I am an Stratford alumnus (2010) and the child of a former SBISD educator, so I hear a lot of the inside goings of this failing district, primarily only focusing on this new STARR exam to get out of the hole. I have since Texas for college & visited briefly over the holidays, & it hit me that this school, as well as the area & SBISD, is extremely overrated. There is a mild separatism in student expectations, unchallenging academic classes primarily with minority students and pointlessly overworked, undertaught AP classes filled with the primarily white students who have grown up in the area. Some teachers were fine & really inspired me to purse my current field but others were basically bullies & felt threatened by any unconventional views. It's socially stressful for those who did not grow up in the surrounding suburbs with, dare I say it? Money. The only good part was I motivated MYSELF to take options (AP, DC) that accelerated my college career, and glad those options were available, but I felt little push from the administration itself to, ESPECIALLY as a minority student. SBISD is going down the drain, but the McMansions are starting from half a million.
Stratford is a good school that over the past few years has lost a bit of its luster, making it slightly above average rather than excellent overall. Unfortunately, many of the faculty -- and some parents and alumni -- stubbornly remain living in a reality that is a few years' past. There are some excellent teachers at Stratford, but they are, sadly, fewer and further between. Socially, it can be difficult to assimilate successfully if you are not adept at and comfortable with "social climbing." That said, the contained size of the school and AP classes still manage to equip a good amount of students for even the most rigorous college work, and I would compare Stratford favorably with all but a handful of Houston schools. Aside, we have had two students -- one past and one present -- through the school, and both have had items stolen from their backpacks. While faculty consistently maintain the attitude that thefts and problems are rare, it seems unusual to have thefts happen to two children in the same family. The school is a mixed bag that puts already disciplined children on a high trajectory.
Hello, I normally do not write reviews but I feel this one is important. My family moved to Houston from Indianapolis, IN in August of 2012. My daughter was use to attending a medium size school with a great academic program. We moved to Houston because of job opportunities and the cost of living was very reasonable. I was worried about finding a great high school for my daughter since she was on the honor roll at her previous school and I did not want her education to suffer. I saw an article in Newsweek listing Stratford High School as one of the America s Best High Schools in 2011 and kept that school in mind. So far the school has been a joy. My daughter has great teachers and I am amazed at how much attention is given to each child. The Principal is a great man and has children attending the school as well. He is very active in school events. When my daughter went on a trip to Disney, the Principal attended along with teachers to supervise. There is a lot of after and before school tutoring offered to ensure your child meet educational goals. I simply love the school and the parents and students have been extremely welcoming.
My son had a teacher bully him at Spring Forest Middle School. They have some teachers that just do not care.
I am a former student of SHS and I have to say this school was awesome. I loved going here, and the teachers cared about their students, and their needs. I went on to the military , and now in college. I actually still miss my times at Stratford, I felt at home there. So if you plan on sending your kids to SHS i would say they would have a good experience, and learning for the real world.
Our daughter was a transfer student from Memorial High School - she LOVED Stratford! She is now a freshman and was accepted to her first choice college, WITH the dual college credit program offered, she entered college as a sophomore, saving us an ENTIRE YEAR of college expenses ($50K for out of state). Principals and teachers were VERY responsive and on top of things. There is diversity, no doubt, but not unlike the real world we live in every day.
Stratford is a mediocre, overcrowded high school located in Spring Branch ISD. While saying the right things in public, the principal and administration are really much too busy dealing with the low performing students, discipline, and transfer students to care much about the students, they say they care about. Teacher quality is marginal at best - students have a 50/50 shot at getting a good, sometimes great teacher, and a horrible teacher who needs to retire. Essentially, parents work very hard to keep the school running - working very hard on Booster Activities and Student Programming, while the classes are overcrowded (35-40 kids in some classes), students don't have enough textbooks (PreCal this year), and Mr. Juntti still accepts gobs of transfer students. Stratford has been an extreme disappointment to us - and the administration shows again and again that they just don't care for students, but prefer to gloss over anything as they are just too busy repairing AC systems and redesigning Spartan logos. It has been a really a huge academic disappointment as well - some teachers should retire - and instead pretend to "teach" classes without ever teaching anything to the kids.
Mr. Juntti and the rest of the teachers and counselors have worked very hard the past few years improving the atmosphere surrounding the academic and social activities at Stratford. Our first child graduated in 2005 and we now have a child who will graduate in 2014. The students get as much out of the school as they and their parents are willing to put into it. If you study hard and participate in school activites you will be happy and will succeed. Would recommend Stratford to anyone.
I am a sophomore at Stratford. I came from a private school and was really worried about making friends and going to a much bigger school. I can honestly say I love this school!! The teachers are pretty fair to everyone. The classes are tough, but you can get help. Mostly, I love all the clubs and organizations.. Something for everybody!
My daughter is graduating from Stratford this year, and as a parent, I cannot imagine what Stratford could have done to make my daughter's high school experience any better. The teachers are excellent, and the leadership from Mr. Juntti and his assistant principals has been first rate. The school is focused on students and student success, and I highly recommend Stratford.
I am reading the reviews and I can only say: There are experiences and experiences... In my case, I have a Sophomore and a Senior this year. My senior use to go to a very prestigious private school and on his Junior year, he went to Stratford for family reasons. His very first opinion after a month was: Is as hard as the other school.. I can say (because I have talking with the teachers) that not all of them are fully committed with helping the kids to learn and to perform, but I have to say that the majority of the teachers are doing their best effort. Every time I asked for help I got a quick answer and recommendations. Every time, I fell they knew my kids and what the problem was. If they were wrong was not easy to handle but we solve it. Nothing is perfect but I am 100% convinced that in this High School they try really hard to put our students first and then everything else. For me, that is the most important thing. My youngest is going to 8th grade and then to Stratford. He was invited to go to a private school by the school due to his grades and we decided to stay in Stratford. is Diverse, good, no tolerance for bullying and with a very high standard academically speaking.
We transferred into Stratford from HISD, and could not be more pleased. Our child has excelled in both the classroom as well as athletically, not to mention socially. Mr. Junti does an excellent job of communicating his expectations to both the students and parents, and it seems that the teaching staff respects his leadership. Our youngest will be entering this fall, and we are both very excited to watch him grow with the school.
Stratford High School has educated all three of my kids. All three look back with fond memories of their years spent at SHS. Stratford works hard to get students involved and this helps to build confidence and pride. The theater department is outstanding, as well as the choir and the athletic programs. Mr. Fore is one of the counselors, and he is OUTSTANDING! He worked tirelessly for all the students. You can't find a better role model. Mr. Junti, your principal, works hard to make this school special. He values parents and student opinions. I hope SHS continues down this path for many years to come. Our community benefits from this amazing school. I feel blessed to have had my most precious possessions educated at Stratford.
Fights, classrooms out of control, students doing what they want, when they want in on level classes. Maybe AP classes better. I feel sorry for the teachers that are their to teach and the students that are their to learn. Not an ideal atmosphere.
We moved to Spring Branch ISD because of what we were told about the schools. My son is a 10th grader at Stratford and has had the worst experience. He had a teacher consistantly bully him and I could not get anyone to even investigate it! I could not even get him moved to another class because of some unwritten school policy about changing classes mid season. I believe the school has totally lost focus on what there role is and that is teaching, modeling, and molding our future adults. We are looking at private for next year.
As a parent, I am very disappointed with what stratford high school has become. Years ago, this school was respected for having students walk through its doors and recieve a quality education from the schools caring and concerned teachers, but now, it has degraded and become a mediocre school in the spring branch isd. My son went to spring woods high school (not a very good academic school) for his freshman year, but during his sophmore year, i transferred him to stratford hoping he could go to a better academic school. i immediately realized the terrible mistake i had made. the teachers were lazy and did not help my son with ANYTHING and soon, my son had dropped down from the ap classes to the academic classes, just like the other 45% at this absurd school. and what makes it worse was that he was bullied the entire time he was there! The only sense of leadership at this school is taken just to put on a college application, nothing else. Please, do not send your child here. Stratford is only acedemically accepted, making it equal to spring woods and northbrook. WIth much anger and disappointment in my heart, i withdrew my son in a mere 4 months and returned him to a better school
My oldest daughter is a Stratford graduat. My youngest is now a student at Stratford. The greatest change I have seen is the disconnect between teachers and students. Previously, I was a huge fan of the high school, but today, I am questioning many of their practices. AP and PAP students are being killed by massive amounts of homework while academic students have very little. Teachers hold their students to a higher level of accountability than they offer themselves in regard to meeting deadlines. Students are given review questions for tests that do not prepare them for the actual tests. The PAP Geometry classes had 1/3 of their students drop to academic geometry in just the first 8 weeks. These were students who were recommended by their middle schools, yet students were not set up for success.
I believe that stratford high school is a good school but not a school that deserves the highest of praise and recognition. The faculty and school, itself, are very nice but other than that, stratford high school gets to much respect and hype than it really deserves. The school is still only "academically acceptable" by state and district standards and although they say they are a different school and tout their "spartan america" pride, they really are not that different from the other schools in the district, such as spring woods and northbrook. If you are planning to send your son/daughter/family member to the school because you believe he/she would be thoroughly educated, remember, stratford high school is more talk than reality. Just because you hear that the school was one of the top schools in the U.S. , it does not mean your child will be successful. It is the equivalent of schools such as northbrook and spring woods, just an abnormal amount of praise and recognition. Overall, the schools was very disappoiniting for me.
The new principal, Chris Juntti, has made an enormous positive difference at Stratford, and I believe has the confidence of the staff which his predecessor definitely did not. There are some elective areas which are in need of improving (foreign languages, journalism come to mind) but overall if you have strong, well-prepared students they are going to do well in the AP program there. I can't comment on the bottom half of the school, whether those students get the attention they need. It seems to me the school is in transition from being an elite, mostly white, high performing school to being a more typical, diverse school with a broader spectrum of academic performance. School spirit and involvement are outstanding. Athletics and drama are fantastic and available to all. Stratford's size (about 2,100 kids) puts it at the very bottom of the 5A classification, which actually gives kids a great chance to participate.
We have had three children graduate from Stratford. The strong school spirit coupled with an outstanding faculty delivers a great four years of education and fun.
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