Pio Pico Span School (elementary and middle school) first opened its doors on September 7, 1987 as an elementary school. The Pio Pico School site was originally home to a convent and high school for girls, from 1905 until 1977. In 1980, to make way for Pio Pico School, all of the original buildings were demolished except for the gymnasium and the Rose Cottage; these buildings are considered historical sites and are still used today. In June of the year 1996, Pio Pico School had its first 8th grade culminating class. The school started with 150 students and now has a student body of over 1800 students. Parents in honor of Governor Pio de Jesus Pico chose the school’s name. Governor Pico, born to parents from (New Spain) Mexico had a diverse heritage of Spanish, African, Native American and Italian descent. He was the governor of California until 1846. Governor Pico was a pioneer and is credited for developing what is now the Los Angeles County area.