Catholic, Independent Elementary Schools Serving Chicago's Children Since 1876


Single-Gender Education on a Coed Campus

Sacred Heart offers a purposeful blend of single-gender and coeducational approaches. We are an all-girls school and an all-boys school, all on one campus.

At Sacred Heart, we believe that self-confidence is built on a daily basis. Single-gender classrooms, when coupled with opportunities for boys and girls to know one another and work together, allow students to grow secure in their abilities and comfortable in expressing themselves.

Children start school together in our coed kindergarten, but beginning in 1st grade, move on to single-gender classrooms. While the boys and girls are in separate classes, they follow the same plan of studies and are exposed to an identical curriculum. Boys' and girls' classrooms are located close to one another whenever possible in order to facilitate interaction, including weekly shared projects at grade level.

Why Single Gender?

A growing body of research supports what Sacred Heart has known all along—that single-gender education offers both girls and boys supportive environments attuned to their individual needs, encouraging success in school.

Discussion flows more freely in a single-gender classroom. Students are more willing to take intellectual risks and gain from those experiences a greater self-confidence. Children are not narrowly defined by gender stereotypes in the single-gender classroom. Instead, boys and girls feel free to explore their full range of interests, from art and music to math and the hard sciences.

Beyond the classroom, boys and girls interact regularly throughout the day—in the halls, on the playground, in the lunchroom and during extracurricular and community service activities—benefiting from the positive socialization experiences available in a coed setting.


Academic Engagement

Single-gender graduates report more time talking with teachers outside of class, especially in the independent school sector, where 37% of single-gender graduates reported spending three or more hours per week meeting with teachers apart from class, compared to 30% among graduates of independent coeducational schools.


Both boys and girls in single-gender schools enjoy a greater freedom from the pressure of gender stereotypes, therefore building self-confidence in their academic pursuits.

Future Success

Department of Education statistics show that men are less likely than women to get bachelor's degrees—and among those who do, fewer complete their degrees in four or five years. For many boys, the single-sex format can change a boy's attitude toward school from apathy to enthusiasm and energy that carries throughout their
academic career.