Photograph by Nicola, a Middle Years student at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
Welcome to Middle Years
(7th and 8th grade)
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School – Houston wants to make our inspiring Middle School affordable for a greater number of families in our community.
We are offering generous tuition grants combined with financial aid to applicants who are rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.
We seek students who are motivated learners and interested in STEM, robotics, film, photography, theatre, vocal or instrumental performance, foreign languages, and more. We will meet you where you are on your academic journey and guide you through honors-level courses to high school.
Our high school prep and counseling are unparalleled and yield students who are ready for high school, and beyond. While we do not teach to the test, our students perform exceptionally well on standardized entrance exams, including the ISEE, and gain entrance to the top high schools in Houston.
Join us in the da Vinci Lab makerspace, make radio contact with astronauts on the ISS, build a robot, make an independent film, earn accolades in the National Spanish Examinations, and cultivate lifelong friendships at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School – Houston.
Start your Middle School journey by applying here: www.ssesh.org/admission
High Schools attended by recent SSESH graduates
- Carnegie Vanguard High School
- Energy Institute High School
- Episcopal High School
- Houston Academy for International Studies
- Incarnate Word Academy
- Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA)
- Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions
- Post Oak School
- Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School
- St. Francis Episcopal School
- St. Pius X High School
- St. Thomas High School
- Strake Jesuit College Preparatory
- The Emery/Weiner School
We believe that students best learn from an elevated curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and builds on itself from year to year. It is our goal to provide our students with rigorous lessons that spark creativity and curiosity, while still pushing them to their academic limits. Our students thrive in the stretch zone of learning.
- Students may earn high school credit for 8th-grade honors Algebra and Spanish courses.
- Integrated Physics and Chemistry is an honors course offered for our 8th graders.
- Our students receive accolades in the National Spanish Examinations.
- With writing being the focus of courses across the curriculum, St. Stephen’s students become experts in argument and composition, honing their critical thinking and analytical skills across all academic disciplines.
- St. Stephen’s STEM curriculum is robust, including coursework and extracurricular opportunities in applied engineering and robotics. Our da Vinci Lab for Creative Arts and Sciences is a makerspace where students showcase their creativity through computer programming, 3D printing, and product design. See clips from our da Vinci Showcase below. Robotics covers the basics of movement and sensors using a GUI-based programming software, in preparation for success at robotics competitions.
- Students choose their own elective courses, yielding the beginning of an outward expression of self-inquiry within the support system of the school. Elective courses — film, theatre, music and music theory, and visual arts including photography — are fully integrated into our program of study, and all of our instructors work closely together to keep instruction linked and coherent.
Our goal is to not only prepare our students academically but also to prepare them as responsible learners who are familiar with a traditional upper-level academic environment. Students often have their first exposure to rotating classes, a traditional grading scale, and a workload geared towards preparing them for high school and beyond. When students graduate from our Middle Years program, they are prepared to advocate for themselves as elevated learners.
We start the high school journey in 7th grade with counseling, test prep, and coaching. Although we pride ourselves in not teaching to the test, our students perform exceptionally well on standardized entrance exams, such as the ISEE.
Our students receive individualized attention that is unparalleled at larger institutions as a result of our low student-to-teacher ratio. We know our students’ strengths and areas in need of improvement, when to challenge and when to support, and how they learn best. As much as rules are made to be followed, rules are made to be broken, and if we discover a better way for a student, that’s the way we’ll go.
Given collaborative control over their education, our students teach, lead, mentor, and grow, all while supported by accomplished faculty. Our block schedules, featuring multiple-hour work periods, are derived from our Montessori heritage and afford plenty of time for independent study.
We live our values, and this includes questioning everything. Our belief in the power of questions inspires our teaching style, with the Socratic method employed to teach mathematics, literature, science, and more. We challenge our students to formulate questions, seek answers, and delve deeper.
St. Stephen’s students collaborate on projects, homework, and even quizzes, an approach implemented out of respect for the research-based evidence demonstrating the developmental needs of students ages 11-14. We check in on each other each morning and make sure all is well in our cohort. The care is real, even when the competition is fierce. Our students develop lifelong friendships and EQ that will support them in all endeavors.
Our academic foundation is deep and wide, but the sprinkles on top are the best. Students organize and participate in science fairs, student council, film festivals, student journalism, community service, team sports, and more. Off-campus, our students practice global citizenship through class trips dedicated to scientific, historical, and cultural inquiries.
While we take learning seriously, we seriously have fun. Class lectures are not dull, and laughter echoes in CoHo!
The middle school at St. Stephen’s has exceeded my expectations in every way. It is the perfect transition for our non-traditionally graded Montessori students to learn how to take tests and get grades before they head into the more traditional world of high school and college. The teachers are still able to give them the individual attention they are used to at all levels, and now use that attention to prepare them for the challenges of the world beyond St. Stephen’s. I would not trade our experience during these two years for anything.
Electives @ SSESH
da Vinci Lab with Mr. Charlie
Project-based learning, innovation, and STEM combine in the da Vinci Lab for Creative Arts & Sciences. Supplementing the math and science pedagogy at St. Stephen’s, the da Vinci curriculum focuses on technology and its practical applications. Students learn touch typing, Internet safety, and computing skills, including coding, 3D design, and electronics design.
Middle Years students create capstone projects that combine their coding skills with the ideals of Human-Centered Design. We highlight several capstone projects in the video to the right.
Film with Ms. Anita and Mr. Stefan
Film is a year-long, project-based learning, fine arts program. Each filmmaker is responsible for writing, producing, directing, and editing their own 3-5 minute short film, which is shown at our annual film festival. Students form production teams and are trained in all aspects of filmmaking, from cinematography to film editing to scriptwriting.
We challenge our filmmakers to use the platform to advance social justice and advocate for change. View Orange Water by James.
Photography/Visual Arts with Ms. Sasha, MFA
Middle Years students are offered a full range of studio art opportunities, including drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, and photography. The arts curriculum infuses art history, technique, composition, and creative expression, challenging students to use color, symbolism, and form to tell their stories.
Works of art by our Middle Years students display our students’ thought leadership, world views, and hopes for the future. View highlights from the St. Stephen’s Visual Arts Show.