Clairbourn School Turns 90

Published : Tuesday, August 4, 2015 | 3:40 PM

The upcoming 2015-2016 school year marks Clairbourn’s 90th year of providing West San Gabriel Valley families with exceptional educational opportunities. It all began in 1926 when Mr. and Mrs. Arthur K. Bourne opened a Kindergarten for their daughter Claire and her friends in their San Marino home. The Bourne’s were not a typical American family. Mr. Bourne, as the heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, had sufficient means to be able to afford a home in California as well as a residence in New York City and later one in Connecticut. So it was necessary for the small instructional group to move to other quarters because the Bourne’s would not be home for part of the year.

So, the school group began having their classes in the home of Mrs. Butterfield, and the school formally changed its name to “The Claire Louise Progressive Elementary School.” A few years later, the school took the first and second names of Claire Bourne to make the invented name, Clairbourn.

As the school grew, it expanded its grade coverage from preschool all the way up to high school and moved operations to Pasadena. By 1931, the school relocated to a 3.5 acre estate on Huntington Drive in San Gabriel, and acquired a neighboring 5 acre estate in 1958. The high school grades were dropped in 1939. Clairbourn flourished as families seeking an excellent private school education began to enroll their children. Today, our school is housed on one of the finest campuses in the area, and remains rooted in an ethical and spiritual tradition that has proven successful with students and families of all backgrounds.

What sets Clairbourn apart is how we not only provide an excellent academic program but also the structural underpinnings students really need to have productive and successful lives. When a campus is safe and beautiful, students can maintain a positive sense of well-being and focus on learning. When they have abundant resources and opportunities, the imagination soars. When a strong community of parents and teachers work together, students reap the collective benefits of that focused attention. And most importantly, when a school regularly presents and daily reinforces strong ethical values, the learning each student acquires is more likely to be used to benefit the world and the community at large. The true value of this type of deeper education, which Clairbourn strives to deliver, we feel is priceless.

Several new developments at Clairbourn include our library renovation project to enhance all levels of the student educational experience. By mid-August, families will also enjoy our new mobile adaptive website and new intranet to make online interactions with the school even more fluid. Then, later in the school year, we’ll begin a project to transform part of the administration building into a state-of-the-art conference room.

Clairbourn School enjoys a reputation of being a top provider of full-spectrum independent education for preschool through eighth grade students. Now with after-school offerings, new outdoor learning spaces, a brand new technology lab with touch-screen monitors and 3D printers, and newly refreshed athletic facilities and reconstructed swimming pool, plus state-of-the-art security, Clairbourn remains a stand-out educational institution. Our teaching staff is experienced, professional, and effective, and classrooms are equipped with the latest educational technology. Clairbourn is fully accredited by CAIS and WASC.

To learn more about Clairbourn, visit or call (626) 286-3108.


blog comments powered by Disqus