History of St. Charles School
In 1928, Most Reverend Edward Hanna, Archbishop of San Francisco, appointed Father Harold Compton as first pastor to establish a Catholic parish in San Carlos. The original parish church was located on Walnut Street. However, when the post-World War II housing boom hit San Carlos, it was evident that a new piece of property was necessary to support the growing parish. In 1948, Pastor Reverend James Doyle announced that the Archdiocese had purchased approximately seven acres in the Brittan Acres area along Tamarack Avenue between Belle and Elizabeth Avenues, and plans were drawn for a temporary church (to be converted into a gym), a school, and a rectory. The facilities were to contain eight classrooms, a music room, and administrative space. In an effort to have the school open by September 1950, most construction activity was concentrated on the classroom segment. With the best efforts of the contractors in place, the school opened on October 2, 1950. Sister Ann Maureen, Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, was named principal and sixth grade teacher. The Notre Dame community provided five additional Sisters to teach first through fifth grades.
Seventh and eighth grades were added over the subsequent two years, and the first class graduated in June 1953. When the Sisters announced their withdrawal from the school in 1970, a committee of lay women and men was formed to evaluate the school and make suggestions for its future. With the encouragement of the St. Charles School Advisory Board, school families, and members of the parish, St. Charles opened in the fall under the direction of the first lay principal and a staff of lay teachers, reflecting the strong desire of parishioners to continue the Catholic school tradition.
Today, the charism of the school continues to reflect the commitment of parish families to support a thriving Catholic education for their children. A parish capital campaign in 2009 infused $1.5 million dollars into school facilities and future financial support of the school. A second-round campaign to school families completed the formation of the school endowment, The Tiger Fund. Parents continue to provide volunteer time, fundraising, and leadership to make St. Charles a viable, vibrant learning community. School parents reinforce the school mission and philosophy in the education of their children and in the caretaking of the community as a whole.