The school was founded by St. Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1915 as Xavier University Preparatory. Prep gave African-American teenagers in the New Orleans metro area an opportunity to receive a quality Catholic education at a time when segregation was the law of land. Originally co-ed, Prep has been all girls since 1971. After 105 years, the academics are still based on the belief that the total educational program nurtures and challenges the students, each of whom has unique gifts and talents. The focus of the program is the development of Christian girls through a harmonious blending of their spiritual, moral, intellectual, emotional, and physical strengths.