Frequently Asked Questions

You've Got Questions...We've Got Answers

We hope you can find the answer to your questions below, but if you can't, please call our School Office at (402) 896-0754 or use the below button to request a tour. We'd love to meet you!

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

This time is uncertain and our current environment is ever changing. We want to keep you informed, so we've created a web page for the latest school updates. Visit school.stephen.org/covid for information and resources.

Note: Because of our current environment, some details listed below may be altered as needed to keep our students, staff and families healthy and safe. Any confirmed changes are listed on school.stephen.org/covid.

St. Stephen the Martyr - Open House

Our Open House event is virtual this year. Click Here to Learn More!

Enrollment, Class Size & Tuition

St. Stephen the Martyr has approximately 650 students enrolled in grades PreSchool-8th grade. We offer three classes per grade level in K-8 and two sections in all of our Early Childhood programs.

Our average student to staff ratio is 15:1. Our average class size is 20 in grades K-8 and 15 in our Early Childhood programs. Teacher Assistants (TAs) are utilized in every grade level with Early Preschool through Kindergarten having one TA per classroom. Meet our staff.

Registration for the 2021-2022 school year is open. Enrollment forms & tuition rates are available at: school.stephen.org/registration.

2020 Annual Report

Despite the unprecedented year, we were still able to achieve great things! Read our 2020 Annual Report.

Early Childhood Education Opportunities

At SSM we have 4 preschool programs.
- Early Preschool: for 3-year olds, 2 day/week, AM or PM Sessions
- Preschool: for 4-year olds, 3 day/week AM Session (Waitlisted for 21/22 school year)
- PreK: for 4 & 5 year olds, 5 day/week, AM or PM Sessions
- Transitional Kindergarten (TK): for 4 & 5 year olds, 5 days/week, all day (Waitlisted for 21/22 school year)

For more information about our preschool, PreK and TK programs visit: school.stephen.org/preschool.

Curriculum & Assessments

We follow the State of Nebraska curriculum while adding additional Archdiocesan curriculum, including religion and more robust core expectations. Students also receive education in specials including PE, Music, Art, Computers, Spanish (4-8th grade), and Library. Starting in 5th grade, students can also participate in band through an instructor provided by the Catholic School’s Office. Learn more about our curriculum.

Our academic programs are measured against performance objectives and are aligned with The National Standards and Benchmarks For Effective Catholic Elementary Schools. Our students are assessed three times during the school year in both reading and math using Renaissance® STAR™ Assessments. These assessments allow teachers to pinpoint exactly where a student's abilities are at a given time, while also charting their progress and allowing teachers to tailor learning and standards to their students’ level and abilities. Additionally, teachers are able to collaborate with their colleagues to understand incoming and outgoing students' abilities and together help students not only meet required standards, but exceed standards when possible.

Technology & Blended Learning

We are a Google based educational facility and utilize Google Classroom Suite for posting assignments, calendars and email communications. Our technology lab includes Google Chromebooks, iPads, 3D printers, robots and a STEM maker space.

Additionally, each of 6-8th grade students has their own Chromebook through our rent-to-own program. TK-5th grade classrooms have a shared set of iPads. Teachers have access to their own iPad and laptop to use with either a SMART board or an Apple TV for projection or board work.

St. Stephen the Marty offers a Blended Learning approach to education. Students in a Blended Learning classroom rotate through small group stations to better understand specific concepts within a core subject (i.e. multiplication). Example of small groups would include manipulatives, teacher (small group), reading/writing (cross curricular), and iPads. This also allows teachers to differentiate learning by placing students into groups based on their level of understanding.

Staff Development

Our teachers participate in several hours of professional development each year. They love that our workshops, seminars and staff meetings are intentional and focus on training and topics that will benefit them in their classrooms.

Recent development has covered the Gradual Release of Responsibility Framework, Love & Logic and PBIS. In addition to what we offer through our staff development programs, teachers have the opportunity for further development in a variety of programs outside of school. Our teachers love to learn and often take on this additional training to advance their skills for the benefit of our students.

Behavior Management

Students are taught to use their own skills to make good choices throughout the day. Staff are trained in both Love & Logic and Boys Town Education Model®. Teachers deal with fewer behavior issues than our public counterparts and, as a result, are able to focus more of their energy on curriculum and faith formation.

Resource Program: T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More)

Our PreK-8th grade T.E.A.M. staff provides support to our classroom teachers and students to be successful in school. T.E.A.M. also sets up SAT (Student Assistance Team) meetings to brainstorm ideas to help a student who may be struggling in a subject(s). Additionally, our staff will coordinate with public schools to schedule services for any students who qualify for an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) through their zoned public school district.

Faith Formation

St. Stephen the Martyr is proud of its unique identity as a faith-based Catholic school. We teach Christian values through a Catholic lens while also providing sacramental preparation for students who are members of the Church. Our education provides the competencies necessary for knowledgeable and excelling Christian servant leaders to impact the world. We invoke God’s name in prayer first thing in the morning, throughout the day and upon dismissal.

1st - 8th graders attend Mass twice a week, assisting in the liturgy, and our Kindergartners attend Mass once a week, beginning in October. Students are active in Catholic devotions including Adoration, Eucharistic Benediction & Exposition, and The Stations of the Cross. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered to students throughout the school year. Our priests regularly visit classrooms and help with faith formation

Students in our Early Childhood programs engage in faith formation through our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program and K-8 students are taught the Theology of the Body curriculum. Our Catholic Identity Committee meets quarterly to review Catholic Identity goals. In 2019-2020, the committee focused on creating additional opportunities for students to participate in service projects. Our students have participated in over 50 service projects since 2019.

Before & After School Care - KidZone

Our before and after school care program, KidZone, is available for TK-8th grade students. Learn more.

Uniforms & Dress Code

Many students and parents enjoy not worrying about what to wear each morning! Our TK-8th grade students wear uniforms, while our Preschool & PreK students wear comfortable play clothes of their choice. Learn more about our dress code.

School Lunch

Students in grades TK-8 can choose between bringing their own lunch or paying for our hot lunch program. The menu changes daily and is provided by Westside Public Schools Catering. Here is a sample lunch menu.

Recess

TK-3rd grade have at least two recesses/day. 4th-8th grade have at least one/day.

Students are invited to bring snow bibs/pants & boots to play in the snow when weather permits!

Extra-Curricular Activities

As an enrichment to our daily school instruction and activities, we offer extracurricular activities for students. Other extracurricular experiences, not sponsored by the school, may be available. Visit: school.stephen.org/sports-activities for a complete list including details on:

  • Sports Club (Sports for Preschool-8th Grade)
  • Musical (Grades 1-8)
  • Band (Grades 5-8)
  • Youth Ministry (Grades 6-8 & Beyond)
  • Middle School Activities (i.e. Robotics, Student Council, Book Bowl, Speech)

Additionally, many grades have scouting groups or SSM basketball or t-ball teams through local organizations like the YMCA. It just takes a few willing parents to get groups & teams started! Veteran SSM parents are always willing to help new families get started.

Our Parish - St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church

St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church is a community for all people to encounter Christ, know Christ, and proclaim Christ. Our community is always growing as we welcome new individuals and families. Here you'll discover a spiritual family eager to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus. We offer many opportunities for you! Learn more at stephen.org

Tour St. Stephen's

We have so much to share and so many wonderful people for you to meet! Request a tour today.