Saint John School opened in 1862 as a Parish School under the direction of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. In connection with the school, a private academy known as Seton Academy opened in 1864 for young boys and girls of prominent families in Orange.

            The Creche opened in 1880 to accommodate working mothers who needed a safe place for their children while they were absent from home. The children attending Saint John Grammar School would go to the Creche until parents were finished work.

            The present edifice was erected in 1892. The nation was celebrating the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, and it was deemed most fitting that the new structure be known as Columbus Hall. When the building was completed in 1894 – the Christian Brothers were engaged to assume charge of the education of the boys in grades 5 through 8 while the Sisters of Charity maintained Seton Academy, the Creche, the primary school and the girls in grades 5 through 8.

            This was the period of the Golden Age of Saint John Parish. Although a large school already, a commercial program was instituted so the students could obtain desirable positions in industrial life in a prosperous industrial community.


 The Creche as well as Seton Academy closed in the 1940’s to extend the parish cemetery.


Saint John School continued to flourish, unique in having not only the excellent training and assistance of the Sisters of Charity but also the Christian Brothers who taught the boys section until 1966.

            The Daughters of Divine Love, Sisters of Charity and a dedicated lay staff have continued the progress of “establishing a glorious tradition” of training which was begun in the first school for our children which opened in 1862.

            Our present school begins with a Pre-Kindergarten 3 year old program and continues through grade 8 – with extended hours following the tradition of the Creche.


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