Foundation

In response to a group of ten families who needed an educational program for their gifted children, Kiyo A. Morse initiated and established Steppingstone in 1981 as an elementary day school in Plymouth, Michigan. Initially, two classrooms were opened, one for Gr 1-3 and one for Gr 4-6. A year later, enrollment was expanded to 45 students and three classrooms were needed, each with a full-time teacher. The curriculum was also expanded to include specialized teachers for art, music, and computer programming.

Growth

By 1993, a part-time, full-day kindergarten was established and instructional swim was added to the Day School curriculum. Intensive preparations by Board and staff resulted in the establishment of after-school enrichment classes, a continuous 10-week summer day camp, and before and after school extended-day programs.

In the fall of 2002, a diversified foreign language program, a student library, a lending library for the gifted, and a computer lab were added. Steppingstone also expanded to include a broad array of after-school enrichment programs – Japanese, drama, multiple music choices, art, and science.

In 2005, Steppingstone celebrated its 25th Anniversary; the school grew to five classrooms, and expanded the enrollment and offerings in its special programs. During the following two years, the Pre High School (grades six through eight) added the SMART (Steppingstone MAgnetic Resonance Training) Center to the science curriculum. Training includes use of electron spin resonance technology and data collection and assessment software and is the only program of its kind in the world open to middle school students.

In addition, accreditation was obtained through ISACS (Independent Schools Association of the Central States).

In September of 2016, Steppingstone celebrates its 35th Anniversary year. On their unique campus, the former Holiday Chevrolet dealership, an Art Studio was repurposed from the former Lube Shop, and a STEM Center was repurposed from the former Parts Department. The former Body Shop was repurposed for a partnership with the Michigan Philharmonic to perform their Halloween Concerts with the surprising result of perfect acoustics! During the rest of the school year, the space was used for rainy day recesses and a fencing curriculum for the Pre-High School class.

Future

Long-term goals are to establish an accompanying educational center for in-depth enrichment programs in the math-sciences, fine arts, recreational activities, and computers. Eventually Steppingstone plans to offer educationally associated services in counseling, testing, parenting, and other areas of child, parent, and teacher support.