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 the Five Goals of Sacred Heart Education:
- A personal and active faith in god
- A deep respect for intellectual values
- A social awareness which impels to action
- The building of community as a Christian value
- Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom
PRIMARY SCHOOL (PK3–K)
The transition from home life to school life is an important milestone in a child’s early development. At the Academy, love and care for each student helps to ensure a smooth transition.
Our Little Acorns (Pre-K3) 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 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.
These half-day programs offer a Stay and Play option, making a full day possible.
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 vegetables and fruits in the Primary garden, and introductory lessons about our Catholic faith are presented in the “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd” atrium.
LOWER SCHOOL (1st–4th)
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 a specialized teacher in the Lower School lab.
- Laptops and tablets are used to support learning.
- French (PK-4) and Spanish (3-4) are an important part of the curriculum.
- Art, Computer and Music classes spark students’ imaginations.
- Daily Physical Education takes place in spacious indoor and outdoor facilities.
MIDDLE SCHOOL (5th–8th)
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 5th–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 inequity 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.
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 distractibility is lessened. Individuals display greater confidence and behavior is noticeably improved.
The gender-specific homerooms have a distinctly positive identity!
Primary and 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.
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 classes. 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.
Middle School students help promote Advent and Lenten projects such as Adopt-a-Family and Christmas Basket distribution, as well as specific collections which support the identified needs of the community. The commitment of the Middle School students and the proceeds of their efforts benefit people in our local and global communities.
Students at all grade levels participate in these service learning experiences guided by the leadership of Middle School Students. Middle School 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 integral to 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 (currently, these experiences have been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic). 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.
The school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. We offer Early Arrival, Late Dismissal, and Stay and Play programs. Click here to learn more.