Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

Father Michel F. Kennelly of the Jesuit Fathers of New Orleans Province founded Strake Jesuit in 1960 on land donated by the Strake family in what is now the Greater Sharpstown area.  The school’s first class of freshman boys matriculated in 1961.  Although it remains at its original location, the school has grown tremendously since that time especially in the 1970s and in the 2000’s.  In the most recent decade, Jesuit undertook the Greater Glory Capital Campaign to vastly expand its facilities.  Today, Strake educates approximately 1000 a year in the Jesuit tradition.

Strake Jesuit College Preparatory

8900 Bellaire Boulevard, Houston, TX 77036                   Fr. Daniel K. Lahart, President

713-490-8112                                                  Mr. Tom Beverick, Director of Admissions

www.StrakeJesuit.org

Religious Affiliation

Strake Jesuit is an institution sponsored by the Society of Jesus, a Catholic order of Priests and Brothers founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius of Loyola.  Strake Jesuit is part of 50 Jesuit high schools in the United States. Deeply rooted in the Roman Catholic Church tradition of teaching virtue and excellence, the Society of Jesus—following the example of its founder and influenced by the graces of the Spiritual Exercises—began its ministry to lay students in 1548, at the request of the citizens of Messina, Italy, where the Jesuits opened their first school. This Catholic and Jesuit tradition is at the heart of the school and influences the curriculum to daily rituals and even the teaching methodologies.

Students are not required to be Catholic but they must still take Theology every year and participate in the school’s religious services.  Strake Jesuit’s religious education curriculum works to complement spiritual formation by developing the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of Christian faith, values, and service among its students.  At the very core of these formation programs is the Ignatian exercise of cura personalis (Latin meaning “care of the whole person”).

Location and Facilities

Strake Jesuit’s 44-acre campus is located in the Greater Sharptstown area of southwest Houston.  It is fairly equidistant between the Sam Houston Tollway, Westpark Tollway, and Highway 59.  Its campus is adjacent to St. Agnes Academy off of Bellaire Boulevard. The school’s adjacent location to St. Agnes allows the two schools to share some course offerings.

The campus is often described as college-like in that it is comprised of many non-connected structures built over the years.  The School’s Greater Glory Capital Campaign was responsible for many new structures completed by 2009 including the three-story Clay Activity Center, Lahart Chapel of St. Ignatius, Moran Dining Hall, and expansive athletic facilities.  The newest additions include renovations to Moody Library and a new Retreat and Leadership Center.  The latest In All Things Capital Campaign will include the construction of a Science and Engineering Building.  Jesuit’s new athletic complex includes a 3,000-seat competition gym, separate gym housing three basketball courts, Capt. Andrew Houghton Weight Room, heated, 8-lane competition pool, and four lighted tennis courts.  The baseball field opened in 2003, and the 5,000-seat multi-purpose stadium with FieldTurf opened in 2004.

Admissions

Strake Jesuit advises that applicants should be a) academically prepared to handle the school’s curriculum b) willing to study consistently and diligently outside of class c) be receptive to the school’s Catholic heritage and traditions.  Jesuit’s application requires recommendations from a math teacher, English teacher, and a principal or counselor.  The school requires that applicants sit for the HSPT, usually administered at the school in January.  Shadowing is offered throughout the year.

Academic Tracks and Curriculum

Strake Jesuit offers a college preparatory curriculum.   It also offers Accelerated and Advanced Placement courses.  Strake Jesuit offers 10 accelerated and 12 AP courses.  Freshmen are not allowed to take accelerated or AP classes; typically all students are limited to three accelerated or AP classes at any given time.   The school offers some non-traditional courses in social studies such as business law, business and personal finance, and African American Studies.  Likewise, the school’s Theology department offers fifteen classes.  All students must take a theology course each year.  Some classes are offered by St. Agnes, Strake’s sister school across the parking lot.  Seniors must have accumulated 100 hours of community service in order to graduate.

Strake requires students to accumulate 27.5 credits to graduate; one credit is equivalent to one year of study: English (4), Mathematics (4), Science (4), Social Studies (4), Language (3), Computer Science (1), Theology (4), PE/ Health (2), Communication & Fine Arts (1), Community Service of 100 hours (.5).

Special Needs

Strake offers assistance for students with special needs through its Learning Resource Center.  Special needs catered to include but are not limited to ADHD, Dyslexia, and Dysgraphia.  Accommodations available in the classroom include extended time for testing, taking a test in a less distracting environment, preferential seating arrangements, and computer aids for note taking.  In consultation with parents, Strake counselors will also arm students with organizational plans and classroom strategies.

Foreign Languages

Three years of foreign language instruction are required for a diploma at Strake Jesuit.  Students can choose between Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish.  Spanish and Latin are offered up to the AP level, French up to an honors fourth year—the school combines years 4 and 5 into one class.   Chinese is currently offered through the third year and features dual enrollment with St. Agnes students.

Arts

Strake Jesuit combines communication classes and fine arts into the same department.  Students are required to take at least one class from this department to graduate.  There are more than thirty-classes from which to choose, including several classes in TV broadcasting and production.  Many classes feature dual enrollment and/or are offered at St. Agnes.

Technology

The school has two computer laboratories with more than sixty computers.  At least one credit of computer science is required to graduate.  Students can choose from five classes, including AP Computer Science.  Internet access is via the school’s dedicated, super high-speed T-1 line.  All students have their own password protected user accounts and allocated hard drive space.  Beginning in the 2013-2014 school year, Strake will distribute iPads to every student.  Students must purchase cases for the iPad, certain required apps for school, digital textbooks for their classes, and must sign the school’s Acceptable Use Policy; the school’s replacement policy is fairly generous in that it does not require parents to cover the full cost of a lost or damaged device until after the third incident.  All classrooms now have Apple TVs allowing teachers to mirror the work they do on their iPads directly onto SmartBoards.

Extracurricular Activities

Students can participate in more than fifty clubs.  The clubs on campus are extensive, including diversity organizations like the Black and Hispanic Student Unions and sports organizations like Intramural Sports.  The Student Council is composed of eleven elected representatives from each grade and four officers from the senior class.

Athletics

All students must take 1.5 credit hours (or three semester classes) of physical education and .5 credit hours (one semester) of health.  The school offers “athletic PE” classes whereby students involved in a sport can further hone their skills in that sport and satisfy the PE requirement; however, approval of the sport’s head coach is required to participate.  The school participates in thirteen interscholastic sports: baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, swimming, tennis, track, water polo, and wrestling.  Students can participate in a sport at the freshman, junior varsity, and varsity levels.  Strake Jesuit is a member of the University Interscholastic League, which allows it to compete against the largest public schools in Texas.

Parent Involvement

Strake holds two Parent-Teacher nights each semester. The school also hosts Dads’ Club, Mothers’ Club, and Parent Groups designed to give parents the opportunity to talk about the performance of their students directly with teachers and guidance counselor. Strake also has an online portal for parents to stay abreast with students and teachers.

Strake Jesuit Fast Facts

Overview
School Type Religious, Boys
Religious AffiliationUniforms CatholicYes
Date Founded 1960
Endowment $11M
Grades Served 9-12
Enrollment 925
     9th Grade 221
     10th Grade 206
     11th Grade 244
     12th Grade 247
Student to Teacher Ratio 12:1
Faculty with Advanced Degrees (#/%) N/A
Minorities in Student Body 39%
Curriculum
Academic Tracks Offered On-Track, Honors, AP
Advanced Placement Courses Offered 12
Languages Offered Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish
Calendar (Semester / Trimester / Other) Semester
Interscholastic Sports Programs 14
Graduating Seniors
National Merit Semi-Finalists (#/%) 15/6%
Average SAT Scores (Class of 2011) 1897
     Mathematics 642
     Critical Reading 619
     Writing 626
% Students Admitted to 4 Year University 99%
Admissions
Prime Entry Points 9
Grades 9-12 $16,800
Books and Supplies $500
Students on Financial Aid 13%

 

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 *

*