We are proud of our outstanding college preparatory program and believe that a discussion-oriented and student-focused classroom environment promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, and lifelong learning. The Upper School is designed for students to experience major academic disciplines, develop appreciation of the arts, and encourage athletic involvement. We feature a diverse curriculum supporting Advanced Placement and honors-level classes intended to prepare students for college. Every student has a faculty advisor who guides them through academic progress, course selection, and other issues that affect school life. Mutual respect and clear communication between students and faculty helps create a culture of trust in the Upper School as students realize their potential and prepare for the path ahead.

While many of our students come from the Manatee-Sarasota area, we celebrate the fact that we have students who hail from around the country and around the world. In our Upper School Commons, you will find flags from the numerous countries that represent the nationalities of our current students. Regardless of where they come from, SSES students dedicate themselves to their academic work and are surrounded by others who have accepted the same challenge.

Our teachers combine a passion for their subjects with a love of working with teenaged students. Small classes create an environment in which each student regularly participates and is heard. Every member of the Saint Stephen’s community is expected to abide by the Honor Code, promising to reach for the highest standards of personal and academic integrity.