St. Thomas’ Episcopal School

The school arm of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Saint Thomas Episcopal School was founded in 1955 as a pre-school and kindergarten.  It graduated its first high school class in 1967.  Today, it offers thirteen years of instruction from Kindergarten Bridge through 12th grade.  The school’s mission is to “form honorable men and women through a classical education grounded in a Christ-centered world view.”

St. Thomas’ Episcopal School

4900 Jackwood, Houston, TX 77096                           Mr. Michael F. Cusack, Headmaster

713-666-3111                                           Ms. Jennifer Crosthwait, Director of Admissions

www.STES.org

Religious Affiliation

Saint Thomas is an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.  All students attend Chapel every day; Middle School students participate in Bible Studies once a week.  However, the school notes that “Chapel also gives an opportunity for diversity” since non-Episcopalians are allowed to limit their active participation during religious activities.  The school does not have a Religion department or equivalent that offers further studies in Theology.

Location and Facilities

The school’s primary campus is located on the southwest corner of the 610 Inner Loop in Houston’s Meyerland area.  The school shares a modest campus with St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church.  The campus is easily accessed off of Beechnut, South Rice, and Braeswood Boulevard.  Affluent single-family homes line its west and south sides.  Shopping centers are on its north and east.  Additional athletic fields are located approximately 3 miles away from the main campus at 4113 Willowbend.

Admissions

Saint Thomas lists the following general criteria as necessary for admission consideration a) satisfactory score on an entrance exam b) academic transcripts for the past two years c) teacher references d) an interview with the Headmaster or division principal.  The standardized test for students entering grades 5-12 is the ISEE. Applicants to Kindergarten through fourth grade must submit OLSAT or WIPSI scores. Applicants to Kindergarten-Bridge and Kindergarten must also visit the campus for a 30-minute play date. The school gives priority admission consideration to siblings of currently enrolled students and members of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church who apply by February 1.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

A “Kindergarten Bridge” program is offered for students turning five in September or October.  The curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between pre-school and kindergarten by reinforcing key materials.  Children applying for kindergarten must be five years old on or before September 1st.

Honors classes begin in the Middle School with the availability of Accelerated Algebra I in eighth grade.  In addition to honors classes, the school offers fifteen AP classes including Calculus and Statistics.  The school requires 25 credits for graduation; one credit is equivalent to one year of study: English (4), Math (4), Science (4), History (4), Foreign Latin (3), PE/ Band/ Dance (2), Electives (4).

Special Needs

The school designates seniors, juniors, and outstanding sophomores in high school as tutors for Middle School students.  Parents are responsible for all other arrangements including meeting time, place, and wages.  Academic accommodations are not provided. 

Foreign Languages

Foreign language instruction is offered beginning in first grade with Spanish.  Required Spanish study continues until sixth grade when students may then choose to continue the study of Spanish. Three years of high school Latin study is required to graduate from Saint Thomas, and instruction is compulsory beginning in 6th grade. Upper School students may also study Chinese, French, and Classical Greek beginning in ninth grade.  All languages are offered up to a fifth year level in high school with the exception of Chinese, offered through level IV.

Arts

The Fine Arts are treated as an elective at Saint Thomas’s Upper School and include the performance and visual arts.  All Upper School students may choose between Art, String Orchestra, Choir, and Theater Arts & Production.  Additionally, seniors may take AP Studio Art.  Band, Bagpipe Band, and Highland Dancing are part of the school’s PE requirement.  The school features a department of Scottish Arts.

Technology

St. Thomas Episcopal is equipped with four Windows-based computer labs and five Google Chrome laptop carts. Students taking Yearbook have access to Mac computers. Middle School students build computer literacy and Internet research skills. Upper School students can take Introductory Computer Science, Principles of Computer Science, and Robotics.

While wireless access is available campus wide, student use of laptops for note taking is limited and permissible upon the teacher’s discretion.  Students may use phones on campus before and after school. Cell phones must be turned off and put away during the school day.

Extracurricular Activities

Academic clubs include Junior Classical League, Mock Trial, Science Bowl, TAPPS Academic Team, and volunteering as a tutor for other students.  Non-academic clubs include Chess Club, Cotillion, Scouting, and more.  Students may participate in the Yearbook class beginning in ninth grade.  Seniors and juniors may join the school’s Upper School Honor Council and help educate and enforce students on the school’s Honor Code.

Athletics

Lower School students have the option of playing soccer through the Houston Youth Soccer Association (HYSA). 

In the Middle School, students compete in the Greater Houston Athletic Conference (GHAC) in five sports: basketball, cross-country, softball, track & field, and volleyball. Students in grade 6-8 may also play soccer through HYSA.

The Upper School fields sports teams across eight sports: basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.  Saint Thomas is a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS).

Parent Involvement

Each year parents are sent home a Parent Volunteer Opportunities checklist. Year long volunteer opportunities include serving as a Room Parent or Host to an incoming family. Shorter volunteer opportunities include volunteering at annual dinners, fundraisers as well as athletic and arts events. Mothers of current St. Thomas Episcopal students are invited to participate in a weekly prayer group on campus.

St. Thomas Episcopal School Fast Facts

Overview
School Type Religious, Co-Educational
Religious Affiliation Episcopal
Date Founded 1955
Endowment (reported on 7/31/10) N/A
Grades Served KBr-12
Enrollment 623
     Upper School (Grades 9-12) 175
     Middle School (6-8) 150
     Lower School (KBr-5) 298
Student to Teacher Ratio 9:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) N/A
Minorities in Student Body 42%
Curriculum
Academic Tracks Offered On-Track, Honors, AP
Advanced Placement Courses Offered 15
Languages Offered Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish, Classical Greek
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 8
Graduating Seniors
National Merit Semi-Finalists (#/%) 2012 2/5%
Average SAT Scores (Class of 2012) 1857
     Mathematics 602
     Critical Reading 621
     Writing 634
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University 100%
Admissions
Prime Entry Points KB, K, 6, 9
KBr – Grade 3 $11,805
Grades 4-5 $12,095
Grade 6 $13,252
Grades 7-8 $13,837
Grades 9-12 $14,848
Student Fee (KBr-5 / 6-12) $620-$715
Book Fee $100-300
Students on Financial Aid N/A
New Student Fee $500

 

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

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