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St. John School History

Saint John the Evangelist School was established in 1883 when the first pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Reverend John Flately, recognized the need for Catholic education in the Canton area. The first school building was opened in September 1883 with an enrollment of about 400 students.

The Sisters of Notre Dame staffed the school for the first 18 years. At the turn of the 20th century, the Sisters of St. Joseph replaced the Sisters of Notre Dame. The Sisters of St. Joseph built a convent, which later became the St. Clement School for Boys.

In 1956, Archbishop Richard Cushing broke ground for the present 16-room elementary school, double the size of its predecessor. In 1959, the Parish Center was completed, expanding the size of the school.

Over the past 30 years, St. John School has expanded its educational reach, incorporating a kindergarten and prekindergarten (ages 3 and 4).

In its almost 140 years of existence, St. John School has educated thousands of students who have gone on to excellent high schools, colleges, and careers.

St. John School currently has about 260 students. Approximately half of the students are from Canton and the rest are from more than 15 area communities, including Stoughton, Randolph, and Easton.

St. John School Insignia

A cross stands at the center of the shield flanked by the Bible. These represent our commitment to the Catholic faith, which is the foundation of St. John School.


A second book flanks the cross. This book as well as the pencil and ruler on the book represent our commitment to academics and scholarship.

At the foot of the cross appears the standing eagle, the symbol of St. John the Evangelist. This eagle represents St. John because of his lofty and soaring gospel.

The gray hill that rises behind the eagle suggests an obstacle to be climbed or a challenge to be overcome. It represents both the academic and physical achievement that our children attain as they strive for excellence.

A banner containing the year of our school’s founding overlays the cross. It represents the proud legacy to which we are heirs. At St. John School there is a tradition of faith-based academic excellence that dates back more than 125 years.

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