SSESH_2018_SqLogo_RGB_SSESH_2018_SqLogo_RGB.jpgFAQ (COVID-19)

Updated: July 2020



2020-21 Academic Year
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Will school be held on campus in August 2020?

Orientation and Primary. Campus will open in person for students in Orientation and Primary, in accordance with Texas Health and Human Services safety standards and oversight, on August 17, 2020 (for new students and move-up students) and on August 18, 2020 (for returning students). The School is committed to providing in-person care and instruction to our youngest learners; we listened to your needs and want to respond as fully as we can. If you would like to exercise a distance learning option for your child, it is necessary to contact the Head of School.

Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle Years. Out of an abundance of caution in light of the current COVID-19 status in Harris County and advisories issued by local governmental and public health authorities, distance learning will be utilized by our Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle Years students commencing on August 17, 2020 (for new students and move-up students) and on August 18, 2020 (for returning students). We are highly optimistic that the safety provisions in place and our scale of school operations will ultimately allow for a successful reopening of the full campus. The School will provide regular updates on this matter.

Distance Learning Option. Recognizing that parents may have different comfort levels in sending their child(ren) to campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School will be offering distance learning as an option for all levels. This option is immediately available to parents of Orientation and Primary students and will be offered to parents of Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and Middle Years students if and when the campus is opened to these students.

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If meeting online, how will online education next year be different from what we saw this spring?

Building on the unstoppable learning happening in the STEAM Lab virtual summer camp, the School will be rolling out a robust and engaging distance learning program. We are looking forward to taking distance learning to the next level at St. Stephen’s, through more one-on-one and small-group instruction, engaging live lectures, technology enhancements, learning kits, and more.

Tuition and Financial Matters
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There is considerable uncertainty around what school could look like in the fall. Is St. Stephen’s considering tuition structures that account for significant variability in the services that St. Stephen’s may be able offer?

Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year will remain flat at the 2019-20 rates for full day educational programs, as follows.      

  • Orientation: $17,900  
  • Primary: $19,400  
  • Lower Elementary (1st - 3rd Grade): $19,900  
  • Upper Elementary (4th - 6th Grade): $21,400 
  • Middle Years (7th & 8th Grade): $23,400 

In addition, St. Stephen’s Episcopal understands that Pre-K children need care as well as access to highly trained teachers and learning opportunities. We also recognize that distance learning is more challenging for this age group. As such, the School has split the full day tuition for Pre-K students as follows. 

The School will be asking families with Pre-K students to commit to $12,500 for morning care, as a contractual obligation. 

  • Orientation Half Day (8:00 am - 11:30 am) = $12,500 
  • Primary Half Day (8:00 am - 11:45 am) = $12,500  

If elected, the following Add-Ons will be payable on a monthly basis, if and when the campus is open to students. Accounts will be adjusted as necessary. 

Orientation Add-Ons 

  • Before Care Add-On (7:15 am - 8:00 am) = $540  
  • Full Day Add-On (11:30 am - 2:30 pm) = $5,400  
  • Gap Care Add-On (2:30 pm - 3:30 pm) = $810  
  • After Care Add-On (2:30 pm - 5:45 pm) = $2,700 

Primary Add-Ons (pre-K only) 

  • Before Care Add-On (7:15 am - 8:00 am) = $540  
  • Full Day Add-On (11:45 am - 2:45 pm) = $6,900  
  • Gap Care Add-On (2:45 pm - 3:30 pm) = $810  
  • After Care Add-On (2:45 pm - 5:45 pm) = $2,700 

For more information, please visit the Tuition webpage or contact the Business Office at or 713-821-9100.

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What options are you considering in helping families in the short term and long term if this distance learning stays on for the next school year?

Tuition insurance has been arranged for the upcoming school year, and families can opt into this protection plan, to help cover costs of tuition in the event of illness, relocation or loss of income.

We have substantially increased our financial aid budget, and we encourage anyone who has experienced or anticipates experiencing a change in circumstances to please apply. Families are encouraged to contact the Director of Finance and Operations, Max Meister, and the Head of School, Jerri King. Max and Jerri will guide parents regarding the support available and the process for applying for discounting.

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Can capital campaign funds be re-allocated for other purposes?

We are so grateful for all that has been raised to date and the generosity from board members, parishioners, some school families, as well as private foundations. These funds are earmarked and restricted to the renovation and construction projects that are essential for our future beyond this turbulent time. Capital funds are separate from the church's and school's operating budgets and are restricted dollars.

Support for Students
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How can I keep my child on a schedule at home?

Consistency is key to adhering to a schedule, especially for young children. Routines help with predictability and provide structure for children, which will help your child be aware of what comes next, feel more in control, and help alleviate tantrums. If you need to deviate from the schedule, make sure children are aware of this deviation to ensure cooperative behavior and to minimize disappointment.

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How do I know when to push or stop working with my child?

The Montessori philosophy emphasizes process over end product. We want the children to feel a connection to their work and to their family while using their natural curiosity and discovery to learn. The role for the adult is to simply assist in the process, not to take over the task or chores for the child. Letting the child struggle through difficulty is crucial for building strong self-regulation skills, self-help skills, and critical thinking skills. If invited to help with the struggle of a difficult task, do so minimally. If the task is proven too overwhelming, be mindful of their needs and know when to restore and change activities.