We are a K-8 Catholic school serving the culturally diverse communities of Northeast Minneapolis and beyond.
Catholic schools in northeast Minneapolis have been educating children since 1853. This preceded statehood in Minnesota by five years. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet opened St. Anthony of Padua School as a haven for immigrant children in 1853 and Pope John Paul II Catholic School continues this tradition as a consolidated inner city school. The mission is to continue to provide a Catholic education to all families who choose it for their children. Our school serves the children of proud working families of all ethnicities in northeast Minneapolis. This includes families who work in downtown Minneapolis and new immigrant families from Ecuador and Mexico who are moving in to the neighborhood. This consolidation took place in 1969 and involved the eight northeast Minneapolis parish elementary schools of the Churches of St. Anthony of Padua, St. Boniface, All Saints, Saint Maron, Our Lady of Lourdes, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Saint Hedwig, and Holy Cross.
In March 2003, our name officially changed from Northeast Regional Catholic School to Pope John Paul II Catholic School. This signaled a radical change in proclaiming our Catholic identity in our desire to be the major choice for Catholic education in the northeast region of Minneapolis. In reality, we were on the verge of closing our doors. Archbishop (Emeritus) Harry Flynn had other ideas. He demonstrated, in the ensuing five years, his commitment to keeping Pope John Paul II Catholic School open through spiritual, verbal, written, and financial support. His belief that Pope John Paul II needed to be the Catholic elementary education presence in northeast “to make Jesus known and loved” prevailed. Archbishop Flynn asked the parishes of northeast to work together in supporting Pope John Paul II School as the “highest of priorities”.
Beginning in the summer of 2004, the school staff embarked on the challenging journey of redefining and recreating education at Pope John Paul II Catholic School under the guidance of a new principal, Debbie King and newly appointed Canonical Administrator, Father Glen Jenson. Low enrollment and ongoing financial crisis were ever present but multi-age classrooms were established and extensive staff development in the areas of differentiated instruction and multiage classroom philosophy and methodology were studied. This staff development process continues today as the school program is revised and finessed based on the developing needs of our ever-changing student body.
Since that time the school has developed a number of partnerships with volunteers and local businesses to assist in support for the school program. Our student body is once again growing and our multiage learning environment has our students performing at 22%-55% higher on standardized tests than their public school counterparts in northeast.
Our Christian Behavior Expectations are all based on Scripture and teach our students how to be accountable for their own behavior. We have a strong sense of community surrounding the children and that community creates a positive atmosphere for learning and growing as children of God. Our identity as a Catholic School is our first and most important mission for to form young people in Christ is the mission of the Church. We desire our children to not only have faith-filled lives but also life-filled faith.
In order to prepare for the future needs of the Northeast Catholic Community, the Archdiocesan Strategic Plan of October 2010 reconfigured parish communities to assist them in better providing for the shared mission of the Church in northeast. This new configuration is still a work in progress and our school is blessed to partner with our parish communities in these new and exciting times in northeast.