Choosing the right school district is a big factor in your decision to move. But if private school is in the budget, the Dallas area offers some of the finest private schools in the state. Before you move specifically for a school district, consider these elite academies of learning.
Cistercian Preparatory School is a Roman Catholic boys school just outside Dallas, in Irving, that serves grades 5-12. Each grade is assigned a priest or a dedicated teacher as a "form master," who follows the class over the years and is responsible for helping the students become members of the community outside. Though the school does not accept girls, it is considered one of the top private schools in the Metroplex. It is especially noted for its broad athletics program and its vaunted literary and art magazine, Reflections, which is conceived, written, and laid out by student editors and staff. From 2005 to 2011, Reflections won the Columbia Scholastic Press Gold Crown Award, which only the top 8-14 magazines in the nation win.
The St. Mark's School is a nonsectarian preparatory day school serving grades 1-12. Like Cistercian, St. Mark’s is a all-boys school with a reputation for turning out a bevy of successful athletes, entrepreneurs, and artists. In its many incarnations over the years (the original school founded in 1906 grew and eventually merged with Texas Country Day School to become St. Mark’s School of Texas in 1953), the school has educated the likes of H. Ross Perot, musician Steve Miller, actor Tommy Lee Jones, and composer Stephen Scott Arnold. In addition to its highly regarded academic program, the school’s extracurricular activities have garnered awards like the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown in 2013 (the highest award given by the to scholastic journals). There’s also a state-best photography program that was recognized by the Association of Texas Photography Instructors for seven consecutive years (2007–2013).
Greenhill School is a nondenominational co-ed day school just north of Dallas, in Addison. Greenhill offers pre-K-12 learning and features 15 advanced placement courses in its Upper School. Its Class of 2008 had 21 commended finalists for National Merit scholarships, and 10 actual finalists for the scholarship, as did Cistercian and St. Mark’s. In addition to academics, students are required to complete 48 hours of community service for graduation. Like Cistercian and St. Mark’s, Greenhill has turned out its share of successful graduates, including two members of the Dixie Chicks, Oscar winner Ronald Judkins, and ESPN’s Jared Sandler.