Pioneer is definitely staffed with an caring group of teachers, para educators and other support staff. However, the challenges inherent in administering a successful dual language program have not been fully addressed - such as meeting the needs of the lower or higher end learners in their appropriate language - and therefore many student are slipping through the cracks. If you want your kids to be bilingual, Pioneer will do that. However, there is a cost to other content areas, especially if your child is anything but an average learner.
Let me start by saying that I believe the majority of staff at Pioneer have the best of intentions, and are warm and caring individuals. There are some excellent teachers, especially at the primary level. If you are considering Pioneer, you should be aware that the bulk of resources and funds go towards struggling learners, and there is literally nothing left for the other students. By nothing I mean my son spent an entire school year with little to no direct instruction in reading and writing, and, in his own words, repeating the same things over and over in math. It became apparent that Spanish was going to come at the cost of a high quality, well-rounded education, so we left Pioneer. We know other families who waited it out another year, hoping things would get better, and are now opting to leave. Ironically, my kids have had MORE truly multicultural experiences in their new, monolingual school than they ever did at Pioneer.
We couldn't be happier with Pioneer and neither could our daughter. The school has a very welcoming and relaxed feel to it and it's so awesome to have our daughter in a school with students from such a diverse background. Our daughter's kindergarten teacher is exceptional and makes herself so available and informally provides feedback so frequently that the parent teacher conferences are no surprise. Despite that, the two conferences we've had have been scheduled such that they end up lasting about an hour as she walks us through examples of our daughters work, shows us the progress and lets us in on what is next. The immeasurables at this school are second to none and in my opinion way outweigh the great schools rating. And the icing on the cake is that she's immersed and learning a second language at such a young age. It's amazing how fast she is picking that up and even occasionally responds to situations in spanish vs english which is really cool.
Love this school, my son was behind in grade level going into first grade, but his loving dedicated teacher Mrs. Ana took the extra time to make sure he succeeds. So happy my children have this opportunity!
This school is fantastic! The low scores on the CSAP has more to do with a migrant population of kids that come in and out of the school. The test include children that sometimes just start school a few days earlier. My child has learned a second language ( reading,writing, speaking and understanding Spanish), My child is off the charts in math and reading, all because of the incredible and passionate teachers that work at this school. We have been there through K-3rd and the staff we have worked with have always impressed me. I am so pleased my child got to experience this school. I wish we did not have to move now.
As a parent of a student at a Duel Immersion school it is unbelievable that the Great School rates this school on the same rating as a school with children learning one language. You can not compare Apples to Oranges but they do. The knowledge and true loyalty to the students that the teachers show is unbelievable. There is truly no child left behind! This school strives to meet the needs of all children!
A truly exceptional school. My two children went to Pioneer and benefited enormously from the high standards of teaching, strong sense of community, and excellent leadership. If you can see beyond the test scores, this will be an excellent start for your children. Highly recommended.