This is an ok school. It's more about "show" than anything else. Don't apply for financial aid..you won't get it...the parish is money hungry and won't go out of it's way to help anyone in financial need. The current principal lacks the vision for the future and the current pastor is NOT a supporter of Catholic Education. There are many other private schools in the area that I'd encourage others to look at before this one. Parents here think they are entitled to everything as well! Not much of a community, but a hierarchy of "do it this way or else." Teachers are underpaid and not encouraged by professional development to better themselves! Too bad b/c this COULD be an outstanding school. Over the past few years, we've lost way too many good teachers.
St. Stephens is an excellent school with dedicated administration and teachers. Kids are challenged are learn to be responsible and self-motivated. There is a great deal of structure and clear and consistent discipline. The Home and School Association is outstanding, and helps to enhance learning with modern technology. This school offers a robotics program that is amazing! Great school. My kids love going to school at St. Stephens!
St. Stephen's is a very good school. However, the "Boss" (Fr. Tiegs) unexpectedly got rid of our outstanding principal this summer. As of right now, we do not have a principal for the 2011-2012 school year, and school starts in less than a month. The new principal will have his/her hands full. We are the largest Catholic elementary school in the Omaha area. So we need to continue to be one of the best. But it is going to be a challenge with our current leadership (or lack of leadership).
Although academics are very strong, the most important assett is the people. Most of what I hear from other parents is that there is a lot of homework, and too high of an expectation, both very appealing to us. On the Iowa test, 86% of students ranked above Percentile 80 natiowide. 50% ranked above percentile 90. Although part of the largest catholic parish, you still feel like part of a family.
I started my children there, but it didn't take long to see that they weren't going to get the high quality education and opportunities available in the public schools here. If a child is average and not toward either end of the ability spectrum, then it's an ok school. There are parent cliques. Religion is emphasized, however, the church offers a wonderful religious ed program for the public school children.
My children love being at St. Stephen's. We have never once regretted the extra sacrifice the tuition is for our family. The teachers are outstanding! Our children are learning to be great students, but even more importantly, they are learning to be great people.
We have been a memeber for 8 years. We love it. There is a lot of expectation for the kids which is good since they are pushed even harder. We would not have gotten the 'Blue Ribbon Award' for our school if it wasn't good!!!!
We have been part of the school for the past 12 years and love it. They expect a lot from the students academically. My daughter is sailing through public high school, taking AP college courses as a sophomore, because of her excellent preparation. Most people who don't like the school, have undisciplined kids.