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Old 09-07-2019, 10:36 AM
 
3 posts, read 612 times
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We are in the throws of determining where to send our daughter for school. We have narrowed it down to Pius vs. Marist. Our daughter is a strong student and wants to do volleyball and swimming.She is also active in a few clubs as well. I've been doing some research on both schools and this is the gist I am getting. I wanted to get thoughts on this from the forum.

Marist -

The good: Nicer facilities; all students in either AP or honors classes/AP type classes; top quality teaching; lots of activities; excellent sports program particularly football/baseball; located in a nicer area; strong college placement rate; Excellent guidance and college placement services; Can start in 7th grade and get 6 years there.

The bad: More expensive ($6K per year); more elite, wealthy students; immense social pressure/cliques; students drive BMWs and Range Rovers and have beach/lake houses; academic pressure can be insane;

Pius -

The good: Less expensive (6K per year); 3 academic levels for a broader more diverse student body (AP/Honors/CP); feels more like a regular high school - kids more down to earth and less cliquey; Cars are more old Chevys than new Audis; AP level is as good (better?) as Marist (e.g. more Nat Merit Scholars at Pius than Marist in 2018-19); excellent sports sports particularly basketball, swimming, volleyball, soccer (won All Sports trophy in 2019);

The bad: Facilities ok, but lacking and less modern that Marist; academic reputation is less than Marist given the third track (CP which brings overall test scores down); larger classes 275 vs. 200 at Marist. Located in questionable area safety wise; college placement rate more diverse (top schools/state schools/lower state schools/lower out of state schools) given 3 levels; more strict with dress codes/hair etc.

What am I missing?
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:51 AM
 
8,455 posts, read 10,437,048 times
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I can't answer any of your questions aside from one:

Quote:
What am I missing?
The answer is, the only thing that really matters: your daughter's opinion. I assume she's been to both schools and has formed opinions on each. She should visit and research them as much as possible and get their vibes and figure out where she thinks she's going to fit in and thrive the best.

It's great to do all this research and help arm her with information. But really, at the end of the day... the decision should absolutely be hers. She's the one who will have to deal with the outcome every single day.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
2,004 posts, read 4,795,480 times
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You think Pius students are less wealthy than Marist students? I don't see that at all.

I admit I am biased (as an alum and parent of a current Marist student), but if you are admitted to both Marist and Pius, I would say that 9 out of 10 students would choose Marist. Marist is more highly regarded by colleges and more academically rigorous. Not everyone is in AP courses at Marist, although many are. There are only certain subjects that have an Honors Track (Math and Science) separate from the AP options (not an option for English or Social Studies).
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:53 AM
 
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CMMom - I am actually looking for unbiased responses and you clearly are biased. I am basing this on what I've learned and seen and been told. Marist kids come off as very cliquey and I'm wondering if that permeates throughout the school. In addition, I've talked to a number of families whose kids got into BOTH Marist and Pius and chose Pius. There were a number of reasons for this, but the number one I've seen is that one is just a little more down to earth than another and a bit less "full of themselves" than Marist. By your response, you seem to echo that statement.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
2,004 posts, read 4,795,480 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrookhavenResident View Post
CMMom - I am actually looking for unbiased responses and you clearly are biased. I am basing this on what I've learned and seen and been told. Marist kids come off as very cliquey and I'm wondering if that permeates throughout the school. In addition, I've talked to a number of families whose kids got into BOTH Marist and Pius and chose Pius. There were a number of reasons for this, but the number one I've seen is that one is just a little more down to earth than another and a bit less "full of themselves" than Marist. By your response, you seem to echo that statement.
Hey, you asked for opinions. You got one. Feel free to disregard, but having been affiliated with the school since the early 80's, I think my opinion is pretty informed.

ETA: If you have such a negative view of Marist students, why would you even consider the school at all?
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:28 PM
 
13,735 posts, read 22,262,574 times
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BrookhavenResident,

Where in Brookhaven do you reside?
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:44 PM
 
29,607 posts, read 26,695,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrookhavenResident View Post
The bad: More expensive ($6K per year); more elite, wealthy students; immense social pressure/cliques; students drive BMWs and Range Rovers and have beach/lake houses; academic pressure can be insane;
We've had several good friends who have sent kids to both schools. I don't see Marist families as wealthier or more elitist at all.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:39 PM
 
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I have had one child go to one school and another go to another, so I can try to offer an unbiased opinion. Both schools are fantastic.

Here's the background. We are NOT Catholic. Despite having fantastic scores/grades etc. but coming from a public elementary school, my eldest did not get into Marist in 7th. At Marist, if you are not Catholic or do not have a sibling/parent who went to the school, you will only get it if there is space after all the Catholics and legacies are admitted. What we learned is that there will be some kids whose records are inferior that get in simply because they are a legacy or are Catholic. I'm not saying that is right or wrong, but simply the ways things are. You can agree or disagree with the philosophy, but its how Marist does things. You are clearly at the whim of the applicant pool.

My second, who is only a year behind, also applied to Marist. Same scenario, same basic record (if anything, slightly lower GPA/scores than the older sibling). That child was admitted (I don't attribute that child #2 was any more qualified, but the applicant pool had openings for child #2). Child #2 enters in 7th.

When it came time for 9th, child #1 applied to both and was admitted to both. A number of child #1s friends were admitted to both. Out of the 5 kids, 4 went to Pius, 1 went to Marist. My oldest chose Pius for a few reasons: 1) Child #1 was worried about the friend groups already forming and wanted to go to a place where everyone was starting anew in 9th. 2) Child #1 will not admit this, but I think child #1 had a bad taste in the mouth from being wait listed in 7th when others who had poorer records were admitted simply because they checked a box (Catholic/legacy).

So, I've experienced both schools from and feel that I have insight into both.

So, regardless of what CMMom says or what you've heard about either school, talented students exists at both schools, the education is top notch at both schools, the athletics are strong at both schools, arts are strong at both schools. Both schools have nice, down to earth kids, and both kids have their share of entitled kids as well. One is not "better" than the other. Both have national merit finalists. Both send kids to top colleges and both send kids to State U. There are kids that get into both that go to Marist and there are kids that get into both that go to Pius. Trying to say that one is more academic than another or more athletic or a better school is a waste of time.

That being said, they have different feels and different personalities and I think that you need to find what one fits your child's personality better. Look no further than their mottos to get the gist of what they are about, because I think you'll find it there.

St. Pius - Faith, Family, Future. They really play up the "family" piece at Pius. I do think the student body seems a bit more cohesive. Is it because they all start together as one group in 9th? I don't know, but the atmosphere is very collegial with faculty and administration contributing greatly to that environment.

Marist is all about the creating the whole person. I'd say the Marist kids are the well rounded types; good looking kids, and as such, you're not wrong about the social pressure. There are cliques that form early on and a lot of it revolves around athletics. But the kids are the kind you'd expect to see on the cover of a Vineyard Vines catalog. Again, not saying Pius kids aren't.

Academically, I will repeat this with emphasis. There is NO DIFFERENCE in the rigor between the Pius AP track and the Marist AP track. I think even Pius has more AP classes, but not sure. Pius has the other levels to for those students who want to follow a less rigorous track.

In short, you've got to make your own decision. I truly believe that there are some schools that are better fits for some kids than others. While they are both private schools, Marist FEELS like a private school; Pius feels more like a regular high school. Again, you need to let your kid decide.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:26 AM
 
2,145 posts, read 1,898,637 times
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I'll echo what gogator said:

- Academically they're very similar.
- Marist seems like a tighter parent group, and I think this is because of the legacy thing.
- Both are full of rich kids and will have the usual negatives associated with that.

I'd add that if your kid is really into sports Marist might be a better place because friends will be easier to make and sports are bigger at Marist. A laid back athlete might like Pius better.

I'd tour them, listen to your kid, and then get behind the choice. Basically "bloom where you're planted"

My knowledge comes mostly from my spouse's side since they're Catholic. My side is more connected to Westminster, Woodward, and Pace.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:37 AM
 
3 posts, read 612 times
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Thank you everyone. Big decisions, yes, but clearly two excellent schools.
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