I graduated from SME in 1988 and was a coach there later in life for 7 years. SME challenged me and allowed me to quiz out of calculus in college. My physics class was better than the one I had in college. The school continues to produce great kids that are ready to take on the world.
SME gets a 3 star rating because of it's academics, the rest is a 1. I've read reviews of transplants who agree the academics are good, but that the culture is repulsive. I've also read reviews of parents and former students who "love" SME in every way. I'm a former student who agrees with transplants. Before 25 I used to think SME was a primo school. With age I've realized there's more to life than materialism and high profile jobs. If you want your kid to grow up and be a robotic culture-eating snob then SME is great. If you want your child to have some diversity any of other Shawnee Mission high schools will provide, giving the same outstanding education that the SMSD is known for. If you're moving here your kid better be a super star or he/she won't be accepted into the SME culture.
We have one daughter that graduated from SME and two that graduated from SMN; after comparing, we believe that SMN is our 1st choice; SME has an excellent staff and academic curriculum with extracurrical activities; the differences were that our daughter at SMD did not get a lot of diverse friendships due to the amount of wealth in the district and the lack of cultural diversity; with a more diverse population concerning culture and wealth, comparing the two, we feel the outcome was best for our two daughters at SMN; SME was not as proactive with trying to get student involvement in outside activities nor were they as innovative with their academic curriculum to encourage enthusiasm and excitement in the classroom and outside the class for extracurricular activities; our 2 at SMN were drawn into more activities, had more friendships and excelled more in the academics.
There really is no downside to SME. Just look at what it has to offer. The basketball team is 12-1, the swim team is looking to make it a three-peat state championship, and every other sport is decent. The debate team has won over ten state championships, the choir is one of the best in the region, as is the orchestra, and the jazz band is top ten in the country. Acamically, it is the best in the area, and one of the largest student-wise, making for a great overall atmosphere. There is no denying that there is little ethnic diversity, but economically there certainly is. There really is not a thing a student could like that they couldn't do at East. It really is incredible the greatness of this school.
I'm a Shawnee Mission East '05 grad. In talking with peers who attended public schools throughout KC and the nation, I feel that the education I got at East was absolutely amazing. I took advantage of the AP program, which was engaging and challenging for me, and I feel prepared me well for a rigorous pre-med college curriculum. There are also a lot of extracurricular opportunities. The only thing I don't like about East is the sense of entitlement that most students seem to have, probably because it is an overall very wealthy school.
i got to Shawnee Mission East right now and I really really love it there. even though the school is known for being the wealthiest school in the state of kansas it is good for all of us. we get so many more oppurtunities. in just my first month of freshmen year i was in cross country, choir, stuco, and the share program. the choir is the best high school in the country. this last spring break we went to ireland and sang is st. patrick's cathedral on st. patricks day. they were on international tv and have been selected to be in very many honroable events. even though SM East is the wealthiest school in johnson county, the third wealthiest county in the nation, the school is incredible and i have had the most fun going to school going there. i'm proud to be a lancer
I think SME is a great public school. The worst thing about it is it's located in a very wealthy community with little diversity other than socioeconomic. The kids who have less really notice it at this school, and the parents who have more really take advantage of the admin. by running the show. It's also a hard school for kids who want to play sports because so many have played on premier teams, etc., that there's incredible competition. But if you look at academics, it's fabulous. The new emphasis on test results is causing cuts to the cool class offerings, however, as the administration cuts 'unnecessary' classes for more test-prepers. Current admin changes will be a good thing, too.
This school brings out the best in its students--in academics, creativity, civic responsibility, leadership, and ethics. They not only promote the academic careers of the students who already have the ingredients for success, they help disabled and disadvantaged achieve incredible results. They are especially good with supporting and mentoring students with Asperger syndrome.