The deadline is quickly approaching for parents wanting their children to be in the 2020-2021 enrollment lottery for Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel, a new, tuition-free public charter school located at the community entrance of Avalon Park Wesley Chapel.
Parents must complete the application form online at PinecrestWesleyChapel.com, by midnight on March 6. Several information sessions are scheduled on Feb. 29 and March 2 (see info box).
Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel is one of the most important elements of the goal to build a brand-new town in Avalon Park Wesley Chapel, says Stephanie Lerret, senior vice president of marketing and community relations for the Avalon Park Group. Lerret noted that the developer’s goal is to have the very best school in the entire state.
“Our residents are ecstatic to have the option of sending their children to one of the top charter school operators in Florida,” said Lerret. “The school is conveniently located at our community’s entrance, and will be open before the completion of the widening of State Road 54, which runs in front of the school and our community.”
The new school will open with 650 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, and plans to expand to serve up to eighth grade. It is the first Pinecrest Academy in Tampa Bay.
With 16 schools nationwide, Pinecrest Academy Inc., has made a name for itself in the education community. As Aimee Mielke, the newly appointed principal for Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel, would say, “When you walk into a Pinecrest school, you know you’re in a Pinecrest school.”
Blue and green colors brilliantly burst along the hallways of the modern building that has 49 large classrooms, oversized art and music rooms, and high-tech science labs. The school is visually notable with unusual windows in the shape of half-moons, circles and squares that give students and faculty stunning lake and conservation views.
“There’s no question that Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel is a visually stunning architectural masterpiece,” said Miekle.
The principal is excited about the advanced programs Pinecrest will offer its students, including a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum, and a dual English/Spanish language program. With the STEM program, Pinecrest students will learn about new technologies, such as robotics, and will have fully functioning STEM labs in all grades — something most schools do not offer.
Pinecrest also will have self-contained classrooms for gifted students, where pacing will be faster and performance tests much more in-depth, to allow gifted students to flourish in their education.
“All Pinecrest schools have an emphasis on high-quality instruction. We’ll continuously be monitoring the data so we know what each student needs, and have many different programs available to focus on the needs of the individual student,” says Mielke.
“All Pinecrest schools are high-performing,” Miekle continues. “Once we commit to a community, we’re not going to let you down.”
For the 2018 school year, all Pinecrest Academy schools in Florida earned an “A” from the Florida Department of Education.
“Pinecrest is unlike anything else…When somebody finds a school that fits what they believe in and what they want to see for their child, they will drive from anywhere,” says Mielke.
Pinecrest will be offering before and after care for their students, which will start at 6 a.m., and end at 6 p.m. It will be fee-based, but Mielke ensures it will be affordable. Pinecrest also will be providing a fee-based private Pre-K program for siblings of Pinecrest students; to be considered for the Pre-K program, your child must be 4 years old by Sept. 1.
For more information, please go to PinecrestWesleyChapel.com.
Pinecrest Info Sessions
Saturday, Feb. 29
Kindergarten: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Grades 3, 4 and 5: Noon to 1 p.m.
6th Grade: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Monday, March 2
Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Grades 3, 4, 5 and 6: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
RSVP required at PinecrestWesleyChapel.com.
All sessions are next to the school at:
Trinity Church of Wesley Chapel, 33425 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel 33543
New Principal Has Pasco Roots
Aimee Mielke has been appointed as the first principal at Pinecrest Academy Wesley Chapel.
Mielke has been in the education industry for 23 years, with 20 of those working for Pasco County, most recently as principal of Connerton, Watergrass and Trinity elementary schools. She currently is principal of a charter school in Citrus Park, SLAM Tampa, a 6-12 school that focuses on sports leadership, arts and management.
“I love Pasco County, and it feels great to be back” says Mielke. When she was getting her bachelor degree at the University of South Florida, Mielke interned in Land O’ Lakes at Sanders Memorial Elementary, where she fell in love with the area and greatly appreciated the huge support she received from the community.
Throughout the years, Mielke has worn many different hats. She’s been a teacher, supervisor and director at the district level, assistant principal and principal. One thing she hasn’t done until this point was to open her own school, which is why Pinecrest is a dream come true for her.
“I have so many opportunities to be creative…I’m putting my stamp on the school from the ground up,” says Mielke.
Mielke says her main focus for the first year is to build meaningful relationships with her students and their family members, as well as providing students with the highest quality academics. Mielke plans on spending a lot of time this summer on professional development for Pinecrest teachers to ensure they will give the best education to their incoming students.
Published February 26, 2020
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