Academic Excellence Mission Statement Ursuline Academy of New Orleans, founded in 1727 and sponsored by the Ursuline Sisters, is a Catholic school for girls offering a strong educational environment from early childhood through a college preparatory secondary program. In a diverse community with an inspiring heritage, Ursuline Academy fosters spiritual formation, academic excellence and a life-long commitment to Serviam: I will serve. The Academy values the uniqueness of each student, nurtures the whole person and develops leaders of confidence and compassion, and prepares them for life in a global society.
The Philosophy of our Foundress Saint Angela Merici founded the Order of Saint Ursula, in Brescia, Italy, in 1535. In her life, she reached out in service and love to rich and poor alike. In her writings, she developed a philosophy of personal formation, a commitment to justice and a promotion of self-discipline through encouragement rather than compulsion in an atmosphere of unity, mutual love, and respect.
Core Values •
Spiritual formation and faith development
Respect for the uniqueness of the individual
Development of the whole person
Development of a nurturing community spirit
Commitment to peacemaking
Serviam as a lived reality
Hallmark: Academic Excellence
Ideals: Courtesy, Loyalty, and Courage
By The Numbers 1727
Ursuline Academy founded.
Ursuline New Orleans exhibited at the
first World’s Fair in the U.S.—only institution for the education of women asked to exhibit.
Moved to present location on
Minimum number of hours a
student will contribute to community service programs by the time she graduates from high school.
All middle school students
are equipped with an iPad and all high school students with a Macbook.
Learning For Life. Since 1727.
Number of athletic and extracurricular
programs available to our students.
Tradition matters in New Orleans. And it matters even more
in the lives of our daughters, trying to define themselves within a
beauty of many colleges and small universities.
Size of our campus, rivaling the
world of immense and rapid change. Ursuline Academy was established nearly three centuries ago by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Ursula making it the oldest, continuously operating school for girls and the oldest Catholic school in the United States. Convinced that the education of women was essential to the development of a civilized, spiritual and just society, the Ursuline Sisters worked to influence culture and learning in New Orleans by providing an exceptional education for its women. Today’s Ursuline offers an education rooted in a tradition of formation and innovation, nurturing the development of the whole person — intellectually, spiritually and physically.
First Things First Ursuline Academy provided the first convent, free school, and retreat center for women in the nation; the first center of social welfare in
Cor Unum Formed in 1900, the Ursuline Alumnae Association brings alumnae together in “one heart” with students, faculty, the Ursuline Sisters, and the community. The association promotes the prosperity of the Academy as well as a lifelong dedication to service and justice.
the Mississippi Valley, the first boarding school for women in Louisiana, the first school of music in New Orleans, and the first classes for female African-American slaves, free women of color, and Native Americans.
Amazing Alumnae Through the centuries, more than 7,000 competent and confident women have graduated from Ursuline Academy and gone on to take their rightful places of leadership, service, and influence worldwide. Our alumnae work in business, education, medicine and nursing, accounting, design, marketing, education, engineering, law, government, science, technology — everywhere, really. Our graduates overwhelmingly acknowledge their alma mater as an essential reason (along with their parents, of course) for their many successes in life.
Faith and Service Spiritual growth at Ursuline Academy happens in many ways, but none more fundamental than this: to serve God by serving others. This call to service is an essential part of our tradition and our students take it up joyfully both within and beyond our halls. Supporting that call are required theology courses that teach about faith and foster the values of courtesy, loyalty, and courage. We also offer: •
Daily community prayer,
Mass in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor,
Liturgical services organized by school and grade level,
Optional participation as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and altar servers, and
Retreat programs that invite students to explore their faith with deeper meaning while building the bonds of sisterhood through Christ with their fellow students.
(Toddler 2 - Kindergarten)
Child’s Play. And So Much More. Children are naturally drawn to play. It’s through play that they discover relationships, make observations and construct their individual learning. Our Early Childhood program builds on this natural impulse in children to create a loving foundation for lifelong learning. Children are encouraged to think for themselves and to find solutions to their own problems. They are taught to take responsibility for themselves, their possessions, their
Soeur Teresita Rivet, OSU Early Childhood Learning Center
actions and their classrooms. Teachers set clear, reasonable limits and use positive discipline techniques, all with the goal of establishing a warm, happy, orderly and secure environment — the kind of place where learning can flourish.
Student Directed. Teacher Facilitated. Our early childhood curriculum utilizes the Reggio Emilia approach: a progressive and
Years of planning led us to create
cooperative philosophy of preschool and primary education to develop the whole child.
our Early Childhood Learning Center,
Through discussion, teachers discover what their students are thinking and what their
which provides a nurturing and
interests are. By creating projects based on these interests and ideas, they keep learning
engaging environment for young
both relevant and engaging.
girls. Every square inch of the facility was designed to maximize a child’s
The curriculum evolves as your child grows:
ability to explore, discover, and grow:
Toddler 2, Toddler 3, and Pre K – Phonetics, reading and math readiness, and
4 Accommodates approximately
eventually reading and math are woven into the day with a mix of traditional
programs and project-based learning. French instruction also begins in Toddler 3.
4 Has centers for science,
Kindergarten – Increasing the more traditional approach to academics, this is also
reading, music, writing,
math, art and dramatic play,
where our girls are first introduced to Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a comprehensive
4 Opens onto outdoor
approach to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education. PLTW builds
confidence and interest to help put girls on a steady path to lower school and beyond
sustainable garden, and
through experiential, project-based learning.
4 Offers portico for safe
drop-off and pick-up.
We recognize that these early years are a time of rapid, yet highly individualized, development, so we tailor daily activities to be developmentally appropriate and meet
each child right where she is.
A Shared Vision For Learning Elementary school is a time of explosive learning. It’s also a time for children to establish good learning habits and to begin putting them into practice. We believe
Each 3rd and 4th grader in
students learn best when:
Ursuline’s Lower School
They are actively engaged in the learning process.
participates in the Strings
Their whole person is respected, including her emotions, beliefs, interests, goals,
Orchestra Program. Guided
and feelings of comfort and safety.
by the music and arts
Parents, teachers, and students share responsibility for learning.
faculty, students learn basic
Teachers maintain high expectations and develop comprehensive learning plans.
techniques for playing
The curriculum is varied, giving all students an equal opportunity to learn.
the violin, cello, viola, and
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) continues through Lower School, giving girls the
bass, while gaining a better
opportunity to experience engineering, biomedical, and computer science design
understanding of classical
projects, including weekly time in the technology lab.
First and Second Grades We challenge our first and second graders to become fluent readers through shared, guided and independent reading and lessons in word structure. Instruction in grammar reinforces spelling and mechanical skills, and we emphasize writing through creative, informational experiences and journal writing. For math, students do fact practice and work daily with the concepts of time, money, temperature, graphing, and patterning. Science and social studies themes are integrated across the curriculum and through specific projects, hands-on group activities, and experiments.
Third and Fourth Grades Our third and fourth graders develop vocabulary and interpretive skills by reading and discussing fiction and non-fiction literature. Creative writing, book clubs, and essays enable them to express their opinions thoughtfully and they learn to edit and proofread as they improve their own and each other’s work. Math involves daily problem-solving exercises and assignments as well as periodic cumulative tests. In science, students participate in hands-on learning in the scientific method, weekly experiments, and unit tests. They focus on Louisiana history, U.S. regions, geography, and economics in social studies. They also develop a stronger relationship to their faith in religion class.
Transition and Growth Middle school is a time of change and growth for our students, so weâ€™ve designed an academic program that challenges their maturing minds and broadens their perspective on the world. Fifth, sixth and seventh graders receive accelerated instruction in the core subjects. Language arts classes incorporate a variety of genres for reading as well as vocabulary, grammar lessons, and writing assignments. Students explore science concepts through hands-on investigations and everyday application. Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum includes design and modeling, automation and robotics, and weekly time in the technology lab. In math, theyâ€™re introduced to geometry, algebra, probability and statistics, graphing, square roots, and more. Both math and language arts honors programs are available for qualified seventh graders. Social studies and history classes cover geography, civics, economics, current international events plus world, U.S., and Louisiana history. Religion follows the Archdiocesan curriculum
Our writing program for grades
and includes the study of sacramental life, Hebrew scripture, and the New Testament.
5-12 is based on a methodology
Seven After Seventh
first introduced by noted writing instructor Jane Schaffer.
In addition to living the Ursuline values of courtesy, loyalty, courage and Serviam, our
Students work on multiple drafts
Elementary School graduates have other characteristics in common that make them stand out
of each assignment and receive
as self-assured, confident young women. In particular, they:
commentary along the way from both peers and teachers.
Have solid organizational and study skills, and are proficient in the core curriculum, performing at or above grade level;
Communicate effectively in both spoken and written word; Work well in a group to realize a common goal, accepting differences and maintaining respect for themselves and others;
Are aware of their world, community, environmental and global issues;
Think critically and independently and take on responsibilities and leadership roles both in and out of school;
Are proficient with technology and understand its value; and Show an appreciation for the arts, a willingness to serve others, a strong knowledge of the Catholic religion and faith and a desire to learn for life. 11
Independence and Responsibility Your high school years are extraordinary. They are a time to try new things, figure out what you love, form lasting friendships, and make definite strides towards college and beyond. We designed our academic programs to challenge you to grow as an individual with unique gifts and talents. Whatever your skill level, we start there and help you develop. All Ursuline students take math, science, English, social studies and religion each year. You take two full credits of physical education, two consecutive years of a foreign language and at least one fine arts credit. If you love the performing and visual arts,
Never a Number Our small and welcoming community ensures that students have
we offer drawing, painting, sculpting, piano, choral music, dance, and theater. If you want more science, social studies, computer science and English, we offer electives in those areas as well, including engineering and robotics through Project Lead The Way.
meaningful relationships not only
with their classmates, but with
Students in our Honors Program take honors-level courses in math, science, social
their teachers, administrators, and
studies and English; three years of Latin; and at least two years of a modern foreign
students in other grade levels. In
language. Upper-level honors students can also opt to take dual enrollment in English
smaller schools, a larger percentage
or math, or Advanced Placement classes in math, science, social studies and English.
of students are engaged because everyone’s participation is needed
to fill school offices, teams, clubs,
Should you need help with a particular class, friends, personal issues, or college and
and more. Learning activities are
career decisions, your teachers and our Counseling Department are here for you.
more often individualized, allowing
Specifically for the college application process, we involve you and your family to help
teachers to more easily identify a
you discover the college or university best suited to your goals. The process includes:
student’s talents and unique needs.
Personal meetings to discuss applying to colleges,
Help with putting together applications,
Standardized test preparation,
Practice with writing college essays (in English classes),
Participation in the College Fairs, and
Interviews with college representatives visiting Ursuline,
ATHLETICS & EXTRACURRICULARS Something for Everyone Our trained coaches and moderators promote a spirit of both courtesy and competition.
Athletics Ursuline develops the student-athlete physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. We are proud of our athletic achievements â€“ including multiple state and district championships â€“ and strive to develop a sense of responsibility, faith, sportsmanship, self-respect, teamwork, leadership and respect for teammates, coaches, opponents, and officials.
Extracurricular Activities A defining characteristic of an Ursuline education is the development of the whole person. Our extracurricular activities are diverse and inclusive, allowing each
Room to Move! The state-of-the-art Marjory Barbier Ourso Athletic Center provides students with superior practice and performance space. Plus, the Fitness & Wellness Center offers a dance/yoga studio, elevated track, practice courts, a fully-equipped weight room, cardio room, multimedia classroom, and athletic conference room.
student the opportunity to cultivate her unique interests and creative abilities.
Class of 2017
Class of 1955
Tradition Forward Among the many traditions at Ursuline Academy, none is more beautiful than Commencement. Seniors graduate in long, white gowns, a bouquet of red roses in hand. For the young women, the ceremony honors more than the end of their journey within these halls. It celebrates their welcome into the broader family of Ursuline alumnae.
And the tradition continues. 16