II am both an alum and a parent. SPS is quite difficult to get into, but those that do should attend without hesitation! What a school. The students are diverse, exceptionally bright, and as warm and welcoming as you could dream for. It is small enough to be a family but large enough to embrace a variety of personalities. SPS does not have any 'PG's' or day students, both of which can diminish a school's sense of community. It has the most consistent and exemplary record of college admissions of any American boarding school. I have had members of my family at Andover Exeter-Groton-Deerfield, but SPS edges out all of those.
St. Paul's School is one of the best high schools in the world. And if you are looking for the best, college-prep, Christian boarding school, this is it. St. Paul's is full of smart, high-achieving students who are college bound...40% IVY. The liberal Episcopal church frameworks gives St. Paul's a moral compass while allowing students of various faiths and religions to happily co-exist. However if your child is spiritual he/she will thrive here. As a parent it is a difficult decision to send your child away. But if you have a gifted child who wants to participate in sports and do theater, debate, or music, he/she does not have to be forced to pick one and abandon the other. Its unique all-residential student body allows its students a greater depth of activities than other prestigious prep schools. In loco parentis is taken seriously.
I currently attend SPS, and I love it. The classes are incredibly challenging which can be stressful at times. But the community is what I love most--I feel more at home here than I have anywhere else. The freedom they allow us, does inspire a sense of responsibility and forces us to be independent and a leader while still appreciating the support provided by teachers and friends.
I'm an alumna of St. Paul's and can say that it provided the most rigorous and supportive foundation for learning possible. I agree with the more current assessments here - it's not for the faint at heart, the wimpy or the passive 'follower.' Everyone doesn't need to be a Type A, but those who get a lot out of St. Paul's are those who are self-motivated, are driven to excel and have a strong sense of self.
If your child can get into SPS, kiss the ground. Academics,faculty, sports, peers, range of classes--all are exceptional. The dept of this education is unmatched. The kids have an amazing bond that transends grade level. Most seem so happy there. The beauty of the campus makes the whole place magical. But it is competitive, everyone is so talented. Don't go to get into Harvard.
St Paul's is a terrific school. However, it is very competitive and not for everyone. The facilities are top notch as are the teachers and advisors. Sports, music and dance are all important also. Everyone wants t go to an Ivy or other top rated school.
A St.Paul's education is unmatched for a rigorous, disiplined approach that serves its graduates very well in further study at college. The school is 100% residential and all teachers reside at the school as well so it really is a community to itself. This sense of community is very strong and it helps the school to develop the student in many ways, not just academics. There is a very strong network of advisors who each work with a small group of students. It is virtually impossible for a student to slip through the cracks at St.Paul's. The courses are are taught following a college-type schedule, and the school calendar mimics the typical college calendar closely. The choices offered to students are so varied that any student can find an area of study that will become a passion for them. For the exceptional student St. Paul's is simply the best!