In 1953 St. Anastasia Church was established in honor of James Francis Cardinal McIntyre’s elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals. That fall, St. Anastasia School opened with a single first grade class at neighboring St. Mark’s parish in Venice.
By 1955, construction began on an eight-room school building and grades one through four were opened by the fall of that year with two Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and two lay teachers. Throughout the 50s, St.
Anastasia grew rapidly adding a new class yearly and in 1961, the original first class of fifty-three students graduated in June.
Structurally, the school grew as well. In less than ten years and in three phases St. Anastasia grew from the four room school to the current building.
Enrollment peaked in 1964 with 771 students in two classes per first-eighth grade.
As the school grew, so did the city of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles International Airport began an expansion initiative which caused a corresponding reduction in the size of St. Anastasia’s parish as well as its school. As the classroom size shrunk however, new developments grew. St. Anastasia now had space to create a science room, staff lounge, audio-visual room, and a parish community room.
The 1980’s brought many new transitions beginning in 1981 when the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary withdrew from the school opening it to a lay administrator for the first time before a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet assumed administrative duties in 1982. Donations from outside foundations also helped St. Anastasia grow and expand. The Fritz B. Burns Foundation helped the school create a new library in 1983 and open a Kindergarten in 1984. Their continued support in 1986 and 1988 allowed the school to open a new science center and a computer lab.
Throughout the years both the Fritz B. Burns Foundation and the William H. Hannon Foundation continued to actively support St. Anastasia through generous monetary grants.
In 1988 the school came under the direction of a lay administrator. In an effort to update and expand the school’s curriculum, St. Anastasia added computer and Spanish classes to all grades in the 1990’s. In addition, the Catholic Youth Organization sports program was expanded to include third through fifth grade students. In 1994 an art enrichment program called Gateway to Art was added to the curriculum.
In the past decade, St. Anastasia Catholic School has strived to offer in-depth enrichment in the arts and music. In 2000 a music instructor was hired and a musical has been produced every spring as well as music classes and after-school choir. Within the parish, the Monsignor Vadakin Arts and Education Fund was established in 2002. Its direct purpose is to further enhance arts and spiritual education in the parish and school. Through this fund, the school has been fortunate to expand its enrichment programs including the Talent Show, Performing Arts Showcase, Musicals, Retreats and Public Speakers. With the addition of a sports director, the sports program continues to expand, furthering the school’s competitive edge.
Keeping current in science and technology is an important part of our curriculum studies. We began by adding Algebra studies in the eighth grade. We have incorporated iPad’s into every classroom, expanding the curriculum and creating hands-on learning through technology. Our science program includes hands-on learning through grade appropriate studies and an extracurricular science fair.
Classrooms now have Smart Boards. These interactive boards give the teachers and students an opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and enhance the learning process. In 2011 we added iPad technology to our curriculum. From Kindergarten through 4th grade, iPads are integrated into the classroom learning program. Fifth though eighth grade students use personal iPads for classwork, homework, projects and as an integral learning tool.
The fall of 2013 we welcomed 22 new students to our brand new Junior Kindergarten program. The Junior Kindergarten program will act as a bridge between the preschool environment and the more structured setting of Kindergarten. Our Junior Kindergarten provides an age appropriate setting that emphasizes opportunities for social-emotional growth through hands-on activities and intentional teaching of kindergarten readiness. Our program prepares students for the social and academic expectations for the following year’s entry into traditional Kindergarten.
The belief that we as Catholics must become good stewards is emphasized in the school. Through community outreach and service projects, we continue to educate our students on the importance of giving.