We enrolled our children in STE when they were in kindergarten. They are now in 6th and 3rd grade. My husband is an Alum of the school and was incredibly excited to send our kids there. He had the most wonderful experience at St. Thomas. We are absolutely thrilled with the education they are receiving at STE. The class sizes are smaller so they are getting more one-on-one time with their teachers. The teachers have high standards for their students. Being a smaller school, there is a wonderful sense of community at the school. Everyone really feels like family. There are so many activities throughout the year that all the families attend. Fall Fair is a favorite for my kids. Our kids really love all the the activities that are available to them (athletics, music, theater). One of the things that we love as parents is the Christian based classical education. We really are blessed to be able to send our kids to St. Thomas.
I have two children that graduated from STE and one child currently enrolled. I cannot say enough good things about this school! Being a classical education, the students are exposed to so much more than at a traditional school. The class sizes are small which keeps the students engaged. There are a lot of AP classes offered which helps with college admissions. The students also have a lot of options for interesting electives including Scottish bagpipes or drumming and Scottish dance. College counseling starts in the 9th grade which really gets students more than prepared to start their applications. The schools is smaller which makes for a very nice community feel. Parents are also encouraged to be active in the school activities. STE is a wonderful school run by a wonderful faculty. I encourage anyone in the Houston area looking at private schools to definitely take the time to look at St. Thomas. You won't regret it!!
As a graduate of STES, my experience at this school was great. I can't emphasize enough how the diversity of the academic courses and extracurricular activities prepared me for success throughout my college career. The close-knit, small class size allows students to participate in a variety of activities instead of exclusively in one focus. The academically inclined also participate in arts like music and theater, sports teams, and dancing and/or band and they can be successful at all of them!
Lower school with Mrs. Vogeley's leadership and the amazing teachers from K-5th make STE perfect for our family. At school my children are: safe, loved, happy, learning, & playing. Your child will have homework and high standards are expected. (not the school for the lazy) A lot of family activities offered. Our favorite is Fall Fair.
The Christmas Concerts are phenomenal.
Middle school should be renamed "travel agency school" because expensive trips are being promoted non-stop. This is new and many parents do NOT like it. Puts many families in the awkward position of parents vs school. Buyer Beware!
Upper school students set a good example for younger student body. They are polite and friendly Great resource for babysitters!
I love, love, love this school! It's a place of substance where the Classical canon of academic literacy in math, English, natural science, social studies, and foreign languages is still honored (sadly, this is becoming increasingly rare in education). The students are remarkably respectful to teachers, and they're kind and supportive to each other. It's a formula that works: acceptances to Stanford, Princeton, Caltech, Rice, and Carnegie Mellon this year; state champions in swimming, cross country, and basketball; state champions for their string orchestra; one of the best yearbooks in the nation; and one of the best Scottish band and dance programs in the world prove that this is a small school that packs a big punch! I know my daughter's friends will be her friends for life, and she couldn't be surrounded by a better community of people.
Having three of my children graduate from STE, I can say that attending STE was a life-changing experience for my students and family. Academically based on curriculum, AP test results, SAT/ACT scores, college acceptances, teacher retention, and the expectation teachers have of students STE is one of the finest school in Houston. Even more importantly, it is a classical Christian school where virtues like character, honesty, discipline, and respect are taught and modeled by the faculty and staff. It s a family oriented community where the bullying and social competition is not tolerated. This is not a school for the lazy or for families that gravitate to the latest marketing trends disguised as education. Children are taught using proven pedagogy (dating back to Socrates), they are challenged in the best possible way, and most of them are involved in numerous activities sports, music, art, theatre, clubs, and volunteerism.
I agree with the previous post that the curriculum is outdated, promotes rote memorization and severely lacks in encouraging creative and critical thinking. I have seen teachers raise their voices and threaten the kids "to take away their party" if they dont be quiet. Again, some parents may feel that is okay. However, this is not a conducive learning environment. Most importantly, is the bullying. With so much awareness nowadays regarding bullying, it is pitiful that it occurs here at this school. The idea that ANY school who would not take this subject seriously, is ludicrous. Many emails were sent with no REAL plan of action, only pacifying words. The poorest marker of any school, is their lack of an avenue for feedback from the parents. When we decided not to re-enroll our child at St Thomas, there was not an email or letter inquiring why. This lack of desire to know parallels St Thomas's outdated curriculum and way of thinking. Again, some families will enjoy St Thomas, but it was not for us. Not all "great" schools per these reviews, are "great" for your children. I wish more updated reviews had been written before we enrolled our child there 3 years ago.
My daughter attended this school for seven years and the principles of the school are astounding. This is the type of school where your punishment for a "too short" skirt is much worse than the punishment for bullying. In fact the bullying problem is practically entirely ignored by the staff, and other parents when confronted about their child's behavior don't even bat an eyelash. The curriculum is outdated, and many concepts are taught robotically and the concepts are ignored completely. The entire school is rather sexist, with practically no middle school sports for girls other than volleyball. The sports program is kind of pathetic- there is no football team, no baseball team, no upper school softball team, and the only sports for lower school are soccer and highland dance. There is no traditional band, but a Scottish Pipe Band, which I will admit is amazing but isn't very helpful in life. By the way girls have only been allowed to be in the band as of two years ago. Haven't they heard of gender equality? Highland dancers and band members get special treatment from the staff and tend to get away with bad grades and misconduct. I truly regret sending my daughter to this school.
I am a parent of a 13 year graduate who has been extremely successful in college. She was accepted to top tier universities for her chosen field of study and was offered scholarships to many of these schools. Because of the size of the school, the students have an opportunity to participate in many extracurricular activities such as sports, music, highland dance and drama. My daughter's friends were Christian, Hindu and Muslim and I saw no evidence of anyone being treated differently. They have remained very close in the following 4 years. Our younger child is currently a student at STES and we are please to see that the middle school program has had some recent positive changes. While the curriculum is rigorous, my girls never wanted to miss school and were always cheerful as they left for the day.
Non-Christians are welcome but understand your child is attending (or applying to) a Christian school. So Christian view is what will be taught. Academics are excellent and challenging however homework is very heavy. Some children (and their parents) struggle with the workload even if the student understands all the concepts and lessons. Watching a smart, enthusiastic kid struggle under unnecessary piles of paper and books every night is heartbreaking. This is the only reason for the 4 stars. I wish more schools would realize that tons of homework does not necessarily make a better, smarter student. Some actually retain more by doing a bit less!