Our History: A mission of faith, a tradition of excellence.

In 1876, Mother Pia Backes, traveling with two other Dominican Sisters, boarded a train in New York heading for San Francisco with the goal of teaching German immigrant children of the Mission District.  As the schools grew, more sisters joined and, by 1883, Immaculate Conception Academy was established. The Sisters’ educational ministry expanded with the opening of Saint Thomas School for Boys in 1900 on the corner of Twenty-fourth and Guerrero Streets. Eight years later, Saint James Boys School was built at Twenty-third and Fair Oaks Streets, replacing Saint Thomas School. The new school was staffed by the Brothers of Mary (Marianists) and included Grades 4 through 8.


In 1924 ,Monsignor Patrick Quinn, second pastor of Saint James Parish, realized his dream of having a parish school for girls independent from the Academy. Under the direction of Sister Bernarda Hornung, the first principal, girls in Grades 1 through 8 and boys in Grades 1 through 3 were taught at the new Saint James Girls School at Twenty-fourth and Fair Oaks.  

In 1950, when the Marianists left St. James to establish Riordan High School, the Dominican Sisters undertook the staffing of Saint James Boys School and for twenty years maintained the schools as separate units. In 1970, under the direction of Sister Rosalinda Henriques, the Boys School merged with the Girls School.       
Today, while under the direction and supervision of lay administration, we still honor our affiliation with Dominican Sisters and the unshakeable foundation of faith and education they built under Mother Pia's leadership for generations of St. James students. 

Saint James Catholic School

321 Fair Oaks St.
San Francisco, Ca 94110

Call: 415-647-8972
Fax : 415-647-0166
Tax ID : 94-2964847
Email : office@SaintJamesSF.org


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