HIGH SCHOOL OVERVIEW
The high school of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy offers a liberal arts, college-preparatory education, and courses are taught at the regular, honors or *advanced level. Students are required to take four years of theology, which includes instruction in Thomistic philosophy and the reading of papal encyclicals; four years of literature and composition (these include instruction in grammar, vocabulary and rhetoric); four years of history (these courses are taught from a Catholic perspective with the Incarnation as the focal point, and include one year of advanced U.S. government, politics and economics). Science courses include biology, chemistry, physics and advanced biology, chemistry or physics. Algebra I, geometry, algebra II and trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus comprise the math program. Students may choose to limit math and science to three years instead of four; Latin I is required for all students, and students may choose to take four years of Latin; Spanish, French and German are available for modern language study. All students participate in physical education and choir, and they are required to take one semester each of health, consumer education, and keyboarding and document processing. Exceptions to these requirements may be made for transfer students.
Careful study of the history and literature of the West through concurrent and coordinated classes fortifies students’ faith and supports the Catholic teachings studied in theology courses. Students are introduced to the foundational thought and timeless truths (not values) of Western civilization, and they read the same works that formed the saints and instructed our founding fathers. Authors studied from the ancient/medieval course through the British literature course include Plato, Cicero, Homer, Livy, Herodotus, Sophocles, Ambrose, Augustine, Bede, Benedict, Aquinas, Dante, Shakespeare, Corneille, Goethe, Lewis, Belloc and Chesterton.
*AP courses in U.S. government and politics, U.S. history, European history, English language and composition, English literature and composition; biology, chemistry, physics; Latin and Spanish; and AB and BC calculus are available. Not all courses are offered each year.
The broad base of knowledge and the properly-formed conscience acquired through this curriculum develop well-educated students prepared to judge all things in light of the eternal verities, and it prepares them to become leaders worthy of the legacy of the Judeo-Christian faith and Greco-Roman culture, which finds its clearest expression in the American experiment of self-government under law.
The entire program is designed to fulfill our mission; to form students to become future leaders and saints; to prepare them for academic success in college; to meet our objectives as an American secondary school with a Catholic philosophy; and to achieve our goal, which is the end of all true education: to lead students to a knowledge and love of God.
*Advanced courses are the equivalent of an introductory college-level course. The College Board (authors of the SAT and the PSAT/NMSQT) introduced the Advanced Placement (AP) program to help students develop the habits of mind necessary for managing the rigors of college; and while schools develop their own courses, they have defined curricular and resource requirements to ensure that courses meet the standards of an introductory college-level course. The Academy has developed its own advanced curriculum which meets our conservative and orthodox faith-based standards and those of the College Board. All Academy students may take AP exams at the ends of their courses, and students who earn a minimum of 3 out of 5 receive credit for the equivalent course at most colleges and universities across the country.
Is my “average” student capable of succeeding in these courses? Yes, all students who are willing to work hard and pray hard are capable of succeeding in these courses, and we believe, along with the College Board, that all students deserve an opportunity to participate in these challenging courses.