Sacred Heart School History
Sacred Heart Parish and school have their roots in the faith of German settlers who settled in Florissant and the surrounding valley known as Ste. Ferdinand de Fleurissant in 1846, an area known for its beauty and fertility. They worshipped at St. Ferdinand’s Church, founded by French Catholics in 1789, and sent their children to public school.
Twenty years later in 1866, the German population had grown to 35 families and they petitioned the Most Reverend Peter R. Kenrick, Archbishop of St. Louis for permission to establish a parish and school where German would be spoken. The cornerstone for the church was set on June 3, 1866.
The first building constructed was the school, a two story brick building. It was ready for the first day of school, September 15, 1886. The upper floor was used as a convent; the lower floor contained two classrooms, as well as a small parlor and entrance hall. Archives show that two Sisters of St. Joseph along with lay teacher, Mr. F. Ostermann, served as faculty for approximately 120 students. Catechism, Bible History, Writing, and Ciphering were taught in addition to the core curriculum. Classes were taught in English half the day and the other half of the day in German. Father Johann Bauhaus, S. J., invited German-speaking Sisters of the Most Precious Blood to come to Sacred Heart to teach. These Sisters served the school until 1994.
By 1872, it was necessary to expand the school. A second, two story brick building containing one classroom and living quarters for the teacher was built. Further increase in enrollment and the deteriorating condition of the school, prompted plans to be drawn to build a new school. The building was completed and solemnly dedicated by the Very Rev. Henry Muehlsiepen, Vicar General of St. Louis, on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1889. Today this building is home for Preschool and Kindergarten students. It was also used by the Archdiocesan Special Education Learning Center for over 30 years.
By 1950, Sacred Heart enrolled 310 students. Construction of the present school building began in November of 1951. The cornerstone for the new Sacred Heart School was laid on March 23, 1952. The school opened six months later in September of 1952. The enrollment continued to grow and ultimately necessitated the addition of six more classrooms, a cafeteria and a gymnasium in 1962. By 1966, Sacred Heart enrolled 1,237 children from grades one through eight. Currently, Sacred Heart School has an enrollment of over 300 students in grades one through eight supported by faculty and staff of 20 lay men and women.