Our School


Mission Statement

Guided by our Roman Catholic faith, St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori School prepares students to live out the Gospel message, achieve academic excellence, and joyfully lead by faith, virtue and reason.

Our History

Our beginning

St. John the Baptist has had a long-standing tradition of academic achievement going back more than 65 years.

Opening our doors in 1952, initial enrollment of St. John the Baptist School was 179 students with 4 teachers. The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet arrived in Excelsior ready to move into their newly built convent adjacent the school and become the first teachers at St. John the Baptist.

Fr. Cushen, who had organized the building of the school and convent, spearheaded efforts almost immediately after construction ended to expand the school to include a gymnasium and stage, donating his own inheritance of $30,000 to start the project.

The school grew to an annual enrollment of nearly 500 students over the next decade. The Kindergarten grade level was added in 1972, followed by an Early Childhood Education Center and Preschool a decade later, in 1982.

Continuing the tradition today

Constant throughout the history of St. John the Baptist School is an unwavering devotion to a true education, guiding children to live out the Gospel message and achieve academic excellence. While education best practices have evolved since the beginning of St. John the Baptist School, the commitment to educating the whole child has remained steadfast.

  • In 1999, St. John the Baptist opened an Atrium for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a childhood faith formation program in the Montessori style. This Atrium served children ages 3 years to 3rd grade.
  • Building on the success of the Atrium program, in 2016 the school transitioned to a Catholic Montessori School serving toddlers through 8th grade.

Today we continue the rich tradition of preparing students for life by cultivating a love of learning, a sense of wonder and gratitude, and strengthening their faith to live out the Gospel message with joy.

Our Campus

St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori School is located just 12 miles south of Minneapolis in the historic city of Excelsior. Excelsior, the first established community on Lake Minnetonka, is home to beautiful parks and trails, public beaches, and charming shopping districts. Just like its host city, St. John the Baptist Church and School are a perfect blend of old and new with updated parish facilities, a two-level walk out school building, and historic two-story residence hall. The buildings occupy 8 acres of wooded shoreline on stunning Galpin Lake.

School grounds include outdoor learning environments, substantial gardens, and sizable recreation areas. These spaces encourage inquiry-based learning, STEM projects, and environmental education. The main school building hosts the preschool, elementary, and middle school programs while the historic residence hosts our youngest children ages 16 months through 3 years.

The main church building is located across the parking lot allowing our school children to celebrate Mass once a week with the parish community. Children also have opportunities to worship the Blessed Sacrament in the parish’s perpetual adoration chapel and utilize the church for sacred retreat and prayer.

Tucked away on Mill Street, St. John the Baptist Catholic Montessori School is a safe and beautiful space for children to grow and develop from 16 months to 15 years old.

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