Independent, Catholic and Sacred Heart

Woodlands Academy is independent, Catholic, and Sacred Heart. These three identities inform our governance structure as well as our educational and spiritual philosophies.

Is Woodlands Academy a private school or an independent school?

The terms private school and independent school are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are slight differences. Woodlands Academy is both a private school and an independent school. Woodlands is a private school because it is funded and run by a non-governmental entity or entities. It is an independent school because it is independently governed by a Board of Trustees. This post on does a good job of describing the differences.

Is Woodlands Academy a Catholic School?

Yes! Woodlands is a Catholic, independent school. Woodlands Academy operates independently (governed by our Board of Trustees), but is entrusted by the Society of the Sacred Heart to fulfill our mission in accordance with the Goals and Criteria. An independent Catholic school differs from a Catholic parochial school; the latter is run by a Catholic church or diocese. Both are Catholic but have different governance structures.

Is Woodlands Academy run by the Society of the Sacred Heart?

Woodlands Academy is run independently by our Board of Trustees, but is guided by and responsible for the implementation of the educational mission outlined in the Goals and Criteria, which capture the principles of Catholic education permeated by Saint Madeleine Sophie’s charism and the spirit of the Society of the Sacred Heart. The school is part of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, an association of Catholic independent schools and the United States - Canada Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart. The purpose of the Network it to advance the educational mission of the Society. The Network of Sacred Heart Schools, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit corporation and is governed by an executive committee that includes the provincial of the Society of the Sacred Heart, United States - Canada, the Director of Network Program Planning and the Head of the Conference of Sacred Heart Education. The members of the executive committee are present or former heads of school and present or former trustees of Network schools.