St. Stephen's is the launching point to a million possibilities. Students who are looking for more out of life excel here. When you decide to attend St. Stephen's, you are making the decision to pursue your dreams, to achieve excellence and to become the best version of yourself.
Every day we work hard to provide a stimulating college preparatory academic experience. But while the academics are challenging, the atmosphere is casual, friendly and accepting. When you live where you go to school, you learn to find a balance that allows time to study, go mountain biking, participate in jazz band or theatre, join a sports team and explore all that Austin has to offer.
Our students make global connections every day. Sitting in class ― and doing the many things outside the classroom ― are students from all over Texas, the United States and the world. Living and learning on campus allows our students to have the experience of a lifetime and prepare them for a lifetime of experience.
Our students respect each other’s diverse cultures and perspectives. They accept classmates no matter what they believe in, where they come from, what they look like or what they aspire to become in the future. Differences are encouraged and we strive to know and appreciate each of our students individually. We learn from one another, and we come to see life and the world through each other’s eyes.
Founded as a co-educational boarding school in 1950, St. Stephen’s has a rich history of teaching students of all backgrounds and cultures to live together in community. Our enduring mission and core values are rooted in progressive, yet resolute, principles: honor all faiths and traditions, support equity and inclusion, respect other cultures and perspectives, promote social justice, serve others and be good stewards of the environment.
Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, St. Stephen’s today has about 700 boarding and day students in grades 6 to 12. We provide a challenging college preparatory curriculum within a balanced program of academics, service learning, athletics and the arts ― with the goal of developing students with sharp minds, loving hearts and strong spirits. Our faculty and staff strive to know and appreciate each of our students individually; we celebrate their unique talents and interests and support them on their journeys to become the best version of themselves.
While all students must fulfill the graduation requirements, the luxury of a St. Stephen's education is the ability to pursue passions and explore new interests in classes with topics that may be interesting, fun or challenging. A rotating academic schedule allows motivated students to "double up" if they choose in specific areas of interest. It may mean taking Physics and Geology during the same year, or Spanish IV and Chinese I, or Calculus BC and Advanced Statistics. Teachers in each discipline have a framework for each course.
Finding the best college match for each student is a methodical process. For some it can be an easy decision, and for others it's an intense search with numerous applications. All students are matched with one of the three professional college counselors within weeks of arriving on campus. This relationship continues through the college search, application and selection processes. The discovery part begins on the St. Stephen's campus with 130 colleges and universities visiting each year. These small group meetings are a great introduction into the many different higher education opportunities in the U.S. and around the world. Following these meetings, students often make a shorter list of the colleges they will visit and consider for application. One hundred percent of the Class of 2019 are college-bound, with 67% attending out-of-state institutions. These 110 students matriculated at 62 colleges in 25 states and Canadian provinces. Nine of them were recruited to play NCAA college sports in Divisions I, II and III.
When it comes to the arts, you have many opportunities to choose from. Students in musical groups — such as the Madrigal Singers, Orchestra, Thunder Drums and Jazz Band — enjoy many opportunities to perform on campus, in Austin as well as in cities from New Orleans to New York City, from Shanghai to Budapest.
Visual arts classes range from advanced art history and visual studies, to film-making and digital imaging, to ceramics and graphic design. You can also choose from a variety of dance and theatre programs, including dance technique and choreography, as well as musical theatre, technical theatre and advanced theatre ensemble. The Theatre Focus program offers enhanced training through workshops, master classes and other theatrical productions.
Do you have a passion to compete in athletics as well as in the classroom? We have team sports and individual sports for athletes at every level — from volleyball, field hockey and basketball to swimming, baseball and track. Many students play two or three sports a year, competing with students from schools throughout Texas and neighboring states. In addition, our Soccer Academy and Tennis Academy offer intense training programs for students with the desire and determination to play sports on the collegiate level. If you prefer outdoor recreation and adventure, you can participate in our caving, canoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing programs.
Dorm life has many advantages. You have the opportunity to know -- really know -- peers with different life experiences, from different countries, with many different interests and abilities. You'll always be able to find a study buddy as well as someone willing to share a pizza and an interesting conversation.
Each dormitory has assigned dorm parents who are committed to their residential students and the experiences they have during their time at St. Stephen's. Dorm parents help you learn to follow daily routines as well as deal with other things that inevitably come up, ranging from academics to health issues. On the weekends, they participate in activities with students on campus and accompany you to off-campus activities. They also help students become more independent by teaching you to manage your time between meals, classes, study halls, athletics and extracurricular activities.
You'll often find dorm parents ― even when they aren't on duty ― supporting and cheering their students on during a game, attending a play or a gallery reception, or helping out with routine homework. Some of the strongest relationships are built among faculty and students when they share their living, learning and play spaces. Since boarding students learn to manage waking up on their own, getting to class and meals on time, doing laundry, finding time for hanging out with friends, getting ready for sport practices and attending study halls, they are better prepared than most college freshmen for the challenges of living away from home.
U.S. News & World Report perennially ranks Austin as the #1 Best Place to Live. People around the world move to the vibrant city because of its great quality of life and distinctive character. The capital of Texas, Austin is home to The University of Texas, the world-famous South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, and lots of live music, southwest culture and high-tech companies. With trips off campus every weekend, you get to experience all that Austin has to offer. During the week, students can enhance their classroom studies through internships and independent study projects at local businesses.
Visitors often leave St. Stephen’s Episcopal School trying to figure out a way to get back. Come for a visit and you'll find out why.