I LOVE PILA. We are coming from a biracial family and it is so important to me that my kids pick up another language. PILA provides the best immersion program in the South Bay area. In addition, the sister program SVIS (for K to 5th grade) is a full time program. It gives the comfort to know that my kids can go out to study Chinese and Spanish in full day. I highly recommend you get a tour from the school
Our daughter began to attend this school in the second grade. She started with a minimal knowledge of Mandarin, but completed the kindergarten and first-grade Mandarin curriculum in her first year. At the same time she also completed the third-grade English program. We are extremely pleased with this school's ability to tailor its academic program to allow our daughter to excel in the areas where she is already strong and to bring her up to speed in the areas in which she was behind her grade level. The teachers and the principal are very dedicated to making sure the children have a great education. I recommend this school not only for its Mandarin program, but also for its high standards in all academic subjects. Moreover, the frequent field trips enable the students to experience and enjoy the various subjects that they study. In short, I heartily recommend this school.
As a bilingual parent, I searched for bilingual educational options for my child. I gave Premier/PILA a try, but have moved my child to a different school. Mandarin: I found the Mandarin "immersion" program to be less than adequate. When multiple parents, including me, began doubting their children's progress, we had our children evaluated at other schools. We found that attending PILA did not allow our children to keep pace with children at other bilingual (Mandarin/English) schools or even allow our children to keep pace with those who only attend afternoon or weekend Mandarin classes. Thus, the vast majority of the families have chosen not to return to PILA. Bullying: Irrespective of the academics, I would not recommend Premier because of its attitude towards bullying. Facilities: Old and run down. The campus has not been kept up. Roaches and lice are not uncommon. As the best fit for each child depends upon many factors, I wish the best to those searching for bilingual educational experiences. Here are a few options that you may wish to consider: Yew Chung, International School of the Peninsula Silicon Valley Chinese School and Tzu Chi Academy .
This is our first year at PILA, with a daughter in the Pre-K program for about five months now. This is a small and relatively new school with basic but spacious classroom facilities. What originally attracted us was the mission (to develop truly bi-lingual, bi-cultural students), the best of breed curriculum, and the very low student-teacher ratio. What has impressed us since starting is the awareness and attention to individual student needs and learning styles, the quality of the teaching, the quality of the other parents and students (it's a great bunch of kids who treat each other with respect), and the amazing results we've seen from our daughter, across all subjects, and in both Mandarin and English. We live all the way up in Fremont, but it's worth the drive and the hassle. Our daughter is happy and learning like crazy here, we're happy here and enjoy the other parents and their kids, and we're enthusiastically encouraging our friends who have an interest in a bilingual education to check this place out.
After reading so much recent negative reviews, we have our own doubts. A lot of the negative comments are valid concerns. This is our first year, and we are amazed by the amount of learning my kid has attained so far. He comes home and asks to do home work. We decided to sign up for this school because we like the teaching philosophy of the principal. It turns out that we are right on that. The principal and the teachers do have their ways to spark the kid's curiosity and leaning interest. We look forward to the school continuous improvement so that things get organized.
Different families are charged different rates and different fees. This place was rated an "F" by the BBB. This is really a homeschool that is unfortunately disorganized. The elementary "school" has a handful of children from K through 3rd grade, with each older class having less children. Multiple teachers have quit or have been fired; thus there is a huge turnover for such a small school. The administration also has been in flux. Children in the elementary school, if they have an pee accident, have been left to sit in their wet clothes. Children are left unsupervised with no teachers in the room.
This has been a wonderful bilingual school for our child for kindergarten and first grade. We've been happy with the curriculum and learning. My child is doing higher-level studies than what I would have anticipated for the age and grade. There was disorganization in the beginning of the academic year (primarily with the homework system), but I felt it was worked out after a few trials. And I've liked that the teachers and principal were willing to try a few different ways to see what will work. This school year, one Chinese teacher left and the spot was quickly replaced by another Chinese teacher that my child has liked. Overall, I've been pleased with my child's learning.
My child has been at the school over a year. Pros: Well meaning teachers. Small school allowing decent attention to students. Cons: Very disorganized - the curriculum and activities seem to have little direction. Lots of turnover in teachers. Small community that gossips alot. Take a look at the Yelp verified reviews.
We have 2 kids attending school here, one in Jr-K, the other in 1st grade. We transferred both of them here from different bi-lingual schools that we were less satisfied with. Where other high-achieving schools have a tendency to create an overly competitive academic atmosphere, PILA maintains a positive, confidence-building atmosphere, which encourages the kids to challenge themselves. Consequently, they begin to really enjoy learning and push themselves to learn more.