This school has slipped through the years. They are behind in robotics and computer literacy (a real negative in this day and age). They also do not cater to the well rounded student. Instead they are looking for one dimensional kids that test high and enjoy studying for hours (don't believe them when they tell you otherwise in the interview!). It definitely was not a fit for my son, who is very social and highly engaged. Save your money and look for better public options in Austin, such as Westlake or LASA (the Liberal Arts and Science Academy). We moved over to Westlake and the opportunities there were boundless in comparison.
This school has changed my life. I have gone to both middle and upper school here. I began as a "G" or average student but have gone to an "H" (high honors student) in my time here because teachers challenged me to reach my full potential. People here are extremely friendly and teachers deliver a personalized education; it is obvious how much they care about their students. Although there are days when I feel exponential amounts of stress because of the demanding curriculum, I know that I am receiving a college level education. Overall, a great school for kids that are willing to work hard! There is no tolerance for lazy students here.
Both of our kids graduated from St. Stephen's and both loved their experiences there. Most of the teachers are absolutely fabulous, caring, creative, and highly intelligent. Most of the students are intellectually exceptional and very friendly, and the writing program is unsurpassed in Austin. The campus is beautiful. The small boarding program brings in kids from all over the world, which enhances the school in many ways. This is a warm and loving place. The volleyball, tennis, and soccer programs are also quite strong. Both of our kids are at Ivy League colleges and they say that St. Stephen's prepared them very, very well to get great grades in those settings.
I have mixed feelings about this school. I think they are good at some things, such as writing, and weak at others, such as compter-related skills. Overall I am not sure it is worth the price tag. My daughters had a bit of trouble with rich, entitled classmates. We are not wealthy--grandparents paid the tuition--and my daughters felt out of place sometimes.
Excellent academics, sometimes indistinguishable from college-level courses. I attended all the classes on visiting days for parents, and was extremely impressed with the teachers. St Stephens had the reputation of teaching students how to write Ivy League-level essays, and this was true. My son loved St Stephens, and had such good training that his courses at a very competitive college didn't require any adjustment. There was no struggle at all. He wouldn't have switched to any other school in Austin.
Great academics. Students will learn how to write like Ivy League College students by the time they're Juniors. Students get much support and help from teachers whether or not they want the help. A great place to play almost any sport you want competitively, with very strong Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball programs; however, most other sports programs are fairly average.
This school is about a full year ahead of our public school's pre-AP and GT classes/programs. The sports program allows everyone to participate, but not necessarily win (MS sports are not the school's strength). The teachers are awesome, caring, and challenge the kids. My son's work ethic and academic growth have been amazing since moving to St. Stephen's. I ask him if we wants to go back to his public school and get a resounding 'no'. Yes, he went from top of his class to now somewhere in the middle by changing schools, but now, he understands that just because you are bright you can't skate by, you must still work hard! Great life lesson!
St. Stephen's is a wonderful school. As a parent of a middle-school student, I could not be more pleased. The school is expensive, but it is worth every penny. The academics are outstanding and the athletics are good in some areas. Although there are a few exceptions, the teachers are absolutely superb.