Sage Hill School: No Longer the New Kids on the Block

Sage Hill School was founded in the year 2000 by a dedicated group of social entrepreneurs and enthusiastic parents. Their plan to build a non-profit, non-denominational, independent secondary school in Orange County was ambitious. Their intention was to develop a school that would “inspire innovative thinking, nurture creative thought, and embrace diversity”. Since Sage Hill School opened its doors in September 2000 with just 120 students, the fact that “almost 1200 bright, accomplished alumni are making their mark in the world today” proves that their vision has been realized. The beautiful campus in Newport Coast overlooks the valley and hills to the East. Students who arrive at school early enjoy watching the morning sun highlight the city below.

Starting a new private high school is a formidable task. Who wants to go to a school with no trophy case in the main hall; a school without long-standing traditions, no pride of academic or athletic history? The first graduating class in 2003 changed all of that by setting a standard of excellence that has been built upon ever since. Facilities include a 30-acre campus with academic buildings, library, gymnasium, football/soccer field, baseball field, outdoor basketball and sand volleyball court, and a 30,000 square foot state-of -the-art performing arts facility.

Sage Hill’s class size average is just sixteen students and the counselor to student ratio is thirty-nine to one.  The Dean meets privately with each family to develop a “flexible academic and co-curricular plan, not only to position the student for college admission, but also to make the most of high school opportunities”.

Sage students achieve an average composite SAT score of 1969 and average four times the amount of AP scholars than the national average. Students enjoy everything a typical high school offers, like pep rallies, proms, and plays. They have opportunities to engage in the community, athletics, the arts, student government and clubs. In August of 2009 the school completed a new building for the Arts, The Studio at Sage Hill. The Studio supports the school’s public purpose mission and serves as a forum for both creation and display.  It contains a 300-seat fully flexible black box theater and houses two new departments – Film and Ceramics, along with Visual Arts, Theater, Dance, Choral and Instrumental Music. A new Science Center was completed in the fall of 2014.

Twenty one teams play twelve varsity and JV sports as part of the Academy League of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Sage Hill athletic teams have won four CIF Southern Section titles – 2005 girls’ tennis and volleyball and 2011 boys’ tennis and girls’ volleyball. The Spring at Sage program offers year-end travel experiences and the Sage Hill Internship Program (SHIP) provides dozens of summer opportunities in a vast range of professions and industries so students can gain hands-on work experience. The stated Mission of the school is “….Inspire in our students a love of knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge creatively, compassionately and courageously through their lives”.

The trophy case is filling up, meaningful traditions are being established and Sage Hill’s rigorous curriculum challenges and “inspires students to take risks, think critically, and find real-world applications for what they learn “.

Sage Hill School | 20402 Newport Coast Drive Newport Coast | (949)219-0100 | www.sagehillschool.org  | Tuition is $33,310 per year.

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