There is still some opportunities for improvement, but the principle is amazing and a great start. The community is a great support and well utilized at this school. The teachers seem dedicated- a lot of career-long teachers here. I am excited to see what this school can become.
My son has attended Pillow for almost 2 years now and I have only had one good experience with the staff. The staff is seriously lacking in basic social and people skills. I rarely see anyone smiling or being socially interactive. Especially the office staff. They couldnt care less about addressing any issues or questions. I have been yelled at on more than 5 occasions by random staff members in the morning while trying to get my son where he needs to be. This year alone, my son has had 3 teachers and I only recieved notice each time a day or two prior. Yet they saw absolutely no problem with this and didn't understand why I was concerned. My son has had issues with bullying, yet when addressed, they blamed him for not letting them know or for making things up. When I asked my son why he wasn't telling the teacher of this, he replied "because she doesn't like tattle tales". Every morning is a struggle trying to get him to school because he's that unhappy here. When your 7 year old crys and beggs you to please take him to a new school, it really makes you question and wonder what is really happening behing those doors. Race is also certainly an issue here. If you are not Hispanic, you absolutely do not get decent treatment. My son has been harrassed many times because he's white and they actually got mad at me for defending equality. Every race is equal. No exceptions. After reading all the reviews on here, I'm actually really surprised at the positive feedback these people have given. The end of this school year will be our last here and I am so ready for it to be over. His new school has a 10/10 rating. My advice to any parents out there, do your research and really think about your choice of school. The ratings are there for a reason. I didn't listen and I regret it. Don't make the same mistake.
I am a big fan of Pillow Elementary, a school I visit regularly in my role as professional storyteller. I was thrilled recently to provide three large assemblies, funded by their active PTA, in honor of I Love Reading Day -- a well-organized event, from the excellent sound system to the efficient filing in/out of the children.
Over the years, I've seen the student body gradually diversify which for my mind brings a rich culture to the school, and makes my task more rewarding, sharing tales to connect the children with each other, and with the world they live in. Last week, those students were extraordinarily well behaved and attentive, happily soaking up the stories. Frankly, I believe this says as much about the faculty as it does about the children: teachers who love the school and have been there for years, and motivated new teachers, all of them dedicated to educating the whole child. The literary specialist says they work hard to balance rigorous classroom instruction with fun ways to learn and grow, but top of the list is always an emphasis on reading. That's why I was there.
As it happens, I pass Pillow daily on my morning walk, and it pleases me that the school and its grounds always look nurtured. Even with construction (they recently began much-needed, long-overdue renovations, including an up-dated library) the whole area is still pristine and well maintained. I'm proud to call Pillow my local elementary!
My son attended Kindergarten and first grade at Pillow. His first grade teacher Ms Sarah White is an exceptional teacher, she helped my son in every way to improve and utilize his capabilities and created new opportunities for him. Really grateful to her and the whole school family - will miss you all.
Pillow Elementary is a wonderfully diverse neighborhood school. There are over 35 home languages spoken. Students at Pillow feel safe and happy and are supported by their teachers who provide equitable learning experiences giving each child the tools they need to be successful. There is parent involvement with the PTA hosting several Spirit Nights a year to raise money for the school. In addition, the school opens its doors four times a year with a night dedicated to celebrating the each of the 4 content areas. My favorite is their Literacy Night where children come in and have fun with literacy, guided by their teachers, and leave with a free book! Lastly, Students in 1st-5th grade are exposed to foreign languages once a week (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Latin). This really is a wonderful school and one of Austin's best kept secrets.