With six schools nestled into one campus community, Academy of the Sacred Heart, located in Bloomfield Hills, offers educational opportunities for students from 6 weeks old through grade 12.
“We serve such a wide population. We start with girls and boys from 6 weeks old in our Early Childhood Program, through the Primary and Lower Schools and then into our middle schools – Middle School for Girls and Kensington Hall for boys,” says Nicole Pielecha, communications manager at Academy of the Sacred Heart. “The girls stay on with us through 12th grade in our Upper School.”
While Academy of the Sacred Heart is large, it boasts small class sizes and personalized education for all students.
“We also have a low student-to-teacher ratio. The students get a lot of one-on-one interaction with the teacher,” Pielecha says.
Students learn together in multi-level, cross-age classrooms, where several grade levels are integrated. Not only do they learn from one another, they are also connected to students from different states and countries. There are 24 Sacred Heart schools in the U.S. and Canada, and dozens more around the world, which provide the students with the opportunity for networking globally.
At the Primary and Lower School levels, students learn in a choice-based program. The students make independent choices about their learning throughout the day, and this model allows them to learn at their own pace.
Children get exposure to world languages, sign language and experiential, hands-on learning, she adds.
The environment changes at the middle school level when the girls and boys are separated for academic classes. There are many positive impacts of the single-gender classroom, Pielecha says.
“In the middle school grades, it’s a comparable curriculum between the genders, but classes are specifically designed for how boys and girls learn at that age,” Pielecha says. “The girls and boys step up into leadership positions and practice their leadership skills early. Of course, with all of our schools under one roof, there are plenty of opportunities for both middle schools to socialize during lunch and extra-curricular activities.”
The Upper School provides a rigorous educational program in an all-girls environment. The college-prep curriculum prepares students to take the next step, and at Academy of the Sacred Heart, 100 percent of students are accepted to college – with 98 percent being accepted to their first-choice school.
Academics aren’t the only important part of an Academy of the Sacred Heart education. In the Upper School, community service is integrated into the school day. Students spend several hours a week out in the community doing hands-on service in a variety of placements locally, logging more than 1,000 hours each month helping others alongside their fellow Sacred Heart students, Pielecha says.
Project Term takes learning out of the classroom and allows students to participate in service and cultural trips all over the world – recent experiences took students to Budapest, New Mexico, the Dominican Republic, New York and Peru, as well as local projects for those who needed to be nearby.
As far as extracurricular activities go, the school offers opportunities for all.
“We have a really competitive athletics program with 18 state championship titles. We have a no-cut policy, so if the students show they are committed and determined, they will have the opportunity to play the sport,” Pielecha says.
Beginning at 2 years old, the school’s enrichment program provides classes in sports, music, cooking, robotics and music instruction, just to name a few.
While the Academy of the Sacred Heart provides a traditional Catholic educational component, Pielecha says not all of the students have to be from a Catholic background. In fact, 25 percent of the student body is non-Catholic. Students participate in mass together once a month with smaller prayer services happening more often.
“We encourage our students to get close to the God of their understanding,” Pielecha says.
To learn more, visit the Academy of the Sacred Heart website or call 248-646-8900.