Lower School


Applying to Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a natural entry point when forty-two places are offered, usually to twenty-one boys and twenty-one girls. Applicants to Kindergarten 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. A member of the Admission Office staff will contact you to schedule your virtual or in person parent meeting. All parent meetings must be completed by December 17. 

For Parents of Kindergarten Candidates

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

II.The number of Kindergarten candidates tested each year is limited to approximately 175 for the 42 places available in our Kindergarten class. The list of candidates to be tested is determined as follows:
  • The names of all SJS community candidates are placed on the list of children to be tested. SJS community candidates are defined as children who have a sibling attending or who graduated from St. John's and children of alumni, faculty, and staff.

  • Names of new-family candidates are then added to the list according to the date of application, or at the discretion of the School, until the list contains approximately 175 names. Notification of those to be tested will occur via email. If we are unable to test a candidate, the parents will be notified via email. If you need to make an email address change, please contact the Admission Office. It is our hope that families of the children we cannot test for Kindergarten will continue their interest in St. John's for other entry points. We consider all applications for Grades 1 through 12.
III. Children who are among the list of candidates to be evaluated must 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. This evaluation must be scheduled by October 1. Testing from other evaluators will not be considered when evaluating the student's application.

An additional testing fee of $300 is due to C.A.T.S. at the time of registration.  A candidate may not test more than once during the admission season (October through November) 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 November and is in person. School-readiness skills are assessed on an individual basis. You will receive an email with your child's scheduled testing date and time. 

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 video chat.
Out of town families applying for Grades K and 1 need to be on campus for their individual evaluation. Grade 1 applicants will receive notification in early November of your scheduled date and time. Individual evaluations will be conducted during the last two weeks in January, so that travel arrangements can be made. Since the WPPSI/WISC must be completed by December 17, out of town families can schedule testing in their local area.

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.

Admission Calendar for 2022 Entry:

August 6 - Application opens
August 27 -
Kindergarten application deadline by 4 p.m.
Beginning of September - The list of applicants to be tested for Kindergarten 2022-2023 entry is determined
September 26 - Kindergarten & Class One Open House (current applicants only), 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
October 1 
- Deadline to contact Collaborative Academic Testing (C.A.T.S) to schedule the WPPSI
December 16 - SJS evaluation completed
December 17 - Individual cognitive abilities testing administered by Collaborative Academic Testing (C.A.T.S) completed, teacher recommendation form due and parent meeting completed (virtual/in person)
March 11 - Admission decision notification

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