Boarding Program FAQ

List of 30 frequently asked questions.

  • Q:
    Is there a place on campus to shop?

    Yes, we have a Campus Bookstore to purchase toiletries, dorm room supplies, school supplies, food, etc.
  • Q:
    Can I go to my dorm room during the academic day?

    8th and 9th grade students are not permitted to go to the dorm during the academic day.  10th -12th grade   students may return to the dorm during their non-proctored study hall periods
  • Q:
     Are boarding students allowed to spend the night away from campus?

    Yes. Complete and detailed instructions for nights away from campus are in the Student Handbook and aligned with the instructions parents provide on the Special Permission form.  The number of overnights is limited to seven per term or 21 for the year (a Friday and Saturday night spent off campus equals two overnights). In addition, students may earn an extra overnight per term for making Honor Roll.
  • Q:
    What size sheets will I need? Other linens?

    2 sets of extra long twin size sheets. Also bring (or buy soon after you arrive) pillow, blanket, bedspread/comforter, and towels.
  • Q:
     Is there required summer reading?

    All incoming students have required summer reading. The purpose of summer reading is to get students thinking independently about literature and to give each class a common text to discuss at the start of the school year. Students should avoid using online study guides or translations.  You will be receiving more information about this later in the spring and it will be posted to the webpage in the summer.
  • Q:
    What is Venture Orientation and who comes to it?

    Venture is an orientation program for new international students who are in the process of acquiring English at an advanced level. Oftentimes parents attend this orientation for the first day. When space is available, spaces are open to English-speaking international students as well. For the 2018-2019 academic year, Venture Orientation begins Wednesday, August 15th, at 11 a.m. in Booth Student Center International Office and ends Saturday, August 18. Students will stay in their dorm rooms.
  • Q:
     Is anyone meeting me at the airport?

    No, students/parents will need to arrange transportation when arriving for the start of school. For the Thanksgiving, winter and spring vacations, and end of year transportation to and from the airport will be provided.
  • Q:
    When will we receive our I-20 documents?

    I-20 documents will be mailed to new international students on or before May 1 if all materials have been     submitted as requested. 
  • Q:
    Can I bring non-boarding friends to my dorm room?

    Boarding students can host friends in their rooms after school and on the weekends.
  • Q:
    How will my roommate be chosen? When will I know who my roommate is?

    A committee of staff and residential faculty make the roommate assignments after reviewing admission files and the Roommate Questionnaire (available with Orientation documents in May). New students learn who their roommate is on the day they move into the dorm.
  • Q:
    What is the role of dorm parents?

    Each dorm has 4-5 adults assigned to serve as dorm parents. The adults are all St. Stephen’s faculty, staff and/or coaches and live on campus in faculty housing. Dorm parents are responsible for the students during the academic day if issues arise and are in the dorms during study hall and beyond. On the weekends, dorm parents take students to the many off campus activities and assist with the events on campus. Each dorm parent is on duty one night a week and one weekend a month.
    Dorm Parents are the individuals ultimately responsible for the well-being of each student in the dorm, and for the smooth and efficient operation of the dormitory in terms of study hours, bedtime, etc. Dorm parents are fully involved in the lives of their students and can be counted on to attend sporting events and performances, help with homework, hang out, watch TV, play games, bake a cake, just have a conversation, and grant permission to leave campus with those approved by the parents. The most critical role for a dorm parent is that they get to know each of their boarders on a personal level.
    Dorm parents are single, married or married with children (and pets) and they live in apartments attached to the dormitory or in free-standing residences close by each dorm. During their years at St. Stephen’s, boarding students develop meaningful relationships with many adults and often become “big brothers and sisters” to the children of their dorm parents. For students who also enjoy pets, there are family dogs and cats that come to love the extra attention from the residents.
  • Q:
     How will I do my laundry?

    Each dorm has a laundry room with washers and dryers. There is not a charge for students to use the laundry machines. Laundry supplies are available in the Campus Bookstore.  Ironing boards and irons are also in each laundry room. Some students choose to use a laundry service that picks up and delivers on campus.
  • Q:
    What furniture will be in my dorm room?

    Each room is furnished with a bed, a dresser, a desk, and a chair for each student. The dressers have a drawer that can be locked with a padlock supplied by the student.  Students may bring a desk lamp, storage trunks for their belongings, iPod speakers, and personal computers. Students may not bring televisions or refrigerators.  There is a television in the residence halls’ common room and in the student center.  Waterbeds are not allowed. Students should not bring valuables with them, nor should they keep large amounts of cash in their rooms.
  • Q:
    How will I get my textbooks and school supplies?

    New students will get their textbooks through the Campus Bookstore once they have received a final schedule at Orientation. Students may want to bring basic supplies such as pens, paper, and notebooks with them.  All required school supplies are available in the Campus Bookstore or may be purchased at stores in Austin.
  • Q:
    Is there a bank close to campus?

    Students are encouraged to have their own checking account while at St. Stephen’s. Bank of America has a location very close to campus and many families set up an account at their local branch prior to the start of school. Students may receive a weekly cash allowance through the business office. Details on allowance are given at Orientation.
  • Q:
    Can I ship things to school prior to my arrival?

    You may ship materials to school prior to your arrival.  They will be held for you in Brewster Hall until you move them into the residence hall.
    Mailing/Shipping Address:                             
    Student’s Name                                        
    St. Stephen’s Episcopal School                            
    6500 St. Stephen’s Drive                                         
    Austin, TX  78746 USA 
    Phone: 512-327-1213
  • Q:
    What kinds of insurance do I need?

    The school’s insurance does not cover any loss of student possessions. Parents should determine whether or not such loss is covered by their personal homeowner’s coverage.  Students are required to have health insurance. The school does not carry health insurance for students. Student health insurance is available through an outside company for purchase through the Business Office. Students not providing proof of insurance prior to registration will be enrolled with this independent company and the cost will be charged to the student account.
  • Q:
     What medical forms need to be completed before I arrive?

    All medical information will be entered into the Magnus Health SMR (student medical record)
    account.  The deadline for completion is May 8, 2018. We recognize that some forms (physical exams, action plans, immunization records, and prescriptions) need to be signed and completed by outside providers and may not be available to return to us by May 1; however, please complete all other information by the deadline. Timely submission of health information and other forms is vital so that preparations can be made prior to the first day of school. Students will not be able to attend St. Stephen’s without completing the required health information. Additionally, students will not be able to start classes without an immunization record from birth, as this is required by the State of Texas. You should be able to get a copy of your immunization record from your healthcare provider or previous school.

    You will receive weekly reminders as long as there are any outstanding items in your account.  Please reserve 20 to 30 minutes per child and have your health insurance card nearby. Keep in mind that you will not need to enter this information again next year, as Magnus Health securely stores the information from year to year.
    Magnus Health will be available to new families on or around April 21, 2018.  At that time, you will receive credentials to log in to the “MySSES” tab on the school website  Once you have logged in to MySSES, follow the orange link provided on the right side (halfway down the page) for the Magnus Health SMR Portal. If you are having difficulty navigating the Magnus system, entering data online, or downloading the cover sheets and forms, or if you have any other questions, please contact customer support at Magnus Health SMR by phone at 877.461.6831 or by email at Also, please feel free to consult the Magnus Health Privacy and Security page at for additional information. If you need help logging in to MySSES, please email If you have other questions about your child’s health information please email or call 512-327-1166.
  • Q:
     Do I have to go to the Dining Hall for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

    The Dining Hall is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Students are not required to attend breakfast but must check in at lunch and dinner.  You can see our dining website at:
  • Q:
     Are there any weekends when students cannot leave campus?

    The first weekend of the school year is a closed weekend.  Students are not allowed to leave campus this weekend only. Students requesting overnights the weekend before final exams will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Q:
    Can I bring my computer?

    Many students bring personal laptop or desktop computers to campus. All dorm rooms have wireless internet access and a wired ethernet network. Students should bring a CAT5 or CAT6 ethernet cable. We recommend a 15 foot cable - although in many rooms a 6 foot cable is sufficient. Students should not bring personal wireless access points to connect to the school’s network as they can interfere with St. Stephen’s wireless access points. There are numerous wireless computer zones on campus for students with laptops and tablets.
  • Q:

    Yes, at the home of the Head of School.  Invitations will be sent to the parents.
  • Q:
     When do 8th grade boarding students arrive? 

    Domestic 8th grade boarding students arrive Sunday, August 19 between 9:00 - 11:00.
    International students attend Venture, an additional orientation program for new international students. Oftentimes parents attend this orientation for the first day. For the 2018-2019 academic year, Venture Orientation begins Wednesday, August 15th, at 11 a.m. in Booth Student Center International Office and ends Saturday, August 18. Students will stay in their dorm rooms.
  • Q:
    Where is evening study hall and how is it monitored?

    Students have a monitored Study Hall Sunday – Thursday night from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Study Hall can take place in three different locations: the dorm - monitored by a faculty member, the library - monitored by the librarian, and for students who need additional assistance, in an academic area in the study room of the Student Center - monitored by an evening supervisor.
  • Q:
    Can I have food in my room?

    Food is permitted in residence hall rooms in tightly closed containers. Equipment for cooking and refrigerators are not permitted in individual rooms.  Refrigerators and cooking equipment, however, are located in the residence halls’ common rooms for general student use.  There is food available in the Campus Bookstore or may be purchased during off campus trips.
  • Q:
     Do I ever get to leave school?

    Absolutely. In addition to scheduled holidays, students leave campus during the weekdays for school sponsored trips, athletic events and fine art performances. Starting Friday after school through Sunday dinner there are many scheduled activities for students to take advantage of including shopping, movies, dining, and much more. Students are always welcome to suggest off campus trip locations and venues.
  • Q:
    When should 9th-12th grade boarding students arrive?

     Dorm check in for new boarding students is Sunday, August 19 between 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. with the exception of students attending Venture Orientation.
  • Q:
    What clothing should I bring? 

    The weather at the beginning of the school year will be very warm.  Bring your summer clothes with you, but also be prepared for an occasional rainy day and cool morning.  After the Thanksgiving holidays, students should bring clothes for colder temperatures. Student clothing should always follow the dress code (refer to the Student Handbook on the MySSES webpage for guidelines). All linens and clothing should be clearly marked with the student’s name. Do not over pack. Storage and closet space in the residence halls is limited.
  • Q:
    What do I do with my important documents?

    Upon arrival to St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, all international students must check-in their passports, I-20’s, airplane tickets, and any other official documents to the International Office for safekeeping. Dorm room keys will not be issued until the documents are submitted.
  • Q:
     What kinds of activities are planned for the weekends and how will I know what is going on?

    A complete weekend schedule with many activities including sporting events, fine arts, trips off campus and activities on campus is posted online and may be viewed by students and parents. The schedule is updated each week.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213