St. John the Baptist School has an exceptionally long history, dating back over 140 years to 1859, when one male teacher began educating the children of St. John’s Parish in a house on Powers Street. Several years later, in 1872, growing enrollment resulted in the construction of a new brick school building. The Sisters of St. Agnes began their dedicated tenure in 1873, were joined by regular lay faculty in 1955, and continued teaching service until 1990.
The original brick school building was replaced in 1949 with the construction of a new facility, comprised of the main floor and a basement. A second floor was added in 1957, and, to accommodate rising enrollments, the basement gym/cafeteria was converted into classrooms in 1984. The building continues today as St. John’s primary educational facility.
The Community Center, which houses the school’s gym, cafeteria, and small rooms for other activities, such as our Childcare Ministry Program, was completed in 1988. Rufus Street was closed by the City of New Haven that same year in order to provide safe crossing for the children to the church and playground. The parish purchased a block of land and built a new grass playground area for students in 2009.
A uniform dress code was established in 1988. Currently our dress code is navy or tan slacks, school plaid jumper or skirt, and white, red, or navy collared shirts.
Complete enrollment records are not available, but exiting records indicate a peak enrollment of 478 students in 1967. The first kindergarten class began in 1977, reading readiness was initiated in 1982, and pre-kindergarten enrolled its first children in 1984. Enrollment today in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade is 335.
Tuition was introduced for the 1986-1987 school year. For the 1998-1999 school year, tuition was assessed at approximately 47% of the average educational expense per student. Currently the parish continues to support school families at approximately the same rate.
There are 17 full-time teachers, 5 part-time focusing on physical education, art, computer skills, and music. The school also employs three part-time classroom aides. Administrative staff is comprised of a Principal and an Assistant Principal, who is also a classroom teacher. Maintenance staff includes two full-time employees.