Dear St. Stephen’s School Families,
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School - Houston, having been in existence for almost 65 years, is entering a new beginning this coming academic year. The Board of Trustees is committed to growing a thriving toddler through 8th grade program. You will begin to see visible changes to the School’s layout and space beginning this summer. These changes represent components of our long-term master plan for the entire campus.
Attached to this letter, you are receiving the latest edition of Building Community, our publication chronicling the developments of our capital planning and campaign processes. This will bring you up to date on our efforts to build new facilities to support the education of our students. In addition, the Board of Trustees has formed a School Growth Task Force which is delineating our strategy for developing our School in its new form. You will be hearing more about it by summer’s end.
We are committed to expanding our School beginning at the Orientation and Primary levels, paving the road for continued success in providing excellent education for children 15 months through 8th grade with classroom growth accommodated by expansions. We are downsizing office areas to optimize classroom space as we make room for new Orientation students. Remodeling the Primary 4 classroom into a new Orientation classroom will give us a total of four Orientation spaces. We are also expanding Primary 3 to accommodate additional students in the classroom. This change will allow more children to learn with, and from each other. Due to the expansion of Primary 3, the Head of School’s office, along with the school’s Administrative Assistant, will be relocated to the Church administration hallway. This move will also allow for greater synergy between the Church and School administrative staff, as anticipated in our master plan.
In order to improve campus security, at the start of the 2017 – 2018 school year, there will be a single weekday entrance; the church garden entrance will be used by both Church and School. Carpool procedures will remain the same. The new entrance will now be used for late arrivals and visitors. By having one defined entrance for our campus we are improving security by managing the flow of visitors. The new change will be communicated the moment it goes into effect.
As we continue forward with our refined mission to educate 15 months through 8th grade, our Middle Years Program has already vacated their old building and has settled nicely into the former high school building. The new Middle Years Building will offer more classroom space for various course offerings, including a dedicated Visual Arts classroom and a Science Lab, as well as our growing after school programs. We will be renaming this building shortly. The former Middle Years building is now being used as administrative offices and will house Development, Wellness, Fine Arts, and Technology. This space will become a welcome lobby for prospective families and for community gatherings.
A campus map will be made available before the start of the school year to help you navigate these changes. We will be welcoming new staff to support this growth of the school. You will be introduced to them soon.
We will be busy this summer as we ready our campus to support our mission. Thank you for your patience as our campus goes under renovations to accommodate our growth. If you have any questions regarding our new direction, please let us know. We are excited for our “new beginning” and are looking forward to a wonderful 2017 – 2018 school year.
The Reverend Lisa Hunt | Chair, Board of Trustees
David B. Coe, Head of School