In the heart of Spring Branch is located the #2 private school in Houston for boys in grades K-8, according to the Houston Business Journal.
In a part of the city known for highly rated schools, The Regis School of the Sacred Heart, 7330 Westview, does not take its high ranking for granted. The school goes beyond offering young men an exemplary education; it helps to create scholars and gentlemen.
The school has served boys from age 3 in pre-K to 8th grade since 1991 and was founded by families whose daughters were attending nearby Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. The schools connect their students through pen pal projects and social gatherings and, in upper grades, educational projects.
“You can imagine the energy in an all-boy learning environment,” said Sarah Davenport, director of admissions, “Our campus is remarkably busy, high energy, and we love it that way.”
“Our teachers are really up-to-date in best practices in boys’ education,” she added. “We are very intentional about our daily schedule. Our boys are never in more than two academic periods without having a break. It is important to us for our boys to have that brain break and move about, engage in games with their teachers outdoors and have that space to kind of regroup.”
As a part of the inclusive Sacred Heart Network, Head of School Dennis Phillips often describes the campus as a “Catholic school for boys of all faiths.” A little more than half of the 250 boys come from Catholic families.
As the school serves grades through middle school, many of the students matriculate to continue their Catholic education at one of the nearby all-boys schools like St. Thomas High School or Strake Jesuit, or co-ed private schools like The Kinkaid School and Awty International. Regis provides a strong foundation for high school. For the past five years, all students have been accepted to their high school of first choice.
The school’s mission is based on the five goals of Sacred Heart education; faith (a personal and active faith in God), intellect (deep respect intellectual values), service (social awareness that impels a person to action), community (building community as a Christian value) and maturity (personal growth).
A large part of the school, aside from the challenging curriculum, is the character education component.
“We talk about our boys not just being scholars but also being gentlemen. That means practicing public speaking as early as pre-K, holding open doors, making eye contact, our boys truly have that well-rounded approach,” Davenport said.
She explained that “Regis has a phenomenal mindset when it comes to community service. Our boys are getting out in the community both in the fall and the spring, and they are also calling upon their peers to do community service here on campus. They are constantly proposing new drives and new opportunities to support various charities in the area.”
What sets the school apart from other schools, according to Davenport, is its awareness of age development, especially in the middle school years.
“Moving into middle school we are very conscientious about how we roll out programming. So, in fifth grade they can take both French and Spanish. It is not until sixth grade that they actually declare which foreign language that they want to study. Similarly with technology, they spend a year kind of developing into different programming. But it is not until sixth grade that they move into a one-to-one laptop program. We use that fifth-grade year as a transition year. Every middle school student is put into an advisory and that advisor is there to support them.”
Events and opportunities for extracurricular activities like athletics begin in pre-K and in the early grades, much of the sports coaching is done by parent volunteer. The school has professional coaches for the upper grades, which include a rugby team along with the sports more common at Houston schools.
Beyond the athletics are various extracurricular programs such as Quiz Bowl, poetry competitions and competing in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Art Contest. Students also participate in the annual University of Houston competition in the design of NASA Mars Rover models.
Regis offers an extended day program as well. The extended hours include special interest classes like robotics and even cooking, along with the traditional homework help.
What is the first step in admissions to The Regis School of the Sacred Heart? Interested families should visit school website for information on the online application process. A limited number of spaces are available for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Regis School of the Sacred Heart board of directors is committed to providing all boys with a quality education regardless of their financial situation, with tuition assistance available for qualifying families. The financial aid information is also on the website.
— By Jessika Leal