The Summit at a Glance

An independent, Catholic, coeducational, college-preparatory school, founded in 1890 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Campus: 24 acres in Hyde Park; 16-acre Athletic Complex off I-71.

Fast Facts

  • Character trait focus by grade – Montessori through the grade 12.
  • Formation of Faith and Formation of Conscience program by grade.
  • Manners and social skills emphasis by grade.
  • Thirteen year world language program, Montessori through grade 12.
  • The Summit online Portal helps parents monitor their child's performance and daily activities.

Montessori Program

  • Only independent school in area offering full Montessori preschool experience.
  • One of a few schools in Greater Cincinnati applying the Montessori philosophy in an educational program beginning at 18 months old. A variety of sessions are available.
  • Multiple options for 3- to 6-year-olds to include half-day and full-day academic and enrichment programs in private school setting.
  • Phonics instruction begins at age 2 accelerating each child's literacy development.
  • The 13-year World Language Program begins in Kindergarten and continues through grade 12. Toddler (18- to 36-month-old) students are introduced to Spanish with the addition of French in pre-Kindergarten.
  • Orff Schulwerk early childhood music education approach helps develop areas of the brain involved in language, reasoning and problem-solving.
  • The Signature Enrichment Program includes Cultural Studies, Geography, Science and Art; research shows children exposed to these areas accelerates curiosity and love of learning.
  • Summer programs and before and after-school programs continue child development.
  • The Montessori educational program includes a dedicated Montessori literacy specialist.
  • Public speaking, theatrical performances and small group collaboration projects develop communication and social skills critical to long term academic success.
  • Kindergartners are reading and writing short stories prior to first grade which leads to an accelerated start in lower grades.
  • Private piano and violin lessons for kindergartners taught by professional musicians.
  • The Summit's celebrated Character Education Program develops self-discipline, empathy, respect for others, honesty, resilience and confidence in each child.

Lower School – Grades 1-4

  • Literacy concentration includes explicit, systematic phonics instruction and exposure to rich literature instilling life-long learning within a culture that values language in all forms.
  • Literacy, Math and Science Specialists work with faculty and students providing enrichment and ensuring focus on each individual learner and maximizing one's potential.
  • Widely praised Summit Writing Program where writing mechanics are taught and research skills are developed.
  • Mathematics program utilizes best research-based practices through National Council of Mathematics and focuses on critical thinking, problem-solving and deep, conceptual understanding.
  • Science Specialist leads curriculum in state-of-the-art science labs where students learn observation, prediction, data collection, experimentation, inference, application of data, interpretation, analysis and how to form a hypothesis.
  • World Language Program includes Spanish and French, exposing students to language and culture.
  • Leadership and Service Programs where students learn to be good citizens and see the value of applying their talents and intelligence for the good of their community and society.
  • Numerous athletic programs that include football, lacrosse, volleyball and soccer.
  • Fine arts facilities include an art studio with kiln, music studio and access to the school theater.

Middle School – Grades 5-8

  • Summit writing program which focuses on narrative, descriptive and expository writing as well as mastery of the formal essay in response to literature, and finally culminating with the eighth grade research paper using the Modern Language Association format.
  • Fifth and sixth grade Power of the Pencil program; seventh and eighth grade Power of the Pen teams and several published authors.
  • Literature program strengthens inferential comprehension, evaluation techniques and creative thinking; concentration in grammar and vocabulary.
  • Math Program designed to integrate critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for students to take Algebra I and Geometry; Math Specialist supports grades five and six.
  • Inquiry-led science instruction within state-of-the-art laboratories and beyond to include Cincinnati Zoo, Woodland Altars and Science Olympiad teams.
  • World Language Program includes Chinese, French, Latin and Spanish with intensive practice in basic language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • Expansive Music Program offerings that include vocal performance, band and general music classes where students strengthen listening skills, study music history and theory.
  • Advisory Program ensures that every child is known, understood and proactively guided.
  • Art Program focuses on painting, batik, sculpture, animation, architecture, photography and ceramics.
  • Leadership programming where students learn to see the value of applying their talents and intelligence for the good of the community and society.
  • Competitive Athletic Program with no cut policy which allows every student the opportunity to participate on a team.

Upper School – Grades 9-12

  • 21st Century formalized servant leadership program involving every student.
  • Comprehensive fine arts program that includes Graphic Design, AP Portfolio, Photography, Sculpture, AP Music Theory, Vocal and a cappella choral repertoire, ensemble singing, instrumental music and theatre.
  • National Merit Finalists – highest percent of seniors of any public or Catholic school in Cincinnati. 
  • Extensive advanced placement offerings in 20 subject areas with more than 88% of Summit students taking courses prior to graduation.
  • Students log more than 10,000 hours of service yearly through Christian Community and Service Learning Program.
  • 100% of graduates attending degree-granting institutions. Four-person counseling team in a small school setting ensures that each student is guided onto college of best fit.
  • Nationally recognized writing program with yearly published pieces and formal program ensures all students can generate quality college level research. More Summit students have been published in “Concord Review,” a literary guide that publishes top 3% of papers submitted nationally from high school students, than any other school in Cincinnati.
  • Extensive use of technology to enhance teaching and learning: Smart Board technology; Apple and PC computers, laptops and tablets; state-of-the-art infrastructure for wireless technology; extensive software library.
  • Four-year Advisory Program ensures that every child is known, understood and proactively guided.
  • Collegiate-style learning center offers enrichment, support and intervention though technology, professional tutors, peer tutors and an intervention specialist.
  • Highly competitive athletic programs: 22 varsity sports; 80% of freshman play at least one sport; no cut policy.
  • Partnerships – The Upper School is involved with several universities: University of Cincinnati's STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), Xavier University's Leadership in the Professional Learning Community and Collegium Program.

Background Check Policy: The Summit complies with the Decree on Child Protection as promulgated by the Archbishop of Cincinnati. All employees and volunteers who have frequent contact with students undergo an on-line background check. Their names and fingerprints then are checked against the databases at the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigation.