FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What makes the Saint Stephen’s curriculum unique?

Saint Stephen's academic program is informed by the idea that every student is a unique individual. Our curricula are connected school-wide by a scope and sequence that ensures a consistent progression within subjects and cross-disciplinary learning. It is geared to engage students where they are in their individual educational journeys, using our expert teachers as the driving force, with creative content that leads to meaningful understanding. The faculty make each class their own while using the best available research and pedagogy. As a result, our students build strong foundations and develop critical thinking skills that serve them well on anything from designing games to standardized tests to independent study. No matter the age of the students, our faculty model curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, with the ultimate goal of helping students to develop their intellectual passions and remain lifelong learners.

In addition to our competitive academic programs, what makes SSES special?

Saint Stephen’s students engage in different stages of preparation for their comprehensive college admissions process, including mini-college fairs in Middle School, family and individual meetings, resume/college-essay writing sessions, SAT/ACT prep opportunities, mock interviews, college-selection/financial aid sessions, scholarships, NCAA guidance for college sports recruitment, and the summer Common App sessions at the Upper School. The College Application Preparation Series (CAPS) readies students for Early Decision, Early Action, and/or Regular Decision applications to colleges/universities compatible with each student’s interests and skill sets. Over 80 college representatives visit Saint Stephen’s each year, affording students with the opportunity to speak directly to those who know the schools best. At the younger grades, Saint Stephen’s students celebrate college dress-up days to cheer on upperclassmen as they apply to colleges, sign to play collegiate sports, engage in Pennant Pinning, and take their Senior Walk for the first time in their cap and gowns.

What is the average class size?

Our average class size is approximately 15 students, with classes generally ranging from 14-18 students.

Must a student be Episcopalian to attend Saint Stephen’s?

Saint Stephen’s welcomes families of all faiths. Our character education connects students’ hearts and minds to spiritual values. This enables an atmosphere of understanding, compassion and community that provides a balance to the scholarship of a strong college preparatory curriculum. Read more about our Episcopal Identity here.

Do you offer transportation service to and from the school?

Yes, we offer transportation with our buses and van service. Any family choosing to use transportation can select one-way or round-trip. Each family pays one annual fee, regardless of how many children are in the family. We provide service north, south, east and west of our location. If any one neighborhood has a high concentration of students, we will stop directly in that neighborhood, and that decision is made prior to the start of each school year.

What does Saint Stephen’s do to ensure a safe campus?

Safety is a top concern and our 35-acre campus is completely gated. Once those gates are locked at 8 a.m., there are only two entry points during the school day where visitors sign in and receive a name tag if they don’t have one. Unexpected visitors have their driver’s license run through the Raptor Visitor System. At the end of the school day, administrators are positioned to observe as parents arrive for pick up. Gates are closed and locked again at 3:15 p.m.

Do you provide a lunch service?

Our lunch program is run by a paid staff member and parent volunteers. It is one of the most popular ways our parents give of their time. Students can bring their lunch or pre-order online where they can choose from a menu that offers a wide variety of options. While we do not have a traditional cafeteria, on most days our students enjoy lunch outside on picnic tables surrounded by the natural beauty of our campus.

Do Saint Stephen’s students wear uniforms?

Students are required to wear uniforms in the Lower and Intermediate schools. Once they reach Middle and Upper school, a dress code is enforced. Further information can be found here.

Do you offer extra-curricular activities and after-school programs?

Students are invited to enrich their academic lives with programs in the arts, foreign language, computer science, leadership and community service. Many participate in interscholastic sports. All Lower School students may attend After Care until 5:30 p.m.; Intermediate School students may participate in our STARS program, which provides a healthy snack, play time, and study time until 5:30 p.m. Middle School students may attend a study hall in the library until 5:30 p.m. We also provide dynamic summer camp programs. A complete listing of after-school programs is available here.

What athletic programs do you offer?

Saint Stephen’s sponsors 48 teams at the middle school, junior varsity, and varsity level that compete in 13 different sports. More than 75% of our Middle and Upper School students play a sport on campus. Sports are divided by season: fall, winter and spring. Learn all about our athletic programs here.

Can I afford tuition at Saint Stephen’s?

Don’t let misconceptions about the affordability of private schools discourage your family from exploring Saint Stephen’s. We strive to maintain an appropriate tuition structure and offer different payment plans in order to provide flexibility. Various tuition assistance options are also provided and Saint Stephen’s annually makes approximately $1-million in need-based financial aid available to qualified students. Visit our admissions pages to learn more.

Does SSES accept state-funded scholarships?

At this time, Saint Stephen’s does not accept funding from any Florida state-sponsored scholarship program. SSES values its ability to operate as an independent school and this brief FAQ sheet addresses common questions regarding the policy.

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