Appreciation Week!



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 Friday May 17th (date extended), 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.



Join the FHES community for the last family dinner out of the school year on Tuesday, May 21st from 5-9PM at Chipotle located at 213 Maple Avenue East in downtown Vienna. If ordering online for pick up, use code R72HVY3; if dining in, mention FHES or show the flier.  FHES will receive 25% of the event sales - see you there!



Save the date of Friday, May 31st for the annual Freedom Hill Culture/Heritage Day (formerly International Day) parade where students showcase their culture and heritage. This is an optional event for all students. All student participants should arrive on-time to school, and then they will gather in the cafeteria at 9:30AM, with the parade beginning at 10AM and lasting approximately 30 minutes as the participants walk the halls of the school dressed in their culture/heritage attire and carrying flags as fellow students observe the parade by their classrooms. Sign up your student(s) here and also consider signing up to help organize the student(s) or clean-up afterward. Look for a flier coming home this week and reach out to Smriti with any questions at choudharysmriti@gmail.com.



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.

Marshall Pyramid