Westminster Christian Academy St Loui...
hello you

United States

#42 Jan 3, 2008
i do wonder about all this talk ,.is this a bad joke? There are people I really love that send their children to wca.
stlcares

United States

#43 Jan 7, 2008
Nothing in these writings are funny or in any way a "joke". They are the cries of people who have experienced the abuse of WCA. WCA works very hard to hide the problems it has (even to hiring a new PR person directly on staff) searching "around the country" and filling the position not from a local person but from someone who moved from another state to Missouri -- very unusual for a private school. People don't hold on to high school "problems" unless they've significantly affected their lives; they move on. You can't move on when the damage done harms you for years afterwards -- and it has. We all love someone at WCA or who's been there. How much do you really care what goes on behind WCA's closed doors? Enough to keep asking questions?
Prospective Parent

Rowland Heights, CA

#44 Jan 7, 2008
We are moving to the St. Louis area and are looking for a christian high school that offers outstanding academics ( i.e. college prep) and high behavior standards as well. It sounds like there are some serious problems at this school. Is there another christian school that is recognized as a leader in the area?
stlcares

United States

#45 Jan 8, 2008
A leader in what way? Academically? What type of college are you hoping to send your son/daughter to? If it's a Christian College and if you follow a fundamentalist and Calvin centered belief structure, WCA could serve your needs. WCA follows these doctrinal teachings and grades in every subject based on a student's acceptance of these beliefs. If you do not believe that way, your child will have a difficult time and not get very good grades. WCA uses an Elders based Board of Directors. They are basically infallible as is taught in their denomination and problems are inherent in the school. Academics aren't strong at WCA; they may appear to be but they're not. Teaching students from one worldview and to disregard or not read particular books or parts thereof that competitive and highly competitive colleges merit, can cause problems. WCA has a high dropout rate among its college acceptances at non Christian schools and even at some Christian schools. Published statistics from the school are not accurate. Count the teachers on staff in the published course guide; check this against what they publish in other areas of the website -- the figures don't agree. There are many other inaccuracies in the school's data yet they have a full time PR person whom they hired and who moved from out of state to join the staff -- very unusual for a STL private school. You can check various websites and listings of private schools including Christian schools; there are some in various parts of the county wide area.
stlcares

United States

#46 Jan 8, 2008
One further comment. Check the grading system at WCA and ask why all the students on the honors lists for grades seem to come from mainly one or two "feeder schools" and Christian denomination(s). Compare their system to other schools that use a 100% as an A; WCA grades 100% as an A+. How does this affect GPA? It raises GPA. What is one part of a students' record colleges access: GPA. Perhaps this is one reason why so many students don't continue at some colleges -- they really don't have the ability to do so. Teachers do not have a set policy on grading and many have "favorites" for whom they "adjust" grades by giving "grace points". Students are NOT allowed to discuss their work with other students, their grades or anything they do. No comparison is allowed. Isn't this leaving the door open for anyone who wants to do so to "reward" certain students? It has happened and it will continue to happen until changes in the school are made. Yes, there are problems at WCA.
Former Grad

Saint Louis, MO

#47 Jan 17, 2008
To Stlcares,

It is apparent that you have a personal axe to grind with WCA. It is standard practice to use 97+% as an A+, not an A. And a student is much less likely to achieve this than a typical public school in the area. If anything this causes great pains for graduates of Westminster in getting into prestigeous schools as the high level of qualified individuals drops their class ranks to below acceptable levels for top tier colleges.

With regards to the quality of education, I would consider it one of the best in the area, but definitely catered to the over-achiever and top tier students. I can see where a student who is not prepared for AP courses their Senior year would not be prepared for college. But that is not the fault of WCA but rather the educational level of the student.

Your comments about drop out rates of WCA grads in college is highly off-base. Speaking from experience, I know that the large majority (greater than 75%) of my graduating class (mid-90s) has a bachelor's degree (many in math and sciences). Probably 50% of those have master's degrees and 30% of those have PhDs.

I will say without qualification or reservation that WCA has turned out some of the brightest minds in St. Louis over the past 20 years that I have been associated and familiar with them.

With regards to your bones to pick with Biblical teachings, WCA hires predominately from PCA (Presbyterian) churches, and as such has a definite view towards Calvinistic Theology. This is not an exclusive hiring practice, but rather where they've been supported in the past, and where the large percentage of their staff has always come from. Simply put, they don't push there beliefs any more than any other denomination of evangelicals, rather their beliefs are more pronounced as this is the beliefs of the majority of the staff.

Sorry, from experience, I just find your comments without standing and completely offbase.
stlcares

United States

#48 Jan 17, 2008
To former grad,

If you can vouch for all the teachers integrity and know many on a personal level, perhaps you can share with the readers of this section (1) which teachers are certified by the State of Missouri to teach,(2) which are certified in what subjects,(3) if they're actually teaching subjects in which they have a level of mastery of subject matter -- not just from being at WCA for years, that doesn't qualify a teacher or anyone else in any occupation. And, perhaps you can explain how you can be in all classrooms at all times observing and listening to what is said to know for certain what’s been shared in these entries isn’t correct; that doesn't quite fit into what is usually taught about time/space/matter in science classes unless WCA teaches differently.

It's interesting how you believe there's an axe to grind, an agenda to push, trying to cover up something. This section and the section on WCA being abusive does just the opposite, it tries to find out the truth and why actions were taken on the part of various individuals in positions of authority at WCA over the years. It's enlightening and encouraging for each of the people who share their concerns in this section and in the section on WCA being abusive to know ... you are not alone, others through the years felt your pain and have your concerns about WCA.
stlcares

United States

#49 Jan 17, 2008
To former grad,

WCA doesn't subjugate women? It's built into their Association By Laws: Women are not allowed to serve on the Board. Other Christian Schools around the country who follow the same Westminster Confession of Faith and other doctrine have women on their Boards and in positions of authority in their high schools, why doesn't WCA? What happened to the Mother's Club? It's now PAWS and couples, husbands with wives, hold one position each couple; does this sound like a school that believes women can be leaders when it had to put both a man and a woman in one position of "authority"? Just a few years ago the Board and Administration eliminated three parent based organizations AND assimilated their funds; in March 2007, they managed to take away the rights of the members of the Association, men and women, to review and vote on the school curriculum and school policy EACH YEAR. Girls are taught their periods are a "curse" and "punishment" -- what does this say about WCA?

By the way, since you're "in the know" please tell us why the school is referred to as non-denominational Christian, PCA, Presbyterian, Calvinist, Evangelical, etc. depending on which website you do research on the school including those of educational organizations the school claims membership in and its own website? Why hasn't and doesn't WCA identify by specific religious denomination from whom it derives its teachings, personal mandates and requirements of its members?
stlcares

United States

#50 Jan 17, 2008
To former grad,

Yes, girls do serve in some leadership positions -- except when a male wants that position and then she's told to "step aside and let him have it because “HE WILL BE A FUTURE LEADER AND NEEDS THE PRACTICE" and especially if that position is one of the “top two” positions in an organization. Then there was the young woman who was stalked by a young man who believed he had "a right" to her; he'd dated her and that meant she was interested in him. I didn't understand this until I spoke with someone from WCA and they told me that was part of the "education" at WCA, young girls should only date young men they would consider marrying. So, the young man presumed the young girl, although she wasn't interested, should be "his". Ask about why WCA refused to assist in keeping this young man away even though he threatened the girl several times.

Yes, there have been young women who were leaders at WCA, one fought for every grade point on every test because teachers (these unbiased teachers you talk about) didn't want to see her get what she worked so hard for and deserved, honors at graduation and in the class, as this was where "the boys" belonged. And what about the “readjustment” of the school’s Honors at Graduation a couple of years ago, the elimination of the “third position”; could it be because the third position was going to a young woman? Almost six years she’d worked to achieve that graduation honor and with one administrative “stroke”, it was gone.
stlcares

United States

#51 Jan 17, 2008
To former grad,

Before making comments previously about the academics at WCA, research was done comparing their academics and curriculum to outstanding St Louis Private Schools: among them were John Burroughs, Whitfield and St Louis Priory. Before you make the statement re the much higher tuition, older schools, etc. remember, this was not a comparison of the facilities or other "bought" items but the actual academic curriculum and the specific goals and achievements through the teaching. Anyone considering WCA should do this same direct comparison AND even compare the academic goals of the “public” schools. It’s enlightening when you do compare.

Examine the statistics, everyone who can get their hands on them, look them over very carefully. It becomes clear how there are "half truths". This is a common practice in many areas associated with the school. Count the number of teachers -- use basic math. They show far less actual human beings teaching at the school than they do when they show their stats for student/teacher ratio. Honors Courses? If you're in one, you're in all at WCA, it's a "track" system ; if you're removed from one (and not a member of one or two particular religious denominations) you're pulled out of all. Again, student experiences.
stlcares

United States

#52 Jan 17, 2008
To former grad,

WCA does provide a Biblical education, it's Calvinist and fundamentalist Biblical teaching. All classes integrate these teachings and all students are graded on how they adhere to these specific denominational teachings whether or not they are members of another denomination.

By the way, you attended in the mid 90's, so when did WCA begin to admit Catholics, which they did not do for many, many years. Many teachers view and teach Catholicism and teach Catholicism is not a Christian religion, make many false and incorrect statements about the denominations’ teachings and practices AND many teachers pressure those students who are Catholic and personally ridicule them in class or allow students to do this. This, too, is from the experience of students from WCA.
stlcares

United States

#53 Jan 17, 2008
To former grad and others,

As you stated, if your "current job" lends you to see more than you dare say anyone else here,(you're apparently referring to the numerous people who have begun speaking out about the severe problems at WCA in these two sections) you must be directly employed by WCA? No one associated with the school, employees, families or students, is allowed to criticize or make negative statements about the school -- read your School Handbook and read through the Head of Schools letters/memos and review his talks. There is no Free Speech at WCA, no Freedom of Religion and No Freedom of many other basics we've come as a nation to cherish.

Again, forum readers and possible applicants to WCA, speak up, speak out, question and do your research – it’s your personal right. Don’t just look at what you’re given by the school. After all, they do have a full time PR person who was hired specifically for his extensive background in building up Christian Private Schools and WCA did a nationwide search to find him – their statements, not the writer’s, on the web. Seek and ye shall find, ask and the door will be opened
stlcares

United States

#54 Jan 17, 2008
To former grad and others,

Apologies. You wrote two entries, one here and one under WCA IS CULTIC and I confused the two. These above comments are for the other entry. Please google that subject topix; a reply to this TOPIX will appear there shortly.

Remember! Anyone can say anything but the truth can always be found for what it is and that's what stlcares is all about -- letting the truth shine out from under the darkness that's covered what's really been going on at WCA and continues today.
Former Grad

Saint Louis, MO

#55 Jan 18, 2008
Stlcares,

Before you make the statement of female discrimination, perhaps you should look at the past validictorians of the schools, and I think you would lose the basis for your claim. For my graduating year, the validictorian was actually two women as they had the same GPA. The first male in the class was actually ranked 4th. Oh, and while were on the academic rigors of WCA, I believe all 4 hold PhDs from prestigous top tier Universities.

With regards to your 'claim' that I'm in the employ of WCA, I find this near delusional. Because I've attended WCA, lived in St. Louis for 20 years, and attended several of the churches where WCA staff worship, and as such know them beyond being teachers at WCA does not make me in the employ of WCA.

With regards to your claims of lack of freedom of speech at WCA. I can personally attest to my experiences that this is quite to the contrary, and WCA instead encourages freedom of speech and thought. Mind you that WCA is a Evangelical based school and as such freedom of speech should be understood in that context instead of the context that the ACLU and others would like to believe it exists.

With regards to your claims on Catholics. I can personally say that some of my fellow classmates were Catholic, espoused to be Catholic, and were never ridiculed, harassed, judged, or otherwise maligned for being Catholic, either by students or staff of WCA.

The honors system is also not a 'track' system, where one is in all honors or none. I can say that I personally, and many others of my classmates were in some honors classes but not all. And this was never pushed, noted, or pressured; one way or the other.

And out of curiosity, did you write the verbal vomit that pollutes the bottom half of WCA's Wikipedia entry? It definitely strikes the same chord that you continue to strike here.
stlcares

United States

#56 Jan 21, 2008
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each person is of value. No one person or group of persons matters any more or less. WCA 90’s Grad’s statement the basis for these claims is lost because some girls at WCA have succeeded in becoming academic and organizational leaders doesn’t negate the stories from others of gender discrimination, religious discrimination and subjugation of women, poor academic program, biased grading programs, etc.

People are coming forward, on their own, in ways previously unavailable; they’re speaking out after years have passed and from recent years. Some may even be attending WCA today and they’re aware of what happens when you speak up and speak out about WCA so they choose to guard their identity for fear of reprisal. Not possible? Read the Parent & Student Handbook of WCA; each year it becomes more dictatorial about every aspect of human behaviour and ever more encompassing in the vague language used allowing a very broad interpretation of violations by the administration.

What was mentioned is how the school, from the Board of Directors down, subjugates women and various religious denominations, even to their participation in positions of leadership. WCA mid 90’s Grad didn’t dispute the examples of the dissolution of the Mother’s Club and PAWS with its husband/wife appointees by the school's Administration, not elected by the way, each “couple” holding one position. Why can’t a woman do the job by herself, WCA Mid 90’s Grad? Females at WCA are taught men are superior.

Let’s add one other “teaching” of WCA to their young female students – some as young as Middle School: Wives are supposed to be submissive to their husbands and that includes never refusing him sexually. How many parents reading this approve of a school, private or public, giving this mandate to their students? Religious teaching? Not applicable and shouldn’t be allowed in a publicized non denominational Christian school along with many other instructions given to young men and women at WCA as many may be specific to one denomination and not practiced by all or created by the school.
stlcares

United States

#57 Jan 21, 2008
WCA mid 90’s Grad made specific reference to percentages of his/her graduating class finishing their undergraduate, receiving Masters and PhD degrees and he/she believes testifies to the great education received at WCA.

Where can readers of WCA IS ABUSIVE and WCA IS CULTIC find a complete list of graduates from WCA by year, type of undergraduate degree achieved and when, masters degrees awarded by college/university and dates, PhD degrees awarded in what areas, by what colleges/universities and dates? Where’s the substantiation available for GRAD’s claim?

With a full time Public Relations employee at WCA for last year and this year, why hasn’t the school used this information on its website, even on Wikipedia? It’s an amazing accomplishment for any private college preparatory school to have so many Masters and PhD achievements from one graduating class.

Everyone would like to know how many there were in the history of the school, where they were given, in what subjects and how the graduates are using their advanced degrees, in what professions. Where can we find that information?

WCA MID 90’S GRAD stated:“With regards to your claims of lack of freedom of speech ... WCA encourages freedom of speech and thought. Mind you that WCA is a Evangelical based school and as such freedom of speech should be understood in that context instead of the context that the ACLU and others would like to believe it exists.”

Freedom of speech “should be understood in that (Evangelical based school) context instead of the context of the ACLU and others”? Why insert the ACLU? What about how it’s practiced in other Private Schools and even in local Public Schools? How does Evangelical based speech differ from what United States Citizens are granted by the Constitution? Again, presentation of the expulsions from WCA of individuals who have spoken up and spoken out about the school and the ever increasing diminishing of the rights of parents and students as presented previously shows what “freedoms” WCA families have had and now have.

If GRAD wants readers to believe WCA is a school well worthy of their consideration and setting aside of these “unfounded” statements by a person or persons who have “an axe to grind” about WCA, simply verify, substantiate and provide resources for specific statistics.
stlcares

United States

#58 Jan 21, 2008
“Verbal Vomit” is how Mid 90’s Grad referred to entries on Wikipedia – which have been removed and keep reappearing with new info added. I’ve asked around since GRAD asked the question. This writer is responding to a section at the bottom before the names and titles of the administrators and staff titled,“Controversy”.

Sorry to disappoint you, Grad, but this writer didn’t “light the fire” but as in the song, we’ll keep it burning brightly, ever higher, here and with others all across the web.

How sad if the GRAD was referring to the young woman cited in Controversy who was expelled from the school. Details are even more than what we read; hope it comes back with even more or appears somewhere else. She wasn’t the first and she won’t be the last. Who’s next? When will these injustices stop?

Just received some new info. Someone apparently had added their own job titles/descriptions to those included on the bottom of the section. That’s probably what GRAD was citing. Again, do I actually sound to you and to others out there like someone who needs to make comments in that way when I am perfectly capable and willing to use TOPIX and will consider other venues to share specific information on Westminster Christian Academy St Louis? Not my doing.

Perhaps if they really felt they had “freedom of speech” as you claim Mid 90’s GRAD, they would speak out completely about why they placed these titles on these people’s names.

Students (and families) learn to live in fear, but not the “fear of the Lord” as is the motto of WCA. Rather, they learn that nothing they do isn’t scrutinized, weighed and judged and even those whom they think are their friends with the best of intentions can lead to problems and repercussions from staff and administrators.

Everyone watches everyone at WCA; not over them but to ensure they “adhere” to the very imposing personal standards of behaviour and belief.
Rick

United States

#59 Jan 22, 2008
Seems that Greg from Ballwin MO got it right. There is no hard facts/evidence or footnotes in these complaints, only opinion, inudendo and immaturity, not to mention crass language. You discredit yourselves by your inability to communicate on an adult, acceptable mature level.
stlcares

United States

#60 Jan 22, 2008
Thanks, Rick, it’s great to have your opinions. Greg’s entry is from March 15, 2007. There were ten entries before Greg’s. There have been 46 since then plus yours making 47. Everyone expresses their thoughts differently; it’s called Freedom of Speech and it’s a part of why Topix was established.

You can shake your verbal finger at the people who’ve contributed to WCA IS ABUSIVE and WCA IS CULTIC and other places on the web as much as you want but they are human beings with individual lives and negative experiences while attending Westminster Christian Academy St Louis. Even if their comments aren’t formulated as well as you would like or substantiated, they’re speaking about their personal experiences.

It’s been a long time for some of them, but they’re finding their own voices. They’re finally realizing each individual does count, even if they can’t put their finger on what the problems actually are. They will understand, in time, as they read more and more about how WCA presented materials to them and conditioned them and probably be able to present more “hard facts/evidence” for all readers.

At the moment, if they can’t express themselves as clearly and completely as you require, perhaps it’s because that “rigorous education” for the “catered to over-achiever and top tier students”(Reference:Mid 90’s WCA GRAD in either WCA IS ABUSIVE or WCA IS CULTIC Topix) wasn’t provided to these individuals.

How can these people not have received the same high level of instruction in English Composition and Writing at a private college preparatory school where so many claim to have attended “top tier” colleges and universities?(Reference: WCA lists of colleges graduates who have been “accepted” to and “matriculated” from and words of WCA GRAD in WCA IS ABUSIVE or WCA IS CULTIC).

There wasn’t a Learning Center (Special Services) at WCA in the late 90’s, was there, Rick? So, perhaps you or someone you know (at WCA) can explain how these students “slipped through the cracks” at a school that has, since it’s inception, accepted “families” and interviewed them and the students for admission and where “every family” is important ?(Source: WCA By Laws, letters from The Head of School, papers, publications and website of WCA).

Even if they were students in The Learning Center, those kids were mainstreamed (and most still are) into the regular classes so they would have heard and experienced many of the same things as others.(Reference: publications and website of WCA with minimal information on The Learning Center/Special Services from years 2002-2008 (believe 2002 was the first time WCA went “on the web” to any extent; they can check that and so can you, right, Rick?).

By the way, how did you feel about Mid 90’s GRAD’s comments, facts, evidence and footnotes?
Former Grad

Saint Louis, MO

#61 Jan 22, 2008
Stlcares,

You really must be kidding yourself to believe that I or anyone else would publish a list

"...of graduates from WCA by year, type of undergraduate degree achieved and when, masters degrees awarded by college/university and dates, PhD degrees awarded in what areas, by what colleges/universities and dates?..."

I don't work for the school, I wouldn't have that information. And I'll say that neither do they. WCA does not track the post-high school education, careers, and achievements of their graduates.

I will however say that I know of BS degrees and Masters from Washington University, BS degrees from University of Missouri-Rolla, BA & BS degrees from University of Missouri-Columbia, Masters & PhD from Cornell, BS & Masters from MIT, Masters from Georgia Tech, BS, BA, & Masters degrees from Auburn Univ., BA degrees from Stamford, BA degrees from Covenant College, BS degree from Wheaton, BA & BS degrees from Calvin College, BS degree from The Air Force Academy... and the list goes on, and on, and on.

If you want to sit here and proclaim WCA as a school of degenerates, misfits, uneducated, and college dropouts. Then please do so, those reading and who graduated from there know otherwise.

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