St. Augustine High School was constructed by the Archdiocese of New Orleans with funds solicited from Catholics of the Archdiocese through the Youth Progress Program. The building and the site on which it stands were purchased by the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (The Josephite Fathers and Brothers), to whom the operation of the school was entrusted.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans placed the school under the patronage of St. Augustine of Hippo, a preeminent Christian and scholar of Africa, and a Father of the Church. This was appropriate since from its inception the school was designated for the education of young men from Black Catholic families of New Orleans. Although St. Augustine now welcomes students of any national or ethnic background, it has remained the leading secondary school for black males in Louisiana, and is nationally recognized in educational circles for outstanding success in preparing its students for higher education.
St. Augustine High School led the way in battling segregation in New Orleans. The successful legal challenges mounted by the school resulted in the de-segregation of the high school athletics in the state of Louisiana. The famed Marching 100 was the first African-American high school band to march in the REX parade on Mardi Gras Day.
In 1971, St. Augustine underwent physical expansion with the addition of a wing to accommodate new science laboratories, a gymnasium and athletic complex, and a music complex. In 2005 the Warren and Hilda Donald Business and Technology Center was dedicated. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, this facility ensures that St. Augustine students will remain competitive in a technology-driven society.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region in August of 2005, St. Augustine High School closed its doors for the first time since its inception. In January of 2006, the administrations of St. Mary’s Academy, St. Augustine High School, and Xavier University Preparatory collaborated to establish the MAX School of New Orleans. This event guaranteed the post-Katrina survival of the three historically African-American Roman Catholic High Schools in New Orleans.
Throughout its history St. Augustine has maintained a tradition of strong discipline, and a program of studies which challenges each student to achieve his fullest individual potential. St. Augustine has always served a very diverse student population, seeking to enable each and every student to maximize his potential. Various methodologies have been used throughout the history of the school to achieve this, from homogeneous groupings to diversified instruction methods. St. Augustine aims to prepare students of all academic aptitudes to function successfully in his professional endeavors.