St. Louis Secondary School is a Catholic Voluntary Secondary School for girls under the Trusteeship of the Sisters of St. Louis.
St. Louis Secondary School derives its ethos from the educational philosophy of the Sisters of St. Louis. Its ethos permeates all disciplines and every extra-curricular activity.
It strives to form a community of students, teachers, ancillary staff and management, which attempts to live by Gospel values, recognizing the dignity of each individual and working for justice and peace in society.
The school was established in 1859 when Sr. Genevieve Beale, Sr. Clemence McCarthy and Sr. Claire O'Sullivan arrived from Juilly, France, equipped, to quote Sr. Claire, 'with lots of books and very little money'.
They opened a small school in No. 8 Mill St., Monaghan. Later that year an old dwelling became vacant at the lakeside, and was acquired by the Sisters.
At the same time they were providing a Primary Education for the local Catholic children in the 'Poor School' in Latlurcan, and later in the Infant and Primary schools on the Broad Road.
In the very early days the sisters looked to provide an education that would equip the children of the locality with basic skills at a time when there were no educational facilities for Catholic girls.
Gradually they introduced a broader, more innovative curriculum. From the very earliest days, the school attracted boarders from all parts of the country.
Subjects were taught through the medium of French. The curriculum always laid emphasis on academic excellence while at the same time honouring the religious, cultural and physical education of the students.
Specialist teachers were employed to give lessons in Music, Choral Work, Elocution, Dancing, and to help with some academic subjects e.g. Latin and Mathematics.
The curriculum also kept in tune with the social and political developments. In 1890, at a time when Irish was not taught in schools, the subject was introduced as 'Celtic' in the school.
In 1895 pupils from the school were the first and only girl candidates to take Irish as a subject in the Junior Examination. In 1925 all subjects were taught through the medium of Irish and the school became a Class A School (Irish Speaking).
With the advent of Free Education in 1967 the school no longer retained its Class A status, but expanded and adapted its curriculum to meet the needs of its increased enrolment and the emerging needs of society.
In 1977 the Boarding School was phased out and the accommodation given over to the Day School.
From small beginnings a school grew; old buildings were renovated and new buildings erected to accommodate the increasing numbers.
Some of these buildings have since been demolished, and the Trustees and Management continue to work to upgrade the accommodation in the school.
The school is a non fee-paying school that is comprehensive in its student population and in its curriculum.
The first Board of Management was established in 1987.
The first lay principal was appointed in 1999.