Current Newsletter



Pinecrest Headlines Communication from the Head of School – Issue 4, 2019-20 Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

News and Notes We prefer parents outside the lower school building to ring the doorbell (this is a white button to the left of the keypad) rather than knocking on the door, or trying to see in the windows (with the glare, that is often challenging on both sides). We appreciate your cooperation.

Our K-6 Color Run is taking place next Thursday, afternoon, October 17. This is our fifth annual run and it is a very fun event: it gets our students moving and provides them an opportunity to do good for their school. Donations can be made online at https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/ColorRun/index.html or by cash or check payable to Pinecrest School. All check and cash donations should come in by Tuesday, October 15, so we can announce at the event how much was raised and give out prizes. Thank you to the parent volunteers who signed up to help and there’s still time to join us if you wish – sign up at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/colorrun.

Some K-6 Color Run logistics: All K-6 children should wear a plain white t-shirt on the day of the event so we can spray them with color while participating. ☺ The color is non-permanent, non- toxic colored water. Colored Water Ingredients: vinegar, water, food coloring. (If your child wants to wear a white t-shirt that has printing on it, that is fine and completely up to you.) I encourage casual bottoms that you don’t mind if they get dirty or some color on them. You may want to consider a change of clothes for your child to go home and/or a towel or two for your child to sit on in the car.

On Tuesday, October 22, we are having a fundraising night at the Chipotle in Mosaic – at 8191 Strawberry Lane in Falls Church. It is from 4-8 p.m. We are excited about this as we had one in 2017-18 and it was a big success. We are hoping this one will be too. Purchases made online or with the app will not benefit Pinecrest / orders must be placed and paid for in the store and a flyer we will share in advance must be shown to the cashier. 

K-6 Quarter 1 ends on Friday, October 25, and K-6 Quarter 1 report cards will be distributed in Wednesday Envelopes (one envelope per family) on Wednesday, October 30.

We are having a Celebrate Pinecrest Wine Tasting event on Saturday night, October 26, from 6:30-9 p.m., at Total Wine on Little River Turnpike in Alexandria. Sip, savor and support! This is an adults-only night of fun and fundraising for our school. We did this two school years ago and it was a lot of fun so we hope for a great turn-out again this time. Feel free to invite friends or neighbors. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/WineTasting/index.html.

Our first Spruce Up Day of the school year will take place on Sunday, October 27. Volunteers do garden and yard work outside for a few hours, and it is a great help to us. If you have a moment, please sign up

in advance at http://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/spruceup. Even if you do not sign up, just come on by and there will be a sign-in sheet. Children who are able to help are welcome to join in with their parents.

On Monday, October 28, from 7-8:30 p.m., at Pinecrest, we will host our Life After Pinecrest panel for the second year. This was a great event last year that I think was very helpful for parents getting ready to make the transition. Some of the most frequently asked questions are where do students go after Pinecrest School and how well prepared are they? Our Life After Pinecrest event is a discussion about the transition from Pinecrest to middle school. Ms. Mitlo and I will facilitate a panel conversation, which will include time for questions and answers from attendees too. The panel will feature recent Pinecrest graduates and alumni parents. Open to any Pinecrest parents and Pinecrest students in 5th and 6th grade. Please RSVP at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/lifeafterpinecrest.

Our individual and class photos will be taken on Wednesday, October 30, by Creative Images. Creative Images always asks for no green clothing. Children will be photographed individually. If applicable, children will also be photographed together with their sibling(s) who also attend Pinecrest. Class group photos will be taken that day too. After the photos are taken, you will receive proof sheets and have the option to buy photos and other items. Anyone who orders will receive a complimentary class group photo. Those who do not order individual photos but would like to buy the class group photo can do so once all of the photos come in. If orders are placed by the deadline (TBA once the proof sheets are here), the items are supposed to arrive before our winter break. Creative Images gives our school a percentage of all of the orders received so we thank you in advance for your orders when the time comes. ☺

Thursday morning, October 31, at 9:05 a.m., is Pinecrest’s Annual Halloween Parade in the parking lot. Children may come to school in costume on Halloween or change after they arrive. They will need regular school clothes to put on after the parade is over though; children will not wear their costumes all day. The parade will be held rain or shine. (If it is raining, parents should please go to the multipurpose room and we will meet you there.) We respectfully request that in honor of the multiple ages participating in the all-school parade, students considerately prepare and choose their costumes. Really gory, scary, violent or bloody face masks are not appropriate for this type of event. Neither are any kinds of inappropriate weaponry. We ask that students consider leaving frightening pieces of their costume at home. Anyone who struggles with this request may speak with me personally, and I will do my best to help you and your child. Students who do not wish to dress up may assist younger children and still participate in the parade if they’d like. If students would rather not participate in the parade, that is fine too. They may watch with parents or be dropped off at school later on in the morning. Please make the choice that is most comfortable for you and your family. Classroom teachers and/or room parents will be in touch with parents directly about any classroom celebrations that may take place after the parade.

Two quick handbook reminders in advance of Halloween:

  • The school and staff will not distribute candy, treats or food from the school or staff to students with the exception of preschool and after-care snacks. The school will allow families to bring treats for birthdays and other planned celebrations and will serve those items. Candy is always discouraged. Staff will not reward children with food or treats and will not give out snacks and candy in class, on field trips or for other reasons or occasions. (page 26) 
  • Goodie bags, balloons, favors or any other kind of take-home items for the children are not necessary and not permitted for birthdays, holidays or any other occasions. (page 26) 

Monday, November 4 is a no-school day; this is a faculty professional development day. Care is offered at the regular after-care rate. You must sign up in advance for care on Monday, November 4, at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/nov4care. Those using care that day will be charged the regular after-care rate.

Tuesday, November 5 is a no-school day; this is our fall parent/teacher conference day. The teachers are looking forward to meeting with parents at that time. The sign-up link for parents to schedule their

conferences is https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/conferencesnov and this link will open this Friday, October 11, at 8 a.m. 

Tuesday, November 5 is a no-school day; this is our fall parent/teacher conference day. Care is offered at the regular after-care rate. You must sign up in advance for care on Tuesday at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/nov5care – note different tabs for preschool and K-6. If you are only going to use care for the duration of your conference(s), please do not sign up online. We will be able to accommodate anyone who needs care that day but please only sign up online if your care need is more than just your conference(s). Those using care that day and/or during conferences will be charged the regular after-care rate.

We are excited to have kicked off a new capital campaign called Improving Our School. Each family was sent a letter in last week’s Wednesday Envelope explaining more. This is my 15th year leading our school, and I’m proud to say that every annual fund campaign or capital campaign we have ever run during my time has begun with donations first from me and the members of the Board of Directors. We are all committed to improving our school, and I hope you will consider giving generously too. Thank you so much to those who have already given. You can donate by check payable to Pinecrest School (with capital campaign marked in the memo line) or online at https://tinyurl.com/improvingourschool.

Last year at our Celebrate Pinecrest auction, we teased our new capital campaign and raised some money to Improve Our School. Using what was raised last year, our first improvement project is now in the books: reseeding/revitalizing the front lawn. The grass will be covered for a couple of months while it hopefully grows, and we appreciate everyone’s patience with this. Prior to the weekend work, our third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders (and other children in K-6 after-care) helped by picking up rocks that were in the dirt – in total, 803.4 pounds of rocks were collected (with sixth grade collecting the most)!! It was so awesome to see everyone working together and problem-solving, enthusiastically, to help Pinecrest.

Last year, a group of parents formed a Maintenance Committee with the idea that they would help with reasonable needs that come up from time to time. Sometimes it is the whole committee helping and sometimes it is only one or two people. If anyone would like to join this on-call group of generous parents, please let me know.

In the last newsletter, I welcomed Angela White-Martin to our staff, assisting us as the second adult with Ms. Marble in preschool after-care from 12-3:30 p.m. Mrs. Martin is also now part of our before-care staff, working on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

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 in this:

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.

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. We have added an item to the Google Drive folder: the list of allergies per class with no student names. This is meant to be helpful to families when planning birthday treats at school and possibly birthday or other parties outside of school as well. 

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

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! We received $246.49 from this program last school year! 

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. Mrs. Ferrier recently attended two Fairfax County Office for Children sessions.

FYI – Upcoming Parent or Family Programs 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.

Free Screening of LIKE Families and kids are welcome to this free community event! If your child is active on any kind of social media, you need to come and bring them with you! SCC presents a screening of the documentary LIKE that explores the impact of social media on our lives and the effects of technology on the brain. The goal of the film is to inspire us to self-regulate. Social media is a tool and social platforms are a place to connect, share, and care…but is that what’s really happening? Find out more about the film at www.thelikemovie.com. After the film, discussion will be led by Dr. Clifford Sussman, a DC-based psychiatrist and expert on helping people achieve a more balanced relationship with digital technology. Events are free and recommended for adults and students of any age who have phones. Sponsored by the Safe Community Coalition.

  • Langley High School auditorium, Thursday, October 10, 7-8:30 p.m.
  • McLean High School auditorium, Tuesday, October 15, 7-8:30 p.m.

FINDING KIND Documentary The Sycamore School, Arlington Magazine, and Moms of North Arlington are proud to co-sponsor a community screening of the documentary Finding Kind. This award-winning documentary is the

result of hundreds of interviews of women across America by the filmmakers Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson. The documentary finds among all these personal accounts, there are universal truths about the pressures of being a girl and that those pressures can take a toll on our relationships with other women. The evening is designed for female students age 10 and older to attend in conjunction with a parent or adult caregiver. Following the screening, Yvette Mitchell, LCSW, will be leading a discussion about the documentary.

  • Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Location: The Sycamore School, 4600 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203
  • Purchase tickets and read more at https://thesycamoreschoolva.org/event/finding-kind-2/

From WTOP: WTOP and Huntington Learning Center present our second annual Junior Reporter Contest. It’s super simple to enter. Fill out a short form and submit a video of your child “reporting” on any subject. Prizes include $1,000 for each winner and another $1,000 for each winner’s school! Winners also get the chance to be heard on WTOP and a tour of the brand new Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center! Read our full FAQ and enter NOW at WTOP.com. **Last year, one of our students was a finalist in this contest!** 

Recently on the Pinecrest Blog 

  • Empowering Our Children to Work Through Their Anxiety 9/2019 – inspired by the work of Lynn Lyons

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. More details and the registration link will be available soon. 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 too when it comes out.

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.) 

Wednesday, October 9 Grade 1 Field Trip – Green Springs Gardens

Friday, October 11 Sign-up opens at 8 a.m. for Parent/Teacher Conferences on

Tuesday, November 5 https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/conferencesnov

Friday, October 11 Preschool Color Day – Orange and Black

Friday, October 11 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before


Monday, October 14 Columbus Day Holiday / No School / No Care

Tuesday, October 15 Grade 3 Field Trip – Butler’s Orchard

Thursday, October 17 K-6 Color Run – 2:15-3:35 p.m. – parking lot

Donate: https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/ColorRun/index.html Volunteer: http://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/colorrun

Friday, October 18 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before


Monday, October 21 K-Kids Service Trip after school – Brandywine


Tuesday, October 22 Preschool and K In-house Field Trip – Fire Truck Visit

Tuesday, October 22 Chipotle Fundraising Night – 4-8 p.m. at the Chipotle in Mosaic – 8191 Strawberry Lane, Falls Church *purchases made online or with the app will not benefit Pinecrest / orders must be placed and paid for in the store and a flyer we will share in advance must be shown to the cashier*

Friday, October 25 K-6 Quarter 1 Ends (43 days)

Friday, October 25 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before


Saturday, October 26 Wine Tasting Fun & Fundraising Event – 6:30-9 p.m. – Total Wine, 6240 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312 (adults only) https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/WineTasting/index.html

Sunday, October 27 Spruce Up Day – 9-11:30 a.m. – front lawn Sign up to help at http://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/spruceup! (each date is its own tab)

Monday, October 28 K-6 Quarter 2 Begins

Monday, October 28 Life After Pinecrest Panel Discussion – 7-8:30 p.m. – multipurpose room https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/lifeafterpinecrest

Tuesday, October 29 Grade 4/5 and 6 Field Trip – Kennedy Center

Tuesday, October 29 K-Kids Service Trip after school – Adopt-a-Highway


Wednesday, October 30 K-6 Quarter 1 Report Cards Distributed in Wednesday Envelopes

Wednesday, October 30 Individual & Class Photos by Creative Images – morning (no make- ups)

Thursday, October 31 Halloween Parade – 9:05 a.m. – parking lot

Friday, November 1 2019-20 Tuition Installment 4 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)

Friday, November 1 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before


Monday, November 4 Faculty Professional Development Time / No School / Care Offered

*You must sign up in advance for care at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/nov4care

Tuesday, November 5 Parent/Teacher Conferences / No School / Care Offered

*You must sign up in advance for care at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/nov5care **You can sign up for your parent/teacher conference beginning

Friday, October 11, at 8 a.m., at https://pinecrestschool.ivolunteer.com/conferencesnov

Wednesday, November 6 Board of Directors Meeting – 7 p.m. – conference room

Friday, November 8 Preschool Color Day – Brown

Friday, November 8 Grade 4/5 Presentation – 9 a.m. – multipurpose room (this is a change from the original date of November 22)

Friday, November 8 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before


Monday, November 11 Open House for Prospective School Families – 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Thursday, November 14 Preschool In-house Field Trip – Ms. Cathy Storyteller Show

Thursday, November 14 Grade 6 Field Trip – Medieval Times

Pay for your 6th grader at https://fs9.formsite.com/pinecrest/FieldTrip/index.html and use this same link if parents are joining

Friday, November 15 Pinecrest Pizza Friday (PPF) – sign up by 2 p.m. the day before


Saturday, November 16 6K that our Run Club is participating in – 10:30 a.m., at Pinecrest Golf Course in Annandale – more race details and registration at https://bishopsevents.com/event/2019-birds-birdies-6k/. Each Run Club family must sign up for the race individually but everyone will meet as a group beforehand. Parents, other families and students not in Run Club are welcome to join the Pinecrest race team as runners too.

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 Preschool and K-6 Thanksgiving Feasts

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

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

Celebrations/Appreciations Thank you to everyone who came to Ledo Pizza for our fundraising night on September 23! We earned $272.94.

A tip of the hat to the parents who volunteered to make our Fun Fair a great success on September 28. More than $2000 was raised for our school! We are very appreciative of everyone’s time and energy and a big round of applause to Carolyn for her advance efforts and coordination and to Sarah and Steve for their critical assistance!

We’re so thankful to the parents who spent so much time here on Saturday helping us improve our school (specifically, the front lawn) – thank you to Dave, Grant, Kelly, Marek, Nick, and Van! We even had a sixth grader assisting too. ☺ Special thanks to Dave and Grant for all of their organization and leadership beforehand.

We’re grateful for parent participation in field trips – thank you to Alexia, Caitrin, Dave, Jean, Jen, Kelly, Martin, Monica, Sara, Valerie, and Veronica who attended the preschool field trip on October 1st; thank you to Dave, Erin, John, Lisa, Manisha, Nicole, Stacee, and TJ who attended the K and first grade field trip on October 7th; thank you to Conor and Ryan who attended and drove for the first grade field trip today; and thank you to Carolyn who drove for the K-Kids service trip last week. ☺

Three cheers for our most recent PPF volunteers and dessert sponsors: Aimee and Nicole and the Kurry and Whelan 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.

Parent Tips: 16 Pieces of Transformational Parenting Advice by Rachel Simmons https://www.rachelsimmons.com/parent-tips-parenting-advice/