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About Our School

Our Vision

To be the premier Catholic school in West Michigan, recognized for its faith formation and development, academic excellence, and commitment to diversity. St. Stephen prepares students to become insightful thinkers and lifelong learners, who faithfully do God’s work as citizens of the world.

Our Mission

Jesus Christ is the heart of St. Stephen Catholic School, which welcomes and includes students of diverse backgrounds and needs.  By our words, actions, and attitudes we educate students to be active in their Catholic faith, thirsty for knowledge, and engaged in service.

Academics

St. Stephen prides itself on our achievements which are built around educating the whole child. We are accredited by the Michigan Non-Public Schools Accrediting Association and have been awarded the National Catholic Education Association’s Outstanding Home and School Association Award.

In addition to reading, mathematics, science, social studies and religion, we offer foreign language studies, computer science, art, physical education, and band. We provide accelerated course work for students who need to be challenged at a higher level as well as resource specialists to support students who may need additional assistance with classwork. We also offer the area’s only Arrowsmith School Program, focused on rebuilding the learning capacity of students with cognitive challenges.

Keeping up-to-date with evolving technology is an integral part of our students’ learning. Our computer Mac lab, media center and extensive enrichment programming enhance and underscore classroom curricula and bring “real-world” experiences into the academic setting. Read the St. Stephen Technology Plan (257 KB, PDF) for more information on our technology curriculum. 

The learning environment is further enhanced by state-of-the-art sound-field FM systems in each classroom, document cameras, projectors and Smartboards.

Extra-curricular activities are also offered:

  • Community service opportunities
  • Academic competitions
  • Competitive athletic programs in grades 5-8
  • Science Olympiad
  • Scouting
  • Student Film Festival
  • Talent Show
  • Yearbook

Faith

Faith plays a fundamental role at St. Stephen. Students have the opportunity to experience their faith in many ways. In fact, each day begins with a student-led prayer. Students learn and recite the prayers of Mass, the prayers of the Saints and explore personal prayer. In addition, Catholic doctrine, history and traditions are taught as part of our core curriculum.

During weekly school Mass, students and faculty share their faith and grow in community. Students are encouraged to participate as lectors, cantors and altar servers.

The religious diversity of our student base provides a unique forum where students experience other religions and traditions with their peers. Catholic religious themes change each month, as do tributes to different church figures and saints. Our goal is to enhance our students’ exposure to all aspects of Catholicism and Christianity.

Religious themes change monthly, as do tributes to different Church figures and saints. This is an effort to enhance the exposure to all aspects of Catholicism in addition to Mass and the religious teaching of Catholic doctrine.

Faith Highlights

  • All School Advent Prayer
  • Angel Groups - (middle school students serve as mentors to early elementary students)
  • Sacramental Preparation
  • Living Stations of the Cross
  • Live Nativity
  • May Crowning
  • Seder Meal

Diversity

While St. Stephen remains a neighborhood-based school located in East Grand Rapids, we attract a diverse population of ethnic and religious backgrounds from within a 30-mile radius. We believe this multicultural environment is essential to teaching children to live peacefully in our world, allowing them to experience life through each student’s unique perspective.

Our inclusive learning culture encourages students to observe, acknowledge and celebrate their similarities while being enriched by their differences. Our one commonality is that we are all unique.