The middle schools and high schools in STL area 圣村的初高中

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The front entrance of Ladue Horton Watkins High School, on Warson road

I recall there is a forum and people talked about the high school they went in the STL area. Here is the thread, and let me quote some below 🙂


This topic would be on my list of things I like least about St. Louis. It’s something I’ve never experienced anywhere else, and something I simply don’t enjoy. I did grow up in St. Louis and did go to high school in St. Louis, before relocating, and actually enjoyed my high school experience a great deal, and would recommend my high school highly to anyone who asked. I do also enjoy St. Louis a great deal of course and still spend a lot of time in St. Louis. I have a few friends who’ve recently moved back to St. Louis and immediately were reminded of the whole high school mentality, and they simply say they were home schooled or from out of town and usually the other person asking quickly loses interest in them and walks away. I generally think I have a good tolerance for things and a sense of humor, but where there’s smoke there’s fire, and despite the friendliness and simpleness of the topic, to me it represents the fragmented mentality of a medium sized metro area, or big small town if you will, and the sizing up one person vs another. I’m just not a fan. It’s sort of remniscent of the person who enters a party and the first thing they strike up in conversation is, “So, what do you do?”…because they can’t think of anything else to say.

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Wow thats interesting, I never knew “Where did you go to High School” was a St Louis thing! Thats interesting!

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Last but not least, these old google reviews on Ladue Middle School: it seems most of the one star rating is form the Clayton (Wydown) Middle school? This is similar to the sports “trash talk” between STL Cardinals and Chicago Cubs 🙂 Or the rivalry between JBS and MICDS which I will talk a bit below. Note there is a small rivalry between Ladue High School and MICDS too: the rivalry on the Warson road. Incidentally both have ram has mascot.

In a way I think Ladue middle or high school is a bit like my middle (high) school – Zhenhai Middle School. I wrote a blog post; also you may read the wikipedia entry 🙂 Recently there is also a story floating around at the Chinese media, both inside and outside China, this again emphasize the importance of mental health. Btw, I noticed in the US, the medical community is paying attention to this topic too, as I saw the survey questions on the annual physical exam for my kids.


I think it’s important for a kid going to a good school: both middle and high school. Equally important though, if not more, is the school is a good fit for the kid. Obviously money is a consideration too. I mean the tuition and other costs for the private schools. I don’t think the more expensive, the better the school though.

Also, I didn’t go the high school here. We live in the best public school district per Niche‘s most recent ranking. Fox2Now: One St. Louis-area public school among nation’s Top 50 in new rankings. And both my kids attend Ladue schools (8th grader and 4th grader). Personally I started living in the district since April 2005.

My impression of private schools

And I heard good things about them here and there. But I am not going to comment on any one of the private schools in the area. Btw, there is the website of the independent schools in the STL area.

I actually did some research or tour some area private schools over the years: The Wilson school (toured when my old daughter was one year old :-), Whitfield school (toured when looking for a high school potentially for a family member, it reminds me of the Hilton hotel btw). I visited MICDs and John Burroughs too: went to MICDs and Burroughs mostly for my old daughter’s basketball or Lego competition, and a summer camp at MICDs. Now I recall they had a “play” which is good and cool. I think they all have wonderful facilities. I also visited a few Catholic schools in the area, because both my daughters did one season of CYC basketball, the campus of Villa stands out for me.

Keep things in perspective

I started this blog post due to a few factors. I do agree “what high school did you go” is very much a #STL thing, and sometimes this is rightly, or wrongly, a snobbish question.

Mental health and Happiness

Recently I have seen my 13 year old got nervous about two things: one is the All Suburban Middle School Jazz Band. Her main worry is she needed to do jazz improvise. She said she regret for trying out the Jazz Band audition. She even tried to write out the music notes that she was going to do during improvisation. So far she went for 3 rehearsals. She felt better now. Another one is the YPCO at CMS (Webster U). She said she was not prepared well enough before the joint rehearsal, and plus they are getting a new conductor (director).

A good example to show she was not happy or was nervous: yesterday afternoon, I was probably late for 10 mins per the plan, to pick her up, and she was really upset. I told her we had sufficient time to get to CMS. That didn’t help. She was not talking to me on our way there. This is quite different from after the rehearsal.

Recent episode reminds me one major responsibility for parents: pay attention to kids’ mental health, and make sure they are developing the right skills for time management, prioritize tasks, and feel safe at home. Sometimes (maybe a lot of times) when they feel safe they could also show lots of emotions at home.

(Update 01-07-2023) Today is the day my 13 year old will perform at the All Suburban jazz concert. Things got better recently as she found a friend (new friend) at the jazz band (also a 8th grader girl), and incidentally this girl goes to the YPCO as well. I think in a lot ways, parents influence may not be as good as friends 🙂

Foundation for life

I think overall school is a good place for the kids to try different things, explore, make friends, and to make sure they are prepared for the future, and in ideal situation, find their true passion. I saw a good example the other day. Private or public school may be a factor, but to me this is the ONLY factor.

A question I think some parents may be interested

Should schools ban cellphones?

My comments: personally I don’t like my kid having phone at school. But at the same time it’s a convenience thing for communication as my 13 year old has after school activities to go sometimes. It seems she largely avoid using the phone when in school. In the past I recall former colleagues mentioned the school would hold on the phones in school day (pre smartphone period). Smartphone distraction is really everywhere: I also recall a VP of software engineering doing blackberry when she was meeting with us in a meeting (around 2005 or 2006?). If we really want to do this: as a minimum the leaders should lead by example.

(Update 06-05-2024) Came across this from FB recently 🙂

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