The educational arm of Saint Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School was founded in 1955 as a pre-school and kindergarten. Over the course of the next decade, it expanded to accommodate all grade levels, and it graduated its first high school class in 1967. Today, it offers thirteen years of instruction from “Kindergarten Bridge” to 12th grade. The school’s mission is to “form honorable men and women through a classical education grounded in a Christ-centered world view.”
Saint Thomas’ is an institution of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. All students attend Chapel every day, and middle school students participate in Bible studies once a week. However, the school notes that “Chapel also gives an opportunity for diversity,” since non-Episcopalians are allowed to limit their active participation during religious activities. The school does not have a Religion Department or equivalent that offers further studies in theology. Therefore, religion is less thoroughly integrated into the curriculum at Saint Thomas’ than at many religious schools.
The school’s primary campus is located on the southwest corner of the 610 Inner Loop in Houston’s Meyerland area. The school shares a modest campus with St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church. The campus is easily accessible from Beechnut, South Rice, or Braeswood. Affluent single-family homes lie to its west and south sides, and shopping centers are on its north and east. Additional athletic fields are located approximately 3 miles away from the main campus at 4113 Willowbend.
Saint Thomas lists the following general criteria as necessary for admission consideration: a satisfactory score on an entrance exam, academic transcripts for the past two years, teacher references, and an interview with the Headmaster or division principal. The standardized test for students entering grades 5-12 is the ISEE, while applicants to grades K-4 must submit OLSAT or WIPSI scores. Applicants to “Kindergarten Bridge” and kindergarten must also visit the campus for a 30-minute play date. The school gives priority admission consideration to siblings of currently enrolled students and members of Saint Thomas’ Episcopal Church who apply by February 1.
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A “Kindergarten Bridge” program is offered for students turning five in September or October. The curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between pre-school and kindergarten by reinforcing key materials. Children applying for kindergarten must be five years old on or before September 1st.
Honors classes begin in middle school with the availability of Accelerated Algebra I in eighth grade. In addition to honors classes, the school offers fifteen AP classes, including Calculus and Statistics. The school requires 25 credits for graduation; one credit is equivalent to one year of study. The distribution requirements are as follows: English (4), math (4), science (4), history (4), foreign language (3), PE/band/dance (2), and electives (4).
The school designates seniors, juniors, and outstanding sophomores in high school as tutors for middle school students. Parents are responsible for all other arrangements, including meeting time, place, and wages. Academic accommodations are not provided.
Foreign language instruction is offered beginning in first grade, when students are introduced to Spanish. Required Spanish study continues until sixth grade, at which time students may choose to continue the study of Spanish as an elective. Three years of Latin study is required to graduate from Saint Thomas at the high school level, and Latin instruction is compulsory beginning in sixth grade. Upper School students may also study Chinese, French, and Classical Greek beginning in ninth grade. All languages are offered up to a fifth year level in high school with the exception of Chinese, offered through level IV.
The fine arts are treated as an elective at Saint Thomas’ Upper School. Course offerings include both performing and visual arts. All Upper School students may choose between Art, String Orchestra, Choir, and Theater Arts & Production. Additionally, seniors may take AP Studio Art. Band, Bagpipe Band, and Highland Dancing are offered as options for fulfilling the school’s PE requirement. Unlike most schools, Saint Thomas’ has a Department of Scottish Arts.
Saint Thomas’ Episcopal is equipped with four Windows-based computer labs and five Google Chromebook laptop carts. Students taking Yearbook also have access to Mac computers. Middle school students build computer literacy and Internet research skills. Upper school students can take Introductory Computer Science, Principles of Computer Science, and Robotics.
While wireless access is available campus wide, student use of laptops for note-taking is limited and permissible only at the teacher’s discretion. Students may use phones on campus before and after school, but phones must be turned off and put away during the school day.
Academic clubs include Junior Classical League, Mock Trial, Science Bowl, TAPPS Academic Team. Non-academic clubs include Chess Club, Cotillion, Scouting, and more. Students may participate in the Yearbook class beginning in ninth grade. Seniors and juniors may join the school’s Upper School Honor Council and help educate and enforce students on the school’s Honor Code. Students may also choose to volunteer as tutors through the school.
Lower school students have the option of playing soccer through the Houston Youth Soccer Association (HYSA).
In the middle school, students compete in the Greater Houston Athletic Conference (GHAC) in five sports: basketball, cross-country, softball, track & field, and volleyball. Students in grades 6-8 may also play soccer through HYSA.
The upper school fields sports teams across eight sports: basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Saint Thomas’ is a member of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS).
Each year parents are sent home a Parent Volunteer Opportunities checklist. Year-long volunteer opportunities include serving as a Room Parent or acting as Host to an incoming family. Short-term opportunities include volunteering at annual dinners and fundraisers as well as athletic and arts events. Additionally, mothers of current Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School students are invited to participate in a weekly prayer group on campus.