History of Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School
Nearly 20 years after its closing, Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School (ICSJ) re-opened its doors on
September 9, 2002 to 19 smiling pre-kindergarten and kindergarten
children eager to learn and explore. With the recent revival of the
neighborhood, Father Pat Lee recognized the growing needs of the urban
community. "I was interested in re-establishing Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School for two main reasons: to provide high quality education for our
children that was rooted in cooperation rather than fierce competition,
and to pass on our Catholic faith and tradition to the young people of
Fr. Lee decided to start small, with only pre-kindergarteners and kindergarteners enrolling in the inaugural year. A new grade was added annually, and in the 2010-2011 school year ICSJ had a full roster of grades -- from PreK3 to 8th grade. In August, 2011, we opened our middle school campus, which is located at the site of the old Byrd School on Hill Street, across Saint Joseph’s Church.
Still in our first decade, we have made many enhancements to our facilities. First floor
additions and renovations to the Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School, North Park Campus were completed in spring 2003, and in 2007 a second floor was added above the pre-school wing, which included a gross motor room and three classrooms. The parish and school now boast four new state-of-the-art preschool
classrooms, a beautiful parish hall, an inviting playground, library, music facilities and stage. All classrooms are large with generous sunlight and equipped with computers and SMART Boards.
The Hill Street Campus located at 363 W. Hill Street, is equipped with 12 classrooms, a cafeteria, gymnasium, music room, dance room, library/media room, gross motor room, art studio, foreign language room, a Mac computer lab and a science lab. The new state-of-the-art facility is equipped with all of the amenities necessary for an exceptional middle school experience.
"The opening of Immaculate Conception-St. Joseph School is a sign of growth for both the Archdiocese of Chicago and the near north community. Now in our tenth year, we are proud to have more than 400 children benefiting from our exemplary academic curriculum," says Co-Principal Katie Sullivan. "We are excited that not only have neighborhood families taken an interest in this unique educational opportunity but also those from over 20 different Chicago zip codes. This includes the south and west Loop, Bucktown, Pilsen, Old Irving, Wicker Park, Lakeview and Lincoln Park."