Francis School: A Historic School in the Heart of the City
St. Francis School is a historic school located at 730 South Van Buren Street, Chicago, Illinois. The school was built in 1863 and later expanded. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 13, 1977. The building was extensively restored in 1990-1991 and again in 2004-2006. The St. Francis School is one of the oldest schools in Chicago. In its current incarnation, it has been serving students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade for more than 150 years. A growing student body means the building now serves students from preschool through eighth grade — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this historic Chicago school being a great place for students to learn and grow.
FRANCIS SCHOOL: WHERE LEARNING IS FUN!
The St. Francis School has been an institution of learning for the city’s children since 1863. The school’s remarkable history is the result of dedicated staff and students, as well as the city and community they serve. The school’s catch-phrase, “Learning is fun!” is one that students and staff alike can readily associate with the school.
FRANCIS SCHOOL: A PLACE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY TO PLAY
St. Francis School has been a family-friendly institution since its inception. Today, the school’s focus is on enriching the educational experience for students, their families and the broader community.
FRANCIS SCHOOL: HISTORY OF ST. FRANCIS SCHOOL
St. Francis School was conceived as a pilot project to give Chicago children a safe and permanent place to learn. It was designed to be an anchor in a neighborhood that had long been a haven for immigrants and their descendents. The school opened with a mixed student body of students from kindergarten through eighth grade. The school’s initial enrollment was 520, with kindergarten through first grade accounting for the majority of students. The school’s mission was to provide “a basic education for all children ranging from infancy to adulthood.” The school was designed to be racially and ethnically balanced, with a student body that reflected the diversity of its community. The school remains one of the city’s most racially and ethnically diverse public schools.
THE HEART OF THE CITY: WHERE STUDENTS LIVE AND LEARN
St. Francis School is located in a neighborhood called Bronzeville, which is located in the City of Chicago. Bronzeville is located in the western portion of the city, and is bordered by Metropolitan Ave., Division St., South St., and West St. The neighborhood was once known as Norwegian Row, and is now home to the city’s largest concentration of African-American residents.
TAKE A WALK THROUGH THE HEART OF CHICAGO
The first part of this walking tour highlights the history of St. Francis School. You’ll start your tour at Bronzeville’s main intersection, Division Street. Here you’ll find Bronzeville’s landmarks, including Norvange Hall (pictured above), the Bronzeville Community Center and the Bronzeville Interdenominational Church. After you’ve explored these attractions, you’ll head west on Division Street, to Bronzeville’s border with the Englewood neighborhood. Here you’ll find a number of South Side attractions, including a neighborhood park and the Englewood neighborhood police station. From Bronzeville, you can continue west on Central Avenue, which runs parallel to and just to the south of Division Street. This is the line that separates Bronzeville from Englewood, and is also the line that runs through the middle of this city neighborhood.
St. Francis is a historic school that has served the students of Chicago for much longer than most realize. The school has an interesting history that dates back to when Chicago was still a part of the state of Indiana. St. Francis has long been known as a wonderful place for students to learn. As time has gone on, the school has evolved into a great place for parents to relax with their children after school. The St. Francis School is a great place for students to learn, and it’s a great place for parents to take their children too.