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Introducing Virtual Pinecrest – Summer 2020

2020 has forced us to redefine enrichment and engagement for children. With summer break approaching, we recognize that families need safe and compelling opportunities for their children. Although we are disappointed that we will not see our campers – and all of our wonderful staff – in person at Pinecrest Pavilion this summer, we are very excited to announce that Pinecrest School will be offering a variety of interactive virtual classes to keep children engaged and learning while school is not in session. 

During this surreal time, although we deeply wish we were learning and growing together in person, our transition to virtual learning and engagement has been smooth, positive, and safe for Pinecrest School students and teachers. The response from parents and students has been overwhelmingly positive. You can learn more about our experience here and here.

Building on this success led us to plan to serve more children – rising kindergarten through seventh grade – virtually this summer. Virtual Pinecrest will begin the week of June 15! A complete description of initial sessions, all taught by our school faculty, are listed below. We recommend that you register early, as space for certain virtual offerings is limited.  

Week 1 – June 15-19, 2020                                                                          

  • 9-9:30 a.m. – Rising K-1st Grade – LEGO Challenges with Ms. Haden: Everyone loves LEGOs! We will get a new LEGO building challenge each day, then share what we build and talk about our decisions as we go. ($55)
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd Grade – LEGO Challenges with Ms. Haden: Everyone loves LEGOs! We will get a new LEGO building challenge each day, then share what we build and talk about our decisions as we go. ($55)
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Short Story Week with Ms. Mitlo: Explore classic short stories in literature, across the genres of adventure, mystery, humor, drama, and science fiction. Each day we will read, discuss, and debate a different short story (or two) by a celebrated author such as O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Isaac Asimov, and Roald Dahl. ($75)
  • 12-12:30 p.m. – Rising K-3rd Spanish Through Fitness and Exercise with Coach Torres / Jump Bunch: Learn a new language while you exercise and keep fit! All activities will be led in Spanish. We will improve our speaking skills and understanding of nouns, verbs, and total sentence structure, with time for us to exercise together and explore our capabilities. ($55)
  • 1-2 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Spanish Through Fitness and Exercise with Coach Torres / Jump Bunch: Learn a new language while you exercise and keep fit! All activities will be led in Spanish. We will improve our speaking skills and understanding of nouns, verbs, and total sentence structure, with time for us to exercise together and explore our capabilities. ($75)
  • 1-1:30 p.m. – Rising K-1st Who Loves Animals? with Mrs. Blacker: Join us for a five-day trip through the animal kingdom. Using books, pictures, and videos, we will learn about animals from each group – their eating habits, how they care for their offspring, and more.  ($55)
  • 2-2:30 p.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd Visit Outer Space with Ms. Yeannakis: Explore our solar system and beyond! Using NASA’s website, we will learn about what’s new in space exploration. The children’s interest will guide the content. Children will be encouraged to choose and complete at least one project outside of class related to their special interests. ($55)
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Games Galore with Ms. Mitlo: Let’s play games together! There are a variety of games we can play together for fun and learning, even if we are all in our own homes! Games will include guessing games, charades, scavenger hunts, Pictionary, and more.($75)

Register now!

Week 2 – June 22-26, 2020                                                                          

  • 9-9:30 a.m. – Rising K-1st Grade – Let’s Mix It Up with Mrs. Blacker: Each day we will focus on a different engaging topic, such as continents and maps, coins, fireflies, a read aloud with discussion and comprehension questions; and a Show and Share! Topics may change in response to the children’s interests. ($55)
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd – Let’s Mix It Up with Ms. Yeannakis: Each day we will focus on a different engaging topic, such as train your dog to “go to place,”  draw with step-by-step instructions, Readers’ Theatre with a “table read” of an Aesop Fable, poetry (sharing our favorite poems), and Pi (not the kind we eat!)  Topics may change in response to the children’s interests. ($55)
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Explore the Periodic Table with Ms. Mitlo: Learn about the history, mythology, and geography of the periodic table of elements, as well as the basics of atoms and atomic particles, the structure of the periodic table, and fascinating facts about the elements. ($75)
  • 10:30-11 a.m. – Rising K-3rd Grade – Yoga with Mrs. Quick / Heart & Soul Yoga: Using games, stories, imagination, laughter, and music, we will learn poses, relaxation techniques, breathing, and more. Heart & Soul Yoga has been honored with “Best Children’s Yoga” by Family Magazine for several years. ($55)
  • 12-12:30 p.m. – Rising K-3rd Grade – Recycle Art with Ms. Haden: With recyclable items such as bottles, cans, cardboard, broken items, broken crayons, and anything else at your house (that your parents say is okay to use!) we will make a variety of art projects. ($55)
  • 1-2 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Recycle Art with Ms. Haden: With recyclable items such as bottles, cans, cardboard, broken items, broken crayons, and anything else at your house (that your parents say is okay to use!) we will make a variety of art projects. S.T.E.A.M. themes will be woven into assignments and creations.   ($75)
  • 1-1:30 p.m. – Rising K-1st Grade – Mighty Mathematicians with Mrs. Blacker: Review an important math topic each day: Monday- review counting to 100, including cardinal numbers (e.g. first, second); Tuesday- break numbers into parts (e.g. 10=8+2); Wednesday-geometry day working with shapes; Thursday- fundamentals of time telling using calendar and an analog clock; and Friday-preposition day. We will work with concepts such as over, under, before and after. Parents will be asked to provide simple household materials to make each session hands-on.  ($55)
  • 2-2:30 p.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd – Become a Math Problem Solver with Ms. Yeannakis: Learn a variety of strategies to solve complex, everyday word problems, including draw a picture, solve a simpler problem, and guess and check. We will practice problems together and share our thinking with each other. Based on math problems developed by The Math Forum at Drexel University. ($55)
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Math: The Weird and the Wonderful with Ms. Mitlo: Learn about weird topics in math: Fibonacci numbers, Sierpinski’s triangles, hexaflexagons, magic squares, and more! With videos, games, and hands-on activities, we’ll build, puzzle, play, and draw while seeing how much fun numbers can be. ($75)

Register now!

No offerings the week of June 29-July 3 – Happy Fourth of July!

Week 3 – July 6-10, 2020              

  • 9-9:30 a.m. – Rising K-1st Grade – Let’s Write Together with Mrs. Blacker: Let’s write a story as a group! We will dictate stories as a group and then engage in activities using stories we wrote: cutting up the sentences and rebuilding them, finding words that rhyme, and more. We will be creative and be language detectives at the same time!  ($55)
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd – Let’s Write a Book with Ms. Yeannakis: Using Stone Soup by Ann McGovern as a mentor text to emphasize the importance of a story plot, we will discuss and sketch (with words or pictures or both) the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Then, we will plan and write a book with a clear beginning, middle and end. By Friday, everyone will have created a short book – on paper or on an online tool – with at least six sentences and illustrations.  ($55)
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Pinecrest ePublishing with Ms. Mitlo: Research and write a newspaper or magazine article on a topic of your choice. Learn what makes an article interesting to read, how to conduct an interview, and how to make your story pop. Then keep your writing and creative skills sharp by creating your own text, adding graphics and pull quotes, and putting it all together. We will publish an online magazine that can be shared with family and friends.($75)
  • 12-12:30 p.m. – Rising K-3rd Pinecrest Mockingbirds & Nightingales with Ms. Lindsay: Join this sing-along class and lend your voice to familiar nursery, patriotic, seasonal, and camp songs, infused with choreographed and creative movement, percussion accompaniments, and found sounds! Parents and siblings invited to sing along, too. ($55)
  • 1-2 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Superhero Challenges with Ms. Haden: Tackle a real-world problem each day, such as climate change, finding new energy sources and more. We’ll develop ideas and create prototypes to solve the problem of the day. Be a superhero with us! ($75)
  • 1-1:30 p.m. – Rising K-1st Grade Let’s Hop on the Road to Reading with Mrs. Blacker: We’ll use engaging books that feature high frequency or decodable words to get on the road to reading. We’ll use sounds to write words with pencil or a moveable alphabet, and practice our new words and sounds using games, videos, and songs. ($55)
  • 2-2:30 p.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd Travel Around the World with Folktales with Ms. Yeannakis: Read and discuss a new folk tale each day, then learn about the country and continent where the folktale originated. We will also use our imaginations to figure out why people started telling the story. ($55)
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade Playing With Poetry with Ms. Mitlo: Open your ears, paint with words, play with structures and format, sharpen your writing and boost your creative thinking with poetry. We will read, write, and explore over five genres of poetry, sharing our poems with each other and publishing an online book together that can be shared with family and friends. ($75)

Register now!                                                        

Week 4 – July 13-17, 2020            

  • 9-9:30 a.m. – Rising K-1st – Story Nook with Mrs. Blacker: We’ll read books together each day and discuss characters and how problems are developed and solved within stories. In addition, we will contrast real versus imaginary texts. Books will include friendly characters like Pete the Cat, Duck and Goose, and more familiar faces.  ($55)
  • 9:30-10 a.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd – Book Club with Ms. Yeannakis: Read The One and Only Ivan, a Newberry Medal winning novel by Katherine Applegate, then discuss the story each day with a focus on themes. Optional projects will be suggested for those who would like to explore silverback apes – or other story aspects depending on your interests! Children will be asked to read (or listen) to some of it before our meeting. Portions will be about 64 pages in length, but many pages have just a few sentences. ($55)
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade – Mysteries of the Deep with Ms. Mitlo: Explore the murky landscapes of the deepest points of the oceans. Learn about the life forms and conditions in the darkest depths as well as the scientists and explorers who attempt to study them. ($75)
  • 12-12:30 p.m. – Rising K-3rd Character Counts with Ms. McDermott: Read a story or two each day with a focus on strong characters. We’ll talk about (and, for those who are ready, write about) the characters’ traits, if we see those traits showing up in our lives or in our friends, and why it all matters.  ($55)
  • 1-2 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Dare to Lead with Ms. McDermott: There are opportunities for us to be leaders every day at home and in our schools, and positive leaders are needed now more than ever. We’ll talk about character traits of strong leaders, read stories illustrating examples, role play leadership moments together, and more. In an age-appropriate way, this class will follow curriculum created by Dr. Brené Brown, based on her bestselling book for adults, Dare to Lead. Ms. McDermott is a Certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator. ($75)
  • 1-1:30 p.m. – Rising K-1st Grade Visit Outer Space with Ms. Yeannakis: Explore our solar system and beyond (from the comfort of our homes)! Using NASA’s website, we will learn about what’s new in space exploration. The children’s interest will guide the content. Children will be encouraged to choose and complete at least one project outside of class related to their special interests. ($55)
  • 2-2:30 p.m. – Rising 2nd-3rd Grade – Insect Week with Mrs. Blacker: Join us to learn about common and not so common insects! Using books, pictures, and videos we will learn about the huge variety of insects that live on planet Earth. We will talk about life cycles and how insects have changed to survive and thrive for many years. ($55)
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Rising 4th-7th Grade Election Connection with Ms. Mitlo: How does the US presidential election work? What’s a primary? Is a political party something fun? What do you learn at the electoral college? Clear up these concepts and learn the nuts and bolts of how elections are run in the U.S. by working on a mock campaign! ($75)

Register now!

More Virtual Pinecrest offerings to come for the weeks of July 20, July 27, August 3, and August 10!

Registration Procedures and Fees

  • Registration is now open at https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/virtualpinecrest/index.html for Virtual Pinecrest the weeks of June 15, June 22, July 6, and July 13, 2020.
  • There are no offerings the week of June 29, 2020. 
  • Offerings for the weeks of July 20, July 27, August 3, and August 10, 2020, will be added soon. Once these offerings are available for registration, you can register at the above link. (It is okay to complete a second registration form if you already registered for the first four weeks.)
  • Class space is limited. You will not be allowed to register for a class once maximum attendance is reached. You are welcome to email Ms. McDermott at head@pinecrestschool.org to be placed on a waiting list. It is possible a second session of the class could open up if there is enough interest.
  • Payment is made in full at the time of registration. Virtual Pinecrest fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable unless Pinecrest School cancels a class due to low enrollment or an unforeseen issue in which case the school will offer the opportunity to switch to another class with space available or a full refund. Virtual Pinecrest fees will not be prorated for any reason.
  • Class fees: $55/class for 30-minute daily classes for rising K-3rd grade students; $75/class for 60-minute daily classes for rising 4th-7th grade students. You can register for as many or as few classes as desired in any given week / throughout the summer. There is no registration fee.
  • A coupon code has been provided by email on May 15 to those registered for now-canceled Pinecrest Pavilion 2020 for a discount off the total cost. This coupon code should not be shared, should be used only once per child, and will expire on June 15, 2020.
  • If payment is not received within one hour of the submission of the registration form, the registration will be deleted; you will not be contacted.
  • You can be sure that your registration is complete when you receive two emails afterwards: a copy of your registration sent directly from Formsite (form_engine@fs9.formsite.com) and a receipt for your payment from PayPal. If you do not receive these two emails, likely your payment did not go through and your registration is incomplete.
  • Virtual Pinecrest classes are open to any children who are rising K – 7th grade. Feel free to share the Virtual Pinecrest information with any friends or family in or out of the area.
  • Times for all Virtual Pinecrest classes are Eastern Standard Time.
  • Teachers subject to change and not guaranteed.

Zoom Procedures and Best Practices

Virtual Pinecrest is brought to your home via Zoom, which Pinecrest School has been using with students and teachers since March 20, 2020.

By registering for Virtual Pinecrest, you understand and agree to follow our procedures for safe and positive virtual learning and engagement:

  • All Zoom sessions are password-protected and the waiting room feature is enabled. If someone is admitted entry with an unfamiliar name or initials and no photo, we will remove that person quickly for security reasons. 
  • Access details to join classes will be sent to the email address(es) provided on the registration form a few days prior to each new week.
  • Children will use their initials, not names, as their Zoom name.
  • Teachers and staff will not run activities that are physically dangerous or require close, in-person adult supervision.
  • Teachers and staff will not be one-on-one with children during Virtual Pinecrest.
  • Virtual Pinecrest calls will not be recorded in full and shared afterwards.
  • Photos and videos (not full classes, but snippets) are taken regularly at Pinecrest School, including virtually. Parents/guardians understand that with the completion and submission of the Virtual Pinecrest registration form that their child(ren)’s photo and/or video may be shared with the school community and could be used in brochures, ads, media coverage, on the school website, on the school’s social media sites, et cetera. Names are never used with student photos or videos. Concerns about this should be addressed directly with the Head of School.   

By registering for Virtual Pinecrest, you understand and agree to follow our best practices for safe and positive virtual learning and engagement:

  • Children should be set up on Zoom away from any noise from parents, the television, his or her siblings, etc. If parents are nearby on work calls, everyone on the Zoom call will most likely also be able to hear the parent on the work call.
  • Children should not talk to parents or siblings while on the Zoom call unless they mute themselves / parents and siblings should not talk to children on the Zoom call unless the children mute themselves.
  • Speaker View is encouraged for class calls. If the teacher is reading a book or holding up a whiteboard or similar, Speaker View will make it a lot easier for your child to see what is being shared. On a laptop, you can switch to Speaker View on the top right of the Zoom screen. On an iPad, you can switch to Speaker View on the top left of the Zoom screen.
  • iPads, iPhones, and similar devices have very sensitive speakers. If the device is being moved around a lot, it makes creates a lot of noise that makes it hard for others to hear. Children should be set up in a stationary place and ready for class when class begins; children should not be moving around with their devices during class time unless asked by a teacher to do so.
  • The chat feature should not be used unless it is needed for class purposes.
  • Pets should not be part of Zoom calls, and children should not be eating on Zoom calls. Both are distractions we want to avoid.

What Pinecrest School Parents Are Saying

“Having one child at Pinecrest and two older children in FCPS, I can say with confidence that Pinecrest is running circles around other schools. My son has been happy and engaged since day one.” –parent of a sixth grader   

“I have three children – one in public high school, one in public middle school, and one at Pinecrest. I am not sure how Pinecrest School mastered the magic behind meaningful online learning, but they have. My youngest son is flourishing and is excited about learning each day.” –parent of a first grader

“The online experience at Pinecrest has far exceeded our expectations. The teachers are well-prepared and give each child individualized attention. Our children are engaged and learning!” –parent of a second grader and a fourth grader

“You are doing absolutely great in this strange new world we are living in right now. The teachers are meeting our children wherever they are amidst this unique time while being sensitive to those who may be more challenged during this experience. Often times we show our true character not in the best times, but rather during the struggle. We see all of Pinecrest teachers’ best selves shining through right now, and our children are benefiting.” –parent of a kindergartner and third grader 

“I have been so impressed with the effectiveness of Pinecrest during this time (and all of the time really, but especially now). The kids have been engaged since Day 1 of the “new normal” and have had daily connection points with teachers, friends, and even PE, STEAM, and music. The kids are engaged and learning in a creative and challenging ways, yet in the most realistic manner possible, making it feel doable for families. The teachers’ and administrators’ fondness for the students is obvious in every video session. It makes me so happy that my kids have these relationships and are part of this amazing community.” –parent of a second grader and a fifth grader

“I was amazed at Pinecrest’s ability to pivot from classroom to virtual learning so quickly. I was impressed with the content and educational materials and pleased to see it continues to improve.” –parent of a kindergartner and fifth grader 

Pinecrest School was featured in The Annandale Blog on April 29 about our distance learning success and released this video on April 27. Learn more about our award-winning private school in Annandale at pinecrestschool.org.

Please direct questions to Ms. McDermott at head@pinecrestschool.org.



*Have a friend or neighbor who might be interested in learning more about our award-winning, quality Northern Virginia private school in Annandale?  Please invite them to contact us now and schedule a tour!