About ST. James

St. James Catholic School was established in 1965 at the request of Pastor James Munnelly. With the recommendation from the Bishop of San Diego, Father Munnelly invited four Sisters of Mercy from Sligo, Ireland to staff the parish school. Sister De Chantal Finerty was the first principal of Saint James Catholic School. The Sisters of Mercy continued to serve as school administrators until the 2000-2001 school year, when then principal, Sister Mary Francis Coleman, was called to serve as Chancellor to the Bishop in the Diocese of San Bernardino.

The Sisters of Mercy continue to influence and bless the St. James community in a parish ministry capacity. The school has been founded and imbued with the spirit of founder Mother McAuley, in living the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in the Perris Valley community. The school began with six grades, first through sixth. Each year, grades were added to accommodate the population desiring a Catholic education.

Today, St. James Catholic School serves students in grades Transitional Kindergarten through eighth grade. The parish school serves many parishes in the Hemet Vicariate. The surrounding communities and the local public school district warmly support the school. St. James Catholic School is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Catholic Educational Association. St. James Catholic School takes pride in “Lighting the Way to a New Century so that Lives are Filled with Hope.”

Mission Statement

St. James the Less Catholic School, located in Perris, California, is an educational ministry of St. James the Less Parish that exists to form each student in a spirit of faith and academic excellence following the model of our founders, the Sisters of Mercy. We serve students in Transitional Kindergarten through Grade 8, in our local parish as well as in our surrounding communities. The school welcomes those of different faiths and cultural backgrounds willing to participate fully in our mission and philosophy.

Since 1965, St. James the Less Catholic School, in partnership with parents and supported by the parish, has guided students in developing skills to become innovative problem solvers who have a sense of responsibility for themselves, global society, and all of God’s creation. Our faith-filled and family oriented community guides students to experience each day in a positive way. In addition to providing a rigorous academic education rooted in Catholic principles, we incorporate up-to-date technological learning for our students. At St James the Less Catholic school we are called to live our Catholic faith, achieve academic excellence and provide service to God’s people.

Philosophy Statement

At St. James the Less Catholic School we believe it is fundamental to provide students and families with a tradition permeated in Catholic values, a challenging curriculum that inspires discovery and the opportunity to serve our parish and global community as valued stewards of God’s gifts. Aligning with the pillars of Faith-Sharing, Collaboration, Reconciliation, and Hospitality as outlined by the Diocese of San Bernardino, we engender within our students and families an enduring love of learning.

As a people of God, in partnership with St. James the Less Catholic Church, our dedicated priests, sisters and faculty provide a safe and nurturing educational environment committed to high academic standards and developmental needs of the whole child, integrating the skills needed in preparation for the future. Centered on the Eucharist, our devotion to Mary and the works of Mercy, students at St. James the Less Catholic School acquire a strong foundation in faith, morals and Christian values.

At St. James the Less Catholic School we believe:
• Every child is a child of God, unique and precious
• In the image and likeness of Jesus, teachers mentor their students with love and compassion
• Parents and teachers collaborate to help students become self-confident and independent leaders

Student Learning Expectations
The Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs) are goals that we hope that all students achieve by the time they graduate from St. James Catholic School. They are interwoven into the entire school community and especially throughout student’s lessons and instruction. They are an integral part of the school environment. See SLEs on Curriculum page.