St. Pauls is a very welcoming, positive, and nurturing school that is clean and pretty. The fun, loving, and VERY POSITIVE attitude surrounds you when you walk through the doors. The religious aspect is subtle, but consistent. The kids are taught from a very young age to have social graces. Parents are welcome and often do join chapel each morning. The academics pick up around 3rd grade, but before that the school really focuses on a well rounded social development and a solid foundation. It is definitely not for everyone because it comes with a heft pricetag, and I can't say that the academics can't be matched at a great public school, but if you have the dispensible income, it is a great atmosphere with a very social parent aspect as well. The school administrators genuinely care about giving the kids the best and most well rounded education possible. Parents are very involved and the school doesn't have to put up with discipline problems.
St. Paul's has wonderful teachers and families but unfortunately the headmaster has facilitated a massive increase in administrators as well as huge increases in tuition. The school has suffered academically from a lack of curriculum oversight despite the increased administration. There is a severe lack of leadership and guidance and the teachers are very much left on their own. There is very little standardized testing (Stanford standardized tests given once a year to grades 3-8). The students are mostly from highly educated, affluent families so they are able to make up for the gaps in curriculum with tutors and parental involvement. St. Paul's was once a great school with excellent academics, but under the current leadership, the school has drastically changed. It is very unfortunate and disheartening.
This school doesn't administer SATs. It only goes through 8th grade. My daughter attended when it was smaller and more of an Episcopal school. The price increases came under a somewhat controversial headmaster and are not out of line with any good private school. The current headmaster is very strong and has tried very hard to achieve a balance between school and church. (The school is, I believe, still owned by the Episcopal Diocese in KC, and it is a ministry of St. Paul's Epsicopal Church. The church-school facility takes up a block with the school at one end and the church at the other. Most grades attend chapel in the church every morning. The littlest - the toddlers, I believe, have chapel in their rooms. The school has a diverse student body and accepts all children regardeless of religion,ethnic background etc.) It is a strong school and prepares children academically. It also helps instill a strong sense of social responsibility. St. Paul's rigor was the reason my daughter got a major scholarship to Pembroke: for academics and character. She went to U. of Virginia and is now in law school. St. Paul's was the basis for her academic and professional success.
Fantastic school! Love the whole environment. Teachers and campus are wonderful. Low student/teacher ratio and great focus on academics. Want your child prepared for high school- this is the school! Kids typically work on curriculum that is one year ahead of grade. Not cheap private education - tied for second highest in the Kansas City area right after Pembroke Hill. Certified teachers that are highly qualified and meet NCLB. I only wish we could have gotten our son in before third grade - long waiting list for grades under third. Downside- somewhat heavy with administrative staff that adds to yearly tuition and every time you turn around there is another fund raiser for something.