Frequently Asked Questions:
Are you only a Montessori School?
- We offer Montessori for students 15 months - 6th grade. For our middle years students (7th & 8th), St. Stephen's offers the International Middle Years Curriculum. St. Stephen’s is one of only two Houston-area schools accredited by the American Montessori Society and the first American school to adopt the International Middle Years Curriculum.
What is Montessori?
- Montessori education was founded in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. She based her educational methods on scientific observation of children's learning processes. Guided by her discovery that children teach themselves, Dr. Montessori designed a "prepared environment" in which children could freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. Learn more about St. Stephen's Montessori approach.
What is International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC)?
- The IMYC is a research based rigorous academic platform that ensures the learning of knowledge, skills and understanding of subjects and supports the development of personal dispositions and international mindedness. IMYC responds specifically to the needs of 11 to 14 year olds by providing independence and interdependence in their learning through discrete subject learning and themes, encouraging learning that helps them make connections that are relevant to their own lives. It involves active, skills-based learning, promotes self-reflection and the opportunity for students to make sense of their learning. Learn more about St. Stephen's IMYC approach.
What are the teacher's credentials?
- St. Stephen’s employs 30+ full-time classroom Teachers and Assistants. Lead Teachers hold bachelor's degrees; over half also hold master's degrees. Orientation, Primary and Elementary Lead Teachers have American Montessori Society (AMS) diplomas; Middle School faculty maintain International Middle Year Curriculum and/or state certifications.
- St. Stephen’s regularly opens its doors to teacher-trainees and observers from around the world. Additionally, our school principal, Nahla Nasser with 30 years of Montessori experience, provides yearly training to other teachers seeking their Montessori certification at the Houston Montessori Center. We are proud of the tenure of our faculty and the life-long learning they provide to our students which is a Montessori way of life.
What is the student-teacher ratio
- Orientation - 1:7
- Primary and Lower Elementary - 1:12
- Upper Elementary and Middle Years - 1:16
Are you a religious school?
- St. Stephen's is a progressive Christian community integrating spiritual formation into all aspects of the educational experience. We are members of the National Association of Episcopal Schools. St. Stephen’s values the richness of diversity in all aspects – including religious affiliation.
Is there open enrollment?
- No. Students are considered for admissions resulting from the review of academic experience, testing results, if supplied, and classroom shadow visit experience.
What is the application deadline?
- Application Deadline for 2018-2019 School Year is January 18, 2019.
Do you offer a year-round option?
- We offer summer camp at an additional charge.
What is the best time to schedule a visit?
How are admissions decisions made?
Can I schedule a class visit?
- Our Information Sessions/Tours provide classroom visits.
What should I expect during a tour?
- During your tour, you will meet with the Admissions Team to learn more about our school, tour the campus, and visit classrooms of the levels that you are considering for your child. Plan to spend about an hour for a complete tour.
Can my child attend campus tours?
- Campus tours are designed for adults. In general, tours begin with a group setting and school overview. The walking portion of the tour allows for the division into smaller groups for the program which you are seeking enrollment and also includes those to which your child will progress. Tours include brief observations of classrooms, view of campus grounds and facilities and introductions of faculty and staff as appropriate. Depending on age, students will complete a shadow visit as part of the application process.
After I submit an application, when can I expect to hear if my child will be offered placement?
- Complete applications received by the last business day in January with a completed shadow visit (Primary - Middle Years) in February will receive notification on March 8, 2019. Any incomplete applications will be notified individually upon completion of the admissions process.
When is the best time to apply?
- Online applications open in October. Complete application packages should be submitted by the last working day in January.
Do you offer financial aid?
- Yes, please review. It is recommended to complete the financial aid form though your curent year taxes may not have been filed.
How are students assessed throughout the school year?
- Montessori students demonstrated mastery with use of Montessori materials, creation, and presentation of projects, and/or written assessments as appropriate for each grade level. Master of skills and concepts are presented at the end of each trimester with summative assessments from each teacher.
- Middle Years students use classroom assignments, projects, and tests to demonstrate master resulting in a report card at the end of each trimester.
What are the school hours?
- Our regular business hours are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. On Early Dismissal days, we close the campus at noon.
- Regular Class level school hours are below:
- Orientation Half Day: 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
- Orientation Full Day: 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
- Primary Half Day: 8 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
- Primary Full Day: 8 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
- Lower El - 8th Grade 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
What is the cost of tuition? What are the payment options?
- View Tuition Fees
- We have four payment options:
- 12 months: April - March
- 9 Months: July - March
- 4 months: May, August, Dec, March
Do you offer sibling discounts?
- The first sibling receives a discount of $150 off per year. The discount increases $50 with each additional sibling.
If my child is not returning the next academic year, is there a deadline to withdraw?
- Yes. Notification of withdrawal should be submitted to your child’s teacher and principal by the last working day of February. This provide for a positive student transition experience and teachers and families to plan appropriately for the class environment.
How are students with learning differences supported?
- Upon review of applicant diagnostic evaluations, the best course of assistance available by teachers within the classroom environment is determined. As teachers are not specialists trained for specific diagnoses, parents may be required to obtain additional support to work with students beyond the school day. With a focus on achievement for every student, St. Stephen’s may not be available to provide support every child needs and will inform each family as appropriate.
If I am in the wait pool in the admission process, do I reapply the following year or does my application rollover?
- Applications for students in the wait pool will rollover to the following school year. However, if during the following year you receive an admission offer to which you decline, this will close the application. A new application must be submitted for admission consideration after a previous application has been closed.