An Extraordinary Vision

Our 2020 Strategic Plan – An Extraordinary Vision, is the work of conversation and collaboration among the many and varied communities of Flintridge Sacred Heart. On May 5, 2016, the Board of Directors affirmed the school’s top five mission-critical goals and strategies to achieve those goals. 

  • Extraordinary People - attract, develop and retain extraordinary faculty, staff and students
  • Extraordinary Program - implement programs that respond to the ever-changing educational landscape
  • Extraordinary Place - modernize our campus to create an optimal learning environment
  • Extraordinary Partnership - strengthen relationships to deepen the ongoing commitment to our mission
  • Extraordinary Presence - raise our profile as a leader in secondary girls’ education
In September 2016, a condensed summary of the Strategic Plan was made available to the Flintridge Sacred Heart community. You may view that document below. 

Any questions regarding this new strategic plan may be directed to Sister Carolyn McCormack, O.P., President.  

All the stuff I read in textbooks is living and breathing at Flintridge Sacred Heart; we really do it here on the Hill.
—Ella Venne '22

The History of the Hill

Our Origins as a Resort Hotel

Flintridge Sacred Heart was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose in 1931. The school’s original Mission-style buildings, designed in 1927 as a resort hotel by noted Southern California architect Myron Hunt, overlook the San Gabriel Valley and the Pasadena Rose Bowl from the crest of the scenic San Rafael Hills.

Flintridge Hotel Postcard
Flintridge Hotel Postcard
The resort, originally built and managed by Senator Frank P. Flint, opened in 1927 as the Flintridge Hotel and was soon after sold to the Biltmore Hotel chain. Unfortunately, the hilltop retreat was deemed too expensive to maintain and closed shortly after the onset of the Great Depression. At the same time, the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose were making plans to build a convent and girls’ school on a tract of land they had purchased in Sierra Madre. 

The Legend of a $5 bill, statue of the Blessed Mother and Faith

After hearing about the hotel's closure, Archbishop Cantwell, the first archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, contacted the Dominican Sisters and suggested that the abandoned hotel would suit their needs. After careful consideration, the Sisters purchased the entire resort — including the nine original buildings, hotel furnishings and surrounding land — at auction for $150,000. According to legend, on August 15, 1931, three Dominican Sisters traveled up the hill to take possession of their new school, bringing a five-dollar bill, a statue of the Blessed Mother and their faith. The school opened for the first day of classes two weeks later — on September 2, 1931 — with 200 students enrolled in grades 1 through 12.

Hear from alumnae about the early days on the Hill!

Changes on the Hill

Originally a boarding school, Flintridge Sacred Heart began accepting day students in 1952, phasing out the elementary grades and becoming exclusively a high school. From the beginning, the school’s day population drew from a wide geographical area that now includes the entire Los Angeles basin, with many joining us from the neighboring communities in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. International boarding students have flocked to Flintridge Sacred Heart from all over the world since the day the school was founded!

history of fsha
Students in front of the high school building in 1955

A Lasting Commitment

Since Flintridge Sacred Heart’s inception, the Dominican Sisters, as well as many dedicated professionals, have provided leadership and staffing for the school, its classrooms and residence halls. Together, they have built a school committed to the development of young women through its challenging academic program, complemented by a lasting commitment to an arts education, a vibrant campus ministryChristian service, a competitive athletic program and a history rich in tradition.

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440 St. Katherine Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011

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Flintridge Sacred Heart, a Catholic, Dominican, independent, college-preparatory, day and boarding high school, educates young women for a life of faith, integrity, and truth.

Flintridge Sacred Heart admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid, and athletic and other school-administered programs.