The Daughters of Charity founded Holy Cross School in 1862 as an orphanage. In 1926, the parish built a structure on High Street and a co-educational day school was established for Grades 1 - 12. The Holy Cross Elementary School was constructed on the site of the old orphanage in 1958 to relieve crowded conditions in the High Street building. In 1977 the present junior high building was constructed.
The first, temporary quarters of the original school and orphanage were in the adobe which was the juzgado of Mexican Days. The original boarding school for girls and orphanage fronted Mission Street and its grounds extended back along Emmet Street to School Street. These buildings were left vacant after the opening of the High Street structure, but were torn down in 1944.
In 1943 the Daughters of Charity left Santa Cruz and turned over their teaching activities to the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan, who at first lived in the former Henry Willey home at the corner of Mission and Sylvar Streets. The high school was closed in 1970.
The preschool was added in the Fall of 1999, and is located at 170A High Street. The preschool has an educational program for children ages two through five.
The present day school is at 150 Emmet St., Santa Cruz, which offers a comprehensive Catholic and educational program for students in grades preschool through eighth.