Episcopal High School

In 1981, a group of Episcopal parishioners discussed with then Bishop Maurice Benitez that their children often attended day schools at their local churches but that these schools only went through the 8th grade.  Therefore, they set about to establish a high school.  Their efforts came to fruition just three years later in 1983 when EHS welcomed its first 150 ninth and tenth graders in 1984.  The founders purchased a vacant campus from a developer that had formerly served as the home for the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament’s convent and high school.

Episcopal High School

4650 Bissonnet, Bellaire, Texas 77401                          Mr. C. Edward Smith, Headmaster

713-512-3400                                                 Ms. Audrey Koehler, Director of Admissions

www.EHSHouston.org

Religious Affiliation

EHS is an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.  As such, one of the school’s “four pillars” is religion.  Daily chapel attendance in the Episcopal faith is required.  Four semesters of religious classes (one semester per year) is also a graduation requirement freshmen must take the semester course in the Old Testament.  Sophomores must take the semester course in New Testament.  Juniors can choose between History of Christianity and World Religions.  Seniors must take Ethics and complete a Senior Outreach Project.

Location and Facilities

The school’s 35-acre campus is located directly off of the 610 West Loop in the independent, affluent municipality of Bellaire across from Gordon Elementary School.  Its campus is bounded on the North by Fournace Place, East by a small road, Avenue B, on the south by Bissonnet St., and the West by the West Loop.  The school opened in the renovated buildings of a former convent and high school.  In 2001, these buildings were supplemented by a new classroom building, library, student center, gym, track, field house, and stadium complex.   EHS is currently fundraising for a new academic and science building and parking garage.   The school’s athletic facilities include a baseball field, softball field, and three multipurpose fields including a track and field complex.

Admissions

Parents must complete the online application, and students must complete the student questionnaire.  A photo must be uploaded along with the application or mailed.  Students may schedule ISEE and OLSAT exams with EHS, and the Admission Interview must be completed before February.  English and Math Teacher Recommendation Forms and the student’s transcripts and records must be submitted by January.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

EHS offers three academic tracks—On-Track, Honors, and Advanced Placement.  Honors classes begin in the ninth grade.  In total the school offers 21 honors classes and 17 Advanced Placement classes.   In contrast with many of its peers, EHS requires two years of a fine art to graduate.  Interim Term is the first two weeks in January where all students are required to take one grade-level class and two elective courses.  Grade-level classes are chosen by the faculty and recently included themes like “high school survival” for freshman, “[life] choices” for sophomores, and “college applications” for juniors.

The school requires 23 credits to earn a diploma; two semesters equals one credit: English (4), Math (3), Science (3), History (3), Foreign Language (2), Religion (2), Fine Arts (2), Health/ PE (1), Electives (3), Technology (satisfied through laptop program).

Special Needs

One of EHS’s guiding principles is to accept students with “average-to-exceptional” abilities.  To this extent, the school offers accelerated classes for students who seek greater challenges, but it also provides for students who need extra help in the on-track classes.  The Director of Academic Assistance leads the Academic Assistance Program.  In this program, accepted students are assigned an Academic Coach who regularly monitors the student’s progress and helps them manage his academic load such as scheduling tutorial assistance and monitoring homework performance.

Foreign Languages

EHS requires students to take at least two years of the same foreign language to earn a diploma.  The school offers instruction in Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish.  All languages are offered with honors classes and up to the college level.   AP classes are offered for French, Latin, and Spanish.

Arts

Students must take at least two years (four semesters) of a fine art to graduate, and EHS offers a wide range of options for them.  Students can choose from approximately fifty different classes across five departments—Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Media Arts Communication, and Theatre.  Class offerings are diverse and range from the more typical—speech, acting, dance, band, and painting—to the more unique—stage combat, repertory dance, guitar instruction, advanced sculpture, and website design. 

Technology

EHS requires all students to bring a laptop to school with them.  Its “Laptop Program” makes available computers, wireless access, educational software, and peripherals to all faculty and students.  Students may also procure their own laptops but are required to have them.  “Computer Technology Proficiency” is a graduation requirement but is fulfilled by the required laptop usage.  The school offers numerous elective courses in its technology department including computer programming, graphic design, and website design.

Extracurricular Activities

EHS hosts a number of clubs and organizations that are available to its student body.  For athletics, students may join the Fit Club, Bowling Knights, Dodgeball Club, Hacky Sack Club, or the Surf Club.  For languages, students may join the French, Chinese, Spanish, Latin, or Hebrew Clubs.  For the arts, students may join the Art Club or the National Art Honor Society.  Students will also have many opportunities with participating in performance art, such as theatrical productions and art retreats.

Athletics

Students are not required to participate in a sport at EHS but athletics is considered one of the school’s four pillars.  Students are required to participate in two semesters of health and physical education.  The school fields interscholastic teams across sixteen sports: baseball, basketball, cheerleading, color guard, cross-country, field hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, softball, tennis, track, volleyball, and wrestling.  EHS is a member of the Southwest Preparatory Conference.

Parent Involvement

The Parents Association and Dads Club are the two main venues that parents involve themselves in the school’s activities.  The Parents Club is a dues-paying, officer-elected organization open to all parents.  It meets approximately six times a year to hear from students, school administrators, and discuss relevant issues.  Its major fundraiser is an annual auction.  All fathers are automatically members of the Dads Club, which meets on a handful of Friday mornings throughout the year to fundraise, stay informed, and make suggestions.  The Club’s biggest event is its annual golf tournament, which raises over $100,000 to support school activities.

Episcopal High School Fast Facts

Overview
School Type Religious
Religious Affiliation Episcopal
Uniforms Yes
Date Founded 1983
Endowment (June 30, 2012) $24M
Grades Served 9-12
Enrollment 661
     Grade 9 171
     Grade 10 168
     Grade 11 160
     Grade 12 162
Student to Teacher Ratio 7:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees 61%
Minorities in Student Body 17%
Curriculum
Academic Tracks Offered On-Track, Honors, AP
Advanced Placement Courses Offered 15
Languages Offered Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 16
Graduating Seniors
National Merit Semi-Finalists 2013 (#/%) 3/2%
Average SAT Scores (Class of 2011) 1738
     Mathematics 591
     Critical Reading 577
     Writing 570
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University 99%
Admissions
Prime Entry Points 9
Grades 9-12 $21,880
New Student Fee $500
Food Service $1000
Annual Activity Fee $325
Annual Technology Fee $325
Students on Financial Aid 20%

 

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

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