My husband and I are relocating to STX within 6 months. I have been researching schools and have found the private schools to be out of our budget. I would like some feed back on the public high schools in STX. This would be for a student transferring from a Texas public school system and very active in extracurricular activities both academically and socially. Any advice on the transition to a public school in STX? Thanks so much!
Have you guys done a PMV? You really need to. I'm from Texas and the schools will have none of the extracurricular activities you are used to. I have one nephew in high school in dfw metroplex area and one nephew in middle school there. If you are in a good school in Texas the public one here will be a year or two behind what he's used to. Is your child in honors or gifted and talented? Is he/she taking early college courses? Cause there's nothing like that here.
Then there's the crime problem. They can't even keep computers in the school. I know some of the elementary schools here have trouble just paying for books so there are always copies. Not to mention the condition of the schools themselves. Some even have plumbing and water problems.
Everyone that can, does put their kids in private. You don't have to do Good Hope or Country Day, there are others that cost about 1/3 to 1/2 less. Come down and look at the schools before you move down here. And really reevaluate your budget. The transition may be very hard on a teenage child. Its a totally different culture, how well does your kid adapt and make friends? Also when they're that age you always have to think about college.
I have 2 kids in public school right now and believe me it is NOT because I cannot afford private school. I am a product of the St Croix public schools.There is a bad stigma attached to the public school, and some of the negative points are true however keep in mind that Governor's, Lt. Governor's, Senators, Doctors, Lawyers not to mention a lot of successful people are a product of our public schools. So don't think for one minute that if you have to put your child in public school it will hurt him/her.
I would not recommend bring a child down here and throwing them into Central High School...Maybe after sometime on the island where your child gets in with the locals then it would be fine. Now if your child gets into Complex I would say go for it.
Elementary and Jr High school are not really a problem with transitioning, especially elementary school. Kids that age don't see race, religion etc etc...somewhere along the line we adults pick up that stupidity. I have no problem with the academics, both of my children are on the honor roll. My daughter has a friend that goes to good hope and is in the same grade and their curriculum is not that much different. Neither of my kids has been exposed to drugs, My daughter however in Jr High has seen fights, but she has also seen them in Florida. My problem with public schools....The overall conditions are poor....there is not much parent involvement...The schools are run down and hot!
BTW I am originally from here and my Melissa is from St. Louis. We just moved from Florida last year. Both the kids love it! My daughter is going on a field trip to Puerto Rico next month. They both have been on several field trips, and there are lots of after school activities.
If you have any other questions message me.
Thanks, Yearasta. It's nice to see someone stand up for the public schools! I'm glad your kids enjoy it 🙂
Not to pick a fight, nforbes, but there's a difference between "standing up for the public schools" here on StX, and choosing to put your child in one -if you are not from here, and can make that choice.
Regardless of the age at which they begin attending, they will most likely receive a sub-standard education -which only the most motivated parents and kids will likely be able to overcome. Yes, many fine people have gone through the schools down here, but based on my experience, they are the exceptions.
Jenny, I have a high schooler down here. And unless your student is academically gifted, socially smart, and emotionally tough, I would strongly suggest you do everything you can to locate an affordable private school down here. Or try to figure out how to be able to afford it -before- you get here.
Neil~ Thanks for the info. My step daughter excels academically at an advanced level. She goes to school in a small town in the Texas Hill Country and is surrounded by friends and lots of activities. My biggest concern is that she will be losing ground as far as her GPA and transcript is concerned for college admissions. My husband and I are making a lifestyle change and private school will not be an option. So if transferring her to STX vs. staying in Texas to finish her high school education in order to stay on track academically, then it may be better not to take a chance on STX schools. We are traveling to STX around May for our PMV, I will do some investigating while there. Thank you and have a great day! ~ Jenny
Jenny~ Just a thought: Free Will Baptist School goes up to 12th grade. It is a Christian school, but the tuition is only around 3500 or so. Doesn't hold a candle to Good Hope or Country Day, but might be more affordable and the quality of the education would be better than the public schools. Scholarships are also available at each of the private schools, but you'll have to contact each of them. One of our son's came here at age 15 and found the children his age (this is HIS perspective, remember) to be "extremely immature, narrow-minded, poorly educated, uninterested in football, skateboards, politics or literature and were instead more interested in using drugs, getting drunk or sitting around all day playing video games." He could not adjust to what he saw as racism, general sense of incompetence, or the lassitudinous attitude of store clerks, the extraordinary level of rampant crime, the corruption in government (translation: police who can't catch a thief to save their lives but had no problem yelling at him for skateboarding in town) . He became quite depressed and ended up returning to the US to live with his older brother.
We should have done a PMV with him, recognized that 15 is an extremely difficult time to move a student, and done more intensive training/counselling with him about differences in cultures. It might have gone better for him. Please be prepared, read, research and fully discuss with your children what they are about to get into and get them on board BEFORE you come!
I went to Good Hope my entire life and loved it. I would put my kids in private school here, but it's nice to hear someone on the board say positive things about public schools, instead of telling everyone to avoid like the plague. that's all. nice to have 2 sides to the story as not everyone can afford the private schools.
I agree...it's good to hear something positive about the public schools here. But the negatives far outweigh the positives, especially for a white kid from Texas. Talk about your culture shock!
My daughter is at Good Hope, and doing well. We made and continue to make sacrifices to afford to send her there. That's what I would get across to Jennyf...from Texas. Making a lifestyle change that could cost your kid a quality education or make them unhappy, is not a good change.
Since coming here ourselves, I've heard more than one story about parents who moved here with their teens, only to find that their teens couldn't adjust. No surprise here. Teens often don't "move" well. And being mal-adjusted is as good a definition of "teen" as you can find anywhere. And even many adults do not adjust to this place. A small caring school community, like Good Hope, can help. Worked for us. I consider the private tuition one of the "costs" of moving here... a bit of insurance that your kids (probably) won't hate it.