The great legacy of our parochial elementary school began when Saint Paschal Baylon School (SPBS) first opened its doors in September 1963, with an enrollment of 286 students in Grades 1-6, all gathered together in just one building. The teaching staff at that time consisted of four Sisters of Notre Dame and two lay teachers. The foundation of teaching for the Sisters of Notre Dame was rooted in their order’s charism, “Participation in the mission of Jesus Christ, witnessing God’s goodness and provident care of others.”
In 1966, a second school building was erected, and another class was added to Grades 1-4 each year until 1970. At that time, in order to curb rising school administration costs, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles directed its elementary schools to eliminate the second class of each grade, and SPBS followed this directive. As classes were eliminated at SPBS, extra classrooms were converted into offices, Media Rooms, a school Library, and the Music/Extended Care room.
An SPBS Computer Lab was constructed, and it opened in the fall of 1989. An additional new building housing a Kindergarten classroom and new Faculty Room was completed in the fall of 1993. In 1997, after 34 years of service to SPBS, the Sisters of Notre Dame withdrew as an order from administering and teaching at SPBS, due to a shortage of vocations. The first lay principal of Saint Paschal Baylon School, Mrs. Suzanne Stewart Duffy, was selected by the pastor at that time, Msgr. Joseph George. Mrs. Duffy continues to serve the SPBS community and is currently in her 19th year as the principal.
Faith formation is at the heart of Saint Paschal Baylon School. This is evident in the fact that we have a 100% Catholic student body, faculty and staff. Our pastor, administration, faculty and staff place major importance on providing excellent grade level religion classes-based on the Los Angeles Archdiocesan Religion Standards, weekly Friday school Masses (celebrated by the pastor), prayer services for students and families, Lenten Reconciliation services for all students, and ongoing catechesis for our faculty and staff. In addition we strive to model our faith through active support of the Catholic missions around the world, the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life” each year, and our dedication of "outreach to others" through our SPBS Outreach Ministry projects and support for our “sister school”, Transfiguration School.
In addition to faith formation, SPBS believes in educating the “whole child”, and preparing them for success both now and in the future. Therefore, “Creating Excellence in Faith, Academics, and Service” serves as the charism/motto of our school. Accelerated classes and departmentalization for Grades 6-8 were implemented in the fall of 1997, along with a school wide discipline system. The Junior High Science Lab and indoor lockers for Grades Six through Eight were built in the fall of 1998, as part of the complete renovation of the school’s “upper building”. Air conditioning was also installed in all the classrooms at that time. During the summer of 2000, the school’s central patio/lunch area was re-built: a new patio cover was installed; fans and lights were provided; asphalt was removed and concrete poured to create a new patio; and new student lunch tables were purchased. The Health Room was completely renovated during the summer of 2001, and it also serves as an office for the Junior High Teacher Aide as well as a staff work room. A P.E. equipment shed was installed near the sports field in May of 2004. During the summer of 2004, the “lower building” was completely renovated: the last remaining asbestos was removed; student bathrooms were renovated; and Resource and Small-Group Instruction Rooms were created, in order to help better address and serve the needs of our diverse student body.
During the summer of 2005, the SPB Hall floor was retrofitted with state-of-the-art athletic flooring, for use by our school volleyball and basketball teams. A new upgraded surround-sound system was also installed, for use by our school’s fine arts productions held in the Hall. Summer 2006 saw the complete renovation of the SPBS Library, with the addition of new technology and computers for students/librarians; custom bookshelves to accommodate our growing book inventory; a fully automated check-out system; installation of the “Accelerated Reader” software/new computers; and new carpet. During the summer of 2007, SPBS had a much-needed Art Program Room built. During the summer of 2009, counter tops/cabinets in the Media Rooms and upper building classrooms were rebuilt and refurbished, and new carpet was installed throughout the upper building. During the summer of 2010 the patio roof was refurbished, the flooring was replaced in the Computer Lab and Kindergarten, Smartboards were installed, and upgrades were provided to the digital technology in the classrooms. In 2011 new iMac computers were purchased by the school for the Computer Lab, and a campus-wide digital video surveillance system was installed with monitors in several locations. In addition, SPBS installed both a commercial-grade wireless network for SPBS and a school wide security system. For the 2013-2014 school year, SPBS purchased 112 iPads and two wireless iPad carts, all for student use in the classrooms. During the summer of 2014 a new and upgraded fire alarm system was installed throughout the school: every classroom has the ability to access Apple TV, and every classroom had a SmartBoard installed. During the 2014-2015 academic year, a locked security gate and new wrought iron fencing were built at the entrance to the school, in order to help increase safety for our school community during school hours.
SPBS remains a thriving 100% Catholic parochial elementary school serving the Conejo Valley for 54 years. SPBS currently has a student body of approximately 330 students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade, along with a highly qualified and dedicated 33-member Catholic faculty and staff.