Little Flower Academy
|Little Flower Academy|
To The Light
|4195 Alexandra Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, V6J 4C6
|School type||Independent Catholic Secondary school|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver|
|School board||CISVA (Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese)|
|Principal||Mrs. Dianne Little|
|Vice principal||Mr. Roland St. Cyr, Ms. Carole Prescott|
|Grades||8-12 (girls only)|
|Colour(s)||Maroon and White (gold for sports)|
Little Flower Academy (informally referred to as LFA) is an independent Catholic girls' day school in Vancouver, British Columbia. Established in 1927, by the Sisters of Saint Ann. It educates students at the secondary level from the grades of eight to twelve. It is located in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood, between Shaughnessy Elementary School and York House School.
The school has had a long-established 100% graduation rate. For the classes of 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, 100% of graduates were accepted to post secondary institutions. The school was ranked 1st among BC high schools in the 2015 Fraser Institute rankings.
Until 2005, when portions of the school were de-constructed to make room for new additions, the school's convent (a 1910 mansion) held a Guinness World Record for the most exterior windows arranged at different levels.
The 1931 library-cafeteria-art building, which was deconstructed during the 2005-2007 renovations, was once the original schoolhouse with boarding rooms in the attic. The schoolhouse ("Foundress Hall") was one of the few remaining examples of the architectural work of Sister Mary Osithe, an artist and pioneering female architect in BC who also designed the Bulkley Valley Hospital in Smithers, BC. (Details on Osithe may be found in Donald Luxton’s Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia (Talon Books, 2003).)
On September 14, 2007, the school celebrated the opening of the new wing and its 80th anniversary. The new wing includes several new classrooms, a boardroom, a new chapel, a gymnasium appropriate for a high school, reception, offices, art room and cafeteria. Many of the features of the old buildings were salvaged during the careful deconstruction and integrated into the new wing. Most of the stained glass windows can be found on display in the new building (many arranged artistically in the lobby); old posts are in the new gym as decoration; the hardwood floors throughout the new wing are from the old buildings; bricks from the chimneys have been used to in the new grotto; fireplaces, which have been reconditioned and made electric, are now in the library and board room; the telephone booth is in the staff room; an original door is in the lobby; and furniture can be found in both the chapel and library.
In 1858, five women of the Québec-based order of the Sisters of St. Ann travelled by sea to the Isthmus of Panama and up the west coast to Victoria. They set down in a small log cabin in Beacon Hill Park, and began the process of establishing Victoria's St. Ann's Academy. The Sisters' first presence in Vancouver came in 1888 (two years after the city was established) with a school on Dunsmuir, next to a cathedral and, according to an article researched by the late Sister Eileen Kelly (the last St. Ann order principal of LFA), "on the edge of a forest clearing."
The Sisters wanted to expand with a boarding school to accommodate young women who lived too remotely to access existing educational facilities. The building (now replaced) known as "The Convent" was built in Shaughnessy in 1910 for this purpose. By 1918, the Vancouver diocese sold 6 acres (24,000 m2) to the municipality of Point Grey, who desired a portion of the site to erect their own public school, Prince of Wales High School – which became today’s Shaughnessy Elementary in 1961. The ownership of the remaining property at the time reverted to the Sisters of Saint Ann, who were able to meet the payments and whose chosen school name “Little Flower Academy” began appearing in the published Vancouver Directory books.
Little Flower Academy was so named apparently because the prayers of one of the Sisters had been answered in acquiring the property. The prayers had been made to Saint Thérèse de Lisieux, who had the nickname “The Little Flower of Jesus.”
In 2010, Lisa Riemer, a lesbian teacher, was removed from teaching duties and instructed to work from home until the end of her contract after she requested maternal leave to be with her expectant partner .
The school's official colours are maroon and white. Physical education uniforms consist of maroon, white, or grey.
From grades 8 to 11, students are required to wear a maroon v-neck sweater. Grade 12 students have white and maroon button-down cardigans with their graduation year stitched on the left sleeve and their names on the right. All students wear autumn plaid kilts with a pin, short-sleeved dress shirts with "LFA" embroidered on the pocket, and navy blue or black knee high socks or opaque tights. Students are allowed black dress shoes which must not have a heel over 4 cm and that have no visible stitching, ribbons, or zippers. Students may only wear thin headbands coloured maroon, black, gold, or white. Make-up must be fairly natural and minimal, but is allowed. Permissible jewellery include a cross or a single necklace, one earring per ear, and a single ring on each hand. Visible tattoos are not permitted.
The School's athletic teams include:
- Fall Season Sports: Volleyball, Field Hockey, Swimming and Cross-Country running.
- Winter Season Sports: Basketball
- Spring Season Sports: Soccer, Tennis, Ultimate Frisbee, Badminton and Track & Field
Field Hockey While LFA has had success in recent year in nearly every sport, they've been known most widely for their field hockey program, which might be the largest in Canada. The school fields four teams (Bantam, Junior, Senior A and Senior B) every year. Started at the school by Mrs. Alison McGillivray in the 1980s, the Senior A team has qualified for the AA Provincial Championships for 11 of the past 12 years.
Recent teams that have significant accomplishments at the Provincial level include:
- Cross-Country Running: Junior BC Provincial Champions (2014); 10th at Senior BC Championships (2014); 6th at BC Championships (2012)
- Volleyball: 3rd at BC AAA Provincial Championships (2014); Provincial Champions (2012)
- Track & Field: Team Provincial Champions (2013).
- Field Hockey: 6th at BC AA Championships in 2014; 5th in 2013; 5th in 2012
- Basketball: 2nd at BC AAA Sr Provincial Championships in 2015; 2nd at Grade 8 Provincial Championships in 2015
- Ultimate: 3rd at BC Provincial Championships (joint team with Vancouver College) in 2013
The LFA Angels (sports teams) have an angel for a mascot, although there is no official physical mascot. LFA is, simply, the "Home of the Angels."
- Little Flower Academy's "brother" school is Vancouver College and it has many ties with other Catholic and private schools, such as York House School and Crofton House School.
- The original Little Flower Academy school was designed by Sister Mary Osithe Labossière of the St. Ann's Academy (Victoria, British Columbia)
- Little Flower Academy official site
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver listing for Little Flower Academy
- Vancouver Courier story on the loss of LFA heritage buildings