Self-study ends, review begins

Sacred Heart Commission on Goals representatives to arrive.

Laura Mogannam, Senior Reporter

Representatives from the Sacred Heart Commission on Goals arrive Saturday to visit Convent & Stuart Hall and review how well the school is living the Goals and Criteria of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart schools in the United States go through a five-year cycle consisting of two years of self study, a visit from the committee, and three years of making improvements in regards to the self study to stay aligned with the Society’s ideology. Convent & Stuart Hall is currently in the second year of the cycle.

“Last year, there were a lot of conversations we had in Chapel and class about the Goals and the Criteria and how we live them out,” Paul Pryor Lorentz, self-study committee chair, said. “We are releasing the self-study for people to read prior to when the visiting committee joins us.”

The visiting committee will interview students, parents, faculty and alumni during their week on campus.

Three other accreditation committees, California Association of Independent Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges and Western Catholic Educational Association, visited Convent & Stuart last February and interviewed students, such as sophomore Isabelle Thiara, and other members of the community.

“Last year when the accreditation committees came they asked us a lot about how we are a co-ed environment with single-sex education,” Thiara said. “I assume when SHCOG comes this year they will ask more about that and how we are living out our goals.”

“I think that living out the Goals will ultimately make me a better person because it shapes how I am and how I treat others around me.”

In the last five years, the school has attempted to make all of four divisions more connected to live out Goal Four of the Goals and Criteria, according to Pryor Lorentz.

“There was a period of time in which all the divisions viewed themselves as separate things,” Pryor Lorentz said. “The work of the last five years was to make us as one K through 12 school.”

Thiara, who also attended Convent Elementary, says she has felt the school integrating the Goals and Criteria into the students’ daily lives, especially during Chapel and PAWS.

“A lot of my friends did not know the Goals even existed early last year, but now, they all know them,” Thiara said. “I think that living out the Goals will ultimately make me a better person because it shapes how I am and how I treat others around me.”

Next year, the third year of the five-year cycle, the school will create a proposal for an action plan, which accounts for elements that the visiting committee highlights as needs for improvement.

“We have come a long way in the last five years,” Pryor Lorentz said. “The school has improved not only in education but how we’re living out the Goals and Criteria. It is a season of renewal.”