Lafayette opened its doors on September 7, 1960. The original school was located on Clayton Road in the facility now known as Crestview Middle School.
At that time, open fields surrounded the one small building that comprised the Lafayette campus. The size of the building and its location dominated activities in those early years. Gym classes were held in the cafeteria. The first football games were played on the baseball field. Proms were scheduled in the gym. Eureka High School and Lafayette shared a common yearbook. Even the first Homecoming Parade consisted of only a few decorated cars.
Principal Art Keller, one assistant principal, one guidance counselor and a teaching staff of 23 greeted the original 288 students that entered. Morgan Selvidge was Superintendent for the Rockwood District.
Resources were limited, but the spirit, drive, and enthusiasm that have come to characterize the Lafayette Student Body were evident from the first day.
As the school population grew, so did the size of the campus. The Gym Building, the Library Building, the Fine Arts Building, the Science Building, the Industrial Arts Building and the Lancer Stadium were all added to the original campus.
Athletic and activity programs also grew to meet the student needs. The mascot made its appearance in 1965 and the Class of 1967 donated the Lancer seal.
Lafayette High School moved to a new location in 1989 to accommodate the huge student population growth. A new building located on a 53-acre site at the corner of Clayton Road and Highway 109 awaited the arrival of over 1,800 students.
Student growth continued to rise rapidly, and eight portable classrooms were added during the 1992-1993 school year. With the addition of two new high schools in the district during the 1993-1994 school year, the student population at Lafayette decreased, but continued growth in the area has led to Lafayette’s growing enrollment. Redistricting some neighborhoods to other high schools has helped to maintain the population to its target numbers.
Other additions to the building have debuted through the years. In 1998, a special terrazzo tile Lancer was imbedded into the floor of the Commons. At the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year, a new Flex Center and Science Department extension were opened to accommodate the over 2,000 students now calling Lafayette home. For the 2003-2004 school year, a new gym floor was unveiled with the Lancer mascot.
The 2005-2006 school year featured added classroom and storage space as well as new music facilities and a stage craft room in the Fine Arts Wing.
This year, a new Commons greets students and additional major construction projects and upgrades will be carried out throughout the next couple of years as a result of Prop K’s passage in the spring of 2006.
Lafayette High School experimented with a four-grade structure beginning in 1961, but it became a three-year senior high school during the 1968-1969 school year. The four-year model returned in 1993 with the advent of the middle school program in Rockwood.
Lafayette places great value upon learning. The result is that numerous students are recognized annually by the National Merit Scholarship Program for scholastic achievement. In fact, the Class of 2002 set a new school record by turning out 58 Bright Flight Scholars. Each class continues to build upon that number with the Class of 2005 boasting an impressive 81 Bright Flight Scholars.
Lafayette also was proud to claim 24 National Merit students last year. Additionally, for the 2004-2005 school year, 91 percent of the students who took AP exams scored a 3 or higher.
However, student activities and athletics play a vital role in helping our students become total people. Student activities include many clubs or organizations that allow our students to develop their unique talents.
In athletics, LHS has won 25 State Championship titles. LHS offers more MSHSAA-sanctioned programs than any other Missouri high school. In 2004-2005 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch named Lafayette as having the top athletic program in the St. Louis area.
Throughout its history, Lafayette students and staff have achieved excellence in a variety of specialized areas, but the school as a whole has also been the recipient of honors.
The North Central Association of Secondary School and Colleges rates Lafayette “Triple A”. Lafayette has been lauded for the high levels of competency of the staff and the outstanding diversity and strength of the academic program by the NCASSA.
A Certificate of Merit was awarded by the United States Department of Education in the National Secondary School Recognition Program in 1987. Lafayette was selected as a Missouri Gold Star School in 1995 and 2001.
In 1996, LHS was selected as the Outstanding High School in Missouri and one of “America’s Best” High Schools by a panel of Educators representing Redbook Magazine. In 2002, Lafayette was named a National Blue Ribbon School. In addition, it earned elite status in 2001 by being the only high school in Missouri whose students placed in the Top 10 in all five areas of the state MAP test. Since then, LHS has been recognized by DESE as a Top Ten school for its sustained high scores on the MAP.
Lafayette has remained focused on its goal of maintaining excellence in and out of the classroom. Our staff continues to provide quality education and great opportunities for extra curricular involvement for all Lancers.