St. Pius X High School educates approximately 650 young men and women in the Dominican tradition. The Dominican Sisters, a Catholic women’s group, founded St. Pius X High School in 1956 as part of Bishop Wendelin Nold’s campaign to form new high schools in Houston. 50 years prior to St. Pius X’s opening, the Dominican Sisters founded St. Agnes Academy, an all-girl’s Catholic high school. St. Pius X is coeducational and also hosts a number of international students from over 20 different countries in its foreign exchange program.
As the Dominican Sisters sponsor St. Pius X High School, the school follows the Four Pillars of the Dominican charism, which develops the social, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and emotional aspects of a student. These pillars are prayer, study, community, and teaching. The study body is 71% Catholic and 29% non-Catholic. Ministry at the school includes justice education, service learning, retreats, and liturgies.
St. Pius is located in the North Heights near the intersection of North Shepherd and West Tidwell. It is easily accessible from I-45 and the 610 Loop. The campus is surrounded mostly by single-family homes to the north, west, and south, with commercial real estate to the east. The spacious, wooded campus includes a football stadium and baseball/ softball fields.
St. Pius X requires all applicants to complete the application form, which contains the Student Information Form (to be filled out by the parent) and the Student Inquiry Form (to be filled out by the student). The student must hand-write an essay about his/her short-term and long-term goals and how St. Pius X will satisfy those goals. Along with the application and essay, evaluation forms from the student’s current principal/counselor, English teacher, and math teacher must also be submitted. Students are also required to take the HSPT. Once all of these materials have been submitted and deemed acceptable, students entering 9th grade and their parents will take part in an interview with St. Pius X faculty. Shadowing is also available upon appointment, though it is not required.
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The curriculum at St. Pius X features an Honors Track, which includes Advanced Placement courses, as well as a College Preparatory Track. The school offers Advanced Placement courses in English Literature, English Language, Government, Biology, Latin, Spanish, Computer Science, US History, Calculus AB, and Calculus BC. St. Pius X also offers students the opportunity to take three Dual Enrollment courses, namely English IV, Psychology, and Government.
Students must earn 26 credits to graduate: English (4), theology (4), math (4), science (4), social studies (4), foreign language/reading development (2), PE (1.5), fine arts (1), health (.5), speech (.5), and Christian service learning (.5).
Upon submission of the application, the St. Pius X admissions committee reviews the student’s information and determines whether there is a need for accommodations. If there is a need, the application is sent to the Learning for Success Program. The parents are then given the option to apply to the program and submit the student’s most recent psycho-educational evaluation. The Learning for Success Program Director reviews the application and determines whether or not the student will receive accommodations on the HSPT. Admittance to the program is based on entrance exam scores, the application and evaluation form, an interview, and recommendations. Accommodations include academic strategy courses, in-class observation and support, after-school tutorials, math and reading programs, extended time on tests, consultation and strategies for working with learning differences, and individualized accommodation plans. The Learning for Success Program is split into three tiers with varying degrees of support and accommodations: Tier 3 (no fee), Tier 2 ($1500), and Tier 1 ($2000). Tier 1 is available only to students in grades 9-10.
St. Pius X features foreign language courses in French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin, including Advanced Placement courses in Spanish and Latin. Students must take two years of the same language to satisfy graduation requirements.
St. Pius X hosts a variety of fine arts programs, such as band, choir, theatre, and jazz band. Students can enroll in courses that will develop their skills in ceramics, painting, jewelry, and more. Students may choose to participate in Digital Photography, which teaches students how to take, edit, and print digital photographs. The school also offers Graphic Design Techniques, where students will work with Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Adobe InDesign CS4.
St. Pius has a Business and Computer Science Department, which offers Computer Science as one of its courses. Technology is also incorporated into the fine arts curriculum with Graphic Design Techniques.
No information concerning St. Pius X’s technology policy is available at this time.
St. Pius X hosts more than 23 clubs and organizations in which students may participate. Students may join clubs such as Anime, Black History, Cheerleading, Respect Life, and the Spanish Club. Students may also join societies such as the International Thespians Society and the National Honors Society. Students interested in organizations that involve government may join the Student Council or the Student Cabinet, a group which sends representatives of St. Pius X to events such as the Souper Bowl and the Annual Baby Food Drive.
St. Pius X fields 21 teams across 13 sports: football, volleyball, cross country, basketball, rugby, soccer, swimming, wrestling, baseball, golf, softball, tennis, and track. Over half of St. Pius X’s student body participates in its athletics programs. St. Pius X’s athletic department also hosts a Booster Club in which two representatives from each sport are encouraged to participate.
Parents may join the Booster Club to support athletics or the Parent Association (PA). The PA hosts events such as College Night, the annual Gala, and Open House.