Active Inquiry


The St. Stephen's Experience

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, provides an engaging academic environment for boarding and day students who are known, supported and celebrated for their individual talents and interests.
The academic program at St. Stephen’s is grounded in the tradition of the liberal arts. The educational experience fosters openness, candor, tolerance and respect, as students learn how to develop independent points of view while using evidence to challenge or support hypotheses.
Our dedicated faculty and staff are tenacious and constant in their commitment to providing an academically challenging experience for our students within the context of a balanced program in academics, athletics and the arts. Our mission, vision and core values are rooted in progressive, yet resolute, principles — provide rigorous academics, build a diverse student body, develop creative thinkers, support social justice, shape global leaders, nourish the spirit, look beyond ourselves to serve others and promote equity.
St. Stephen’s is a spirit-centered school of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Grounded in the Episcopal tradition, we respect and honor all faiths. Our school supports students and reinforces their moral growth as they make their individual spiritual journeys. Our school prayer, which we recite together in Chapel, calls upon all of us to see our life as a journey together and empowers us to make a difference in the world “with open minds, open hearts and open doors.”
St. Stephen’s is a school where children are known and loved individually and where they work to become the best version of themselves.
St. Stephen's offers highly personalized learning in a supportive and inclusive campus community, where students are taught to achieve healthy, balanced lives and become responsible global citizens.

List of 6 items.

  • Preparation for College and Beyond

    St. Stephen's exposes students to the fundamentals of a classic liberal arts education, incorporating English, history, math, science, world languages, theology and a number of elective options, including visual arts, performing arts, computer science and much more.
    Our goal is to produce not only knowledgeable graduates but thoughtful and engaged human beings. The fundamentals of a subject are only the raw material for the development of each student's powers of observation and their ability to think clearly and analytically about the world around them.
    These skills are relevant to every field — whether it be chemistry, engineering, poetry or history. In emphasizing the life skills of disciplined thought and sustained effort toward attaining a complex goal, St. Stephen's prepares its students well for the challenges of college-level classes and beyond.
  • Leadership

    Head of School
    Christopher L. Gunnin
    Kim Garey
    Head of Upper School
    Magnus Maccow
    Head of Middle School
  • Homework Philosophy

    At St. Stephen’s, we strive to help students become independent critical and analytical thinkers and problem-solvers. To that end, homework is intentional and takes on a variety of forms. Each department believes that homework is designed to build skills essential to critical reading, interpreting, thinking, writing and performing. The complexity in creative and analytical processes includes a range of activities, prompts and problem sets from slow, methodical and technical practice to an unexpected rush of inspiration.
    We believe that the homework we assign equips students with an array of transferable skills to be used both in their future years at St. Stephen’s and far beyond: lifelong learning skills; encouragement of increased responsibility; ownership of learning within and outside the classroom; independent practice of concepts learned in the classroom; the stratified development of sound study habits; and the fostering of critical thinking skills in other settings. In sum, homework seeks to reinforce and extend the classroom setting, both independently and collaboratively, and it provides the opportunity for fundamental learning and memory work with an emphasis on depth over breadth.
  • Freedom of Inquiry

    From its founding, St. Stephen’s has encouraged its students to engage with the world creatively, intelligently and humanely. In this same spirit, the faculty encourages freedom of inquiry and the open discussion of ideas. While such discussions must be premised upon the necessity of respecting all members of the community and on the importance of the reasoned consideration of evidence, the faculty believes in and is committed to their importance.
  • Spartan Athletics

    St. Stephen’s develops student-athletes through recreational and competitive athletic opportunities. Through a variety of sport options each season, Spartans learn the values of discipline, sportsmanship and teamwork. Varsity teams compete regionally in the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC). Varsity teams from each interscholastic sport compete for SPC championships during each sport season. Junior Varsity teams are also offered in many sports.
    Highly motivated student-athletes interested in more individualized coaching and higher levels of play can enroll in the St. Stephen’s Soccer Academy or Tennis Academy (additional cost). These specialized sports programs enable students to compete outside of the SPC and focus on improving their skills and training for collegiate-level play.
    St. Stephen's also offers outdoor recreation options to students through the Devil's Canyon Adventure Program, which includes mountain biking, caving and canoeing.
    Director of Athletics
    Jon McCain
  • Advisors

    Teachers serve as advisors to students and meet with them during a special advisory period.

    They know their advisees well and are able to be of special help to them in a variety of ways: planning study programs tailored to individual interests and academic needs, ensuring each advisee understands the responsibilities of school routine and keeping the parents informed about their child’s activities and academic progress.

    Special advising and tutoring for international students is available through the Center for International and Multicultural Affairs.

Daily Schedules

The daily schedule is organized around chapel services, classes, study, meals, athletics, and extracurricular activities. A seven-day, rotating schedule allows ample flexibility and variation and encourages boarding and day school students to learn to make decisions about their use of time.

Grading System

St. Stephen's created and uses a unique system of letter grades, known as HVGPUX.

H: Honors
V: Very Good
G: Good
P: Passing
U: Unsatisfactory
X: Failing

In some classes, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, we don't use number grades. Students aren't assigned a grade point average, and it's not common for students to be awarded an "H" or "H+" grade. Additionally, each instructor prepares a written evaluation of the student's work, which we share with the student, and his or her parents.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213