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Old 11-30-2011, 03:28 PM
 
59 posts, read 170,641 times
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If you want to see my details, please see "Single Mom to move to Park Cities."

I was looking at Park Cities, but it seems like there, the norm is to go to the HP public schools. If I want Catholic school or private, it seems it would be better to live in Preston Hollow/North Dallas? I just want a general feel/opinions of the schools.
Most interested in:
- Highland Park Schools (elem, middle, hs): My concern here is mostly size. Almost 2K students in 9-12, that is almost 500 per grade. Is there much opportunity for students who want to be, to be involved? I mean there are only so many slots for sports teams, cheerleader, yearbook staff, etc. Is this a problem?
- St Monica/St Rita/Jesuit/Ursuline: Here I am concerned with the HSs being separated by gender. I have read the studies that this leads to higher school achievement, etc. However, does it still give a typical HS feel? Also, (may be a silly question), but do the schools do things together? Say, is there a Ursuline Cheerleader squad for the Jesuit football team?
If you go to St Monica/St Rita, are you guaranteed a spot at Jesuit/Ursuline? If you have a sibling there, are you guaranteed a spot? I have read how competitive it is to get in, and would not want one child to get in and not the other. Or, say, at 9th grade, have to switch to public or something.
I do realize I need to visit all the schools, but just wondering what others views were. Thank you!
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Dallas
574 posts, read 1,478,310 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern1979 View Post
If you want to see my details, please see "Single Mom to move to Park Cities."


- Highland Park Schools (elem, middle, hs): My concern here is mostly size. Almost 2K students in 9-12, that is almost 500 per grade. Is there much opportunity for students who want to be, to be involved? I mean there are only so many slots for sports teams, cheerleader, yearbook staff, etc. Is this a problem?
!
I have kids in HPISD this year in 8th and 5th grades. Size was a concern, especially coming from small private schools. Although my kids say the size of the school was overwhelming at first, it has not been a problem. Each grade is divided into teams which makes it more manageable to meet/make friends for kids not used to so many students. Other than the first week of school, they have not felt intimidated by the size of the school. And that is saying a lot because my kids tend to be a little shy.

My daughter wanted to try cheer...didn't think she would have a chance. Since the school is so big, they have many cheering squads to be able to give everyone an opportunity to try it. She has been able to cheer at both volleyball and football games...cheering for basketball is next. Her squad was a good mixture of girls who had cheered before and beginners. She did not feel out of place and no tryouts were involved. I am sure there was a squad made up of the top cheerleaders, but my daughter was never made to feel her squad was inferior in any way. And all the squads practiced together.

Some sports also seem to have multiple squads so a greater number of students can participate. I know that was the case with volleyball and basketball.

They just started a middle school winter guard program. No tryouts, just students interested and willing to participate. My daughter just started doing that. She is also in the band.

The size of the school has certainly helped make these activities possible for her. At a smaller school with fewer teams/slots she may not have had tbe opportunity.

There are few opportunities for 5th graders. My son is involved in the Destination Imagination program. He will have to wait until 6th grade for band, and 7th grade for sports.

So despite the size of the school the opportunities are there if you want to get involved
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: la hacienda
2,256 posts, read 9,761,000 times
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>>I was looking at Park Cities, but it seems like there, the norm is to go to the HP public schools<<

That is the norm, however I have heard that about 20% of the school aged children in HP/UP go to private schools. I have also heard that parents will use private school for preschool-8th and then enroll their 9th graders at the high school to finish there.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:19 PM
 
2,348 posts, read 4,817,748 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern1979 View Post
- St Monica/St Rita/Jesuit/Ursuline: Here I am concerned with the HSs being separated by gender. I have read the studies that this leads to higher school achievement, etc.
I am an advocate, and in my opinion particularly beneficial to girls at high school age..You don't want your child distracted with things they are too young to be distracted with. Girls and boys do learn differently, and they are certainly more open to taking courses they might not if the other gender were present. Like boys being more open to arts courses, or girls becoming engaged in more physical activities when they don't have to compete with boys etc..It does set a different stage for learning and social interaction that I find very positive and conducive to actual learning.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:18 PM
 
19,778 posts, read 18,073,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern1979 View Post
If you want to see my details, please see "Single Mom to move to Park Cities."

I was looking at Park Cities, but it seems like there, the norm is to go to the HP public schools. If I want Catholic school or private, it seems it would be better to live in Preston Hollow/North Dallas? I just want a general feel/opinions of the schools.
Most interested in:
- Highland Park Schools (elem, middle, hs): My concern here is mostly size. Almost 2K students in 9-12, that is almost 500 per grade. Is there much opportunity for students who want to be, to be involved? I mean there are only so many slots for sports teams, cheerleader, yearbook staff, etc. Is this a problem?
- St Monica/St Rita/Jesuit/Ursuline: Here I am concerned with the HSs being separated by gender. I have read the studies that this leads to higher school achievement, etc. However, does it still give a typical HS feel? Also, (may be a silly question), but do the schools do things together? Say, is there a Ursuline Cheerleader squad for the Jesuit football team?
If you go to St Monica/St Rita, are you guaranteed a spot at Jesuit/Ursuline? If you have a sibling there, are you guaranteed a spot? I have read how competitive it is to get in, and would not want one child to get in and not the other. Or, say, at 9th grade, have to switch to public or something.
I do realize I need to visit all the schools, but just wondering what others views were. Thank you!
FWiiW our son is a recent Jesuit graduate and our daughter is an Ursuline student now.

Lots of kids from HP attend Jesuit and UA. One of my son's best friends at Jesuit was an HP kid. If you live in HP and one child is accepted into UA or Jesuit but the other is not the that child could ease into HP. This sort of thing is very common.

UA and Jesuit students mingle a lot. As freshmen the schools arrange dances and other social meetings. UA girls attend Jesuit football games in droves. Jesuit boys attend UA sporting events all the time. UA girls comprise the Jesuit cheerleading squad and others serve as Rangerettes, Jesuit's drill team.

St. Monica, St. Rita and other catholic school students are not guaranteed spots at UA or Jesuit. Kids and siblings of graduates or students are denied spots every year. Kids from Rita and Monica usually place more kids at UA and Jesuit than other schools. It's generally accepted but annoying for many to hear the Prince of Peace kids from Plano are the best prepared or any large group.

There is no question admission into either is very competitive. Quite frankly I'm a big fan of both schools but Jesuit is run more effectively. Jesuit boys do very little ancillary busy work like projects/papers/speeches etc. relative to UA students who are faced with a phalanx of homework. And at the end the boys score better on the SAT and ACT etc. IMO UA is coming around on this and my hope is the new President, announced just today, will continue to preen away some more of the busy work. This lady has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering so I'm hopeful she is a bit more pragmatic.

That said - kids from both schools by in large gain admittance into their first choice colleges.

Sports are very competitive at both schools.

We bought in Preston Hollow last year. Although our daughter had been accepted at UA we strongly considered buying in HP/UP. In the end big lots and more trees won out for us.

Best of luck. I'd get those visits in ASAP.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:53 AM
 
13,194 posts, read 28,292,163 times
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HPHS is a 4A-II sized school, not the biggest and not the smallest. 3A & below schools are typically found in more remote/rural areas or tiny, newer suburbs. HP is a actually considered smaller considering it's academic peers (Coppell, Southlake, Plano) are all 5A with graduating classes up to 1500 students (Plano). HPISD is also a different animal since there's only 1 middle school and even most 4A districts have 2. This is great because all the kids spend 8 years together (grades 5-12) in the same school, whether it's the 5-6 wing or 7-8 wing of the middle school or 9-12 in high school. This makes the school feel much smaller as by 7th grade or so, you pretty much know who everyone is in your grade.

Lots of opportunities through grade 8 for involvement. YMCA sports are played through late elementary school and those are teams you just "sign up" for. Same thing with 7 & 8 grade sports and 8th grade cheerleading. Anyone who wants to can play/cheer. Middle school band, choir, and orchestra are the same, as is high school (to a certain extent....I mean, if you can't carry a tune, it's an issue, but you don't have to be the next American Idol to sing in Lads & Lassies either!!) Newspaper & Yearbook are classes kids sign up for- the editorial positions are very competitive, but not being on staff. There are tons of other voluntary clubs & activities- the YMCA Indian Guides & Princesses and Cub Scouts/ Girl Scouts in elementary school, Hi-Lites (Girls high school social club), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, academic clubs, etc. Even student council in middle school is pretty open- about every homeroom has a "delegate".

The very competitive things are high school varsity sports across the board (though by 9-10th grade, your kid typically either knows he's good at tennis or football or swimming....or none), high school cheerleading, drill team, leading roles in the school musical and other theatre productions, and any leadership position. There is sometimes heartbreak involved when kids don't make Belles or get that Class officer position they really wanted, but that's a good life lesson and makes the next victory sweeter.


Re: Catholic (or any single-sex) high schools, it's a pretty typical high school social experience. Yes, Ursuline cheers @ Jesuit games. They have joint social events throughout the year. Plus, they know many at the boy/girl school since they went through grade 8 at a co-Ed school, plus the friends they have from church, chamber (multi-school) & other elite sports teams, summer camp, and other activities they're involved in. They just don't have the opposite sex there in class, which helps girls far more than boys, though good for both! Don't worry- I'm in my early 30's and everyone I know who went to Jesuit/Ursuline/Cistercian are socially adjusted, "normal", mostly successful, mostly married.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:34 AM
 
19,778 posts, read 18,073,660 times
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UA kids also participate in social events at Cistercian. Cistercian does everything very well including dances. Girls are escorted from their parents car up the steps. Over the years Cistercian has devised a numerical system such that every girl is asked to dance a certain minimum number of times. The entire event is handled with the precision of a Swiss watch all the while the boys are very attentive towards the girls in a gentlemanly way.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:13 AM
 
59 posts, read 170,641 times
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Thanks everyone, this is just the info I was looking for!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:53 AM
 
59 posts, read 170,641 times
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Where do children from Christ the King school usually end up going for HS?
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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CKS students largely attend Ursuline and Jesuit, though there are, of course, no guarantees of acceptance and CKS students do end up at other high schools. I don't have personal knowledge of the stats for CKS, but for St. Monica and St. Rita, the acceptance rate at Ursuline and Jesuit tends to be in the 85% range.
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