Private high schools in B/CS

5,349 Views | 35 Replies | Last: 14 days ago by BetsyParker
murphyag
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Hello. Can anyone tell me a little about two of the private high schools located in the area? How do St. Joseph's and Allen Academy compare with each other on terms of academic rigor, extracurricular activities, types of kids who attend/social environment- cliquey or inclusive? Which would you choose for your child?
Thank you for any information you can share with me..

BCSWguru
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Both are good schools. As is Brazos Christian. Allen is not religious at all, if that matters. Allen has more money. Brazos is expanding. St Joseph has a pretty steady enrollment.
EBrazosAg
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Good site - https://www.greatschools.org/

I could comment on some of the prior comments but in the end I'll just say there is a lot uninformed in what has been said. If you haven't had a kid at the school you really don't know about them other than mission, etc. Of course, that's a pretty disruptive process to put your kid through to try them all. Email each and meet with admissions counselor and walk around during the school day. Then have your kid shadow for a half day or so.

I will say - depending on what "requirements " are attached to educational choice dollars when it passes in 2025, I don't think all the local schools will participate and accept the dollars. But that will depend on the actual requirements.
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Another Doug
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I know nothing much about either school, except that Allen hired Dave Bliss a few after his Baylor scandal.
maroon barchetta
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Another Doug said:

I know nothing much about either school, except that Allen hired Dave Bliss a few after his Baylor scandal.


Yep. That's enough for me.

They hired a guy that got fired from a high-paying basketball coaching position due to lots of problems, not the least of which was trying to get his team to lie and say that one teammate murdered another teammate in part due to the murdered teammate being a drug dealer (which wasn't true).

He tried to frame one of his own players as a drug dealer after he was murdered. No way the murdered guy can come back and refute it.

It was all over the news for a couple of years.

Allen decided "Hey, let's hire this guy and make him a top level administrator".
SpoRat91
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My children have been at Allen for years and love it, as do the majority of kids and parents based on the low attrition rate (which continues to improve). I'm sure some parents are not happy, as happens at every school, but the majority are.

We have friends at Brazos Christian and at St. Joe's. They too love their school. As a previous poster said, go tour the schools and meet with the admissions directors.

As for Dave Bliss, that hire was years ago and under a different administration.
tu ag
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Allen is crazy expensive.

St Joseph hired a new Principal a few years ago with a great reputation. She and the new pastor have done a remarkable job of improving Catholic identity while raising academic standards.

KOR Education School is another option. Smaller, but growing fast. Lots of folks love it. Cheaper and is from 8-about 1 school days.
Smeghead4761
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I looked at Allen, St Joes, and Brazos Christian when they first started talking about enacting vouchers. I was surprised that Allen's, at least for just base tuition, wasn't that much more expensive than the other two. Maybe $1000-1500 a year at most.

I know that's not small change (especially if you've got more than one kid), but I was expecting Allen to be like 50% or more above.
EBrazosAg
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Yes - that is true. "Crazy expensive" is less than 50% of Woodlands Xian, and less than 40% of independent schools in Houston, Austin and Dallas. Ask St Joe, Brazos Xian and Allen if their operating expenses are that much less than those cities. Better yet - ask any business owner on this board if theirs is. Calling any private school tuition in this town "crazy" is frankly "lazy". Even compared to Waco and Temple private schools you would be challenged in the apple to apple comparison. You can't compare KOR to the other options. It's not close to the same. Good people. But not the same.
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tu ag
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We can disagree.
I find their tuition crazy. I have friends with kids there and they are generally happy with it.
Still most expensive in town.

Houston prep schools as a comparison is apples and oranges.
Red Pear Luke (BCS)
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Allen preschool is actually slightly cheaper than my kids daycare.

$1270 a month for full time daycare is what we pay.

I went to Allen and graduated. It's alright. You're gonna have pros and cons for all of them. The small class sizes are good but some students weren't pushed bc parents had too much control and faculty feared repercussions. When I was there, lots of turnover amongst the headmaster but they've seemed to make better strides in that respect.

The best I'll say about any of these schools is the chance for your kid to play in all the sports. Basketball, football, track, tennis, etc. you don't get that much at the bigger schools and I mean actually get meaningful play time. I think it really helped me develop as a person, teammate and leader.
EBrazosAg
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Sentence 2 and 3 validate my prior argument and your inability to articulate cogent disagreement. Research their 990s and their results and come back. Or not. Put your kids in the cheap private option. Or keep them in the ISD. Matters not. The last parent any private school wants is the one looking for a bargain. Unless you are the one at the bottom. Most private schools are looking for families interested in the mission and the values, and they all work to present that with the value proposition every single year. Challenge your ISD leadership to do the same. The ISDs almost certainly spend much more on their legislative lobbying group than on stakeholder communications.
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maroon barchetta
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I would think most private schools are interested in parents that can pay the tuition. Everything after that is a bonus.
EBrazosAg
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That's important. But not everything….. willing to pay but pain in the rear may not be worth it…
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michellecan
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Brazos Christian. Every.single.time.
freshfrenchfryfanatic
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As someone who may be looking into these options the next few years, I am curious if you have experience at all 3 private schools mentioned or if you are just very happy with the experience you have had at Brazos Christian. This seems to be a very daunting process so I'm truly interested in any and all information people are willing to provide!
ag009
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Brazos Christian is solid on all fronts. Well balanced environment of academics, faith, sports, and fine arts are on the rise. Teachers really care about students.
EBrazosAg
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I'm pretty sure ag009 response mirrors that of the parents happy with all the options. Again - look at website, mission, values for each. Visit with admission office. Visit during the school day. Have your kid shadow for a day with your final 1-2.
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wareagle044
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Red Pear Luke (BCS) said:

Allen preschool is actually slightly cheaper than my kids daycare.

$1270 a month for full time daycare is what we pay.

I went to Allen and graduated. It's alright. You're gonna have pros and cons for all of them. The small class sizes are good but some students weren't pushed bc parents had too much control and faculty feared repercussions. When I was there, lots of turnover amongst the headmaster but they've seemed to make better strides in that respect.

The best I'll say about any of these schools is the chance for your kid to play in all the sports. Basketball, football, track, tennis, etc. you don't get that much at the bigger schools and I mean actually get meaningful play time. I think it really helped me develop as a person, teammate and leader.


Our daughter is in Allen JK right now. Next years tuition is more than $14k. It was around $12k last year.

We love the school and community. Seraphim Daenkert has a good vision for the school's future, I think.
localag88
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My kid attends Brazos Christian and I can recommend without reservation.
The problem with people that don't get it is they don't get that they don't get it.
CharlieBrown17
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Went to St Joes for part of elementary.

This thread ended up with me looking at their faculty and looks like two of my teachers from the early 2000s are still and another teacher was in the Corps with me. Weird amount of connection to a school from 2 decades ago.
trouble
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There's also a mom of one of your classmates now teaching at the high school
histag10
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[Try again and just give your opinion without the insulting comments and your post will stay on the thread. -Staff]
trouble
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we really enjoyed our time at St Joe's.
SpoRat91
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[We removed that comment because we do not want that kind of conversation or insulting posts on this board. -Staff]

With the exception of the Dave Bliss comments (which would be pertinent, and rightly concerning, had it not been 10 years ago or so) most posters have given opinions of their experience at one school or another. You on the other hand appear to have some grudge against Allen.

As I said before, we know and are friends with parents and students at all three schools. All of them are happy with their choice. We also know people that have left other public and private schools in town to attend Allen, including from St Joe's. We have had people leave Allen to attend other schools. No school is right for every child.

To those looking at switching schools, I recommend you visit all three schools as ebrazos said. Ask hard questions, do your research and find the best school for your child based on what is important to your family. Each school offers a different experience as far as I know.

To the OP, we have 370+ students. If you choose to bash the entire school and call the students names because of what 2 parents said, go ahead. As I said before, the far majority of our parents are happy and excited about the direction of the school as indicated by our reenrollment rate.

And as for the champagne and cocaine comment, you forgot the caviar. Kids get caviar with every meal. Seriously, go look at the student lot. You'll find the mix of cars looks like every other student lot in town. We have the full range of families here from very well off on down, just like St Joe's and Brazos Christian last time I checked.

maroon barchetta
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I'm guessing you don't have that many students on the low end of "on down".

How many are on the free or reduced lunch program? How many are on the backpack program where the school sends food home in a backpack on the weekend for kids who might not get much food at home?
SpoRat91
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I can't answer that because I'm not privy to that information. But my guess would be about the same as Brazos Christian and not as many as St Joe's, which I believe gets funding from the diocese but I'm not certain.

I know there are a lot more parents picking up cars in Hondas, Buicks and F150s than in Mercedes.

If you are looking to be critical of Allen, I can't help you any further. If you have serious questions I recommend you visit the school and meet with the administration.
histag10
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So that's a no on the clarification, staff?

[You had two posts removed because they were directly insulting to other posters or their children and you had one edited for making fun of the posters that voted against them. You are not being truthful when you post that you are saying the exact same thing again because you are leaving out those insults and acting as if you did not post anything that was insulting or derogatory. You are also now derailing another thread by complaining about moderation when you know why you had those posts removed. You are on a break. -Staff]
maroon barchetta
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To be clear, I'm going to be critical of any parent of any private school kid claiming to have "all kinds" compared to public schools. The percentages are gonna be way different.

Your kids aren't mingling with poors. They aren't getting that part of the education.
freshfrenchfryfanatic
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I really appreciate the feedback from everyone. People are entitled to their opinions most certainly. There are "bad" kids and parents at every school so that doesn't scare me off from the schools that have been mentioned here. My question for those with kids at Brazos Christian and Allen is what is the difference in cost attributed to? Looks like Allen is about $500 or so more a month. Once again, any input is appreciated!
Red Pear Luke (BCS)
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I feel a bit compelled to reply to this thread and I don't even know where to begin….

I when to Allen right before the "Dave Bliss" era. I joined Allen my junior year after moving to College Station from Colorado where I was one of those "poors". My Allen tuition was paid for by a DINK uncle & aunt who wanted to see the only nephew/offspring of their immediate family do better and I really can't thank them enough but that's a story that goes way deeper and is for another time.

I can't tell you the difference having an Allen Education made on my life. I got a chance to be a focal part of the school (hard to not be with 26 kids in a graduating class), but I also got a chance to experience things I'd never have in a public school setting.

My time at Allen included several local Bryan students who had decided to move from Bryan High to Allen and had their educations paid for by "donations" from the better off families. One of these kids ended up as a successful drummer, one ended up as the owner of an music production company and one as a director/executive of a national shoe company.

This wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the generous love and outpouring from the parents of Allen kids. These same parents provided their own RV coach to take us to State Football Playoffs (we got blown out). Provided tons of resources to the school to make stuff happen. They helped set up a haunted house, bought all the candy and paid for the supplies to make the haunted house. These same parents willingly coached the cross country teams, tennis teams, robotics teams. Funded the golf team. Provided meals for the entire girl and boy basketball teams every time we drove 5 hours to play.

Seriously it was a blessing because everyone was invested in everyone. I can't tell you how thankful I am to Mr & Mrs. Torres, the Ventos (RIP Mama Vento), the Pullens, Ms. Horton, Mr & Mrs. Walton, The Dales, The Harper's, Vandaores, Big Gary (RIP), Mr and Mrs. Ferreira, so many others.

This helped mold me into coming out of my shell, embracing who I am and helping recognize my potential. Not to mention the others who had guidance counselors who tirelessly worked and saw kids accepted to Harvard or Duke or other strong caliber schools. The kid who grew up to stay local and help start a local insurance agency for farmers and their crops. The kid who saw his father pass away freshman year of collage and continue to run his father's O&G business up until the teeth of the oil crash in late '14.

Look, there is going to be bad apples in any school. No I'm not going to go into detail about the non-Allen PKs getting involved into the drugs and alcohol and bringing Allen kids into it. But you need to focus on the bigger picture. The faculty, staff and parents of any of these schools usually care about the students first and upmost. They want what's best for the kids.

This isn't a knock on any posters questioning the school or its current state (I have no idea what it looks like), but I think you have to step back and judge a group by the intentions of their heart. Which is what any of these schools, public or private, try to provide to the next generations. Think about those teachers and employees of your school that made an impact on you and your life. Try to capture and embrace that.

I can confidently say that my 3.5 year old will be enrolled in the Allen Academy preschool in the fall though.

Edit: forgot to mention the same Allen parents who donated to help cover the cost of the chemo therapy for the husband and wife duo who ran the school cafeteria while I was a student.
EBrazosAg
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All local private schools have significant budget for tuition discounts for those who need it. If ESA legislation passes it will be a real bonus for those who qualify for reduced or free meals, etc. It will affect the lowest tuition schools the most, and will enable kids whose parents could not afford a private education to have an option that was previously out of reach.
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maroon barchetta
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That's good feedback.
wareagle044
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Red Pear Luke (BCS) said:

I feel a bit compelled to reply to this thread and I don't even know where to begin….



I can confidently say that my 3.5 year old will be enrolled in the Allen Academy preschool in the fall though. .


JK4? Maybe we will be classmates
RMC91
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