Our School

At St. Francis de Sales Catholic School, we are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

School Year Calendar
Our board's 2021-2022 School Year calendar is now available. Parents are encouraged to stay informed of upcoming school events, we ask that you please subscribe to our school calendar web page to receive the latest updates and emails on activities happening at school.  
Child Care Partner 
We are pleased to partner with P.R.Y.D.E. Learning Centre to provide before and after school child care at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School. Call our child care partner at 905-626-2475 to learn more about our services. 
School Hours 

Our school hours are as follows:

8:30 a.m. - School begins 
9:35-9:50 a.m. - Morning recess
11:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m. - Lunch
1:40- 1:55 p.m. - Afternoon recess
3:00 p.m. - Dismissal

School Prayer
Our school prayer is ...

Father in heaven,
you prompted St. Francis de Sales
to become all things to all people.
May his example inspire us
to serve our brothers and sisters lovingly.
St. Francis de Sales,
help us to imitate your compassion and gentle charity
through our everyday encounters with others.
Student Agenda
Read our student agenda for information on school procedures, dress code, school hours, and more.
Patron Saint 
Our patron saint of the parish and school, St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), was a bishop of Geneva who was known for his deep faith and for his writings on spiritual formation. Francis was born in France to a prominent family. Although his father wanted him to study law, he felt a call to the priesthood. He was highly respected as a writer and preacher and was known to be a friend of the poor. Several communities of religious were founded in his name and to serve his principles. St. Francis is the patron saint of Catholic journalists and writers throughout the world, as well as of the deaf. His feast day is January 24.  
Our History 
In 1893, Father Vincent McGivney called a meeting to start a Separate School Board in Pickering for the children of the parish families of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church. The provisional board of trustees consisted of P.J. McCabe, Arthur O'Connor and Peter Kaiser. Two months later, a public meeting was called to announce the establishment of the Pickering Village Separate School Board.

Soon afterwards, the Board was able to obtain the land next to the church to build St. Francis de Sales Catholic Elementary School. The land was originally the location of the church rectory until it burned down in 1913.

A three-room school was built beside the church in 1953 at a cost of $35,100. It was the first school built in the area. The first principal was Mr. W.J. Cooper (now a retired superintendent) and the first teachers were Miss M. Weir, Miss M. Harrigan and Miss E. McGee.

In 1954, two classes were added at the cost of $25,000. 1959, the school board was able to purchase two and a half acres of land behind the school from Anglican Synod, and four new classrooms were built at a cost of $68,200.

There was a significant increase from 1953 to 1965 in the number of students and teachers and in the school structure itself. The 1965-1966 staff consisted of nine teachers, one principal, one vice-principal, one secretary and one custodian. In 1966, the little school expanded once again, adding a gymnatorium, two classrooms and an all-purpose room at a cost of $135,000.

In 1991, the final addition was built. The new wing included a big foyer, a new office and even more classrooms. In the same year, a realignment of boundaries was drawn up as a result of many new subdivisions being built in the area. The feeder schools were St. Patrick, St. Jude and St. Catherine of Siena.

In 1993-1994, there were 12 teachers, 320 students, one librarian, two program support teachers, two French teachers, three educational assistants, one secretary, one principal and two custodians.

The school was now complete, with 13 classrooms, two boys/girls washrooms, a French office, a library, a staff room, a gymnasium, a principal's and secretary's office, a health room and two guidance rooms.

Our present school population is 171 students with a principal, one secretary, seven classroom teachers, one program support teacher, one French teacher, four educational assistants and two custodians.

St. Francis de Sales has certainly evolved over the years. Portables once filled most of the children's schoolyard; today, the portables are all gone. St. Francis de Sales Catholic School is now 60 years old. Throughout our school history, the dedication of the staff, the Catholic School Council and the parent community to Catholic education has remained strong and vibrant. 

Some fact about our school include:

Principals (Past and present) 

Our past and present principals included:

  • M. Weir (1953-1955)
  • W.J. Cooper (1955-1967)
  • L. Kelly (1967-1971)
  • J. Holowaty (1971-1975)
  • J. Arbour (1975-1979)
  • B. Ward (1979-1984)
  • G. Kiernicki (1984-1988)
  • J. D'Costa (1988-1993)
  • J. Kettrick (1993-1997)
  • B.A. Craig (1997-1998)
  • C. Heeney (1998-2000)
  • M. Tisi (2000-2002)
  • J. Pellerin (2002-2007)
  • D. Malleau (2007-2011)
  • M. Clunis (2011-2014)
  • A. Ermes (2014 -2016)
  • V. Cappuccitti (2016 - 2018)
  • S. Paul (2018 - 2021)
  • S. Accardi (2022 - present)

As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you". As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.

Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School.

Contact Us 

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: Stefania Accardi

72 Church Street South
Ajax, ON  L1S 6B3

Phone: (905) 683-3320
Fax: (905) 683-7387
Follow us on Twitter @StFrancis_DC





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