As Carondelet's population was entirely Catholic for many years after its founding, the first attempts toward education were made by that faith. After the first parish was founded in 1824, a parochial school was established in due course. It had been continued until recently and occupied a building erected in 1926, adjacent to the Church of St. Mary and Joseph. Other parochial schools were those of St. Boniface, founded in 1860, and now occupying a building built in 1949, and St. Columbkille founded in 1872, and closed with abandonment of the parish in 1952.
The girl's school at the Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph began in 1836 and was supported after 1839 by public funds for teachers' salaries. This method continued until public schools were instituted following incorporation as a city in 1851. St. Trinity Lutheran Church's school was founded about 1860 and is now located at 517 Koeln Street. A school was organized by the Carondelet Evangelical Church in the 1870's but was closed early in the twentieth century.
After incorporation of Carondelet as a town in 1832, rather makeshift arrangements were made for public education. The trustees authorized payment for children attending private schools and later tried to establish public schools. Records from 1841 show employment of a teacher for three months at a salary of $87.50. Following incorporation as a City, the first schools were set up during the administration of Mayor William Taussig in 1852. One was located in the old town hall, another on a school block in Survey No. 4 and one in the old Market House on Iron Street east of Broadway. A group of citizens headed by Henry T. Blow initiated action which resulted in erection of Carondelet's first regular school building in 1866. This school, named the Blow School, was a two story, eight room structure, it was enlarged by addition of a one story four room unit in 1873 and a three story building in 1883, all on the west side of Virginia Avenue south of Loughborough. The present Blow School on that site was opened in 1903.
In 1871, the Carondelet School was built at 8221 Minnesota Avenue to serve the southern part of the community. This school was closed in 1975 and sold to a church group which operates it as the Gateway Day Nursery. Des Peres School, 6307 Michigan Avenue at Iron Street, was opened in 1873. The two story structure, in common with others of its time, had high ceilings and windows for satisfactory air and light. Each room was heated by a coal stove and drinking water was provided in buckets with dippers, in the hallways. Henry T. Blow's daughter Susan, opened the first kindergarten in America in Des Peres School soon after its opening through arrangements with William T. Harris, superintendent of schools. The school was closed in 1935, and is now used as a grocery warehouse.
Carondelet's first school for blacks was also built in 1873, in response to a state law reguiring segregated schools. This was Public School No. 6 at Virginia Avenue and Bowen Street which was later named for Martin R. Delaney, a Negro physician and publisher. The old school was razed in 1911, and was replaced by a new Delaney School, which was renamed Maddox in 1952. From 1940 to 1952 it was named the Virginia Avenue School (for White Children.)
The Lyon School at 7417 Vermont Avenue was erected in 1909, after designs by architect William B. Ittner, who was also the designer of the present Blow School at 516 Loughborough Avenue.