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A high-quality education in a safe, caring environment—for over a century.

Our School

Since 1887, students at St. Francis School have learned Gospel living, and every day they give witness to a non-violent way of life that helps them and their classmates flourish.

St. Francis teachers use research-backed approaches to put students on the path to academic success. And with the help of parents, families, and the community, our students achieve a total education—one that includes religious growth, moral development, and healthy habits that last a lifetime.

 

During my years at St. Francis, I was taught discipline, morals, and values, along with the value of education and hard work…Now, I’m married and have two children that also attend this fabulous establishment. 

—Detective T.J. Powell ’98

Our History

Over 135 years ago, our founders sought what we seek now: to unlock opportunities for children, and to form them in faith.

German Catholic immigrants came to the east end of Cleveland seeking the religious freedom they lacked in their homeland, where they weren’t able to educate their children in schools that reflected their faith. When St. Francis Catholic School was opened in 1887, they found that freedom there. 

The school was given to the care of the Sisters of Notre Dame, who were known as outstanding educators. They too came to the U.S. seeking religious freedom. The principles of the Sisters of Notre Dame permeate St. Francis to this day.

Though the demographics of our neighborhood and school have changed multiple times over the years, the school remains a beacon of hope in our community, reaching out to diverse parents seeking a faith-filled, high-quality education for their children.

The Sisters of Notre Dame remain active in the school and work with dedicated administrators, staff, and teachers to meet the ever-changing needs of our city’s children. 

In 2022, St. Francis joined Partnership Schools, an innovative network of Catholic elementary schools. For more on the Partnership, click here

Core Values

At St. Francis, as in all Partnership Schools, we embrace four core values that guide all we do: integrity, humility, hard work, and service.

Integrity

I watch what I do to see what I believe.

– Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ

Integrity means that our actions reflect our beliefs and live up to our moral ideals. We hold all in our communities to the highest academic and ethical standards, both within the walls of our school buildings and as representatives in our communities. As we equip our students with a clear understanding of the moral principles and virtues of the Catholic faith, we instill habits of honesty, forthrightness, and respect for themselves and others.

Humility

Those who humble themselves will be exalted.

– Luke 14:11

Integrity means that our actions reflect our beliefs and live up to our moral ideals. We hold all in our communities to the highest academic and ethical standards, both within the walls of our school buildings and as representatives in our communities. As we equip our students with a clear understanding of the moral principles and virtues of the Catholic faith, we instill habits of honesty, forthrightness, and respect for themselves and others.

Hard Work

If there is no struggle, there is no progress.

– Frederick Douglass

Each of us is made uniquely by God for greatness. In order to fully develop the gifts God gave us, hard work provides opportunities for us to sharpen our skills, develop our talents, and strengthen our minds and hearts for life’s journey. Effort, persistence, and determination are essential to learning and success in life. Hope alone does not result in success; we seek to instill in our students a work ethic marked by tenacity, stamina, and zeal.

Service

Only a life lived for others is worthwhile.

– Albert Einstein

At Partnership Schools, we believe that we are made for each other, so we aim to develop young men and women for others. When we see God in others, we think less of ourselves and so put others first. Our teachers “fan into a flame the gifts God gave” each child (2 Timothy 1), cultivating their gifts, broadening their understanding of the community and the world, and offering their gifts in service of our local neighborhood.

Root Beliefs

The educational principles of the Sisters of Notre Dame permeate St. Francis to this day.

Leadership Team

Principal Molly Hanna and a caring support team work on behalf of St. Francis’s students, families, and staff every day.

Molly Hanna, Principal
hannam@stfranciscleveland.org

Ahyodha Kishna, Business and Operations Manager
kishnaa@stfranciscleveland.org

Sr. Renée Pastor, Mission and Special Projects
pastorr@stfranciscleveland.org

Sr. Karen Somerville, Mission and Advancement
somervillek@stfranciscleveland.org