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Old 05-24-2011, 10:27 AM
6 posts, read 10,017 times
Reputation: 17


I'm hoping that some of you can provide guidance regarding private school options in Dallas that take students starting in 6th grade.

Here's the situation - my daughter is about to be of elementary school age, and we are looking at buying a house in the Lakewood area, as we would love for her to be able to go to public elementary and we really like the area. However, it is likely that we will not want her to go to the public middle/high schools for the area (don't want to start a debate about the merits of those schools on here, it is just a personal decision for our family).

The question being - short of moving to Highland Park when she starts middle school (which we would consider also) so that she can continue in public school, what are the private options in Dallas that open up spots at 6th grade? We would prefer a larger school, and one that is not religion-based. We would likelly NOT consider a move to the suburbs, as my husband's office is downtown and I would not want to sign him up for that commute every day.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:50 AM
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Hockaday and Greenhill would best fit with your private school "wants". Neither are close to Lakewood- probably 30-40 minutes round trip to Hockaday and 40-50 round-trip to Greenhill.

Both schools are extremely competitive for admissions, so you may end up needing to move anyway if your daughter isn't admitted. Hockaday has a decent amount of openings for 6th grade- about 10, but the bigger entry years are 5th (20ish spots) and 9th (another 20-30 spots). Greenhill's big entry years are 1st grade (70 spots) and 9th (20). Other grades are by attrition only.

I would just plan to move to HPISD- it's probably cheaper in the long run than spending $200k on a 6-12 education. Plus, you can always sell a home in the Park Cities. You can't "sell" your daughter's $200k private school education

Is there a reason why you aren't considering HPISD now since you know your daughter won't be finishing school with her elementary school friends. It's such a close-knit community and one of the biggest lifelong benefits of HPISD and Lakewood are those special friends you've known since kindergarten or 1st grade. Two of mine will be my bridesmaids this summer!
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:54 AM
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Are you willing to drive her back and forth?

We live in Lakewood and have a daughter in private school. There really aren't a ton of options that are not religious based. I think a lot of the openings are in 5th grade with limited openings for students entering 6th grade (only for moves, etc). Others may chime in, but here are my 2 cents:

Lakehill is right in Lakewood. It goes through 12th.I have heard mixed reviews of the school, but know the class size is small and more one-on-one.

St Thomas - religious and only goes to 8th grade
St. Johns - religious and only goes to 8th grade
Bishop Lynch - religious and starts at 9th grade

North Dallas schools - a few more options, mostly religious based, although some are "less" religious than others -- Hockaday, St. Marks, Lamplighter, Ursaline, St. Monica, etc. Also - St. Alcuin (montessori program through 8th grade) and Dallas International (tough to start in 6th grade if you aren't already fluent in French).

Have you thought about the DISD magnet programs and looked into that? I do think if you negate the religious-based schools in East Dallas, your options are pretty limited.

One other thing to consider is your car-time. We commute from Lakewood to Dallas International School daily. It is an easy commute, BUT, a lot of my daughter's friends are all over Dallas - Plano, Allen, Frisco, Murphy, etc. We are in the car for almost all playdates, birthday parties, meetings, etc. Just something to consider if you have other young ones at home or if you work outside of the home.

Good luck.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the reply. It really is a tough decision, and I definitely hear your point about the lasting relationships and it being tough to transition from one community to another.

Basically, our situation right now is that while we could afford to get into something in the Park Cities, it would be more of a stretch than I would like to make at this time. If we wait 5-ish years, it will be much less of a stretch, so I would prefer to take advantage of a great public elementary in another area in that time frame and decide at that point whether to go private (obviously knowing it's competitive to get in) or move to HP.

I'm willing to drive her around as needed, so that's not going to be a deal-breaker on any school.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:58 AM
Location: TX
3,041 posts, read 11,431,663 times
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^ The child is not in school yet, according to the OP she is
about to be of elementary school age
So I too say just buy in the Park cities now. Stay with friends from elem all through HS, no change needed.

You are looking at changing schools in 7 years...ALOT can happen with school environs in that time frame. ALOT can happen in your life and your childs in that time frame.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:23 AM
16,087 posts, read 39,606,324 times
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There is always a group coming from St. Thomas 8th grade into Woodow 9th grade, so that is not unusual.

Not debating, just providing information: last year 73% of Lakewood Elementary students went on to J.L. Long. J.L. Long has always had excellent programs for the top students but apparently that is not well-known to some. In the last three years it has made tremendous strides and in April applied for International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP). There is quite a movement underway by some of the Lakewood parents to get everyone to go on to Long - there is a foundation dedicated to this and some of the parents can certainly afford private schools as they are highly-paid professionals. They are bringing those skills to this task and the fundraising to back it up. Here is an example:


Long is just beginning a $6 million renovation.

I think you will know what you should do after a few years at Lakewood Elementary.

If all this trajectory continues I submit that a home in this feeder pattern is going to appreciate significantly and probably at a ratio higher than most other areas.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:50 PM
Location: The Village
1,621 posts, read 4,390,001 times
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Entering private school in 6th grade is generally a no-go for the top schools.

All of the top private schools do entry for middle school for 5th grade. Your kids would be fine for getting in to them, but they'd miss out on 5th grade and being kings of the school with their friends.

The Catholic schools will take kids in 6th grade, but unless you're strongly Catholic and desire a Catholic education I'd avoid the parochial grade schools--they're not that strong academically for the most part. They're not uber-religious, though, but there are better options.

The Episcopal parochial schools will take kids in 6th, I believe, and they're good options--Good Shepherd in North Dallas and St John's in Lake Highlands are both very good schools, and their graduates do very well in high school.

I would also say that JL Long and Woodrow are going to very different schools in 6 years than they are now. They're starting major changes right now that I think will result in major demographic changes for the schools as well as possibly for the surrounding communities. If your personal choice is based on academic reasons, I'd reassess after 5-6 years at Lakewood or Stonewall, because they're not going to be the same schools.

You also have DISD magnet schools for middle school and high school, and Lakewood is very well located for them, if your kids have the test scores to get in.
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