Bishop O'Dowd vs St. Mary's?

We are applying to Catholic Schools this fall and are looking at BOD and St. Mary's as our top two choices. I am wondering what the major differences are between these two schools from people who have had experience with both of them? We are a Jewish family with an artsy son who isn't into sports, but would be interested in theater, debate and vocal music. He shadowed both and liked them equally. Anyone have experience with both and able to compare the two? Thank you. 

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RE: Bishop O'Dowd vs St. Mary's? ()

Can't compare the two but happy to share offline as a Jewish family at St. Mary's.

RE: Bishop O'Dowd vs St. Mary's? ()

We are a Jewish Family at ODowd and have had no issues with the Religious Curriculum so far (Freshman year). The religion classes have been a good experience for my son; the curriculum appears to be more about self-knowledge and making good decisions. Sophomore year is oriented more towards Catholicism though. There is a Jewish Club with almost 200 members! In Junior/Senior year they choose a religion elective which are not strictly Catholic - World Religion, Media Ethics etc. Yes they have masses but they are presented in a broader context of spirituality. The Service Projects are a good example of tikkun olam! It is a Catholic School, but I would say they keep the religion low key. Now the sports are another story! They are very sports-oriented. My son is athletic, but can't attend sports every day after school due to other commitments. It would be nice if they had sports options that were more flexible. The theater and debate programs are excellent, but also require significant time either after or before school. Good luck!

RE: Bishop O'Dowd vs St. Mary's? ()

We had 1 son at each school. The youngest graduated in ‘15. We let them select, and seems like they selected based on where their friends were going.  Both seemed very happy to have attended their respective schools, no regrets. Neither son is an academic, so can’t weigh in on that score.  Loved St Marys ‘e’ week, lots of great opportunities for the kids to dive deep. Overall positive experience at both. 

RE: Bishop O'Dowd vs St. Mary's? ()

Our Jewish daughter had a great experience at BOD! She was quite active in her synagogue community during high school and didn't really mind most of the religious aspects of going to BOD. She participated in theater and mock trial and went on the Holocaust Study Tour. She also loved the Junior year retreat and acted as a student leader the following year. She was challenged academically and liked that she could take easier levels of subjects like Chemistry and Physics while being in Honors/AP History, English, Math and even did an independent study Senior year.

RE: Bishop O'Dowd vs St. Mary's? ()

O'Dowd's theater program is absolutely incredible.  I've brought friends who work at small Bay Area theater companies to O'Dowd performances and they have been blown away. Not only by the talent, but the resources.  My son, who participated throughout his four years, also matured a lot because the program is so demanding.  Although O'Dowd is best known for sports, we chose O'Dowd over St. Mary's (which we also liked) because St. Mary's had nothing comparable.