With its 110-year history, Forest Ridge has many rich and joyful traditions that make the Ridge a place unlike any other.
- International Passport and Hospitality Handbook
- Prize Day
- Ring Ceremony
“It’s Congé!” This announcement is met with cheers by Sacred Heart students worldwide. Congé is a surprise day when classes are replaced with a day of fun.
Congés occur unexpectedly, with all the planning done in secret. Originally, the activities and games were planned by the Religious Sisters for the girls of the boarding schools. The tradition has carried over to the schools of today and provides the older students an opportunity to exercise leadership skills as they plan activities for the entire school.
Goûter is a long-standing tradition in Sacred Heart schools. In the days of boarding schools, when it was common for classes to meet until five o’clock, it was necessary to provide students with a mid-afternoon snack. Today, goûter is a special treat given to students on special feast days and holidays.
The International Passport is a card issued during 8th grade promotion and 12th grade graduation. The passport identifies alumnae and current students as members of the Sacred Heart Network and is a handy resource when traveling and/or visiting Sacred Heart schools and convents worldwide.
The Hospitality Handbook, compiled and printed by the International Association of Graduates of Sacred Heart (AMASC), includes contact information of Sacred Heart alumnae throughout the world.
Current students or alumnae can call or stop by the Forest Ridge Alumnae Office for a free Passport or Handbook.
In 1844, a generation after the Society of the Sacred Heart was founded, Pauline Perdrau, a young novice, painted a fresco of Mary as she imagined Mary might have been as a student in the temple. Upon seeing the fresco when visiting the convent, Pope Pius IX exclaimed “Mater Admirabilis!” (Latin for Mother, Most Admirable!). The fresco still hangs in the convent at the Trinita dei Monti in Rome, Italy.
At Forest Ridge, as at all Sacred Heart schools, one may find Mater in a variety of forms. Our most loved is the statue that sits in the narthex of our chapel. Whether a painting, a statue, or a fresco, certain details are common. Mary is clothed in pink, a favorite color of Pauline’s. The lily at her side represents her purity; the distaff and spindle, her love of work; a book or scroll, her dedication to study.
Sometimes referred to simply as “prizes,” Prize Day brings a formal end to the school year. Our Forest Ridge community comes together for a formal assembly to distribute prizes in recognition of our students’ academic and personal achievements. In former days, the prizes usually consisted of books. Now the prize is often a certificate or award recognizing the achievement.
Among the most admired prizes are the Mes Amis Award and the Diligence Award. The Mes Amis Award is reserved for those 8th and 12th graders who have been recognized by their classmates as having extended the spirit of friendship by showing sensitivity and caring for the needs of students and teachers alike. The Diligence Award recognizes students who have given constant, careful and responsible attention to their studies.
Ribbons, worn diagonally from a student’s right shoulder and fastened on the left at the waist, have long been marks of distinction in Sacred Heart schools. The ribbons’ color distinguished student grade level and were awarded in recognition of leadership and character.
Today at Forest Ridge, student leaders still wear ribbons but with different meanings. The ribbon color signifies which of the five Sacred Heart goals has most driven her leadership growth.
Each May, the beloved Ring Ceremony marks the beginning of the transition of leadership from one class to the next. During the formal ceremony, seniors call each junior classmate by name to come forward as the next year’s school leadership and receive her Sacred Heart ring. The name of the junior called by each senior is a closely-held secret until the moment of the ceremony. Since 1940, a junior is also honored with the Inspirational Ring to the junior whom the Senior Class selects for her enthusiasm and school spirit.
It is a longstanding tradition that juniors wear their rings with the Sacred Heart facing inwards, symbolizing their time at Forest Ridge receiving the love of the Sacred Heart. During Ring Ceremony, seniors turn their rings outward, symbolizing that they are stepping out to share that love with the world.