Experience a thriving high school- St. John XXIII College Preparatory School

In Houston, it is common for people to drive 20 minutes in the morning to get their kids to school. One morning, I drove 20 minutes against traffic to St. John XXIII College Preparatory School, located in Katy. I could not believe how fast I got there from the heart of Memorial. The school is located on an abundance of land at the intersection of Grand Parkway and I-10.

I was extremely impressed with the liveliness of the school and the abundance of class offerings, not to mention the amazing facilities. The school appeared full of spirit and happiness. The hallways were adorned with bright colors and decor representing the school’s house system. The houses are named after 5 saints that influenced the life of Pope John Paul 23. Every student is assigned to a house when he or she first enrolls in the school and is with that house until he or she graduates. The houses engage in friendly competition and service-oriented activities throughout the year. Students in the same house have lockers down the same hall, which promotes community between the grade levels. ¬†Each house hallway also has a bulletin board where students can post announcements and spirit signs. The college counseling hallway was very impressive, with colorful pennants hung on the walls. Each student is assigned a college counselor for the four years that he/she is at the school. I was impressed with the amount of student-led programs that I heard about. For instance, mentors students in grades 11 and 12 meet monthly with new 9th graders (called “first year experience”). There are student-led spiritual retreats. I walked into the campus minister’s classroom, which reminded me of a cozy living room. I was told that students love to come and take a load off in this room in the middle of a hectic day. I felt a sense of calm for sure when I entered this room.

There are 70 minute classes on a rotating block- so students have 4 classes per day instead of 8- much like college. What a great way to get students used to the next step! There is also an impressive learning center that contains two tiers of students: Tier 1 consists of students who need extended time on tests. Tier 2 consists of students who are in “academic seminar” and who need more close mentoring as they navigate the academic world at the school.

St. John XXIII offers everything other great schools in the city offer: academics, arts, athletics, faith, and a rich student life. Please go check this school out!

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