Our History

The Founding 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 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 transformed 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. 

Milestones in the History of Immaculate Conception School

1921 – Construction began on a free-standing school building.

1923 – The new school building was formally dedicated by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Michael Joseph Curley. The building boasted eleven classrooms, two science labs, rooms for domestic science, music and typing, a library and a 700-seat auditorium that also served as a gym.

1926 – The Sisters of Notre Dame turned over management of the school to the Sisters of Saint Francis of Glen Riddle, Pennsylvania. By this time, 38 high school students were learning on the 3rd floor of the building.

1928 – A three-story addition was undertaken due to overcrowding in the original building.

1940s – A full-time athletic coach was hired and an athletic field was added to the campus next to the church cemetery.

1952 – The cornerstone was laid for a free-standing high school building, Towson Catholic High School, that opened in 1953.

1960 – A three-story addition was added to the elementary school building “in the modern architectural style.”

1992 – Establishment of the Immaculate Conception Preschool to offer foundational Catholic early childhood education.

 2009 – Towson Catholic High School closed.

2011 – 2015 – The former high school building was gradually refurbished to house the Immaculate Conception Middle School grades.

2020 – The school flipped to a remote instruction model immediately following the public health state-mandated closures of the Coronavirus pandemic. Immaculate Conception School did not miss a single instructional day due to the crisis, completing the 2019-2020 school year on schedule, operating in a hybrid mode for the 2020-2021 school year, and returning to normal operations in 2022-2023.

ICS laid a foundation of love of God, my Catholic faith, and a true devotion to prayer. I thank God every day that my parents loved us so much that they enrolled us in Catholic School. What a blessing all of those happy years were for us kids. 

—Susan Sinon O’Neill Santoni, Class of 1953