New Student FAQs

Welcome to Stevenson School. As a new student, you probably have several questions about life on campus. This page contains essential information 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

Useful Links

Who are the members of my “support team”?

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.

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.

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.

Email: dgriffiths@stevensonschool.org
Office: R134

The head of the upper division, Dr. Dan Griffiths, oversees all aspects of the upper division. Working in close concert with department heads, program heads, the associate head, and dean of students, the head of the upper division is responsible for the quality and integrity of the upper division program.

Email: abates@stevensonschool.org
Office: R141

The associate head of the upper division, Mrs. Aimee Bates, works in close collaboration with the head of the upper division to support faculty and academic programs. Partnering with the dean of students, she helps provide oversight over student wellness and success both in and out of the classroom.

Email: pkoshi@stevensonschool.org
Office: R137

The dean of students, Mr. Phillip Koshi, 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 their full potential. Students are always welcome to drop by his office during the academic day.

Email: skoshi@stevensonschool.org
Office: R140

The Director of Community Education, Sarah Koshi, oversees the community curriculum and works closely with the Senior Forum, which facilitates the Community Forum for ninth graders. Also, Mrs. Koshi works with the prefects overseeing student leadership training and works with the dean of students to facilitate new student orientation and the Grade 9 Retreat.

Email: lohara@stevensonschool.org
Office: R135

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.

Email: lmoses@stevensonschool.org
Office: Learning Resource Center

The Learning Center director, Mrs. Leti Moses, is available to offer a range of services that transcends the support 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.

Office: Counseling Resource Center

The school counselor is available for student’s emotional support. Please drop in or email Phillip Koshi (pkoshi@stevensonschool.org) to request an assessment or referral, or to set up regular meetings.

Email: iaguirre@stevensonschool.org
Office: R140

The co-directors of equity and inclusion, Ms. Isa Aguirre and Mr. Jacob Rivers, work with the dean of students and other colleagues to help nourish and support students from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups in multiple facets of campus life. Additionally, they oversee providing guidance to affinity and ally groups that students show interest in organizing, and work with faculty on curriculum and student life programming.

Each Stevenson class has a class dean who works with student government representatives, leads class meetings, and helps plan class curriculum and activities.

Life on Campus FAQs

All new Stevenson students gather together for two days 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 these days on campus preparing for the year.

Information about books for the coming year is available here. Note that it describes two methods of acquiring books: one if you are willing to put in some time to find good deals, and one if you would rather have a more efficient purchasing experience through our partner bookstore. If you have general questions about how our partner bookstore works, check the FAQ page.

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), the Gender-Sexuality (GSA) Alliance, and the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Affinity Group. Affinity groups are organized opportunities for students of shared backgrounds to connect, affirm, and empower one another.  Affinity groups are student-driven and student-led, 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. Alyssa Clark ( aclark@stevensonschool.org ), 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, dance team, 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.

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 (August 1, 2021, or later) is submitted. Sport-specific dates can be found on student Pirate Pages. For more information regarding a specific sport or the pre-season start dates, please contact the athletic director, Mr. Justin Clymo ’93, at jclymo@stevensonschool.org.

Because Stevenson is a boarding school, we have a robust number of on-campus activities all weekend long that day students are welcome 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 student Pirate Pages, 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.

Technology will play an important role in your life at Stevenson. Our technology team has developed a page on our school website for FAQs related to laptop use and requirements: http://www.stevensonschool.org/laptopprogram.
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.

The School has installed touchless card readers and mobile payment options at both Simoneau’s and the Campus Store. Students will now be able to make purchases using debit or credit (Visa or MasterCard) or digital payments with ApplePay and GooglePay. These payment options provide students’ families with the welcome opportunity to more closely and quickly monitor their student’s needs and campus spending. 

In light of the changes, the School will no longer accept cash for purchases at Simoneau’s or the Campus Store, or allow students to charge items purchased on campus to their accounts. 

The School will also discontinue the distribution of a weekly cash allowance in the Campus Store. An ATM in Rosen Hall provides students access to cash, as needed. 

We will provide flexibility to members of our international community during this transition should the need arise for them to charge on account.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Stevenson School Business Office if you have any questions or concerns or if you would like further assistance.

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 the Vacation Travel Planning document for the 2022–2023 school year.

Winter break (in December) immediately follows the closing day. Students should plan on staying through the end of the school day. Fall break (in November) and spring break (at the end of March) 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., Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. 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. You may drop by the Counseling Office if you think you might need support. The counselor 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.

New Resident Student FAQs

Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students’ Office

Email: mtrujillo@stevensonschool.org
Office: R138

The AADS, Marissa Trujillo, works closely with the deans’ office team. If you have questions about weekend or vacation passes, housing, dorm life, attendance, residential life, or anything else student life related you can start here.

The Dorm Furnishing and Supplies Checklist, available on resident Pirate Pages, will provide you with helpful packing information. As all rooms vary, we cannot give out specific room dimensions prior to your arrival. Once you settle in, you may discover some additional small needs, and we provide shuttles to Target and the local mall expressly for this purpose.

A few additional notes: Bicycles are allowed, but be sure to bring a secure lock. Electric bikes are not allowed as they take up too much space, need charging, and can move at high speeds. Most students do not have personal printers, as printers are readily accessible in the dorms and on campus. Appliances of any kind are not permitted in dorm rooms. Refrigerators are permitted for all students. A community mini-refrigerator and microwave are available in most dorm common rooms or small kitchen areas. 

Other miscellaneous items such as a flashlight, alarm clock, and wall decorations are optional. Many students also like to have bed risers (sold at places like Target) to extend the height of their bed, providing additional under-bed storage. Wall decorations should be put up using only push pins (no tape, staples, tacks, nails or any other means, please). You will want to provide your own toiletries, but the school bookstore does maintain a limited selection of items for purchase.

Stevenson requires all students to have an emergency contact, so they have someone off campus who can act quickly on the parents’ behalf in time-sensitive situations. For families who are not able to identify a local emergency contact, Stevenson will be partnering with Student Health Advocates (SHA), a professional service that has worked with over forty private boarding high schools across the country. The service provides a family with an emergency contact as a temporary adult authority for their boarding school student(s) in the event a student experiences a medical or mental health emergency, withdrawal, or any other situation that requires a student to access services off campus that fall outside the responsibilities of the school. An SHA membership provides access to emergency & support services in the event they are needed, acting as assurance for parents and the school during an emergency situation in which the parents/guardians are not immediately available.

Additionally, during this period of uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, SHA can provide the following services:

  • organize medical quarantine after any COVID-19 exposure, or provide transportation and housing if a student is faced with an emergency campus closure and evacuation. 
  • For those students who are not vaccinated and must isolate off campus and receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving to campus, SHA’s emergency contact service can pick students up at the airport, provide them with a comfortable hotel with a chaperone, and arrange to get them their first COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • SHA can provide comfortable, supervised accommodation during vacations if it is not feasible for the student to travel home or they cannot find a host during a break when the school’s resident halls are closed. 

For more information about SHA, visit their website.

Stevenson has a 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. and on weekend days from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; the nurse’s office is set up like a mini-infirmary so if you feel sick, you can come and lie down under the nurse’s care. Students stay in the infirmary during school hours — not in dorm rooms. In addition, a nurse is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If the nurse believes that you need to be taken to see a doctor, this is done right away; you will be taken to Monterey Bay Urgent Care, Doctors on Duty, or the emergency room at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. The nurse can also assist in helping you make arrangements with a private physician. It is important to have your parents check with your health insurance company or HMO to make sure your health insurance will cover care provided by these clinics or the hospital. This should be done right away. Stevenson can also arrange appointments if you need to see dentists, orthodontists, or dermatologists, though surgeries should be completed over a vacation period when you are home, as the school does not have resources to support students recovering from surgeries. It is important to communicate with the health center any medical issues that you are having, even if you are receiving private care, so they can support you while in our care.

In certain circumstances of serious illness or injury it may be required that you be sent home to recuperate. However, you will find that the Stevenson staff can do a very effective job of taking excellent care of most illnesses and injuries, particularly if you discuss the situation with the school nurse and the dorm head. 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 attention deficit disorder. This includes such medicines as Ritalin, Adderall, Zoloft, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Ambien, and cough suppressants that contain Dextromethorphan (DM). These medications will be kept in the Health Center and dispensed in daily allotments. This is for the protection of all students. We require that students prescribed these medications inform the Health Center of their treatment. You must bring any over-the-counter and prescription medication to the Health Center at the beginning of each term or at initiation of treatment. We are sensitive to issues of confidentiality. You can be assured that your privacy will be respected and that this information will not be shared. Students are permitted over-the-counter vitamins and medications in rooms once approved by the health center (with the exception of “DM” cough suppressants).

Homesickness is a common occurrence for some students during their residential experience. If you are ever feeling homesick, please reach out to a dorm faculty member, prefect, or the counseling office who all have plenty of experience supporting students during bouts of homesickness. While it is nice if your family is local enough to visit, we do not recommend going on pass during early homesickness, as you will miss out on opportunities to make friends and integrate into the community. Our best advice is to communicate your homesickness, get involved in activities on campus, and have faith that homesickness is only a temporary situation.

Working through the adjustment process to establish a good living relationship with a roommate is one of the most important skills that you acquire over your years at Stevenson. Roommate changes are discouraged and a change is made only after all other strategies are exhausted. No change is ever made until after Parents Weekend.

Changes are made only as a last resort. All of the staff members who make up your “support team” can help you deal with the difficulties that may arise in creating a good roommate relationship. Counseling is available if you are having exceptional difficulties. Begin by speaking to your dorm head, any of your dorm faculty, or a prefect. No room changes will be made without the approval of the dean of students.

Each dormitory has washers and dryers for your use. It is helpful if you are familiar with the operation of washers and dryers and how to do your laundry before you arrive at school, though prefects are also available to help you learn. You will need to bring and regularly launder your own sheets. We recommend two pillowcases, 1-2 single sheets (twin, regular), 1-2 towels, and 1-2 washcloths, a blanket and a pillow. (The school provides a mattress pad.) You will also want to bring or purchase your own laundry detergent.

U.S.-based health insurance is required for all students. Information about insurance can be found on the Health Center web page.

Below we have listed the names and phone numbers of local places of worship. We suggest contacting a church of your denomination and inquiring about transportation or names of Stevenson families who may attend, and then contacting those families personally.

Episcopalian
All Saints Episcopal Church
Carmel | 831-624-3883

Catholic
Carmel Mission Basilica
Carmel | 831-624-1271

Presbyterian
Carmel Presbyterian Church
Carmel | 831-624-3878

Mormon
Church of Jesus Christ of LDS
Seaside | 831-394-0733

United Methodist
Church of the Wayfarer
Carmel | 831-624-3550

Jewish
Congregation Beth Israel
Carmel | 831-624-2015

Baptist
First Baptist Church Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove | 831-373-0741

Islamic
Islamic Society of Monterey County
Seaside | 831-899-2969

Non-Denominational
Church in the Forest (on campus)
PB | 831-624-1374

Calvary Monterey
Monterey | 831-649-1158

Shoreline Community Church
Monterey | 831-655-0100