Our History


In 1911, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened the Rosati Center and the Kain School. The two schools merged to create Rosati-Kain High School and moved into the St. Vincent site on Grand and Lucas.

For the first nine years, the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet taught without remuneration. Their expenses were covered by teaching needlework and music lessons and with a subsidy from the respective motherhouses. 

In 1919, the school moved to the Hayes Mansion on Lindell and Newstead. In 1921, the Hayes Mansion was moved to the northwest corner of the lot facing Newstead. By September 1922, the three-story classical structure, designed by architect Henry P. Hess, was completed. Funds for the construction of the building were donated by Archbishop Glennon from money received as gifts on the occasion of his Silver Episcopal Jubilee. 

In 1935, the Rosati-Kain Alumnae Association formed a committee to raise funds to add to the school. The new wing which houses the gym, cafeteria, and music room was dedicated on December 7, 1941, the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. At the time, the science labs were constructed in the former gymnasium. 

The school flourished in educating young women. By the mid-1940’s, over 1,000 students attended Rosati-Kain in two different shifts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

Rosati-Kain was always known for academic excellence and diversity. In 1947, Rosati-Kain became the first high school in the St. Louis area to integrate, years before Brown v. Board of Education was the law of the land. 

In 1987, Rosati-Kain celebrated “75 years of Class” and to mark the occasion, raised funds to renovate the library extensively. Between 1994 and 1997, the science labs at R-K were renovated. Since the 2000’s, renovations have included adding more computer lab space, installing SmartBoards, installing a wireless network, remodeling the athletic locker rooms, and installing a new wood floor in the gym. 

Rosati-Kain inaugurated its centennial anniversary with a Kick-Off liturgy on September 1, 2011, followed by the dedication of the Holy Family statue placed in the front courtyard. Alumnae, students, faculty, and friends enjoyed a day of celebration and community. The year-long celebration included a service day for alumnae and community members. Teams of Rosati-Kain students brought leadership training to elementary schools. The Centennial Gala and Charism Awards at the Chase Park Plaza capped the celebration. 

Even as a century of history was celebrated, Build the Dream…Live the Legacy, a campaign for Rosati-Kain’s future was in full swing. Through the campaign, funds were raised to build a 12,000 sq.ft. addition to the original structure and to renovate more than 12,500 sq. ft. of the 1922 building. On August 23, 2015, the ribbon-cutting revealed a structure ready to be home to a new generation of students and designed to promote current and emerging programs giving new opportunities for the century ahead. After watching the school grow for 30 years as a teacher, principal and president,  Sr. Joan Andert retired. She continues as President Emeritus of the new Rosati-Kain Academy. 

Following the turbulent years of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rosati-Kain received devastating news. In September of 2022, the Archdiocese announced that they would close Rosati-Kain High School. Within days, over 500 people, including Alumnae, current and former parents, and students, met in the gym to rally behind keeping the school open. A Board was formed by Alumnae who fundraised, negotiated a lease with the Archdiocese, and secured sponsorship by St. Joseph Educational Ministries. On Christmas Day 2022, the St. Louis Post Dispatch’s headline read: “The miracle on Lindell.” Rosati-Kain was staying open. 

On July 1, 2023, Rosati-Kain Academy transitioned from the Archdiocese as an independent school. RKA is the only independent all-girls school in the city limits of St. Louis. It will continue to be known for academic excellence, diversity, and Catholic spirituality.  

Rosati women are fierce and unstoppable. The legacy continues FOREVER.