History of St. Brendan School
St. Brendan School opened its doors to two hundred forty-one students on September 2, 1947. The school was staffed by Dominican Sisters from Adrian, Michigan. This Order was founded to preach the Word of God, to form communities of faith, and to teach with a spirit of joy, discipline, love, and faith following the teachings of the Catholic Church.
From the school’s opening in 1947 through 1955, enrollment greatly increased until it reached a maximum of four hundred thirty-eight students, with a staff of seven sisters and one lay teacher. Over time, the faculty ratio changed such that now the faculty is comprised entirely of lay teachers. Enrollment has been gradually reduced, resulting in smaller class sizes. Today, student enrollment averages 285 students, with waiting lists for most classes.
Due to the expansion of school programs, a number of additional faculty and staff members were added over the years. The staff now includes a school counselor, a full-time learning support teacher, instructional aides in each classroom, three science teachers, a music teacher, a Spanish teacher, a physical education teacher, a fully staffed Extended Care program, a development director, and two athletic directors.
To accommodate expanded programs, additional staff, increased enrollment, and broadening curriculum, we have made numerous capital improvements to our facilities over the years. In 1978 we repurposed some areas of the convent to establish a kindergarten. Since then, the library was expanded to include areas for small group lessons, and we constructed the Monsignor Walsh gymnasium and the Sr. Diane Erbacher Parish Center. In 2014, we renovated and expanded the science lab, added a “Zen Garden” for the children’s enjoyment, and renovated and expanded the bottom floor of the convent to allow us to accommodate two full-day kindergarten classes. We are committed to maintaining the school facilities in order to enhance learning, creativity, and collaboration. During the summer of 2023, the school will undergo a seismic retrofit to make the campus safer and to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which will provide more accessibility to places within the building.
In August of 2021, the Department of Catholic Schools (DCS) in the Archdiocese of San Francisco transitioned St. Brendan School into the Cooperative Governance model. The DCS and the pastor now share responsibilities for overseeing the school. DCS supervises the principal, oversees school curriculum, and implements all Archdiocesan policies, while the pastor remains responsible for the spiritual, pastoral, and sacramental needs of our community.
Although we have evolved and expanded in ways that our founders could never have anticipated, St. Brendan School carries on the mission of the Adrian Dominican Sisters by educating students in a loving, supportive community that focuses on faith, leadership and character development.