The facilities are outstanding and I think it is a great school for an average kid. Gifted children do not do well here. Children with learning differences of any kind, will not last here. They give a lot of homework, but its busy work. Like some previous reviews have said, its just not worth the tuition. St. Andrews could be an excellent school if they made a few changes.
It's the best in Austin. We've looked and enrolled our kids in other schools (public and private). You can't go wrong here. The faculty and curriculum are great especially if your children are motivated. Fair to say that it is a tight-knit community, but that does not mean snobbish. We are very happy to have our children here.
We also pulled our child after too many liberal agendas being forced onto children that are not quite ready to understand what a "gay" family is all about. Videos and teachers informing their students of their alternative lifestyles are better left unshared. SAS should allow parents to decide when the appropriate time is to discuss more mature topics. Second grade is certainly too early. SAS is certainly a "status" school.
Our children attended the lower school at St. Andrews through 5th grade. We chose the school for it's academic reputation and the Christian values. However, we were disappointed in that we discovered the school leadership and some teachers were more interested in pushing a liberal agenda on children. The kids are way too young and immature have such topics forced upon them in a school environment. These "politically correct" discussions have caused unnecessary stress and worry in one of my children's lives that would not have been there at this age if not for this school.
After a public elementary school, we moved our daughter here. She learned a lot in some classes, and in others, had so much busy work that it was overwhelming. The students were all very nice, but were very misbehaving- in and out of school. The teachers were engaging and interesting. It seemed as though most students attended the school not because of learning needs, but because of social status. We moved her to St. Stephen's for high school and the experience has been very different. More engaged, interesting and focused.
Academics at lower level grades are adequate, but, the school doesn't deliver for the level of their tuition rates. The homework load is very heavy for 6th grade and up. The lower school has some wonderful teachers; however, the school retains too many average (and below average) teachers. The academics seem to improve greatly in the middle school (7-8 grade). The school focuses on language arts and has a wonderful writing program. The Latin and Spanish courses are a very nice offering. Math and science seem to get short changed. The school creates a nice community, but, lacks diversity. Recent annual tuition increases make affordability a real issue for many families.