On September 6, 1956, Cor Jesu Academy opened its doors for the first time on Macklind Avenue on The Hill under the administration of Sr. Anita Marie Giampetro, ASCJ, its founding principal. With the approval of Joseph Cardinal Ritter and the Archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools, and the accreditation of the University of Missouri, Cor Jesu began to expand and build its curriculum to meet the needs of each subsequent school year.
As enrollment continued to increase, a new and larger facility was needed. In 1965 the present campus was opened on the 13-acre tract near Grant's Farm in Southwest St. Louis County. Cor Jesu has been accredited by the North Central Association since 1971, and in 1990 the school was named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the Department of Education.
In 1987 construction of an expanded Library-Fine Arts Center was undertaken, resulting in greater research, classroom, computer and resource facilities. In the spring of 1999, the administration authorized one of the most comprehensive self-studies in the history or Cor Jesu, resulting in its first-ever large-scale capital campaign. The success of the campaign brought about the construction of the 16,000 square-foot addition, Clelian Hall (in 2005), which houses five classrooms with interactive technology, administrative offices, Guidance and Counseling offices and a College and Career Center, an enlarged faculty room, a new school entrance and main office, an enlarged parking lot and a new rear campus. Changes also were made to the existing building, including the addition of a classroom and Fitness Enrichment Center (weight room) and the renovation of a science lab.
Intensive re-evaluation of curriculum and grading have resulted in re-affirmation of a strong core curriculum, while expanded elective offerings have allowed for a wider choice of areas to study. Use of community resources for educational opportunities has broadened, and a program of student service has been in place for many years. A well-established guidance and counseling department provides opportunity for teacher-student-parent communication. Student committees also encourage participation in school government and foster in the students both self-confidence and a sense of responsibility. In the fall of 2005, the laptop program was introduced to the freshmen class to help equip our students with the technological skills that they will need to be successful in college and in life. By 2008, all students will lease laptops as an educational tool.
Throughout the school's history, continued efforts toward excellence have resulted in expanded curriculum and co-curricular activities, as well as increased numbers of faculty members and students. The faculty of Cor Jesu Academy is composed of dedicated religious and lay professionals. The religious Sisters are members of the community of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Currently there are five Apostles and forty-nine lay men and women on the faculty and 19 staff members. Eighty-three percent of the faculty have a master's degree or above.
Above all, continued affirmation of the values of the individual with a sharing community has underlined the distinctive quality of Catholic education offered by Cor Jesu Academy.
A History of Cor Jesu Academy Hardcover Book
Book of CJ History ~ You may order your copy of Sharing the Love of the Heart of the Heart of Christ: A History of Cor Jesu Academy, a limited-edition, hardcover history book written by two of Cor Jesu's own history teachers. Click here to order your copy!