Lower School

The elementary years are a time of growth and development for your child during which many lifelong habits and attitudes are established.

Whatever the subject or activity, nurturing a positive self-concept and cultivating a love and enthusiasm for learning are crucial during these formative years. This is why, at Pinecrest Academy, we will pay special attention to the unique talents, temperament and circumstances of your son or daughter. Small class sizes (no more than 20) and a family-like atmosphere will allow your child to receive a genuine education according to his or her strengths and needs.

In all subject areas, Pinecrest proclaims that truth is the foundation of knowledge and learning. Our curriculum is balanced and academically challenging, and will thoroughly prepare your child for any demanding college preparatory high school program.

List of 10 items.

  • Language Arts

    Language arts encompasses the areas of vocabulary, spelling, grammar, reading and literature, composition, listening, public speaking and handwriting. Emphasis on building grammar and vocabulary proficiency will assist your child in the acquisition of effective communication skills. Extensive phonics work is used to develop a strong foundation for word attack, decoding and spelling skills. Exposure to the world of literature is accomplished through all genres such as poetry, novels, and short stories. Reading comprehension, composition and public speaking are the primary focuses of instruction at the intermediate level.
  • Mathematics

    The mathematics curriculum consists of programs which emphasize mastery of basic skills and facts for speed, accuracy and understanding of concepts up through algebra. Instruction begins with a hands-on, concrete approach and builds a solid foundation of basic mathematical skills. Your child will participate in activities that enable her to develop problemsolving skills, critical thinking, abstract reasoning and mathematical concepts consistent with each grade level. Your child will become confident in the mathematical skills that will support her future work in classes, careers and daily living.
  • Social Studies

    Social studies is primarily the study of history and geography, but also includes civics and an elementary understanding of economics. Our goal is to help your child think critically and analytically about past events, as well as provide a framework for understanding other cultural works such as art and literature. We also seek to foster a sense of belonging and cultural identity, which are essential for your child to come to an appreciation of his own heritage, as well as to cultivate respect for diversity in other cultures and beliefs.
  • Science

    Our science curriculum is designed to awaken a curiosity and a sense of wonder in your child about the world and how it works. Through the study of the Earth and space, life science and physical science by means of hands-on projects, scientific experiments and field trips, your child will come to know the general laws of nature and the scientific method. She will learn to ask questions, investigate answers and think conceptually. The development of your child’s self-awareness and an understanding of her place in the universe and responsibility for the environment are also part of the curriculum.
  • Religion

    Religion is a vital part of the school curriculum and will instill and nurture in your child a personal relationship with and deep love for Jesus Christ, transmitting a thorough understanding of the Catholic faith, and conveying that spiritual growth is an integral part of his daily life. Religion class meets, and the faith is integrated throughout the curriculum and school year. Students are encouraged to form habits of virtue throughout the school day, as well as at home.
  • Spanish

    Spanish is taught in kindergarten through eighth grades. In the elementary and intermediate grades, your child will learn basic conversational phrases, vocabulary and grammar, as well as the geography and culture of Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Physical Education

    Physical education is an important aspect of the integral formation of your child. Through physical exercises, organized sports and age-appropriate games, he will have fun while staying fit and learning about good health. He will develop strength and coordination, teamwork, communication skills, self control, and the ability to follow directions and rules.
  • Music & Art

    Music and art help develop the aesthetic dimension of the human mind. Our music program is designed to teach your child to understand and appreciate musical masterpieces, as well as to give him opportunities to express himself musically through singing and playing. The study of great works of art is incorporated into the history curriculum, while formal art classes will familiarize him with basic skills, concepts and mediums.
  • STEM

    Our STEM program taps into students’ exploratory nature, engages them in learning that feels like play, and encourages them to keep discovering – now and for years to come. Whether designing a car safety belt or building digital animations, students engage in critical and creative thinking, build teamwork skills, and learn to try and try again when faced with challenges.
  • Technology

    Technology is incorporated deeply into our environment. Your child will be taught keyboarding, research, word processing, presentation skills and the use of digital media.

Meet Reading Specialist Robin Coulter

Describe the students you help with reading at Pinecrest:
I work with the students that classroom teachers feel could benefit from additional support in the area of Reading, primarily first and second graders. I work with these students twice weekly in a small group setting. My responsibility is to help support and reinforce what the teachers are doing in the classroom, to help with mastery of new skills and concepts that are being taught.

What inspired you to become a Reading Specialist?
One of my children really struggled with learning to read and spell when she was in first grade. I had her tested by an educational psychologist, and she was diagnosed with Dyslexia. The recommendation was to have her work with an Orton Gillingham tutor. I began to learn, while working with my daughter and her tutor, that this approach to teaching reading was unlike any I had learned about in college. So, I decided to get trained.

What special training did you receive in the area of reading?
In addition to having been Orton Gillingham trained, I have my Bachelor's degree and Master’s degree in both regular and special education. I am certified in Elementary and Middle Grades, and I am also Gifted and Talented certified.

Describe some of the creative techniques you use to help kids become successful readers:
My main goal is to make students feel successful and confident about their ability to read. I strive to make reading fun and engaging. I sing songs, play games, and try to teach my students tricks to help make things easier. It is all about differentiation. I want kids to know there is more than one right way to do things. Everyone is different, so we explore many strategies till we find what works best. One trick I use to keep students motivated is that I will stand on my head!. I tell the students that if they WOW me… I will WOW them. It is really fun to see how hard these kids will work to try and get me to stand on my head! You never know what it will be...a student could ask a great question, help a friend, or show me in some way how hard they are working.

Can you share a couple of your success stories?
Every student that I work with is a success story. I have had the opportunity to work with so many amazing children and their families. It is all about teamwork. If I had to say what I am most proud of, it is that I have had so many lasting relationships that began with my just being a child’s tutor. I have had the pleasure of working with some students for as many as five years and counting. It is so rewarding to be a part of their progress and to watch them gain confidence and grow.

Why Pinecrest for your elementary school-aged child?

  1. Small classes allow for personal attention (no more than 20 per class).
  2. Exceptional teachers, including specialists to help with unique learning differences.
  3. High academic standards with flexibility to meet the needs of each child at his/her developmental stage.
  4. Development of the whole child, which includes fostering a personal relationship with Jesus and developing Christian character.
  5. Fine Arts and Language programs, including Art, Band, Drama, Music and Spanish.

And much more! Schedule a private tour and come and see what Pinecrest has to offer your family.
Madeliene Flanagan
Principal, Lower School
Madeliene Flanagan was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Stone Mountain. She attended Georgia State University and graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. She worked as a teacher in the Atlanta public school system before having children. She later attended the University of Georgia and received a Master's Degree in Reading Education. She went on to complete post-graduate work in Educational Leadership, and is certified in that field. 
Madeliene has worked at Pinecrest for 23 years, serving as a teacher for three years before moving into administration. During her tenure at Pinecrest, Madeliene has held several different positions, including, Curriculum Coordinator, Academic Coordinator, Assistant Dean of Studies, Dean of Academics, Vice Principal, and currently Principal of the Lower School since 2010. Madeliene and husband, Mike Flanagan, have three children, Kathleen, Brian and Mary.  Kathleen attended Pinecrest from Kindergarten through 12th grade and was a member of the first graduating class. She is married and lives in Charlotte, NC. Brian attended Pinecrest from PreK3 through 12th grade and graduated in 2016.  Mary has attended Pinecrest since PreK3 and is a sophomore in high school. Madeliene and family live in Lawrenceville, GA, and attend The Catholic Church of St. Monica.