St. Ignatius School is a culturally diverse K-8 Catholic school in the heart of southeast Portland. With a long history in the Holy Names Sisters tradition and in the spirit of rigorous Jesuit education, we hold dear the value of shaping all sides of a child’s character: spiritual, intellectual, social, cultural, physical. Each day we immerse our students in academic excellence, love of art, concern for neighbor, and respect for difference in order to conscientiously open their eyes to the world beyond their own doorstep.
The Heart of St. Ignatius School The very heart of our school is our Catholic Faith. We were founded in 1908 to bring to our students what God wants for all children:
A deep sense of how loved and uniquely gifted they are
A culture of physical and emotional safety that underpins a sense of self-worth and promotes focus
Encouragement that brightens their spirits and piques interest
Challenge that stretches comprehension, sharpens skills, and fuels the drive to learn
Rooted in God’s love, our students develop the abilities, habits, and perspective to thrive no matter what life brings their way.
Our Accreditation means Challenging Academics St. Ignatius School offers a stellar academic program that is accredited by the Western Catholic Education Association at its highest level. This distinction gives you assurance from independent reviewers that your children are indeed receiving a top-notch education. We teach our students not only the value of facts and figures but how to think critically. In fact, at St. Ignatius it’s “cool” to be smart! We set high expectations, and as our children build skills and confidence, they strive for excellence both in and out of the classroom. For students who might otherwise be overwhelmed by our curriculum, we provide small class sizes, Title I services, and other academic support. For our gifted students, we provide the challenge of advanced math courses, competitive science fairs, and math competitions at local high schools. Most St. Ignatius students advance to rigorous college-prep high schools in Portland, including Jesuit, St. Mary’s, LaSalle, and Central Catholic. We hear consistently from parents and faculty that our students are “more than prepared” to study at even the top private high schools.
Core Values We instill in our students’ hearts the core values they need to live a fruitful and peaceful life. Our children learn to embrace generosity and service of others by freely sharing their talents and gifts with the people around them. They practice forgiveness, coming to understand that people are never perfect but always worthy of another chance. They grow to respect others and honor difference as representative of God’s abundant creativity. And above all, they learn how to love. Over time, our children grow to do what is right and good – for them, for others, for God.
Small Class Sizes We are a small school of about 240 students with an average of 25 students in each class. With small classes, we are able to give our students far more specialized individual attention: we learn well what makes each child tick, and tailor our instruction to best suit their distinct learning styles and needs. Our students grasp material more quickly and gain confidence in their ability to succeed. Small class sizes also allow us to cover more academic ground, so students gain more depth and breadth of knowledge.
Affordability There is a persistent misconception that Catholic school is not affordable, yet if you are accustomed to providing full-time preschool or daycare for your child, you’ll notice that a St. Ignatius education costs less than what you currently pay. In addition, St. Ignatius School is steadfast in remaining accessible to families of all income levels. Not only is this fair and just, it promotes the richness and diversity we value so highly in our school. Each year we distribute nearly $90,000 in tuition assistance to our families. Before you decide we are out of reach, we encourage you to have a conversation with us about what’s possible.
Cultural Diversity A full one-third of the St. Ignatius student body comes from a diverse cultural background. Immigrant, native born, refugee, and first generation, a large percentage of our families speak a second language in their home. Within our appreciative environment, this influx of cultures wholly enriches our students’ day-to-day experience. St. Ignatius students learn to value different ways of living, and grow to be at home with people from all walks of life. In the classroom and on the playground, our children start to gain a global appreciation for life by tasting the richness of our world.
The Arts & Physical Education In the tradition of the Holy Names Sisters, we prize student creativity and health as essential to a child’s growth. In addition to teaching diligence and abstract reasoning skills, our Music and Art programs spark our students’ spirits by expanding their horizons, daring them to be true individuals, and stirring a boundless wonder for life. Our physical education program consistently exercises our kids while teaching them how to respect and care for the glorious miracle that is their body. These programs help our students discover who they really are as unique, creative, and able individuals.
Hands-on Service Learning St. Ignatius School offers a service learning program that, like academics, increases in depth and intensity each year. Our students are involved in hands-on service work that gets them out of the school building and engaged in the lives of others in the greater Portland community. Serving the elderly, physically challenged children, and people without homes, our children feel what it’s like to make a sincere difference in a person’s life. Over time our students grasp the God-given dignity of all people, and begin to see the world through God’s eyes. Service finally transforms from an obligation to an opportunity to practice compassion, justice, and love.
Family Groups Family Groups intentionally promote friendship, leadership and mentoring across grade levels. We place one student from each grade into a Family Group, and that group works collaboratively throughout the year on activities that nurture kinship. Connected in this way, our students gain a sense of belonging beyond their grade and in the school community as a whole. The older children happily look out for their younger buddies as they relish being the leaders of the student body. The younger kids look up to their student mentors and enjoy their heartfelt encouragement. Family Groups create a special bond of unity that fosters a culture of safety and feeds our vibrant school spirit. FIND OUT MORE St. Ignatius School truly welcomes everyone. If we sound like a match for your family, we invite you to set up a school tour!