I've taught at Pickle for years and seen many changes and even more atrocities. Children are disserviced daily in terms of academics, discipline and especially dignity. Recent administrators privately insult students' abilities and difficulties in school, from poor test scores to asking the wrong questions. If students' TAKS scores don't count towards the school's ratings because they have been transferred or they meet some exemption, they are virtually non-existent. Teachers are discouraged from doing any type of work that isn't test-related. They are also overworked and underappreciated by administration. I've worked in other schools where teachers smile and laugh with each other and students, but the recent tension and frustrations are silently deafening. Repeat cycle: excitement in August, insulted in October, numb in November (after Thanksgiving and before Christmas), reenergized in January, but TAKS prepping until April and then teachers getting ready and giving students coloring pages in May.
There is a great after-school tutorial program that feeds the kids and teaches about nutrition as well. Runs M-Th after school till 5:30 p.m. Kids do their homework there so no fighting about it at home. Tutors are available for questions.
I teach at Pickle Elementary. It has shown great growth and much community involvement. The teachers and administration at Pickle put in 100% with lots of love, training and overtime. WE strive to make our school stand out and be a success in the Austin community.
The overall feeling one receives when leaving from Pickle Elementary School is one of community. Sad to say, yes we serve a lot of the community however the community still places a lot of the responsibility onto the teachers and staff at Pickle. Our children would advance so much more if we actively role modeled the necessary steps it takes in order to advance in our world today. That might even mean supporting all English instruction vs. total spanish immersion.
When JJ Pickle opened 3 years ago, it was for the entire community. It consisted of approximately a 40/60 split African-American/Hispanic student population. However, the teaching was geared 90% towards the Spanish-Speaking community. I speak Spanish and English. But I had a problem when I sat in the class with my child, and there was no English being said in class.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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