St. Stanislaus Kostka School is located in the West Town Community and serves a diverse community of students from PK3 through 8th grade. By incorporating Catholic values with change theory, world languages and fine arts SSK students rare provided with the leadership and life skills they need to thrive in the 21st century.
Vision: At St. Stanislaus Kostka School we strive to prepare all students for lives of excellence.
Mission: St. Stanislaus Kostka School commits to challenging our students to achieve academic and social excellence, lead by action and example, and to serve and love God through others.
Learn. Lead. Love.
St. Stanislaus Kostka Church
The parish of St. Stanislaus Kostka opened in 1867. Bishop Foley put the Resurrection Fathers in charge of the growing parish in 1871. As the flow of Polish immigrants continued into the neighborhood, a larger church was needed. The cornerstone of the present church building was laid in 1877 and the church was dedicated in 1881. By 1897, St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish was the largest parish in the United States with 8,000 families, totaling 40,000 people. There were twelve Masses each Sunday: six Masses in the upper church and another six Masses in the lower church. St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish is considered the mother church of the many Polish parishes founded by Fr. Vincent Barzynski, C.R., during his pastorate (1874-1899).
In the early 1950’s, the church was slated to be razed to make room for the Kennedy Expressway, but due to protests by the Polish community and the work of legislators like U.S. Representative Daniel Rostenkowski, the path of the expressway was altered and the church was saved.
Today, the parish continues to serve the spiritual needs of parishioners who come from a wide geographic area and include many different ethnic groups. The large number of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans has brought a new vitality to the parish. Masses are said in English, Spanish and Polish. The parish continues to operate an elementary school, as well as, a strong religious education program
St. Stanislaus Kostka School
St. Stanislaus Kostka School founded February 2, 1874, as the parish school of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. With 150 students, St. Stanislaus Kostka School opened its doors as the first school organized through The Congregation of the Resurrection under the direction of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. In 1906, a new convent, school, and auditorium were constructed.
On December 22, 1906, a fire destroyed the building and the original St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. Until a new convent could be built, the Sisters resided in the old St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital. Within the year the school was rebuilt and had a record enrollment of 4,000 children making it the largest grammar school in the United States, with a staff of 76 sisters.
In 1914, educational opportunities expanded and St. Stanislaus Commercial High School opened under the direction of Sister M. Evarildis, SSND. In 1940 following 26 years of continued academic success St. Stanislaus Commercial High School converted from a two year to a four year curriculum and was placed under the guidance of Sister M. Pacifica.
In the 1950s, plans for the Northwest (now John F. Kennedy) expressway were made. As envisioned, the expressway would cut through the parish property. This would necessitate the demolition of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church as well as several of the parish buildings. Opposition came from the large Polish Catholic community. The route of the expressway was extended eastward, and the removal of the parish buildings was kept to a minimum: the heating plant was razed and 12 classrooms were demolished.
By 1958 the need to expand school facilities became evident and a new high school and convent was constructed. This facility is the present day St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic School.
After 103 years of providing the West Town community with quality Catholic education, St. Stanislaus High School closed its doors in 1977. This action allowed the parish to expand its grammar school program and we can see those results today. The 2008-2009 school year saw another turning point in the history of St. Stanislaus Kostka School. Sr. Susan Curtin, SSND, retired and, for the first time in our 134 year history, St. Stan’s was no longer blessed with the physical presence of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. However, the SSND spirit of educating and inspiring today’s youth lives on today and is evident in the tireless efforts of our amazing staff of teachers and principal.
Today, St. Stanislaus Kostka is a vibrant, active school that serves a diverse student body from Pre-School through Eighth grade. We are an integral part of the West Town / Wicker Park communities and the surrounding area. Many of St. Stan’s graduates now have children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren in attendance.