Friday, May 24 2024

“…An interdisciplinary approach [to education] has always been deeply valued, with the goal of integratingheart and spirit with mind and imagination.” Mary Milligan, RSHM

In 1940, when the population of the San Fernando Valley was sparse and scattered with farmlands, Archbishop Cantwell asked the RSHM to found the first Catholic girls’ high school in “the Valley”.  In 1941 property on Laurel Canyon Boulevard was purchased and Corvallis, meaning ‘heart of the valley’ was blessed. That September Corvallis opened with 24 students, the RSHM commuting from Marymount, Westwood. A two-story house served as the school on the 4-acre campus. In September 1943 Corvallis was accredited, enrollment reached 70 and 14 students received diplomas. By 1945, the school reached capacity and the car-less garage was remodeled into a classroom for the incoming freshman class.

After World War II, a building for 400 students was added. The original school became a convent for the sisters at Corvallis and for the sisters who commuted to St. Francis de Sales and St. Patrick, neighboring parochial schools. Corvallis students earned honors at local, state, and national levels in multiple areas of scholarship and skill – oratory, drama, biochemistry, electronics. 

In 1980, the RSHM studied the possibility of a merger with Notre Dame Boys’ High School, Sherman Oaks, sponsored by the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and concluded this was not feasible.  No longer able to sponsor or operate Corvallis High School, the school continued under a new name and agency from 1981-87.