A few details then about the decision-making process...
- The public high-school is 2 miles (read: The Boy could walk, if necessary) from our home. They have a stellar sports program and excellent academic opportunities. A certain Boy was quite impressed with one of their seniors (third in his class) this year who is attending Northwestern and will also play football there. The staff we met was extremely helpful and showed a true commitment to their work, calling each student they encountered by name. No small feat for a school of nearly 2000 students. And did I mention the facilities? We pay money to belong to a gym that is not as nice as the facilities at this school. And the auditorium! Is not of the cafetorium or cafeagymatorium variety. Let's just leave it at that. But, there's always two sides to every coin and in this case we had to consider--The Boy would be leaving an incredible group of friends--none of whom would attend this school and while it seems a very character-filled place, our Faith would not be taught. Students would not attend Mass together. And the character traits being taught would fall into the "be good for goodness sake" category rather than their Judeo-Christian etiology.
- The diocesan co-ed high school is about 20 minutes from our home. It would definitely necessitate additional driving next year to and from school, sports practices and friends' homes. Fortunately, The Boy has a good friend who lives close by who is planning to attend and his mom is a stellar car pool companion. The school offers (as did the public high school) block-scheduling allowing for The Boy to be finished with all of his advanced Math classes before taking the ACT. And freeing him up to take AP Biology senior year, which would help in his current calling to work in medicine. This is also The Captain's alma mater. Although he attended back in the day when the school was neither located in its present location nor housed in the brand spanking new building it is in now. Students participate daily in the Faith and are required to complete service hours each year in order to graduate. There are roughly 500 students in the school. 150 incoming freshmen took the placement test. Several of his friends will attend here--the remaining majority will attend the all-boys school....
- Which is also an excellent option. Firm in the faith and tradition, the school offered an impressive list of colleges where students are accepted. Having attended a single-sex college, I know first hand the benefits of this endangered style of education. In the same sports conference as the diocesan school, both offer similar options for sports and activities (A new building and grounds campaign is underway to improve and add to the outdoor facilities). And, this school is also located about 25 minutes from our house...again with the carpool. While I'm sure there are people in our neck-of-the woods who attend, we have yet to meet anyone currently there. There are approximately 500 boys in attendance. Being as traditional as it is, the school offers a standard seven-period school day rather than block scheduling. And as a former military school, it is well-known for its discipline. And in the past two years, they have sent a number of students to West Point (The Captain's other alma mater.)
It took us a while, but when we knew--we knew.
Next year, The Boy will be entering here as a freshman.
And fortunately, we have four more years before we have to make this decision again.