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Pinecrest Schools - Woodland Hills5
Posted March 24, 2015
- a parent
I read the last two reviews and feel I need to say how I feel about the school. I am a Woodland Hills parent and have had 2 children here over the years. One graduated and one is still there. The last couple of years have seen changes in some teachers and the Director who retired. I know that was difficult for everyone. No one loves change. However, I feel that the staff at the school has made efforts to keep a quality program even if some things are different. I try to come to school for various events when I can because I work.. The events this year have been great and I see my child learning at an accellerated level. The teachers that my child has communicate with me and I know what is going on. I've recommended the school to several people who checked it out and will be attending next year. They are coming from other private schools and public and they were impressed with what they saw in the classrooms. I am glad that my child attends here.
I used to love Pinecrest. Between 2 kids this is year 15 that I have had a child enrolled. I am very disappointed with the decline in academic aggressiveness. When my son went there and for the first few years of my daughter's attendance, there were numerous reports and lots of math. This year barely anything. The "common core" curriculum is what is now being taught. If I wanted that, I would have her in public school and pay for a tutor, not pay high private school prices for the same thing. The school has now become as ridiculous as public schools with policies regarding punishment over saying or writing taboo words. Taboo words include "sex, drugs, tampons" Instead of using small infractions as teachable moments, they shame the child, keep them from the school celebrations and call in the parents. They treat it as though the child has committed a crime. Way to lose the connection with a student and parent.
We love Pinecrest but are very disappointed with the striking loss of academic rigor this year. The language and math content is at a much lower level now in the 2nd semester of this year than it was at the end of the preceding grade last year. We did not understand why the teacher, who has taught here for many years, did not seem to be very familiar with the curriculum. We also did not understand why our child rarely has math homework. We inquired and were told there is a math workbook kept in the classroom. We asked to see it and were shocked by the low-level content. We then closed the cover and noticed the words "Common Core". We were familiar with that label and knew it is very controversial, and now we know why. High academic standards are extremely important to us and we feel betrayed. We received no notice prior to signing the current year contract of any significant change in academic standards. The first acknowledgement by Pinecrest that we saw is in the their February 2015 newsletter, the Pinecone, which says "We did update some of the core curriculum this year with newer curriculum." We will not be enrolling our child at Pinecrest for the 2015/2016 year.
I'm sad to see anyone rating this school less than 5 stars. We moved our son from a public LAUSD school last year and cannot begin to tell you what a world of difference Pincrest has made! Not only did he have the most amazing teacher, who ignited his passion for learning, but he looked forward to everyday with great enthusiasm. He took Spanish, Art, Chorus, Music, Computers, Tap Dancing and participated in the fantastic sports program, flag football, basketball and volleyball! They traveled to other private schools to compete and at the end of the season, they were given swimming lessons in the pool on campus. They took some amazing field trips. When you add it all up, one has to wonder how they make any money at all? It is evident that every cent of fundraising money goes back into programs for the kids. As far as security, we couldn't have felt any safer. The staff seems to know every single kid and parent on campus. When my husband offered to volunteer, they welcomed the parent involvement, and sent him in immediately for a background check and fingerprinting. Our son having asthma requires a bit of special care, the school nurse was absolutely exceptional! LOVE THIS SCHOOL!
I went to this school when I was a kid, and some of my very best memories were at Pinecrest. My daughter is now in Preschool there, and has been going since she was 18 months old in the toddler class. I have to say, I am a little more than disappointed with this school lately. Not only are they raising the price of tuition, but they nickle and dime you for everything. I would rather my child not have a pumpkin patch at her school, rather than be forced to pay an extra $10, so she doesn't feel left out. If I am paying as much as I pay to send her 5 full days a week, I think those little extras should be included. Her class is also getting rather large as well. She is private school for a reason. If I wanted her to be in a class with 20 other kids, she would be in public school...for free! Bottom line, as soon as she is old enough to enter public school (Kindergarten), we will most likely be pulling her out of this school. As much as we love her teachers, we just don't love how corporate keeps raising the price of tuition. They will also be lowering the sibling discount, which is a great way to alienate the parents who are struggling financially to send 2 kids to private school.
This school was very promising when we first viewed it. However, the campus is run down and the management are awful at communicating with the parents. We have been trying to raise issues of concern and our requests to meet were not met. There is no parent association also. Funds are collected through fund raising but we have no idea where the money is being spent - it doesn't look like its being spend on facilities. Teachers seem demotivated.
Wow, the review from June 21st has really given us pause. Our children went to pre-school (they had "The two "T" teachers) there and we were looking at Pinecrest as an option for them for middle school. Well, that won't be happening after reading this comment. Any school that fires some of their very best cannot be trusted. Very sad to hear this.
I've had all 3 of my children at Pinecrest Woodland Hills since 2006. The best thing about the school has always been the family atmosphere and sense of community the school has maintained. Academically, the school has been very good, especially K through 3. Starting in grades 4-5, the academic rigor starts to fade and the middle school test scores really reflect that. For my family, Pinecrest has been incredible. The administration has treated my kids like they were their own. Mrs. Monello, the campus director, and her staff have run the school with impeccable honor and integrity. Administratively, we couldn't ask for anything more. A truly enjoyable experience for us all. Unfortunately, the Pinecrest ownership fired about a half dozen beloved teachers at the end of the 2013 school year, including 2 teachers that had been at the school for 20+ years AND Mrs. Monello. They sold their Van Nuys campus and then fired a bunch of the very best teachers they had on staff at Woodland Hills. Are you kidding me? Bottom line, we're not returning to Pinecrest because we're angry about the summary firings and we, quite frankly, do not trust the Pinecrest corporate leadership anymore.
My child is currently a student at Pinecrest preschool and I really cannot recommend this school to any parent. The school lacks any security which is not a reassuring situation especially in today's climate. The teachers are caring to a certain degree but rush out of the school 6 pm & the school is open until 6:30 pm. They pride themselves as a "working parent's school". Occasionally, I pick up my child up after 6 pm and all of my child's teachers are gone and I have no idea how my child's day went. I'm a working parent not a disinterested parent! Do your family a favor and enroll elsewhere.