Mission & history
Fontbonne Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, is a Catholic, college preparatory high school for young women. Fontbonne Academy fosters Gospel values and educational excellence. This inclusive community embraces diversity in many forms. Through the values of respect, responsibility, reconciliation and reverence, Fontbonne Academy promotes growth in spirituality, scholarship, and leadership of young women in the changing world.
Therefore, Fontbonne Academy:
- Offers the opportunity for all students to have a spiritual experience in education that opens them to the Catholic heritage of the search for God and the expression of faith through concern for the dear neighbor.
- Empowers students to claim their identity and voice as women and develop qualities of leadership that they may live fully, courageously, and healthfully in a challenging world.
- Promotes a safe, diverse learning environment which welcomes students of all faiths, fosters intellectual openness and social connection, and prepares students to become active, participatory citizens of the world.
- Cultivates an atmosphere of academic integrity and high expectation and instills a work ethic that encourages students to be self-directed, active participants in their learning.
- Provides high caliber instruction and attentive individualized academic support that allows students to discover the true reach of their abilities.
- Enables students to integrate learning in ways that derive from and apply to real world contexts.
- Prepares students for higher learning with 21st century skills and knowledge to support high academic achievement in a college curriculum.
Founded in 1954, the academy takes its name from Mother St. John Fontbonne, a woman of courage who re-established the congregation in France after its suppression during the French Revolution. Under her leadership, the first Sisters came to the United States. In Boston, the congregation taught in archdioscesan parochial schools, and also founded and conducted its own ministries, of which Fontbonne is one. As a sponsored ministry, Fontbonne Academy furthers the Sisters' charism--a direct outgrowth of the order's experience in revolutionary France-- of reconciliation, unity and non-violence in the school's academic programs, spirituality, and co-curricular activities. For five decades, Fontbonne has educated thousands of young women who are now sending daughters and granddaughters to experience the special intellectual, social, and spiritual opportunities a Fontbonne education affords.
A Fontbonne Education
Academic excellence is both the standard of accomplishment and the outcome of each student’s time at Fontbonne Academy—academic excellence as measured by her reach and her grasp. Fontbonne admits students with a range of demonstrated academic ability with promise of achievement in a rigorous college preparatory program. Honors classes, AP classes, and individual study opportunities create a rising ladder of academically challenging course offerings.
We believe in mastering fundamental skills and acquiring foundational knowledge that will support the widest range of educational choices at the college level. Elective offerings generally represent opportunities to acquire higher level concepts or facility in the core disciplines at Fontbonne. We believe this is the best use of academic time at the secondary level.
Our curriculum is also noteworthy for graduation requirements in two areas often lacking in schools today: the Fine Arts curriculum in music, drama, and visual arts; and our health and wellness program, which aims to give young women lifelong value in understanding women’s health, wellbeing, fitness, and mental and emotional health. Combined with Fontbonne’s focus on spiritual formation and values education, these requirements help to balance life in and out of school for young women today.
Faculty work closely with students and parents to be sure material is thoroughly understood and questions are addressed and answered. Ours is a partnership of professional educators, involved and interested parents, and motivated students. Timely communication supports students in their progress through our curriculum, and engaged parents who help make study the priority in their daughter’s daily lives help to attain the best academic performance.
Academic support centers staffed by faculty and peer educators—juniors and seniors who have mastered the materials in each discipline—are resources available to students every day.
For detailed information about departmental philosophies, goals and expectations, graduation requirements and course offerings, please see the Program of Studies.
Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice
Spiritual life at Fontbonne is about developing a relationship with God and all creation that fosters moral intelligence and the search for the sacred. Consciousness of the interrelationships of all living things, our shared destiny as part of God’s creation, shapes our sense of justice and service.
Faith and action are two faces of the same imperative: to believe in God’s goodness and that of humankind, and to share our gifts with our neighbors, near and far. In that spirit, Fontbonne Academy requires that students complete 100 hours of service in order to graduate. Through their service students experience their connection with others and give and receive in direct relation to one another. In the senior year, the Theology Department requires that students complete a social justice project that draws upon their academic and service experience and/or a personal interest they have developed.
Fontbonne offers a strong athletic program of individual and team sports and a wide range of clubs and activities. Co-curricula programs offer important ways for young women to develop leadership skills, team work, and growing expertise and facility in their chosen pursuits. These programs are a means of self-discovery essential to the developing young woman.