St. Mark's Episcopal School (West University Place, Texas)
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St. Mark's Episcopal School is a private primary and secondary school located in West University Place, Texas. St. Mark's serves preschool (ages two and up) through Grade 8 and has approximately 430 students total. The school is located just four miles from the Texas Medical Center and minutes south of the Galleria. St. Mark’s is a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest and the Southwest Association of Episcopal Schools. The current headmaster of the school is Garhett Wagers.
St. Mark’s places emphasis on school-wide efforts to build personal relationships with students and families. The school is structured into two divisions - Lower School (Preschool 2's through Kindergarten for Early Childhood and grades one through four for Elementary School) and Middle School (fifth and sixth grades for Lower Middle and seventh and eighth grades for Upper Middle). Activities are tailored uniquely for each division; however, the school's core values of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, and caring are represented in all activities throughout each day.
St. Mark's Episcopal School was created in 1960 as an educational ministry of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. The school operated as a nursery school for years then gradually began adding elementary grades. The first eighth grade class graduated in 1988. The school received its initial accreditation from the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (recognized by the Texas Education Agency) in 1990.
The Lower School at St. Mark’s includes Early Childhood (Preschool 2 year-olds, Preschool 3 year-olds, Prekindergarten and Kindergarten) and Elementary students, grades first through fourth. Early childhood and elementary students receive progress reports with narrative comments on your child’s growth and development. Elementary students study a sequential curriculum of handwriting, math, word study, reading and writing. Lower School classrooms have close knit classroom communities that are centered on the honor code of respect, responsibility and kindness.
Middle School at St. Mark’s consists of lower middle school (5th-6th grade) and upper middle school (7th-8th grade). St Mark’s has a strong Middle School advisory program for grades 5-8 which encourages character building and an honor-based “St. Mark’s Way.” St. Mark’s is committed to preparing eighth grades for high school. The school hosts an annual instructional meeting for all eighth grade students and families and provides ongoing assistance in the high school selection and application process. By eighth grade graduation, St. Mark’s students will have completed three high school level courses: Pre-AP Honors Algebra I, Spanish I, and Introduction to Physics and Chemistry. St. Mark's graduates consistently place into Spanish II or Spanish II Honors. Graduates are accepted into top Houston Area High Schools; for a list of high schools accepting St. Mark’s graduates, click here.
The school occupies four main buildings on campus that include three complete computer labs, two libraries, two complete science rooms, a gymnasium and stage, a multi-purpose cafeteria, music, art, and large bright classroom spaces. The campus is networked so students may work in the labs or on classroom computers. The facility surrounds an attractive courtyard and gardens where children enjoy lunch or outside lessons. Technology is integrated into the curriculum, and 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students participate in an iPad program.
Teachers at St. Mark's are one of the school's most empowering strengths. Their lengthy tenure at the school demonstrates dedication to the students, the profession, and the development of self-esteem and confidence within each child. The teachers reflect a commitment to nurture the growth and development of each child's character. This commitment guides the curriculum and daily experiences for all students, affecting interactions in their lives. The average teaching years of faculty is 19 years, Lower and Middle School Faculty Combined. With a low student to teacher ratio, classes are kept small, and learning opportunities are concrete and experiential whenever possible. Helpful and frequent communications allow parents to follow the school's activities and their child's progress. The common goal of each student's success drives the school's desire to be an intimate-yet-exceptional learning environment for all children.
The After School program is available to families with students in grades Prekindergarten through 8th grade needing daily or part-time after school care. The program includes snack time, outside recreation, extensive homework time for older students or informal inside activities for younger children.
The before school program is available to families in need of an early drop-off for students in Prekindergarten through 8th Grade.
Clubs and Activities
In Middle School, students participate in Elective Credit options, including Honors Art, Yearbook, Robotics, Dance, Video Production, etc. Additionally, clubs meet one day a week after school. Some of the clubs include cooking, piano, guitar, violin, Tae Kwon Do, USA Chess, ceramics, fencing, golf and origami.
Art surrounds the youngest students throughout the school year and is showcased in April at the Early Childhood Art Show. Formal art classes begin in kindergarten and continue through eighth grade, with the introduction of drawing skills, experience with most art mediums and artist studies.
Music and movement classes are held twice a week for Preschool 2’s through Prekindergarten classes. Music theory, singing, theater and performance curriculum is standard for grades K-8. School-wide Fine Arts Events include musical theater performances, holiday concerts, dance recitals, talent shows, and chapel performances.
Athletics The middle school students at St. Marks compete in WHCAC (West Houston Christian Athletic Conference. At St. Mark’s include girls’ and boys’ basketball at the 6th grade, junior varsity and varsity levels, boys soccer, girls’ volleyball at the 5th grade, 6th grade, junior varsity and varsity levels, girls’ and boys’ tennis for 5th–8th grade students, girls’ and boys’ golf for 6th–8th grade students, and track and field. Lower school students attend PE. These lower school students also compete in a UCAL league for Basketball, Soccer, and Volleyball.
- "St. Mark's Web Site, History Page". 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2009-10-05.