Little Flower School opened in 1887 as the parochial school for Holy Face Church. Miss Virginia Coombs taught Grades 1-7 in the church hall, a wooden structure adjacent to the church. The land for the original church and the school was donated by Mr. and Mrs. William Cecil. In 1926, the school officially took on the name “Little Flower School” in honor of the newly canonized St. Therese of Liseiux. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Hartford, Connecticut originally staffed the school, and classes continued to be held in the old church hall while a new school and rectory were under construction at the top of the hill on land donated by John T. Cecil.
The new school had four classrooms and opened in 1927. Each classroom held two consecutive grades taught by one teacher, enabling the school to add 8th grade. When Patuxent River Naval Air Station opened in 1943, Little Flower School received a great influx of new students. A new school was built to accommodate the unparalleled growth, and it was dedicated on August 25, 1951. This building is still used today. In 1953, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur of Illchester, Maryland took over the teaching at Little Flower School, although they eventually turned it back over to the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1972. Kindergarten and later, Pre-Kindergarten, were eventually added to Grades 1-8. The upper grades were departmentalized, enabling teachers to teach one or two subjects to multiple classes, rather than all subjects to a single class.
Although many things have changed over the years, the core of who we are has remained steady. Daily religion classes are complemented by the morals and values that permeate all aspects of a Little Flower education. Students still attend Mass weekly and participate in traditions like the annual May Procession. Relatives and friends are included in daily prayer intentions. Service to others is embedded in the curriculum; since the beginning, students have collected canned goods at Thanksgiving time to distribute to those in need. Volunteer spirits and generous hearts have long been marks of the faculty, parents, and students of Little Flower School, as well as local businesses. Some alumni fondly recall a “painting party” thrown by the Sisters, where LFS parents came to school over the weekend to help paint the classrooms. Parent volunteers continue to be at the heart of the school’s fundraising events, but students also help as they are able, by decorating or waiting tables or even making art projects for the Annual Benefit Auction. The 500 Club (named for its ideal size) was founded in 1980 and still continues to be an important source of fundraising income for the school.
In 1986, Little Flower School was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. This accreditation was renewed every ten years until 2013, when Little Flower School and the whole Archdiocese of Washington transitioned to an accreditation model based on continuous growth and improvement through AdvancED.
Little Flower School has a rich history and a bright future. The thousands of students who have attended Little Flower are a testament to the belief that a Catholic education best prepares a child to take his or her place in the world. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our community and our focus on educating the whole child. We look forward to continuing to live out our mission in the 21st Century and beyond!