“Our mission is to cultivate in our students a personal and active faith in God and to lay the foundation for a meaningful life.”
– SHS Mission
SHS DIRECTOR OF MISSION
BEING A GOOD PERSON MATTERS
It is not enough to achieve. We nurture students to be good at heart; to confront challenges with a curious and critical mind; to ease suffering and seek justice. From systemic racism and growing socio-economic inequality to environmental destruction, the challenges our young people are left to solve are great, and will continue well into the future. Our students are the future leaders – in the classroom, their communities, the operating room, the boardroom – the world at large. We recognize the incredible responsibility and privilege we have as an educational institution to walk with our students through these formative years.
A whole child education in the Sacred Heart tradition allows us to love each child deeply, to understand their individual spirits and to help them integrate the various dimensions of their identities into a coherent, thoughtful and compassionate human being who is sensitive and alert to the needs of others. As a result, each child who enters our school will leave knowing that they are loved, cared for and that they have infinite worth. They will have a sense of their purpose and the energy to participate in the transformation of the world.
We are in a unique position to be the change.
Our infrastructure is different, by design. We are a Catholic, Independent School as interpreted and lived by the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ), the women who founded our school and continue to inspire our unique approach. Independent is a reference to the autonomy of what and how we teach, while our unique Catholic identity, mission and goals reflect the history, spirituality and priorities of the RSCJ.
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
From the beginning, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart, had a clear vision for what it means to be an educator in the Sacred Heart tradition: the school is an extension of the home and when students feel loved, they are most likely to learn. As educators, we take time required to know our students — their joys and sorrows as well as their strengths and limitations so that we can guide them into becoming the very best versions of themselves. Today, we cultivate this mission through a deliberate commitment to our educational philosophy as articulated in our Goals and Criteria and an ongoing effort to deepen our educators’ understanding of what it means to teach in this home away from home.
WHAT IS EDUCATION TO MISSION?
We often say that Sacred Heart education is transformative. We believe that this transformation happens because our students learn in an environment that is noticeably different the minute they walk onto our campus. They sense a spirit of freedom and love that helps them enter into meaningful relationships with their classmates and the adults who become their intellectual and spiritual guides. The atmosphere of a Sacred Heart School is what sets us apart from the other great schools in our area.
We welcome you to learn more, directly from our students, families and teachers so you can see what makes these close, personal connections such an integral part of Sacred Heart Schools.
SEND A MESSAGE
Ours is a 200+ year commitment to participate in the creation of a more human, just and caring world, the world that God intended for all of us. We strive to nurture student growth in ways that help them discover a sacred love for themselves, self-confidence built on personal insight, and a sense of their purpose in life. Most importantly, we want our students to leave us aware of and sensitive to the needs of others. We are an educational institution that believes in learning. We are committed to ongoing self-reflection, evaluation and current educational research.
“Our perspective of education is informed by a spirit that seeks justice, love, and the creation of a more humane and caring world.”
– St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, Founder
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion matter to us.
Creating an inclusive and caring environment has been the hallmark of a SHS education since 1801 and is the metric by which we gauge our progress. We have learned many lessons along the way, namely that we too have an obligation to look at and honor the experiences of all students so that our culture reflects the rich traditions and heritage of historically underrepresented groups.
At Sacred Heart, we invite all students to bring their whole selves to the community, inside and outside of the classroom, because we know that the best learning environment is one in which students have the opportunity to participate in a lively dialogue and the exchange of ideas with people from every walk of life. We see human differences as a gift from God that enriches the human experience. It is our goal that SHS become an environment in which each person and community is valued, cared for and respected. The future of our world and our planet depends on leaders who have the capacity to reach across artificial boundaries to build a world in which all human beings and the planet thrive.
CURRICULUM & PEDAGOGY
ANTI-BIAS FACULTY DEVELOPMENT
SOPHIES SCHOLARS PROGRAM
We are eliminating standardized tests for admission to SHS.
Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton is committed to doing the work of providing a more diverse, equitable and inclusive learning environment for all students. We also care deeply about the health and wellbeing of every child who makes SHS their academic home. In light of the compounded national events affecting Black, Indigenous and people of color, it is clear that systemic action is long overdue.
As a community, we lean on our mission to guide this progress. After reflecting on our goals of health & wellness and a social awareness that impels action, we will no longer require prospective students to submit scores or take standardized tests (HSPT or ISEE) as part of the admission process. This means that SHS Admission will not request, accept or include the results of the HSPT or ISEE in a prospective student’s file.
The data overwhelmingly shows that requiring standardized entrance tests causes excess pressure, exposes financial disparity and perpetuates outcomes that disproportionately and negatively impact our students — particularly those from underrepresented groups. Our community is taking a decisive stand to dismantle inequality and promote holistic wellbeing, to start, by eliminating a test that often creates undue stress on students and serves as an inaccurate measure of a student’s ability for our admission committee.
Meet our Admission Team
We look forward to getting to know you and your family as you explore all that our community has to offer.
Learn How to Apply
The application process begins by creating a Ravenna account profile