Buyer beware this corporate run school masquerading as a "church based" educational institution. And read fast because the corporate lawyer head of school always has non-glowing reviews removed from this site. I am a parent and I am supportive of the school and many families but I must tell you the truth as I see it. The best part of the school is the elementary school. It all quickly begins to go downhill around 3rd or 4th grade. Also the supposed "diversity" of the school masks a serious problem with turnover among that population. The school wants POC for their marketing but offers no real understanding or support of what it means to build a diverse community. The school is especially aggressive in pushing out african american students as they get older. The school is all about money, money, money. The school recently began hosting international students in a "boarding" program. It's a financially viable choice-- but ignores the fact that this K-12 school is simply spread too thin to fulfill its educational function well. All schools must fundraise but there has to be an educational mission at its core. how is that possible with a HOS who only cares about building more stuff?
My children just love going to school! They have fun and learn so much every single day. The teachers are very caring and nurturing. A very elite school in the heart of Los Angeles!
Best school ever. I go there and it is amazing. I would recommend it to your children
Having a business person manage a school has put Pilgrim on the map as this national trend continues. Pilgrim has very well qualified educators who have continued the tradition of a 100% college admission to some of the finest colleges and universities in our country . One of the main tasks of a head of a private school is to raise money as tuition does not cover the cost. In addition, facilities have improved, computer and smart boards and a new fine arts facility. To that end, we have been extremely grateful for the vision of the board and head of school. We have especially appreciated the parent community which has been accepting to all the diversity of families .
Weak administration focused solely on fundraising and less about the issues affecting the school, parents, kids that could be fixed with just a bit of care. Look closely and beyond the gorgeous trappings of the playground and art studio. Zero transparency on credentials or educational background of teachers. I don't know how I'll feel when my child graduates from class this year, but I expect it will be lots of pride and ! relief ! Almost there.
Great community atmosphere! Children are happy, work hard and get into great colleges! What else can you ask for as a parent? The school needs to do what it needs to do.
Because I give the school 2 stars not none I will start with what is good about Pilgrim. Playground is great for elementary kids, art teacher is amazing, music program okay, better than public school for extras, gym class fun and old fashioned and kids love it. But why not 5 stars? Well, we did not really know what the fundraising comments meant until we became a Pilgrim family. It seems to be the primary focus of a Head of School its not really a good one considering how little operating capital is brings in based on annual report which you can find online. What you won't find online are the qualifications and experience of the top administrators. When considering this school look close. It may or may not be right for you. Its a very privatey school where people can have a one on one with teachers etc, but small also means cliquish and this is a culture that comes from the top down. Also, the remarks about bullying policy are spot on. If your child is in a tiny class (not a lot of friend choices) and does not fit in, where can they turn for new friends? Question retention and test scores if considering Pilgrim as well the experience and qualifications of those in charge.
Child has gone there for 2 years. Verdict still out. He had a great teacher this year, and excelled. She was amazing. I mean truly amazing. Last year not so great. Moderate price, and they are always asking for more. Before the first day of school, they held a fundraiser the night before, and pretty much guilt you into giving more before it even starts. I think that fundraising is 1st concern. Not to impressed with how they handle bullying. Next year will decide for us if we continue on. 50/50
Yes, the education our son has received is superb combined with the atmosphere of small classes with individual attention. Fundraising has given Pilgrim new science labs, smart boards, computers for the students and a recently new fine arts center. Students are trained in the arts at no additional costs. Tracking where these students are accepted to college is unparalleled in the private LA school sector.
I thank God every day that we left when our year was up. There are major problems at this school. I agree with the parents that state all the principal is interested in is fundraising. My previous review entitled 'Save your money' was removed from the Great Schools website and this concerns me if parents are supposed to write their true feelings?
I went to this school for most of middle school and for a year of junior high. In terms of academics, I would rate this school above average, for the most part. I felt that the math and science programs were lacking. The teachers were fantastic; they were truly all around good people. The students however, lacked morals. I have never been in such a callous environment, and because of that I had to leave and go elsewhere.
Pilgrim is a wonderful school. In our 3 years here we have found it to be an academically rigorous and challenging school where all children are essentially pushed to work at least one year above grade level. Best of all about Pilgrim is the overall diverse environment that fosters a love of learning-- This is created by the faculty and fantastic head of school, the mostly sane but very committed and parental community, and a focus on the students that eschews much of the social parental b.s. that comes along with many independent schools in Los Angeles. Like many elite but small schools, involvement and fundraising are important, but as a school with one of the more reasonable tuition in the city, this is a small price to pay. Furthermore, the school's 30 hours per family per school year volunteer requirement helps to insure that parents stay
I was a Pilgrim student for one year and can honestly say that at least 70% of the time I spent there was a real nightmare. I was made to feel like I was just another number or just another face in the crowd and this school's 'get in where you fit in' mentality is the antithesis of what a Christian school's educational aims should be. I can only say that my experience at Pilgrim was a very unpleasant one and I honestly can not recommend this school at all.
We're new to the school. Our daughter is entering the seventh grade. an ordinary non ordinary school. They walk their talk. They have all types of students-from Burbank, Beverly HIlls, 120th street, and downtown. They get their kids into decent colleges. I did my due diligence talking to everyone I could find. I found the teachers involved and excellent. The only rap on it is that the classes are small but that can cut both ways. We didn't want to go to Marlborough or Harvard Westlake. I tried to fit the child to the school. We're very happy so far. I felt people direct, friendly and involved. Once more into the breach, dear friends-Henry V.
I was a former student at Pilgrim School from Preschool - 10th grade. I have quite fond memories of the school throughout my time there. Now, I look back at it and find some things foundational and others lacking. As a Christian parochial school - I now find it hard to believe that this school emphasized so much 'evolution' and so little emphasis on 'creationism.' There was biblical teaching in chapel and that's exactly where it stopped. The only teacher I ever remember instilling true joy in me was Ms. Mesa. Many of the parents out there are looking for a school that will instill good 'morals' well that's not going to happen if biblical teaching is not in the classroom and the curriculum. I see Pilgrim's promotion of 'diversity' not only going along the lines of diverse ethnicities, but also a tote for pluralism.
Pilgrim is a phenomenal school. It is our son's second year at Pilgrim, and he is thriving. There is no other private school in Los Angeles that can provide a child with so much at such a reasonable tuition. The West side schools in Los Angeles are trying to emulate Pilgrim - to no avail as they do not have the rich diversity that exists within Pilgrim community. Pilgrim is the perfect school if you are looking for a community of like-minded parents who want a first-class education for their children while exposing them to the rich ethnic diversity of Los Angeles. Great faculty. Great staff. Great parent community. Great school. Great school.
Our son is entering Kindergarten after two years of preschool there and I can't describe how happy we are with the school, his teacher, and the other families. The sense of community is real and our original plan was for public school but now have decided to stay at Pilgrim. Its the BEST private school in the area.
Our child is going on his 3rd year at Pilgrim. After the parent orientation last week, I am confident that our child is in the proper school which will have him prepared for college. I just was informed that 6 graduates of the 2007 class were accepted into Ivy League schools. The program is challenging to the students and parents as well.
It is really sad when the focus of a school becomes money as opposed to educating children. Many real issues that should not be present in an independent school are simply overlooked while the Head of School schmoozes various foundations and parents. I have found Pilgrim to be a shiny box that is empty. Many 'assurances' went unfulfilled and the policies stated in the handbook are not followed. Although we had hoped for this to be our home for many years, in the best interest of our child, our relationship with Pilgrim is over.
We agree this school is unacceptable. Pilgrim needs a head of school, not a CFO. The student body resembles a public school. The cost of tuition far exceeds the quality of the education given. If you can pay, you can stay, regardless of behavior issues, i.e. bullying. We had hope to make Pilgrim our home for many years to come, but due to safety issues, low academic standards and the constant begging for money, we took our child out.
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