flag_circleFounded in 1898 as a parish school affiliated with St. Mary’s Church, St. Mary’s is a Roman Catholic school serving students in grades preschool through fifth. While we are a parochial school of the Springfield Diocese, we welcome students of all religions to our enrollment.

We are located in East Central Illinois in the city of Paris, fifteen miles from the Indiana state line.

The purpose of St. Mary’s School is to provide a comprehensive program based on best teaching practices and brain research related to learning. Our goal is to create an environment with three strands: climate, community and curriculum.

School Profile

St. Mary’s School is located at 507 Connelly Street in Paris, IL. We are located within Paris Union School District 95.

St. Mary’s School was founded in 1898, as a mission of St. Mary’s Church. St. Mary’s provides a Roman Catholic education to students in preschool through fifth grade. While we are a Catholic school of the Diocese of Springfield, we welcome students of all faith.

St. Mary’s School was originally staffed by Kentucky Dominican sisters and was succeeded by Springfield Dominicans who resigned in 1985.


St. Mary’s School provides education for students in preschool through fifth grades. Preschool is an all-day program with options of 5 days, 3 days or 2 days.

We have approximately 60 students enrolled from the following communities: Paris, Newman, Marshall, Chrisman, Kansas and Terre Haute.

Mission and Vision

St. Mary’s School is registered with and fully recognized by the State of Illinois under the Non-Public School Approval Section.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to develop students with active and creative minds, with a sense of understanding, compassion, and the courage to live their Catholic faith.

Philosophy Statement

St. Mary’s School was established as a parish school in the 1890s. The foundation of our school has always been, and continues to be, its Catholic identity. Through this culture, we are committed to teaching the fullness of the Catholic faith by integrating these core values into all academic subject areas. Our climate is apparent through relationships with one another, prayer experiences, academic excellence, service to community, and practicing Lifelines.


At St. Mary’s School, we provide an education for a lifetime. St. Mary’s offers a faith-filled and rigorous academic program, where faith and knowledge are intertwined, shaping the whole child. We continue to cultivate a welcoming environment for past, present and prospective families, as well as the broader community. St. Mary’s system of governance encourages positive, constructive involvement and communication among all students, parents, staff, parish, and community.


Do the right thing; Treat people right

As good as we are; We can always get better


St. Mary’s School is committed to the purpose of Catholic education: message, community, service and worship. To accomplish this, the staff strives to create an environment with three strands:


  • Work at creating a non-threatening and spiritual environment.
  • Develop an understanding of and a loyalty to the teachings of the Catholic Church (adopted by the Board Of Education in April 1993).
  • Encourage development of unique Christian identities.
  • Teach and practice Lifelines.


  • Develop a sense of belonging to the family and Catholic community by encouraging and supporting parents in their role as they lay the foundation for Christian living.
  • Foster a deep respect for all human life, peace, justice, and the needs of the community.
  • Build and maintain community through relationships, collaboration, and communication in order to create responsible citizens.


  • Cultivate personal competence through meaningful curriculum that promotes lifelong learning.
  • Provide a comprehensive program based on the best teaching practices and brain research related to learning.
  • Provide first hand experiences that connect students to the “real world”.
  • Use multiple means of instructing and assessing student progress.

St. Mary’s School is fully accredited by the state of Illinois and staffs only certified teachers, who are dedicated to academic excellence. We offer a supervised before/aftercare program, participate in the Federal Hot Lunch Program, and provide bus service through the public school system. In addition to academics, we offer full art and music programs and after school clubs.

Ownership and Governance

As Disciples of Christ we are called to share our time, talents, and treasure in advancing the ministry of Catholic school education. St. Mary’s School must therefore maintain and promote a system of governance that encourages positive, constructive involvement and communication among parents, parish, school board, finance committee, staff, students, and community. This system or plan will promote the advancement of Catholic identity, quality education, accessibility, and the advancement of our school.