The IB Advantage (MYP and DP)





Sacred Heart Academy is a Proud International Baccalaureate (IB) World School


As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Sacred Heart Academy provides an international education for all students at all grade levels.


Our teachers are collaborative and creative and participate in extensive professional development with other educators across the world. Our classrooms are active, student-centered, inquiry-based environments where students are challenged to take academic risks and to develop their research, writing, and critical thinking skills.


SHA students master core content in our college-preparatory curriculum, but through IB learning, we also impart the 21st-century skills and character traits needed for success as a globally-minded problem-solver. These include life skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, communication and creativity, and character traits like persistence, curiosity, initiative, and cultural and social awareness.


Sacred Heart teachers do not stand in front of the classroom and impart information for students to memorize and repeat on a test. Instead, our IB teachers guide students through engaging, concept-based learning that fosters inquiry and experimentation, and encourages critical thinking to apply their learning across different subjects. Our students are prepared for success in college and all the future holds.


"Mr. Heuser’s Theory of Knowledge (TOK) class had a significant impact on my oldest daughter.  In her words, 'I had never experienced a classroom as honest, open, and comfortable as that one.  Every student could speak openly and confidently, and we were still pushed to broaden our thinking and do our best work.  Mr. Heuser was a mentor and friend, along with being a teacher'." ~ Parent of SHA 2020 graduate


Sacred Heart Academy achieved the elite classification as an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) in 1997 and authorization for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) in 2019.


IB World Schools share a common philosophy—a commitment to improving the teaching and learning of a diverse and inclusive community of students by delivering challenging, high-quality programmes of international education that share a powerful vision.


Only schools authorized by the International Baccalaureate can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme, or the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC). 


For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit







Students nurture their natural curiosity and develop a life-long love for learning.



Students explore knowledge across a range of disciplines and engage with issues of local, national and global significance.



Students learn to think critically and creatively in order to tackle complex problems.



Students understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively, including a second language. They work in collaboration with others.



Students are honest, fair and act with integrity. They take responsibility for their actions.



Students embrace other cultures, seeking to understand and appreciate the personal histories, values, and traditions of others.



Students have a commitment to service and act with empathy, compassion, and respect.



Students are brave when faced with challenges. They explore new ideas and innovative strategies and understand that failure is part of learning.



Students understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being.



Students give thoughtful consideration to our own learning and experiences and are able to assess their strengths and limitations for greater personal development.



The idea of being in service to the world aligns with our Ursuline values of Community, Reverence, Service and Leadership. As IB Learners rooted in the legacy of a long Ursuline history of Catholic education, we are ready to change the world.





Sacred Heart Academy is excited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) to our 9th and 10th grade. 


The MYP is designed for students aged 11-16. It provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. Students explore the themes of identities and relationships, personal and cultural expression, orientation in space and time, scientific and technical innovation, fairness and development, and globalization and sustainability.


The framework emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. Classrooms are student-centered and inquiry-based with a focus on conceptual understanding for the transfer of knowledge. So, instead of focusing on the “what,” we focus on the “why.” 21st-century skill development is also part of the MYP framework, so our teachers are deliberately teaching and assessing communication, thinking, research, self-management, and social skills –essentials for the 21st-century learner.  Assessments are authentic, real-world opportunities for students to demonstrate the mastery of skills and the ability to transfer what they have learned to new and unique situations.


The culmination of the MYP is an independent Personal Project that all sophomores complete. In collaboration with our Jean Frazier Leadership Institute, students have a capstone experience that showcases their communication, research, self-management, and thinking skills.


As members of an International Baccalaureate (IB) School, students at all grade and academic levels will benefit from this high-quality, globally-minded, comprehensive approach to education.








In our commitment to offer the most rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum, SHA offers the IB Diploma Programme for grades 11 and 12. The DP is an academically challenging and balanced program of education that prepares students for success in college and beyond. It encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills with an emphasis on responsible citizenship. Full diploma candidates study a balance of the humanities and sciences in six subject areas: language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, experimental sciences, mathematics and the arts.


IB Diploma students complete three additional requirements: the Extended Essay, the Theory of Knowledge course and 150 hours of Creativity, Activity and Service. Students who successfully complete the program receive an internationally recognized high school diploma.


Students may choose to take specific IB courses without being diploma candidates. Additionally, SHA offers a variety of AP and dual-credit courses.