School History

St. Vincent de Paul Elementary School has been a leader in Catholic education for 130 years. While our school building may have changed, the commitment of the school and parish to to the education of children in Catholic tradition remains strong.

History

1859

Father Lootens, Petaluma's second pastor, showed an interest in Catholic education by opening St. Vincent’s first classroom in a parishioner’s stable.

1888

The cornerstone of the St. Vincent Academy for Girls, in the care of the Daughters of Charity nuns, was laid on April 29th. St. Vincent School for Boys continued to be conducted by lay teachers in a classroom under the church.

1888

Sisters of Notre Dame took charge on July 26, 1888.

1892

Due to a rule that didn’t allow them to teach boys, the Notre Dame Sisters were replaced by the Sisters of Charity, B.V.M. nuns.

1936

The parish broke ground for a new grammar school and the building was dedicated in 1937. The old, but remodeled, grammar school building became St. Vincent High School.

1960

Plans for a new high school, on Keokuk and Magnolia, were approved in 1960, and the building was dedicated in 1962.

1986

The last of the B.V.M. sisters left the school. A celebration was held to honor the ninety-four years of service the order had given the parish and schools.

1993

The basement of the main school building was remodeled to include a computer lab and science lab.

2005

After 64 years, the kindergarten reopened at the school in the newly remodeled original academy building.

2013

The school celebrated 125 years of Catholic education in Petaluma.

2017

The upstairs of the academy building was renovated, creating new learning spaces for a dynamic junior high block schedule model.