Holy Spirit Episcopal School

Holy Spirit Episcopal School opened in September 1962 with eighty-nine students.  The founding Directors, Mrs. Jan Leach and Mrs. Maurine Alfrey, both retired in 1985, and Mrs. Jeanne Tiemann Stillwell, a teacher at the school, was named the first Principal and served from 1985-1990.  Holy Spirit Episcopal School remains committed to academic excellence within the Christian traditions of the Episcopal Church.

Fast Facts

School TypeReligious, CoedGrades ServedPrek-8
Religious AffiliationEpiscopalEnrollment271
UniformsYes   Grade 828
Date Founded1962   Grade 718
EndowmentN/A   Grade 625
Student / Teacher Ratio8.1   Grade 524
Minority Enrollment20%   Grade 419
Head of SchoolMichelle Symonds   Grade 325
Admissions DirectorRoss Purdy   Grade 217
Websitehttps://www.hses.org/   Grade 112
Phone713-468-5138   Kindergarten35
   PreK68
Academic TracksOn-Track with Advanced Material, HonorsSports Programs7
AP or IB CoursesN/ASports LeagueN/A
LanguagesN/A
CalendarSemester
First BellN/A
Last BellN/A
Prime Entry PointsInfant, PreK3, K, 5Tuition 6-8$19,540
Tuition K-5$16,780
Tuition PreK$13,715
Financial Aid StudentsN/A

Holy Spirit Episcopal School in Detail

Holy Spirit Episcopal School opened in 1962 at its present location on the campus of Holy Spirit Episcopal Church. The church and school were founded by the Right Reverent John C. Hines; the congregation began meeting in 1958 at Bunker Hill Elementary before moving to the present location on Perthshire Road. The school originally served ages 3-5, but has expanded over the years to accommodate infants – grade 8. At Holy Spirit Episcopal School, the focus is on developing the whole child, academically and in character. The curriculum is intended to teach children problem-solving and independent thinking while also using Christian theology and social thought as a basis for developing their character.

Holy Spirit Episcopal School is affiliated with Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, with which it shares a campus. However, students of all faiths are welcome. The school’s religious affiliation is stressed to a moderate extent in the curriculum. Christian education classes are incorporated into the curriculum for grades K-8. These classes generally focus on theology and Christian social teaching more than Bible study and the development of individual faith, making them somewhat more approachable for students of diverse creeds, but Christian students are still given many resources to support their growth in Christ. In addition to Christian education classes, students also benefit from chapel services on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Christian faith is also incorporated into character education classes for grades K-4 and advisory period character development lessons for grades 5-8. Students in certain grades can also participate in yearly Ecolink trips, which include a devotional component, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which holds weekly devotional meetings.

Holy Spirit Episcopal School is located on the campus of the Holy Spirit Episcopal Church on Perthshire Road in the Memorial area of Houston. The surrounding neighborhood is primarily populated by single-family homes, as well as two other churches, the Tallowood Baptist Church and the Arabic Baptist Church of Houston.

Students can apply to Holy Spirit Episcopal School through the online application, accessible through the school’s website. In addition to the application, testing and supplementary documents are required for admissions consideration.

Required admissions tests are as follows:

Brigance II (PreK3-PreK4)

WPPSI-III (K)

WISC-IV (grades 1-4), and

ISEE (grades 5-8).

All tests can be arranged through the school, subject to a testing fee.

Supplementary documentation includes teacher recommendations, report cards from the previous year, and additional recent testing (if applicable). Documentation requirements vary somewhat according to age range. Teacher recommendations are optional for PreK, while applicants to grades K-5 are required to have one teacher recommendation. Applicants to grades 6-8 are required to have two teacher recommendations, one from an English instructor and one from a math instructor.

Additionally, applicants to grades PreK4-8 are strongly encouraged to participate in a scheduled classroom visit and observation during the admissions process, and applicants to grades 5-8 are required to interview with an admissions representative.

Both legacy and church membership are viewed favorably in the admissions process. Admissions preference is given to siblings of current students, legacy students, and church members, in that order.

Applications are accepted throughout the year and considered in the order in which they are received, but there are optimal ranges for application submission each year. For best consideration for the 2015-2016 school year, applications are due February 20, 2015.

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Holy Spirit Episcopal School’s academic track is generally on grade level in the lower school and advances beyond standard grade-level classes in late middle school. In eighth grade, students can take advanced algebra, and a high-school-level IPC class is offered as the core science requirement. Further, honors and advanced options in some subjects (notably math) become available as early as the fifth grade.

Perhaps the most unique feature of education at Holy Spirit Episcopal is the connection with a sister school, St. Michael Archangel School in Costa Rica, and the cultural exchange which this connection facilitates. As a result of the relationship with St. Michael Archangel, Spanish is taught as a core class from PreK onwards, and students have opportunities to learn about Central American life and culture. Every other year, middle school students have a chance to participate in a student exchange, wherein they stay with host families in Costa Rica for a short time and attend St. Michael Archangel.

Another interesting feature of the Holy Spirit Episcopal curriculum is the Ecolink program, through which students in grades 4 and 7 take multi-day retreats that incorporate both education and fun. Fourth graders participate in outdoor events at Camp Allen and learn about Texas history, while seventh graders participate in outdoor events and science labs at Catalina Island.

The curriculum at Holy Spirit Episcopal is also distinguished by its emphasis on character building and values. Students in grades K-4 take a “classroom character education” course which focuses on developing traits and life skills like honesty and self-discipline. Character education is also incorporated into the middle school advisory class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Additionally, the curriculum as a whole is designed around the school’s five core values – a loving environment, a commitment to diversity and understanding, strong academics, individual growth, and faith-based character.

No information is available at this time concerning Holy Spirit Episcopal School’s accommodations for students with special needs.

Spanish is the only foreign language offered at Holy Spirit Episcopal. It is offered as part of the core curriculum in grades PreK-8 as a result of the school’s partnership with its sister school in Costa Rica, St. Michael Archangel. Every other year, students in grades 5-8 have the chance to participate in a student exchange with St. Michael Archangel, which is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the culture and lifeways of Costa Rica while learning the language through immersion. Students in the lower school also benefit from the sister school partnership, as Costa Rican culture is used to enrich Spanish instruction throughout the lower school.

Arts offerings at Holy Spirit Episcopal School vary by grade level. In the preschool program, students have music time, and the age-appropriate language arts curriculum incorporates listening to poetry, choral reading, and dramatic play. Visual art is also incorporated in PreK-4. In the lower school, the curriculum incorporates visual arts, drama, and music. In grades 5-6, the curriculum builds upon the arts foundation established in the lower school, with more advanced instruction in the visual arts, drama, and music. In grades 7-8, students may take arts electives in the same areas, but arts classes are not required.

In addition to the required arts classes and electives, students may join the Show Choir (grades 1-4) or the Ensemble Choir (grades 5-6). These groups perform at school functions, including chapel services, throughout the year. All middle school students also have the option of participating in the annual school play.

Student art is exhibited in the “Fam Fest” in October. Fam Fest is also one of several events throughout the year at which musical groups perform.

No information is available at this time concerning Holy Spirit Episcopal’s technology policy.

Technology is integrated into the curriculum at every grade level from PReK-4 onwards. Preschool students have a computer class once a week in which they learn fundamentals. Lower school students develop typing skills and learn how to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint, and the Internet. Middle school students develop more advanced skills with Word and Powerpoint and also learn how to use Excel and Access. Middle school students also learn more advanced Internet research skills.

Both the lower school and the upper school have dedicated computer labs.

Holy Spirit Episcopal offers Extended Care for infants (6 weeks) – eighth grade. Children may arrive as early as 7am and stay as late as 6pm. During after-school Extended Care, students have a snack and engage in age-appropriate recreation. Students PreK-3 through second grade have arts and crafts time and opportunities for outside play, and students in grades 4-8 have study hall and opportunities for outside play. Further grade-appropriate enrichment programs are also available for an additional fee.

As well as Extended Care, Holy Spirit Episcopal hosts several clubs and extracurricular programs. In addition to the Ecolink and cultural exchange programs discussed above in the Academic Tracks and Curriculum section, these include Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Global Outreach days and events, the Ready U enrichment program (additional fees may apply), the National Junior Honor Society, and Student Council.

Holy Spirit Episcopal also emphasizes community service, with each middle school student completing a minimum of 15 hours of service each year.

Holy Spirit Episcopal offers Extended Care for infants (6 weeks) – eighth grade. Children may arrive as early as 7am and stay as late as 6pm. During after-school Extended Care, students have a snack and engage in age-appropriate recreation. Students PreK-3 through second grade have arts and crafts time and opportunities for outside play, and students in grades 4-8 have study hall and opportunities for outside play. Further grade-appropriate enrichment programs are also available for an additional fee.

As well as Extended Care, Holy Spirit Episcopal hosts several clubs and extracurricular programs. In addition to the Ecolink and cultural exchange programs discussed above in the Academic Tracks and Curriculum section, these include Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Global Outreach days and events, the Ready U enrichment program (additional fees may apply), the National Junior Honor Society, and Student Council.

Holy Spirit Episcopal also emphasizes community service, with each middle school student completing a minimum of 15 hours of service each year.

Parents can become involved through the Parent-Teacher Organization and the Athletics Booster Club. The PTO organizes fundraising events and classroom volunteering, and the Athletics Booster Club organizes fundraisers and special events for the sports program.

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