This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Posted August 03, 2014
- a parent
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?
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.
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?