Yes, our students are very well-prepared. As a classical Christian school we educate our students to pursue whatever they believe is their God-given calling – the arts, humanities, science, engineering, languages, etc. There is no profile for what our graduates are supposed to do when they leave us, as the possibilities really are endless.
Yes, St. Stephen’s is fully accredited by the Association of Classical & Christian Schools (ACCS), the nation’s largest organization of classical schools. In 2012 St. Stephen’s Academy became just the 22nd school to be accredited by the ACCS, after it had earlier been accredited by three separate organizations: Christian Schools International (2009), the Northwest Accrediting Commission (2010) and the National Council for Private School Accreditation (2010).
St. Stephen’s Academy students were 3rd in Oregon for SAT scores last year. ACCS schools average in the 70-90th percentile nationwide for standardized testing. St. Stephen’s Academy averaged 36 points higher than the ACCS average and 181 points higher than independent schools. This shows that even in comparing to the top schools across the county St. Stephen’s Academy students demonstrate a very high level of performance on the SAT. Our students in 3rd, 5th, 8th and 10th score in the 83rd to 97th percentile in achievement across all grades tested in standardized tests.
To be admitted, a family does not have to profess the Christian faith. However, it is necessary that families acknowledge and approve during the admissions process that their children will be taught according to the school’s Statement of Faith. St. Stephen’s Academy is a Christian school, utilizing a Christian faculty and relying upon Biblical truth, best understood and explained in the Westminster Standards, to inform its policies and curriculum, etc. Within this context, all are welcome to apply for admission to our school.
We believe it does. Our curriculum could be called college prep, but that would be selling it short. We offer several languages (French, Spanish, and Latin), an advanced mathematics sequence that culminates with advanced calculus, and a Great Books literature and history program that immerses our students in the classics and teaches them to respect the incredible heritage of our Western Civilization. We also teach a very strong natural sciences curriculum that prepares our students to pursue a future in medicine or engineering if that is their inclination. In addition we offer students opportunities to excel in the fine arts and performing arts. Finally, we teach logic (argumentation/critical thinking) and rhetoric (written and oral communication).
Our teacher/student ratio is approximately 14:1, and our maximum class size is 20. We believe this emphasis helps our teachers both know their students well and give each student the attention he deserves.
We carry very low debt levels because we don’t have the luxury of unlimited resources. One of our strategic priorities is to cover 97% of our expenses by tuition revenue. The remainder is covered by our annual fundraising activities: Annual Fund Campaign and Benefit Dinner. Our per student cost to operate is approximately 1/3 of that of the local public system and includes our capital costs for buildings, etc.
Most people note our uniforms and academic setting when they first visit the school. As a classical Christian school, our methodology and content is unique. Used in American schools until the early 20th century and still in use in preparatory schools and overseas, the classical system departs from modern methods, but has years of demonstrated success. Why? Primarily because it takes students further, faster, and with more depth than other forms of education.