High School Program

An Integrated Global Curriculum


In keeping with St. Madeleine Sophie Barat’s vision for excellence in educating girls since 1800, Forest Ridge provides a diverse and rigorous college-preparatory environment that inspires young women to become confident, compassionate leaders. While all Forest Ridge girls follow an appropriately challenging and balanced college preparatory curriculum, and curricular requirements ensure a superb grounding in all academic disciplines, a Forest Ridge girl is encouraged to pursue her distinctive passions in ways that both foster and fuel a lifelong intellectual curiosity.  The academic schedule is arranged in 75-minute blocks to permit great flexibility and a focus on one discipline at a time. As a young woman challenges herself anew at each grade level, she can expect options along the way that will hone intellectual passions and solidify academic foundations in each discipline. 

Community Service

One of the essential goals of a Sacred Heart education is to graduate girls who are “educated to a social awareness which impels to action.” This entails a significant emphasis on service learning throughout all years of a girl’s experience at Forest Ridge. Service learning is precisely that: integrating both teaching and learning into meaningful community service opportunities that are relational for all involved and that incorporate intentional reflection as part of the educational experience. Through these opportunities, Forest Ridge hopes to foster empathy, promote civic engagement, teach the skills of building community, and instill a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone to learn across all manner of perceived boundaries.

The overarching objective of the service requirement at Forest Ridge is to educate to a critical consciousness that leads the entire community and each individual to analyze and reflect on the values of society and to act for justice. Thus, the service program and opportunities at Forest Ridge are developmentally and thematically based opportunities which vary by year. As Forest Ridge is a 5-12 school, the curriculum for service learning extends across all 8 grades and includes on campus, off campus, local and global options.

In the ninth and tenth grade, most service options take place during the school day to make them more accessible to all students. Juniors and seniors may go further afield as they complete annual service requirements. At every grade level, emphasis is placed on direct service and advocacy, social justice education and reflection.

Those who elect to complete the Capstone Program may certainly embed an element of service in that academic endeavor.

Capstone Project

The Forest Ridge Capstone is a long-term, exploratory project-based course that culminates in a final product, presentation, and/or performance. It is designed to encourage students to think critically and creatively, solve problems, and develop skills such as public speaking, research, media literacy, planning, self-sufficiency, and goal setting — i.e., skills that will help prepare students for college, careers and adult life.

Students will be asked to select a topic, occupation, or social problem that interests them. By design, the Capstone will be interdisciplinary, in the sense that it will require students to apply skills or investigate issues across several different subject areas or domains of knowledge. Students will conduct research on the issue and maintain a portfolio of findings or results. One element of the Capstone may be in the form of an internship in an external organization. In all instances, students are required to create a final product demonstrating their learning acquisition or conclusions (a paper, short film, or multimedia presentation, for example) and give an oral presentation to the community.

The exploration of the topic will begin in the second semester of a student’s junior year and culminate in the spring of her senior year. She will receive academic credit toward graduation requirements for this intellectual endeavor.

There will be an opportunity to engage in a year-long or semester long internship for academic credit, beginning with the Class of 2019. These internships may be integrated into the more formal Capstone program or could be planned as a distinct academic pursuit. Arrangements for these internships will be on an individualized basis, approved by a faculty mentor, and will depend upon student interest, initiative and time availability both inside and beyond the class day. The topics will vary based upon the distinctive passion of the student pursuing this independent challenge.
FOREST RIDGE SCHOOL OF THE SACRED HEART   .  4800 139th Avenue S.E.  .  Bellevue, WA, 98006-3015  .  425-641-0700