St. Mark’s Episcopal School

St. Mark’s Episcopal School celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2010.  The school began as a nursery program for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in 1960.  Over the next twenty years, St. Mark’s expanded to serve students in grades K-8, graduating its first eighth grade class in 1988.  Today St. Mark’s enrolls approximately 430 students from ages two years through eighth grade.

St. Mark’s Episcopal School

3816 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, TX 77025                               Mr. Garhett Wagers, Head of School

713-667-7030                                                                                    Ms. Amanda Grace, Director of Admissions

www.STMES.org

Religious Affiliation

St. Mark’s, an Episcopal parish day school, follows the guidelines of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.  Students attend weekly chapel services and attend religion classes planned to support the growth of their personal faith, respect for others, and a sense of service.  However, St. Mark’s welcomes families of all faiths and encourages them to participate in the Episcopal rituals only so far as their faiths allow.  The school honor code is founded on the principals of respect, responsibility and kindness.

Location and Facilities

The school is located on the southwest edge of West University Place, a self-incorporated town within Houston’s 610 Loop.  An affluent neighborhood of single-family homes is directly to the school’s north and east.  Shopping centers are to its west and south. The campus includes four main buildings which are home to classrooms, three computer labs, two libraries, two science labs, a gymnasium with stage, and a cafeteria.  Buildings surround a courtyard, gardens, and two play grounds.

Admissions

St. Mark’s seeks to “…enroll well-motivated children capable of academic challenge.”  Age requirements are as follows: Preschool 2’s Program (2 by August 1), Preschool 3’s Program (3 by August 1), Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten (4 or 5 respectively by August 1).  The school grants priority consideration to members of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and siblings of currently enrolled children.  Applications are accepted year round and considered based on space available.  To be considered in the school’s first round of admission offers, applications must be received by the January 10, 2014 admission application deadline.

Parents must complete an online application that includes a short answer question about their expectations for their child and includes their child’s picture.  Other required forms include a transcript request form, a teacher recommendation form for students in Early Childhood through Kindergarten, Grades 1-5, and two teacher recommendation forms (English and math) for students in Grades 6-8.  For grades PK-8, St. Mark’s requires an admissions test: the WPPSI-III (PK and K), WISC-IV (Grades 1-4) and the ISEE (Grades 5-8).  Early Childhood applicants must attend a Saturday Group Observation in January or February; students applying for grades 1-8 must attend an in-school observation and/or interview with the school.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

St. Mark’s divides its student body into two divisions: the Lower School (Preschool 2s through Grade 4) and the Middle School (Grades 5-8).  Curriculums in both divisions follow the school’s core values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, and caring.  The early childhood curriculum is designed to develop cognitive, social, emotional, creative, and fine and gross motor skills.  The core curriculum for Grades 1-8 includes math, science, social studies and language arts.  Service learning projects are planned for each grade level with school-wide initiatives lead by the Student Council.   The Upper Middle School (Grades 7 and 8) curriculum includes honors and Pre-AP classes.

Special Needs

St. Mark’s accepts students with learning differences who have demonstrated their ability to succeed in a mainstream, traditional curriculum.  The school is unable to serve children whose special educational needs require facilities and training surpassing the expertise of the faculty and staff.  Students with learning differences are considered individually for admission to the school.

Foreign Languages

Spanish is introduced in the early years through stories and vocabulary exercises, with formal Spanish instruction beginning in the fourth grade.  Fourth to sixth grade students are further exposed to Spanish through visual and performance activities.  The Spanish program for seventh and eighth grade students follows a traditional format and is designed to prepare students for high school Spanish II.

Arts

The Lower and Middle School arts curriculum includes classes in studio art, music, and drama.  Students in the preschool program attend music and movement classes.  Students in grades K-4 participate in art and music year-round, attending each class two to three times per week.  Students in grades 5-8 have one quarter of art and one quarter of music each year.  Additionally, elective classes for middle school students include dance, art, improvisation, podcasting & videography, speech, and yearbook.

Technology

Students are introduced to projects-based technology skills beginning in Pre-Kindergarten and continuing through eighth grade.  The Lower School curriculum introduces keyboarding, graphic art tools, word processing and the creation of slideshows.  The Middle School curriculum teaches technology skills as an integral part of the curriculum.  Through quarterly classes, students learn Microsoft Office, basic web design, and film making.

Extracurricular Activities
Clubs meet Monday-Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 during the fall and spring semesters.  Clubs include chess, music lessons, robotics, cooking, sculpture, origami, fencing, and more.  Student Council is also offered.  Middle school students participate in advisory groups as a forum to discuss issues in the school, enhance organizational skills, focus on character development and establish relationships between the students.  Students of all ages participate in outreach projects, encouraging students to give of their time, talents and treasures. Outreach projects benefit organizations including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Houston Food Bank, the SPCA, Urban Harvest, Sheltering Arms Senior Center, among others.  Elementary and middle school students may also participate in PSIA (Private School Interscholastic Association), which includes events such as Dictionary Skills, Spelling, Impromptu Speaking, Mathematics, Number Sense, and more.

Athletics

The school fields teams in grades 6-8 in six sports: boys’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, track, golf and tennis.  St. Mark’s is a part of the Greater Houston Athletic Conference.

Parent Involvement
St. Mark’s offers many opportunities for parent involvement.  The Parent Guild, St. Marks’ version of the PTA, serves to support community spirit, create meaningful events and programs for the school’s children, and promote the school in the greater surrounding community. All St. Mark’s parents are automatically members of the Parent Guild and invited to join both meetings and committees.

Parent Guild volunteer opportunities provide parents with connecting points throughout the school and create a stronger partnership between school and family. These opportunities include the following events and programs: Breakfast with Santa, Teacher Appreciation Meals, Monthly Teacher Birthday Snacks, Hospitality, including Welcome Coffees and All School Events, Middle School Dances, Parent Education Events, Field Day Snacks, 8th Grade Graduation, Grandparents and Friends Day, Supplies for Helping Hands, New Family Ice Cream Social, Visiting Authors for the Library and more.

St. Mark’s Episcopal School Fast Facts

Overview
School Type Religious, Coeducational
Religious Affiliation Episcopal
Uniforms Yes
Date Founded 1960
Endowment N/A
Grades Served Two Years – 8th
Enrollment 430
     Grade 8 40
     Grade 7 27
     Grade 6 33
     Grade 5 39
     Grade 4 36
     Grade 3 39
     Grade 2 44
     Grade 1 40
     Kindergarten 30
     Pre-Kindergarten 36
     Preschool 3s 32
     Preschool 2s 34
Student to Teacher Ratio 14:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) 45%
Minorities in Student Body 30%
Curriculum
Academic Tracks Offered On-Track, Honors, Pre-AP
Advanced Placement Courses Offered N/A
Languages Offered Spanish
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 6
Admissions
Prime Entry Points Two Years, Kindergarten, 6th Grade
Preschool 2’s (full five days) $9,360
Preschool 3’s (full five days) $10,698
Pre-Kindergarten $14,360
Kindergarten $14,500
Grades 1 – 4 $14,712
Grades 5 – 8 $16,458
New Student Fee $495
Registration Fee $595
Tuition Release Plan $395
Students on Financial Aid 10%

Excerpted from General Academic’s publication, “Houston Private & Select Public Schools: Survey, Analysis, and Research, 3rd Edition.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>