School - Collège - Lycée

Day school - Weekly Boarding - Permanent boarding

Private School under contract with the State


From yesterday to today : a few landmarks...

1946/1947 : just after the war, Abbot Jean de Clarens, headmaster of the fifth year class at Saint Croix de Neuilly secondary school (near Paris) is looking for a sanatorium in the mountains, where pupils in a fragile state of health could study in better conditions.

The Edelweiss - 1950.
1948: His researches lead him to Abondance, a 930-meter-high village, devoid of fog, where the children could regain their health. He starts his " protégés" education in a chalet, the Edelweiss, teaching them the values that would later become Sainte Croix’s motto : Trust and Charity.
As soon as 1949, to face the growing number of students, Abbot de Clarens rents a second chalet, which is today the Vieil Ermitage, to provide accomodation for the teachers. This chalet would later accommodate two classes, and will be purchased by the school in 1963.

In the 1950's, Sainte Croix des Neiges keeps on expanding at a very fast pace. In 1953, the Abbot launches the building of Perce-Neige chalet, to put up the boarding and the smallest classes.

Then, in 1961, as the Edelweiss chalet has become too small to accommodate the pupils, a new chalet is built : Notre-Dame. This building is to host the classrooms as well as the Chapel, which is still the case today.
The chalet Perce-Neige.

In 1963, the building of the Nouvel Ermitage starts. Today, it includes the Secondary School and its boarding. The construction is completed in 1964, but the pupils have already started to move in these new premises. The pupils really appreciate the ground floor where they organize their workshops, while an oratory, full-equiped classrooms and a laboratory are put up in the day-school.

The Nouvel Ermitage in 1965.
Sciences Laboratory, at the Ermitage, in 1980.

In 1967, Abbot de Clarens, tired and weary, decides to organize a trip to the Holy Land, with the eldest pupils. The Abott rents a coach and starts with 40 pupils in the early month of July. At the very last moment, the war in Middle-East forces them to change their destination : they head to Greece and Turkey.
Stroke of fate : on July 26th, in the region of Salonic, the bus leaves the road and ends up against a tree. Abbot de Clarens, only victim, dies instantly and leaves a distraught community behind him.

A few weeks after Abbot de Clarens' particularly moving funerals, the head of the school is entrusted to one of the teachers, Mr Courtieux, who will take up the position until 1986, preserving the spirit instilled by the Abbot.

Following Mr Courtieux, Mr Thomas (from 1986 to 1993), Mr Dublanche (from 1994 to 1995), Mr Guilloton (from 1996 to 2003), Mr Nanterm (from 2004 to 2005) will modernize the school with the times.

The permanent mixity will lead to the reorganization of the Edelweiss chalet, which is turned into a boarding for girls only.

New relaxing rooms are made in the boys boarding, catering is centralised in Perce-Neige chalet, and computer equipments are purchased.
Nouvelle salle de détente à l'Edelweiss, internat des filles.

In the meantime, the loosing ties with Sainte Croix de Neuilly lead to a changing of supervision in 2007, under Mr Lopez' headship (2006-2010). Sainte Croix des Neiges thus becomes an autonomous school, with its own management, supervised by the Diocese of Annecy.

Mise en place de l'uniforme en 2009.
In order to federate the pupils, coming from all over the world, around a common identity and spirit, Sainte Croix des Neiges' school uniform is designed in 2009.

This is a new start for the school, whose development now relies as much on its Savoyard roots as on its international boarding project.

Following Mr Lopez, Mrs Rudent will head the school from 2011 to 2014.

Today : our estate spreads over more than 6 hectares, and offers to each one of our pupils (whatever their age or their gender) the necessary spaces for their well-being and education, within the different chalets. The founding principles always remain : Trust and Charity !
Chef-Lieu - 74360 Abondance
Haute-Savoie - France

Tél. +33 (0)4 50 73 01 20

Fax +33 (0)4 50 73 08 85