Chicago St. Stanislaus Kostka High School

St. Stanislaus Kostka School
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Photo by Cody Cutter (Feb. 2009)
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The History of Chicago St. Stanislaus Kostka High School

Chicago (population approximately 2,800,000) is situated in the far northeastern portion of Illinois in the heart of Cook County. Highways leading to and from Chicago include I-55, I-57, I-88, I-90, and I-94. Several railways also take you into the nation’s third largest city.

Lake Michigan serves as Chicago’s eastern border and was vital (and still is today) to Chicago’s early growth and economy.The area in which Chicago is located was first settled in the very early 1800’s. The mouth of the Chicago River at Lake Michigan served as an important waterway from the east to the west.

The town was organized in 1832 and chartered as a city in 1837. Chicago’s population that year was 4,180. By the late 1800’s, Chicago was a boom town, the population increasing at a rapid rate. Along with this boom came the need for education. Residents saw to it that their children were given many opportunities. Along with the growth of public schools came the establishment of several private and parochial schools.

St. Stanislaus Kostka was started as an all-girls’ parish high school in 1914 in the first Polish parish that was founded in the city of Chicago around 1867, and is considered the “Mother Parish” of Chicago’s Polonia (or Polish community). The School Sisters of Notre Dame opened the school as a two-year commercial school with five students enrolled, which it remained until 1934 when the focus was switched to academic or college preparatory.

A third year was added in 1938, and the fourth year in 1939, which meant that the first four-year class (40 students) graduated in the spring of 1940. When the Northwest Expressway (later renamed the Kennedy Expressway) was being built in the 1950’s, the plan was to cut thru the parish property (school included), but was altered due to protests by Chicago’s Polish community. However, the construction displaced many homes and ultimately affected the support of the school because it meant there were fewer families that lived in the neighborhood and thus, fewer students in the classroom.

The school was able to build a new building that opened in September 1959, located at 1255 North Noble near West Evergreen and fairly close to the intersection of Division and Milwaukee on the near West Side of Chicago. Enrollment reached 465 girls in the 1962-63 school year, and peaked at 474 in the fall of 1969 after the girls at St. Patrick’s High School for Girls were placed into St. Stanislaus Kostka following the closure of their school the previous spring.

From there, the school enrollment dropped significantly to 140 in the fall of 1976, and it was decided to close the school in the spring of 1977. Forty students were part of the last graduating class. Some of the reasons given for closing the school were declining enrollment, location of the school near a high-crime area, inadequate revenues, and the lack of religious teaching personnel. The school building is still used as a school today by St. Stanislaus Kostka Grade School.

There is a wonderful history of the parish and photos gathered from the neighborhood that can found at this site:


Year opened as commercial school:          1914

Year became academic school:                1934

Added third year:                                     1938

Added fourth year:                                   1939

Year closed:                                            1977

Now used as:                                          St. Stanislaus Kostka Grade School


If you attended St. Stanislaus Kostka High School or have more information that would be beneficial to our listing on this school, we invite to submit it to us. Names of famous graduates, school colors, if there were any interscholastic sports at the school, team nicknames, and more are some of the things we’re looking for. Please email your information to or send it thru the USPS at the following address:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL  60631

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