Mission & Educational Philosophy

Our mission and philosophy is rooted in our founding by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.  

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.


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 change-makers and peace-makers 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.