Our Lady of Angels School is a parish school under the direction of the Department of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The Capuchin Franciscan fathers established the Parish of Our Lady of Angels in Burlingame in 1926. One year later, the school was founded under the direction of the Sisters of Mercy.
Our Lady of Angels School opened on August 22, 1927 with an enrollment of eighty students in grades one through six. Additional classes were added each year until the school accommodated students in grades one through eight. A kindergarten was added in 1940, was discontinued in 1958, and re-opened again in 1974. In the late 1950s and early 1960s enrollment was increasing. This led to the building of an addition to Our Lady of Angels School and double grades. In 1973, as enrollment began to decline, the school was reduced to single grades. The school continues to have single grades for kindergarten through grade eight. Enrollment at Our Lady of Angels school has been consistent with a yearly enrollment of 310-318 students. Each year, thirty-six students are accepted into kindergarten, at least half of whom are siblings. The average graduating class for the past five years has been comprised of 33 students. The current student enrollment is 316 with an average of 35 students per class.
Over the years, as the number of faculty and staff increased, the number of religious personnel decreased. In 1984, the first lay administrator was appointed, and in 1996, the last Sister of Mercy retired from the staff. Since that time, dedicated lay personnel and one religious sister have guided the academic and spiritual growth of Our Lady of Angels students. Together with the Capuchin Franciscan priests and a generous parent community, the committed faculty and staff have upheld the ideals of excellence in Catholic education.
For the past eighty-eight years, Our Lady of Angels School has been an integral part of the community. Burlingame is a high-income residential community, and OLA parents range from middle class to affluent. Many of the parents are professionals, business owners, or hold positions in the corporate world. Currently the school enrolls 316 students, 50.3% male and 49.7% female. The school population is representative of the community population.
The enrolled students are 98% Catholic. Of the school families. 75% reside within the parish boundaries; however, all school families are registered and participating in the parish. 95.5% of the students reside with both parents and 4.5% live in single parent homes. All students are fluent in English and a second language is spoken in some homes. Since most families live within the immediate vicinity of the school, attendance is not a problem. Alumni families make up 12.5% of our total school families.
Our Lady of Angels School strives to serve the parish by keeping tuition reasonable in an increasingly expensive area in which to live. Families who qualify for assistance are encouraged to participate in the Basic Fund Tuition Assistance program of the Archdiocese of San Francisco; however, only one of our families was granted assistance this year. Tuition assistance is also available through school and parish funds. Each year, a financial aid committee (comprised of the principal, pastor, and two parish members) meets to determine the award granted to each family who has applied for assistance. 4.5% of OLA School families received financial aid for the 2014-2015 school year. The interest from the school endowment fund is utilized to supplement tuition assistance.
The majority of graduating students at Our Lady of Angels School apply to and attend Catholic high schools. Over the past five years, an average of 85% of the eighth grade graduates entered a Catholic high school. The economy and the cost of tuition are factors that lead parents to choose alternative schools. Updates from the high schools indicate that many of our former students have attained Honor Roll and Dean’s list status. These accolades combined with feedback from former graduates and comments from parents on the Parent Survey attest to the fact that Our Lady of Angels School graduates are academically prepared for their secondary schools. Most graduates participate in Youth Ministry and parish service. The religious education at Our Lady of Angels School serves as a foundation for students to continue to be faithful Christians.