“Coming to a Sacred Heart school, you have entered into a family, and have come to a home.”
These words, excerpted from “Life at the Sacred Heart,” are a true reflection of the Academy. Many families say they genuinely feel a part of our family. Relationships are integral to who we are as a Sacred Heart school, and that key element helps enrich our community. Whether it’s the care and dedication our teachers show to each child, our students and adults who respectfully greet each other in the halls, or the way we come together in prayer, we strive to be the heart of Jesus to one another.
The unconditional love, acceptance, and encouragement, along with the strong sense of community, of one body, of belonging, has made the Academy my home forever. It is the one place to which I always choose to return. It always feels familiar, comfortable, and friendly.
If you are looking for an elementary school that offers a challenging curriculum, emphasizes character formation, and focuses on the growth of the whole child… a school that values its Catholic heritage and tradition, respect for oneself and others, and academic excellence in its course of studies… you’ll find it at the Academy of the Sacred Heart.
Read what parents are saying about the Academy on Niche.com.
Why an Independent School?
As a parent, you want what is best for your child. As you begin to investigate schools you will want to keep in mind what sort of environment will best allow your child to grow spiritually, intellectually and socially. To learn more about choosing an independent school, visit Independent Schools of St. Louis.
Why a Sacred Heart School?
If you have already decided upon a religious-based education, then a Sacred Heart education may be what you are looking for. We are a mission-driven school and are fully committed to revealing the love of Jesus each day to every child. As one of 24 Network of Sacred Heart Schools in the United States and Canada, we share the same philosophy of education that was established more than 200 years ago by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat.
The Religious of the Sacred Heart have long espoused education of the whole child. Their program of studies has also been aptly described as “education of the heart and mind.”
However you describe it, a Sacred Heart School is a place where your child will be known and loved!
We like to tell people that Academy graduates are well prepared for the challenges of high school. But don’t take our word for it. Here are a few comments from high school administrators about students who’ve attended the Academy.
- “The Academy of Sacred Heart provides a superior academic program which prepares students for Incarnate Word Academy. At our college-preparatory high school, ASH students not only make a seamless academic transition, but have a confidence and a sense of purpose that enhances the IWA community. ASH alumnae embody our mission statement of following the example of Jesus and leaving a positive impact on our world. The are a wonderful asset to our school.”
—Dr. Molly Grumich, Principal, Incarnate Word Academy
- “De Smet Jesuit is extremely proud of the 30 students currently enrolled from the Academy of the Sacred Heart. These fine young men are keeping an average GPA of 3.80! They continually thrive and stay active at De Smet Jesuit by participating in Campus Ministry, Athletics, Medical Clubs, National Honor Society, Kairos Retreats, Model U.N., and Robotics. They are true ‘Men for Others’ and lead our school academically, spiritually and emotionally.”
—Tim Sullivan, Vice President of Admissions, De Smet Jesuit
- “Academy of the Sacred Heart not only provides an excellent academic program which prepares its students for high school, but also nurtures their students with a spiritual and academic support system that propels them into their future. Cor Jesu Academy finds that the young women coming from ASH are not only prepared for our curriculum and academic rigor, but have the background in faith and community that makes them vital leaders at Cor Jesu. Our experience with ASH alums leads us to say with full confidence that they will embody the personal dignity, faith, integrity, and compassion that we empower our young women to have.”
—Erin Pipitone Buechter, Director of Admissions, Cor Jesu Academy
- “Graduates of the Academy of the Sacred Heart come to Nerinx Hall with a strong foundation in both academics and faith. The Academy’s dedication to developing the whole student is evident in the young women’s transition to the high school environment. ASH alums enter our halls with the tools necessary to take on leadership roles in the classroom, on the field, and in the community.”
—Monica Wehner Sullivan ’98, Director of Admissions, Nerinx Hall
- “Duchesne High School students who graduate from the Academy of the Sacred Heart are fully prepared to continue their education in mind, body, and spirit. The atmosphere of love and learning they have grown accustomed to at the Academy provides the groundwork for their transition to Duchesne High School, where we are a family. The Goals and Criteria they instill in their students is evident and makes ASH alums well-rounded individuals, ready to dive right in and get involved in as many student organizations as possible. Their academic success also continues to thrive here at Duchesne, with three ASH alums receiving National Merit recognition this school year!”
—Lindsay Lammert McCullough, Director of Admissions and Marketing, Duchesne High School
- “The Academy of the Sacred Heart students that attend Villa Duchesne are some of our best and brightest young women. These students are leaders in and out of the classroom. The ASH/Villa girls are consistently earning academic honors and are often the first to volunteer for service programs. They have a passion for living and giving. These students are confident, informed, spiritually centered and responsible. Their academic preparation coupled with their knowledge and love of the Goals and Criteria make them great additions to Villa and to the world!”
—Therese Hagemeister, Director of Enrollment Management, Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School
- “We love the students coming from the Academy of the Sacred Heart. They not only have a solid academic foundation that allows them to successfully meet the challenges of our college prep curriculum, but are also well-rounded young men who become active members of our school community.”
—John Moran, Ed.D., Principal, St. Louis University High
- “Academic, well rounded, positive leaders and confident young women… all words that I would use to describe the wonderful young women that graduate from Academy of the Sacred Heart. In the admission process, we look forward to reviewing files for and interviewing students/ families from ASH. Experience has told us that not only will they transition seamlessly into our Visitation Academy curriculum but they have the love of learning and sense of community that we desire in our Visitation Academy graduates.”
—Ashley Giljum, Admissions Director, Visitation Academy
- “We are thrilled when graduates from the Academy of the Sacred Heart apply to St. Joseph’s Academy. Academy of the Sacred Heart graduates are not only well prepared for high school academically but socially and spiritually as well. ASH graduates are leaders with a strong character and awareness of the world around them. They stand above others in so many areas! They hold the essential building blocks to be values-driven women leaders at St. Joseph’s Academy.”
—Sister Carol Gerondale, Admissions Director, St. Joseph’s Academy
- “Academy of the Sacred Heart is a school that is synonomous with academic excellence. We see this excellence in the students who come to CBC. These are students who are prepared academically for the rigorous environment of our Honors Program. However, more impressive is the fact that these young men have immersed themselves in the total CBC experience. They exemplify the brotherhood and community that CBC expects from our young men.”
—Jim Brockman, Director of Admissions, CBC High School
To begin the admissions process, please submit an inquiry and we will contact you with further information.
While the Academy does have open enrollment throughout the school year, following the Admissions timeline will best ensure a smooth transition for your child.
- Little Acorns applicants must be three years old by July 1 and be potty trained.
- Pre-Primary applicants must be four years old by July 1.
- Primary students must be five years old by July 1. Current class size permitting, qualified applicants are accepted into Grades 1-7.
Visit our school
The best way to get to know us is to spend some time at the Academy. Please join us for Talk and Tour Tuesdays at 9 a.m.Tours are also offered by appointment. Available tour dates are listed here.
Submit an Application
You may submit your child’s application online at any time. The deadline for first-round decisions is January 31.
There is a $100 application fee, payable electronically. Parents will also need to submit their child’s baptismal certificate (if applicable). For children entering Grades 1–7, a completed teacher recommendation form and most recent report card/test scores are required. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, as space is available in each class.
Schedule a visit with our Head of School
A conversation with Head of School Dr. Susan Dempf. This is an opportunity to discuss the Academy’s mission, highlight the school/parent partnership and helps us to learn more about your hopes for your child and answer your questions.
Attend a Screening
Each child is screened to assess his or her level of readiness for the curriculum.
Spend a Day with Us
Applicants in grades 3–7 are invited to spend a day in the classroom.
Admissions is on a rolling basis. As the application process is completed and admissions packets are reviewed, acceptance letters are mailed.
Each student is considered individually when applying for admission to the Academy of the Sacred Heart. Acceptance is based upon screening results, records of previous academic performance, teacher recommendation (if applicable), and parent conversations.
The Academy of the Sacred Heart does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in admission of students or in the administration of its educational or athletic programs.
The Academy of the Sacred Heart is accredited by the Missouri Chapter of the National Federation of Nonpublic School State Accrediting Associations and is a member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools of the United States and Independent Schools of St. Louis (ISSL).
How do you describe your academic program?
Sacred Heart schools seek to educate the whole child—heart, body and spirit as well as the mind. Strong character habits, respect for oneself and others, and a compassion and concern for those less fortunate are integral to our education. Our curriculum is rigorous, which implies the depth of instruction as well as the pace that students move through the materials. Advanced materials are used in some content areas (more so in the Middle School). Because learning is much more than memorization, our aim is that our students express their ideas clearly (both in written form and verbally) and apply their thoughts to what is happening in the world around them. To help our children learn to think critically and creatively, to be problem solvers, to love learning and to rise to challenges are all hallmarks of Sacred Heart education.
Emotional and behavioral skills are just as important as academics. Students learn to collaborate and compromise by working in groups. They learn to cooperate by sharing materials and thoughts. And, they learn to resolve their differences in a respectful manner.
How do you address differentiated learning?
Our small class sizes (generally, an average of 14 in a classroom) allow our teachers to focus on each child’s individual strengths and areas for growth. Differentiated instruction emphasizes maximum growth and individual success. To this end, teachers try to provide multiple avenues and strategies to allow each student to demonstrate his or her abilities. This approach allows each child to build on skills to reach an even greater potential.
Is there an accelerated program for students?
All children are gifted and deserve to be enriched through their educational experiences. Each child has his or her own strengths and areas of challenge. We strive to cultivate, nurture and provide opportunities to explore and enrich those strengths and to use those to work on challenges. Our teachers look for ways both inside and outside the classroom to broaden and extend thinking for all students. To meet the needs of all our children at both ends of the learning spectrum, we have additional personnel resources available to augment our program offerings.
What is the basis for gender-based education?
The shift from coeducational classes to single gender classes for students in grades 6, 7 and 8 occurred following extensive study about the learning differences in boys and girls. Beyond the distractions that adolescents may experience in the classroom, there is some very compelling research about the physiological learning differences in boys and girls. By creating single gender classes, we can address their educational needs and create even more engaged learners.
How do you differ from a parish school?
Founded in 1818 by Rose Philippine Duchesne, a Religious of the Sacred Heart from France, the Academy of the Sacred Heart was the first free school west of the Mississippi River. As an independent Catholic school, we are governed by a Board of Trustees and share our mission, expressed in the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria, with 24 schools in the U.S. and Canada. It is this mission, articulated by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat who founded the Society of the Sacred Heart more than 200 years ago, that distinguishes our education.
Sacred Heart schools enjoy an even wider affiliation with the individuals and institutions associated with the Society of the Sacred Heart in 44 countries around the globe, including our newest school in Uganda. The international character of Sacred Heart education helps to foster an important global awareness in our students as we strive to build a more just world.
A Sacred Heart education is distinctive in spirit as its goal is to develop thoughtful, critical thinkers who will positively impact their communities and, ultimately, their world. Time and again, we hear that our graduates are well-prepared and that they possess strong study skills, organization skills and time management skills as well as a genuine love of learning. While we are not a parish school nor financially supported by the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we are firmly rooted in the Catholic faith.
When comparing tuition, most families discover that ours is much lower than that of many of the independent schools in the area (see www.independentschools.org) and have called us a best buy in private education.
How are non-Catholic students included in the community?
The Academy welcomes students of all faiths. Currently, 28% of our families are non-Catholic. All children participate in religion classes, liturgies and other prayer experiences. While we teach Catholic doctrine, every faith is embraced and children are invited to share their specific faith traditions.
As we commit ourselves to a personal and active faith in God, our primary focus is to look for ways to help our students grow to love, honor and serve God by loving, honoring and serving all people.
How is the Academy community diverse?
Approximately 15% of our students are of diverse backgrounds. We believe the more diverse the student population is, the better we are able to help educate them to respect, honor and accept one another’s uniqueness. In addition, students come from 23 zip codes and represent a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
How often do the students have PE?
We are are pleased to offer daily physical education classes for all students (Pre-Primary–Eighth Class). Studies show that students learn better when they are able to exercise physically. Health is also an integral component of the PE curriculum.
When is international language introduced?
French is introduced in the Lower School. Beginning in Pre-Primary, vocabulary and phrases are taught. Simple prayers are added along with speaking, writing and reading in French through Fourth Class. Additionally, Spanish is introduced in Third Class. Our goal is to give Middle School students an option of French or Spanish as an area of concentration. Most Academy graduates are placed in Honors or second year international language classes in high school, with some testing into third year.
Is tuition assistance available?
Approximately 19% of Academy families received tuition assistance. Tuition assistance, including scholarships, may be awarded to deserving students on the basis of need. Assistance is distributed to our current families first. Upon acceptance, new families may apply for tuition assistance on a first-come, first-serve basis, as monies are available.
Do you offer a multi-child tuition discount?
Since we are an independent school and not funded by the Archdiocese, we depend on tuition to cover our operating costs. We are unable to offer a multiple child discount, but tuition assistance is available for qualifying families.
Beyond tuition, what other expenses should I expect?
Fees, which cover text books, instructional materials and dues to the Sacred Heart Network of Schools, are charged per child ($155 for Pre-Primary/$355 for Primary–Eighth). In addition, uniform and lunch are not included in tuition.
Donations to the Annual Fund, the backbone of our fundraising efforts, provide the much-needed resources to implement the development of programming. While we ask each family to consider a gift of $400 per child to the Annual Fund, often families who have the resources give over and above, while others give as they are able. Above all, participation in any amount is our ultimate goal. Our operating budget depends on these tax-deductible donations.
Like most independent schools, we rely on fundraisers to enhance our educational program. Our parents are key in this endeavour as they help us achieve success through their volunteer time and donations with our four main events: Genevieve fall fundraiser, Country Fair, Trivia Night and Chemin de Fer (our annual auction).
Do you offer an early arrival or late dismissal option?
We offer both an early arrival program (6:30–7:40 a.m.) and a late dismissal program (3:45–6 p.m.). Students may be enrolled as a regular participant or use on an as-needed basis.