Garden Street Academy began under the name San Roque School, located in the San Roque neighborhood of Santa Barbara. The neighborhood got its name in 1769 when Governor Portola’s men arrived in the area and camped at the mouth of the creek and named the area San Roque after their patron saint. “Saint Roch” was a French nobleman from the 14th century who gave his life and fortune to the sick and poor.
The original San Roque School was established in 1936 to serve the neighborhood. Beginning enrollment was 56 pupils. The first graduation, a class of five students, was on Saturday, June 11, 1939. In 1990, the first lay principal was hired.
In 2002, the school was leased to a non-profit organization, the San Roque Charitable Trust, to become an independent school that offered an exceptional academic program in a state-of-the-art facility. In the years since then, San Roque School has entered into a variety of partnerships and collaborations to bridge the students’ formal learning to the opportunities and resources in the local and world community. In a short time, our programs and staff have been recognized through invitation to present at national and international conferences.
In response to growing community interest, in the fall of 2005 San Roque School expanded to include the campus at 2300 Garden Street, which is where the Upper School program was established. Our first 12th grade graduation was on June 6, 2008. This historic campus is now the home of all K-12 programs at Garden Street Academy.