This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Our Lady Of The Pillar School5
Posted March 06, 2015
- a parent
We have two children at Pillar and are very impressed with the school. We chose Pillar three years ago when our oldest child was entering Kindergarten, after looking at multiple other schools. We decided on Pillar for many reasons. The education is specialized with their learning center. The teachers are focused on what each child excels at and what they need additional instruction with. Each class is kept cohesive even though each student has different talents and learning abilities. It is also a welcoming community for families. There is always room for improvement at every school but Pillar is at the forefront of education.
I have three children at Pillar. Our oldest son started in the third grade and is now in sixth grade. We also a kindergartner and a second grader. We've had an excellent experience for 4 years now and I am a big fan of the school! The academics are rigorous and individualized. The teachers consistently assign and provide learning opportunities for children who are able to work ahead. At the same time, children who need extra help are provided extra support. My three children are all at different levels: I have one who is a high achiever/in Duke TIPs, one who needs extra support, and one who is working just a little above grade level. I've found Pillar to be an excellent fit for all three. I find Pillar to be a loving, Christian community comprised of strong leaders (Father Tom, Father Oscar, Principal Fanning), experienced, caring teachers, and involved parents. The Marianist philosophy and focus on education shapes the school culture. More than anything, though, I am happy with Pillar because my children are happy. I am also certain they are each being challenged appropriately academically and encouraged to love learning in the process.
Sending our two children to Our Lady of the Pillar School was the best decision we ever made! We came to the school seven years ago when our youngest child started kindergarten and we have taken such joy in seeing our children flourish under the guidance of the well-qualified and respected teachers and administrators. The academics are top-notch (most anyone will tell you that Pillar's curriculum and standardized test scores are far ahead of other parochial schools) and the welcoming atmosphere is second to none. Every child knows each other, and equally important, the parents form a warm "Pillar family". We visited several private schools (some at triple the tuition cost) before choosing Pillar, and still believe it's the best elementary and middle school education in St. Louis. The future of our two children is extremely bright thanks to Our Lady of the Pillar School.
Pillar is a great school for all children. It gives each child the opportunity to excel in their talents. It also prepares the students for the high school of their choice. Come and visit our great school and see the amazing facility.
We LOVE Pillar! The Pillar community has been supportive and welcoming to us from the day we first toured the school. The teachers provide such a warm, nurturing environment and our children are always excited about school. As parents, my husband and I love that we have the opportunity in a small school to be involved and any minor concerns we have had have been adequately addressed. I have found teachers to be responsive to me as a parent and I truly feel that the teachers at Pillar work in partnership with parents to meet the needs of individual children. I love that my children receive a faith based education and that community service is a focus throughout the school year. Academically, Pillar has a strong reputation for having an excellent curriculum and preparing students to attend private high schools of their choice. This was the main reason we chose to send our children to Pillar. My children have excelled academically at Pillar and are continuously challenged. We have many friends and family members who send their children to other area schools and I can say that in discussing what the kids are doing in school, Pillar is consistently ahead academically.
I will share our concerns about OLP school from the 2013-2014 school year. 1) The school adopted Catholic Common Core. I have a problem when the school uses these standards as both the floor and the ceiling. 2) Published curriculum hastily put together in response to parent concerns this year. 3) The academic standards are declining, around the 50th percentile for lower grades. 4) Transparency in policy decision-making is lacking. 5) Enrollment is declining. 6) School is overly homogenous in student body and school culture is not tolerant of differences. 7) Cliques within parent community. 8) Teachers not responsive to e-mails. 9) Differentiation is lacking at the classroom level. 10) Instruction methods do not utilize best practices. 12) The school relies heavily on parent volunteers for daily operation. 13) School is more expensive than other parochial schools.
I am currently a teacher at Pillar, but also graduated from Pillar and sent my three children to Pillar as well, so I have a pretty complete perspective. Pillar has always been a very involved, very caring community. I can assure you that the teachers are keeping a close eye on the kids not just academically, but morally, socially, and developmentally. Our students will not "fall through the cracks". Academically we have an experienced staff that has a track record of outstanding results. Pillar constantly ranks at the top in standardized tests (ITBS) and our graduates are consistently accepted wherever they apply, including the most challenging prep schools. Students at Pillar can not only participate in a wide range of activities, but they will have the opportunity to lead those activities. The bottom line is that this is a great school and you ought to check us out, particularly if you are looking at the other private schools in the area.
What a wonderful environment in which to raise children. Our family moved here from out of town and felt quickly apart of the Pillar Family. Pillar is a wonderful prep school with a personal touch. We can't say enough good things about our school and it's teachers, staff and administration. Charmingly progressive with old world values!