Private School Recommendations

3,739 Views | 31 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by EBrazosAg
HoustonAg2003
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My daughter will be going into 8th grade and we are considering private school as an option for the fall. Our highest priority in selecting a school is a strong focus on academics with the opportunity to take advanced classes.

What are the best options locally?
EBrazosAg
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AG
Probably not a private school around that doesn't consider themselves focusing on academics. You need to define advanced courses. AP classes or actual college classes ? In general I think all offer the "common" AP classes. They also, in general, have flexibility to work with the local college and university to offer the ability to take a class there if your child is advanced beyond just the AP level. Harder to find at private schools would be the more "obscure " AP classes just because it's a low demand issue. 0.5% of a class of 25-35 is not getting an AP class, 0.5% of 1000-1500 may very well get one.
Oogway
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What EBrazosAg stated. Allen Academy, Brazos Christian School, and St. Joseph's Catholic school have around 20-25 seniors graduate each year. IIRC, BCS mentions in their handbook that they may not be able to offer certain classes if not enough students register and I would expect that may be the case all around. However, a private school does have some flexibility in meeting the needs of advanced students.

In College Station ISD, there are a lot of Advanced placement classes offered (I'm sure Bryan ISD has them too, I am going off of what our own experience has been).

Our children tested up to high school math prior to high school (at A&M Consolidated) and had classmates that did this for other STEM classes as well. Our children did not take dual credit classes, but focused on the AP track and took all AP classes for their regular coursework. With extracurricular activities, it is challenging, but there are certainly students who do both, or focus on academics with minimal outside activities. I know some were also taking classes at the University when they had finished the state requirements but I would have to ask my oldest how many students actually did that. Our experience was and is a positive one and we are happy with the choices we made for our family.

I know you asked for private schools, but for comparison when you are looking at schools for your student, these are the courses offered thru CSISD that are AP:
Most of the AP classes, but not all, are preceded by pre-AP classes normally beginning freshman year unless your student tests up.

English IV AP
AP Statistics
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
Biology II AP
AP Chemistry
AP Physics I
AP Physics II
AP Physics C
AP World History
AP Human Geography
US Government and Politics AP
AP Microeconomics
AP Psychology
French IV AP (language)
German IV AP
Latin IV AP
Spanish IV AP (language & culture)
Spanish V AP (literature & culture)
AP Studio Art: drawing; AP Studio Art : 2 D Design; AP Studio Art: 3D Design
AP Art History
I may have left some off, but I think I covered most if not all.

This is from the District regarding College courses that are not AP or dual credit.
Students may apply for courses through Texas A&M University's admissions office. Check with Texas A&M for exact dates. Students must rank in the top quarter of their class and have written permission to apply.


The charter school in College Station will be beginning its high school this year and there are several parents here who have students in that school. Their experience seems positive and they can probably give you a more detailed insight into what that school is like. It is definitely academically focused.


Good luck and hope the high school experience is a great one!

jac4
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AG
I've got 3 kids in a local private school. Your best option in town for academics, if that is your primary concern, are the public schools.

Both in CS are going to have a lot more high end options. In Bryan, I know BHS has an IB program.
cavscout96
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AG
point of order...... having a large menu of advanced classes does not automatically equal an academic focus. It means there re a lot of advanced classes offered. Does not mean they are well resourced or well taught. I'm not saying they aren't, but one does not automatically follow the other. There is also something to be said for class size, personal attention, and commitment to developing the whole person.


I do not have any experience with St. Joseph's, but I do have opportunities to engage with students and families at Brazos Christian and Allen.

The BCS engagements are about average on the balance with some stellar standouts. The good ones are VERY good. They have a good track record for acceptance into competitive schools all across the country.

My experience with Allen students is more limited, but very impressive. I can't speak to their college acceptance.
Oogway
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Certainly can't argue with your point; it really depends upon what environment works best for each student/family.

the wallflower
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There is a lot more to advanced courses than calling them AP, etc. Think about what you and your child truly want and need.
College credit? Dual credit, AP, and IB all fit that bill.
Writing and research skills? IB is by far the strongest.

Also, I have taught at a couple of area public schools, and have had a numer of students who were previously at a local private school. The majority of them said that the advanced academics at the public schools were a lot tougher because there wasn't as much hand holding or constantly being told they were special and elite. "You actually expect us to learn and remember it! " exclaimed one student.
double b
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AG
I have clients from all three schools, and I know the curriculum and the counselors from each.

Email me for my perspective, which you can find in my profile. I'm happy to discuss.
jrhmc
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AG
Just throwing this out there but Blinn now allows kids to dual enroll starting their 9th grade year. It's not a traditional high school experience but your child can do all of their high school and college credits at the same time.
HoustonAg2003
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Thanks for the offer double b, I took a look at your profile and I'm not seeing an email address.
AGGODDESS
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AG
Navasota HS has a Collegiate Program now that basically graduates students with 61 college hours through dual enrollment starting in 8th grade.....pretty interesting for those who thrive on academics.

https://nhs.navasotaisd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=137153&type=d&pREC_ID=1378362

4 Year Plan: https://1.cdn.edl.io/hvauFcwmxCHhOmL7p6CcMfkSTfS06LlJyQbuys9x2iLigfff.pdf

techno-ag
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AG
I agree with the private school recommendations. If you can afford it, it's a great investment for your kids.

Other options include the small open enrollment Blue Ribbon rural schools (Iola, Mumford). Downside is the drive.

Dual enrollment with Blinn is also good. I believe Bryan still pays the tuition for that at Bryan Collegiate, if you are a resident.
1.618
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I understood that Bryan Collegiate was not limited to Bryan ISD residents. Maybe they give priority to BISD residents but then students outside the school boundaries are admitted? Parents do have to provide own transportation to Bryan Collegiate regardless of where they live but if your kid is graduating high school with an associates degree that you had to pay zero out of pocket for, it would be worth arranging for transportation, I would think.
double b
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AG
Hit me up at info @ avantgardeprep dot com.
agnerd
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AG
cavscout96 said:

point of order...... having a large menu of advanced classes does not automatically equal an academic focus. It means there re a lot of advanced classes offered. Does not mean they are well resourced or well taught. I'm not saying they aren't, but one does not automatically follow the other. There is also something to be said for class size, personal attention, and commitment to developing the whole person.


I do not have any experience with St. Joseph's, but I do have opportunities to engage with students and families at Brazos Christian and Allen.

The BCS engagements are about average on the balance with some stellar standouts. The good ones are VERY good. They have a good track record for acceptance into competitive schools all across the country.

My experience with Allen students is more limited, but very impressive. I can't speak to their college acceptance.
Yeah, but we're talking about College Station schools here, not inner city Houston schools. The classrooms go at the speed that the majority of the kids are able to progress. I had an absolutely terrible Calculus BC teacher, but most of the kids in the class were professor's and grad student's kids, so we almost all got 5s on the AP test since we checked homework against each other and figured it out on or own when we had to. And when it came time for academic competitions, we blew every single private school in the state out of the water. Heck, the biggest competition was Bellaire and Clements, both PUBLIC schools in Houston.

On a personal note, I loved the huge selection in classes at CS schools. If I was weaker in English, I could bump down from AP to honors. They had AP statistics and AP physics so I never ran out of math and science to take without having to leave campus. Dual credit Blinn classes are a joke. Way easier than the HS class, and if you do get credit it won't transfer to elite schools like AP credits.
firefly1204
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Charli
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Blinn's dual credit classes a joke and easier than high school classes and didn't transfer?
I beg to differ on all these points. My students took classes for dual credit off the transfer matrix in high school. They all did very well. All classes transferred either to their core requirements or electives without a problem.

If you stray from the transfer matrix then yes, one could have some problems.

We stayed away from AP classes - all that work and then take an exam to get a 4 or 5 for college credit? Just take the class as dual credit, work hard, earn your grade and be done with it. Why add that extra hoop to jump through?
techno-ag
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AG
Agreed. Dual credit is the way to go. Graduate high school with a year or more of college under your belt? You bet!
Oogway
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Both Advanced Placement & dual credit have something to offer both positive and negative, it really depends upon each student and what their goals are. Both types of classes can show a willingness to tackle rigorous coursework.
EBrazosAg
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AG
Transfer of dual credit to college depends on the college. Some are more stringent than others. Some will allow them to count to GPA. Others won't. Same as JC credits in summer while enrolled. It's all up to the specific university.
Maveric
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AG
EBrazosAg said:

Transfer of dual credit to college depends on the college. Some are more stringent than others. Some will allow them to count to GPA. Others won't. Same as JC credits in summer while enrolled. It's all up to the specific university.
If it is a state university, they have to take the junior college hours as long as they are not developmental and you are not transferring more than 60 hours.
techno-ag
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AG
Maveric said:

EBrazosAg said:

Transfer of dual credit to college depends on the college. Some are more stringent than others. Some will allow them to count to GPA. Others won't. Same as JC credits in summer while enrolled. It's all up to the specific university.
If it is a state university, they have to take the junior college hours as long as they are not developmental and you are not transferring more than 60 hours.
Agreed. From what I understand, the state aligned courses a while back. JC credit is generally good and transferrable to a state college, with the exceptions you noted.
BetsyParker
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AG
Texas Common Course Numbering allows students to easily see which community college course will transfer and as what to other schools within the state.

https://www.tccns.org/search/compareInstitutions/
lost my dog
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techno-ag said:

Maveric said:

EBrazosAg said:

Transfer of dual credit to college depends on the college. Some are more stringent than others. Some will allow them to count to GPA. Others won't. Same as JC credits in summer while enrolled. It's all up to the specific university.
If it is a state university, they have to take the junior college hours as long as they are not developmental and you are not transferring more than 60 hours.
Agreed. From what I understand, the state aligned courses a while back. JC credit is generally good and transferrable to a state college, with the exceptions you noted.
The university has to give you credit, but the credits may not be applicable to your degree plan. The core curriculum is only 42 credit hours, so if you come in with 60 credit hours you may find that some of your credit hours are not useful towards graduation.
Maveric
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AG
lost my dog said:

techno-ag said:

Maveric said:

EBrazosAg said:

Transfer of dual credit to college depends on the college. Some are more stringent than others. Some will allow them to count to GPA. Others won't. Same as JC credits in summer while enrolled. It's all up to the specific university.
If it is a state university, they have to take the junior college hours as long as they are not developmental and you are not transferring more than 60 hours.
Agreed. From what I understand, the state aligned courses a while back. JC credit is generally good and transferrable to a state college, with the exceptions you noted.
The university has to give you credit, but the credits may not be applicable to your degree plan. The core curriculum is only 42 credit hours, so if you come in with 60 credit hours you may find that some of your credit hours are not useful towards graduation.

The Legislature just passed SB 5 this session that states if a university does not accept a transfer class they have to give a reason why.

The Higher Education Coordinating Board has also created Field of Study options in many areas where the four years must accept specified classes towards a similar major they offer.

The result, I think, is that fewer classes will get "lost" when transferring to a four year institution.
lost my dog
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Maveric said:

lost my dog said:

techno-ag said:

Maveric said:

EBrazosAg said:

Transfer of dual credit to college depends on the college. Some are more stringent than others. Some will allow them to count to GPA. Others won't. Same as JC credits in summer while enrolled. It's all up to the specific university.
If it is a state university, they have to take the junior college hours as long as they are not developmental and you are not transferring more than 60 hours.
Agreed. From what I understand, the state aligned courses a while back. JC credit is generally good and transferrable to a state college, with the exceptions you noted.
The university has to give you credit, but the credits may not be applicable to your degree plan. The core curriculum is only 42 credit hours, so if you come in with 60 credit hours you may find that some of your credit hours are not useful towards graduation.

The Legislature just passed SB 5 this session that states if a university does not accept a transfer class they have to give a reason why.

The Higher Education Coordinating Board has also created Field of Study options in many areas where the four years must accept specified classes towards a similar major they offer.

The result, I think, is that fewer classes will get "lost" when transferring to a four year institution.
I don't want to hijack the thread any more than I already have so I'll just say that the utility of any sort of transfer/AP/dual credit course depends greatly on the student's major (regardless of what SB5 says.) The devil is in the details.
techno-ag
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AG
Your basics will always transfer. Everyone is going to need Freshman English and Math credits, regardless of major. This is where dual credit shines, imo. You get to knock out those basics while in high school.
lost my dog
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techno-ag said:

Your basics will always transfer. Everyone is going to need Freshman English and Math credits, regardless of major. This is where dual credit shines, imo. You get to knock out those basics while in high school.
I really didn't want to hijack the thread any more, but it's more complicated than this, with regard to Math credits and some STEM degrees, especially engineering. They are quite clear about it at the engineering NSCs, and in the emails that are sent to admitted students in the spring before the NSCs.

techno-ag
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AG
It's a worthy conversation and I don't mind. But I don't think we're disagreeing, just stating separate points. Your point is some engineering programs are highly specialized. My point is basic college courses transfer. It's all good.
EBrazosAg
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AG
If u read the title and first post in the thread, it's pretty certain that it's been hijacked completely
Stupe
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S
Since the OP was asking about a focus on academics, I would think that whether or not the private schools offered dual credit classes and the information about them is not off topic.
EBrazosAg
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AG
Stupe said:

Since the OP was asking about a focus on academics, I would think that whether or not the private schools offered dual credit classes and the information about them is not off topic.


Maybe. But the thread went way beyond that and became all about what colleges accept what kind of classes - and about JC credit transfer. You may not think off topic. I disagree.
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