Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

The Society of the Sacred Heart, an international educational order, was founded in France, in 1800, by Madeleine Sophie Barat. More than 200 years later the passion for teaching exhibited by members of the society has spread to six continents, 30 countries and 200 schools. As pioneers, explorers and educators, these women laid the foundation for a long-standing tradition of excellence in women's education. Forest Ridge is proud to be one of 22 Sacred Heart Schools in the United States. Now in its 106th year, Forest Ridge continues to redefine what it means to educate women.

Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart opened its doors in Seattle on September 3, 1907, in a house at 1013 15th Avenue East, near Volunteer Park, where the Religious welcomed their first 29 pupils. Shortly thereafter a property was located and construction of the new school was begun. In September 1909, the students and the Religious moved to the new campus on Interlaken Boulevard.

By 1963 the school had outgrown its space at Interlaken. Changes in curriculum and teaching methods called for modern and extended facilities. In addition, stringent new fire codes required costly remodeling so the search for a new site was begun.

In September 1971, 316 students in grades 5-12 moved to their new hilltop home on Somerset in Bellevue with its "panoramic view of Lake Washington, Seattle, Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountain range, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Rainier."

Five two-storied buildings, constructed on different levels of the campus, housed the library, gymnasium, science labs, classrooms and the administrative offices. The Lee Theatre (added in 1982), Shumway Field (added in 1991) the High School Building and Sacred Heart Center (added in 2006) completed the present facility.

The history of Forest Ridge since the 1970s reflects a consistent movement outward into expanding circles of relationships. A dramatic increase in the number of lay faculty and administrators, and the appointment of lay men and women to the Board of Trustees has fostered a sense of mutual responsibility and accountability for the future of the school. The establishment of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools allows anyone associated with Forest Ridge to feel part of the 28-campus network across the United States and over 150 "sister schools" throughout the world.

Forest Ridge has played a leading role in the Sacred Heart Student Exchange Program, sending students to other schools in the United States as well as to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South America and Japan.

The 1990s saw Forest Ridge take a leadership position in Integrating technology into the curriculum with every student having a laptop. In 2000, the School Community developed its "Think Future Strategic Plan 2002-06."

It was this same year that the school appointed its first lay head of school and received its largest gift to date--$5 million. 2003 saw Forest Ridge launch its "Think Global" program which has been totally integrated into the curriculum. The school has been recognized for its outstanding leadership and innovation in this area by the international educational community.

A $13 million "Boundless Success" Capital Campaign was launched in 2003 to raise funds for the construction of the new High School Building and Sacred Heart Center, which contains the long-awaited chapel.

More significant than the changes that have occurred and will continue to occur is the continuity that endures. Throughout the decades, Forest Ridge students and faculty have made the Sacred Heart tradition their own, a tradition of learning rooted in principle, rigorous in studies aimed at ensuring that each student can achieve her personal best, and rich in a spirit of life and love and compassion for the needs of their world. The future of Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart must ensure that the tradition, opportunity and educational excellence offered to our pupils today continues to be available for the generations of students who follow.

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