At every grade level, SHMS offers a diverse and challenging curriculum to ensure that our students are well-rounded and ready for the next steps in their educational journeys. SHMS gives students an expansive foundation in the core academic disciplines, along with early exposure to world languages, religion, visual and performing arts, and more. Class sizes are small to allow for individualized attention and greater opportunities for active engagement.

The IB Advantage
Sacred Heart Model School is the first Catholic and private school in Kentucky to achieve certification as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School Middle Years Programme (Levels 6-8) and is currently a candidate school for the IB Primary Years Programme (Levels K-5). The IB programme maintains high academic standards while emphasizing critical thinking and collaboration, arming students with the skills they need to be lifelong learners in a competitive, interconnected world. Centered on a dynamic cycle of inquiry, action and reflection, IB is for all students, at all grade levels. It is forward-thinking, future-looking and worldwide. It is more than just schooling, it is life preparation.

World Language Program
As an IB World School, we believe that world language learning is fundamental to all education, as it builds understanding and respect for people and cultures different than our own and better prepares our students to become leaders in an increasingly interconnected, global world. For many years, SHMS has offered both Spanish and French to our students, and we are very excited to add the study of Mandarin Chinese to our world language program. Our kindergarten students will be introduced to all three languages and will then have their choice of the three throughout their time at SHMS.

Learning to communicate in a variety of ways is fundamental to the development of our students’ intercultural understanding and helps them to explore globally significant ideas and issues. In addition to the significance to our global curriculum, our foreign language program considers the diverse cultural and language backgrounds of our students’ families when planning educational activities and choosing classroom resources.

Differentiated Learning
One of the keys to academic success at SHMS is differentiated learning. Plans are catered to individual students’ needs. No two students are exactly alike, so we strive to create an educational experience unique to each learner. We meet students where they are while pushing them to reach their full potential. Dedicated counseling and learning resource staff are available to support the academic, social and emotional needs of each student, including those with diagnosed learning differences.

Learning Environment
Students have at their disposal 48 acres of the Ursuline Campus, equipped with innovation spaces, labs, dedicated visual and performing arts spaces, a TV studio and the latest in LED touch panel classroom technology. We continue to integrate flexible seating arrangements into our classrooms that make it easier for students to focus and collaborate. Classes can often be found utilizing our sprawling outdoor learning space including our amphitheater, grotto, piazza area, playground and more.

At Sacred Heart Model School, we have a global curriculum for an interconnected world.

Ultimately, success is measured by the accomplishments of our students as they transition to high school. Model School graduates frequently test out of lower level high school math, language arts and foreign language courses in their high school placement exams. The Terra Nova Test is given to all students in K-7 and also provides another benchmark to measure success. SHMS students test, on average, at the 90th percentile. Comprehensive midterm and final exams are given to levels 5-8 and provide yet another look at student progress. All of this translates into an impressive number of Duke TIP Scholars, Merit Scholars and National Honor Society members whose educational foundation was laid at the Model School.

Language Arts

Research Skills

Mathematics (based on NCTM Standards)

Problem Solving
Mathematical Reasoning
Hands on Equations (primary grades)
Pre-Algebra concepts (levels 3-6)
Algebra (levels 7-8)


General sciences (K-5)
Earth, Life and Physical Science (6-8)
Laboratory experiences (K-8)

Social Studies

Political science
Current events
World Cultures


Catholic doctrine and tradition

Social Justice

Preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist

Liturgical Services are held regularly for Levels one through eight and for the entire student body on holy days and for special events.

Stewardship outreach to those in need

Fine Arts

Music history
Studio art
Art history

Arts exploration program through Sacred Heart School for the Arts (music, dance and drama)

Foreign Language


Physical Education



Basic operations and concepts
Internet Safety
Technology as communication
Technology productivity tools
Technology research tools
Social, ethical, and human issues related to the use of technology
Curriculum integration of technology

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