My youngest daughter has attended Duchesne since middle school and is now in high school. I highly recommend Duchesne. I have experience with two other middle and high schools for my other daughters (in other cities) and rank Duchesne the highest among them all. In addition to providing an excellent education, Duchesne is a wonderful, safe environment for girls. My daughter's class is a particularly nice group without sharply defined cliques or "mean girls." Negative peer pressure is remarkably absent in both the middle school and high school. My only qualification to a complete endorsement is that the middle school was probably stricter with rules than it needed to be, given how well-behaved the kids are.
I went here for high school and then went on to Texas A&M University for college. I finished high school barely in the top half of my class and so far at Texas A&M (I am a sophomore), I have a 3.7 GPA as a biomedical science major. I study less in college than I did in high school and am making a significantly higher GPA in college. The only downside to going to Duchesne is that the social aspect between high school and college was so different. It took me until second semester to really start making friends.
This school is wonderful. They teach the girls to be well rounded strong intelligent young women. The young ladies at Duchesne are taught team work, respect for others, and strong morals. This past August, my daughters began their first year at Duchesne as 6th graders. At their previous (public) school, they were constantly being teased about being "goody two-shoes". Why? Because they did not curse, cheat, and made good grades. Students had constantly questioned them about church (what is it? why go?) and God (who?). That brings to point the best part of Duchesne: you are not reprimanded for saying God's name out loud. Instead, they are encouraged to pray, and to read & discuss the bible. What a novel idea. How many schools do you know like Duchesne?
Attended this school for 7 years. In summary, Duchesne is dominated by the wealthy of River Oaks and the better parts of Memorial etc. Based on my experience, I can say that the Popular group consists of children from the wealthy families who donate to the school and assist in fundraising and charity through the efforts of house mothers who are wealthy enough not to work and therefore spend their sole efforts on the benefit of their child. About 1/3 of any class will live a life of ostracism. As there are no boys and little time for outside activity due to the overwhelming amount of homework, many of the girls become overweight. The nuns and administration cater to the wealthier families, which is self-evident in the special treatment of these children. Girls from less affluent families will benefit from a good education, but their self-esteems may just go out the window. There is prevalent bullying and definite tight knit clicks. If a child here is not a part of the right click, their lives as Duchesne may well be very difficult, as was my experience. As a final word of advice, if you are not from a wealthy and influential family this most likely is not the right school for you.
I am going to be a senior at Duchesne next year. I've been at Duchesne for several years now and have mixed feelings. My rating is based off of my experience in the HS. Don't send your child here if she isn't prepared to work for 4+ hours every night on homework and sacrifice much of her social life. Duchesne is strong academically but does not cater to students' mental well-being. Teachers have been in the school so long that they seem to think their class is the only one that exists. I go into school every day exhausted and with a cup of coffee in my hand. Advanced and AP classes (like AP biology which I took) add hours of homework to an already heavy workload. It does pay off though- most girls in AP biology received a 4 or 5 on their exam. Duchesne has excellent english and history curriculums, but to be frank, their math program is depressingly bad. Overall, I think Duchesne made me a better student but I am going to not have an advantage over kids that have a much higher GPA. I made a 1990 on the SAT and have a 3.3 GPA- my lower GPA doesn't line up with my pretty high test scores. Enter with caution! Duchesne is crazy.
I am a former student. I attended HS at DASH. If I had to rate the academics alone, it would get five stars. The English classes I had at DASH were better than my college English classes. I loved most of my teachers and even went to plays and events outside of school with them. However, the social atmosphere can only be described as toxic. Many, many students had psychological disorders by the end of their tenure at DASH. Most common were eating disorders, depression and anxiety disorders. The pressure to compete, both academically an socially are intense. Now, it has been over 5 years since I graduated, so things may have changed, but I urge all parents to carefully consider if their child can deal with the environment. I have such mixed feelings about my time there- the classes are so helpful, college classes were easy compared to DASH classes- but I was left feeling anxious and insecure from the pressure. It took counseling for me to regain my confidence and for me to move forward in life. However, the stress did do one thing for me- it made me discover that I want to be a therapist and that is what I am studying in grad school now.