Lower School

Grade 1

Applying to First Grade

First Grade is a natural entry point when 22 places are offered, usually to 11 boys and 11 girls. Applicants to First Grade are considered on the following criteria: teacher recommendation, group evaluation with our teachers, and Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI-IV) results.

A parent meeting is required for all applicant parents who do not have a child currently enrolled in the School. If you applied your child for our Kindergarten last year, the parent meeting is waived. Parent meetings for First Grade must be completed by January 10. A member of the Admission Office staff will contact you to schedule your parent meeting.

For Parents of First Grade Candidates

I. We have two limitations regarding age: (1) candidates must be six years old by September 1 of the year they will enter First Grade, and (2) they must not have turned seven before June 1 of the year they will enter First Grade.

II. All candidates for First Grade are considered for admission.

III. All candidates are required to complete individual cognitive abilities testing.  St. John's contracts with Collaborative Academic Testing Service (C.A.T.S.) to administer the WPPSI-IV. Please note that we require all applicants to test with C.A.T.S. Testing from other evaluators will not be considered when evaluating the student's file. This evaluation must be scheduled with C.A.T.S. by November 22

An additional testing fee of $290 is due to C.A.T.S. at the time of registration.  A candidate may not test more than once during the admission season (August to January) and may not test at more than one location. 

Parents often ask how they should best prepare their child for the WPPSI-IV (or WISC) test. Please approach the test in a relaxed manner and make sure your child is well-rested and well-fed prior to the test. Parents, please be advised that evaluators will report to the schools any indication that the child has been tutored or coached. Since this is an important and valuable metric, any "test prepping" may jeopardize the accuracy of the results and can lead to the disqualification of the school admission application for your child. Please visit the CATS website for more information on how best to prepare your child for the test.

IV. The second phase of testing occurs in December and January. Math achievement and school-readiness skills are assessed during the group evaluation.

First Grade Admission Calendar for 2020 Entry:

August 7- Application opens
September–January - Individual cognitive abilities testing administered by Collaborative Academic Testing 
October 6
- Kindergarten-Grade 5 Open House, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. (Parents only, please.)
November 1 - Application deadline at 4:00 p.m. (Grades 1-4)
November 22 - Deadline to contact Collaborative Academic Testing to schedule the WPPSI
December 13 - Group testing (A - K), 12:30 - 2:30pm
December 16 - Group testing (L - Z), 12:30 - 2:30pm
January 11 - Individual test results (WPPSI) and teacher recommendation form due and deadline to complete parent meeting
March 13 - Admission decision notification

International Families and Out-of-Town Applicants

We look forward to working with families moving to Houston from other areas of the United States and other countries. We understand that the admission process may present some challenges given your circumstances. We encourage you to submit an application as soon as possible so that we may assist you with the admission process.

Out of town families applying for Grades 2–12 can complete the process without coming to campus. All testing can be done out of state, and we can help facilitate. Additionally, interviews and parent meetings can be completed over Skype.

Out of town families applying for Grades K and 1 need to be on campus for their group evaluation. Those dates are listed on our website far in advance, so you are able to make travel arrangements. Since applicants are required to come to Houston for their group evaluation, we encourage families to schedule their WPPSI appointment with CATS during their visit.

As a day school, St. John's policy requires that students reside with a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian. We do not offer a program for international students and do not issue I-20 visas.

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