St. Stephen's School

St. Stephen's School Logo

Basic Information

Address: Via Aventina 3 00153 Rome, Italy
Phone Number: +39065750605
President: Jeff Schon (Board Chair)
Principal: Eric Mayer
Director of Admissions: Alex Perniciaro

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St. Stephen's School
St. Stephen's School
St. Stephen's School
St. Stephen's School

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Additional Information

Organization: St. Stephen's School
School Type: private, international, day and boarding high school
Accredited Start Date: 1964
Accredited End Date: present
Founded: 1964

IB Diploma Programme: In 1975, St Stephen’s became the first school in Italy to offer the International Baccalaureate program and in recent years, celebrated the best IB scores in the School’s history with six students earning perfect scores of 45 points. St Stephen’s students have matriculated to colleges and universities throughout the world. The IB Diploma Program at St. Stephen’s is a two-year curriculum for 11th and 12th grades and is a continuation of the international education we offer in lower grades. Students are required to take six separate subjects, one from each of six specialized groups that are divided along lines of academic disciplines. At St. Stephens these are: First Language (English is required as a first language; Italian and French are optional as first languages), Second Language, Individuals and Societies (broadly construed as social sciences and humanities), Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, Arts.

American High School Diploma: The four-year program of studies leading to the American High School Diploma balances a broad exposure to the six major academic disciplines (English, Modern and Classical Languages, Mathematics, Experimental Science, Humanities and the Arts), while encouraging students to pursue in-depth study in areas of personal interest through a choice of electives. Each student is expected to carry at least 5 full-time courses each year. The 19-credit requirement for graduation is as follows: English (4), Modern Languages (3), Humanities (3), Experimental Science (3), Mathematics (3), Electives (2), Arts (1). In addition, non-credit sports and a service project are yearly requirements. Graduating seniors must also submit a research paper and pass a computer proficiency test.

Ages/Grades: 14-19, Grades 9-12 & PG
School Setting:

St Stephen's is located just steps away from Rome's ancient wonders; the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum, to name a few. The school’s two and a half acres are tucked away behind a gated entrance on a private residential street. A former convent and villa, the school is constructed around a central courtyard in the typical Roman tradition. The school is fully equipped with modern facilities to accommodate the 275 day and boarding students.

School Schedule: September to June
School Days in Calendar: 275
School Holidays: Eight school holidays

We are small and this allows us to get to know and work one-on-one with each student. Together with 250 day students and 40 boarders, who make up our robust boarding program, we focus on building close relationships between faculty and students and creating a sense of community. Through common pursuit of knowledge, through shared travel and through experiencing new cultures together, students who live and learn at St. Stephen’s carry this rare moment forward into the rest of their lives.

Faculty: 68 Faculty: 90% have an advanced degree, and 20% have earned a PhD. A
Enrollment: 295

24,7000 (day) / 38,550 (boarding) EURO

Financial Aid:

St. Stephen's offers financial aid.


St. Stephen's facilities include:
Four state-of-the-art science laboratories
Two art studios
A digital classroom
The boarding residence and faculty apartments
Primary computer room
Classrooms (equipped with digital whiteboards)
The Edward C. Carter Library (14,000 volumes, an extensive collection of digital resources and English as well as foreign language periodicals)
Administrative Offices
The dining hall and snack bar
School assembly hall/theatre
The campus grounds also feature:
Basketball and volleyball courts
Modern dance, Pilates, and Yoga facilities
Gardens and a terrace
Soccer and track and field are within a ten-minute walk from the school.


Arts, Classics, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Science, Sports

Support Services:

Faculty-Student Advisor System: The faculty advisor is the primary contact for parents seeking to discuss their child's well-being with the school. Each student meets with his/her advisor in an advisory group on the first day of school. Parents meet initially with advisors on Back to School Night in late September, and again at Parent-Advisor conferences in November and March. Students meet with advisors as a group on a monthly basis and individually, on an as-needed basis. Advisors collect anecdotal information through grade-level review meetings, formal solicitation, and informal conversations regarding the progress/well-being of their advisees. They liaise between class teachers and parents about homework when an advisee has an extended absence due to illness. They monitor academic progress and write comments on mid-term and semester reports. Boarding advisors communicate with the parents of their advisees about family concerns, School activities and boarding life in general. The Dean of Students organizes the advisory system and consults with students and faculty to designate advisors at the outset of each academic year.

Student Wellness: Wellness and counseling services are available to all students throughout the year to assist them with a variety of issues. Counseling is seen as one of the many things we do at St Stephen's to care for and support students in their academic life. Many times parents are not informed unless there is a 'risk' issue, it is a formal referral or the prior agreement of the student has been given.

ELS: At St. Stephen's School, English Language Support (ELS) is a supplementary English course for non-native English speakers. English language Support classes are focused on students' skills and consist of directed lesson plans that help students improve their knowledge of the English language. Students attend workshops where they explore and pursue current writing projects and confer individually with the teacher. Through daily conversation and writing exercises, students practice on a regular basis, developing confidence and fluency, as well as a better understanding of the writing process, voice, usage and syntax.

The Learning Centre: At St. Stephen's School, we believe that an inclusionary model is the most effective way of supporting students with special needs. Our mission is to cultivate what is highest and best in students with exceptionalities in the least restrictive environment and with an appropriate Learning Plan. St. Stephen's has the capacity to support some students with special needs. This may include students who are gifted, ESL, or have mild to moderate learning disabilities, such as ADD/ADHD, dyscalculia, dyslexia, emotional disabilities, and physical disabilities. We review each application to our school carefully to ensure that all qualified students will be appropriately served. Direct services for students with exceptionalities at St. Stephen's School include:

  • Study skills support and homework assistance
  • Behaviour management support
  • Tutoring (both teacher and peer)
  • Math Peer Tutoring
  • Writing centre
  • Social/Emotional counseling
  • English language support
Summer School: Yes
After School Programs: Yes
Computer Capabilities: Students are required to bring their own devices to school. In addition, iMacs, PCs and Chromebooks are also available.
School Championships:

Mediterranean Soccer Cup, Roma Soccer Cup

School Clubs:

Over 30 clubs including
Admissions Ambassadors

Boarding Prefects

Casetta Lauretana


Clown Doctor Therapy Course

Club della Francofonia

Down Syndrome Theater





Gardening Club

German Club

Helping the Tchkudu Kids - Life Straw Club

Humans of Rome

INKLING and INK Literary Magazine (11th and 12th grade)

Italian Club

Italian Peer Tutoring

Junior Math Competition

Knitting Club

Library Crew

Math Peer Tutoring

MUN (Model United Nations)

POP Crew

Peer Mentoring

Photography Club

Physics Peer Tutoring

Reach Out / Rome Social Projects

SSS Radio

SSS Student Council

Science Club

S.U.N. (Students United for Nature)

Tastemaker's Magazine

Termini Soup Kitchen

The Artist

The Aventina School Newspaper

The Logic Club



Notable Graduates:

Nicola Formichetti, Peter Gregersen, Diana Paredes, Murat Abur, Dr. Fred Rusty Gage, Dr. Ettore Vulcano, Karen Shur

Parking Spaces/Availability: Yes
Uniform Guidelines:

Students are not required to wear uniforms. There is a relaxed dress code.

Admissions Requirements:

To process your application in a timely fashion, we recommend that you follow the guidelines outlined below. Applicants must first complete an Admission Inquiry Form. It is also advisable that you schedule a campus visit and an interview as early as possible. Open Days and application deadlines are updated at the beginning of each scholastic year. For boarding students and Semester or Year Abroad applicants, we offer rolling admission.

Day Students Grade 9

Admission candidates entering Grade 9 are advised to visit the school with their parents during one of our Open Days, which are held from 08:45 to 11:45, by appointment only, on specified days throughout the fall. On Open Days, an admission application packet will be provided. To be considered for the following scholastic year. The list of documents required for completion of the application procedure is listed below. Please check with Admissions staff regarding when your admissions packet must be completed. Prospective students for Grade 9 must take an admission test. For details and to reserve space, please contact or phone the Admissions Office on +39.06.575.0605.

Day Students Grade 10-12 & PG

To be assured full consideration, candidates are advised to complete the application procedure and to check with admissions staff regarding application deadlines.  Admission to grades 10 through 12 is dependent upon available space. Students will only be evaluated for admission to St. Stephen's School after the documents listed below have been received.

Boarding Students Grade 9-12 & PG

Applicants wishing to board may follow the procedures listed below for admission consideration. St. Stephen's offers rolling admissions for boarding, including semester, Year Abroad, and diplomatic transfers. An onsite visit and interview with the student and parents or guardians is also required. Students will only be evaluated for admission to St. Stephen's School after the submission of all requested documents. 
All Candidates Must:

  • Submit application form and fee of Euro 150
  • Provide past two years of academic transcripts from previous schools
  • Provide results from standardized testing, if available
  • Provide two teacher recommendations
  • Provide a graded student writing sample
  • Take an admissions test administered by St. Stephen's
  • Schedule an interview prospective student and parents or guardian with Head of School and Assistant Heads
  • Prospective students and parents of boarding candidates must also complete the Supplementary Boarding Form as part of the application process.

PAYING THE APPLICATION FEE: Please note that completing the application process does not automatically guarantee enrollment. The requested application fee covers testing and evaluation. All documents listed above must be received before or by the application deadline and parents will be notified in March of admission decisions. Enrollment is the final step of the admission application process.


St. Stephen’s School admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Admissions Deadlines: see website
Mission Statement:

We are an English-language international school in the heart of Rome whose small size and stimulating collaborative environment offer students a transformative college preparatory experience anchored by the highest standards of academic excellence. St. Stephen's is a four-year, independent, non-denominational, boarding and day school that draws on the strengths of both American and European education traditions to give our students a deeper understanding of the world grounded in western culture. Through close mentoring, intellectual inquiry and inspired teaching in a small class setting, we motivate students to reach their fullest potential and take responsibility for their academic achievement, which readies them for the most competitive universities on both sides of the Atlantic and the joys and benefits of lifelong learning. We foster a warm, collaborative environment – enriched by a vibrant boarding program – so young people gain the confidence to find their true balance and engage fully as caring citizens in a diverse international community. We examine the rich historical layers of Rome as a source for academic inspiration and encourage students to engage its dynamic urban environment.  We strive to provide a holistic preparatory experience that lays the foundation for continued academic achievement and a fulfilling life.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

Core Values


  • we attend to the needs of others, especially those who are vulnerable and in need
  • we actively build a diverse and inclusive community
  • we work to sustain and improve the environment
  • we honor the needs for our own wellbeing


  • we study passionately
  • we pursue thorough knowledge through innovative approaches
  • we use the past to inform our learning


  • we value originality, improvisation, and invention
  • we encourage diverse forms of personal expression
  • we promote artistic expression for all community members


  • we uphold high standards of academic honesty
  • we help one another find our voice and the courage to act on it
  • we honor the truth, both in word and in deed


  • we prize learner autonomy
  • we allow room to challenge convention
  • we recognize that where there isn't a path we must make one
School History:

Established by the Rev. John O. Patterson, former Headmaster of the Kent School in Connecticut, to epitomize the best elements of a classical liberal arts education, St. Stephen's opened for classes in 1964 and the first seniors graduated in 1966.

Its founder chose Rome as the site because he believed the city to be "the symbol and repository of the enduring ethical, cultural and religious values of the West", as well as "one of the most cosmopolitan international crossroads of the modern world."

The school's first location was the Villa S. Valentino, in the Parioli area. St. Stephen's remained there for six years and then moved to the Appian way in 1970. The school relocated to its present site on the 'little' Aventine hill in 1972, where it inhabits an ex-convent located on a site of a temple that was once dedicated to the Roman goddess, Bona Dea.

In 1975, St. Stephen's became the first school in Italy to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Two years later, it celebrated its first two IB Diploma graduates. One of the first schools in Europe to adopt the International Baccalaureate, our IB program now has a senior cohort of over 70 DP candidates, a 100% pass rate and an average diploma score of 35 points.

While growing rapidly, and increasing its commitment to the local and international communities in Rome, as well as US citizens abroad, the founders' dream of "a school whose reason for being would be a quest for excellence, for developing the maturity and wholeness of each member of the community, and maintaining the highest standards in all areas and all levels" remains vibrant and alive today. Rome's incomparable historical and artistic traditions are the backdrop against which the school has become increasingly informed by a global vision and a commitment to service and world citizenship