A new charter school offering special programs in performing and fine arts, as well as health, physical education, languages and technology, will open in Viera next fall.
The new campus of Pinecrest Academy, which will serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade, is currently under construction near the intersection of Stadium Parkway and Trasona Drive. It plans to officially open in August 2020.
The school also will feature a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum called — Project Lead the Way — a program incorporating hands-on activities in areas such as biomedical science, computer science and engineering.
As board chair of Pinecrest Academy Inc., Judith Marty said that through the years, Pinecrest has grown from one small school to 10 schools in two states.
"Each school is similar, but they also have their own personalities," Marty said. "The main thing is a rigorous curriculum to get the student to succeed in colleges and careers."
According to the Florida Department of Education, since 1996, the number of charter schools in Florida has grown from five to more than 658 in 2018-19 with 313,000 students enrolled.
Charter schools don’t charge tuition. They are public schools that receive public funding. All teachers are certified and each year the school’s academic standards and progress are evaluated and graded. However, they do have a bit more freedom from traditional public-school regulations in exchange for the expectation of higher standards. Some have a particular focus such as art or science, while others serve at-risk students or those with disabilities.
As part of its program, Pinecrest Academy Space Coast will aim to instill a "college bound mindset" by providing a strong core curriculum and promises "a robust performing arts and fine arts component."
"Pinecrest is a model of excellence," Marty said. "Our schools have performed extremely well in state assessments. We have a very dedicated group of principals. They believe in what they do."
Pinecrest Academy Space Coast is open with limited enrollment to all students in the Brevard County School District. For more information, go to pinecrestspacecoast.com.