Holy Names High School

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About Us » Mission & Philosophy

Mission & Philosophy


Holy Names High School, a small Catholic school for young women, provides an academically challenging college preparatory education in a vibrant learning environment. Our diverse community nurtures spirituality, encourages artistic expression, and promotes justice, preparing the next generation for leadership and service.

HOLY NAMES HIGH SCHOOL was founded in1868 at the shores of Lake Merritt by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, who are proud to sponsor HNHS today.



Our mission is grounded in the following beliefs which, in turn, become the foundation of all our programs, policies and practices.

I. As a Catholic school and part of the educational ministry of the Sisters of the Holy Names, we believe that the entire learning process must be permeated with the vision of life set forth in the Gospels.
 Therefore we strive:

  • to provide experiences and opportunities for students to explore and develop the religious dimension of their existence and to internalize a system of values in which the Christian message becomes a motivating force for personal behavior.
  • to create a nurturing and caring Christian community in which each individual’s background, ability and potential are valued, developed and shared.


II. As an academic institution, we give primacy to the intellectual development of students, and believe that such development must take place within the context of their development as whole persons.
Therefore we strive…

  • to challenge our students to develop their capabilities and talents, to be personally committed to and responsible for their own education and to grow in their ability to evaluate, integrate and use knowledge so that they might become independent problem solvers and lifelong learners.
  • to give special emphasis in our curriculum to a solid academic formation to prepare our students for college and to stress those learnings, skills, and experiences which prepare students for productive life and responsible citizenship in the technological and global society of the 21st century.
  • to provide opportunities for students to develop their own powers of creative self-expression and to respect and appreciate the aesthetic expressions of others.


Further, we believe that education is a continuous process that reaches beyond the confines of the school and the formal curriculum.
Therefore we strive…

  • to engage students in the life and concerns of the wider community as well as in the educational opportunities which the larger community offers.
  • to promote an awareness of our interdependence as members of the world community and to provide opportunities for students to use their energies and talents to cooperate with others in building a better society.
  • to maintain an environment in which ethnic diversity is experienced as a value, individual dignity is upheld and in which all are challenged to demonstrate mutual understanding and to respect the rights, values and beliefs of others.


III. As a school for women, we believe in and are committed to empowering students to reach their full potential as individuals and as women in today’s society.
Therefore we strive…

  • to encourage our young women to believe in themselves and to recognize their potential and to provide opportunities for them to develop their academic, leadership and social potential.
  • to foster those ways of learning and cooperative interaction which particularly promote the full intellectual and social development of women.


IV. We recognize the responsibility of parents as primary educators and acknowledge our collaboration with them. Further, we believe that the collaboration of administration, faculty, staff, students and parents is essential to the success of the school program.
 Therefore we strive…

  • to establish and maintain a positive and cooperative relationship between the home and school, joining parents as partners in the educational process.
  • to grow as a total Christian learning community, emphasizing those patterns of interaction which promote community: respect for persons, open communication, trust, responsibility, concern and celebration.