REVIEW OF Pythagoras Academy BY parent, Branny Bian
- Date of Review
March 30, 2022
Gr. K - 5
(5) Student Experience
I have two children currently studying at Pythagoras Academy, one in grade 5 and one in grade 3. We have been part of the wonderful Pythagoras Academy community for 5 years and our family LOVES being part of PA. My family feels very happy at Pythagoras Academy for many different reasons. We feel very connected to the staff and the community. Everyone is very welcoming and helpful. Students are given every opportunity to succeed and to set the path for future achievements. Pythagoras Academy offers an open door for parents to be interactive in their children's education and offer feedback and suggestions.
(5) School Leadership
The Head of School, Principals and teachers in PA are very accomodating, friendly and supportive. The staff at PA always listen to parents' opinions and concerns and try their best to support the best interests of all children, as well as our community. We have very good connections and communications with staff and leadership. When parents do have questions or concerns, we have a variety of ways to reach teachers and staff. The school administrators provide updates and important notices in a timely manner and provide reminders. Teachers and staff are available for quick chats after school and we can always connect with them, either via email or in person. Emails are answered promptly. One time when I asked my daughter's homeroom teacher about her suggestion of reading material and it was 9:00 pm I was surprised to get a response within a few minutes. Teachers are very attentive and engaged.
I believe PA has the very best teaching staff. My son loves reading, math and science very much and his teachers always provide him with extra reading material, which gets him even more interested in the classes. This also encourages him to read a lot of books and improve his reading skills. The teachers support reading at his own pace. In math class, he and some other students go to the SUCCESS Centre, which challenges him and results in him really loving math. My daughter, on the other hand, loves art, singing and dancing. At Pythagoras Academy, there is a wonderful Musical Theatre class, as well as an after-school dance class. Every year the school puts on a Broadway-style musical performance and every student gets the opportunity to audition and be part of the main cast. Those who choose not to audition are still included as part of the musical production and the entire PA community looks forward to the event with excitement each year. The musical show not only teaches our children singing and dancing, but it also builds their confidence in performing on stage. Friendships are created, as well as leadership skills! As parents, we are thrilled to see our children performing what they have learned on stage and to see how much they enjoy it. The Head of School, principals and teachers at Pythagoras Academy are very accomodating, friendly and supportive. Every child is seen as unique and the staff always gives my children the care they deserve.
PA has an excellent academic program that provides students with every opportunity to flourish. As stated previously, there is a Success Centre that provides students with individualized teaching that supports them when needed. Every child is important at PA and there is an ongoing effort to ensure that. PA has many advanced aspects, both in hardware and software. We have an exclusive computer lab and highly skilled IT teacher, enchanting story studio, brand new outdoor gazebo classroom, advanced Garage Band equipment, a wonderful learning commons and library, as well as many other elements. The focus is on excellence in academics and there is strong support in place for students to achieve that level of learning. Programs are always being reviewed and updated to ensure the most current standards are in place and are achievable for students.
I have already described the incredible Musical Theatre program at PA, which is a favourite for many students. We also have many different after-school clubs and programs, covering a wide array of themes, sports and activities. Children have a variety of things to choose from and every child can find something of interest to participate in. Whether it be board games with the Head of School or advanced robotics, everything from basketball to gardening...there are endless topics covered so children can delve into many clubs and programs of interest. The school also has ongoing school spirit days and fun themes that the students love. There is always something exciting happening at PA. Special holidays and occasions are marked with fun activities, such as the Pumpkin Patch at Hallowe'en and the visit from Santa at Christmas.
Every child is viewed as unique at Pythagoras Academy and my children have always been given the care they deserve. There is a vibrant, energetic atmosphere at PA. Children are free to express themselves and always have a voice at school. Students get along and when there is conflict, it is resolved through patient, caring measures. There is a 5 Chairs, 5 Choices program that is incredible. It is used to help students in their daily interactions with others. It is very effective and constantly in use as a tool to help students learn to navigate through emotional challenges and respond to aggression they may encounter in life. It uses specific techniques to help them identify their feelings and react constructively and mindfully. Problem-solving is done through the ongoing and consistent application of the 5 Chairs model. Children can carry these techniques with them through into adulthood as effective tools for communication.
(5) School Life
The reason we have been at PA for so long is that we feel it is the best school for our children. We feel very happy and confident when our children are at Pythagoras Academy and we know that we are always invited to share feelings, concerns and opinions. We are very much connected, as parents, through the parent group and also by way of the daily lines of communication that we are offered. One thing that really impresses me is the Seesaw system. Every day, we receive online Seesaw updates showing our kids' activities at school; this may be photos from their class, updates as they're playing, recess...moments that capture their overall happiness! Even though we are not physically in school with them, sometimes my husband goes on business trips but we feel we are always with our children. It always gives us peace of mind knowing what they are doing. Every semester students have a team project and we receive their project updates on Seesaw every week. This shows us their brainstorming, their ideas, their drafts and edits, completed drafts and a poster and team presentation about the project. It's just like we are there, witnessing what they are doing in their classroom. Seesaw makes parent/teacher communication more accessible. We also can easily keep on top of updates via an app on our phone, as well as email notifications.
Parents are encouraged to be involved in school functions and operations, whether that be through the PAPO group, committee membership or other invitations to participate in the overall success of the school. Of course, COVID has changed things but we still find ways to connect through Zoom and WeChat. Parent volunteers are warmly welcomed at the school. Parents are very actively involved at Pythagoras Academy. This builds a strong community for our children, as the school becomes an extension of family through the level of concern, care and attention they receive. Parents are always made to feel welcome, at any time, and the school provides plenty of opportunities for the exchange of ideas and information. Parents' feedback and suggestions are always encouraged and the information is used as part of planning and projecting future projects. We have a WeChat group called PA Bulletin for school notices that are sent out to all parents. We also have individual class group chats for every class. Homeroom teachers make announcements in this group and volunteers translate those important messages for those who require that service. Parents can also ask questions and express any concerns in the class WeChat group and, as a community, we help each other as much as we can. There are several committees in place that include parents and students, who are provided with a platform to share feedback and input and be part of decision making.
(5) School Location
The school is in a good location, easy to get to from major routes and other locations in the lower mainland. It is a 5-minute drive to the Vancouver bridges or Highway 91, but it is also tucked away in a very nice, quiet corner in central Richmond. There is NO traffic to worry about, as the school is at the end of a blocked road with no access. It is close to amenities and easy to access. But the nice feature is that it is isolated from traffic and noise and very safe.