Current Newsletter


Pinecrest Headlines Communication from the Head of School – Issue 7, 2019-20 Wednesday, November 20, 2019 

News and Notes A few notes for picking up and dropping off outside of drop-off and dismissal times:

  • When you come up to the lower school building door, there is a white doorbell on the right side. Please ring it. Please do not knock on the door or peer in. Sometimes my door is closed where I cannot see the door and the glare and positioning of Ms. Sambro’s desks means she cannot always see either especially if she is engaged with a task. Ringing the doorbell is preferred and the most efficient way to let us know you are here.
  • If you are picking your child up in the middle of the day for an appointment or similar, please consider providing more detail than what time you will pick up, i.e. Will your child be back? Does your child need to take his or her lunch? Does your child need his or her backpack? More specificity up front is helpful and makes picking up more efficient for all of us.

Our K-6 Thanksgiving Feast will take place next Tuesday, November 26, at 12 noon, in the multipurpose room. A flyer went home in last week’s Wednesday Envelopes with all of the details. Parent volunteers are needed for this special event from approximately 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and can sign up here – thanks to those who have already signed up!

The preschool Thanksgiving Feast will also take place next Tuesday, November 26, at 10 a.m. in the preschool 4 classroom. Details from the preschool teachers were sent home last week as well.

On Tuesday, November 26, we will have a Pinecrest Spirit Day. All students and staff should wear a This is community shirt (any color is fine). ☺

Pinecrest School is closed for Thanksgiving from Wednesday, November 27 – Friday, November 29. There is no school or care.

If any children will be missing next week’s Thanksgiving Feasts, please let us know as soon as possible for planning purposes. Thank you to the families of GC and SM (K-6) and AC, KD and SK (preschool) who have already let us know.

We are participating in Minted’s Fundraising Program again this year. If you are ordering holiday card and/or holiday gift purchases from Minted.com now thru December 31, please use our unique promo code: FUNDRAISEPINECREST. This code gives you 20 percent off and then Minted donates 15 percent to Pinecrest. Please feel free to share this code with friends and family; anyone can use it and our school will benefit.

If you have a younger child who you want to start at Pinecrest in the fall, please begin the process of talking with us about that now (you can connect with me or with Mrs. Lopez directly at

admissions@pinecrestschool.org) and please complete the online application sooner rather than later at https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/application/index.html. At the bottom of the online form, please click “yes” and then the fee is waived for you as a current family. We already have applications for 2020-21 (yay!) and we want to be sure we are planning appropriately for current families with new students.

Thank you to everyone who shared with friends, neighbors, on social media about our open house on November 11. It was great to see so many interested families wanting to learn more about our school. If you know others who are interested, please direct them to contact Mrs. Lopez, our admissions associate, or fill out a contact form on the website. Our next open house is Sunday afternoon, January 12, but Mrs. Lopez can schedule private tours at mutually-convenient times.

One of the sixth graders told me yesterday that the front lawn looks “majestic.” ☺ It is so awesome to see the new grass seed thriving and even more awesome to know that this effort was possible because of the generosity of those who contributed last school year to our new capital campaign to Improve Our School. The children will return to using the front lawn beginning Monday, December 2.

Today in the Wednesday Envelope, you will find a brochure about the Virginia529, which parents can now use for private school K-12 tuition (not just for college). You can read more details about it on our blog at: https://www.pinecrestschool.org/2019/11/20/private-school-in-northern-virginia-may-be-more-affordable- than-you-think/.

We are thankful to everyone who has donated to the new capital campaign. Our next project is redoing some of the flooring in the upper school building. This is a much needed improvement and we are planning to do this over winter break. Every gift makes a difference and helps us Improve Our School. You can donate by check payable to Pinecrest School (with capital campaign marked in the memo line) or online at https://tinyurl.com/improvingourschool – and feel free to share the information with grandparents, godparents, aunts or uncles who may also want to support your child(ren)’s school. We have already received two generous contributions from grandparents!

We ask that you think of the other students and teachers before sending a sick child to school. We understand that the school year is hectic, but it introduces a needed time for diligence when it comes to child hygiene and health. If your child is not feeling well, chances are he or she would be more comfortable staying at home than coming to school sick. Not only do you run the risk of having your child get sicker, but also the risk of infecting other students or the teachers in the class. Similarly, your child would remain healthier (and happier at school) if he/she gets enough rest each night. Thank you for your cooperation.

Dominion Power is working to move our power lines underground. We consented to this a few years ago but the work is just beginning now. They expect the work to be done by the end of January. There could be some logistical challenges between now and then and we will keep everyone updated as soon as possible (with the understanding that construction projects are not always executed to plan). Ultimately, this is good for us as we will lose power less with the lines underground, and it is not costing Pinecrest anything.

The school has a Google Drive link that contains various resources specific to the current school year at Pinecrest. This is only available to family and staff with the link; it is not a public site. You can access it here. The School Directory is available at this link.

Planning a vacation? Please take a Pinecrest shirt with you and send us a photo. See examples here. ☺

Are you supporting Pinecrest with your Amazon orders?? It’s so easy! You can designate Pinecrest in your Amazon account for our school to automatically benefit from any eligible purchases you make on Amazon.com. Once you link your account, you must then do all of your purchasing from smile.amazon.com vs. amazon.com – you will know you are on the right page when you see “Supporting Pinecrest School Inc” under the search bar. The instructions to link your account are at

https://tinyurl.com/pinecrestamazonsmile. You do not need to re-link your account each year; thanks to those who already support us by using Amazon Smile!

Please like and follow us on Facebook! Instagram! Twitter!

Our school has an Amazon Wish List, which allows us to let everyone know exactly what we need so gifts can be targeted to really make a difference to our students and teachers. This Amazon Wish List also provides an opportunity for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, godparents et al who want to generously contribute to our school. You can view the wish list here: https://tinyurl.com/pinecrestamazonwishlist. ***Helpful hint: Sometimes Amazon does not tell us who ordered the item and we do not know who to thank; something you can do to mitigate this is put your name in the address with Pinecrest School and our mailing address – then we know who it is from.*** ☺

Faculty and staff members engage in regular professional development throughout the year. Last week, I attended a training with Dr. Brené Brown and am now a Certified Dare to LeadTM Facilitator! I applied to be part of this program over a year ago and was so honored to be accepted. It was an incredible 3 days of learning, and I look forward to continuing to share this work with our faculty and staff – and possibly the Board and parents too. More to follow. I will also be out of school for part of the day today attending the NoVA Heads lunch meeting with other Heads of School from local private and independent schools.

PPF Pinecrest offers the option of purchasing a pizza lunch for your child every Friday throughout this school year on Pinecrest Pizza Fridays (PPFs). PPFs are available to all K-6 students, preschool students in after-care and all staff. 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. Fill out this online form https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/schoolppf/index.html and you are minutes away from not having to pack lunches on a weekly basis. You will have the option of selecting one, some, or all Fridays. Orders must be placed by 2:00 p.m. the Thursday prior to each PPF. 

A few PPF notes:

  • Your K-6 child still needs a morning snack on PPF days.
  • The link closes at 2 p.m. the Thursday before and this is a hard deadline.
  • The confirmation email you receive after you place your order tells you all of the dates you are signed up for.

Thank you to the families that have signed up to sponsor each Friday with pizza and to the families who are being dessert sponsors! This generosity allows us to maximize profits from this fundraiser and we are appreciative. PPFs are a fundraiser for the school. You can still sign up to participate: Sponsor an event: https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/eventsponsor/index.html Donate dessert for a PPF: https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/ppfdessert

With each PPF, a parent volunteer assists us by serving pizza and dessert. Sign up to help at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/ppfvolunteer. **We are still looking for a volunteer for this Friday.** 

Recently on the Pinecrest Blog 

  • Private School in Northern Virginia May Be More Affordable Than You Think https://www.pinecrestschool.org/2019/11/20/private-school-in-northern-virginia-may-be-more- affordable-than-you-think/
  • Is That the Time Already? Moving on to Middle School (and Transitioning from Private School to Public School) by Ms. Mitlo https://www.pinecrestschool.org/2019/11/06/is-that-the-time-already/

Please DO NOT CLICK on any Pinecrest ads you may see on other websites, on Facebook or Instagram, in any apps or anywhere else online. The way this particular digital marketing works is that we pay per click. We are eager to pay for clicks of prospective parents, but not for those who are already sold on our school or camp. ☺ Thank you for NOT clicking on the ads! 

Winter Break Care This school year, we are offering five days of Winter Break Care at Pinecrest on Monday, December 23; Friday, December 27; Monday, December 30; Thursday, January 2; and Friday, January 3, for preschoolers and K-6 students in the lower school building. Register online at https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/breakcare/index.html – the price will increase on December 1 and then again on December 13. We appreciate your prompt sign-up so we can plan appropriately for staffing. More details were included in a dedicated email sent on November 6. This care is open to school and camp families. If you have friends and neighbors who might be interested, you can definitely share the information with them.

Upcoming Dates More details will follow soon about upcoming events/activities if not included here. (If you see a field trip listed that you have not heard about yet from the classroom teacher, thank you for your patience in waiting for the information to come directly from her – it will come soon, I promise.And please note that many more field trips are in the process of being scheduled.) 

Friday, November 22 Grade 6 Class Presentation – 9 a.m. – multipurpose room (this is change from the original date of October 25)

Friday, November 22 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/schoolppf/index.html

Tuesday, November 26 Pinecrest Spirit Day – all students and staff should wear a This is community shirt please (any color is fine) ☺

Tuesday, November 26 Preschool and K-6 Thanksgiving Feasts

(Preschool 10 a.m. / K-6 12 noon)

Wednesday-Friday, November 27-29 Thanksgiving Holiday / No School / No Care

Sunday, December 1 2019-20 Tuition Installment 5 of 10 Due (A $50 late fee is charged if the tuition payment is not received on or by the third day of the month)

Monday, December 2; Tuesday, December 3; Friday, December 6 SkillBuilders Screenings for those preschool students whose families opted in and for K-6 students who families who self-paid

Thursday, December 5 Preschool 3/4 and Preschool 4 Field Trip – Woodson Holiday Tunes for Tots Concert

Thursday, December 5 Grade 6 Field Trip – National Cathedral

Friday, December 6 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/schoolppf/index.html Thursday, December 12 Preschool Color Day – Red

Thursday, December 12 Grade 1 and 2 Field Trip – Hidden Oaks Nature Center

Friday, December 13 Grade 3 Class Presentation – 9 a.m. – multipurpose room

Friday, December 13 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/schoolppf/index.html

Friday, December 20 No School / No Care

Friday, December 20 Preschool & K-6 Winter Concert – 9 a.m. – John Calvin Presbyterian Church on Columbia Pike in Annandale

Mon., Dec. 23 – Fri., Jan. 3 Winter Break / No School

Monday, December 23; Friday, December 27; Monday, December 30; Thursday, January 2; Friday, January 3 Winter Break Care – Register online at https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/breakcare/index.html – the price will increase on December 1 and then again on December 13. We appreciate your prompt sign-up so we can plan appropriately for staffing.

Wednesday, January 1 2019-20 Tuition Installment 6 of 10 Due (A $50 late fee is charged if the tuition payment is not received on or by the sixth day of the month *January 2020 only*

Monday, January 6 School Resumes

*** SUBSCRIBE TO OUR GOOGLE CALENDAR: https://tinyurl.com/pinecrestgooglecalendar *** 

Celebrations/Appreciations A standing ovation for our fourth/fifth grade class and Mrs. Barrette who shared their class presentation with the school and their parents on November 8 – it was wonderful! And we appreciate Ms. Lindsay and Ms. Haden who were involved in helping to make the presentation a success too! We look forward to sixth grade sharing their class presentation this Friday.

A round of applause for the parents and students who helped at Spruce Up Day on November 17, and deep appreciation to Grant who spearheads our grounds maintenance.

We’re grateful for parent participation in field trips – thank you to Shaun for being part of our K-Kids clean- up on November 7; thank you to Amy, Angela, Anthony, Beth, Nick and Phuong for going on the sixth grade field trip last week to Medieval Times; and thank you to Nick for driving for the K-Kids trip on Monday.

Three cheers for our most recent PPF volunteers and dessert sponsors: Erin, John, Nicole and the Ferro and O’Connor families!

Piece of Light I use this space to share articles or pieces that I like a lot and/or that I feel are thought-provoking, valuable or useful – or some combination of all of those factors.

A little lighter today – we have such voracious readers at Pinecrest so I thought this link could be appreciated with the holidays coming up: 15 Bookish Gifts for Kids Who Love to Read https://modernmrsdarcy.com/gift-guide-kids-love-read/