Essentials for New Day Students
Welcome to Stevenson School. As a new student, you probably have several questions about life on campus. This page contains essential information and resources that will assist you in your preparation for the new school year. More detailed information about these and other topics are found in our student handbook.
- Who are the members of my “support team”?
- What will orientation be like?
- How will I know what books to order?
- What do I need to know about extracurricular activities?
- What are preseason commitments for fall sports?
- What activities are available for day students on the weekends?
- What type of laptop do I need?
- What is the dress code?
- How do I pay for things?
- What are the dates, times, procedures for scheduling travel for school breaks?
- What happens when I get sick or need medication?
- What about tutoring or counseling?
- Is it normal to be nervous about starting a new school?
Stevenson has an excellent support system for its students, and you will be guided along the way by a team of committed, caring adults whose goal is your success and happiness. These people are resources for you and can help you answer questions or find solutions for challenges that may arise.
Advisors: At the beginning of your first year at Stevenson, you will be assigned to an advisor. Upon arrival during the opening days, you and your family will have an opportunity to meet your advisor. After your first year, you have the option to select your advisor, though most students choose to stay with their current advisor which creates consistency. Each advisor has a group of advisees, and most groups range from 5 to 10 students. The groups meet a few times each month, and many advisors arrange additional meetings or social events for their group. If you are facing an academic or personal problem, your first communication should be with your advisor. Your advisor will play an important role in helping you develop an effective strategy to move forward.
Faculty: Teachers are available for help outside the class meeting time. When you have questions or concerns, you are encouraged to reach out and schedule a meeting to receive support.
Head of the Upper Division: Dr. Dan Griffiths
The head of the upper division, Dr. Dan Griffiths, supervises the work of the teaching faculty and, working in close concert with the department heads, oversees the quality and integrity of the program of study.
Associate Head of the Upper Division: Aimée Bates
The associate head of the upper division, Mrs. Aimée Bates, works in close collaboration with the head of the upper division and the dean of students.
Dean of Students: Erik Olson
The dean of students, Mr. Erik Olson, oversees the life of the entire Stevenson student community. The dean of students works closely with students, parents, teachers, and administrators to create a safe, positive, and supportive environment to help every student reach his or her full potential. Students are always welcome to drop by his office during the academic day.
Associate Dean of Students: Pete Lips ’87
The associate dean of students, Mr. Pete Lips ’87, works with the dean of students to support the many facets of student life. Additionally, he is the liaison between the dean of students office and the residential community. Please contact the associate dean of students if you have questions about housing, dorm life, or residential rules.
Registrar: Liz O'Hara
You have likely already heard from the registrar, Mrs. Liz O’Hara, who will help you navigate course selection, schedule changes, and book orders. Please reach out to her with any academic questions and concerns you may have.
Learning Center Coordinator: Leti Moses
Office: Learning Resource Center
The Learning Center Coordinator, Mrs. Leti Moses, is available to offer a range of services that transcends the generally content-based help offered by classroom teachers. The Learning Center offers individual and group sessions, conducts classes in learning skills and strategies, and assists qualified students with implementation of certain collaborative accommodations based on documented needs.
School Counselor: Kate Newhouse
Office: Counseling Resource Center
The school counselor, Mrs. Kate Newhouse, is available for student’s emotional support. Please drop in or email Mrs. Newhouse to request an assessment or referral, or to set up regular meetings.
Director of Equity and Inclusion: Dr. Mashadi Matabane
Office: History Department Offices
The Director of Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Mashadi Matabane (Dr. M), works with the dean of students and other colleagues to help nourish, support, and embolden students from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups in multiple facets of campus life. Additionally, she oversees providing guidance to affinity and ally groups that students show interest in organizing.
Class Advisors: Each Stevenson class has a class advisor who works with student government representatives, leads class meetings, and helps plan class curriculum and activities.
Director of Residence: Marisa Knowles ’06
If you have questions about the residential program please contact the director of residence, Ms. Marisa Knowles ’06 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All new Stevenson students gather together for one day of orientation before classes start. During this time, you will meet your classmates, as well as student leaders who will be working with you all year. Our goals include getting you comfortable with the campus so you feel confident navigating your first days of school, introducing you to Stevenson culture, and getting you connected and tech-ready. Many students feel nervous about their arrival, and you will likely feel a sense of relief after spending this day on campus preparing for the year.
You will receive an email in late July from Mrs. Liz O’Hara, registrar, which will announce that the online bookstore is open and exactly how to navigate your purchases. If you have general questions about how the online bookstore works, there is an FAQ page on our school website devoted specifically to this topic which you can find here.
We strongly recommend that you join a school-sponsored activity right away—sports, drama, music, outdoor adventures, or whatever suits your interests. Stevenson athletic teams are open for tryouts to all students, regardless of ability. This is a wonderful way to get to know a mixed group of resident and day students immediately and build camaraderie. Plus, sports provide an ideal way to get to know faculty coaches who provide invaluable encouragement and support, not just during the sports season, but all year long.
There are many campus clubs available to students. Any student can join these clubs, and, if there is an interest in starting a new club, students need only to find a like-minded faculty member to help start a new club. The Resident Activities Committee (RAC) and Student Council also organize many activities throughout the year.
In addition to clubs Stevenson has affinity groups: the Black Student Union (BSU), the Latino Student Union (LSU), and the Gender-Sexuality (GSA) Alliance. Affinity groups are organized opportunities for students of shared backgrounds to connect, affirm, and empower one another. Affinity groups are student-driven and student lead, overseen by the Director of Equity and Inclusion through the Dean of Students' office. Membership is open to students who can speak from the “I-perspective.”
A variety of community service opportunities, including projects with senior citizens, young children, the local homeless population, and the environment are available. The director of student activities, Ms. Marisa Knowles ’06 (email@example.com), can help steer you toward a club that suits you.
Stevenson offers nine interscholastic team sports in the fall. Students are encouraged to participate in a team sport as it offers a wonderful opportunity to get to know students and faculty, and to feel connected to the community, while also providing an outlet for physical activity after the academic day. The following sports are offered in the fall: cross country, field hockey, football, girls golf, sailing, girls tennis, girls volleyball, and boys and girls water polo.
Because many of our interscholastic sports teams will have contests in the first week of school, pre-season training in August provides our student-athletes with an important opportunity to prepare for these contests, build friendships, and settle into campus in advance of the opening days of school. If you are planning to attend pre-season training, please sign up by filling out the form on your Pirate Page.
All returning students, freshmen, and new transfer students are encouraged to attend pre-season training. Upon arrival, all participating students will have an orientation session and receive the pre-season training schedule for their team. Participating resident students and football players will live in the dormitories.
There is no additional cost for meals and lodging during this period. While there is a tremendous benefit to pre-season training, students should be assured that no one is penalized for not being able to attend.
In order to participate in sports at Stevenson, students must submit an annual physical by a medical doctor to the health center or athletic office before the student’s first workout. No incoming player may participate in any team workouts until current documentation (June 1, 2020, or later) is submitted. Sport-specific dates can be found on the pre-season page on the website here. For more information regarding a specific sport or the pre-season start dates, please contact the athletic director, Mr. Justin Clymo ’93, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because Stevenson is a boarding school, we have an unusually robust number of on-campus activities all weekend long that day students are encouraged to join. There are numerous athletic events at school, and on-duty faculty members sponsor activities every weekend, from dorm movies to baking in their homes to hikes in Big Sur. A sampling of weekend activities can be found via the Weekend Activities link on this page, and almost all are open to day students. Athletic facilities are open for pick-up games, and the pool is open with a lifeguard on duty a few weekends during the fall and spring. You are also invited to take advantage of the Stevenson bus that has a regular weekend schedule leaving from Douglas Hall, taking students to Del Monte Center for movie outings and Carmel for dinner out or a trip to the beach.
The school is committed to a student dress code that permits relative comfort in a variety of learning environments, encourages an appropriate degree of personal expression without causing distraction or offense to others, maintains equity, and contributes to the decorum and general seriousness of purpose that is meant to characterize community life during the school day. The dress code is in effect for all school appointments from 7:00 a.m. until the end of the class day.
Clothes should always be in good repair (neither ripped nor torn, either by excessive wear or design), neat, and worn as intended. All shorts, including jean shorts, must be tailored. Tops and bottoms must meet at all points. Undergarments should not be visible. Disruptive or disrespectful words or images, including but not limited to references to sex, drugs, and alcohol, are not permitted. Athletic clothing may not be worn to either class or lunch. Hats should not be worn in classes, assemblies, or during meals.
Students are expected to respond cooperatively when informed that they are not in compliance with the dress code. Recurring lack of cooperation may merit disciplinary consequences. Students in violation of the dress code may not be admitted to academic commitments.
The length of one’s hair is a personal prerogative; however, it must be clean and neat. Facial hair must also be trimmed and neat.
When the community gathers for special occasions, students are often instructed to dress more formally than as stipulated by the daily dress code. At such times, students wear coats and ties, dresses, or other attire that is similarly respectful of the given event’s significance.
Each student’s ID card is also Stevenson School’s on-campus purchase card. Simoneau’s snack bar in the Rosen Family Student Center is a place to purchase granola bars, donuts, lattes, etc. Simoneau’s accepts both cash and the student ID card. In order to purchase treats at Simoneau’s using the student ID card, the student account must be current and you must also have your parents complete the campus spending limits form on their Parent Pirate Page. If the form is not completed and monthly spending limits are not established, you will not be able to use the student ID card for purchases at Simoneau's or the campus store. For additional questions, please contact Ms. Mary McGuinness at email@example.com.
It is important to look ahead and schedule your vacations around breaks carefully so there are no conflicts with missing school or exams. For more information about fall break in November, winter break in December, and spring break in February, please download this resource for your reference.
Winter break (in December) immediately follows closing day after the end of the semester exams. Students should plan on staying through the end of the school day. Fall break (in November) and spring break (in February) immediately follow the last day of classes, so we encourage students and parents to schedule vacation plans that do not require an earlier departure. Students may depart for fall and spring break any time after their last class on Friday. In an extreme circumstance, an early departure before breaks may be approved by the dean of students via an application for a planned absence, which is available in the dean’s offices and must be submitted well in advance.
Stevenson has a registered nurse on duty in the Health Center, Monday through Thursday, from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; the nurse’s office is set up like a mini-infirmary so if you feel sick during the academic day, you can come and lie down under the nurse’s care. If you are too sick to attend classes, the nurse will be in touch with a parent or guardian to arrange plans to send you home. In the case of an emergency you would likely be transported to a hospital and your parents would be contacted immediately. If you are concerned about sports participation following an illness or injury, it is a good idea to talk to the coach directly, the dean of students, and the athletic director. Keeping the lines of communication open will help us address your illnesses or injuries as effectively and comfortably as possible.
Stevenson School has a policy regarding all psychotropic medications, including stimulants, antidepressants, sedatives, and medicines used to treat pain as well as attention deficit disorder. This includes such medicines as any Narcotic, Ritalin, Adderall, Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Ambien, any controlled substance, and cough suppressants that contain Dextromethorphan (DM). If it is required that any of these medications be brought to campus they are kept in the Health Center and dispensed in accordance to the prescription. This is for the protection of all students. We require that students prescribed these medications inform the Health Center of their treatment. If the medication is to be dispensed during the time you are on campus you must bring the medication, along with the prescription directive from the doctor, to the Health Center at the beginning of each term or at initiation or change of treatment. We ask that medications be in their original prescription packaging, clearly labeled with dispensing instructions. We are sensitive to issues of confidentiality, and you can be assured that your privacy will be respected.
The Learning Center is staffed by learning specialists who provide support for students struggling with organizational skills.
If you are struggling in a class, the best place to start is your teacher or advisor. Teachers are readily available to provide extra help outside of class. For next steps, tutoring is certainly available. The Learning Center maintains a list of excellent tutors who come to the campus to work with students, and also have experience arranging help for students who have learning differences. In addition, Stevenson students run a terrific peer tutoring program, which is free to the community.
The Counseling Office is available to help students in need of counseling support and clinical evaluations. Email Mrs. Kate Newhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the Counseling Office if you think you might need support. Mrs. Newhouse can work with you to identify any specific concerns and work in coordination with a select group of counseling and psychiatric professionals identified in collaboration with your family. Sometimes it is just a question of working with the day and residential faculty to get through a rough spot. Other times, we may need to employ clinical expertise. In either case, please do not hesitate to reach out and we will work with one another to discover the best possible outcomes.
Finally, the dean of students is a knowledgeable and welcoming resource for students who are struggling with personal challenges.
Absolutely. Anytime you are doing something new, it is normal to be anxious about what to expect. Even the faculty get nervous about a new year! Hopefully as you can see from above, there is a great deal of support available to you. Students who learn how to reach out when they have questions tend to make the smoothest transitions. Please do not hesitate to contact any of the resources mentioned above if you have questions before your arrival. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to campus this fall.