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    • Joyous Dancers statue at Sacred Heart Schools Atherton

Vision 2025

Vision 2025A Pathway to Our Future

In the early 2010s - with the prior strategic plan's objectives fulfilled and campus thriving - Sacred Heart leadership moved forward on planning for the school's next decade. Many discussions were held to explore the institution’s future direction, involving the breadth of our constituencies—rich dialogue that yielded a wide array of meaningful, thoughtful, and provocative ideas. Emerging from these conversations were four central priorities that closely align with our guiding principles and mission, and crystallize the strategic vision for our future: Intellectual Formation, Character Formation, Community, and Stewardship.

Vision 2025 is the result of this extensive and successful effort—a comprehensive articulation of fundamental priorities, overarching goals, and related aspirations shared by, and with, our school family. 


List of 1 items.

  • Striving for Excellence

    Founded in 1898, Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton (SHS) is a Catholic, independent, co-educational institution, preschool through 12th grade, which provides students with an exceptional and unique education. Our innovative curricula, programs and activities are specifically designed to develop the whole child—heart, mind, and body—and to provide students with the skills necessary for lives of purpose, meaning, and success, no matter their chosen path. As a result, Sacred Heart graduates are dedicated life-long learners. They are caring, thoughtful, inspired, resilient and ready to take advantage of opportunities they may encounter as well as meet inherent challenges found in today’s fast-paced, global landscape.
    To achieve our fundamental mission to educate children to become “leaders who love God and serve others,” the academic curriculum and community values are guided and shaped by three critical elements:
    • the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education;
    • the heritage, traditions and charism of the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ); and
    • the beliefs, spiritual teachings, and evolving tradition of the Catholic Church.
    Combined, these elements both ground our priorities and guide our decisions. Further, as an institution and as a community, we are resolved to ensure that the SHS educational experience is accessible to a diverse and inclusive population.

    Within our Sacred Heart community, our history, legacy and clear philosophical direction enriches us with a strong sense of identity. Without any doubt, we know who we are and what we stand for. This conviction is a tremendous resource when determining institutional priorities and setting operational goals. At the same time, we recognize we must continue to anticipate future demands on our graduates and grow our academic curriculum so that it remains relevant, dynamic, and flexible.
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The Four Priorities

List of 4 items.

  • Intellectual Formation

    The paramount objective of a Sacred Heart education is to provide students with a strong foundational knowledge, a life-long passion for learning, and an overall transformative educational experience. Our students will graduate with skills to be analytic and compassionate problem-solvers, flexible thinkers, intellectually adroit, and well prepared for success today, as
    well as into the future. We intend that this comprehensive approach will impel students to become active, responsible, and motivated global citizens.
    To achieve this objective, our focus will remain on hiring and retaining a diverse and inclusive faculty and staff, who are talented, creative, experienced, outcome-focused, and committed to our educational philosophy and community values.
    We commit to:
    • Providing an innovative, rigorous, and interdisciplinary curriculum within the tenets of a Sacred Heart education that is aligned from preschool through high school and utilizes a range of instructional methodologies and tools to deliver it.
    • Hiring and retaining faculty, staff, and coaches who maintain a high standard of professional excellence, are diverse and inclusive, and are inspirational and effective role models of our Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria.
    • Developing a wide variety of professional growth opportunities for faculty, staff, and coaches that incorporate best practices, support the application of current technology to enhance and supplement their pedagogy, and foster the development of leadership and top-quality skills in their respective fields.
    • Ensuring students become literate and ethical digital citizens through access to the most current tools and techniques while conscientiously fostering responsible use of them as they learn how to apply technology to solve real-world problems.
    • Teaching students to become excellent communicators and problem-solvers who are able to think critically and creatively, work collaboratively, and be productive contributors in a global society.
    • Offering diverse learning and experiential programs that recognize and celebrate individual differences, help students respectively achieve their full potential, and enable them to learn from one another.
  • Character Formation

    Throughout every student’s career at Sacred Heart, our applied philosophy is the development of the whole child: intellectually, spiritually, morally, emotionally, socially, artistically, and
    physically. We are committed to providing a supportive learning environment in which students can grow in self-awareness, envision their potential, share their talents and interests to serve others, and contribute in a meaningful way. As members of this community, all adults are expected to be role models for the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education and support the school’s mission in the formation of the whole child.
    To achieve this objective, we will continue to cultivate within our community the habits of heart and mind which encompass respect, tolerance, and concern for others. Our primary focus will always remain on the formation of our students throughout their entire Sacred Heart experience.
    We commit to:
    • Requiring all faculty, staff and coaches to take personal responsibility for modeling the Goals and Criteria and expecting them to faithfully exercise: moral thinking in decision-making, self-awareness, humility, empathy, compassion, and other qualities consistent with our Sacred Heart values.
    • Awakening and deepening in students a personal relationship with a loving God, while cultivating our Catholic identity and educating students to an understanding of, and respect for, the beliefs and faith traditions of others.
    • Guiding students towards a deep multicultural and environmental awareness that inspires a genuine passion for social justice, impels to action, and instills a life-long commitment to service.
    • Providing a life-skills curriculum and social/emotional programs that foster character development and prepare students for both personal and professional fulfillment.
    • Broadening student leadership opportunities to ensure graduates become responsible citizens locally, nationally, and globally, and develop the skills necessary to bring about positive changes in the world.
    • Offering a wide range of options and alternatives for outstanding co-curricular and extra- curricular activities which contribute to the development of the whole child, encompassing programs such as: the visual and performing arts, athletics, service learning, student government, media, robotics, the farm program, sustainability and environmental awareness, and many others.
  • Community

    The strength of our Sacred Heart community is among our most vital qualities, and accordingly should be constantly cultivated in order to grow and thrive. Just as our educators and
    administrators team with parents to build and refine in our students those character traits that reflect and reinforce our sense of mission, collectively we must always ensure these same traits are continually modeled by our entire Sacred Heart community. In doing so, students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to find balance in their lives and take responsibility for their own health and well-being.
    To achieve this objective, we will uphold a values-centered, inclusive, and diverse community, characterized by open communication, acceptance, and collaboration among all its members.
    We commit to:
    • Fostering a deep understanding and faithfulness to the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education by informing all community members about the Sacred Heart mission, heritage, traditions, and charism of the RSCJ.
    • Ensuring a diverse and inclusive student community through admission policies and procedures, and financial aid programs that will provide greater access to a Sacred Heart education.
    • Encouraging all members of our community to achieve individual life-work balance that promotes good health and well-being.
    • Expanding parent support via school programs, workshops, and forums in order to assist families coping with challenging societal, learning, or other issues that may affect or impede student performance.
    • Identifying and implementing a variety of activities and programs designed to recapture, engage, and grow a broader alumni network.
    • Strengthening Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton’s ties to the national and international Network of Sacred Heart Schools by seeking opportunities for communication, exchange programs, and engagement among students, faculty, and staff at multiple member institutions.
  • Stewardship

    For more than a century, Sacred Heart has served the local community by providing an unmatched educational experience. Today, our school is stronger than ever—an extraordinary
    accomplishment and the direct result of the hard work, generosity, and sacrifice of generations of devoted RSCJ, committed educators, and dedicated families. As current beneficiaries of this notable legacy, our obligation is to ensure this institution continues to thrive well into the next century as a model of educational, communal, and fiscal excellence.
    To achieve this objective, we must unequivocally preserve and promote our Sacred Heart heritage and values, be good stewards of both our physical setting and our community of people, continue to grow our financial assets and resources, and further build and enhance our institutional reputation.
    We commit to:
    • Upholding the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education for future generations through the support and guidance of the RSCJ Provincial and her team, the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals (SHCOG), the Board of Trustees, and the Director of Schools.
    • Maintaining fiscal sustainability through wise management of the operating budget, careful review and consideration of tuition and revenue policies, strategic investment to increase existing assets, and appropriate and feasible goal-setting for all fundraising programs.
    • Growing the endowment to ensure adequate resources for financial aid, competitive compensation and benefits, on-going professional development, and any unanticipated future institutional needs.
    • Managing the risks inherent in running the school by taking active steps necessary to safeguard our students, community members, campus environment, financial assets, physical resources, and institutional reputation.
    • Encouraging responsible use and care of the physical setting and plant through support of current maintenance and sustainability programs while ensuring new capital projects comply with or improve upon current campus standards.
    • Balancing preservation of the spirit of our Sacred Heart community with the need for legal and regulatory compliance policies and practices.

Sacred Heart Schools Atherton

Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton

150 Valparaiso Ave
Atherton, CA 94027
650 322 1866
Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, SHS is a Catholic, independent, co-ed day school for students in preschool through grade 12