In January, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur K. Bourne opened a Kindergarten for children of parents interested in Christian Science. In September, the enrollment went from the original four students to fourteen and the addition of a first grade.
The school moved to 1261 San Pasqual with twenty-three children through the third grade.
When nursery and fourth grades were added in September 1928, a larger facility was found at 245 West California Street. The school was known as The Claire Louise Progressive Elementary School. Fifth and sixth grades were soon to follow.
Seventh and eighth grades and a four year high school were added, and the official name of the school was changed to Clairbourn, which means "Clear Goal."
Clairbourn outgrew its building, and an estate of 3.5 acres on Huntington Drive in San Gabriel was leased. Clairbourn Hall, a two-story dormitory/classroom/office building, was constructed.
Four students graduated from Clairbourn's high school followed by four more in 1934.
The first summer recreation program was operated for over sixty youngsters.
Mr. George E. Platt, father of Trustee Mrs. Edwin Gardner, advanced money without interest to purchase the property and aided in the construction of Clairbourn Hall. In 1937, he forgave the outstanding school debt under a Deed of Trust. This Trust provided that Clairbourn School would always be operated in harmony with the teachings of Christian Science.
The high school and middle school were discontinued, and a nursery school program was added.
The nursery/Kindergarten building was constructed and finished.
An adjacent 5-acre site, with its Manor House and swimming pool, was purchased. Seventh and eighth grades were added with over 100 students enrolled from nursery through eighth. The orange grove in front of the Manor House was cleared, and the present playing field was built.
The Carden Method of Instruction was adopted.
Clairbourn opened its doors to students of other faiths, resulting in a social, religious, and ethnic mix in the student body, while the faculty, staff, and administration remained active Christian Scientists. Clairbourn flourished as families seeking an excellent private school education in the Pasadena area began to enroll their children.
Two sister campuses were begun in Redwood City and San Rafael. The Redwood City school soon moved to Cupertino and became The Shepherd School.
A five-room hexagonal classroom building for first through fourth grades, plus an activity room, was erected and named the Gardner Building.
A multi-purpose game court was added in May with the generous help of Mrs. Helen Z. Sanger. The East Hall Building, with six classrooms for middle school, was purchased from Ambassador College and moved to Clairbourn's campus.
Clairbourn's Trustees established a Master Plan and, with the help of a team of architects, began to map out a new plan for the campus, combining the original 3.5-acre site with the newer 5-acre site. The Carden Method was replaced by curriculum chosen by Administration.
A new Library, Art Studio, Music Room were completed along with a renovated infrastructure of new sidewalks, new central lighting system, irrigation system and electrical and gas lines.
The Multi-Purpose Building was completed in the spring. During a December windstorm, the famous giant eucalyptus tree in the central quad fell and was replaced by a grove of ginkgo trees.
Trustees authorized a restructuring of the school's administration, providing for the positions of Assistant Head of School, Director of Business and Finance, and Director of Admissions.
A new facility to house the two fourth grade and two fifth grade classrooms was built. A Director of Development was added to the administration.
The West Campus Renovation Project was launched with a fundraising drive to replace eleven classrooms from Nursery (three-year-olds) through 3rd grade. A challenge grant kicked off the fund for Phase I of the project, replacing the Gardner Building with a six-classroom building for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades.
The ground-breaking for Phase I for the new building and play yard took place in March 2000 and was followed by the completion of Randall Hall, a new 6-classroom building occupied in May of 2001.
The completion of Phase II, in January 2003, included two Kindergarten classroom named Victoria Andrew Hall, and a new entrance and Reception/Transportation pavillion. Also included in this phase was a new home for the student store, Cougar Corner, and an office for the Director of the Early Childhood Education Department.
The newest addition to the Clairbourn campus came in 2007 with the construction of the Seiter Family Early Childhood Center—a state-of-the-art preschool building that replaced the original building. The building was open for classes in 2008.
School benefactor Betty Barker donated funds for a new outdoor classroom space on the south side of the fourth and fifth grade buildings which included raised gardening beds, a composting center, and student instructional seating. (Later, in 2015, the garden beds were rebuilt by Farmscape who now maintains the gardens and holds classes for students in all grade levels.)
Clairbourn added a commercial grade Earth Networks weather station to the roof of the Multi-Purpose Building. This device, standing about 15 feet tall, includes three different components that can measure a total of 27 weather conditions at once. The measurements are transmitted live over the Internet and are picked up by a network of 10,000 Weather Bug stations (the largest automated weather network in the world). The school's greenhouse in the Jungle also got a much-needed renovation and is now used for after-school classes. Over the spring break, an exciting new climbing-wall athletic zone was installed next to the outdoor basketball court, which includes a balance beam and chinning bars, and later a Gaga court was added adjacent to the athletic field.
Clairbourn alum and United States Army Staff Sergeant Scott Studenmund gave his life for his country preserving freedom and liberty in Afghanistan, and it was our privilege to honor his memory by naming our field after him.The renovation and rededication of our
athletic field as the new Scott Studenmund Field was certainly an important moment for the entire school. Also, in the Fall of 2014, before-school care for all grades was added to the program at no charge. The school also introduced a new set of optional after-school classes for its students. These classes, conducted by outside vendors on the Clairbourn campus, and covered a wide range of activities like chess, Kung Fu, dance, language instruction (including Mandarin), music and much more!
Swimming has been an important part of the Clairbourn experience since 1931, and a total renovation of our swimming pool, complete with a new saline-based filtration system, took place in 2015 to serve a whole new
generation of Cougars! Clairbourn also transformed its traditional computer education space into a exciting Innovation Lab complete with 3D printers, new computers, touch-screen monitors, and programmable robots.
Clairbourn celebrated its 90th year of continuous operation in 2016 with a 1920's themed gala benefit at the Jonathan Club downtown. The year 2016 also brought new life to the Clairbourn Library. This important learning space received a top to bottom make-over that included new interior design elements of carpeting, painting, lighting, bookcases, furniture, a new circulation desk, a new storage area, and a newly re-worked exterior patio space. A related project was the creation of the David C. Orndorff conference room in the Administration Building, with state-of-the-art technology and furniture, that provides a flexible meeting space for staff and event committees. Farmscape garden beds were also added to the preschool play yard.