Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart began in 1961 but its original inspiration goes back several months prior to opening day. The founding of Carrollton is actually the fruit of a confluence of events which helped to shape the history of the City of Miami and the Society of the Sacred Heart both in the United States and in Cuba. Those events, which converged then, may now seem clear and connected but during the months in which they occurred, no one could have foretold the ultimate outcome. The events involve alumnae of the Sacred Heart living in Miami in the late '50's and early '60's, the creation of the Diocese of Miami and the expulsion of the Religious of the Sacred Heart from our schools in Havana and Santiago in Cuba.
The current Archdiocese of Miami was actually formed in 1958 when a decision was made to divide Florida and the newly formed diocese was to be Miami. Bishop Coleman Carroll was named the first bishop. It is the bishop's responsibility to build and form the diocese. Bishop Carroll invited several religious congregations whom he knew to make foundations in Miami. The Religious of the Sacred Heart were among those invited.
Before this invitation could be issued, alumnae from Sacred Heart schools and colleges throughout the United States who were living in Miami wondered if there might be a chance to have a school of the Sacred Heart in the new diocese. Simultaneously, as the situation in Cuba worsened the leadership of the Society of the Sacred Heart in Rome began to plan for the probable loss of schools and the subsequent need to re-locate the Religious. Sadly, such a step was not the first time the Society of the Sacred Heart faced probable expulsion due to unfriendly governments. As alumnae from Cuba began to arrive in Miami, it was a question of time when their desires for a school would unite with the desires of the American alumnae and begin to tug at the hearts of the Religious of the Sacred Heart.
All of these factors converged when the schools in Cuba were finally confiscated and the religious escaped to Florida. Greeting them was Reverend Mother Agnes Barry who represented the Vicars and Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Bishop Carroll echoed the requests of alumnae that a Sacred Heart School be founded in Miami as soon as possible. And so as all of these people united in prayer, Mother Barry agreed to send a formal request to the Mother House in Rome and the return telegram on July 13, 1961 simply said "Oui."
Then the work began in earnest to find a proper home for the future of the Sacred Heart in Miami. Assisted by Sacred Heart alumnae such as Mrs. O’Neil and Mrs. Ledo, the Religious began a search for an appropriate property for the school. Mother Malin Craig, treasurer of the Vicariate, and Mother Clare McGowan, Director of Studies joined Reverend Mother Barry and the work of finding students and designing a program began.
El Jardin became the absolute choice when Mother Barry saw the poem carved in the arches about the pool..."One is nearer God's Heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth." Although classes in September were temporarily prevented from occurring in El Jardin, neither lack of the necessary financing nor the absence of city authorization discouraged the alumnae and religious. Classes proceeded in people’s homes, and finally on November 1, 1961 the City Commissioners unanimously agreed that the El Jardin estate on Main Highway could become the site of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. Classes opened in El Jardin in January.
Since that time Carrollton has mirrored the growth and evolution of Miami. Today we enjoy a multi-lingual, multi-cultural community of students, parents and faculty from all over the world. Like all of the other Schools of the Sacred Heart across the world, Carrollton focuses on the total education of the student. Her spiritual, intellectual, physical and emotional growth remains at the center of the educational mission.
Once housed solely in the original estate home, El Jardin, the school now enjoys two campuses, Barat and Duchesne. At Barat, the Barry Building at Barat was added in 1969 and underwent renovations which were completed in 2008. Founders Library and the Science/Technology Hall were completed in 2007. The Intermediate Pavilion completed in 2009 provides science labs and humanities classrooms for the fourth, fifth and sixth graders. The second campus (Duchesne) was acquired in 1991. Rose Hall and Meli’s Hall which include science labs, state of the art classrooms and an assembly space were completed in 2005 for the Junior High. The Montessori and Primary cottages have been renovated and include smart technology.
As Carrollton enters its 50th year, the Master Plan calls for a convocation center and a wellness center.