Discover the history and traditions that make St. Stephen's unique

Episcopal Identity

Episcopal Identity

St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School (SSEDS) founded in 1958, is an Episcopal school steeped in Anglican Tradition. The school is a community with spiritual formation firmly at the center of its life. An intimate partner with our founder, Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove, Florida, our spiritual integrity is manifested by our living the ideal of inclusiveness. We do this by honoring and embracing people from all faiths and backgrounds. Our community is thereby enriched by embracing and incorporating into our daily life a wide variety of cultural, ethnic, religious, economic, and national backgrounds that make up our Parish and School communities. We hold the modeling of God's all-inclusive love and grace as the heartbeat of our existence.   

Our purpose as an Episcopal Church School is not to convince individuals to accept specific doctrines. We exist to help one another find the key that unlocks the door to understanding our beliefs about God. We invite all who attend church and all who work and study here at SSEDS—Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians, Christians and non-Christians, people of no faith tradition—both to seek clarity about their own beliefs and religions and to honor those traditions more fully and faithfully in their own lives. Above all, SSEDS exists not merely to educate, but to demonstrate and proclaim the unique worth and beauty of all human beings as creations of a loving, empowering God.

There are four main visible signs of our Episcopal Identity here at SSEDS. They are School Worship, Community Life, Religious Formation and Study, and Social Justice.

1. School Worship

  • 2 Morning Prayer Services divided by grade level 
  • 1 Holy Eucharist for Grades 1-5
  • Year Opening Eucharist for Faculty and Administrators 
  • Matriculation Service for the New School Year
  • Blessing of Animals
  • Day School Sunday
  • All Saints Day Celebration 
  • Grandparents’ Day Chapel 
  • Yearly Christmas Pageant with Lessons and Carols
  • Ash Wednesday Distribution of Ashes
  • Early Communion Sunday Celebration 
  • Parents' Day Chapel
  • Baccalaureate Sunday with Parish and School
  • Grade 5 Graduation Ceremony

2. Community Life

  • Grace before lunch and other celebratory meals in each classroom
  • Flag Salute: Student Covenant, Pledge to the Cross, Flag, and Earth, Community Announcements, and Special Intention Community Prayers and Blessings
  • The Chaplain provides pastoral counseling for the entire community as needed
  • Grade 5 Leadership Roles: Daily Safety Patrol, Weekly Acolyte Service, Student Council Officers
  • Ongoing Anti-Bullying Awareness
  • Indigenous Peoples Month
  • Spanish Heritage Month
  • Black History Month 
  • Earth Day Celebration 
  • Reading Buddies (older students mentor younger students throughout the school)

3. Religious Formation and Study

  • Godly Play for Grades Pre-K through 3
  • Sacred Studies Grades 4 and 5
  • Acolyte training Grade 5
  • Character Education with Monthly focus on specific Character Traits
  • Integration of religious thought across the curriculum during Godly Play and Sacred Studies classes
  • Informal meetings with students during the school day
  • Student Assemblies with various religious leaders in the community

4. Social Justice

  • Student Council
  • Helping Hands 
  • 2 Community Food Drives
  • Collection of Halloween Costumes for Children’s Home Society
  • Reading Buddies Partnership with St. Alban’s
  • Cook for Casa Valentina
  • Second Spoon ~ monthly food recovery program
  • Blessing Bags: homeless, children held in the detention centers, young children entering the foster care system, sick children in the hospital
  • Decorate placemats for the church’s Thanksgiving Meal 
  • Christmas Angel Tree Gift Drive to support the Church’s Aids Ministry
  • Best Buddies Friendship Day

The weaving of these principles into the fabric of SSEDS’s life ensures that we remain a strongly knit community held by bonds of love. This strongly woven fabric provides a sturdy, Christ-centered environment where our students learn to lead by example and be forces for good in the world.

Membership in the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES) provides us with a rock-solid foundation upon which we build our ever-evolving, ever-expanding understanding of ourselves as part of a worldwide outreach from within the Anglican Tradition. This intimate relationship with NAES nourishes and helps form the core of our identity as an Episcopal School.

Upcoming Events

November 6, 2020

Faculty Professional Day - NO SCHOOL

November 25 - 29, 2020

Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL

December 7, 2020

Faculty Professional Day - NO SCHOOL