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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.


St. Stephen School offers a dynamic learning environment.  Our school is accredited by the Michigan Non-Public Schools Accrediting Association and has been awarded the National Catholic Education Association’s Outstanding Home and School Association Award.

The St. Stephen community is proud of its commitment to educate the whole child. Small class sizes allow our dedicated teachers to provide the instruction, attention, and guidance necessary to help students reach their full potential. Traditionally our students score above the national average in standardized testing and are well prepared for the challenges of high school.

We offer excellence in academics for all learning levels, including accelerated programs, a dedicated resource room, and the Arrowsmith School Program, an internationally recognized program for students with learning disabilities which focuses on rebuilding the learning capacity. In addition to the core subjects:  religion, language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, we offer specialized instruction in Spanish, technology, art, physical education, music and band.  Additional support services includes: an Enrichment Teacher who works with students above grade level, Reading Specialist, and a school counselor.

Extra-curricular activities are also offered:

  • Community service opportunities
  • Academic competitions
  • Competitive athletic programs in grades 5-8
  • Scouting
  • Talent Show
  • Yearbook


Faith plays a fundamental role at St. Stephen and students have the opportunity to grow in their faith in many ways. In fact, each day begins and ends with prayer and student led devotions. Students learn and recite the prayers of Mass from early on, and learn about the Saints, Catholic doctrine, its rich history and faith traditions.

The school community joins the parish in the celebration of Mass each week. This is an opportunity for students and faculty to worship and be brought closer to God through Word and Sacrament. Each class has the opportunity to plan and participate in Mass, including preparing the petitions for the day. Not only do Catholic students participate as lectors, cantors and altar servers, older students serve as religious mentors by sitting with younger students.

On Fridays during Lent the students gather for Stations of the Cross, led by upper elementary students, and during the Advent Season the students gather in the hallway for Bible reading, song and devotion as the story of the Holy Family is enacted by the eighth grade students.

Each classroom is provided the opportunity to more fully understand their faith and the Church’s teachings as they are visited by the Parish Priest on a bi-weekly basis.

Students are taught the importance of having a commitment to their faith and serving others as stewards. Catholic Social Teachings are instrumental in developing a worldview establishing our place in this world as followers of Christ. Students are urged to serve others by giving of their time and talents both inside and outside of school. 

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
  • Living Rosary
  • Live Nativity
  • May Crowning
  • Seder Meal


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.