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The High School Years

Fully Engaged in Life: Ideas, Ideals and Deep Connections

With increased opportunities to explore the world they live in and the world within them, students follow a curricular path anchored by a traditional “chronology” of major courses that are explored in parallel with contemporary avenues of scholarship. Progressing through the curriculum, students expand their perspectives to include what they know and what they don’t know. Robustly expansive discourse invites perspective comparisons in service of the development of a critical understanding of the world. Strong emphasis is placed on critical thinking and the communication of ideas through writing, speaking and other forms of expression.

High School: What You Know & How You Think

As each generation of students lives in a time period unique to their own experience, developing strong connections with peers and faculty through collaborative learning is critically important. Students work together alongside their teachers to make sense of the past, the present and the emerging future.

The “building of community” within the student body develops lifelong relationships through shared Sacred Heart traditions, athletic participation and artistic pursuits. Additionally, there are plentiful global engagement and travel opportunities, co-curricular activities, and other hallmarks of the high school experience. Ultimately, a Sacred Heart education is rooted in developing a relationship with oneself, others and with something bigger.

Grades 9 and 10: Formative Years of Exploration and Discovery

In Grades 9 and 10, students take a range of academic courses across all subject areas: English language and world literature, world and U.S. history, physics and chemistry, mathematics courses depending on placement and prior exposure in mathematics, a variety of modern and classical language options, religious texts and traditions, ethics, and electives in visual and performing arts. Critical thinking, writing and problem analysis pave the way for students to choose the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Grades 11 and 12 or to take a comprehensive suite of college preparatory courses, including honors and Advanced Placement options.

A Grade Chair specializing in the developmental arc of each grade level supports and encourages each student’s academic trajectory and helps them navigate their greater freedom and responsibilities. The primary format of the classroom in Grades 9 and 10 is single-sex, which invites all of our students to reach academic destinations that resonate with their cognitive, social and kinesthetic development. 

In addition, membership in both a single-sex and coed environment provides opportunities to debunk norms of gender roles and identity that may have defined and limited what girls “do” and what boys “do” or “don’t do.” Throughout a student’s experience, single-sex literature courses provide a uniquely differentiated opportunity to explore themes and historical contexts through an inclusive lens that incorporates perspectives on gender, power and ethics, and gives each student a chance to find and develop their voice.

Grades 11 and 12: Pathways Toward the Emerging Future

In Grades 11 and 12, students reflect on their desires and goals as they set a course for their academic program. Whether electing to take the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme or a suite of high-caliber and enriching core classes, including honors and Advanced Placement, no two schedules or pathways are the same. Although not the only benchmark of a Convent & Stuart Hall education, our students are viewed most favorably in the college placement process, earning a strong reputation for their maturity of thought, presentation of ideas and overall performance as college students.

The Division Heads and the College Counseling Team support each student as they navigate these critical years. Recognizing the importance of membership within a strong and inspiring Sacred Heart community, the high school experience is defined by enduring peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher relationships. Most classes are coed in Grades 11 and 12 except English, positioning students to live and thrive in a coed world.

At the end of their high school years, Convent & Stuart Hall graduates are uniquely and confidently equipped to step into their future life and future work. Each has experienced a relevant and personal learning environment, becoming imbued with a strong sense of purpose to be in service to their communities and the world. They leave our gates prepared for what awaits them.


Chief Academic Officer and Head of Convent High School (415) 292-3130
Head, Stuart Hall High School (415) 345-5814
Community Life Chair, History & Social Sciences Faculty (415) 345-5826
Community Life Chair, Religion, Theology & Spirituality, Department Chair and Faculty (415) 345-5834
Director of Studies and Registrar

Student Profile

Geno | Grade 11

I really enjoy that while it is technically a single-sex school, you still get the feeling it is coed.

Pine-Octavia Courtyard

Full Profile