Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart (Texas)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Duchesne Academy (Houston, Texas))
Jump to: navigation, search
Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart
10202 Memorial Drive
Houston, Texas, (Harris County) 77024
United States
Coordinates 29°46′40″N 95°29′08″W / 29.77778°N 95.48556°W / 29.77778; -95.48556Coordinates: 29°46′40″N 95°29′08″W / 29.77778°N 95.48556°W / 29.77778; -95.48556
Type Private, Girls
Motto "Wise hearts, sharp minds."
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s) Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
Established 1960
Founder St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
Head of School Patricia Swenson
Faculty 164
Grades PK 312
Gender Girls
Enrollment 671 (2015)
Average class size 14
Student to teacher ratio 8:1
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Blue and Gold         
Song "Coeur de Jesus"
Athletics 15 Sports
Mascot Cha Cha the Charger
Team name Chargers
Accreditation Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS)
Average SAT scores 641 Critical Reading
645 Writing
598 Mathematics
Average ACT scores 27
Head of Upper School Donald Cramp Ph.D
Head of Middle School Tony Houle
Head of Lower School Ginger Montalbano
Academic Dean (Upper School Underclassmen) Jessica Campbell
Academic Dean (Upper School Upperclassmen) Alaina Scorsone
Dean of Students (Upper School) Jill Hess

Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart (/djˈʃɛn/ dew-SHEN)[1] is a combined primary and secondary independent girls' school located at 10202 Memorial Drive in Houston, Texas. A member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, it offers a college preparatory education curriculum for girls.[2]

Duchesne, which enrolls girls from pre-K3 to the 12th grade, is part of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.

Duchesne is in the Memorial area and is east of the city of Hunters Creek Village.


Commencement of the class of 2008

Duchesne was established in September 1960 as a part of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, with 58 high-school pupils. Since then, the school has expanded to include students from Pre-K3 through 12th-grade. The school is named after Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, the first member of the The Society of the Sacred Heart to come to America. As part of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, the school adheres to the five goals of Sacred Heart Education and seeks to educate the whole child (intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social and physical). The school celebrated its 50th anniversary of Sacred Heart education in the 2010–2011 school year.

The campus was built around a large oak tree in the center of its main lawn. It became a symbol for the school because the name "Duchesne" is French for "of the oak". The oak tree also represents a notable tradition at Duchesne, graduation. As each senior is called up to receive her diploma, she passes under the oak tree. This is a senior right of passage, representing a new beginning, as they graduate and leave for college.

On September 17, 2014, the original oak tree fell during a thunderstorm; however, it was over fifty years old and had been ill after surviving a severe drought. On February 17, 2015, a new oak tree was transported by crane to a location near where the old oak tree previously stood and is currently still standing. [3] The new oak tree allows the graduation tradition to continue for many years to come.

Another fixture of the campus is a two-story house that stood on the property when it was purchased for the school. Referred to as "The White House," it faces the oak tree and houses the RSCJ who live on campus. Some of the school's classes were originally conducted here.

Student Life[edit]

The school is divided into three divisions: the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School. Lower, Middle, and Upper School interact in several Duchesne traditions. Congé, a Sacred Heart tradition organized by seniors, is perhaps the most notable of these events. On Congé, classes are spontaneously canceled, and students spend the day doing fun activities.

Duchesne Upper School Course Curriculum[edit]

Upper school students must complete four years of Mathematics, English, History, Science, Religion, as well as three years of Foreign Language to graduate. As a part of the student's religious studies, freshman and sophomores must complete two service projects each semester, while juniors and seniors do off campus service every Wednesday during school hours. Additionally, Upper School students must complete one year of a fine arts and computer course. Each student receives a half credit for each fine arts and computer course, as well as a half credit for Duchesne's laptop program. Duchesne students learn computer skills that will make going into college and the workforce more feasible.[4]

Tuition and Fees[edit]

The tuition for PK3 costs $12,000 annually. The tuition for PK3-PK4 costs $17,200 annually. The tuition for Lower School (K-4) costs $20,000 annually. The tuition for Middle School (5-8) costs $22,100 annually. The tuition for Upper School (9-12) costs $24,300 annually.[5]

Academics and culture[edit]

In 1974, Texas Monthly stated that Duchesne "seems to have an edge in academic standing" compared to Saint Agnes Academy and that "Duchesne is considered by some to be more avant garde than St. Agnes".[6] The magazine stated that students from both schools originated from "mostly business and professional people with money".[6]

In 2017, Niche ranked Duchesne among the Best Private High Schools in the Houston metro area.[7]

Duchesne offers a strong and rigorous academic education. Classes allow students to "[revel] in an atmosphere of mutual discovery, discussion, and respectful debate." [8]

Education at Duchesne is centered around the five goals of the Sacred Heart: 1. Educate to a personal and active faith in God 2. Educate to a deep respect for intellectual values 3. Educate to a social awareness which impels to action 4. Educate to the building of community as a Christian value 5. Educate to a personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom [9]


In the fall, Duchesne offers field hockey, cross country, and volleyball as sports. Soccer, basketball, and swimming are played in the winter season. In the spring, students play tennis, track and field, golf, and softball. Duchesne is affiliated with the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS). Duchesne also has many students who receive credit for out of school sports such as dance, fencing, horseback riding, polo, and gymnastics.

Notable Organizations[edit]


Iron Plaid 3103 is the school's all-girl high school robotics team associated with FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). Founded in 2009, the team has won numerous awards, including the Rookie All-Star award and a Finalist award in 2009, the Engineering Inspiration award, Industrial Design award, and Industrial Safety award in 2014, the Engineering Inspiration award in 2015, and the Engineering Inspiration award in 2017. The team has attended championships a total of 4 times. This year, their robot, named Captain Frank, featured a 4 wheel mecanum drive train, a copper-plated gear catcher, and a Velcro-covered winch. With this robot, the team was the 6th alliance captain of the Turing division at Houston World Championship.


The debate team at the school was founded in 2012 and originally offered only public forum debate. Currently, the team has grown to include Lincoln-Douglas and policy debate; in only 3 years of high school debate, 10 members have qualified for the Texas state tournament. In the 2017-2018 school year, the club, founded by students, will be turned into a Debate class for the first time. Moreover, team's members have traveled to compete in several state-wide tournaments in places like El Paso, Pflugerville, and Boston. Additionally, the team has earned many individual awards such as "Top Speaker" at several tournaments throughout the state of Texas.

Literary Magazine[edit]

Duchesne's Literary Magazine works throughout the year to produce a magazine of student-submitted works, including photos, essays, drawings, poems, and prose. While all genres of work are accepted and celebrated by Duchesne's Literary Magazine club, the organization places a special emphasis on creative writing and drawing. The categories of the annual publication vary from year to year, but they are generally topics such as comedy, romance, drama, sad, horror, food, and angst. On Prize Day, the last day of the school year, the members of the club distribute the magazines to the entire Upper School.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The school approximates the French e vowel rather than using the anglicized dew-SHAYN.
  2. ^ "About Duchesne". Retrieved 2011-01-07. 
  3. ^ Chilson, Andie. "Duchesne Academy Plants a New Oak Tree". The Buzz Magazines. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "Upper School". Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  5. ^ "Tuition and Fees". Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Texas Monthly's Guide to Private Schools Part Two." Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications, October 1974. Vol. 2, No. 10. ISSN 0148-7736. Start page 83. Cited: p. 87.
  7. ^ "2017 Best Private High Schools in Houston Metro". Niche. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Duchesne Academics". Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Goals and Criteria". Sofie.org, Network of Sacred Heart Schools. Retrieved 19 May 2017. 

External links[edit]