Immaculate Heart Central (IHC) is a Pre-K to 12 Catholic school system and a ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, who founded the school in 1881.
IHC is the largest and most prominent non-public educational alternative in the Greater Watertown, NY area. We are proud to be different. We provide a college-preparatory, Gospel-based education based on faith, challenge, opportunity, a culture of achievement, personal responsibility, and service. Our students develop spiritually, morally and ethically as well as intellectually.
IHC schools include over 700 students in grades Pre-K to 12. IHC Junior/Senior High School is fully accredited by the prestigious Commission on Secondary Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The High School enrolls over thirty international exchange students from eight to ten countries per year, bringing cultural diversity that is an essential part of the Catholic Church. IHC Elementary School is thriving, nine years after a necessary consolidation of Watertown’s four traditional parish elementary schools. IHC’s highly respected St. John Bosco Pre-School program, celebrating its thirtieth year, educates three, four, and young five year old students in a variety of two, three, and five-day per week programs. IHC’s student body is predominately from the Watertown Central School District, but includes students from about fourteen local school districts, depending on the year. Nearly thirty percent of IHC’s students are from families of active-duty soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Drum.
IHC has a well-deserved reputation for exceptional academics. It continues to maintain the highest average New York State standardized test scores among all districts in the local area (these tests include annual Math and English Language Arts tests for grades 3 to 8, Science exams for grades 4 and 8, and the New York State Regents Exams for grades 9 to 12). IHC Junior/Senior High School has a nearly 100% graduation and college matriculation rate. Sixty-five percent of our graduates earn a New York State Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation or Advanced Designation with Honors. Our curriculum, which is both expanding and strengthening, includes a number of Honors, Advanced Placement, and college EDGE courses in all core areas, a variety of electives, and musical, visual, and performing arts programs.
Service is an integral part of the IHC experience. IHC’s students are extremely active in community service projects throughout the local area, in both the Junior/Senior Higgh School and the Elementary School. Please visit the “Spiritual Life” tab above and browse all the things IHC students do to fulfill their commitment to be responsible, contributing members of the community.
Athletics is part of IHC’s fiber! Despite competing against schools as large as four times our size, the IHC Cavaliers have garnered numerous State, Championship, Section, and League titles over the years. Our success is based on character, work ethic, mutual responsibility, sportsmanship, and committed coaching. “IHC Pride” is about challenging our students to achieve the same high standards of achievement on the sports field as in the classroom.
IHC is truly a tight-knit “faith community” of students, parents, grandparents, teachers, thousands of alumni, local parishioners and other community members committed to quality Catholic education. The spirit of community, and the “small school feel,” is one of the school system’s great strengths.
IHC schools are chartered under the authority of the Bishop of Ogdensburg. The school system is governed by a twenty-person Education Council, consisting of Watertown’s Pastors, local parishioners, school community members, and the school system administrators. Council meetings are open to the school community, and all school community members are encouraged to seek service on our Education Council.
IHC has a committed, quality, and experienced, extraordinarily devoted faculty. Our class sizes are small, from about 16:1 to 20:1 depending on the grade and course. High-quality and committed faculty combined with small class sizes promotes individual attention, participation, and the opportunity for group work.
We are proud of who we are, what we do, and why we do it!