The key to successful learning is the student-teacher relationship, and our small class sizes allow for active, student-centered lessons. We strive to help children adopt a growth mindset, which promotes a love of learning and the resiliency necessary to achieve success in all areas of life. Academy students grow in their ability to think creatively, critically and reflectively. Most importantly, educating both the hearts and the minds of children is a hallmark of Sacred Heart education, whose philosophy is expressed in Five Goals:
- Personal and active faith
- Respect for intellectual values
- Social awareness which impels to action
- Building of community
- Personal growth
The Beginning of an Educational Journey
Our half-day Little Acorns program for 3-year-olds focuses on readiness skills through stories, art, games and activities. Children practice independence, patience, sharing and listening – the building blocks for a lifetime of success.
Our half-day Pre-Primary (Pre-K) for 4-year-olds is filled with discovery and the joys of learning. Children engage in pre-reading, writing and math activities with plenty of art, music and creative play. “Traveling” to other parts of the world, cooking, exploring science, and taking French lessons enhance their early learning experiences.
Reading, phonics, math, religion and science take center stage in our full-day Primary (kindergarten) program. Learning takes place beyond the classroom, too; students grow plants in the Primary garden, and introductory lessons about our Catholic faith are presented in the “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd” atrium.
Years of Significant Growth
In Grades 1-4 our students continue their mastery of basic skills, develop strong writing skills, and form good study habits.
- Love of reading is encouraged with different genres of literature and visits to Cribbin Hall library.
- Inquiry-based science instruction aligned with NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) is taught by specialized teacher in Lower School lab.
- Laptops and tablets are available to support learning.
- French (1-4) and Spanish (3-4) are an important part of the curriculum.
- Art, Computer, Global Studies and Music classes spark students’ imaginations.
- Daily Physical Education takes place in spacious indoor and outdoor facilities.
Increased Independence and Responsibility
Grades 5-8 are pivotal in a young person’s development. Dedicated and accomplished faculty, diverse instructional strategies, and opportunities for growth are integral to student success.
- Our core curriculum is implemented through a block schedule.
- For grades 6, 7 and 8, a unique model of single-gender education within a coed environment maximizes the learning strengths of both boys and girls.
- 1:1 laptop program enhances learning.
- Two science labs facilitate STEM learning.
- Course electives in the spring trimester allow 7th and 8th grade students to explore individual interests.
Character formation programs instill responsibility, generosity and compassion, which are integral to the mission of Sacred Heart education. Academy graduates are recognized for being courageous and confident leaders.
More Program FeaturesCharacter Formation
Equally important as the academic growth of our students is a strong emphasis on character formation. Interwoven within our school day are the concepts and strategies for this character development. Each day time is set aside to develop these “habits of the heart.”
In small grade level and homeroom groupings, students begin to develop an awareness of self and others, which leads to mutual respect and acceptance. Discussions, personal reflection, role-playing, “what if” situations and prayer are the springboards for the development of these characteristics that are hallmarks of children of the Sacred Heart.
One of our primary emphases is to instill in students a sense of responsibility: responsibility for both their learning and their personal choices. Included in this formation is the development of skills related to self-discipline and courtesy.
A second emphasis is to educate to a spirit of generosity: generosity of time, talent and resources. The gift of one’s self will lead to a deeper understanding of God’s love for each of us. Students are made aware of both the immediate needs around them and future needs.
Beginning with the youngest, students are given opportunities to explore their own gifts, talents and potential. Students discover and begin to gain a broader understanding of their peers. This developing consciousness leads them to see value in what each has to offer the other and leads them to see beyond themselves.
All students are challenged to participate in a variety of on- and off-campus experiences that allow them to encounter the issues that cause suffering in our world. This often puts names and faces to those in need and raises awareness of the plight of others. This knowledge affirms our life mission: to bring Christ to the world and the world to Christ.
The development of these character traits enables students to assume roles of leadership at every age. As confident and self aware individuals, students can then encourage each other to make right choices and be their best selves. The development of leadership skills allows students to see that they can be agents of change.
This emphasis on character formation along with a rigorous academic curriculum develops confident, informed, and capable students who are builders of God’s kingdom.
Educational research points to the success of single gender education. The Academy has all-girls and all-boys classes in grades 6, 7 and 8. The move to single gender classes has been acclaimed by students and parents alike.
Why single gender?
Research indicates differences in the structure of the male and female brain, which generates differences in the way boys and girls learn. Our commitment to gender-specific classrooms is based on our desire to better accommodate those learning differences. While the curriculum is generally the same, instructional strategies, choices of activities to support instruction, as well as assessment options are different and varied.
The classroom environment is structured to accommodate gender preferences. The level of participation is heightened in both groups while the level of distractability is lessened. Individuals display greater confidence and behavior is noticeable improved.
The gender-specific homerooms have a distinctly positive identity!
We live in a multi-cultural world. As a Sacred Heart school, the Academy embraces the imperative to awaken in students and the larger community the responsibility of participating actively in the human family worldwide. Our international studies encompass a wide spectrum of global issues in order to provide a greater understanding of our world and our inter-dependency as citizens of the world.
The goals of our Global Studies program are to:
- Promote international awareness
- Facilitate cross-cultural understanding
- Develop global perspectives
- Create world citizens
Primary through Fourth Classes are invited to explore the world in Kaleidoscope. Fifth through Eighth Class students build upon that knowledge in their Global Studies classes. A graduated curriculum includes topics developmentally appropriate for each grade level. Students learn about an area’s citizens, customs, language, food, daily life, history, environment, education, religion, architecture and more.
It is our hope that the Global Studies program helps develop an appreciation of global cultures so that we may co-exist and interact as world citizens. We want the children to see the people of the world as similar and different, and to realize that we are all connected to each other as the creators of the world.
Lower School students are introduced to French. This curriculum includes introductory vocabulary and sentence structure; students begin to formulate sentences to speak and respond in French during class.
Additionally, students in Third and Fourth Class take Spanish. Consistent with the French curriculum, students learn basic vocabulary skills and acquire the ability to articulate fundamental phrases in question-and-answer form. The exposure to both French and Spanish allows our students to choose a language of emphasis when entering Middle School.
Reading elementary passages, mastering basic grammar concepts and tenses, writing simple sentences and paragraphs, and comprehending the spoken word in Fifth Class lead to the expansion and reinforcement of grammar concepts through reading, writing, listening and speaking in Sixth and Seventh Class.
In their final year at the Academy, students are expected to fully participate in their chosen language. Reading passages, refining paragraph writing skills and expanding conversation in that language extends learning to a more complex and spontaneous level.
Most Academy graduates are able to enroll in advanced international language courses in high school.
Numerous opportunities and experiences are offered to develop leadership skills inside and outside the classroom. Whether participating in a group project in science, literature or math, being a member of a sports team, or launching an innovative student idea, positive leadership is encouraged and fostered. Formal school organizations provide members a venue for leading and serving the school community in various projects and activities.
The Social Justice Leadership Council is comprised of sixth, seventh and eighth graders who help promote Advent and Lenten projects such as Adopt-a-Family and Christmas Basket distribution, as well as food, clothing, and shoe drives, and Mission Day participation. The commitment of these Social Justice students and the proceeds of their efforts benefit people in our local and global communities.
Student Council has seventh and eighth grade members who are elected as class representatives. These students organize school spirit activities, coordinate holiday parties, participate in organizing Mission Day, distribute Christmas Baskets, and act as liaisons in expressing the student body’s desires and concerns so that new initiatives can be explored and implemented.
To be aware of the needs of others and to act on that understanding is an important part of Sacred Heart education. From the youngest to the oldest, children at the Academy are encouraged to make a difference in the lives of those in need in both our local and global communities. This desire to create a better world is at the heart of our mission.
Throughout the year, all students participate in service projects to aid organizations that serve those marginalized in our communities. Fifth through Eighth Class students have opportunities to work off-campus with a various service organizations. There are three components to service learning: research, relationship and impact. Understanding the needs of others, engaging in a reciprocal relationship and reflecting on the impact of service deepens the commitment to serve.
Classroom Connections provides a smaller, more personal learning environment that can better accommodate the individual needs of students and help each one realize their unique potential. Our desire is to identify and nurture strengths and to help each student discover the genius within him or herself.