Convent of the Sacred Heartreview by Johns Hopkins University student. Convent of the Sacred (CSH) prepared me well for writing and english courses in college. I only did mediocre in english class in high school and when I got to college I excelled. CSH really emphasized the importance of analytic writing and the structure, style, and methods were drilled into me at an early age. The structure was reviewed regularly and our assignments in english history, and science in middle and high school forced us to practice and perfect these skills. However, CSH did not prepare me well for math and science. I went to Johns Hopkins University for college and began as an engineering major with a rigorous math and science heavy course load. I was far behind my peers in calculus, chemistry, and physics and it was difficult to get up to speed. The learning environment at CSH was excellent. Classes had about 15 people. Some of my classes had only 5! I always received a lot of attention from my teachers. They were always available for questions during class, after class, after school, or during free periods. There were also extra group help sessions after school especially for math and science. "Math lab" was held everyday after school and students could go to just work on homework or ask questions to the teacher hosting that session. CSH was the kind of learning environment in which teachers invested in the students. If I began to struggle in a class, often teachers came up to me and asked me "what happened on that last test?" or "do you need some extra help?" This is the opposite of what you see in most schools and it was a great experience to be in environment in which teachers cared about you.
I always felt supported by the deans, teachers, counsellors, coaches, and chaplains at Sacred Heart. It really felt like a family. These people were not only available to me if I needed help but they also reached out to me when I was struggling with various issues. The student-body is mainly white and rich. There were some minorities and students on scholarship (especially the new students admitted in 9th grade). The neighborhood surrounding the school (the Upper East side of Manhattan) is a very rich neighborhood. The teachers were mainly women, and more ethnically diverse than the students, but still mainly white. The discipline was lenient. The most common rules that were enforced were about the uniform but I commonly got away with wearing things not allowed by the uniform rules. Tardiness was not disciplined. Late assignments were punished by reductions in grades, not detentions.
Community Service is one of the 5 goals of all Sacred Heart schools (goal #3) and it is therefore a large part of student life. Every year we performed multiple service projects together. In 10th grade we had a requirement to complete at least 50 hours of community service on our own and at least half of that had to be served at one organization. I am glad that I performed so much community service in high school and I am grateful that my school emphasized it and I had friends to go out and serve with. My favorite extracurricular activity I participated in was speech and debate. We had a small team so we weren't bringing home huge trophies every tournament but we did do well individually and had a great time. I got a lot of help from my coach and peers and because we travelled together so much, my team became like a second family. Additionally, I really value what I learned in speech and debate! Public speaking is such an important life skill and I am grateful that I learned how to do this effectively and easily by participating in speech and debate in high school. Doing debate also taught me how to construct a logical and persuasive argument with little preparation which is an invaluable skill.