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Network of Sacred Heart Schools


SHP Courses by Department

Computer Science/Creative Inquiry (CS/CI)

List of 4 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    To be prepared for the demands of the 21st century — and to take advantage of its opportunities — it is essential that more of our students today learn basic computer programming skills, no matter what field of work they want to pursue. —Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer

    Not all students will go on to be computer scientists or programmers; but all fields have been impacted by the use of technology, computers, and software. We believe that exposure to the ideas of computer science and the power of computing is critical to success in our hyper-connected world. We aim to demystify technology and equip students with the tools and knowledge needed to be more than just passive consumers of devices. In this rapidly changing field, any specific application can quickly become obsolete. We therefore emphasize that computer science is ultimately about problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. We want our students to leave with the skills to make a webpage, write a program, or build a robot that can change the world.

    Enduring Understandings of the Computer Science Program
    • Computer Science developments have implications for individuals, communities, and the world; students will study computing concepts and be able to identify their impact on people, connections to people, and connections to other computing concepts.
    • Computer Science is a creative discipline; students will create artifacts to serve practical, personal, and societal needs.
    • Computational thinking requires the application of abstraction in modeling, simulation, and analysis; students will explain how data, information, and knowledge are used for computing, identify abstractions, and describe computational modeling.
    • Computer Science results in solutions, models, and artifacts; students will propose solutions to problems, locate and correct errors, and describe the artifacts that they create.
    • Computer Science involves collaboration; students will learn to collaborate effectively with peers, draw from diverse perspectives, and think interdependently when solving complex and open-ended problems.
    • Computer Science requires persistence and accuracy; students will set high standards, check their findings, and remain focused on tasks through completion.
    Sacred Heart’s Creative Inquiry Department seeks to develop in students the mind-sets, dispositions, and qualities of character that define a creative, collaborative person. To achieve this end, the Lab supports and facilitates creative action in in whatever form it may take.

    Students can, for example, construct a material craft such as an engine or a piece of furniture; a digital craft such as a website or an app; or a piece of media such as a newspaper, a video, or a radio broadcast. They can produce a piece of fine art like a play, a film, or a symphony, create an organization that promotes a cause they believe in, or stage an event that raises awareness around an issue of social justice. The direction or end of creative action matters less than the experience of taking genuine responsibility for a meaningful endeavor. This experience, we believe, will serve as the greatest teacher.
  • Instructional Methods

    Among several methods used, such as hands-on instruction, abstract modeling, simulation, and analysis, collaboration with peers, and discussions surrounding topics in ethics, privacy, security, etc.

    The students themselves and the experiences they undertake will serve as primary instructors in the Lab. The role of teachers will be that of moderator, sounding board, and cheerleader. The teacher will be with the student every step of the way, but will not direct. Students will be allowed to make their own decisions and their own mistakes, so that their ultimate success or failure will be completely their own. The pedagogical basis for this approach comes from an active synthesis of:
    (1) the design thinking methodology developed at the Stanford d.school;
    (2) Seymour Papert’s Constructionist philosophy (the forbearer of The Maker’s Movement);
    (3) Carl Roger’s “nondirective” approach to teaching; 
    (4) the Catholic educational tradition of Sacred Heart Schools.

    Find out more about the Creative Inquiry Lab.
  • Placement, Honors & AP

    Currently, SHP offers the following Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Computer Science:
    • Advanced Topics in Computer Science, Honors
    • AP Computer Science
    • AP Computer Science Principles
    AP Computer Science Principles
    Concurrent enrollment in an honors math course AND consent of school counselor
    AP Computer Science
    There is no specific prerequisite but the problem solving skills required are similar to skills used in honors math courses. 

    If the most recent math course is Precalculus BC Honors or AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC, a grade of B or higher is strongly recommended.

    If the most recent math course is any other honors math course, a grade of A- or higher is strongly recommended.
    Advanced Topics in Computer Science, Honors
    Completion of AP Computer Science
  • Graduation Requirements

    The class of 2020 completed the graduation requirement by taking Exploring Computer Science as freshmen. All other courses are electives.

    The classes of 2021, 2022 and 2023 are required to take one semester of any computer science course.

    We recognize that some students may have acquired relevant knowledge outside of school, and we are excited to work with such students to plan a course of study appropriate for their specific situations and interests.

    Currently, Creative Inquiry is offered as an elective, geared toward upperclassmen.


List of 4 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    Overview of Program
    The English Department offers a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum rooted in the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education. Students are encouraged to consider literature and culture as unique forms of inquiry, based in the lived experience, and to look for ways in which the imaginary might complement historical, scientific, or philosophical approaches to truth. Throughout the four-year curriculum, students develop strong reading skills, critical and creative thinking skills, and writing skills through their study of literature drawn from a wide variety of genres, cultures, ethnicities, and historic periods. Small class sizes, student-centered activities, and daily class discussions are the cornerstones of learning; this seminar approach encourages oral fluency and develops the student’s ability to engage others in meaningful conversations about literature, its relevance to one’s own experience, and its connection to the diverse experience of others.

    The English curriculum is designed to develop in each student the ability to articulate thoughts and ideas orally and in writing as well as to develop a lifelong appreciation of literature. The English faculty is committed to an inclusive curriculum and to an interdisciplinary approach to learning designed around the following enduring understandings:
    Great literature addresses universal themes and truths about the human experience that can help us better understand and interact in the world around us.
    Literature offers opportunities for empathy by revealing experiences and values that have relevance to our own lives and experiences, helping to shape and elucidate our own understanding and values in relation to those of others.
    Literature is a reflection of the cultural, political, and biographical context in which it is written.
    Language is power; understanding how language and rhetoric function in literature is a means to unlocking the subtleties of that power.
    Literature is an important tool for developing critical thinking skills.
    Literature has aesthetic value as an art form and should be appreciated for the beauty, insight, and enjoyment it has to offer.
  • Instructional Methods

    When exploring literature, English classes primarily provide class discussion and group work experiences with occasional lectures. The instruction of skills is accomplished largely through reading and writing assignments; we believe that a student will most readily achieve mastery of communication skills through constant practice in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • Placement, Honors & AP

    Currently, SHP offers the following Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in English:

    10th grade: An Honors option is offered each semester of US Literature to those sophomores able and willing to explore literature in greater depth and in an independent manner.
    Prerequisite for fall semester: A- in spring semester of English 1, completion of Honors summer reading, and satisfactory performance on Honors exam at the beginning of the school year.
    Prerequisite for spring semester: A- in fall semester of US Literature

    11th grade: AP English Language and Composition. Thematic electives offered in the fall; specific offerings may vary from year to year. British Classics in the spring.
    No prerequisite.

    12th Grade: AP English Literature and Composition.
    The senior English program affords students in-depth examinations of selected literary topics related to particular genres, authors or enduring themes. Teachers at the senior level guide students toward greater independence as thinkers and writers. Students initiate their own essay topics, develop complex arguments, and explore different techniques for structuring their essays.

    Students choose between two options at the senior level: English 4 and AP English Literature and Composition.

    The English 4 courses serve the needs of students who desire more direct instruction in reading and writing skills and strategies. In the interest of preparing students for reading and writing across disciplines, the English 4 electives will include instruction in grammar, mechanics, and reading comprehension, as needed. These electives will also include a broader range of writing approaches than the AP curriculum. English 4 classes often assign alternative assessments in lieu of written final exams.

    The AP English Literature and Composition courses offer students an experience of college-level literary study. The program requires a year-long commitment. AP English Literature electives are designed to expose students to literature from the 16th to 21st centuries in a wide variety of genres. Reading will be demanding, sometimes in length, and often in language or style. Students will have numerous opportunities to write and revise analytical essays. Writing in AP Literature sections will be academic, discipline-specific writing, building the skills necessary to be successful in the college English classroom. Every student will be expected to participate actively in conversation about the reading, and all members of the class will lead discussions periodically. Impromptu essays and practice multiple-choice questions are administered to ensure familiarity with and preparation for the AP exam. All students who take this course are expected to take the AP English Literature exam with seriousness of purpose.

    The AP English program at the senior level meets the needs of students who want to engage in advanced literary study and can commit the time to do so. Rising seniors should think carefully before electing to take AP English Literature and Composition, especially if they plan to pursue the most advanced courses in other departments. English 4 may be more appropriate for students who plan to concentrate their senior academic efforts elsewhere.


    Prerequisite for AP English Literature:
    Students who earn an A- or better in both semesters of their junior year are automatically eligible for AP English Literature. Students who wish to take AP English Literature, but earn a B+ in one or both semesters of their junior year, must petition the Department. The Department will carefully review the petition and make a determination. The Department’s decision is final. Students who earn a B or below in one or both semesters of junior English may choose from the rich array of English 4 electives.

    All students may take a second English elective during either semester. English 4 electives are the only courses available as second English electives. In other words, AP English Literature electives cannot be taken as a second English elective.

  • Graduation Requirements

    SHP English Graduation Requirement (4 years) 
    Successful completion of the required freshman and sophomore English courses or their equivalent is necessary before taking junior and senior English courses.

Fine Arts

List of 4 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    The SHP Fine Arts Department teaches to the whole child in service to our school-wide mission of laying the foundation for a meaningful life. Engagement in the creative arts is essential to a complete educational experience. In addition to building techniques specific to each discipline of arts offered at SHP, we explicitly educate to develop habits of mind that translate to 21st-century life skills. Students who practice creative exploration and critical reflection, through the lens of the arts, develop an aptitude for: self-expression, inquiry, risk taking, innovation, problem solving, flexible response, resilience in the face of challenges, and the pursuit of new processes. Visionaries change the world. They reveal undiscovered possibilities. Fine Arts experience at SHP arises from our belief in the real-world power of creative vision.
  • Instructional Methods

    The core of the Fine Arts educational mission is to ensure students develop habits of mind that will serve them through life:
    • Activating one’s curiosity
    • Using of tools, techniques, and materials to discover new ways of making
    • Envisioning marvelous possibilities, for themselves and for others
    • Expressing ideas, feelings, and personal meanings in uniquely creative ways with the potential to impact or move others
    • Engagement in creative challenges and persistence through one’s dynamic effort
    • Observing the world around them with greater nuance, sensitivity, and complexity
    • Reflecting on and articulating the mysterious dimensions of creative experience
    • Stretching oneself to push beyond what is conventional or expected in order to discover the new
    • Understanding the history and current practices in the arts, including interactions with other artists and the broader arts community
  • Placement & AP

    Currently, SHP offers the following Advanced Placement (AP) courses in the Fine Arts Department:
    • AP Music Theory
    • AP Studio Art: 2D Design and/or Drawing 
    • AP 2D Design in Photography
    Intermediate Dance (Urban Styles)
    Completion of Dance or previous dance experience
    AND/OR audition with and consent of instructor
    Intermediate/Advanced Dance (All Styles)
    Audition with and consent of instructor
    Advanced Dance (Performance-based, All Styles)
    Audition with and consent of instructor
    Advanced Filmmaking
    Introduction to Filmmaking or consent of instructor based on review of a 10 minute "reel"
    Advanced Design & Images
    Completion of Fundamentals of Design & Images
    Actor’s Showcase
    Audition or consent of instructor
    Advanced Chorus
    Audition with and consent of instructor
    Advanced Instrumental Music - Sacred Heart Symphony
    Previous instrumental experience and consent of instructor
    Advanced Photography
    Completion of Photography
    AP Studio Art - 2D Design (Photography)
    Completion of one full year of traditional black and white photography; portfolio review and consent of instructor
    Advanced Ceramics
    Completion of Ceramics
    Advanced Creative Topics
    Completion of one semester of an advanced level Fine Arts course
    Advanced Studio Art

    Completion of Studio Art (Drawing & Painting)
    AP Studio Art – Drawing      
    Completion of one full year of Studio Art (Drawing &   Painting) OR portfolio review and consent of instructor
  • Graduation Requirements

    SHP Fine Arts Graduation Requirement (1 1/2 years)
    In order to fulfill the SHP Fine Arts graduation requirement, a student must take:
    One year-long UC-approved Fine Arts course AND one semester of a .5 Fine Arts elective.

    Guidelines for Freshman Enrollment in Fine Arts Courses:
    All incoming freshmen are welcome to enroll in a year-long UC approved beginning or advanced Chorus, or a Dance class, Drama or Instrumental Music; OR a semester-long Fine Arts course offered for freshmen: Chorus, Dance, Drama, or Vision in Art. Students may also sign up for a hybrid year-long course, Art of Living, which fulfills both of the .5 semester requirements for Health & Wellness and Fine Arts. Students are encouraged to stay engaged with their chosen ensemble for subsequent years. The 1.5 year requirement can otherwise be fulfilled from a substantial selection of offerings in the Fine Arts Department and taken in their sophomore, junior or senior year. Students are supported in going above and beyond the minimum requirements and enjoy various opportunities offered in Fine Arts.

    Grades earned in Fine Arts courses are incorporated into the student’s SHP GPA. Grading policies vary slightly from course to course, but are clearly articulated in the Course Instructional Policies at the beginning of each year.

    Meeting the University of California Visual & Performing Arts "F" Requirement The University of California Visual & Performing Arts requirement (called the UC ?F requirement) is satisfied by completing a single course of study in a year-long sequence (i.e., the second semester must be the continuation of the first semester). All of the year-long Fine Arts courses fulfill that requirement. Meeting the UC Visual & Performing Arts requirement fulfills one year of the 1.5 year SHP Fine Arts graduation requirement. SHP strongly suggests meeting this requirement by enrolling in a year-long UC-approved course during one academic year. In rare circumstances, students may be allowed to take the two semesters of the year-long course in two different academic years (e.g., one semester of Photography as a sophomore and the second semester as a junior). However, this requires prior approval of the student‘s Counselor, the Fine Arts Department Head and the Assistant Principal, Academic Life.

Health & Wellness

List of 1 items.

Interdisciplinary Courses

List of 2 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    Sacred Heart Schools interdisciplinary courses are designed to highlight principles, methods, and skills that cross disciplinary boundaries.  Team taught by teachers from different disciplines, these courses are intended to challenge the tendency for academic institutions to silo leaning by discipline, to allow for creative collaboration between teachers and students and to provide an option for students whose interests do not conform to standard academic programs. The overarching goal of the interdisciplinary courses is to create students with a passion for understanding the human experience while developing the capabilities to analyze and become life-long learners.
  • Content & Skills

    We offer the following Interdisciplinary courses co-taught with instructors from multiple departments. Students can earn credit in both departments for successful completion of one of the courses.
    • Advanced Creative Topics (Creative Inquiry and Fine Arts)
    • Art of Living (Fine Arts and Health & Wellness)
    • History Seminar - The Philosophy and Spirituality of Asia: History and Practice (Religious Studies and Social Science
    • History Seminar Honors - Women’s History of the US (Religious Studies and Social Science)
    • Making Justice (Creative Inquiry and Religious Studies)


List of 4 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    The mathematics curriculum is designed to develop mathematical power in each and every student, and to help students understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics in our rapidly changing world. Mathematically powerful students are able to think and communicate, drawing on mathematical ideas and using mathematical tools and techniques (Mathematics Framework for California).

    Mathematical thinking refers to:
    • logical reasoning, by which students can make and test conjectures, develop counter-examples, understand logical arguments, determine the validity of arguments, and devise logical arguments of their own;
    • problem solving, through which students can attack mathematical situations with a variety of approaches and techniques, and through which they can formulate and test mathematical models of real-world situations;
    • making connections among mathematical topics, and between mathematics and other disciplines
    Mathematical communication refers to:
    • expressing one‘s mathematical ideas with precision and clarity, both orally and in writing, which involve either the use of mathematical language and symbolism, the English language, or both.
    Mathematical ideas refer to:
    • specific mathematical topics such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, functions, statistics, probability, etc.;
    • unifying ideas, which cut across specific topics, such as identifying and describing patterns, developing and using algorithms, mathematical modeling, mathematical justification of ideas, etc.
    Mathematical tools and techniques refer to:
    • literal tools such as calculators, computers, and manipulatives;
    • figurative tools such as computational algorithms, graph, tables, charts, etc.
  • Instructional Methods

    A variety of different instructional methods are used, depending on the course.  Many teachers use a combination of direct instruction, with group/partner /individual classroom work, with extensive use of discovery and inquiry which places responsibility on the students to be active in the learning process.  Others “flip” their classrooms, with new material presented on videos for students to watch and take notes on at home, with class time spent working the problems that would have been traditional homework assignments.

    Math Course Sequence at SHP flowchart
  • Placement, Honors & AP

    Freshman admission into Geometry, Geometry Honors, Algebra 2, or Algebra 2 with Trigonometry Honors is dependent upon a satisfactory placement test score. 

    Honors courses are offered at each level except for Algebra 1. Specific prerequisites for honors courses are indicated in the course description, and may be found in the SHP course catalog.

    Currently, SHP offers the following Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Math:
    • AP Calculus AB
    • AP Calculus BC
    • AP Statistics

    Grade Prerequisite from Current Course
     Algebra 1
     C- or higher in Algebra  1
     Algebra 2
     C- or higher in Geometry or Geometry Honors
     Algebra 2 Trigonometry  Honors
     B or higher in Geometry Honors
     C- or higher in Algebra 2 as sophomore or junior
     Precalculus AB Honors
     B+ or higher in Algebra 2 as sophomore or junior  OR
     C- or higher in Algebra 2 Trig Honors
     Precalculus BC Honors
     B+ or higher in Algebra 2 Trig Honors
     C- or higher in Algebra 2 or Algebra 2 Trig Honors (juniors only) OR
     C- or higher in Precalculus or Precalculus AB Honors
     AP Statistics
     A- or higher in Algebra 2 (juniors only)  OR
     B- or higher in Algebra 2 Trig Honors (juniors only)  OR
     A- or higher in Precalculus  OR
     B- or higher in Precalculus AB Honors  OR
     C- or higher in Precalculus BC Honors, AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC
     B or higher in Precalculus  OR
     C+ or higher in Precalculus AB Honors
     AP Calculus AB
     B+ or higher in Precalculus AB Honors  OR
     C- or higher in Precalculus BC Honors
     AP Calculus BC
     B+ or higher in Precalculus BC Honors  OR
     C+ or higher in AP Calculus AB
     Advanced Topics in Math  Honors
     B+ or higher in AP Calculus AB  OR
     C- or higher in AP Calculus BC
  • Graduation Requirements

    SHP Math Graduation Requirement (2-3 years, depending on entry point)
    This requirement can be met in one of several ways:

    • Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 (if Algebra 1 is taken as a freshman), or
    • Geometry, Algebra 2, and Precalculus (if Geometry is taken as a freshman), or
    • Algebra 2 and Precalculus (if Algebra 2 is taken as a freshman).

Online Learning

List of 1 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    SHS is a member of an international consortia of leading independent schools and part of the worldwide Sacred Heart network, which includes SophieConnect (SC) courses. Students have the opportunity to take innovative web-based classes from world-class faculty and to learn in collaboration with students from around the globe. SHP Online Learning is an optional enrichment to the SHP academic program.

    SHP students who typically thrive in Online Learning courses are self-directed, motivated, technology proficient, and independent learners. Students must be comfortable studying, participating in online discussions, and learning in an online environment. They must have regular access to a computer and the internet for the entire duration of the course. While online learning has flexibility, these courses require regular online participation, meeting submission deadlines, and may require some time specific online meetings at mutually agreeable times as determined by the course instructor/AP Academics. All Online Learning courses have asynchronous components (students participate regularly on their own schedule) and synchronous components (students collaborate together or work with their teacher, generally using video conferencing software).

    Please direct all questions about online learning to Dr. Anna McDonald, AP Academics.

Religious Studies

List of 3 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    The human spirit must be cultivated in such a way that there results a growth in its ability to wonder, to understand, to contemplate, to make personal judgments, and to develop a religious, moral, and social sense.  —Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, No. 59

    During their years at SHP, students study religion from the perspective of the Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart education, which provide the philosophical base for the curriculum. We teach from a framework that is distinctively Catholic in the charism of the RSCJ with a commitment to an inclusive curriculum: all courses are ecumenical and interfaith in content and perspective. Students are given the opportunity to explore their own religious traditions, to understand and appreciate diversity in other traditions, and to examine the importance of religion in a rapidly changing world. The department is also committed to an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum as an instructional principle, as well as a value in our complex world. Skills objectives, writing and research assignments coordinate with the standards of the school. 
  • Instructional Methods

    A variety of teaching methods and styles are used by our faculty, including:
    • seminar discussion,
    • small group projects,
    • student presentations,
    • lectures, and
    • library research projects
    Some courses may include field trips and/or service components. In each course, students are evaluated on the basis of their mastery of objective content. Students engage in the more affective issues of personal faith primarily through in-class prayer experiences, journal writing, and discussion.
  • Graduation Requirements

    SHP Religious Studies Graduation Requirement (8 semesters)
    All offerings are semester courses, in the following recommended sequence: 
    • Freshman Year: Introduction to Catholic Christianity and Personal Morality
    • Sophomore Year: Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures  
    • Junior Year: Social Ethics and World Religions
    • Senior Year: Two semesters of Religious Studies electives


List of 5 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    The Science curriculum fosters each student’s scientific understanding by helping them develop skills and literacy in science. The curriculum emphasizes the three core sciences (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) yet offers students the opportunity for students to extend their learning, and inquiry beyond these topics. The department is committed to emphasizing skills over rote knowledge and teaching students that science is a process of inquiry. The department commits itself to:
    • Working in conjunction with the Next Generation Science Standards we aim to develop enduring scientific understanding, develop and strengthen science skills and student understanding of cross cutting science themes. 
    • We help students learn to think independently, to reason, and to be able to use the data available to them to solve problems, and to apply these skills in other academic and non-academic settings. 
    • We develop student’s numerical abilities including their skills at measuring natural phenomenon, manipulating data and using data to evaluate support for models and theories. 
    • We aim to help student develop proper skills and understanding to prepare them for success in college science courses. 
    • We strive to give students a level of scientific literacy that will allow them to understand the social and philosophical impact science has on society.
  • Instructional Methods

    To achieve the goals articulated above, a variety of methods will be implemented, all aimed at helping the student be an active learner in the science classroom. These include, but are not limited to: open-ended laboratory experimentation, written and/or verbal analysis of data, short and long term independent scientific investigations requiring quantitative and qualitative analysis, research, computer simulations and animation, field trips, lectures, modeling and group analyses of given problems. Students also take part in project based learning where they apply their knowledge to solve problems to help the community.

    1st Year 
    2nd Year
    3rd & 4th Years
    Biology or
    Biology Honors
    Scientific Inquiry*
    *By invitation only
    Chemistry or
    Chemistry Honors
    Anatomy & Physiology
    Marine Biology
    Neurobiology of the Sexes, Honors
    AP Biology
    AP Chemistry
    AP Environmental Science
    AP Physics 1
    AP Physics C

  • Placement, Honors & AP

    Placement into classes is based on recommendations from previous teachers as well as diagnostic assessments.

    Currently, SHP offers the following Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Science:
    • Biology Honors
    • Chemistry Honors
    • Neurobiology Honors
    • AP Biology
    • AP Chemistry
    • AP Environmental Science
    • AP Physics 1
    • AP Physics C
     Science Course 
     Placement Diagnostics
    Math Prerequisites
    Diagnostic assessment and 8th grade performance
    Biology Honors
    Diagnostic assessment and 8th grade performance
    Science Inquiry (semester course)
    None; By invitation only
    None; By invitation only
    Biology or Biology Honors
    Diagnostic assessment
    Recommendation from Biology
    and Math teachers
    Chemistry Honors
    Biology or Biology Honors
    Diagnostic assessment
    Recommendation from Biology and Math teachers
    Algebra 1
    Concurrently taking Algebra 2 or higher
    AP Chemistry
    Chemistry or Chemistry Honors
    Diagnostic assessment
    Recommendation from Chemistry teacher
    Algebra 2 or higher
    AP Environmental Science
    Biology and Chemistry
    Recommendation of previous science teacher
    AP Biology
    Biology and Chemistry
    Diagnostic assessment
    Recommendation of previous science teacher
    Biology and Chemistry
    Diagnostic assessment
    Recommendation of previous science and math teachers
    Algebra 2
    AP Physics 1
    Chemistry or Chemistry Honors
    Diagnostic assessment
    Recommendation from previous science and math teachers
    Concurrently taking any level of Calculus
    AP Physics C
    AP Physics 1
    Concurrent taking AP Calculus BC or higher
    Anatomy & Physiology
    Chemistry or Chemistry Honors
    Marine Biology
    Biology and Chemistry
    Neurobiology of the Sexes, Honors
    Biology and Chemistry
    Diagnostic Assessment

  • Enrichment Elective Courses

    Students may wish to explore other science topics according to their interest.  Currently our (non AP) junior/ senior elective courses include:  Marine Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Neurobiology of the Sexes Honors.  We have also offered Sports Nutrition and Molecular Agronomy in the past and may offer these courses again in the future.
  • Graduation Requirements

    SHP Science Graduation Requirement (minimum of 2 years, including Biology and Chemistry)
    The Science Department requires completion of Biology and Chemistry for graduation. However, most students complete four science courses during their years at SHP and some complete five over that same time. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their school counselor when making course selections, as university requirements will vary among institutions.

Senior Honors Independent Study

List of 4 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    Guided by our Goals & Criteria to meet each individual where they are, to work in an atmosphere of wise freedom, and to provide opportunities to continue to foster and share our gifts and talents toward the pursuit of individual passions, Sacred Heart Prep offer opportunities for independent study. The Senior Honors Independent Study 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.
  • Instructional Methods

    Students collaborate with an on-campus mentor in the sponsoring department who oversees progress, meets regularly with the student, and grades all assessments. Students offer a 30- to 45-minute presentation at the end of the semester, during which they discuss their research and conclusions, and facilitate a follow-up question-and-answer session.  These final presentations are open to students, faculty, staff, trustees and parents.
  • Placement & Honors

    Participants must qualify for the Senior Honors Independent Study 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 Academic Life.

    **For Capstone Project Credit - In order for your Independent Study to qualify for Capstone credit, your project must investigate a specific justice issue and work to produce a tangible good for the community. You will need to submit additional work to Service Learning and through x2Vol.com, including your Capstone Project Proposal Form, academic research, 25 hours of proximity to the issue, and 2 – 3 pages of reflection & analysis (you can use your final project write-up).**
  • Program Document Requirements

    Students must submit their “Senior Honors Independent Study Application” to the SHIS Coordinator by the end-of-April noon (12 pm) deadline. If the SHIS application includes the use of interview questions, surveys, questionnaires or human participants for research or experiments, a student must have completed AP Statistics, or enroll in AP Statistics in their senior year, or complete an approved Statistics course over the summer, in order to be able to analyze the data collected for the experiment. A student must also complete the two addenda (“Research Experiment Plan” and “Human Informed Consent Form”) in addition to the SHIS application, and submit all of these documents together by the above deadline. (Please login to the Student Parent portal the SHP Resources tile and visit the SHP Senior Honors Independent Study section to access the required documents.)

Social Science

List of 5 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    As stewards of a tremendous RSCJ tradition, we are determined to remain true to the RSCJ’s vision to prepare students to make the world better than they received it. As such, we are not merely interested in the past events and how they have led to the present situation – we actively and provocatively encourage students to examine present realities and to imagine a brighter future. We are passionate about creating students who can read effectively and critically, analyze and argue persuasively with depth and accuracy, and collaborate and converse with peers and adults in an intellectually sophisticated manner. In short, we teach critical analysis through mastery of content and skills, neither of which can be left out of the experience of scholarship. The interdisciplinary nature of the learning process is reinforced through the use of literature, art and writing assignments, examination of moral and ethical issues, and exploration of social justice and environmental stewardship in concert with our colleagues in other departments. We are committed to preserving the benefits of an education steeped in SHP’s Goals and Criteria and Catholic Social  teaching.
    Our overarching departmental goal is to create students with a passion for understanding the human experience while developing the capabilities to analyze and become life-long learners. We strive to help students understand how the past impacts the present and to appreciate history as a process rather than an unrelated list of names, dates, places and events. Our endeavor is to help students recognize that all social science disciplines are an integral part of this process. We work to help students develop the ability to think logically and to reach reasoned conclusions based on sound evidence. To that end, we are committed to help students develop the ability to listen critically, hear accurately what is said, understand what is implied, and know the difference. Intentionally, we help students develop their abilities to express themselves clearly and effectively as they grow as writers and public speakers. These skills will aid them on an individual basis as well as put them in a position to have a wider and greater impact locally, nationally, and globally as citizens of a diverse and interdependent world.
    Enduring Understandings of the Four-Year Program
    • The social practices, political institutions, and economic dynamics of a culture or nation-state evolve over time and this development contains similarities and differences to other cultures and nation-states.  Understanding these similarities and differences affords us the opportunity to examine patterns of change and continuity of the past, analyze the realities of the present, and positively direct the future. 
    • The history of a people or a period is an amalgam and reflection of how individuals and groups acted in and reacted to the circumstances in which they found themselves. This tells us that we all have the ability to impact the world around us and can act as catalysts of change.
    • In order to interpret the past with fullness and fairness, one must critically assess the documentary evidence that was left behind by the individuals who participated in or witnessed the historical events.  What becomes “history” is a result of the lens through which one looks and is therefore a competition of differing narratives.  We must look broadly and critically at a variety of perspectives to build an understanding of the past. 
    • Processes of cultural exchange and appropriation, cultural conflict, and cultural subordination are complex manifestations of particular world views and frameworks, as well as power differentials between individuals and groups.  Understanding the mechanisms that support and degrade these power differentials can inform current realities of and potentialities for living with civility toward others and help to ensure and protect human rights and dignity.  
  • Content & Skills

    Freshman Year: Modern World History
    Areas of study will include some of the following regions: Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The geography component of the course teaches the mastery of place names and locations, knowledge of geography vocabulary, the importance of geography as an historical determinant and environmental stewardship. Students enjoy participating actively and regularly in the SHP gardens.

    Sophomore Year: US History or AP US History
    These survey courses emphasize the social, political, and economic events and trends that have shaped our nation from 1600 to the present.

    Junior and Senior Year: Seminars or AP World History or AP US Government
    The SHP Social Sciences seminar program offers students the opportunity to study in a small class setting with an emphasis on discussion and presentation of research. The nature of our seminars presents the possibility to study a specific region of the world, a certain period of time, or a discipline within the social sciences.  The department offers both honors and non-honors courses, which may vary from year to year. Honors courses are rigorous, one-semester, college-level courses that earn students an additional incremental increase in their SHP GPA. 

    The thinking and writing skills that the Social Science Department advances are how to:
    • categorize effectively
    • chronologically order events
    • paraphrase  and to summarize clearly and concisely what others have said or written
    • critically analyze events and individuals, issues and trends
    • differentiate between facts, inferences and judgments -- their own and those of others -- and to synthesize these in a thoughtful and effective way
    • compare and contrast
    • examine cause-and-effect relationships
  • Placement, Honors & AP

    Currently, SHP offers the following Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Social Science: 
    • History Seminar Honors - History of Modern China
    • History Seminar Honors - Economics of Globalization
    • History Seminar Honors - History of Science and Technology
    • History Seminar Honors - Women’s History of the United States
    • AP US Government
    • AP US History
    • AP World History

    AP US History
    • For Rising Sophomores: Spring semester grade of A or higher in Modern World History, successful completion of a 5-6 page research paper
    AP World History, AP US Government and Politics, Honors Seminars
    • For Rising Juniors who took US History: a grade of A- or higher is necessary to enroll in an Honors Seminar
    • For Rising Juniors and Seniors who took AP US History: a grade of B or higher is necessary to enroll in an Honors Seminar
    • For Rising Seniors who took US History AND NO previous Social Sciences seminar: a grade of A- in US History is necessary to enroll in an Honors Seminar
    • For Rising Seniors who took US History AND a previous non-Honors Social Sciences seminar: a grade of B or higher in the Social Sciences seminar is necessary to enroll in an Honors Seminar
  • Interdisciplinary Courses

    The SHP Social Science Department has offered the following Interdisciplinary courses co-taught with instructors from the Religious Studies Department. Students can earn Social Science and Religious Studies credit for successful completion of one of the courses.
    • History Seminar Honors - Women’s History of the United States
    • History Seminar - The Philosophy and Spirituality of Asia: History and Practice
  • Graduation Requirements

    SHP Social Sciences Graduation Requirement (3 years)
    During their first two years at SHP, students study history from a global perspective in World History (freshman year), and United States History or Advanced Placement United States History (sophomore year). Students fulfill the third year requirement by taking a minimum of two semester-long seminars over the course of their junior and senior year or a year-long course in AP World History or AP US Government.  We encourage students to take as many as their schedule and interests might allow. Our intent in offering these courses is to provide the greatest breadth and depth of learning for our student body. The specific courses offered will vary from semester-to-semester and year-to-year.

World Languages

List of 4 items.

  • Philosophy & Goals

    In compliance with the national standards set forth by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the SHP World Languages Department offers world language classes that focus on building students’ competence in the three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal and presentational, while simultaneously exploring the “five Cs” of language learning: Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Communities, and Connections. Students build competence in each of these areas through a variety of engaging and meaningful classroom activities, assignments, and authentic projects.

    The main goals for all SHP language students are thus:
    • to acquire the skills that are necessary to be able to communicate well in at least one world language, both orally and in writing
    • to develop a lifelong respect and appreciation for other cultures
    • to become well-informed and active global citizens.

    Finally, and as per the 2011 ACTFL 21st Century Skills Map, in their language classes, students also work to acquire other valuable skills, such as critical thinking skills, social and cultural skills, global awareness, media literacy, creativity, clear communication, and collaboration with others.
  • Instructional Methods

    French, Mandarin, and Spanish
    French, Mandarin or Spanish, language students gradually develop a solid foundation in the three modes of communication: interpretive (reading and listening), interpersonal (speaking and writing) and presentational (speaking and writing) while they also deepen their grammatical and cultural knowledge. To this end, students engage in a variety of activities and/or performance-based projects which include: reading and listening to texts and videos in the language; participating in spoken and written conversations such as face-to-face discussions, emails and text messages; and delivering spoken and written presentations such as oral reports, theatrical productions, written compositions and essays; all the while exploring the cultures of French-, Mandarin- and Spanish-speaking countries through the study of literature, history, art, media, and films.

    These are reading-based courses of study. Students learn Latin by reading, acquiring vocabulary, and learning grammar in context. In levels 1 and 2, vocabulary is based on the theme of each chapter and is intended to provide students with a solid foundation to read Caesar, Cicero, Catullus, Ovid, Vergil and Horace in levels 3, 4 and 5. Students also study Ancient Roman cultural and historical topics.
  • Placement, Honors & AP

    Placement of New Students:
    Incoming new students who have previous experience in the language they will take at SHP must take the SHP Language Placement Test in the spring prior to their fall enrollment. Students will then be placed in the appropriate level as determined by the department according to the students’ performance on the placement test.
    Students interested in taking a Latin course beyond Level 1 as freshmen will be placed by the World Languages Department based on their 8th grade Latin teachers’ recommendations.

    For transfer students, the department will review past academic records and performance to determine placement. Transfer students may also be asked to complete a short written assignment or conversation with faculty to assess their proficiency level and to ensure appropriate placement.

    Honors and AP Courses:
    Honors and AP courses are offered for students who demonstrate outstanding ability. Honors options usually begin at the second level of instruction (level 3 for Mandarin).

    Currently, SHP offers the following Advanced Placement (AP) courses in World Languages:
    • AP Chinese Language and Culture
    • AP French Language and Culture
    • AP Latin
    • AP Spanish Language and Culture
    • AP Spanish Literature and Culture
    Enrollment in the first semester of an Honors or AP course depends on the specific prerequisites indicated in the course description for that particular course. Enrollment in the second semester of an Honors or AP course requires the completion of the first semester of the course with a grade of B- or higher.

    Semester 2 Grade Prerequisite from Current Course
    French 2
    C- or higher in French 1
    French 2 Honors
    A in French 1
    French 3
    C- or higher in French 2 or French 2 Honors
    French 3 Honors
    A in French 2 OR
    B+ or higher in French 2 Honors
    French 4
    C- or higher in French 3 or French 3 Honors
    French 4 Honors
    A in French 3 OR
    B+ or higher in French 3 Honors
    AP French Language & Culture
    A- or higher in French 4 or Advanced French Conversation OR
    B+ or higher in French 4 Honors  
    Advanced French Conversation
    B or higher in French 4 or French 4 Honors OR
    B- in AP French Language & Culture
    Latin 2
    C- or higher in Latin 1
    Latin 2 Honors
    A in Latin 1
    Latin 3
    C- or higher in Latin 2 or Latin 2 Honors
    Latin 3 Honors
    A in Latin 2 OR
    B+ or higher in Latin 2 Honors
    Latin 4
    C- or higher in Latin 3 or Latin 3 Honors
    Latin 5
    C- or higher in Latin 4 or AP Latin
    AP Latin
    B+ or higher in Latin 3 Honors OR
    A- or higher in Latin 4 or Latin 5
    Mandarin 2
    C- or higher in Mandarin 1
    Mandarin 3
    C- or higher in Mandarin 2
    Mandarin 3 Honors
    A in Mandarin 2
    Mandarin 4
    C- or higher in Mandarin 3 or Mandarin 3 Honors
    Mandarin 4 Honors
    A- or higher in Mandarin 3 OR
    B+ or higher in Mandarin 3 Honors
    Mandarin Conversation
    B or higher in Mandarin 3 or Mandarin 3 Honors
    AP Chinese Language & Culture
    B+ or higher in Mandarin 4 Honors OR
    A- or higher in Mandarin 4
    Spanish 2
    C- or higher in Spanish 1
    Spanish 2 Honors
    A in Spanish 1
    Spanish for Heritage Speakers I, Honors
    Student’s self-identification as a heritage speaker of Spanish and the recommendation of the World Languages Department
    Spanish 3
    C- or higher in Spanish 2, Spanish 2 Honors or Spanish for Heritage Speakers I, Honors
    Spanish 3 Honors
    A in Spanish 2 OR
    A- or higher in Spanish 2 Honors
    Spanish for Heritage Speakers II,
    Completion of Spanish for Heritage Speakers I, Honors
    with a spring semester grade of B or higher
    Spanish 4
    C- or higher in Spanish 3, Spanish 3 Honors or Spanish for Heritage Speakers II, Honors
    Advanced Spanish Conversation
    C- or higher in Spanish 4 or AP Spanish Language & Culture
    AP Spanish Language & Culture
    Completion of Spanish 3 Honors, Spanish 4 or Spanish for Heritage Speakers II, Honors with a spring semester grade of A- or higher
    AP Spanish Literature & Culture
    A- or higher in AP Spanish Language & Culture
    Advanced Spanish Seminar: Latin American Studies
    B- or higher in Spanish 3 Honors, Spanish 4, or
    AP Spanish Language & Culture
  • Graduation Requirements & Guidelines

    SHP World Languages Graduation Requirement (either two or three years of the same language, depending on the entry point)
    Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the same language (for students who enter at Level 1); OR
    Levels 2 and 3 of the same language (for students who enter at Level 2); OR
    Level 3 and an advanced class in the same language (for students who enter at Level 3)

    The World Languages Department strongly encourages students to continue the study of a language for four years in order to gain maximum proficiency. Juniors and seniors enrolled in advanced classes of their primary world language are encouraged to begin the study of a second world language by taking an additional world language class.

Department Heads

List of 13 members.

Where Scholarship and Values Matter
Founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, SHS is a Catholic, independent, co-ed day school for students in preschool through grade 12