History

Rich in History

Schools of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau is comprised of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a single-gender school for girls, and Berchmans Academy of the Sacred Heart, a single-gender school for boys. The school has a history that is rich in both tradition and values. The Schools of the Sacred Heart’s history dates back to France in the year 1800 when a woman by the name of Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the religious order named the Society of the Sacred Heart. St. Madeleine Sophie Barat was fortunate enough to have received an education from her brother during a time when women simply were not educated. It is upon her vision for education of young women that the Society and all Sacred Heart schools have their foundation. The Society was brought to America in 1818 by St. Philippine Duchesne. Under her direction, two Religious of the Sacred Heart, Mother Eugenie Audé and Sr. Mary Layton, traveled to Grand Coteau to establish the Academy in the year 1821. The journey of these two women was made possible by Mrs. Charles Smith, a wealthy widow. Mrs. Smith donated funds for the trip, as well as 250 acres of property and a school building.

The Academy of the Sacred Heart opened its doors to eight students in October of 1821 and has been continuously committed to excellence in the education of young women for over 192 years. The Academy offers PreKindergarten 3 – 12th grade and is the only single-gender education choice in the area.

Berchmans Academy of the Sacred Heart provides young men in the Acadiana region with their only choice for a Catholic, independent, single-gender education. The school opened in 2006 and began educating boys in Pre-Kindergarten – 2nd grade.  Berchmans now offers Pre-Kindergarten 3 - 11th grade.  With attention to current research and continuous faculty development in the best practices for teaching boys, Berchmans Academy provides the opportunity for young men to become their best. Students come to realize and commit to their responsibility of helping to shape God’s Kingdom of peace and justice.

Coteau’s Place in the Network of Sacred Heart Schools
Schools of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau is part of the national and international Network of Sacred Heart Schools. There are 22 schools in the United States and over two hundred schools internationally. All of the network schools are rooted in the philosophy and vision of St. Madeline Sophie and are guided by the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart Education. These Goals are our foundation, and we strive to apply them and to live them in our everyday lives throughout the school community. The Goals are as follows:

  • Goal One: Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a personal and active faith in God.
  • Goal Two: Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a deep respect for intellectual values.
  • Goal Three: Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a social awareness which impels to action.
  • Goal Four: Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to the building of community as a Christian value.
  • Goal Five: Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.

It is of the very essence of Sacred Heart education that it be deeply concerned for each student’s total development: intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual. The intention of Sacred Heart education is to educate the “whole child.” We strive to educate our students to be faith-filled and effective leaders of tomorrow. We teach according to the ways that each gender learn best, and we encourage our students to identify their individual talents and to develop them to their fullest potential.