Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart is more than just a highly-ranked independent, all girls K-12 school in Princeton. Founded in 1963, Stuart Country strives to fashion agents of change in its young women, particularly leaders who “think critically, creatively and ethically.” Put simply, Stuart Country is “a peaceful place for girls to make some noise” and discover their own enormous potential academically and personally.
Students and Faculty
Stuart Country is an independent Catholic school that welcomes young women from all backgrounds and faiths. It participates in the Sacred Heart Network, which educates its students in five goals: personal and active faith, deep respect for intellectual values, social awareness, building of community, and personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.
455 female students presently attend Stuart Country, which is composed of Early Childhood, Lower, Middle, and Upper schools. Stuart Country boasts an impressive diversity: fifty-five countries are currently represented by first or second-generation students and faculty members.
The student-to-faculty ratio at Stuart Country Day School is 7:1. Approximately 73 percent of the School’s faculty hold advanced degrees. On average, instructors hold 23 years of teaching experience, and are committed to academic excellence and the personal growth of each individual student.
The Stuart Country Day School adheres to a foundational belief in the efficacy and benefits of an all girls’ school, encouraging its students to take academic risks and recognize their own immense potential as future leaders and world-changers.
In order to graduate, Stuart Country Day School girls must complete the following in the Upper School:
- 4 years of English
- 3 years of the same Foreign Language
- 2 years of History
- 3 years of Mathematics
- 3 years of Lab Science
- 1 year (or equivalent) of the Arts (Art, Drama, Music)
- 9 trimesters of Physical Education (including 2 trimesters of Health)
- 6 trimesters of Theology
- 1 trimester Computer Science
Upper School students must also complete fifty hours of community service each year. On average, each student completes 70 hours per academic year.
While all academic departments at Stuart reflect the School’s dedication to a demanding and enriching academic experience, Stuart Country Day School illustrates a particular investment in STEM. The School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) department provides its young women with the skills and confidence necessary to pursue leadership in these fields. STEM courses rely on inquiry-based curriculum, encouraging students to question and think critically, as well as project-based learning experiences. The STEM Sisterhood provides a mentorship program within this department.
Students may apply and be accepted into the STEM Diploma Endorsement Program as freshmen; more information on this can be found on the School’s website.
The School integrates technology into every classroom experience; all students use and implement iPads in their daily courses.
Facilities and Programs
The Stuart Country Day School campus spans fifty-five acres close to Princeton, New Jersey.
Students have access to an impressive amount of academic resources, including the Raissa Maritain Library with its generous online and print catalogs, study spaces, and computer access. This library contains over 16,000 items.
The Lies, Light, McCarthy Visiting Author Program enables students to meet a distinguished author annually; past visiting authors include Paul Muldoon, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Jonathan Safran Foer. This spring the School will welcome Tracy Smith as a visiting author.
Students have great access to the arts at Stuart Country Day School, including music, visual arts, and drama. Visual arts students encounter art history in each course they take, and can participate in photography, ceramics, and studio courses. Young women interested in music may enroll in a number of music theory and history courses, participate in choral groups, and perform in the Stuart Instrumental Ensemble, conducted by the Westminster Conservatory of Music. The School hosts four theatre productions a year and students can study theatre and film in a variety of courses.
Stuart Country girls similarly have many opportunities to pursue athletics. Upper School Junior and Varsity sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, squash, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and track and field.
Stuart Country Day School provides its students with a variety of opportunities for international and domestic experiences, including faculty-led international trips and individual stay and exchange opportunities with other schools participating in the Sacred Heart Academic Exchange Program.
Student life at Stuart Country Day School is actively expressed within a variety of activities and clubs, including but not limited to Autism Awareness, a Forensics Team, Model UN, Music Club, Science Bowl Team, and Chinese Club.
100 percent of Stuart Country Day School graduates matriculate in colleges, many amongst the highest ranking in the nation (including, but not limited to Princeton University, Cornell University, University of Chicago, New York University, and Johns Hopkins).
The School prides itself on its capacity to prepare its women for their undergraduate and professional careers. Stuart Country offers guidance and counseling to students as early as Middle School with regard to course selection, standardized tests, and college admissions.
The School also offers fifteen advanced placement courses and college entrance exam preparation and workshops. Further information can be found here.
In 2015, Stuart Country Day School students matriculated into a number of top-tier colleges, including Skidmore College, Tufts University, Harvard College, Mount Holyoke College, and Princeton University.
Tuition for an Upper School day student at Stuart Country Day School totals $35,400. Tuition for students of the early childhood, lower, and middle schools varies; more information can be found here. Tuition can be paid in full once annually (on June 15), semi-annually, or as part of a 10-payment plan.
The School states its understanding of the financial investment a Stuart Country Day School education requires, and is committed to offering financial aid to qualified applicants. 28-33 percent of the student body at Stuart Country receive financial aid; the School awards approximately $2.3 million in financial aid yearly.
Young women who are considering making Stuart Country Day School their choice for primary and/or secondary education are invited to visit campus, schedule an interview, and/or sit in on a class. Prospective students of the Upper School must submit SSAT scores to Stuart and the Standard Application Online. Admission decisions are announced on March 10, 2016.
Please check out the other posts in this series:
- In-depth school profile: The Lawrenceville School
- In-depth school profile: The Hun School
- In-depth school profile: The Peddie School
- In-depth school profile: The Peddington School
You may also be interested in a related series about student perspectives:
About the Author: Kathleen McGunagle is a 2014 graduate of Princeton University with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University. As an undergraduate, she provided tutoring services through Princeton Tutoring, participated in on-campus theatre, and enjoyed a year abroad studying English at Oxford University.