What makes SR unique?
In addition to the excellent academic programs at Stone Ridge, the Upper School offers a variety of unique opportunities that enhance the complete educational experience at Stone Ridge and distinguish the School.
- Social Action
- Leadership Program
- Exchange Program
- Campus Ministry and Retreat Program
- STEM Certificate Program
- Fourth Academic Internship Program
The Social Action Program at Stone Ridge isn’t just an exercise in charity or a fulfillment of community service hours. Our students apply everything they’ve learned in academic classes, on retreats, in their spiritual growth, and in building community. In return the students bring their Social Action experience into the classroom. Our students are committed to developing relationships with people in need, and through these relationships they are transformed. Young alumnae return and speak of the service they offer in new environments, of the new relationships they’ve developed, and alumnae of every generation demonstrate ongoing commitment to Social Action through their careers and lives.
When she founded her first school, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat was confident that when a child knows that she is loved by God she can transform the world. Sacred Heart schools around the world are expressions of this fundamental insight, and every part of our Social Action program is rooted in this. For Stone Ridge girls, it is not enough to know they are loved – they recognize their capacity to transform, to become powerful agents of God’s love and compassion, and they step out of their comfort zones to serve the poor, marginalized, and suffering in our region and throughout the world.
This is the experience of the Social Action Program. Twice a month throughout the academic year, Upper School students leave campus to learn about issues of human dignity and to support people in need. On Social Action days, you’ll see Stone Ridge girls in over forty locations in the greater Washington, DC area visiting elderly residents of assisted living facilities, supporting students and adults impaired by physical disabilities, cleaning up a park or advocating for care and protection of our natural environment, learning about local and international issues of human rights abuses, attending to children and supporting teachers in public, charter, and Catholic schools, distributing donated goods for individuals and families facing economic hardship, and visiting, assisting, or preparing food for the homeless of our region. You can learn about their efforts on www.ImpelledToAct.com, a site created and managed by Stone Ridge students who want to share with the world the important work done by our partners.
These off-campus experiences are complemented by a wide range of student initiatives throughout the year, the more traditional components of community service programs – fundraisers for particular causes or organizations, awareness-raising campaigns on local and global issues, drives to collect food and home goods for families in our region – but these efforts are different at Stone Ridge. Our students have the opportunity to to visit, to get to know, and to work side by side with the people who benefit from drives, fundraisers, and advocacy efforts. Stone Ridge students are supporting members of our community – our partners and our friends.
A Sample of SR Social Action Partners
Jewish Council for the Aging
Washington Home & Hospice
Excel Academy Public Charter School for Girls
Forest Knolls School
So Others Might Eat
Montgomery County Refugee Center
Bikes for the World
Carl Sandburg Learning Center
Stone Ridge is committed to developing student leaders and accomplishes this goal by sharing leadership of the Upper School program with the student body. Stone Ridge students have the choice to engage in the practice of leadership through a rich array of leadership opportunities that are accessible to all. Students will develop a thoughtful awareness of leadership qualities in themselves and others by developing self-awareness, facilitation and communication skills, inclusivity, accountability and team work in the service of others. Leadership opportunities attract the emerging student leader who is interested in trying leadership for the first time as well as student leaders looking for greater challenge. Student leadership fosters independence and personal responsibility from all participants.Stone Ridge Student Groups
- Elected Student Bodies
Examples include Core Group, Class Officers, Honor Committee/Board and Athletic Association Blue/Gold Reps. The Core Group serves all upper school grade levels and fosters an environment of good order, high morale, school spirit, and school community growth and well-being. The Core Group meets to discuss and address issues of concern to the student body and to provide suggestions and ideas germane to the improvement of student life at Stone Ridge. Class Officers plan many grade level activities including spirit week, school dances, ring day and more. The Honor Board acts as a hearing board and honor committee. As honor committee, the group is charged with reviewing honor and integrity at Stone Ridge and to putting forth recommendations on how to continue to foster a community committed to these ideals.
- Appointed Student Boards
Examples include Campus Ministry, Student Diversity, Social Action, School Community Governance Board, etc.
- Diversity and Culture Groups
Examples include Asian ApreciAsian, Black Student Alliance, Amig@s, Spectrum, Allies, Multiracial Student Association.
- Interscholastic Teams
Examples include It’s Academic, Model United Nations, Science Competitions, Robotics, etc. Interscholastic Teams compete against other area schools.
- School Community Governance Groups
School Community Governance groups (SCGs) are an opportunity for students to gain more awareness of the causes that are important to the student body. Topics are determined based on student interest. Examples include Gators Troops Love, Habitat, Amnesty International, Best Buddies, Gators Halt Hunger, Operation Smile, Sacred Heart Health, Good Samaritan, Oceana, PAWS, CARE Cancer Awareness, etc.
- Social Action Reflection Groups
Social Action Reflection Groups meet after every Social Action Wednesday.
- Performance and Arts Groups
Examples include Acapella (Heartfelt), Literary Magazine (Callithump), Music Ministry.
- After-school Clubs
After-school clubs generally fall into specific categories such as career interest, exploration/enrichment of a discipline, artistic expression and those that are just for fun. Examples include World Language Clubs, Science Clubs, Book Club, Dance Clubs, Arts Clubs, Gators for Life Club, etc.
- Ad Hoc Committees
Examples include Dance Committees, Feast Wishes Committee, Caffeine Committee, TEDx Committees, etc.
The Network of Sacred Heart schools in the United States and internationally offers Stone Ridge girls the opportunity to participate in an exchange experience. The Exchange Program is facilitated by the common goals shared by Network schools and by personal bonds among the faculty members and students in our Network schools.
The Exchange Program offers a student an opportunity to broaden her horizons by sharing in the life of another Sacred Heart school and experiencing the cultures of other parts of their own country and of the wider world, including Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, South America, and Spain. The program aspires to prepare a student for living in the “global village” which is already her de facto milieu. An exchange students will follow courses chosen to approximate what she would be taking at home; though she may find a course or program of interest which is not available at Stone Ridge. She may live as a resident student when attending boarding schools or with host families in order to attend day schools.
A Testimonial from Delia '16
When I started at Stone Ridge my freshman year, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the Sacred Heart network exchange program. I have always loved adventure and travel, especially discovering unique places full of new experiences. The network exchange program offered me the opportunity to explore a local culture as a student, through immersion instead of through a tourist’s perspective. Read more from Delia's experience>>>
The Upper School includes an extensive and popular Campus Ministry program. Students assist in planning, writing, and sharing in faith-filled activities. The entire program includes four programs: worship, service, reflection, and retreats.
The worship life of the school is reflected in school liturgies and prayer services, opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and Morning Prayer in assembly. Students and the Campus Minister plan the theme, content, and music of the liturgies. Priests from nearby parishes and schools are invited to preside at the liturgies.
The Social Action program enables students and faculty members to become involved in service to those in need in the community beyond Stone Ridge. In addition to the bi-weekly program, the Campus Ministry provides additional regular and seasonal opportunities for service. Fruits for breakfasts and “snack packs” for dinners are collected and served once a month at Progress Place soup kitchens and So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) respectively. Projects to serve the hungry, homeless, and others in need in the area and the world are sponsored as well, particularly during Lent and Advent. Monthly service at Shepherd’s Table is an experience students find most meaningful.
The reflection periods complement the theology program by giving students and faculty a variety of opportunities to experience and express their faith. In addition to liturgies, reflection time includes prayer, social action reflection, films and speakers relating to peace and justice issues of local, national, or global concern to Christians, as well as exploration of other religious traditions.
An annual day of retreat for all classes and faculty members, and a three-day retreat at an area retreat house for Fourth Academic students, provide time for each student to deepen her knowledge and love of God. The retreats are directed by the Campus Ministry team, which collaborates in planning with faculty members and students.
"Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart inspires young women to lead and serve, through lives of purpose that integrate faith, intellect, community, social action, and personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom."
Overview: The Stone Ridge Upper School Retreat Program contributes to the school's mission by offering students the chance to develop a deeper self-awareness, awareness of the needs and gifts of others, and awareness of the presence of God in their lives. By developing the capacity for spiritual practices, including prayer, meditation, and reflection, the retreat program intends to realize the following objectives:
- "To make known the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the world.
- To understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus as a Child of the Sacred Heart, and to provide a space and time to practice.
- To provide formative experiences that enable students to continue to grow and develop deeper self-awareness, compassion, and awareness of the presence of God.
- To develop a vocabulary for interpersonal affirmation and spiritual practice.
- To develop a deeper and ever-expanding understanding of community and the skills to build just relationships and discern the presence of God."
First Academic Retreat
As an introduction to the retreat program, the Lumen Retreat creates a safe and welcoming environment for students to develop self-awareness and an appreciation of the gifts of others. Through experiences of prayer, reflection, and meditation guided by Faculty and 4th Academic Leaders, students are introduced to the significance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, consider what it means to shape a community characterized by love and compassion, and develop skills of recognizing the gifts of others.
Second Academic Retreat
The Agape Retreat is designed to provide 2nd Academic Students an opportunity to consider the relationships that shape them. For a day, students go off-campus to experience witness talks, small group activities, and reflection in order to develop the skills of reflection, interpersonal communication, and prayer.
Third Academic Retreat
The Renewal Retreat for 3rd Academic Students is an off-campus, overnight retreat that provides students a chance to explore their interior lives and develop skills of reflection and discernment. With a special emphasis on the ideas of renewal, students have the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Fourth Academic Retreat
Cor Unum, the culminating retreat experience for Stone Ridge students, is a three day, off-campus retreat that allows students to consider the ways they are called to transform themselves, their community, and the world. Through individual reflection, communal experience, and the celebration of the Eucharist, the retreat offers students a chance to deepen their understanding of what it means to be a Child of the Sacred Heart.
Some students uncover a passion for scientific discovery and seek to engage in scientific research and internship opportunities beyond the classroom. The STEM Certificate recognizes those students that have demonstrated further interest in science by having completed an internship in a STEM field. With guidance and support from the program coordinator and science faculty, students find research internship opportunities in the DC Metro area, an area very rich in scientific endeavor. Back on campus, students will work with and lead groups in local STEM related competitions such as Science Bowl, Robotics, Physics Olympics, and Destination Imagination. In addition, they work with younger students as science and math peer tutors. Students produce a portfolio of related experiences building scientific inquiry and engineering design knowledge and skills.
The purpose of the STEM Certificate Program is to support learning based on current best practices, especially with girls. The program aims to provide Stone Ridge students a healthy and balanced way to demonstrate their mastery of skills expected at the next level and allow the girls to have more opportunities for the types of educational experiences that are believed most effective with girls--such as working with role models or participating in hands-on activities. Girls interested in scientific inquiry and engineering design need the opportunity to experience all types of technology inside and outside the classroom and especially benefit from the experience of time in the laboratory. Learn more about the program requirements, or contact Kathleen Flood, Upper School Director of Student Activities.
"Educators of girls know that this combination of competence and confidence allow girls to embrace a future in any field they choose." (Deak, J. (2010). How Girls Thrive. Green Blanket Press).
During two weeks in May, all Fourth Academic students participate in independent professional internship. These programs can take the form of an internship, service project, job shadow, or carefully-planned creative endeavor. Each Fourth Academic student will complete a project proposal and gain the approval of the Fourth Academic Project Committee. Upon completion of the project, each student participates in the Fourth Academic Internship Symposium.