Saint Stephen School welcomed its first students on September 10, 1928, a few weeks before the building was complete. While awaiting the completion of the building, classes were held on the roof garden. The school was entrusted to the Daughters of Divine Charity and Sister M. Gabriella was the first principal.
Initially, the school educated 130 students from Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. The school provided a safe, secure learning environment for the children of working families in the Yorkville area. In order to accommodate the community's working parents, the school's operating hours were 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., tuition was $0.50 per month, or $5.00 for the year, books cost $1.50 in first grade, $2.50 in second grade, and the parish paid for all books starting with third grade.
From its earliest days, Saint Stephen School welcomed students of all religions, races and creeds. Although much has changed since 1928, the standards upon which the school was founded remain the same. Saint Stephen School continues to provide a safe, secure, learning environment for many children of diverse backgrounds. To this day, we strongly value the Franciscan tradition of kindness and consideration for all creation which is an essential part of our school culture.