The vision of St. Stephen’s Academy is to be one of the leading PreK – 12 classical Christian schools on the West Coast. We aim to equip children to be lifelong learners and provide them with a body of knowledge that enables them to comprehend the world in which they live, to engage contemporary culture with a biblical worldview, and to communicate clearly and graciously.
To accomplish this mission, we are dedicated to a time-tested classical curriculum, the Trivium, whose stages correspond to a child’s natural stages of development. Our vision is to continue developing an outstanding staff and faculty, dedicated to the classical model and who will pass on love of learning to their students. The ultimate end of this education is that our graduates then become lifelong learners, contributing to the advance of God’s kingdom, wherever He may call them.
St. Stephen’s Academy has been blessed with significant growth, growing from ~50 students in 2006 to over 260 in 2019. St Stephen’s has built a high school academic program, hired new faculty across many disciplines, established a facility which is zoned for up to 225 students, and leased additional space at Lake Bible Church to house our Upper School.
As the Board of Directors looks forward over the next 10 years, the key strategic pillars of our vision include:
St. Stephen’s has a strong academic program today. However, there are opportunities to increase the academic offerings, deepen the application of the classical method, broaden the skill set of teachers, and raise the academic performance of students in all grades versus benchmark institutions. In addition, the Board’s desire is that the program increasingly ensures college preparation. To this end, St. Stephen’s has hired a Dean of Academics and developed a Classical Academic Plan of Excellence consistent with best practices of the ACCS. Furthermore, our vision entails increased focus and investment on math and science, as well as broadening the fine arts curriculum. Our goal with this increased focus is to achieve the equivalent excellence in math and science as we have in the humanities.
With the growth of the school, it is clear that we are approaching the practical facility capacity. The Board’s desire is to establish a new facility on a larger property in the Beaverton area within the next 3-5 years. This facility will have a single campus for PreK – 12 long term that will support ~400 students. We do recognize the practical and financial gap between today’s school and what it would require to have a multi-million dollar property in this environment. St. Stephen’s has always operated with conservative financial practices and wishes to avoid significant debt. Therefore, we are in the midst of a multi-phased approach to new facilities including: property search and evaluation, looking into buying or leasing options, revenue options assessment, and a capital campaign. Part of this multi-phased approach includes a bridge/transition option which we have initiated at Lake Bible Church in Lake Oswego.
St. Stephen’s has improved its financial metrics over the past 5 years, by significantly reducing the operating deficit and reducing debt. As we move into the new phase of strategic planning for the next decade, the Board continues to reinforce a fiscally conservative stewardship philosophy. Desired objectives include:
St. Stephen’s faculty and staff are critical to the mission of the school, and we are blessed by their skill, patience, and love for the students. The strategic vision for faculty includes hiring outstanding candidates who are passionate about classical education, who model biblical Christianity and who inspire students to love learning. The Board’s vision for faculty in the next several years includes fostering a vibrant faculty development culture, competitive compensation, developing faculty as active participants (practitioners, innovators, thinkers, and writers) in the classical Christian education movement.
St. Stephen’s has an excellent culture today, characterized by a grace-filled environment, a wholesome relational atmosphere, a strong volunteer culture, small class sizes (20 max per class), and interaction among students across all grades. We aim to continue to foster this culture and strengthen it. We also aim to more fully engage our parents, so that they become effective and winsome ambassadors for the school and its distinctives (the full trivium model, etc.). We also aim to maintain and strengthen our distinctively excellent programs, with the intention of bringing salt and light to the world around us.