St. Andrew Catholic School History
Myrtle Beach is a relatively young city that did not begin to experience real growth until after World War II. The first appointment of a resident priest in Myrtle Beach came in 1946. Monsignor Richard C. Madden was this priest, and he stayed as pastor at St. Andrew until 1973. His dream of a school became a reality when, in 1956, two classrooms and an auditorium were opened. By 1958 this had grown to four classrooms. In 1962 a second addition to the school was built, which included a small library and administration office. This allowed St. Andrew to house grades one through eight. The school buildings were one story, fireproof buildings constructed of concrete block with a brick veneer. The Church was a small wooden structure on the corner of 29th Avenue and King's Highway. The completion of a new church beside the school in 1965 added greatly to the spiritual education of the students.
In 1957, the second year of operation, St. Andrew School was staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy, assisted by lay teachers. The Sisters of Charity left Myrtle Beach in 1973, and were replaced by the Little Franciscan Sisters of Mary, whose Provincial House is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. During the period 1973-1987, Sister Irene Rioux O.S.F., Principal, and three sisters, along with seven lay teachers, educated the students of the school.
A very active PTO has enabled St. Andrew to expand its physical plant without incurring any long-term debt. In 1989 a new wing was added to the front of the existing school. It included a classroom, a science lab, a computer lab, and administrative offices. This addition allowed the school to add a Kindergarten, expand the library, and greatly enhance its curriculum. Upon completion of this project, money was available to pay the construction cost within one year. This was due largely to the PTO annual fundraiser, "Taste of the Town". This yearly event has become a very prominent part of the fall social scene in Myrtle Beach. It has not only provided an excellent source of income, but also adds to the exceptional reputation of St. Andrew.
In November 2005, our school was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education. Nomination for this prestigious designation was predicated upon our students’ excellent scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, a national standardized test which is given each fall. The evaluation committee looked for evidence of exceptional instruction techniques, innovative programs, parental and community involvement, and a balanced extracurricular program. St. Andrew School received high marks in all areas.
Our new gymnasium, the Community Life Center (CLC), opened in November 2006. It is used for PE, organized sports, and many school and parish gatherings.
Summer 2011 brought on extensive renovation and addition to our school building. An art room, music room, new Kindergarten classroom, new Library/Media Center, and new offices have been added. These improvements are allowing our programs to be enriched and expanded. In 2015, a new security system, fencing, and cameras were installed to further secure our campus and provide a safe environment for our students and faculty.
Today, St. Andrew provides education for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade. An extended care program is available for students each afternoon until 5:30 p.m. The additions of Algebra I Honors, Geometry Honors, English I Honors, and Spanish I in Grade 8, Spanish, Art, Music, Computers, Accelerated Reader and the incorporation of STREAM, (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art, and Math) school-wide have enriched an already strong fundamental curriculum. In 2020, St. Andrew added the option of a BRAVE at Home Program. This is a home-based education with the guidance of a St. Andrew teacher, providing opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular activities in sports, while still having the flexibility of receiving a quality, Catholic-based education at home.