St. Stephen's School Rome nestles at the foot of the Aventine, the most exclusive of Rome’s seven hills, and a stone’s throw from the city’s great imperial sites, our international non-denominational high school for boarding and day students has built its academic program and reputation on the classical heritage of our host country, Italy, and the rigor of two prestigious educational models: the American, independent college-preparatory curriculum, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
At 295 students we are small, forty-seven boarders constitute our ‘nuclear’ family, the experiential dimension of our curriculum, which includes an extensive trip program, confers a ‘hands on’ feel to our academics and our location, in the heart of the Eternal City and at the crossroads of Europe, provides a rich cultural context in which to learn and grow. The faculty at St. Stephen’s are scholars, artists, writers and scientists who are passionate about their subjects and illuminate the minds and lives of the students they teach, each day and every year.
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.
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