Sacred Heart Academy is one of more than forty schools in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, with a student population of approximately 250 in pre-k through grade eight. Our campus, in the heart of the scenic Shenandoah Valley, is located on a hill in Winchester, Virginia, next to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church. Our westward facing classrooms look out over the Appalachian Mountains, while to the East we see the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s truly a beautiful setting.
The small city of Winchester has a rich history. A young George Washington actually did sleep here while working as a surveyor. He and his team surveyed thousands of acres bequeathed to Lord Fairfax by the king of England. For a time Washington occupied an office on South Braddock Street that is still open to the public today. Many Civil War skirmishes were fought in and around the community. Homes were turned into hospitals and military offices. The city had the dubious honor of changing hands 72 times during the war.
The Academy was founded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in 1957. It is now staffed by a laity that continues the tradition of teaching daily religion classes, and guiding our students in living a prayerful, spiritual life, in addition to providing a strong academic foundation. The parish priests visit the school weekly to aid in the teaching of the faith, and our students participate in Mass one to two days a week. Our students also have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Our families make up a close knit community, and we’re heavily dependent on their support of the school. Our volunteer in-service program asks that families serve twenty five hours per year performing volunteer tasks. There are multiple opportunities to fulfill this commitment. Parents help serve as chaperones on field trips, participate in fund raising projects such as the annual PTO Gala, and even assist in the classroom. For those who are unable to physically come to school to serve, there are many options for fulfilling those hours at home, from making cookies for the Thanksgiving feast to collecting items for school-wide celebrations. This participation is vital to the school’s success.
In 2008 we completed a 14,000 square foot addition and renovated the remainder of the school. This addition made it possible to house the entire student population under one roof. This addition included classrooms, an art room, a music room, a state-of-the art science lab, and a peaceful courtyard conducive to meditation and learning. The new facilities have helped us enhance the Academy’s academic program, and brought cohesiveness and a new vibrancy to the student population.
In 2016, the Rev. Stanley Krempa Gymnasium was added – a full-sized gym that provided an expansion of our athletics program. The addition of the gymnasium enabled us to offer Basketball, Cross Country, Track, Tennis, Volleyball and Soccer. These competitive team sports are available to fifth-grade through middle school students. Our teams not only practice, they host tournaments and fans in a comfortable, well-maintained facility. We also offer running club for Kindergarten through 8th grade in the fall and the spring.
As part of our STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) our fifth grade students attend Starbase, a week long camp funded through the Department of Defense. At Starbase, students participate in challenging, hands-on, mind-on, activities which raise students’ interests in critical fields. We are constantly looking for opportunities to help us to prepare our students for the world beyond the classroom.
At Sacred Heart Academy, we prepare the whole child, intellectually, morally, spiritually, and physically, to go forward and live truly happy lives as Disciples of Christ, and share his or her God-given talents and formation in virtue to make the world a better place. We form the Catholic leaders of tomorrow and assist parents in the important work of raising faithful Catholic disciples with a lifelong devotion to Jesus and His Church.