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    • SHP students walk between classes to and from the Campbell Academics & Arts Building

Preparatory (9-12)

SHP requirements for graduation meet or exceed other independent or Catholic schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. Student performance on national standardized tests reflects the high academic standards in place, and graduates find they are extraordinarily well prepared for college, university life and beyond.

From 9th to 12th grade, Sacred Heart Preparatory’s rigorous academic program challenges students to think critically about society and its values, to thoughtfully participate in the exchange of ideas, to develop a social awareness supported by individual action, and to grow spiritually by connecting personal beliefs with contemporary culture.

The SHP curriculum emphasizes serious study and social responsibility, grounded in strong faith and taught in small, seminar-style classes. Teachers employ a wide variety of assessment methods, including objective and free response tests, essays, research papers, oral presentations, group projects, and performances. SHP students take six or seven academic courses per semester, and complete a total of seven semesters of religious studies, which is taught from an inclusive, Christian framework.

A strong interdisciplinary approach, integration of experiential service learning, and lively classroom analysis, debate, and discussion further enrich the SHP student experience and deepen the learning process. Additionally, exploring the relationship between faith and reason, students develop an appreciation for the role of prayer and reflection in the intellectual life.

List of 3 items.

  • Advanced Placement (AP)

    Advanced placement courses are offered in 28 subjects across the curriculum, and students enrolled in AP courses are required to take the respective offered exam. Over 1,100 AP exams are administered each May, more than 80 percent of which receive passing scores.

    AP Courses offered
    • Computer Science (Computer Science A, Computer Science Principles)
    • English (Language, Literature)
    • Fine Arts (Digital Art, Studio Art, Photography, Music Theory)
    • Math (Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics)
    • Science (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics 1, Physics C)
    • Social Science (Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Psychology, US Government, Comparative Government, US History, World History)
    • World Languages (French Language, Latin, Chinese Language, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature)
  • Honors Courses

    Honors courses for 9th grade students are available in math, science and world languages. Honors courses are available beginning in the sophomore year in all other subject areas.
  • Senior Honors Independent Study (SHIS)

    The Senior Honors Independent Study (SHIS) Program serves a highly motivated group of students who wish to pursue an area of special academic interest during a semester of their senior year. Participants must qualify for the program by taking the most rigorous courses (i.e., honors and AP) in the relevant subject area over their preceding three years at SHP and, subsequently, earning an A average in all courses in this subject area. They must also submit an application that includes a statement of purpose, a detailed bibliography, letters of recommendation, and letters of support from three off-campus mentors (university professors or professionals with expertise in the selected subject area) who agree to work with the student. Applications are officially approved by a review committee that comprises the SHP Department Heads, the SHIS Coordinator, and the Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Academics. Students collaborate with an on-campus mentor in the sponsoring department who oversees progress, meets regularly with the student, and does all assessment. Students offer a 30- to 45-minute presentation at the end of the semester, during which they discuss their research and conclusions. These presentations provide a question and answer session at the end of each presentation and are open to students, faculty, staff, trustees and parents.

SHP Academic Administrators

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Jennifer Whitcomb

    Jennifer Whitcomb Ph.D. 

    Principal & English Teacher - SHP
  • Photo of Jorge Reyes

    Jorge Reyes 

    Asst. Principal Curriculum & Academics & Math Teacher - SHP
  • Photo of Diana Neebe

    Diana Neebe Ed.D 

    Asst. Principal of Instruction & Faculty Development & English Teacher - SHP

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