There is no better, more complete school in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. My daughter has grown academically, socially, athletically in so many ways. And when she graduates in 2018, I have no doubt that she will be prepared to succeed in college and beyond. You get what you pay for - and, yes, Saint Stephen's is pricey - but you can't make a better investment in your child's future than this school. It's a safe and nurturing environment. The faculty is outstanding and their credentials speak for themselves. When my wife and I chose Saint Stephen's for our child for pre-kindergarten 13 years ago, we made the best decision possible.
My child has been cyber bullied several times, and even physically bullied on a SSES school trip. The administration did nothing to effectively address either, just had a very benign "let's make nice" meeting with us to brush these discerns under the rug. We have found the school much more concerned with image over substance and feel strongly that the caliber of the students and the academic rigor PALES in comparison to Pine View and Riverview IB (we have children at both now). The culture is cliquey, money-driven, snobby, and lacks true diversity (zero socioeconomic diversity in fact). My child is often very sad about the social environment and dreads school. He is very appreciative of several teachers and feels the experiences in those classes has been excellent. The other 3 teachers are quite weak and have extremely low expectations for the kids. Money seems to buy the students' way out of trouble, including even cheating and bullying, and kids are even allowed to retake exams and midterms just because they failed to study the first time. What are we teaching them other than a deep sense of entitlement? Kids with learning disabilities are actually favored, and there only minority of students who work hard and actually care about their education. This school is NOT preparing kids to succeed in college. Go to IB or Pimeview if you want academic rigor, true anti-bullying approaches, character education, professional teaching (there are several great teachers here, but many incompetent ones as well) and true diversity. Very sad to write this, but feel it's important to be honest. Wish I had done some more thorough research before we spent tens of thousands of dollars to send our child here. I was taken with the facilities and the marketing sell, rather than invested in the actual day to day experience.
Our family was impressed with St. Stephens. We thought the educational opportunity for growth was awesome, at first. Then, we thought about what we really wanted for a children. We want our to be educated, but we also want our children to have solid ethics, morals, and integrity. Would St. Stephens help develop my child's character? Would she grow up to be snob or would she grow up to be a smart intelligent young person who could interact with people from walks of life? I was not sure if St. Stephens would develop that aspect of her life. The lack of diversity on campus stood out. Especially, in the elementary level... While our family is not one that would qualify for financial assistance, I wondered if the organization recognizes a need to offer a hand up. St. Stephens is a great school academically, but I am not sure if it will achieve the other characteristics needed for life. As a result, St. Stephens was not the school for our family.
Very disappointed on several levels. Most of the teachers are wonderful (with the exception of 2 we've encountered), but the administration is not effective in solving problems or supporting students going through challenges within their insular community. The school is quite concerned with image over substance and I feel the academic expectations are quite low in comparison to say a Pine View or Riverview IB curriculum. The student body is mainly extremely wealthy, snobby, caddy and cliquey. My children experienced bullying via social media as well as in the school. Very saddened that despite some wonderful teachers and some amazing facilities, our experience has been quite frustrating and has led my child to feel isolated and sad.
Saint Stephens.. Excellent School and well worth every penny! My boys both have attended the summer program as well as my younger son attends the Pre-K program this year. Friendly staff, safe environment and excellent learning experience!
Great school! We moved here 3 years ago and found this "gem of a school". My boys (who have always attended public school in the past) acclimated well due to the friendly, caring staff and students. They have both found a great set of friends and have excelled in school even though the curriculum is much more difficult than they had been used to. The small class sizes are wonderful and the students get one-on-one attention from the well-educated teachers, as needed. Also, the College Counseling office has been great, they are incredibly knowledgable and well-connected to the college world. We are very happy with our decision to send our children to Saint Stephen's!
I really like St. Stephens. We've been sending our child there for 7 years now. The teachers & support staff are wonderful with the exception of one so far and the other parents we have met along the way are great as well. However, I do feel the school cares a lot more about it's image & pocketbook more than anything. The annual tuition is ridiculous and continues to go up in price about 1k each year. But I guess that's the price we have to pay for the many children AND grandchildren of staff members who attend the school at a highly discounted price, if not free! This will unfortunately be our last year at this school.
Our children attend Saint Stephen's and we couldn't be happier! The faculty/staff truly know each of our three children and embrace their individual qualities. The PK3-12 campus creates a unique and caring community that develops, challenges and supports each child at the appropriate level. I highly recommend Saint Stephen's. If there were a sixth star - I'd give it!