FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What makes the Saint Stephen’s curriculum unique?
Our elite academic reputation is widely recognized, and our curriculum is tied to a scope and sequence, with each year building on the next so that true learning takes place. We do not emphasize standardized testing or teach to a test, but rather create an environment where students are encouraged to develop meaningful understanding of subjects. Our teachers are the driving force, with a creative approach to teaching that ensures effectiveness with each student. Curriculum is developed based on the best available research and not decided as a result of the talents or bias of a teacher or the merits of a single text or instructional tool.

What is the student-teacher ratio?
Our student-teacher ratio is 9:1 and our average class size is approximately 15 students.

Is Saint Stephen’s accredited?
Saint Stephen’s has accreditations and memberships in the following: National Association of Independent Schools, Florida Council of Independent Schools, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, National Association of Episcopal Schools, and Florida High School Athletic Association.

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.

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 in the Lower and Intermediate schools can bring their lunch or choose from a healthy menu by ordering online. In Middle School, students can pre-order or go to the “lunch limo” where they can order from the day’s menu using a cashless system that requires money to be credited to each student account. 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 and choice for families as they budget. 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.

What additional support does Saint Stephen’s provide to non-native English-speaking students?
Saint Stephen’s is dedicated to providing a world-class education to all of its students, and has long welcomed families from around the world. Saint Stephen’s has developed a program for non-native English speakers or students who are taking classes entirely in English for the first time. The goal of this program is to support the student’s academic achievement within the standard curriculum.

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.

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