Principal's Corner

Personalized Administrative Message for the month of March!

Dear Families,

Welcome to the month of new beginnings - March brings about springtime, and feelings of newness!  We are now about half way through the third quarter. This month we will have our drama production of The Lion King! We are so excited about this, and look forward to a wonderful show! We hope to see you there! Additionally, this month our PTA will host our family dance! This annual event is such a great time… please join us!

This month, we will also be cleaning out our cubbies. Please remind your child(ren) to bring home their belongings daily, which includes lunch boxes, jackets, etc… It is very important that items are taken home everyday. Additionally, we have numerous coats, jackets, and other clothing that have accumulated over the course of this semester. Please check in with your child, or come to visit the lost and found, so that items can be retrieved. ALL UNCLAIMED ITEMS will be donated on Friday, 3/22/24. Thank you for your help with this!

Enjoy watching the flowers and trees bloom, and enjoy the fresh air and fresh vibes of spring! Spring break is on the horizon! Have a great break and month!

Here are the upcoming events for the month of March:

March 2024

  • 7-14: 5th Grade Fundraiser Pi Day Sales
  • 14: Pi Day
  • 15: Come Out and Play during all recesses
  • 16: PTA Annual Family Dance @ Blair HS
  • 18-22: 5th Grade Family Life Lessons occur
  • 21: Drama Club Presents: The Lion King
  • 22: Spring Cleaning within classrooms (cleaning cubbies and APR)
  • 25-April 1: Spring Break - Schools & Offices are Closed

I hope that your month of March is amazing! Continue to reach out if you need anything. Take care! 

Warmest Regards,

Jamila Denney and Noah Drill

PCES Administration

Pine Crest Elementary School

Equity. | Excellence. | Relationships.

(240) 740-1970

Follow Me On Twitter: @PCESPrincipal


What’s Going On at PCES??

Upcoming Calendar Events

April 2024

  • 2-3: 5th Grade Family Life; Disease Prevention
  • 3: Class group/5th Gr Panoramic picture day
  • 9: Hearing/Vision Screening
  • 12: 3rd Grade Field Trip Natural History Museum
  • 18: PTA meeting @ MKES
  • 19: Come Out and Play at Recesses
  • 22: Asynchronous Learning Day for Students - PD Day for Staff


Specialists’ News!


We have learned so many interesting things from our analysis of graphs and data! Please talk with your children about Bald Eagle nests (here is a live eagle cam!),  bears’ heart rates, or the invasive Spotted Lanternfly. We also compare statistics as we play the card game “Top Trumps.” The students are loving it; many have asked how to get cards to play with you at home! They are available here or on Amazon. Enjoy!  

Physical Education 

We have completed our school Jump Off Learning the Ropes jump rope competition. Students enjoyed learning the four types of jump rope styles, setting goals, and working towards improving their goals over the past few weeks. The Kids Heart Challenge program is happening now at Pine Crest and runs through April 5th.  We hope that families sign up. Fundraising is optional.  You can sign up here. When your student signs up, you can access the hands-only CPR and Stroke Signs videos through the Finn’s Mission Challenge. There are great resources for parents too.  In PE, we will be working on balance, weight transfer, and social dance skills. Students will be learning about how to choose heart healthy activities and continue to work on personal and social responsibility.  


Students in art are exploring printmaking and collage. 3rd grade students are finishing their dragon faces that honor the Lunar New Year, and ask them to explore collage and symmetry. 4th grade artists are feeling the energy of music through their abstract painting exploration and their challenge to transform that into a music themed piece of art. 5th grade artists are pastry chefs in the art room using a printmaking process and a combination of glue and paint to create their donut art. Students share of themselves, their ideas, and their questions, and curiosities so much in art class. I am lucky to learn about them through their art, their cultures, and their stories


March is Music In Our Schools Month.  This is a month-long celebration of the importance of music in our schools.  The theme this year is “I See Me in Music Education” (#MusicIsMe).  You can find daily prompts on ways to celebrate here.  Students at Pine Crest will be celebrating all month long as we focus on our creative processes.  Each grade level will be completing a project where they will create their own music.  5th grade students will be composing a theme and variations piece, and 4th and 3rd graders will be composing using their recorders.


We are excited about Literacy Day on Friday, March 1st. This begins our celebration of Read Across America week. On Friday we’ll have a virtual author visit, guest readers from Blair High School, and other activities to highlight the importance of reading. Spirit Week begins Friday with Pajama Day and runs all through the following week. 

We’ll also have a March Madness Tournament of Books all month. Students will have opportunities to vote all month until we have a winning book. 


School Counseling Lessons

During our school counseling lessons, students will explore strengths, interests and career options!  We have learned about healthy coping skills using the Zones of Regulation including balloon breathing, pressure points, butterfly hugs, five-finger breathing, palm press, and positive self-talk.  Students can show you these skills and practice them at home! 

Sanford Harmony

Unit 4 explores interpersonal problem-solving involving a four-step process. Students learn that solving problems is a natural and beneficial part of harmonious groups when they stop and cool off, talk about their problems, think about solutions, and try one. Students learn about:

  • perspective taking to understand the problem
  • identifying problems and sharing thoughts and feelings constructively
  • working together to constructively problem solve
  • thinking about different solutions and using compromise
  • taking responsibility and making amends

Career Day!

Save the date: Friday, May 3, 2024

We would love to have you share your career with our students! 

More information to come! If you are interested and would like additional information, complete this form.

Family Support Center

The Department of Special Education provides resources to support your family in your child’s education and well-being.  Click here for more information. 


Curriculum Updates

English Language Arts

Third Grade

Over the coming weeks, 3rd graders will be delving into the rich tapestry of folktales from various cultures around the world. Through this exploration, they will not only immerse themselves in captivating narratives but also delve deeper to analyze how characters within these tales tackle and resolve the challenges they face. By comparing and contrasting these stories, students will sharpen their critical thinking skills and gain a broader understanding of different cultural perspectives. This endeavor promises to be both enlightening and enriching for our young learners as they embark on this literary journey.

Fourth Grade

4th grades’ upcoming unit promises to ignite curiosity and foster resilience in our students. Throughout this unit, students will embark on a literary exploration centered on the theme of overcoming obstacles. Through reading and comparing various selections, students will immerse themselves in stories that depict characters facing a diverse array of challenges. From overcoming personal struggles to navigating complex societal barriers, these narratives will serve as catalysts for discussions about perseverance, problem-solving, and empathy. By engaging with these texts, students will not only strengthen their reading comprehension skills but also cultivate a deeper understanding of the human experience. 

Fifth Grade

In their new unit, 5th graders will delve into the compelling question: What compels us to survive? Throughout this exploration, your child will immerse themselves in a diverse selection of literature, delving into the experiences of characters facing the untamed wilderness. From gripping adventure tales to poignant survival narratives, students will analyze how different genres approach the universal theme of resilience in the face of adversity. Through reading and comparing these selections, students will not only sharpen their analytical skills but also gain a deeper appreciation for the human spirit's remarkable capacity to endure and triumph. 


Math ~ We are thrilled to share some exciting updates from the world of mathematics at Pine Crest. 

Grade 3

Module 5 - Fractions on the Number Line.  Our third graders have embarked on an engaging journey into Module 3, where the spotlight is on fractions as numbers on the number line. This module lays a strong foundation for understanding the concept of fractions in a visual and interactive manner. Students will explore the placement of fractions on the number line, enhancing their grasp of this fundamental mathematical concept.

Grade 4

In Module 4, students explore fraction equivalence and extend this understanding to mixed numbers. They compare and represent fractions and mixed numbers using a variety of models. Toward the end of the module, they use what they know to be true about whole number operations to apply to fractions and mixed number operations. You can help at home by continuing to practice and review multiplication and division math facts – this greatly supports work with fractions! Look for opportunities in daily life to discuss fractional parts and divide objects into equal parts.

Grade 5

Module 4 - Multiplication and Division of Fractions and Decimal Fractions. In Grade 5, students have dived into Module 4, and it's a thrilling adventure into the world of fractions and beyond. This module is packed with exciting challenges, focusing on multiplying and dividing fractions. Students will tackle word problems involving the multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers, honing their problem-solving skills. Additionally, they'll delve into the intricacies of writing and interpreting numerical expressions using parentheses and brackets, providing a well-rounded math experience.

We encourage you to engage with your child about these topics at home, perhaps by exploring real-world examples that involve fractions or discussing practical applications of numerical expressions. 


πŸ“£ MKPC PTA Updates! πŸ“† Save the Dates & Upcoming Events!

We hope your new year is off to a fantastic start! We've got some exciting news and important dates to share:

  1. 🍎 Help Thank Our Teachers - Monthly Donations: Let's show some love to our incredible teachers and staff! The PTA is organizing monthly donations of snacks and beverages. Your contribution can make a big difference. Sign up to donate at Let's come together to express our gratitude!
  2. πŸŽ‰ Mark Your Calendar - Family Dance, March 16 
  • What: Montgomery Knolls/Pine Crest PTA invites you to join us for a Spring Family Dance
  • When: Saturday, March 16 from 5-7 p.m
  • Where: Montgomery Blair High School in the Cafeteria.
  • Admission: $2 per person suggested donation (includes 1 slice of pizza, DJ, photo booth & crafts). Additional snacks/drinks available for purchase.  

Let's make unforgettable memories together!

  1. πŸ‘ŸVolunteer OpportunityFamily Fun Run: Do you like running (or the idea of your kids running)? Help us plan a family fun run for the spring! We are in the exploratory stages and need help to get this event off the ground. Email Cheryl Martel directly ( if you’d like to help bring this event to life for our school community.

Your active participation makes our school community thrive. We're looking forward to seeing you at the PTA meeting, upcoming events, and the restaurant fundraiser! 🌈✨

Attendance Policy

Chronic Absenteeism is defined as 18 or more days absent in a school year without permission (10%). If a student is absent for 10 consecutive days, they will be withdrawn from school. The family will have to re-enroll the student upon return.

Kids Heart Challenge

The American Heart Association is excited to extend our work with the NFL to support improving health outcomes at home and beyond through the Hands-Only CPR education. Students that complete the Finn’s Mission learning module will earn an entry for two tickets to Super Bowl LIX in 2025 and your school will be entered to receive a $10,000 fitness equipment makeover for every 18 completed Finn’s Mission.

πŸ–±οΈ Click here to register for Pine Crest Elementary School

If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:

Girls On the Run!

Our spring season of Girls On the Run is coming in March! Please see the flyers to get more information! Spanish Flyer is HERE. English Flyer is HERE.

Kindergarten Registration is happening now at MKES!

Kindergarten registration will open on March 18, 2024. If you have a child who will be 5 years old by September 1, 2024, please call or stop by Montgomery Knolls to start the registration process. MCPS will no longer offer 2 days of kindergarten orientation. MKES will schedule a Spring Parent Interest Meeting for new kindergarten families. The dates will be published soon! Please encourage your friends and family to register right away.

Rising 6th Grader Information

  • Silver Spring International

Extra-Curricular Activities

Outside vendors are offering some extra-curricular activities. See below for details:

The Magnus Chess Academy returns to Pine Crest! Parents can sign up 

through the QR in the linked flier above, or through this link: PCES Winter 

2023 - Magnus Chess Academy

Young Rembrandts also returns to Pine Crest! Parents can sign up through the link in the flier above, or through this link: Young Rembrandts 

Come Out & Play

This is an event that happens monthly. You are invited to join us for recess, and play! It is so much fun to have caregivers during our recess time! Please consider joining in this event. Please join in the fun! Each month, the dates will be published in the weekly Thursday Folder. Our upcoming dates are as follows: 

March 15, 2024

April 19, 2024

May 17, 2024

June 7, 2024*

Recess times are as follows: 

  • 3rd Grade: 11:30-12:00
  • 4th Grade: 1:00-1:30
  • 5th Grade: 12:15-12:45

Silent Dismissal

PCES Silent Dismissal is used daily. Please look for late buses on this sheet. **We do not allow early release after 3:30 pm. We are doing our best to make Pine Crest dismissal a safe and smooth procedure. 


MCPS Menus are updated here: Menus - Division of Food & Nutrition Services - Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD