Increasing the number of boarders
St. Stephen’s has a current ratio of day to boarding students of about 5:1 within a total student population of about 300 (circa 252-day students vs. 48 boarders).
Under this Plan, the number of boarders will increase to 75-80.
● An average of six boarders will be added to the student rolls each year over the life of the Plan.
● Boarders will represent a more significant percentage of students, reducing the ratio to about 3:1, though the student population will remain at 300.
● As the size of the boarding program increases, we reasonably expect that more students (and their families) will find St. Stephen’s an increasingly appealing boarding option. (Additional facilities to accommodate this boarder increase is addressed in Objective 3 below.)
A proportionally larger boarding population will:
● enhance the boarders’ identity, influence, and group experience within the School;
● create more opportunities for friendships within a more sizable cohort;
● provide broader geographical, cultural, and ethnic diversity, which will contribute to the transformative experience the School strives for and that has been a hallmark of its success;
● allow the School to further distinguish itself from its day school competitors in Rome through an enhanced international experience; and
● diversify its source of tuition funding beyond Rome.
1. Increase admissions staffing and redouble efforts to market and recruit boarders.
Consistent with the incoming Head of School’s Master Plan, we will add staffing capacity to the Admissions Office. Additional staffing will focus on relationships with likely feeder schools, as well as with regions of the world in which we have historically attracted students. They also will be intimately involved in the digital marketing and inquiry/visit phase of admissions. In addition, we will increase the Admissions Office budget to provide for more staff travel to recruiting fairs and other site visits to raise St. Stephen’s profile among leading private and boarding schools around the world.
2. Provide more program offerings for boarders and foster greater integration between day and boarding students.
As the boarder population grows proportionally, we will need to ensure that the boarding students have a commensurate range of programs in which they can participate, especially to the extent that they may be more geographically dispersed with the addition of new off-campus boarding accommodations (see Objective 3). As a result, the boarding team will organize and schedule more special events, meals, field trips, sporting activities, and clubs for boarders, while also encouraging greater integration between boarders (who themselves may be in more than one location) and day students so that the student body does not effectively become segregated into subpopulations based solely on their respective living arrangements.