Thre are reported cases of bullying at Cistercian. Also, in the past some students have been humiliated by their form masters. In their application package you can see that their SAT scores are ok (in the 600s) but they have gradually been declining in the last few years. In their application package they ask what your religion is, church you attend and baptism information. If your child is not a member of a catholic church, baptized, or your child doesn't go to some of the catholic feeder schools in Dallas then it's very difficult for the applicant to get accepted here. On the good side, this school teaches Latin for the full 8 years program which no other school I know offers, and it's particularly strong in religion (subject taught by the monks from the abbey).
We have 2 boys at Cistercian and cannot say enough about the rigorous education and, more importantly, supportive environment. To describe it as outstanding would be an understatement. The school works tirelessly to foster respectful relationships between the students. Many hours are spent on character development. I am always struck by how polite and respectful the boys are. The teachers are also incredible, e.g., the 7th and 8th grade math teachers are accessible, helpful PhDs. Our sons have a lot of interest in their subjects -- primarily because of their teachers' infectious enthusiasm. The families are open, down-to-earth, and family focused. The boys enjoy school, feel like they have many new "brothers" as classmates, and have incredible, honorable mentors as teachers and Form Masters. Cistercian is an excellent school; we feel so fortunate to be a part of the community.
Incredible formation but like another reader said, the pressure is too much and there is bullying. We were warned by a parent at another all-boy school in Dallas that told us: "if I could go back and do it all again I would never put my son through that kind of pressure again". They left the school as so did we and others. Some classes lose more than others but our son was MISERABLE in 5th and 6th grades. As soon as we left, he loved having a life again. You have to think of your child's passions and talents, not just the "name" of the school or where we want them to graduate from. Amazing parents and community as mentioned in other comments. The bullying here was much higher than other schools we've had all our children in combined. Enough said.
An incredible school with exemplary academics but you have to be lucky to get a Form Master who knows what he's doing. If you get a young priest he may not know how to handle a lot of situations that arise in middle school. Very challenging, must have a self-driven son to handle the excessive work, tests, quizzes and quests almost daily. However, the formation they receive is incredible if your son can handle the pressure.
CPS is the most formative education you can offer your adolescent son. The bedrock of the institution is a focus on character development that you will be hard pressed to find elsewhere. I'm a grad, went to the Air Force Academy, completed my service, and am now at Columbia Business School.
Cistercian Prep is an amazing place...smart young men compete academically and athletically in a focused, morally grounded, Christian environment. Graduates soar at the college level...where ever they decide life takes them. The 8 years under the same Form master creates brotherhood among most of the boys. I have one graduate and 2 still at CPS.