Where it all began...
The history of St. Ignatius Catholic School goes back well over 100 years. We are the product of three Catholic Schools in Kaukauna (St. Aloysius, St. Mary's, and Holy Cross) and one Catholic School in Hollandtown (St. Francis). As the needs and demographics of our communities changed throughout the years, our schools continued to adapt and reshape, forming the unified Catholic school community we are today.
The first school to open was St. Francis School in Hollandtown in 1871. St. Mary School opened next in 1885 and shortly after, in 1886, Holy Cross School opened. A new school building at Holy Cross was erected in 1954 and a brand new school was added to the area when St. Aloysius School opened its doors in 1965.
Kaukauna Catholic School System (KCSS) formed
The Kaukauna Catholic School System (KCSS) was created on March 31, 1993, at a joint meeting of the Parish Councils of Holy Cross, St. Aloysius, and St. Mary Parishes.
Five subcommittees were formed to meet over the summer of 1993 to each be responsible for one of the following tasks: Develop a school philosophy and mission statement; Write the constitution and by-laws; Deal with transportation issues; Start an athletics program; and Start Public Relations.
Once the Philosophy/Mission Statement and Constitution/By-Laws were approved by the Diocese of Green Bay, the Kaukauna Catholic School System was officially recognized as a legal body and moral person. The system began as a three-school system with the 1994-1995 school year: St. Aloysius Campus and Holy Cross Campus both held preschool through grade 5, while St. Mary Campus was a middle school for grades 6-8.
In 2004, the Kaukauna Catholic School System consolidated into two school buildings. The St. Aloysius Campus changed to preschool through grade 2 and Holy Cross Campus would house grades 3-8. The St. Mary site would be used for child care, development, and the business offices of KCSS. St. Francis of Hollandtown also merged with the KCSS system at all grade levels in this year.
Before the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, the childcare program moved from St. Mary's to the St. Aloysius Campus.
After the closing of the St. Aloysius Campus, the school office, Child Care, and Preschool-3 through Grade 2 moved to the Holy Cross Campus, making the Holy Cross Campus the home for the entire school system.
In May 2014, the Kaukauna Catholic School System Board of Directors approved a recommendation that KCSS begin a transition to a Catholic Classical curriculum. A press conference with Bishop Ricken was held on Friday, May 16th at the Holy Cross Campus to announce these changes and begin the process as the first Catholic School in the Diocese of Green Bay to transition to a classical model. The rollout began with the 2014-15 school year. On July 1st, 2016, the school's name was officially changed to St. Ignatius Catholic School.
St. Ignatius Chesterton Academy added
In the fall of 2021, the school expanded to offer grades 9-12 with the addition of St. Ignatius Chesterton Academy, a Chesterton Schools Network. With the inclusion of the high school, it completes the three stages of the trivium, the hallmark of a classical education.