How to Get Into St. John’s School (Houston, TX): Maximize Your Chances for Admission

We have all the tools necessary to guide you through the St. John’s School admissions process.

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Together with a group of families that were dedicated to creating a school community that is based on compassion, honesty, service, and intellectual vigor, Alan Lake Chidsey founded St. John’s School in 1946. It continues to impart quality K–12 education in Houston and is ranked as one of the best private schools in the state of Texas.  SJS prides itself on its rigorous academics, which adequately prepare students for a future in higher education. The school has a strong tradition of academic excellence and provides vast opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular activities, athletics, and community service. St. John’s School is known for its excellent athletic programs, state-of-the-art facilities, innovative curriculum, and excellent STEM courses.

How hard is it to get into St. John’s School?

St. John’s School is a highly selective institution, accepting only 20% of its applicants. Because of this, how you carry yourself in your admissions interview and your score on the ISEE test are integral to the status of your admission to the school. We know that applying to such a prestigious and ambitious school is often intimidating and stressful. Let the expertise of our esteemed counselors, tutors, and coaches help guide you through this process with confidence. At Cardinal Education, we ensure each of our clients receives an individualized approach to private school admissions, highlighting your application to show off the very best of you. 

St. John’s School Admissions

The application process with paying the application fee and attending the open house and the parent/guardian meeting with an admissions officer. Applicants are considered based on the following criteria:

  • Teacher Recommendations
  • Extracurricular Recommendation 
  • Academic Record
  • ISEE Test Results
  • Admission Interview
  • Writing Sample 

St. John’s School Application

Teacher Recommendations

Applications for middle and upper schools must include letters of recommendation from the current math and English teachers. For kids applying to upper school, extracurricular references are required; for students applying to middle school, they are optional. 

Letters of recommendation should set your child apart from other candidates. In our experience, many students are frequently convinced that they can gain admission because of their high grades and GPA, which showcase them as great students. However, being an extraordinary candidate differs from being a great student. A sizable number of applicants may be applying with grades and academic achievements that are identical to your child’s or even better. So how do you achieve the differentiation your child needs? Our private school admissions consultants have established, enhanced, and mastered strategies and techniques that are guaranteed to deliver glowing recommendation letters.

Academic Record

Mid-year and previous year’s report cards are requirements for admission. Admissions officers would want to know how your child is performing in the different classes. Grades will measure your child’s ability to cope and succeed in the rigorous SJS curriculum.

Obtaining consistent, impressive grades is not easy, especially if your child is not academically motivated or is having difficulty in one or two subjects. We suggest that you begin tutoring as soon as possible because improving grades takes time. Our tutors will see to it that your child gets better marks and fulfills all the requirements, and you can choose between in-person or online tutoring for a range of subjects. We also provide academic coaching to help your child build executive function abilities, get ready for difficult tasks, and eventually succeed academically.

ISEE Test Results

St. John’s School will only accept one ISEE score report, even though you are permitted to take the exam twice. The report must be from a test taken within the current admissions cycle (August through January). SJS does not offer the test, so you have to choose a testing location and date that works well for your family. You may register at the official website here

To ensure that your child submits the best possible scores, enroll in our test prep program and let our ISEE tutors provide all the help necessary. Our classes are individualized, so we can focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each student. Our ISEE practice tests not only teach concepts but also test-taking strategies so your child will be able to take the test confidently.  

Admissions Interview

There are two kinds of admissions interviews at SJS. The first is the parent/guardian interview that is required for new families, and the second is the student interview. To be considered for admission, the administration wants to make sure that your whole family is a good fit for the school community. They will look at your child’s personality as well as your family’s goals and values.

To help you and your child succeed in admissions interviews, our admissions consultants offer interview preparation services. We can assist you in developing honest and authentic responses that adhere to the school’s values because we are aware of the questions they will likely ask and the kinds of answers they value.

Writing Sample

Applicants need to answer a student questionnaire and submit a writing sample as part of the supplemental application materials. The questionnaire will elicit responses that should highlight your child’s strengths and problem-solving abilities. The challenges in completing this requirement are choosing which experiences and anecdotes to tell and putting them into writing effectively in a way that will leave a positive impression on admissions officers. 

Because our private school admissions consulting is holistic, we can know your child and your family on a deeper level, so we can advise you on which experiences are worth sharing. Our writing tutors can help your child improve their writing skills through the Program in Writing and Reading. We understand the SJS admissions process, and we can help you stand out from the rest of the applicants. 

St. John’s School Famous Alumni 

  • Benjamin Moser – Pulitzer Prize winner for his work on the biography of Susan Sontag, a famous writer, philosopher and activist
  • Wes Anderson – multi-awarded filmmaker, Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe Award winner,  and BAFTA Award winner
  • Ken Keeler – television producer and writer famous for his works on The Simpsons and Futurama
  • William Curtis Bryson – senior circuit judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, presiding judge on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review
  • Wesley Hunt – U.S. representative for Texas’s 38th congressional district
  • Sarah Blaffer Hrdy – anthropologist and primatologist, pioneer in studies on the evolution of female behavior in both nonhuman and human primates
  • Peter Rousell – former press secretary to then-Congressman George W. Bush, served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN
  • Katherine Center – New York Times bestselling author for her books: How to Walk Away, Things You Save in a Fire, and The Bodyguard
  • Ashlee Vance – reporter, writer, and filmmaker, wrote the biography of Elon Musk which was released in 2015 
  • Christy Haubegger – Stanford Law School graduate, founder of Latina magazine, and former EVP at WarnerMedia

Student Life at St. John’s School  

SJS students are encouraged to pursue their extracurricular interests through activities like sports, outdoor recreation, music, drama, and volunteer work. The school fosters inclusivity and diversity while offering a caring atmosphere where students can feel encouraged and comfortable. Additionally, they have the chance to study abroad, broadening their horizons. Overall, St. John’s School offers a difficult and gratifying school experience that equips pupils for future success.

Saint John’s School Academics

St. John’s School is renowned for its rigorous and comprehensive academic program. With a curriculum that spans from the liberal arts to STEM fields, SJS offers a well-rounded education that challenges students to excel in every subject. As a college preparatory school, Upper School requirements and offerings satisfy the entrance requirements of all American colleges and universities. Additionally, a focus on writing and reasoning skills prepares students for the academic rigor and challenges of college. The freshman and sophomore years of the curriculum offer a strong foundation of fundamentals, while the junior and senior years allow for more personalization. In addition, students can choose from among 19 AP courses, a wide range of honors and elective programs, and chances for independent study.

Saint John’s School Athletics

At St. John’s School, students can find themselves enrolled in all sorts of athletic pursuits. From volleyball to basketball, tennis, and football, the St. John’s Mavericks are known for their excellent training facilities, as well as their “not without honor” mission, thus promoting good sportsmanship throughout each of their teams. For those who particularly stand out in their sports, St. John’s offers plenty of college recruiting resources and opportunities for students who wish to continue their athletic endeavors in their higher education careers. 

Saint John’s School Arts

The St. John’s School art department is dedicated to allowing students to express their creativity and flourish as young artists. From choral to instrumental, theatrical, and visual, St. John’s does not shy away from providing their students with multiple outlets to involve themselves in the artistic scene of Houston. With a dedicated faculty and staff on board to help students flourish in self-confidence, the kids of St. John’s School often develop lifelong hobbies and careers due to the world-class artistic programs within their school. 

Saint John’s School Activities

St. John’s School is known for its commitment to “the whole child” and has wellness programs on campus. From parent coffee events to student-led wellness projects, the school is dedicated to promoting good mental health in its community. In addition to this, St. John’s students are associated with many clubs and organizations outside of the classroom, some of which are affinity groups like the African American Affinity Group and the Jewish Affinity Group. Other clubs like the Space Technology, Economics, and Policy (STEP) Club, the Literary Society, and the Paper Crafts Club all inspire students to immerse themselves in their passions, whatever they may be. Aside from clubs, St. John’s School highly values community service, 92% of the upper school student body partakes in a service initiative of some sort. 

Did You Know?

Private instrument lessons for violin, flute, and trumpet are available. 

Client Testimonial

“With their expert advice and personalized approach, they helped my child navigate the competitive admissions process at St. John’s School. Their attention to detail and thorough understanding of the school’s requirements undoubtedly played a significant role in my child’s acceptance.”