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Old 04-05-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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What are the fundamental differences between St. Stephens and St. Andrews?
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: central Austin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FueledByBlueBell View Post
What are the fundamental differences between St. Stephens and St. Andrews?
Not a huge amount! Both are Episcopal schools. St. Stephen's is older, founded in 1946 as a 6-12 school that includes boarders. Even today, many of the smartest kids from West Texas end up boarding at St. Stephen's for high school. They have international boarding students too. St. Andrews has only had a upper school since 1998 or 1999. St. Andrews is only a day school (no boarders). There are some "inside baseball differences" but both have small classes (around 12 students), expert faculty, community feel. St. Stephen's has an unconventional grading system, St. Andrew's is standard.

Explore the websites! You'll learn a lot.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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Bluebell - honestly, there aren't that many differences. Both schools are highly competitive and draw from roughly the same pool, with the difference being that more central Austin families are starting to send their kids to St Andrews as the upper school becomes more established. For a long time, St Andrews did not have an upper school, so the central kids that went private went to St Stephens. Both schools also send kids to top colleges nationwide. St Stephens had more of a rep for this in the past, but again, as St Andrews' upper school becomes more established (i think this is their 11th senior class), they are starting to send their kids to the same schools.

Both schools have great fine arts programs, and St Andrews recently finished a 20+ million fine arts center. It's an unbelievable facility, and is shared by a relatively small student population.

Sports programs for the general student population are plentiful but fairly mediocre in performance for both schools. St Stephens recently went independent in football and it's unclear whether they will rejoin the SPC. St Stephens has academies in some sports which are great but cost an extra 15k+ and are for high performers.

St Stephens has a boarding room component and that probably accounts for the biggest difference in character and feel between the two schools. It's an unbelievable learning opportunity for the students as many of the kids are international, but it also brings with it the problems that arise from having dozens of mostly affluent teenagers living away from parents. That said, those problems exist at all schools, including St Andrews.

St Stephens has done away with AP, so that their more senior classes can be more flexible in curriculum. It should make no difference in admissions to top schools, but may mean fewer incoming credits if your kid goes to a school that accepts AP hours.

Both are great schools. I would encourage you and your student to visit both for a day and figure out where s/he feels more comfortable.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:12 PM
 
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Dor private schools, I would recommend St Dominic Savio Catholic High School. My daughter has done extremeley well there after doing 2 years at round Rock HS. It is a 3 year old school that continues to grow and is considerably cheaper than other private schools in the area. We pay about 8K a year and their baseball team is pretty good. They currently are in 2nd place in TAPPS 3A District 5 with a 14-7 record. the school is off Parmer Ln and Neenah Ave, which makes it a doable commute from North Austin, round Rock, CP, and Leander.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:17 PM
hts
 
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We're also looking to relo to Austin and are interested in the best public neighborhood high schools. I've got it narrowed down to Westlake, Westwood, and LT High.

Our children currently attend one of the BASIS charter schools here in Phoenix. I'm not pimping BASIS or pumping out my chest, but as a point of reference, I believe BASIS is superior academically than LASA (which is a magnet school BTW), but probably not as challenging as TAMS (which is in Dallas and is a residency program of course).

In any event, we've decided that we want our boys to attend a public, neighborhood school, not a chater/private/magnet school if we relo to Austin, as we want our boys to get more socialization than they're currently receiving (we drive approx. 30 miles each way for our boys to attend their BASIS school). In 6th grade, our son's getting 3 hours/week each of chem, bio, physics, latin, algebra, etc. It's a crazy rigorous program. Nevertheless, we think that a strong academic program as offered by Westlake/Westwood/LT along with the benefits of attending a school with a more traditional set of extracurricular programs, will be best for our boys.

Now if we can only choose the best fit for our sons from among these three...
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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You picked the top three public non-specialty schools in the Austin area.

You didn't really ask a question. If you had asked "which is best?" then the thread would probably get a bit silly.

All three have a strong track record as you have probably already seen. They are all moderately large schools (> 2,100 in enrollment), but are not huge schools.

Westlake has the most homogeneous population - high income Caucasians.
Westwood has a 20% Asian population but the kids otherwise come from upper income families
Lake Travis is more diverse (economically and ethnic) than Westlake, but you would not mistake it for an urban school.

All three schools have competitive academic environments, perhaps a bit more so at Westwood. College bound kids in Texas care a lot about being in the top 10% of class rank because that guarantees admission into any state school except UT (which received a waiver from that rule to reduce the number of automatic admissions).
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:24 PM
 
Location: West Austin
306 posts, read 300,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
You picked the top three public non-specialty schools in the Austin area.

You didn't really ask a question. If you had asked "which is best?" then the thread would probably get a bit silly.

All three have a strong track record as you have probably already seen. They are all moderately large schools (> 2,100 in enrollment), but are not huge schools.

Westlake has the most homogeneous population - high income Caucasians.
Westwood has a 20% Asian population but the kids otherwise come from upper income families
Lake Travis is more diverse (economically and ethnic) than Westlake, but you would not mistake it for an urban school.

All three schools have competitive academic environments, perhaps a bit more so at Westwood. College bound kids in Texas care a lot about being in the top 10% of class rank because that guarantees admission into any state school except UT (which received a waiver from that rule to reduce the number of automatic admissions).
You're making it sound like LTHS really is diverse. It's not diverse by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, it has a slightly larger Hispanic population than Westlake, but that doesn't make it a diverse school. Westlake HS is now slightly under 80% White, and LTHS is ~75%. That's not that much of a difference especially when just walking around on campus. I've been to both campuses and cannot tell a difference. I'm just pointing this out because I wouldn't want anybody who is new to the area to mistakenly send their child to a "diverse" atmosphere at LT when, in fact, they won't get it.

To hts:
You can't go wrong with any of the schools you listed. They are all very strong academically and have good extra curriculars. Now it really comes down to where you decide to live and what area you are most attracted to. There's more newer housing options in LT than in Westwood and Westlake. It really just depends what you're looking for.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,873 posts, read 13,291,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LakeTravisAlum View Post
You're making it sound like LTHS really is diverse. It's not diverse by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, it has a slightly larger Hispanic population than Westlake, but that doesn't make it a diverse school. Westlake HS is now slightly under 80% White, and LTHS is ~75%. That's not that much of a difference especially when just walking around on campus. I've been to both campuses and cannot tell a difference. I'm just pointing this out because I wouldn't want anybody who is new to the area to mistakenly send their child to a "diverse" atmosphere at LT when, in fact, they won't get it.

To hts:
You can't go wrong with any of the schools you listed. They are all very strong academically and have good extra curriculars. Now it really comes down to where you decide to live and what area you are most attracted to. There's more newer housing options in LT than in Westwood and Westlake. It really just depends what you're looking for.
I said:

Quote:
Lake Travis is more diverse (economically and ethnic) than Westlake, but you would not mistake it for an urban school.
I said "more" diverse. How does what I wrote say "really is diverse?" Look at more than the ethnic statistics. LTHS is economically more diverse. 12.5% of LTHS kids are eligible for free/discounted lunch vs. 2.4% for Westlake HS.

Westlake High School, Austin TX School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com
Lake Travis High School, Austin TX School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:51 PM
 
Location: West Austin
306 posts, read 300,570 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
I said:



I said "more" diverse. How does what I wrote say "really is diverse?" Look at more than the ethnic statistics. LTHS is economically more diverse. 12.5% of LTHS kids are eligible for free/discounted lunch vs. 2.4% for Westlake HS.

Westlake High School, Austin TX School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com
Lake Travis High School, Austin TX School Profile, Ranking, and Reviews - SchoolDigger.com
Wow the ethnic demographics are even closer than I realized. Thanks for the info.

I'm just making sure people don't mistakenly think LTHS is diverse because they read the words "LTHS" and "more diverse" in the same sentence.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:37 AM
hts
 
607 posts, read 1,145,476 times
Reputation: 297
Well, where I come from (northern VA suburbs of DC), I'm used to a little diversity, lol.

At the BASIS school our sons currently attend here in Phx, the student demographics are probably more like 50% Asian/Indian, 50% other (I could be wrong, but that's what it seems to me at awards ceremonies, drop-off/pick-up, etc.). Not that there's anything wrong with it.
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