St. John Paul II Catholic School- A National Blue Ribbon and Catholic Honor Roll School
St. John Paul II Catholic School (StJPII) is an independent Catholic school located in West Houston near Eldridge Road and Briar Forest Drive. The school was established in 1988 as a private independent Catholic school. StJPII is a registered, non-profit corporation in the state of Texas with a corporate Board of Directors. The fall of 1988 was the school's first year, opening with fifty six students in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Today, StJPII stands as one of the largest grade schools in the Archdiocese, with enrollment of approximately 700 students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, with three homerooms per grade level. StJPII is committed to academic excellence while focusing on traditional Catholic values and is dually accredited by the Texas Conference of Catholic Education Division of the Texas Education Agency and AdvancED.
Since it's inception, the StJPII student population has grown with additional programs, facilities, and staff. While classes were originally held in a collection of temporary buildings, permanent classrooms were opened in 1994 and 1998, when the gymnasium was also completed. Construction continued in 2004-2005, when facilities were expanded with more classrooms, a library, and a space dedicated to fine arts. In August 2011, StJPII increased facility space again with building an additional 20,000 square feet which included the activity center with a full kitchen, cafeteria, stage, and choir classroom. At that time, the gym was also remodeled with a PTO workroom, PE offices, athletics storage, and girls and boys locker rooms. New offices, a science lab, and art room connected the main building to the gym. Construction included covered walkways along the front of the campus for carpool. In 2012, the campus was completed with the addition of the beautiful All Saints Chapel.
In 2014, John Paul II was canonized a Saint by Pope Francis. At that time, the school's name was officially changed to St. John Paul II Catholic School. StJPII has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education three times: 1997, 2008, and 2018, making it the first school in Houston to receive this coveted award three times. In 2020, StJPII was recognized as a "Catholic Honor Roll School" by the Cardinal Newman Society, the only school in the Houston area with this distinction. These honors place StJPII in the top 1% in the United States and validate that StJPII excels in both academic excellence and outstanding Catholic spiritual formation. StJPII moves forward as a unique Catholic school, embracing the patron's words of "Be not afraid..." While some graduates choose to attend their local public high schools, most StJPII graduates traditionally attend private schools in the area, including: Duchesne Academy, Houston Christian, Incarnate Word Academy, St. Agnes Academy, St. John XXIII, St. Pius X, St. Thomas High School, and Strake Jesuit.