About Us » History


St. Andrew Catholic School began as the Academy of the Holy Names in 1897 and has been administered by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary throughout the school’s history.

In 1897 the Academy of the Holy Names began in a rented house on North Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena. Four Sisters of the Holy Names staffed the school: Sisters Andre Corsini, Agnes of Mary, Mary Dolorosa, and Mary Rose of the Passion, who was the principal. School opened on August 30, 1897, with an enrollment of 25 pupils. A formal opening took place on October 6, 1897, and by mid-October the classes for grades one through ten were filled. The Register of Pupils lists 77 students for the school year 1897-98.

That first year the Sisters held bake sales and raffles to pay for the purchase of land and the construction of a school building at the southeast corner of Fair Oaks and Walnut. On September 8, 1898, Bishop George Montgomery officially dedicated the school in its new building. Our Evolution Numbers increased steadily. By the 1913-1914 academic year, the school was expanded to include a full four-year high school.

In 1918 Saint Andrew Parish purchased the Academy of the Holy Names from the Sisters, and it became a parochial school. In 1923, when more space was needed, the parish bought the Throop Building (occupied by the California Institute of Technology) located on Chestnut Street between Fair Oaks and Raymond. From then on, the elementary school was known as Saint Andrew School, and the high school department became Saint Andrew High School (for girls) where both academic and business courses continued to be offered. At that time there was a total of 367 students. Saint Andrew Elementary School and Saint Andrew High School were the first Catholic schools in the Pasadena area.

The school flourished and grew, and more space was needed for academic programs. In 1949 the Throop Building was demolished and the current school building was constructed. Los Angeles Archbishop J. Francis A. McIntyre dedicated it on December 4, 1949. The enrollment was then 636, with 301 in the high school and 335 in the elementary school.

Saint Andrew High School was the central girls’ Catholic high school for the parishes in the Pasadena area; The curriculum provided commercial, as well as home economics studies.

Enrollment began to drop in the high school in 1969. Freeway construction and housing redevelopment had forced several hundred families to relocate. Despite efforts to increase enrollment, Saint Andrew High School was closed on June 6, 1980 because of its decreased enrollment.

The closing of the high school gave the elementary school additional instructional space. The Kindergarten program was added in the fall of 1980. Four computer laboratories, clinic, school office, and multi-purpose room are now part of the school program. Additional space has been provided within the school building for parish use.

Today St. Andrew Catholic School continues to serve children in grades PK- through Eight. Since its foundation in 1897, Saint Andrew School has been committed to quality Catholic education.

SAS is an urban Catholic elementary school located in the downtown area of Pasadena known as "Old Pasadena." The school’s diverse population reflects Pasadena’s economic and demographic composition. Since the beginning of the school dedicated faculty consisting of Sisters of the Holy Names and laypeople have educated and worked with the children and families.