The Sisters of St. Francis established St. John the Baptist Catholic School in the fall of 1920. The original school consisted of three buildings – a girls’ academy building that was quite old, a two-story frame house, and a small bungalow. These buildings were designed to accommodate 110 students from elementary level through high school. Because of growing enrollment the parish purchased the current property on Emery Street and began construction of the present kindergarten to fifth grade building on May 29, 1926. The building was ready for occupation by September of that year. The cost of the brick building was reported to be $70,000. In 1929, due to financial problems caused by the Great Depression, the high school portion of the school had to be closed.
In the decades to come St. John’s experienced enrollment ups and downs generally connected to economic factors. In the late 1950s St. John’s continual growth made it necessary for the parish to purchase two houses located on Emery Street. The backyards of these residences became playground area for the students. Also in the late 1950s considerable renovation work was done on the building. New lights and new wiring were installed throughout the building, and playground improvements were made.
As St. John’s continued to experience ups and downs in enrollment figures new grades were added or taken away from the school based on community needs. Finally in the late 1970s, St. John’s was fairly firmly established as a K through 8th grade school. In the 1980s and early 1990s St. John’s Parish did further renovation on the facility adding additional new lighting and a computer lab to the school. In 1999 St. John’s added a preschool to its facility, which firmly established St. John’s as a preschool to 8th grade school. In 1994 due to major increases in school and parish enrollment, the parish embarked on a major fund-raising effort. As a result of the generosity of parents and parishioners, St. John’s Parish added a new parish center, new parish offices, and a new middle school to its parish plant. These new areas were opened in the spring of 2000. However, by the time the new facilities were ready for occupation, St. John’s had already outgrown them. With over 300 students and 4500 parish families St. John’s found itself, once again, in need of new classrooms. In 2001, a second major fundraising effort was undertaken. Once again, as the result of the generosity of parents and parishioners, St. John’s was able to convert its school gymnasium into 6 beautiful new classrooms. In 2003 St. John’s began construction on a beautiful new regulation-sized gymnasium. This construction was completed in the year 2004 and students were introduced to an amazing new classroom/sports/music programs’ facility.
St. John the Baptist School has a clear vision for the future based on knowledge of the past history and present situation here at St. John’s. Those who came before us planned for extra needed space and funding in the future. This was done with the vision that St. John the Baptist Catholic School would continue to grow and those spaces could be defined as needed in the future.
St. John the Baptist Catholic School has a divergent population. Our school serves a wide range of socio-economic groups. St. John’s draws students from Longmont and the surrounding areas of Louisville, Boulder, Frederick, Firestone, Mead, Berthoud, Loveland, Lyons, Erie, and Niwot. It is one of the main goals of St. John’s administration to make Catholic education available to all children regardless of their status, background, or financial condition. Tuition assistance is available through various programs and every attempt is made to welcome anyone who desires a faith-based education coupled with strong academics.