Our Sacred Heart tradition in San Francisco began in 1887 when the Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) founded a K-12 school for girls in a set of Victorian homes on
But the Sacred Heart story truly dates back to 1800, when St. Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in France, dedicating her life to educating young people, especially young women. A brave woman from her order, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, brought Sacred Heart education to the United States in 1818, opening a school in St. Charles, MO.
Thanks to their courage and confidence, the Sacred Heart network of schools thrives now, 200 years later, and has grown to include 200 schools and colleges in 45 countries around the world. In the United States alone, 22 schools comprise the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, all guided by and committed to the same philosophy as articulated in the Goals & Criteria.
Sacred Heart in San Francisco
From our humble beginnings on Bush Street, we moved into a larger building on Franklin Street in 1888, but had to move again when the building suffered severe damage from the 1906 earthquake. After a few more moves to accommodate a growing student population, the RSCJ were given a tremendous gift in 1939: San Franciscan Maud Flood donated to the schools her family home, the Flood Mansion, at 2222 Broadway.
Expansion on the Broadway Campus
In 1950, the Grant House next to the Flood Mansion was purchased to house Convent of the Sacred Heart Elementary School (girls K-8). Convent of the Sacred Heart High School (girls 9-12) stayed in the Flood Mansion.
In 1956, the schools purchased the Hammond House on the other side of the Flood Mansion and opened Stuart Hall for Boys (K-8), named for influential Sacred Heart educator Janet Erskine Stuart, RSCJ. This meant that parents who had been able to give their daughters access to Sacred Heart education could now offer it to their young sons as well.
Over the next 50 years, the schools built a sprawling urban campus on Broadway that grew to include The Herbert Center sports complex and the Siboni Center for Arts and Sciences (which houses the Syufy Theatre). These projects were funded by the community, who generously gave to the institution's first two capital campaigns in the 1990s and 2000s.
The Pine & Octavia Campus
The Sacred Heart family in San Francisco grew again in 2000 with the addition of the all-boys Stuart Hall High School, completing the K-12 continuum of single-sex education for girls and boys. A second campus was built at Pine & Octavia Streets to house the high school -- a contemporary complex that connects elements of the historic Morning Star School with a new glass and brick structure, and a shared courtyard.
The Best of Both Worlds
After 125 years in the city, Schools of the Sacred Heart San Francisco has maintained a small-school learning environment within a big four-school community, making it simultaneously one of the smallest and one of the largest private schools in the city.