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Old 04-17-2013, 08:17 AM
 
4 posts, read 11,445 times
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We are new to Dallas, and it's quite clear that Hockaday is (probably) considered the premier high school, academically speaking, for bright, academically-minded girls. However, what's not clear to me is how Hockaday's lower school experience (Pre-K to 5) compares to places like Lamplighter and Greenhill? We have a bright, focused daughter, who we could see thriving in an environment that Hockaday offers at the high school and middle school levels. But, we're not sure if that means that Hockaday at the lower schools is the best place for her. She's a strong, independent, communicative child who is probably going to be fine anywhere, so I'm not necessarily concerned about finding the elusive "perfect" environment for her.

Phrased differently: do people who start at Hockaday at the pre-K or K levels simply love the lower school program over the other possible choices, or are they making a practical decision to start at a big "entry year" to avoid the hassle of re-applying to numerous schools later on? It seems like admission to Hockaday is so difficult that, if she can get in (at any year, even pre-K or K), we should take the "golden ticket" and go.

I know that there's a trend of going to LL first and then going to Hockaday at 5th grade, but I've also heard that LL numbers of getting into Hockaday at 5th might be trending downward. Not sure if this is true or not, or if it even signifies anything.

(We are not an established family or rich or anything like that just by way of background).
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Old 04-17-2013, 10:47 AM
 
11,671 posts, read 21,231,508 times
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I think there are two things to contemplate:

1. What value do you place on single-sex vs co-ed schools? If you are truly interested in an all-girls environment, why would you want to start in a co-ed school?

2. The chances of a Hockaday admission letter start at about 25% in Pre-K and go down every year thereafter. Take the admission any year you can get it!

3. The success of Hockaday (or St Marks, Greenhill, etc)'s middle and upper schools is rooted in their lower schools. The majority of kids spend 11.12.13 years at these schools so I wouldn't worry about which lower school will produce the best results if you 1) like what you see in the upper grades and 2) got a good fit vibe for your child while visiting the lower school.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:04 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,780 times
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Turtle Creek 80 - How do you know that? How did you know that the "majority" of the 20-25 or so annual National Merit Semi Finalists at Hockaday started in pre-k or k or what percentage of them did? How many of the 36 start in pre-k actually graduate 13 or 14 years later? And I really don't think it is much more than 50% - since this is about where Greenhill is at.

Frankly, I have a suspicion that the majority of the NMSFs started in 5, 7 or 9th grade. Hockaday takes the "sibling/legacy/minority/advancement" types in pre-k and k, then gets serious about NMSF types in 5, 7 and 9 grades by using the admission testing then as a "predictor" of NMSF possibility.

Certainly the 9th grade ISEE at 99.5 percentile or above will be a better predictor of possible NMSF then the CATS score as a 4 year old.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:42 AM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,769,436 times
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First, I agree with TurtleCreek that you take admission when you can get it. It is easier at Pre-K than 5th grade. As for the 36 that start (I think 48 girls in 1st grade), I would guess that 25 or so will graduate together. We generally lose one girl per year in the lower school. (maybe 35-40 girls of the first graders will graduate together).

As for merits of the lower school, most of the parents adore it for several reasons. First, they do push the kids, but not too hard. My daughters were doing power point presentations in 1st and 2nd grades. Second, the resources are second to none. They have an unlimited budget due to a HUGE endowment and raise a ton of money. Third, the faculty is outstanding.

That being said, it is also a very loving environment. I think its best quality is that it inspires the kids to learn.

As for your suspicion that the Pre-K girls are the sibling/legacy/minority types, there is some truth to that. However, only some truth. I would guess that only 1/3-1/4 of Pre-K girls would fit that description (assuming that you are not counting Indian and Asian kids in your minority description).
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:22 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,461 times
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For what it's worth, Turtlecreek's statement about St. Mark's was not my experience. I'd say around 20% of our final class were in the so-called "12 year club." That was partially attrition (due to moving or kids not being asked back) and partially because the class expands. I'd actually agree montessori. Plenty of smart guys who started at St. Mark's, but in terms of the truly brilliant, most started middle school or later. I have no idea about national merit though. Pretty silly metric if you ask me.

That said, I'd say by 7th grade we had 80% of the people who ended up finishing.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Yankee loves Dallas
552 posts, read 731,263 times
Reputation: 730
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinmilonetheelder View Post
For what it's worth, Turtlecreek's statement about St. Mark's was not my experience. I'd say around 20% of our final class were in the so-called "12 year club." That was partially attrition (due to moving or kids not being asked back)

LOL at "not being asked back" ... is that what they call it there? Very genteel!
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:02 AM
 
272 posts, read 712,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Benjamin View Post
LOL at "not being asked back" ... is that what they call it there? Very genteel!
I've also heard it called "being invited not to re-apply for the upcoming school year."
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