Middle School

The middle school years, coming at the onset of adolescence, are a time when a rigorous, yet formative and nurturing environment is crucial for your child. As a private, Catholic middle school, small class sizes and individual attention help to lay the groundwork for a well-rounded education for your child.

It is during the middle school years that the habits and skills your student has acquired during previous grades come to fruition. It is also during these crucial years that the Christian values and habits that form the foundation of your child’s adult character begin to take shape.

The Middle School at Pinecrest Academy uses an approach that cultivates the skills needed for high school in an atmosphere that supports, teaches, and demands individual responsibility, critical thinking, and internalized discipline. As a private Catholic school, Pinecrest Academy is able to provide smaller class sizes, a balanced and academically challenging curriculum, and probably most importantly, a formative Christ-centered environment that focuses on the whole child, preparing well-rounded individuals for a demanding college-prep high school program.

List of 8 items.

  • Language Arts

    In language arts, your child will be challenged to not only discern what is being communicated, but engage it and truly begin the work of independent thinking and communication, both in written work and speeches. In addition, students will be challenged to begin appreciating great literature as a critical reader, to engage in independent and systematic research, and to truly sustain and develop his own ideas and positions.
  • Mathematics

    In mathematics, all students pursue a track that completes the concepts and skills of algebra in eighth grade so that your child will be prepared to begin high school with geometry. In addition, mathematics will be used to develop the skills of systematic and abstract reasoning in your son or daughter.
  • Religion

    In Religion, your child will be inspired to not just know what the Church teaches, but why it teaches it and be able to understand and articulate the essential inner unity of the Faith. Specific content includes the forming of the conscience and increasing closeness to God, the Sacraments and our life in the Church.
  • Science

    In science, your child will begin the study of specific disciplines, studying Earth, Life and Physical Science in grades sixth through eighth. As the student begins these specific studies, they will continue to develop and apply the fundamental skills of scientific thinking and problem solving to each discipline. Incorporated into the Science curriculum is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) based program called Project Lead the Way (PLTW) which further aides in the development of critical thinking skills in the sciences disciplines.
  • History & Geography

    Our history and geography curriculum will prepare your child to face the challenges of the world as a future Christian leader. As he studies World History II, American History and Contemporary Issues, success is measured by the level at which he demonstrates the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to participate in and contribute to local communities, the nation, and the world. Through the study of history, geography and economics, your student will understand complex connections to the past, comprehend their context, recognize the commonality of people across time, appreciate the delicate balance of rights and responsibilities in a democratic society, and develop the habits of thoughtful analysis, problem solving, and reflective thinking necessary to lead a successful life in a very complex world. This program will prepare your child to demonstrate love, compassion, and charity built upon the understanding of community, the nation, and the world.
  • Foreign Language

    In foreign language, your child will continue the study of Spanish which began in Lower School, completing the curriculum typically accomplished in the freshman year of high school.
  • Arts

    The exploration of the visual and auditory arts that your child began in the lower grades will continue in middle school with an eye towards not only appreciating beauty in its myriad forms but also towards creating it and deepening their understanding of its expression in the various disciplines of art and music.
  • Technology

    Through all of these disciplines, you will find your child developing an easy, comfortable and varied ability to enhance their learning and communication through the integrated use of technology throughout all classes. Student laptops, cameras and other technological tools are regularly utilized in order to give your child skills in the use of word processing, presentations, spreadsheets and the various forms of communication made possible by digital media.

Middle School STEM

6th Grade:
Energy and the Environment - Students are challenged to think big and toward the future as they explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. They design and model alternative energy sources and evaluate options for reducing energy consumption.

7th Grade:
Medical Detectives - Students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.

8th Grade:
Science of Technology - Science impacts the technology of yesterday, today, and the future. Students apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to STEM activities and projects, including making ice cream, cleaning up an oil spill, and discovering the properties of nano-materials.

Design and Modeling -
Students apply the design process to solve problems and understand the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. Using design software, students create a virtual image of their designs and produce a portfolio to showcase their innovative solutions.

Denise Cress, Middle School Principal

Mrs. Cress holds a Master of Science in Education Administration from the University of Scranton, and has spent the last thirteen years in school administration. Before serving as a school administrator, Mrs. Cress worked in curriculum development and taught high school science at various diocesan schools in the Northeast and Southwest. While working for Pinecrest Academy, Mrs. Cress has traveled internationally to share her knowledge of curriculum development and teacher training. She was born in New York and enjoys living in the South. Mrs. Cress is married to husband, Barry, and they have two daughters, one a graduate of Pinecrest Academy and one a current student. They are members of St. Brendan Catholic Church.

Here's what parents and students are saying:

"I simply can't say enough wonderful things about Pinecrest Academy, and the people who make it so great! On a whim, we attended an Open House, more out of curiosity than a need since we were very happy with the experiences our children were having in the public school system. From the moment we drove on campus, we began to see what makes PA so special. It sounds implausible to say a school that you've visited one time could feel like family, but it absolutely did. By the time we had heard from parents, teachers and the administration, my husband and I were convinced this was the type of learning environment in which we wanted our children. We had high expectations going in, and they continue to be exceeded at every turn. The cost of tuition is definitely a factor for our family, but the sacrifices we are making to give our children this experience is absolutely worth it to us." - Julie Boucek, Pinecrest Mom

"Pinecrest has been a wonderful experience for our middle school boys. They have thrived academically, spiritually, and socially in a caring and nurturing environment that has supported our beliefs at home. My 8th grader has said 'I actually like school again at Pinecrest, Mom. Thanks for sending me there.'" - Ginger Soukup, Pinecrest Mom

"Pinecrest is more than just friends; it’s like a family.” - Luca Cordano, Class of 2023

“I love Pinecrest because of the opportunities I couldn’t get anywhere else. I get the chance to play on a sports team and give my all at something that I love. Another thing I love about Pinecrest is that I get the chance to grow in my faith and learn about God.” ~ Sarah Black, Class of 2024

Why choose Pinecrest for Your Middle Schooler?

  1. Small class sizes, where every student has the opportunity to learn and succeed (no more than 24 students per class).
  2. Exceptional teachers who know and understand the middle school child in this important stage of life.
  3. High School Preparatory Curriculum, providing each student with the needed skills to be successful during the high school years and beyond.
  4. Fully integrated STEM program, utilizing the Project Lead the Way program.
  5. Opportunities to participate simultaneously in multiple clubs and sports.

Shadow a Student

Shadow a Student (open to grades 6th-11th): Experience first-hand a typical day in the life of a Pinecrest student. Call to set up a shadow day. Learn more about our Shadowing Program here.
    • Video: Middle School Daffodil Holocost Project
Pinecrest Academy's private Catholic middle school is conveniently located in Cumming, South Forsyth, just minutes from Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton and Suwanee. We serve families of all faiths seeking a Christian education for their children.