The Heights | Approach


Mr. Carr speaking with Students

The Heights School provides a traditional liberal arts curriculum grounded in the western canon, the body of learning on which western civilization rests. By incorporating the many noble aspirations and developments of the modern world into this classical context, The Heights School strives to achieve the goal of the full human development of each student. The school motto, Crescite, is the Latin translation of the Creator’s first words to man, increase and grow. Indeed that divine command is the foundation of our mission: to assist parents in the intellectual, moral, physical, and spiritual education of their sons.

A liberal arts curriculum is essential to this mission. The liberal arts have been traditionally grouped into two broad disciplines: the trivium, consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; and the quadrivium, consisting of astronomy, music, geometry, and arithmetic. At The Heights, these disciplines are represented by a core of courses in ten academic departments: English, Mathematics, Classics, History, Religion, Science, Spanish, Art, Computers, and Music. While a liberal arts education is an excellent preparation for many professions, its chief value is not its practical utility but that it contributes to living a more noble human life. A liberal arts education enables a student to rise above his own cultural situation to contemplate the great human realities that matter most in our lives: the meaning of suffering, the possibility of authentic Love, Truth, Beauty, and eternity. A liberal arts education would properly be pursued for its own sake even if it were not useful for another end.

Because the chief reason to pursue a liberal arts education is for its human and formative value, The Heights School seeks to enter into a partnership with families who share this vision of education. We rely on parents who are active primary educators to pass on the riches of a liberal education to the next generation. It is impossible for even the best school to accomplish this by itself without the support of parents working to establish a home where such an education can be fostered as well. Our dedication to the traditional liberal arts and to the faculty-parent partnership exists in the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. Please explore the page of each school to better understand the nuances of its approach.

Opus Dei

The School’s Christian orientation and spiritual formation are entrusted to Opus Dei, a Personal Prelature of the Catholic Church. Opus Dei’s purpose is to foster among men and women of every walk of life a profound awareness of the universal call to holiness and apostolate, pursued freely and on their own responsibility, in their ordinary work and place in society.

Founded in 1928 by Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, Opus Dei received its definitive juridical approval by the Holy See in 1982. It first began in the United States in Chicago in 1949 and now serves in over twenty-five cities in the United States and over sixty countries worldwide. The spiritual direction of The Heights School is entrusted to Opus Dei; the Board of Directors and the Administrative Council are responsible for all other aspects of the School.

Although The Heights is not officially (canonically) a Catholic School, it does offer classes in Catholic doctrine as well as Catholic sacraments and liturgy. The curriculum and teachers for the Catholic doctrine program are reviewed and approved by the Archdiocese of Washington.