History

St. Francis Xavier School is a Catholic Independent School of the Vancouver Archdiocese. It is a dual stream elementary school, established by St. Francis Xavier Parish, and it follows the policies and procedures recommended by the Catholic Independent School Board. Our school enrollment consists of 440 students with a class size of approximately 28 students.

History of

St. Francis Xavier School


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The Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception from Pembroke, Ontario, founded St. Francis Xavier School in 1933. From a donation, a house and land was purchased at the corner of Georgia Street and Princess Avenue in Vancouver’s Chinatown. A Kindergarten was opened in one of the rooms of the house with the first class consisting of 30 Kindergarten students. The Kindergarten was then moved to another building across the street in 1934. The grade school began in 1938, housed in three rented classrooms on the third storey of a bank building at the corner of Main and East Pender Street. There were three grades in each classroom with a total enrolment of merely 30 students. In 1940, the very first school building, located at the corner of East Georgia Street and Princess Avenue, was constructed to accommodate about 70 students.

Over the years, the school population had outgrown the school building to such an extent that more than half of the students had to be housed in various rented buildings. Another building was later acquired on East Pender Street. The parish and school fundraised for over 20 years to build a new school. The construction then took another two years to complete when finally, in 2001, the current school building at 428 Great Northern Way was completed. Operations began in September 2001. Most Reverend Adam Exner, OMI, Archbishop of Vancouver blessed the new school on December 2, 2001.

The new school building was joined by the new Church in 2008, as well as a two-level parking garage. A playground was built on the parking garage rooftop, complete with a “Big Toy” play area for the students, which was completed in 2011. The school also added a very important aspect to our academic program in 2011-12 when it decided to include a daily Mandarin program within the curriculum for students from Kindergarten to Grade Seven. The program is designed to teach students not only the Mandarin Chinese language, but also the Chinese culture, highlighted by our annual celebration of Chinese New Year. The school additionally installed interactive projectors in each classroom in 2012-13 for teachers to use in conjunction with their class laptops for delivering lessons. Currently, the school has 16 classrooms serving 417 students.