This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted August 05, 2014
- a parent
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.
There are a million different things that make Pinecrest a fantastic school: the teachers, the curriculum, the small class sizes. However, if I had to pick just one reason why we are so happy to be part of the Pinecrest community, it would be that every day, without fail, my kids come home and say, "I had a great day. I love school." I can't think of a greater compliment to a program than having such happy, enthusiastic students with a clear love of learning. -Current parent, children in grades 2 & 4
Children here learn to think outside of the box! The teachers go above and beyond to plan innovative lessons, performances, and projects that encourage curiosity and discovery. It is a small family friendly community where parents can be involved. Amazing teachers, staff, and students! Everyday my child says how much she loves Pinecrest and sometimes it is so much fun it does not feel like school!
Pinecrest has been a terrific experience. We have been in preschool for two years and would likely continue at the school if we were not leaving the area. Pinecrest combines nurturing, play and academics perfectly. In this area it is often hard to feel connected, but Pinecrest does a great job of connecting kids and families with their school community. I cannot say enough good things about the experience we have had at Pinecrest, it will certainly be something that stays with my son for a lifetime.