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St. Michael's Catholic Academy

Private | 9-12 | 400 students

Combining academic excellence with faith formation and co-curricular activities.
 
 

 

Living in Austin

Situated in a suburban neighborhood. The median home value is $339,000. The average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1,150.

Source: Sperling's Best Places
 
Last modified
Community Rating

4 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
Based on 4 ratings

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25 reviews of this school


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Posted January 2, 2014

My daughter attended smca, and we were extremely disappointed. The school lacks leadership and direction. The religious classes are ridiculously difficcult. There are very few opportunities for new students to become connected to their graduating class. The teachers are mainly coaches, and there is a high turnover. We were hoping for a better experience. I constantly wondered 'Who is in charge around here?'
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 22, 2013

I attended SMCA for half a semester so far. I am not very impressed by their academics and i feel i've learned very little in most of my classes thus far. The quality of most teachers are pretty low. Besides the teaching, the community is not very inviting, and the clique culture is rampant. Drugs seem to be everywhere, and in the short time I've been there , there have been an alarming number of drug related incidents including an arrest and a student sent to rehab.


Posted October 2, 2012

My feelings about SMCA are mixed, I enjoyed my high school experience, but at the same time I despised most of my peers and their values. I'll be the first to respect other viewpoints (and one of the few at SMCA), but the majority of the student body doesn't care about academics and even fewer still knowledge itself. I've had many teachers who were beyond excellent, but there are those who should not be teaching. The social studies department has two teachers who aren't coaches. The math department is excellent for children at Pre-AP and AP levels, but the basic kids get the short end of the stick. The English department is one of the few departments that is superb all around. Most of the students have shallow, saccharine personalities and care more about how they look than anything else. I love the college counsellor and she is one of the best and does all she can, even if only half a dozen students each year care to attend nationally acclaimed colleges. Even though they own lake homes and bought their kid an Audi, the parents are cheap on their kids' education. Education is not valued by these kids and their families as much as money.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 7, 2012

I have two children that attended SMCA this year. One graduated this year, one will graduate next year, but NOT from here. I am sure it will take countless extra hours to get back where we need to be for college level courses. Teachers are very kind, but also very discouraged because there is NO discipline system whatsoever. These kids do and say as they please. They use their phones all day long during every period. It is very hard to teach ,even if you may be qualified, when no one is paying attention or one is constantly trying to reprimand to no avail. Same with the dress code issue, seriously, either have one a strcit one you are going to follow (EVERYONE will follow) or can it. Nobody seems to have any authority to make anything happen. Very frustrated! Do not be fooled by their awesome sale staff. I will tell you they do their job very well! All the clubs etc they tell you exsist do not. Help center is marginal at best. And to think this is something we paid for...twice!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 14, 2012

the school was great, until they decided to enforce this new "uniform". instead of giving the students the customary plaid skirt and polo, the school decided to make the students buy their own khaki pants and button downs. the majority of the school would prefer the standard uniform because now we have to go and try to find appropriate uniform requirements. it wouldnt seem like it would be a big deal, but it is almost impossible for the students to try and find appropriate dress. when making dress code decisions, the administration should have taken a poll or something because letters were sent from the sophmore class regarding this issue, and they ignored them completely. even after numerous complaints from parents, the school would not even consider changing to a real uniform.
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 21, 2011

I think it is true to say that your experience in anything is directly related to the effort you put into it. We have 2 kids at SMCA. Our experience has been nothing short of wonderful. We are very active in the activities of the school and attend events (sports and the arts) whenever we are able. we volunteer often. Like any environment there is diversity at all levels. Clearly an academically focused environment, it has made our kids much better students. That's why we are there. The family environment is hardly pretentious. That's what makes it very special for us. Yes, extracurricular activities are important at the school which reflects their importance to our/your child. It is a great source of our SMCA family interaction. I like to describe the environment by saying "there is no place for the students to hide". Hopefully it will challenge your kid to be a better student and person too.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2011

I must say that I was shocked to read a few of the posts regarding SMCA as we have had the complete opposite experience. I have two children currently attending and one who will attend next year. The teachers have been very accommodating to my child who has ADD and have offered to meet with him before school, during lunch, after school or whenever he needs it.The academics are rigorous and they will be more than prepared for college. Athletics is an important part of SMCA however academics is number one.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2011

St. Michael's is a great school. We would not hesitate for an instant to send our kids there again. We have had children at Westlake as well, SMCA was a better choice. Just as with anything in life, you get what you put into it. If you want good grades, you will have to work hard. If you want to excel in extra-curricular activities , you will be similarly challenged. If you choose not to get involved in the many organizations and activities offered at SMCA, blame no one but yourself. The school does require discipline, and if your child, or even you as a parent, don't believe in following rules and recognizing that there are consequences to actions, perhaps a public school may be best for you. The education, study habits, and friendships our children have gained and made while attending St. Michael's has made their transition to college much easier and their college grades are a true reflection and validation of the value of the education you get at St. Michael's. Teachers and administrators have shown considerable care and concern and the families which we have met have become true friends, and have been there for support when we have needed them.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted January 20, 2011

My family has had an amazing experience at St. Michael's. We have one graduate, a senior, and a junior.--eleven total years of wonderful experiences. The faculty and staff love their students and therefore become like family. It is always a treat to see these happy kids released from class at the end of their day, scurrying to so many after school sports and activities. We have loved every day at SMCA!!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 16, 2010

The name SMCA is less of associated with academic success and more with social status. If you do not live in the Westlake area, do not have an iPhone and do not have your own car, you will not be accepted by the majority of students. The school has a very elitist student body and even most of the teachers as well. This elitist nature really does effect the experience. If you are not one of the rich families at SMCA, do not expect most of the teachers to care about your success. If you do not play any sports at all, be prepared to have a horrible high school experience here anyway. Athletics at SMCA is the most funded extracurricular, while other extracurricular programs (such as band and tech) are left with very little. This school is obsessed with it's reputation and administrative decisions are made for the better of the school, not the student.
—Submitted by a student


Posted December 13, 2010

While the academics are excellent for the most part, my daughter's peers are extremely mean to her. She's only staying at St. Michael's for the good education, most definitely not for the rude and cruel people that treat her unkindly. We can't wait to leave. SMCA is extremely clique-oriented, and many people who attend SMCA have admitted that it's full of many horrible, mean, conniving, fake people.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 16, 2010

St. Michael's is a great school. The academics are challenging but you will be ready for the future! The parents, teachers and students are very involved in this wonderful community. 70% of the students play sports but if you do not ,there is band and the theatre group is top rate. Our two children love SMCA. Life is what you make it. ST. Michael's makes it great!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 20, 2010

I've known many families who have loved St. Michael's. My daughter attended freshman year, and was happy, but I was frustrated by the distance, and the expense. The academics were challenging, but the workload wasn't too bad. She had alot of friends, but I can see how cliquey it could be. Athletics are very important, and those are the popular kids. But they have a great theater director, and a very enthusiastic (perhaps a bit weird) musical director, and if your kid is interested in the arts, it could be a good place. I'm not much into sports myself, so as a parent I became really involved in the wonderful Arts Guild, which was great. really Finally the finances became too much, and my daughter decided to apply for the Global Studies program at Austin High, and once she got accepted, we gave our notice.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 15, 2010

St. Michael's has some fantastic students, exceptional teachers, and outstanding athletics. Notice the word some. The theology department is particularly inefficient, especially the sophomore morality class. I can honestly say that taking theology at St. Michael's only pushed me away from my Catholic faith and I regret that. I came to St. Michael's as a freshman in high school and felt very welcomed at first, but then the cliques were formed and I was left on my own. Basically, if you don't play football or volleyball you're not popular and you will fee; the effects. The students aren't rude about it, but they just ignore you most of the time. Alcohol and drugs aren't a huge problem, but they are readily available to those who want them.
—Submitted by a student


Posted June 5, 2010

If you are considering sending your child to this school I suggest that you investigate it heavily. We did not and we regret it. We moved in from out of town and because we are Catholic and heard good things from a couple of people we sent our son there. At first it seemed OK and my son was happy but something was just not right here. The teachers many times do not seem interested in helping the kids and even though they mention the word "Diversity" in their mission statement this means they only accept the liberal side of diversity. Traditional students with Traditional views may have problems at this school. Many students end up leaving this school. Approximately 40 % of the Freshman class left before Sophomore year last year. Many of his friends have left St. Michael's and they all are thrilled to be gone.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 25, 2010

St. Michael's is extremely stong in both academics and athletics! The music program is a bit weak, but nonetheless, sound wonderful each time they perform. Some of the student body is a little clique-y, and if you come from a different school than everyone else, it can be a little hard to make friends- I know I've had some trouble making friends this past year. The parents, teachers, and staff are overall very kind, loving, and caring. St. Michael's is a tough school, but that's why it's called a college preparatory school- it prepares you for the future! I do like St. Michael's, but I wish the student body was a little more accepting to outsiders.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 5, 2009

SMCA is a great all American school. Some of the teachers are inconsitent with grading policies while others are rigid with ridiculous policies that the administration allows. Learning differences are not embraced and that is apparent with the declining student population. The learning centre is a good idea, but in practice the director does not understand the differences between each student. Sports and other activities are well attended, received and accepted. High expectations of kids are good - but they need to learn to embrace differences and work with children to make them as successful as possible. I really wish they would figure out how to be more inclusive with different learning / test taking styles.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted September 16, 2009

Students are awesome. Faculty is committed. It is a wonderful community.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted May 30, 2009

SMCA is an amazing school. Most teachers really care about the students and it shows. There is a lot of student spirit which is great. Two things which need improvement - the English teacher need to be consistent (in grading, expectations, setting expectations) and it would be nice if there were more student activities. One final thing - the charity work required to graduate is a blessing, but SMCA should not require the kids to do 10 hours for 'less fortunate'. Just let them volunteer for things they are passionate about!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted August 21, 2008

St. Michael's is more hype than substance. While there are some excellent teachers at SMCA, the administration seems to do its best to get in the way. The best teachers seem to be hindered and the incompetent ones are praised. The office administration and school head spend too much time worrying about the small stuff and don't seem to delve into more pressing issues.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

We currently do not have any test score information for this school. Unlike public schools, private schools are not always required to report data about their schools or not required to take the same tests as public schools. Many private schools take different standardized tests; however, that information is often made available only to families of enrolled students. We strive to acquire additional private school data whenever available.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 75% 31%
Hispanic 20% 51%
Asian or Pacific Islander 4% 4%
Black 2% 13%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Two or more races 0% 2%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

College readiness and student pathways

Students typically attend these schools prior to attending this school St. Gabriel
St. Theresa
St. Austin
Percentage of students going to 2-year college 2% (2012)
Percentage of students going to 4-year college 97% (2012)
Percentage of students going to the military 1% (2012)
Percentage of students going to vocational programs 0% (2012)
Percentage of students going directly into the workforce 0% (2012)
Colleges most students attend after graduation University of Texas at Austin
Texas A&M University
Baylor University
Read more about resources at this school
Source: Manually entered by a school official.

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Special education / special needs

Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Extra learning resources offered
  • Differentiated learning programs

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Technology
School facilities
  • Computer lab
  • Science lab
Clubs
  • Math club
  • Robotics club
  • Technology club

Arts & music

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Arts (all)
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Visual arts
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
  • Performance stage
Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Dance
  • Drama
Clubs
  • Art club
  • Drama club
  • Literary magazine

Language learning

Specific academic themes or areas of focus
  • Foreign languages
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish
Clubs
  • Foreign language club: French, Latin, Spanish

Health & athletics

School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Gym
  • Kitchen
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")

Gifted & talented

Instructional and/or curriculum models used
  • Advanced placement courses
Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Summer college prep programs
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School start time
  • 8:30 am
School end time
  • 3:40 am
School Leader's name
  • Sharon Scamardo
Best ways for parents to contact the school
  • Phone
Gender
  • Coed
Special schedule
  • Block scheduling
Boarding options
  • Day school
Is there an application process?
  • Yes
Affiliation
  • Roman catholic
Associations
  • NCEA
Fax number
  • (512) 328-2327

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Advanced placement courses
Specific academic themes or areas of focus

Don't understand these terms?
  • Arts (all)
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Foreign languages
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Religious
  • Science
  • Service learning
  • Technology
  • Visual arts
Level of special education programming offered
  • Basic - the school offers or partners to provide services based on the needs of individual students
Foreign languages taught
  • French
  • Latin
  • Spanish

Resources

Extra learning resources offered
  • Acceleration
  • Career/college counseling
  • Counseling
  • Differentiated learning programs
  • Mentoring
  • Remediation
College preparation / awareness resources offered
  • College prep programs/courses during the year
  • College presentations or information sessions
  • SAT/ACT prep classes
  • Summer college prep programs
  • Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School facilities
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Audiovisual aids
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Chapel/spiritual reflection center
  • College/career center
  • Computer lab
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Kitchen
  • Learning lab
  • Library
  • Multi-purpose room ("cafegymatorium")
  • Music room
  • Parent center
  • Performance stage
  • Science lab
Partnerships with local resources and organizations
  • Chick-Fil-A (Westlake)
  • BBVA Compass Bank
  • Randall's
  • Westbank Dry Cleaning
  • Target
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
Girls sports
  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • Cross country
  • Diving
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Volleyball

Arts & music

Music
  • Band
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Dance
  • Drama

Student clubs

Clubs (distinct from courses)
  • Art club
  • Chess club
  • Drama club
  • Entrepreneur Club
  • Foreign language club: French, Latin, Spanish
  • Literary magazine
  • Math club
  • Model UN
  • Photography Club
  • Robotics club
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Technology club
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Dress Code
  • Dress code
Bullying policy
  • This school has a bullying and/or cyber bullying policy in place.
Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Coach sports teams or extracurricular activities
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize cultural events
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Serve on school improvement team or governance council
  • Volunteer time after school
More from this school
  • St. Michael's Catholic Academy is a college-preparatory school founded by laity within the Diocese of Austin to serve a diverse student body. Combining academic excellence with faith formation and co-curricular learning opportunities, St. Michael's prepares the whole student for leadership, service and decision-making consistent with Catholic values.
School leaders can update this information here.

Apply

 

This school accepts applications on a

rolling basis

 
Apply now
 

What are your chances?


8 out of 10students were accepted for the 2012-2013 school year.


Students accepted for the 2012-2013 school year
150
Applications received for the 2012-2013 school year
200
Students typically come from these schools
St. Gabriel
St. Theresa
St. Austin

What does it cost?

Tuition range for the 2012-2013 school year
$13000 - $18000
Vouchers accepted
No
Financial aid offered
Yes.
School-based aid
Outside scholarships

Planning ahead

Students typically attend these schools after graduating
University of Texas at Austin
Texas A&M University
Baylor University
College preparation / awareness offered
College prep programs/courses during the year
College presentations or information sessions
SAT/ACT prep classes
Summer college prep programs
Visiting teachers or lecturers from colleges
Students' post-graduation plans in 2012
2 year college - 2%
4 year college - 97%
Military - 1%
Vocational - 0%
Workforce - 0%
Notice an inaccuracy? Let us know!

3000 Barton Creek Blvd
Austin, TX 78735
Website: Click here
Phone: (512) 328-2323

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