About Us » Brief History

Brief History

St. John the Baptist School dates back to 1859, when a single 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. Part of 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. 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. 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 approximately 250 students.

Within our current tuition structures (learn more under our Admissions tab), the parish supports our school by offering a subsidy for parish families. St. John’s also offers aid from three programs: School Choice Scholarships, commonly called vouchers, Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) Grants, and direct parish aid.

We currently employ 18 full-time teachers, several three part-time teachers, and in addition several instructional assistants. Administrative staff is comprised of a Principal and an Assistant Principal, who is also a classroom teacher. Maintenance staff includes two full-time employees. Childcare is offered for students before and after school and full day childcare is available for children ages one and above.


Today, we remain more committed to our mission than ever: St. John’s exists to help each student become a life-long learner, be taught a Christ-centered Catholic way of life, and achieve academic success. One way we seek to live this out is by expanding our Pre-K offerings to include full day or half day programs, with 5 day and 3 day options. Please see our Pre-K/Childcare tab for more information!