FH Weekly Update - 5/19/24

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Principals' Message

Dear Freedom Hill Families,

We hope you are well! Thank you to all of the families who continue to volunteer their time as the school year moves toward its conclusion. We have a few important reminders for you this weekend:

  • SOL testing continues! Our students are doing a fabulous job so far, and each of our 3rd-6th graders has already taken at least one assessment. Thank you to our families for ensuring students have been present at school and well-rested. 
  • Field Day is June 7th and will be here before you know it! We are in need of parent volunteers. Please sign up here
  • This is the last week to submit parent input for class placement for the 24-25 school year. Please complete the form below (one per child) by Sunday, May 26th. If your family will not be returning next year, please call Ms. Sujo in the front office to let her know. 
  • We are excited to introduce our new Assistant Principals below. We are privileged to be welcoming two truly exemplary educators to "The Hill" as we continue our legacy of support for our students and families. 

Have a great week!


In partnership,

Nicholas Zapadka, Principal

Eric Kopacz, Assistant Principal

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar

2023-24 FCPS School Calendar

FCPS Lunch Menu

  • May 20 - 5th Grade Science SOL Assessment
  • May 21 - 4th/6th Math SOL Assessment
  • May 21 - Family Dinner Out - Chipotle Vienna
  • May 26 - Last Day to Submit Parent Input for Class Placement
  • 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)

Welcome, New Assistant Principals!

Freedom Hill will be welcoming two new Assistant Principals for the 24-25 school year. Our administrative team is growing to ensure exemplary support for the very diverse, unique needs of our Freedom Hill students and families. They start their new roles on July 8, and we expect to host a community meet and greet with them over the summer. Please join us in welcoming them! 


Mr. Tim Scesney is excited to return to Freedom Hill after spending several years as our School-Based Technology Specialist (SBTS). For the last three years, Mr. Scesney has served as the Assistant Principal of Sleepy Hollow ES. He believes in developing deep family connections and in a school culture where each child is valued. Before his administrative experiences, Mr. Scesney was a primary and upper-grades elementary teacher, and the recipient of the Outstanding Professional Employee Award at both Sleepy Hollow (2020) and Freedom Hill (2019). Mr. Scesney completed his administrative licensure at the University of Virginia. He also holds degrees from Marymount University (M.Ed.) and Gettysburg College (B.A.). 

Ms. Holly Sims joins us from Crossfield ES, where she is currently completing an 11th school year as a School-Based Technology Specialist (SBTS). She was a classroom teacher for 16 years, and has focused her career on supporting school-wide, innovative learning practices for students. She believes that building relationships, continuous improvement, and family engagement are core elements of a vibrant elementary learning community. She was the 2022 recipient of Crossfield's Outstanding Professional Employee Award, and was also selected as the recipient of the award for the entire Oakton HS pyramid. Ms. Sims completed her administrative licensure at the American College of Education. She also holds degrees from Michigan State University (M.A.) and Indiana University, Bloomington (B.S.).


Our students' eye health is so important! This week is Myopia Awareness Week. Please see the attached document(English/Spanish) for important information on myopia prevention and control, which are appropriate for all young people from birth through age 26 years. 

Spring Photos Are Now Online!


For questions, please email: underclass@vosphoto.com

Health Room Notice

The school health room is reminding parents and guardians that all medication stored in the health room must be picked up no later than 2:00 pm, student dismissal time, on the last day of school, June 12. Medication left in the health room after that time will be discarded. It is school policy that medications must be picked up by the parent or guardian. Medication cannot be sent home with your student.

Medication authorization forms for next school year may be obtained from the school or online at https://www.fcps.edu/resources/student-safety-and-wellness/school-health-services. A medication authorization form is required for any medication, prescription or over-the-counter, to be kept at school.

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow!

Student attendance at school is important all year long, up to the last day of school. Attendance has an effect on student performance and on school accreditation. See how to:

  • Check your child’s attendance record.
  • Help your student stay engaged at school.
  • Report future absences.
  • Understand the FCPS school calendar.

Learn more about attendance resources


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 Sunday, May 26th.

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. 

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


Join the FHES community for the last family dinner out of the school year this 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. Reach out to Smriti with any questions at choudharysmriti@gmail.com.



The PTA relies on committee volunteers to plan events throughout the year. Please consider joining a committee - it’s a great way to build relationships within the FHES community.  And the best part?  No experience is necessary - we will train you! 

We have an immediate need for an individual to help Sunaina H. with this year’s field day. In addition, other committees that need volunteers for this summer include: Kindergarten playdates, Marquee sign, Tears & Cheers, Spiritwear, Teacher Appreciation, and the Back to School picnic. If interested, complete this online form, or look for a flier to come home with your student and return the completed form by Friday, May 31st. Send any questions to info@freedomhillpta.org.



Save the date for the last PTA meeting of the school year. Lots of exciting items on the agenda - voting in the new Board members, recognizing the recipients of the Harriette Best award, celebrating departing staff and more! This is an in-person event to be held in the FHES library at 6:30PM, immediately following the chorus concert.



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