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Stratford High School4
Posted May 25, 2014
- a student
Stratford High School is an excellent school, as long as you're in the AP/GT track. In the Gifted and Talented and AP programs I've been exposed to great teachers who have inspired me to major in Secondary Education. The student culture, while not as toxic as, say, Memorial High, is very biased in favoring classically pretty rich white kids, who tend to fill the upper level classes, and against basically everyone else, who either find themselves pushed out by their peers or not challenged by their teachers to achieve. Most of the great teachers end up teaching AP and GT classes, leaving the awful teachers that just need to retire to teach the academic level classes. The fine arts program at Stratford is by far the best in the district. All three theatre directors are well liked and respected, as are most of the directors in the other arts programs. All four fine arts consistently excel in contests, earning the highest possible rankings at UIL and winning city and state wide honors with the annual all-school musical (featuring a live student orchestra) and other performances/concerts. Each program has been life-changing for many, and most consider their art to be their family.
I moved my family here from Oregon in 2007. We lived in a suburb with excellent schools. They were all considerably smaller than the ones my kids have attended here in Texas. We lived in The Woodlands for two years. The schools have great kids, but they were very overcrowded and the pretentious nature of the high school did not suit my West Coast kids very well. We moved into the west part of Memorial and I am so glad my son had his last two years at Stratford. The demographics are quite mixed and I think that is the reason the school is a bit more ego-constrained than The Woodlands High. And, by taking AP classes, my son was totally prepared for the academics of college. School activities are terrific. There are students here who come from problematic demographics and, sadly, are probably destined for underachievement. But, from what I've seen, students who want a great education will get it at Stratford if they put forth the required effort. Excellent academics and extracurricular activities.
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.
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.