web history page

Though the first parish church was dedicated in 1869 by Bishop Grace and given the name of St. Dominic, it was not until 1925 that a site was chosen for a parish school. Ground was broken for the new school in 1926 with the cornerstone being laid on August 8th. The school was given the name of Rosary School and the dedication service was held August 7, 1927. The School Sisters of Notre Dame from Mankato were put in charge and the school opened with an enrollment of nearly two hundred students.

In addition to the grades, the curriculum provided for the first two years of high school. The two-year high school was maintained until 1942. The department of music offered an excellent course of instruction in vocal and instrumental training, specializing in violin and piano.

In 1928, at the request of the Bishop, a diocesan boarding school was opened to accommodate boys of the diocese. The following year, the boarding school was expanded to include local girls. Rooms were provided in the convent and school for this purpose until the boarding school was officially closed in 1947.

By 1959 the school enrollment totaled nearly 300 students. The rooms were taxed beyond capacity. Consequently, an addition, built during the pastorate of Father Dillon, designed by architect William E. Brodersen, was joined to the original school building. This new facility contains four classrooms for primary grades, a large gymnasium, cafeteria, office, faculty room and other rooms. The gymnasium reflected the concern of the pastor for the physical development of the children, a concern that was rewarded later as the basketball teams of St. Dominic established prep records. The addition was dedicated to Bishop Leonard Cowley on Sunday, May 24, 1959. To clarify the affiliation between St. Dominic Church and Rosary School, the school name was officially changed to St. Dominic School in the same year.

In 1978 an agreement was signed providing for shared-time classes at the Northfield Middle School for St. Dominic School students in grades seven and eight. This program continues today offering a wonderful opportunity for students to experience the benefits of St. Dominic and integrate slowly into a public school setting.

In 1991, a kindergarten was added to the program offering daily half-day sessions in the mornings and in the afternoons. In 2004-05, a full day program with a half-day option (mornings only) was offered.

A long time goal of St. Dominic School was to offer a world language. In January 2004, a Spanish program began for grades K-6.

In the fall of 2007, the school opened a half-day preschool program for 3 year olds and a full day program for 4-5 year olds. This is the first Christian preschool in Northfield.

Today, the school continues to provide a rigorous academic curriculum, a strong sense of community, and a dedication to spiritual development. Quality teachers lead classrooms and special programs; Mass is attended weekly, planned by the different grades; and families become a part of the school community.  St. Dominic School encourages students to use their God given talents to serve the Church, community, and the world, respecting the dignity and differences of each person.