This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted March 03, 2015
- a parent
Pinecrest school is quite an amazing school! We have three children at Pinecrest that are quite unique. and Pinecrest has figured out a way to meet each child where they are. The teachers are so creative, knowledgeable, and caring. Our children absolutely love school. We love the well-rounded curriculum for preschool and grade school. Even in preschool the kids have the opportunity to explore a variety of subjects including science, social studies, math, writing, reading, Spanish, art and physical education. I have seen it first hand, in the same classroom the teachers challenging the child that is super advanced while tailoring the same subject to a child that is behind while building self confidence. It's partly due to the small classroom size and mostly due to the quality of the teaching staff. Pinecrest is a true community school and it speaks volumes how eager the students, teachers, and staff put so much energy and effort into volunteering in the community and for those in need. We couldn't have found a more well-rounded school that fosters personal growth, embraces individuality, celebrates diversity, and excels academically.
I have nothing but good things to say about our two years at Pinecrest. Let me start with the most important thing: my two children are thriving, excited learners, and good citizens thanks to the thoughtful curriculum that Pinecrest and its amazing teachers create. There is a balance of rigorous academics, nurturing/TLC, and consideration for making 'whole people' that I love. My son's teacher last year read his lengthy occupational therapy assessment and gave him classroom strategies that aligned with the therapist's recommendations, my preschool aged daughter was given TLC and a make-shift lunch one day when emergency dental surgery prevented my husband getting her on time, and my few minor classroom concerns have been addressed quickly and thoughtfully. This would be plenty for me to rate this school highly, but the unsung other factor is the 'pay as you use it' before and after school care - you are only billed for days your child uses the before/after care program, which is an unbelievable benefit for anyone on a flexible or need-based work schedule like my family. A quick email to the administrator the day before, and there has always been a spot available for my kids.
Top 10 Reasons we love Pinecrest School: 1. My kids can't wait to get to school in the morning. 2. Small classes, never more than 15. 3. My children are receiving an AMAZING hands-on, well thought-out education. They are well prepared for AAP in public schools, or any local private school. 4. They re conversationally fluent in Spanish by 6th grade graduation. 5. They don t teach to the test. 6. The communication is fantastic. I have never once been lost in the shuffle. 7. They greet me and my children every day with a genuine smile and by name. 8. They make learning fun! 9. It is a real community with people from all over the world, right here at Pinecrest, and I love that! 10. Parents are welcome to help and be a part of the school. It s encouraged, but not mandatory. So if you want a wonderful education, a nurturing community and a safe place for your children, come take a look. The view is going to get even better when we have our new lower school building in place. Oh, and it doesn t hurt that our tuition is considerably less than most non-parochial private schools in the area. Bonus! Bottom line: We couldn't be happier.
This school makes learning fun, and the smaller classes lead to a very individualized experience for the kids. The highlight of each school year is the class play, which the teachers often co-create with the students. The kids have a great experience, and learn about the subject matter, from US History to Insects, and more. I have had all three of my children attend Pinecrest, and headed there to benefit my oldest, who was overwhelmed by the large, loud classes at public school. But my two youngest have also thrived in this very personal learning environment. The school follows the standards of learning set forth by the county, then moves beyond the approved curriculum with team projects, after school programs, and many, many field trips to DC, Williamsburg, local nature centers, etc. Finally, my kids love the voluntary K-Kids group that is part of the Kiwanis-- the children learn about not just ways to help others, but why it is important to help others. The school does offer financial aid, and can be very generous in special cases-- but it is also one of the most affordable private schools in VA.
My kids are thriving at Pinecrest and truly LOVE school. The teachers are PHENOMENAL -- dynamic, creative and really are committed to actively engaging students. For example, my kids' classes have baked a giant cookie in the shape of Virginia and iced it to identify the regions, created resumes and applied for classroom jobs to make enough money to write checks for their monthly mortgage (their desk) utilities, etc, mentored the younger students by reading to them through the school's weekly Book Buddy program, made their own mini movies in computer class, complete with voice-overs and take home CD's.... and so on. I am amazed at what they are learning and retaining at their ages -- and think it's largely due to being so happy and engaged there. So thankful for Pinecrest!
We pulled our daughter out of public school and have watched her confidence soar since day #1 at Pinecrest. I have been brought to tears seeing the changes in her and seeing her find her way. She was admitted into our base school's AAP program and is not only learning more than she was, but is loving going to school every day. The kids look out for each other and the Head of School reinforces that behavior on a daily basis. There is a spirit of kindness here that we have seen her completely embrace. Among her favorite Pinecrest special events is a Thanksgiving feast where all of the students are served by parents and are then seated with students and teachers from other grades. This tradition epitomizes the school's "This is Community" mantra, which makes for such a successful learning environment for our daughter. Pinecrest is a rare find, and we are thrilled to have discovered it.
We cant believe we have found such a warm, positive, intellectual, creative environment for our son to spend his school days! The local public school offered a "traditional education." Our son cried every morning and dreaded going back the next day. The faculty seemed impatient and exhausted. Toward the end of 3rd grade, we decided to look for a private school within our price-range that might salvage his impression of learning and ease his anxiety. Pinecrest seemed to match our criteria, but we had no idea how much it would alter his educational experience. He BEGS for school in the morning. At pick-up time he spills all of the fun details of the day. This is hands-down the BEST decision we have ever made. Gifted students may excel further, while students with needs are given time and attention needed. Discipline is handled in a supportive/appropriate manner (which gives my son relief from worry/distraction.) Music, art, foreign language, computer and a phenomenal gym "coach" make this place feel like summer camp, every day! Pinecrest has put our son's attitude about school in the right direction, and will leave him with deep roots and strong wings for secondary school.
Pinecrest is about community. As a parent, you must be willing to contribute as much to your children's educational experience as the wonderful staff who work with them daily. The children, knowing that mom and/or dad are also dedicated, naturally tend to step up and engage fully. The results are unbelievable and the kids love going to school. Pinecrest focuses as much on the emotional and social development of young children as they do the academic development. And with small class sizes, the kids get significant individualized attention. Each child is pushed according to his/her abilities and supported individually to stay on grade level. Enrichment classes, including Spanish, PE, Art, Music and Computers begin during Pre-K and drive a comprehensive curriculum. We have two children at Pinecrest and like many other parents, wanted an environment driven by a love of learning, not of testing and frustrated teachers. We've been rewarded by teachers who love their work, kids who love their school and a community of parents who devote their time to helping make it all possible. And the tuition is far less than many of the other private schools in the area. We could not be happier.
I cannot say enough positive things about Pinecrest. It is clearly a hidden gem! I have 2 children that currently attend this school and they both are so eager to get to school each morning. (A huge turn-around from their previous school where they would be crying when I dropped them off and picked them up!) The teachers are not only adept at gently pushing each child to their full academic potential but they are very nurturing and concerned about each child's emotional development. The Pinecrest Community focuses on the whole child and each child gets the attention they need. Class sizes are considerably smaller than other schools, both private and public, and the parents are very involved in this tight knit community. I appreciate the recommendation I received from another parent that steered us to Pinecrest! Kudos to all the staff and teachers!!!!
My daughter has attended Pinecrest for two years, and her love for the school is clearly expressed in her excitement and eagerness to go to school every day. Pinecrest provides a strong sense of security through the love, caring and dedication the faculty and staff show towards the students learning and well being, which adds to my daughter's eagerness to go to school to learn and play.