St Jerome Catholic School

January 19, 2017 – Announcement re: School Closing

Dear Parishioners,

It is my sad duty to inform you of the closure of our parish school at the end of June 2017. The Diocese of Oakland, after a long, comprehensive study of demographics and financial realities has mandated the closure of a number of parish schools, including Saint Jerome School.

A guiding process and plan, the Operational and Financial Improvements Initiative, is mandated by the Bishop of Oakland and the consultative bodies of the diocese. It includes the entire Diocese of Oakland – not just the schools. We are witnessing just a small, but significant, portion of this diocesan-wide undertaking. As Pastor, it is my place to accede to this decision and I hope and pray for your support in this decision.

The School Department will work with each school community to seek a placement for each child in a Catholic school. The Human Resources Department will work with faculties, staffs and administrators to facilitate new job opportunities within the diocese.

The school remains an asset of Saint Jerome Parish. As such, the buildings and grounds remain our responsibility. The diocese will provide each parish with the necessary oversight and guidance regarding the future use of the school buildings. I seek your support in this momentous turn of events and the loss of our school community.

Fr. Fernando J. Cortez, Pastor


History of Saint Jerome School

In 1941 Monsignor James Rohan established Saint Jerome Catholic Parish in El Cerrito, CA. Under his leadership, the parish quickly grew and through its prosperity the parish approved property for the founding of St Jerome Catholic School.

On August 21, 1955, Monsignor Rohan welcomed five sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary to Saint Jerome Catholic School and to the parish.

The school opened its doors in September 1955 with the first students filling grades one through four with a total enrollment of 160 students.  A new grade was added each year until September 1959 when the school enrolled grades one through eight, and in 1982 a kindergarten was added.  In  1985, an Extended Day Care Program was established, Red Balloon, to meet the increasing needs of working parents of the school’s community.

Today St. Jerome Catholic School is home to nearly two hundred students and families. Many families are centrally located in neighborhoods within El Cerrito, Richmond, Kensington and Berkeley. However we also have families coming to us from many parts of the Bay Area including Oakland, Hayward, El Sobrante, Pinole, Vallejo, Antioch to name a few. We hope that you will come visit us to get a sense of our community and dedication to the success of our students.