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Pinecrest Headlines

Communication from the Head of School --
Issue 12, 2016-17 -- Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Growing Our School

Friday, May 5 will now be a no-school day at Pinecrest and Peace. At Peace, the church has an event that day and cannot be used. At Pinecrest, we have coordinated with our team to make use of that day to do some necessary asphalt work that they need two days to do – they will do it Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6. They cannot do the work when we are here, and there will also be a bad smell when it is happening, which will make it unpleasant for all on site. Because we cannot use either location that day, we are not able to offer care. We appreciate your flexibility and patience.

Thank you to all of the generous families who recently donated towards new lower school building appliances, furniture and more. We appreciate your contributions very much and have collected $1628 towards these items! If you would like to still donate, you can do so online here.

Thank you for your attention to and your patience with the new traffic flow. This will be in effect until spring break. I stood in a different spot this morning to monitor but wean everyone off my presence. I think you were ready. Smile! I want to reiterate a few points from my observations the past few mornings – when we talk about prioritizing safety, this is what that looks like for us:

  • Coming to a full stop at the part of the driveway where the pavement ends and the gravel starts. STOP is spray-painted on the ground although it’s faded some. There is also an orange cone on the right side too. This is basically just before you would turn left into the drop-off/pick-up/parking area. Please come to a complete stop here and check to see if it is safe to make the turn.
  • When you check to see if it is safe to make the turn, please look specifically at the area where vehicles are coming out of the circle – not just where you are turning.
  • Four cars can fit in the circle and parking area at once but not more than four.
  • In the morning, pay attention to the teacher who will tell you, “We will go behind” or “We will go in front” when she takes your child to the walkway.
  • No cell phone use
  • A slow entry down and exit out of the driveway (remember, the speed limit is 10mph)
  • At about 5 minutes before drop-off or pick-up time begins, the first four vehicles can go ahead and pull into the circle/parking area. Four vehicles can fit in the circle and parking area at once but not more than four. With this new system, we can only load and unload two vehicles at once.

This new system relies on everyone involved paying full attention at all parts of the drop-off and pick-up. We so appreciate your adherence to all of this and your patience and flexibility.

News and Notes

K-6 Quarter 3 Report Cards are going home in Wednesday Envelopes today (3/22) - one envelope per family. After your review, please submit the online agreement form by Wednesday, March 29: K-6 Quarter 3 Report Card Online Agreement Form (one per family)

Friday, March 24, is Parent/Teacher Conference Day. Conference Day on Friday is also a no-school day for the students. Mrs. Cullen, Mrs. Ferrier, Mrs. Vogus, Mrs. Tibbetts and Ms. Bleggi will be doing their conferences at Pinecrest. Mr. Ramsey and Mrs. Hakes will be doing their conferences at Peace.

For those coming to Pinecrest for a conference on Friday: Please be mindful of our limited parking. Most of the teachers will be parking off site that day to free up as much parking as possible for you. Still, as much as you can, please carpool and please try to be on time. There is only a 5-minute window between each conference so ideally everyone would be coming and going during that time. It is more important than ever before to be cognizant of the conference schedule and to be sure you are meeting with the teacher(s) only during your allotted time(s). Thank you so much in advance - your understanding, flexibility and patience are much appreciated.

Drop-in childcare will be available for all students at Pinecrest on Friday in the multipurpose room with Mrs. Benge while your conference is taking place and no sign-up is needed for this. Care begins at 7:30AM and runs until 6PM. The cost is $10/hour with a 50% sibling discount billed in half hour increments. Unlimited After-care does not include this day. Any child here on Conference Day must be signed into care. Children do not participate in conferences.

Next week the following classes will have standardized testing:

  • Tuesday-Thursday, March 28-30 – Grade 2 Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) – mornings – no make-ups (administered by Mrs. Tibbetts)
  • Tuesday-Thursday, March 28-30 – Grade 4 Stanford 10 Achievement Test – mornings – no make-ups (administered by Mr. Ramsey)
  • Thursday-Friday, March 30-31 – Grade 6 Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) – mornings – no make-ups (administered by Ms. Mitlo)

Thank you to all who attended our Ledo Pizza fundraising night on Monday, March 13. We will let you know how much we received when we get the check. We recently received our check from our January fundraising night for $328.36!

The next Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) is Friday, April 7, and our May PPF will now take place Friday, May 12 (not Friday, May 5, as originally scheduled). Pinecrest Pizza Fridays (PPFs) are available to all K-6 students, preschool students in after-care and all staff. Thank you to the 10 families that have signed up to sponsor each Friday with pizza! This allows us to maximize profits from this fundraiser and we are so appreciative of your generosity. The pizza lunch costs $7.50 per child and includes two slices of cheese pizza, and one dessert item (likely a brownie or a cookie). No drink is included. Order online. You have the option of selecting one, some, or all Fridays. Orders must be placed by 2:00PM the Thursday prior to each PPF. Proceeds from this fundraising event support the Pinecrest School Capital Campaign to Grow Our School! We have raised more than $2000 so far with this effort from September to present!

The spring session of after-school activities has begun – we are offering 1st-6th Grade RunFit Kidz with Mrs. Vogus on Mondays (began Monday) and K-6 Yoga with Mrs. Burke on Thursdays beginning tomorrow. For preschoolers, we are offering Science Seed with Ms. Jen on Fridays beginning March 31.

Our annual auction fundraiser is on Saturday night, April 29! It’s not too early to make sure you have your baby-sitters lined up for this adults-only night of fun and fundraising for our school. Invitations were sent via Wednesday Envelope last week. The link to RSVP and buy auction tickets for Saturday night, April 29, is here. We look forward to seeing most of our families here that night. Off-site parking with free shuttle will be available at AMF Annandale Lanes, which is less than 1 mile from Pinecrest. The event on April 29 is a fun party with uniquely-Pinecrest items available for bidding, and an online auction with many different donation options will open the following day and run for a week. Once the online auction information is available, you can share it with family, friends, neighbors, et al. You can also check out some of our highlighted items up for bid here!

We’re thankful for our 2017 auction sponsors: Dulles Motorcars, Out of the Bubble Bakery, Skuared Photography, All Makes & Models and the Kiwanis Club of Tysons. Their websites are all here. Support them when you can. Their kindness makes a difference to not only our auction event, but also our school as whole.

There has been a change to Family Bingo Night, which was originally scheduled for Friday night, May 19, at Pinecrest. It will now take place on Friday night, May 12, at Peace. Peace is exactly 10 minutes away from Pinecrest and there is large parking lot. We will be the only group using the building that night. More details will follow. We hope you will plan to join us – Family Bingo Night is a lot of fun!

The following events on our original school calendar have been canceled due to the construction timeline: April 22 Open House for Prospective Families and April 23 Pinecrest Portraits fundraiser; neither event will be rescheduled. Reminder: Our policy is that tuition is received on the 1st. The 2nd-5th are grace period days, and the $50 late fee is charged when tuition is received after the 5th.

Please do not leave payments in the mailbox. It is not safe. We have had issues in the past where the mail carrier has taken envelopes left in the mailbox thinking it was outgoing mail. Sometimes these envelopes have made their way back to us, but not always.

Our Annual Fund Campaign is in progress and will go through August 31, 2017. Our goal is to raise $10,000 and achieve 100% current parent and staff participation, although we have many alumni families and grandparents who give generously each year as well. All independent schools and non-profits run annual fund campaigns each year. You can donate online here. The importance of Pinecrest Annual Fund cannot be overstated; it helps us close the gap between tuition and the actual operating costs of the school and is completely separate from the capital campaign which is for the new lower school building. Thank you to the many families and staff who have already given!

Faculty and staff members engage in regular professional development throughout the year. Ms. Haden recently attended an art workshop at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Many teachers and Ms. Mitlo are in the middle of the Daring Schools: The Four Pillars of Courage online class facilitated by Brené Brown and her training organization Brave Leaders/Courage Works Inc., although Mrs. Cullen, Mrs. Ferrier, Mrs. Vogus, Mrs. Tibbetts, Ms. Bleggi, Mrs. Hakes, Mrs. Cantor, Mrs. Giacoman, Mrs. Edwards, Coach Botchway, Ms. Haden, Ms. Sullivan and I have already completed it!

If you read this newsletter and respond, you will be entered in a drawing to win a retro Pinecrest t-shirt from a previous school year or summer for you or someone in your family. Congratulations to Amy and Ally; they are winners from the last newsletter!


Summer camp registration remains open to the general public. All details are here and the registration form is here. Thank you in advance for helping to spread the word about our awesome summer offerings!

K-6 Spring Break Camp with limited space available will run at Peace Lutheran Church in Alexandria Monday-Friday, April 10-14. Register online here. The price will increase on March 27.

Please contact Ms. Mitlo for any summer or spring camp questions – camp@pinecrestschool.org.

Relevant Speakers and Programs

Whenever there are relevant speakers or programs coming to our area, we often share that information if we think the message is a match with the Pinecrest School message and philosophy and/or we think parents might be interested in attending. To that end, I want to share this as FYI.

WashingtonExec—with Presenting Sponsor, LGS Innovations; Platinum Sponsor, Altamira Technologies; and Gold Sponsors, Vencore, Siemens Government Technologies and The Aerospace Corporation—will hold its fourth annual K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Symposium on March 25, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Nysmith School in Herndon, Va. More than 3,500 children, parents, teachers and business leaders are expected to attend the free symposium, which is Northern Virginia’s largest K-12 STEM event


If you are using drop-in after-care and/or before-care, you are billed after use on a monthly basis and you are expected to pay within a month after after you receive the bill. A $50 late fee is assessed otherwise. A reminder that Mrs. Sim is emailing bills this year and the subject line of these messages is “Invoice from Pinecrest School.” These invoices are sent through QuickBooks so please make sure to save this address in your contacts list to avoid having to search in spam for it. Pinecrest School <quickbooks-email@intuit.com>. When you receive the invoice, you will have a choice to pay by credit card with a processing fee added on or by check with no processing fee. (To pay by credit card, click View Invoice in blue, and then click Pay Now in blue on the top right.)

If you have questions about any invoices you receive, it is best to email Mrs. Sim directly at business@pinecrestschool.org. You are always welcome to CC me as well.


Upcoming Dates

More details will follow about upcoming events/activities if not included here.

Date Event
Friday, March 17 K-6 Quarter 3 Ends (42 days)
Monday, March 20 K-6 Quarter 4 Begins
Wednesday, March 22 K-6 Quarter 3 Report Cards Distributed Via Wednesday Envelopes – one envelope per family
Friday, March 24 Parent/Teacher Conferences / Faculty Workday – No School
Tuesday-Thursday, March 28-30 Grade 2 Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) – mornings – no make-ups
Tuesday-Thursday, March 28-30 Grade 4 Stanford 10 Achievement Test – mornings – no make-ups
Thursday-Friday, March 30-31 Grade 6 Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test (IAAT) – mornings – no make-ups
Friday, March 31 Preschool 3/4 Field Trip – Children’s Science Center in Fairfax
Wednesday, April 5 Board of Directors Meeting – 7 p.m. – art/science lab (note date change from April 19 to April 5)
Thursday, April 6 K/1 Field Trip – Roer’s Zoofari (formerly Reston Zoo)
Friday, April 7 Preschool 4 Field Trip – Children’s Science Center in Fairfax
Friday, April 7 Pinecrest Pizza Friday
Monday-Monday, April 10-17 Spring Break – No School
Monday-Friday, April 10-14 K-6 Spring Break Camp at Peace Lutheran – price increases March 27
Tuesday, April 18 School Resumes
Thursday, April 20 Preschool In-house Event – Storytime Express Show
Friday, April 21 Rising K-6 Movie Night – 6-9:15 p.m. – multipurpose room – more details coming soon
Friday, April 28 Grade 4 and 5/6 Field Trip to American Civil War Museum in Richmond – more details to follow soon from Mrs. Hakes
Saturday, April 29 Auction Drinks and Dessert Evening – 7 p.m. – upper school building (adults only) – the link to RSVP and buy auction tickets is here


Happy Early Birthday to Mrs. Benge (April 2)! Smile!

Thank you to all of the parents who have assisted with transportation to/from Peace for special days or regular days; we do not take your help for granted and appreciate your time and assistance so much.

Piece of Light

I use this space to share articles or pieces that I love or that I feel are thought-provoking, valuable or useful – or some combination of all of those factors.

Calendar Changes

  • Family Bingo Night – will now take place on Friday night, May 12, at Peace (not Friday, May 19, at Pinecrest)
  • Pinecrest Pizza Friday – will now take place on Friday, May 12 (not Friday, May 5)
  • No School / No Care – Friday, May 5
  • Get the Picture: Pinecrest Portraits by Shaun Kurry – Photoshoot Fundraiser – canceled for April 23
  • Open House for Prospective Families – canceled for April 22
  • Parent Visiting Morning: Centers With Your Child – canceled for November 11
  • Individual and Class Photos by Creatives Images – took place October 18 (will not take place on April 24)
  • Fall Spruce Up Day - added and took place on October 16
  • K-6 Color Run – took place on October 14 (not September 30)


7209 Quiet Cove, Annandale, Virginia 22003 | Phone: 703-354-3446 | Email: pinecrest@pinecrestschool.org

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