About Our School
Immaculate Conception School (ICS) is a Catholic Parish school of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Located in Towson, Maryland, ICS educates children in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8.
A History of Immaculate Conception School
- The story of Immaculate Conception School begins in August of 1887 when Archbishop Gibbons appointed Reverend Matthew O’Keefe the pastor of what was then St. Francis (now Immaculate Conception) Church. Father O’Keefe had been stationed in Norfolk, Virginia before arriving in Towson. He was by no means a young man. Though in his sixtieth year he had the zeal, fervor and drive that we usually seek in men of lesser years. He was a visionary who labored to build a Church large enough to supply the needs of the fast-growing population of Towson. He quickly realized that a Catholic school was first in the order of importance. Undaunted by the fact that he had neither the building, the teachers, nor the funds; he announced that the school would be ready in September of the same year. He was successful in procuring two teaching Sisters from the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The Church basement was ready into two classrooms and on September 19, 1887, St. Francis school opened with an enrollment of 15 pupils. Interest in the school grew and by the end of the year 46 pupils were arriving daily.
- When the Church and School changed their names from St. Francis to Immaculate Conception? The parish was established in 1886 under the patronage of St. Francis and so remained until the erection and dedication of the new Church, which received its new title from Father O’Keefe himself. Father O’Keefe had a great devotion to Our Blessed Mother. The Church is almost an exact copy of the Church in Norfolk, Va. of which he had been pastor. When that Church burned down in 1856, the only item to survive the blaze was a statue of the Blessed Mother. Father O’Keefe rebuilt the Church and named it St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception. When his new Church in Towson was dedicated, he named it and the school Immaculate Conception.
- Father O’Keefe died in 1906. His successor, Father Sheridan was keenly interested in education and was deeply concerned about the parish school. Realizing the need for a new and larger grade school, he laid his plans accordingly. Fundraisers were organized and support was rallied. Father Sheridan built a new school. On November 5, 1922 the new school building was dedicated by Archbishop Curley. The school building was expanded to twice its size in 1929 and enjoyed a third modest expansion took place in the late 1940’s. The School Sisters of St. Francis assumed charge of the school in August of 1926 and have remained an integral part of the school to this day.
- Today, Fr, Joe Barr is the pastor of the Church and School. Mrs. Madeline Meaney is the current Principal of Immaculate Conception School. The school has an enrollment of 537 students in grades Pre-K 3 through grade 8.
- In 2011 the Archdiocese Division of Catholic Schools named ICS an official "STEM" School (focusing our curriculum on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and selected ICS to represent the diocese in its accreditation review with AdvancEd, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of Pre-K-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. Immaculate Conception expanded that focus in 2013 to include Religion and the Arts, becoming a "STREAM" school.
- During 2012 and 2013, the school expanded its use of the former high school building and converted the second and third floors to functioning as our our Middle School. Today, ICS continues its affiliation with the Sisters of Saint Francis and promotes their spirit of joy, peace and serving the poor.
- In 2014, ICS was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. This honor celebrates academic excellence and symbolizes ICS is a school with highly qualified academic practitioners who care for and educate our students.
- In 2018, our Pre-Kindergarten program was recognized for the second consecutive year with the designation of a "Level 5" Provider with Maryland Excels and the MSDE. The "Level 5" rating is the highest rating available, allowing families to make informed choices when choosing the care and education of their children.
These milestones represent a history of growth and dedication to our students and families! Our greatest strength is our dedication to continually improve the curriculum in accordance with student needs and the opportunities and challenges presented by technology and life in the 21st century. Success at ICS is demonstrated on numerous levels:
Focusing our efforts is a core belief that, as Catholic educators, we strive to fulfill our parish mission in leading our students through the period of transition from childhood through adolescence. We offer a strong academic education, grounded in personal responsibility, within a faith-based environment, recognizing we are all children of God. This goal is supported by a philosophy that the primary purpose of ICS is to educate the whole child in the context of the Catholic faith. We lead children toward spiritual, emotional, moral, intellectual, physical, and social development. The educational focus of ICS is to provide a solid academic foundation and to develop critical thinking skills.
ICS supports Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a proactive and interactive approach to establish a social culture in a school that supports social, emotional, and academic success. It uses data-based decision making to align curriculum and behavioral supports for students and staff. It is aimed at supporting safe and effective school environments. At ICS we are Respectful, Responsible, and Kind because CHRIST matters!