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PINECREST HEADLINES NEWSLETTER

Pinecrest Headlines newsletter is written by the Head of School every other Wednesday.  The goal for this newsletter is to help keep Pinecrest’s families connected to and engaged with the Pinecrest community.

PINECREST HEADLINES FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL

Issue 2 - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

News and Notes

Our annual Back-to-School Nights are taking place tonight/Wednesday, September 12 (Grades 2/3, 4 and 5/6) and tomorrow/Thursday, September 13 (Preschool 3/4, Preschool 4, Kindergarten and Grade 1).  Both events will begin at 7 p.m.  We will begin with a brief whole-group gathering in the multipurpose room, and then parents will proceed to their child’s classroom to hear a presentation by the classroom teacher.  Teachers will have handouts and their daily schedules for you at this time as well.  Back-to-School Night is for parents/adults only.  If you are not able to attend Back-to-School Night, the packet from your child’s teacher will come home to you in the next Wednesday Envelope.  Note that this year’s packets will also include enrichment class information and mindfulness at home activities.
On Friday, September 21, we will hold our first-ever Family Movie Night on the front lawn! (If it rains that night, we will hold the event inside in the multipurpose r oom.)  We are excited for this new event.  At this time, we are planning for the following time frames:  It will begin at 7:15 p.m. (with the movie starting by 8 p.m.) on the front lawn; however, the time could bump up slightly as it is getting darker earlier as time moves on.  We will communicate the specifics of times the week of.  Families should bring whatever is needed to enjoy the movie outside (blankets, chairs, any desired snacks or drinks, et cetera).  The buildings will be unlocked for the bathroom.  Thank you to Pinecrest Parent and Realtor TJ Walter with the Tim Pierson Home Sales Team for their sponsorship of this event!  REGISTER NOW!
Our Fun Fair is on Saturday afternoon, September 29, and the event is being chaired by Steve (parent of a fourth grader) and Carolyn (parent of a first, a third and a fourth grader).  This is a favorite Pinecrest annual event.  We could not have it last year because of construction so we are happy to be bringing it back!  Families and friends enjoy games, activities, and prizes in a safe, kid-centered atmosphere.  Not only is this an afternoon of fun, but it’s also a fundraiser for the school.  Volunteers staff games and activities in shifts, and of course set up and clean up before and after.  Your children will beg to come – why not help out for an hour or so while you’re here?  SIGN UP TO HELP! 
The following after-school activities are running this fall:
  • Preschool Science Seed – Mondays – 12:30-1:15PM – started 9/10
  • Preschool Yoga with Mrs. Quick – Tuesdays – 12:30-1PM – started 9/11
  • 1st-6th Grade Roblox Coding with Coder Kids – Mondays – 4-5PM – started 9/10
  • 1st-6th Grade Run Club with Mrs. Siegel – Tuesdays – 4-5PM – started 9/4.  **Parent volunteers needed at each session!  SIGN UP NOW!
Our Run Club is participating in a local 5K together on Sunday morning, November 11, in Tysons Corner.  Registration and information about the 5K can be found here.  Each family must sign up for the 5K individually but we will all meet as a group beforehand.  5K prices increase on October 1.  A team has already been set up for us so please select that when you register – Pinecrest Run Club.  Parents and other families are welcome to join the Pinecrest 5K team as runners, too, as well as anyone else from the Pinecrest community.
Pinecrest offers the option of purchasing a pizza lunch for your child two Fridays a month throughout this school year on Pinecrest Pizza Fridays (PPFs).  The next one is Friday, September 21.  PPFs are available to all K-6 students, preschool students in after-care and all staff.  PPFs are a fundraiser for the school.  The pizza lunch costs $7.50 per child and includes two slices of cheese pizza, and one nut-free dessert item (likely a brownie or a cookie).  No drink is included.  You will have the option of selecting one, some, or all Fridays.  Orders must be placed by 2:00 PM the Thursday prior to each PPF.  Fill out this online form and you are minutes away from not having to pack lunches two Fridays a month!
We are looking for more dessert sponsors for PPF.  PPF dessert sponsorships are not tax-deductible donations to the Pinecrest School Annual Fund because in return for the dessert, the school allow the sponsor’s child(ren) to eat free pizza on the day the parent provides the dessert.  The dessert item should be nut-free, and the dessert sponsor is provided with the quantity needed the day before the PPF just after 2PM when the sign-up link closes.  Thank you to the four families that have already signed up as dessert sponsors – we appreciate your involvement! This generosity allows us to maximize profits from this fundraiser and we are so appreciative.  SIGN UP TO HELP!
With each PPF, parent volunteers assist us by serving pizza and dessert at lunchtime.  Thank you to the parents who have already signed up to help!  More slots are still available for sign-up, so please volunteer to take a turn (each date is its own tab).
There was a flyer in the summer mailing introducing a new sponsorship program for our school.  Thanks to those who have already given generously!  Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the school’s Annual Fund and sponsor a Pinecrest Pizza Friday or another event during the 2018-19 school year!We are looking for as many families as possible to get involved. Your support will help make these events as successful as possible for our school.  Thanks to the 6 families and 1 set of grandparents who have already made generous sponsorship donations!  More details here.
Thank you to everyone who has returned their yellow handbook agreement forms that were sent home on August 29.  Ms. Sambro will be sending emails today to those who have not turned them in asking for your agreement by email.
Our first K-Kids meeting was held yesterday.  K-Kids is an optional activity for 2nd-6th graders.  To quote from the student-created flyer that was sent in the summer mailing:  “K-Kids is a club linked to Kiwanis International that is for kids from second to sixth grade who want to help other people, by doing service projects run by kids!!!!!!  Kids will also get to run meetings and decide what service projects to do. To become a member of this awesome club you have to pay a $2.50 dues fee to show your loyalty to the club.”  Parents of K-Kids member will be receiving emails from me regularly throughout the year about our activities in general and about t-shirts soon specifically.  More to follow.
We are heartened that practically all of our families are using the carpool line in the mornings – thank you!  Please continue to do so; please begin doing so if you haven’t started yet.  These things help with efficiency during this process – please share this information with anyone who will be dropping off or picking up your child regularly:
  • seat your child on the passenger side of the backseat if possible
  • have your child put away or put down any toys or food s/he may be holding
  • have children unbuckled or just about unbuckled and ready to hop right out of the car when it is your turn
  • stay in your vehicles / parents should not get out of the car for any reason in the carpool line.  We can undo or fasten (most) car seat buttons.  (I have often joked that helping my nieces in and out of their car seats when they were younger ended up being professional development for me, but I didn’t realize it at the time! 🙂
  • Please do not conference with the teachers or me at drop-off or dismissal; we must avoid anything that delays getting through the line so the line does not overflow onto Annandale Road
If you need a Pinecrest car magnet, they are in the office at the front desk.  We can easily send them home – just let us know if you need one (whether it be a new one for the first time or a replacement because of fading)! 🙂
Last school year, we had a fundraiser with Glory Days Grill from April – June, and we received our check just recently.  We earned $130.59 from all the receipts we turned in – thanks to everyone who participated!  We will likely do this again sometime this school year and more details will follow.

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Upcoming Dates

FYI – Parent Programs or Similar Information

Whenever there are relevant speakers or programs coming to our area (or available online), 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.
To that end, I want to share this as FYI: 
The teachers and I have all taken Dr. Brene Brown’s Daring Schools online class, and I highly recommend her work.  Yesterday, she released a free audio download of a chapter in her Daring Greatly book.  This free audio download is a 52-minute reading of her chapter about wholehearted parenting.  I’ve read the entire book, but I also listened to this chapter yesterday, and it is excellent.
“Wholehearted Parenting: Daring to Be the Adults We Want Our Children to Be” chapter from Daring Greatly – listen and download it for free here.
Brené Brown reads this at the end of the free 52-minute audio chapter – The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.

Celebrations/Appreciations

Thank you to all the new parents that joined Board Chair Liz and me for the New Parent Coffee on September 7 – great conversation and we appreciate your engagement already!
Kudos to Carolyn (parent of a first, a third and a fourth grader) and Erin (parent of a first & a third grader) who were our first PPF volunteers – thank you!
High Fives to the parents who agreed to serve as Room Parents this year:  Preschool 3/4 – Kathy (parent of a preschooler), Preschool 4 – Heather (parent of a preschooler), Kindergarten – Nicole (parent of a kindergartner & second grader), Grade 1 – Mari (parent of a first grader), Grade 2/3 – Phuong (parent of a second & fifth grader), Grade 4 – Carolyn (parent of a first, third & fourth grader) and Grade 5/6 – Lauren (parent of a sixth grader) – thank you!

Piece of Light

This is a regular section in my newsletter.  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.