Five-Pillar Mission & Philosophy

OUR MISSION

To challenge every student, faculty and staff member; 
To share fully the gifts that have been given to them by God; 
To grow in grace and wisdom; 
To develop spiritually, academically, physically, socially and artistically and;
To become leaders of character who value and improve the world they inherit.

toddler in class
Academic Pillar

The Summit is committed to the total development of students' minds, hearts, and bodies. Yet first and foremost. we are a school – one that works diligently to maintain a reputation for academic excellence. Our rigorous curriculum and highly trained faculty, whose tenure averages 20 years, uphold the high standards we have maintained for more than a century.  

teacher with students on driveway
Academic  Pillar

The Summit is committed to the total development of students' minds, hearts, and bodies. Yet first and foremost. we are a school – one that works diligently to maintain a reputation for academic excellence. Our rigorous curriculum and highly trained faculty, whose tenure averages 20 years, uphold the high standards we have maintained for more than a century.  
 

girl in writing class
Academic Pillar

 The Summit is committed to the total development of students' minds, hearts, and bodies. Yet first and foremost. we are a school – one that works diligently to maintain a reputation for academic excellence. Our rigorous curriculum and highly trained faculty, whose tenure averages 20 years, uphold the high standards we have maintained for more than a century.  

boy in anatomy class
Academic Pillar

The Summit is committed to the total development of students' minds, hearts, and bodies. Yet first and foremost. we are a school – one that works diligently to maintain a reputation for academic excellence. Our rigorous curriculum and highly trained faculty, whose tenure averages 20 years, uphold the high standards we have maintained for more than a century.  

teacher with religious objects
Spiritual Pillar

From its inception, the essence of The Summit has been the shared belief in the sanctity of the individual, the holiness of life, and the living presence of God within each person. The expression and realization of that belief is demonstrated through the spiritual practices of our students. faculty and staff.  

child taking communion
Spiritual Pillar

From its inception, the essence of The Summit has been the shared belief in the sanctity of the individual, the holiness of life, and the living presence of God within each person. The expression and realization of that belief is demonstrated through the spiritual practices of our students. faculty and staff. 

students praying
Spiritual Pillar

From its inception, the essence of The Summit has been the shared belief in the sanctity of the individual, the holiness of life, and the living presence of God within each person. The expression and realization of that belief is demonstrated through the spiritual practices of our students. faculty and staff.  

Spiritual Pillar

From its inception, the essence of The Summit has been the shared belief in the sanctity of the individual, the holiness of life, and the living presence of God within each person. The expression and realization of that belief is demonstrated through the spiritual practices of our students. faculty and staff.   

child on playground
Physical  Pillar

The Summit values a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle through physical development. Teamwork, commitment. responsibility, honor, perseverance, cooperation, leadership, sportsmanship, nutrition, fitness and self-esteem contribute to the overall wellness of the individual. 

kids in gym
Physical  Pillar

The Summit values a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle through physical development. Teamwork, commitment. responsibility, honor, perseverance, cooperation, leadership, sportsmanship, nutrition, fitness and self-esteem contribute to the overall wellness of the individual.  

children on playground
Physical  Pillar

The Summit values a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle through physical development. Teamwork, commitment. responsibility, honor, perseverance, cooperation, leadership, sportsmanship, nutrition, fitness and self-esteem contribute to the overall wellness of the individual.  

basketball players on court
Physical  Pillar

The Summit values a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle through physical development. Teamwork, commitment. responsibility, honor, perseverance, cooperation, leadership, sportsmanship, nutrition, fitness and self-esteem contribute to the overall wellness of the individual. 

children in christmas play
Artistic Pillar

The Summit offers many opportunities for self-expression and the development of artistic awareness and discernment to meet the standards set in the artistic pillar of its mission. But it doesn't just happen in art class. The arts are integrated throughout the curriculum and in opportunities for writing, performance and a broad variety of creative works. 

student playing instrument
Artistic Pillar

The Summit offers many opportunities for self-expression and the development of artistic awareness and discernment to meet the standards set in the artistic pillar of its mission. But it doesn't just happen in art class. The arts are integrated throughout the curriculum and in opportunities for writing, performance and a broad variety of creative works.  

scene from beauty and the beast
Artistic Pillar

The Summit offers many opportunities for self-expression and the development of artistic awareness and discernment to meet the standards set in the artistic pillar of its mission. But it doesn't just happen in art class. The arts are integrated throughout the curriculum and in opportunities for writing, performance and a broad variety of creative works. 

students in art class
Artistic Pillar

The Summit offers many opportunities for self-expression and the development of artistic awareness and discernment to meet the standards set in the artistic pillar of its mission. But it doesn't just happen in art class. The arts are integrated throughout the curriculum and in opportunities for writing, performance and a broad variety of creative works. 

toddlers walking
Social Pillar

Never before has the development of social skills been more important than it is today. We were teaching the importance of communications, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking to relationships long before they became catchphrases of the 21st century workplace. We embrace diversity, character-based leadership and creative problem-solving. 

boy and girl talking
Social Pillar

Never before has the development of social skills been more important than it is today. We were teaching the importance of communications, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking to relationships long before they became catchphrases of the 21st century workplace. We embrace diversity, character-based leadership and creative problem-solving. 

kids with string
Social  Pillar

Never before has the development of social skills been more important than it is today. We were teaching the importance of communications, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking to relationships long before they became catchphrases of the 21st century workplace. We embrace diversity, character-based leadership and creative problem-solving. 

girls hugging
Social Pillar

Never before has the development of social skills been more important than it is today. We were teaching the importance of communications, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking to relationships long before they became catchphrases of the 21st century workplace. We embrace diversity, character-based leadership and creative problem-solving. 

Our Educational Philosophy

The Summit was founded in 1890 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, a Catholic order of nuns begun by Saint Julie Billiart in Europe in 1804. They believed that to teach is to influence a child forever. Each child should be led to realize his or her individual potential. The Sisters were quite innovative in their educational practices. St. Julie said, “Let the children do it themselves; they learn better that way.”  

The Notre Dame values by which we lead our lives include: Educating the whole child – heart, head and hand; discovering each child’s God-given talents and building on those to help the child shine; expecting  excellence; modeling kindness and caring; sharing the joy of living; reaching out to the less fortunate; and reflecting God’s goodness. Our faculty mantra is to know, understand, proactively guide and love every child.

We adhere to the Notre Dame Hallmarks of Education:

  • We proclaim by our lives and even more than by our words that God is good.
  • We honor the dignity and sacredness of each person.
  • We educate for and act on behalf of justice and peace in the world.
  • We commit ourselves to community service.
  • We embrace the gift of diversity.
  • We develop holistic learning communities which educate for life.

We believe the environment in which the students’ skills are developed is as important to the formation of the individual as the skills themselves. We strive to create an atmosphere in which students experience respect, acceptance and affirmation as children of God.  A personal approach to the total development of every student encourages each one to receive life as a gift and a challenge. In this faith community context, our programs constantly strive for academic excellence for all students according to their unique gifts becomes a practical social expression of this way of accepting life. In everything we do, we intentionally educate our students in character-based leadership and creative problem-solving.

The Summit shares in the educational mission of the Catholic Church.  What makes the Catholic school distinctive is a climate permeated by the gospel spirit of love and acceptance.   We are one of the most diverse Catholic schools in Cincinnati. Regardless of faith tradition, sexual orientation, ethnic or socio-economic background, The Summit seeks to embrace all children.

Our promise to parents (some would call it our defining statement) is to transform children into leaders of character who go out into the world and become the changemakers and peacemakers Christ calls all of us to be.

Advantages of Co-Education

Given The Summit's mission of teaching the whole child, we strongly believe in coeducation. We endeavor to develop well-rounded leaders of character who will be able to improve the world they inherit. 

  • Coeducation is a more natural, real world experience.
  • We think our children will be better prepared to compete in and contribute to the world if their education takes place in an environment similar to what their experiences will be during the rest of their lives.
  • Coeducation contributes to diversity of thought and point of view. Boys should be exposed to works of Brontë just as girls should read Tolkien.
  • Class discussions are enriched when girls and boys express their intellectual and emotional reactions to what they read.
  • Our experience is that girls can excel in math and science and boys can excel in the arts if they are taught by experienced teachers in an environment which encourages equal opportunity. 
  • Social development is one of the key "pillars" of a Summit education. Learning how to manage relationships and talk with each other is critical to the development of emotional intelligence in children.