- Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart (previously known as Stone Ridge Country Day School) is a prestigious Pre-K through 12 independent, Catholic school for girls located in
Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington, DC suburbs. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. Stone Ridge offers a competitive college preparatory curriculum within a dynamic and diverse community. Stone Ridge is located across the street from the National Institutes of Health and next door to National Naval Medical Center. The school known today as Stone Ridge was established in downtown Washington, DCat 1719 Massachusetts Avenue, NW in 1923. By the end of the Second World War, the school had outgrown the building known affectionately as "1719."
In 1947, the
Society of the Sacred Heartbought 35 acres of land and their estate, known as "Stone Ridge," in Bethesda, Maryland from Mr. and Mrs. George Hamilton. To this day, the original part of the Hamilton estate is known as "Hamilton House." Over the years, multiple additions have supported the growth of the school, including an initial wing off the back of Hamilton House to accommodate classrooms. In the 1950s and 1960s, another addition was built to support classrooms for the lower and upper schools, as well as the religious community. At that time, a new gym was built as well. In 1996, a large new addition with new classroom and lab space was built for the upper school, in addition to a new, third gym. More recent additions include an indoor swimming pool and major landscaping work.
Goals and Criteria
Central to the curriculum and values taught at Stone Ridge are the goals and criteria of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to:
* 1. A personal and active faith in God,
* 2. A deep respect for intellectual values,
* 3. A social awareness which impels to action,
* 4. The building of community as a Christian value,
* 5. Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.
The tradition of the school is undeniably Catholic, but all of the faculty -- and even all of the students -- are not. However, the commitment to the Goals and Criteria is consistent throughout the Stone Ridge community. Stone Ridge girls compete athletically in the prestigious Independent School League, with traditional rivalries against the
Holton-Arms School, Connelly School of the Holy Child, and the Georgetown Visitation.
A student who attends Stone Ridge receives a Sacred Heart education, and shares this experience with students in more than twenty-three schools and affiliates in the United States and 200 schools and colleges around the world.
Madeleine Sophie Baratfounded the Society of the Sacred Heart, an international educational order, in 1800 in France. Her desire was to provide young women with as strong a religious and academic training as that available for young men of that era. Her vision was realized, and her courage and her sanctity were rewarded in the Convents of the Sacred Heart which ringed the globe at the time of her death in 1865.
In 1818, Rose Philippine Duchesne brought Sacred Heart education to North America. The first Convent of the Sacred Heart in the United States, and the first free school west of the Mississippi, opened its doors in St. Charles, Missouri, at that time the western frontier. The first Sacred Heart School in Maryland was established in 1871 at Rosecroft in St. Mary's County. That school was forced to close two years later in the face of overwhelming hardships. Fifty years later, the Religious of the Sacred Heart returned to the Washington, D.C. area, and opened a new school at 1719 Massachusetts Avenue, in northwest Washington, D.C. For more than a generation they carried on the work of education there, but by the end of the Second World War, the school had outgrown its quarters in the city.
In 1947, the Society of the Sacred Heart purchased thirty-five acres of the estate known as “Stone Ridge” owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Hamilton in Bethesda, Maryland. The Hamilton estate thus became a Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, directed by the Society of the Sacred Heart. That same year, on September 25, the school opened with 150 students, twenty-five instructors, and seven lay assistants. As the school grew, a new wing was added to the main Hamilton House to accommodate classrooms, study halls, a playroom, and dining rooms. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, further additions for the Lower and Upper Schools and the Religious Community were built. Tennis courts replaced blacktop used for roller-skating. A gymnasium opened in 1963 and an addition in 1974 provided expanded athletic facilities.
With increased enrollment over the years, a new academic building opened in 1996 with classrooms for the Upper School, as well as science, computer and foreign language labs, administrative offices, a media center, library, an assembly room, and lecture hall. At this same time, a new, 7,000 square foot gymnasium opened complementing two existing gymnasiums. As a result, pre-existing athletic facilities with basketball and volleyball courts, music and drama rooms, expanded to include more office space, a weight room, and gymnastics room where a climbing wall was added in 2000. Additional outdoor tennis courts, playing fields, and a swimming pool added in 2001 complete the partially wooded campus. In 2002, the Sophie Center space for Middle School assemblies and performance arts was enhanced with an improved stage and the installation of new seating risers. At the north end of the center, the original windows were replaced with two sets of double doors leading to a spacious wood deck with outside access. In 2003, improvements to the existing Book Barn and maintenance buildings were completed. The spring of 2003 also found the outdoor grotto and prayer garden devoted to Mater Admirabilis completed with landscaping and granite benches located on the hill adjacent to the gymnasiums.
After living in convent quarters on the fifth floor of the school since 1959, the Religious of the Sacred Heart moved into a single family home in May 2004. There are sisters now living in two houses located in the Parkview neighborhood, adjacent to the Stone Ridge campus. The vacated space on the fifth floor houses new classrooms, counseling offices and tutoring rooms, the health facility, and a common area for faculty. In 2005, significant renovations took place on campus: the Sacred Heart Child Care Center opened; a new light-filled Visual Arts Center atelier has enhanced the drawing and painting curriculum; and the swimming pool was enclosed with a retractable roof, creating a state-of-the-art aquatic center complete with locker rooms, a classroom, observation decks, and spectator seating.
Sacred Heart traditions and educational excellence continue to prevail. Today, there are 742 students at Stone Ridge and eighty-seven in the Class of 2006. When they graduate, they will join over 2,000 alumnae who have experienced a Sacred Heart education and shared in the traditions practiced during the past eighty-two years at “1719” and Stone Ridge. One alumna, Class of 1955, is former Stone Ridge Headmistress Anne Dyer, RSCJ who is both a Religious of the Sacred Heart and a native Washingtonian. [www.stoneridge.org]
As a member of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart schools, Stone Ridge offers an education that is marked by a distinctive spirit. Central to its mission is the value Stone Ridge places on the development of the total person and, therefore, the school commits itself to building an environment characterized by seriousness of purpose, love of learning, creativity, beauty, and loving relationships. These elements are the basis for the five Goals of Sacred Heart schools. Stone Ridge, as a School of the Sacred Heart, commits itself to educate to these goals (see above).
These are the Goals of a Sacred Heart education, the goals which both express and call forth the life of Stone Ridge. Stone Ridge's tradition marks every aspect of its life. A Catholic school for children of many faiths, Stone Ridge emphasizes the relationship of each child to Jesus Christ.
While the majority of the Stone Ridge community is Roman Catholic, many students and faculty belong to other religious traditions. There is diversity also in the race, nationality, and culture of the students. The men and women who comprise the faculty are well prepared to teach, enthusiastic about their students, and committed to the Goals and Criteria.
Confident that the families choosing Stone Ridge have the spiritual growth of their children as a priority, the school gives serious attention to faith development. At each level, the children study the teachings of the Church, participate in its sacramental and devotional life, and address the social responsibilities shared by all Christians.
The world for which we educate is complex, because family and societal situations pose challenges which demand a capacity to make good and generous choices. For this reason, learning to make sound moral decisions is stressed throughout the school.
Stone Ridge is committed to educating young women to a lively sense of God's action in their lives, to a serious understanding of the needs of our work, and to a joyful confidence that each one can help to change this world. [www.stoneridge.org]
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Network of Sacred Heart Schools
Society of the Sacred Heart
Madeleine Sophie Barat
* [http://www.stoneridge.org/ Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart]
* [http://www.sofie.org/ Network of Sacred Heart Schools]
* [http://www.aashnet.org/ Associated Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart]
* [http://www.rscj.org/ United States Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart]
* [http://www.stoneridge.org/aboutus/history.htm Stone Ridge School: History]
* [http://www.sofie.org/resources/other/the-goals-and-criteria-of-sacred-heart-education.html Goals and Criteria of a Sacred Heart Education]
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