Our History


Rooted in the history of Salinas Valley, Sacred Heart School opened as a parish school in 1906. The school was run by seven Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have a passion for education, for spreading the word of God’s goodness, and for ministry to the less fortunate. Their values continue to permeate the curriculum of Sacred Heart School.


The present school structure was dedicated on September 20, 1942.


The 4th-8th grade classrooms, library and the Parish hall were added in 1959.


When Palma Junior and Senior High School opened in September of 1951 the seventh and eighth grades were transferred to the Palma campus. During the years that followed, school enrollment increased rapidly so a Kindergarten class was added and the school had two classes of each grades from first to sixth.


In 1957, with the assistance of Monsignor Earley and the Sacred Heart Parish, two new Catholic schools were opened- St. Mary of the Nativity in East Salinas and Madonna del Sasso in North Salinas. The opening of the two new schools and the termination of the Fort Ord bus service to the school brought about a decrease in enrollment. Sacred Heart School now offered only one classroom of Kindergarten through sixth grade.


In preparation for the opening of Notre Dame High School, the seventh and eighth grade girls returned to the Sacred Heart campus in 1960.


At the request of parents and upon the recommendation of the 1975 accreditation team, the boys were once again admitted to the seventh and eighth grades in 1976. The Palma tradition remains strong in Salinas Valley and today, the majority of boys leave Sacred Heart after sixth grade to attend Palma Junior High, so in the seventh grade, we may enroll a significant number of new students.


In 2003, a transitional kindergarten was added to meet the needs of our families who desired a Catholic education for their young children. We are currently in the process of planning the addition of a pre-school to provide our families an academically challenging and Catholic education for their toddlers. Presently there is 1 religious sister on staff: A Sister of Notre Dame de Namur who teaches history and religion for the sixth through eighth grade. The school remains committed to academic excellence and the ideals of reverence, respect, and responsibility established by the sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1906.


In 2005, the construction was complete on the Cislini Youth Center (also known as Cislini Gym). This beautiful gymnasium has a full sized basketball and volleyball court with electronic scoreboards and plenty of stadium seating. The building contains a spacious foyer, music classroom and athletic offices. The gymnasium's large space allows the school and Church to hold special events and Masses.


SMARTboard technology was brought into every classroom to assist teachers with hands on and interactive learning. The versatility of these boards allow the teachers to use creativity through internet applications, electronic white board capability and utilization of a document camera.


To meet the increased demands of the 21st century teaching of students, state of the art science and technology labs were constructed with additional SMARTboards added. Our technology lab houses 36 iMac computers allowing the students to create digital media projects and enhance their computer skills. The lab is also equipped with ipads and chromebooks. The science lab is a fully functioning classroom that can accommodate up to 50 students. New microscopes and lab equipment enhance student experiences.


Sacred Heart Preschool opened its doors in 2015 to meet the needs of our youngest community members. The progressive curriculum allows 3 and 4 years old students to engage in academic and play based learning. Spanish and technology is taught to enhance the diversity of student learning.