School History

Established in 1901, Saint Columbkille School began as an elementary school, serving the families of Allston and Brighton. In 1914, a two-year girls-only commercial course diploma program started. 1932 marks the year that the new high school was built and the first co-ed high school class began their freshman year. At its height, more than one thousand students filled these “hallowed halls.”


By 2006, Catholic schools in Boston and beyond were suffering from declining enrollment. Saint Columbkille was no different, and, in fact, the school almost closed. Instead, together with Boston College, the Archdiocese of Boston and St. Columbkille Parish, the school was reestablished as Saint Columbkille Partnership School. Since then, our enrollment has grown to 400, and our community is diverse and thriving.


2018 marked another milestone for Saint Columbkille when we were named the Laboratory School for Boston College’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. We are the only pre-K to grade 8 lab school in Boston, which allows us to provide a progressive, high-quality education based on best practice.


We were forward-focused when we opened in 1901 and are still innovative today, with a belief that a high-quality Catholic education should be available to all who seek it. Our longstanding and vibrant history makes us a cornerstone in the Brighton community. Our commitment to best practice allows us to develop leaders. 

Early Saint Columbkille Timeline (1870 - 1955)


Prior to 1870 Brighton’s Catholics were members of St. Mary of the Assumption in Brookline

1870                 St. Columbkille Church opened on Bennett Street

1880                 Newly constructed St. Columbkille Church opened on Market Street

1901                 St. Columbkille Elementary School opened (1st – 8th grade)

1914                 Two-year girls-only high school commercial course diploma program started

1923                 Convent was built for the Sisters of St. Joseph on Market Street

1925                 Commercial courses for girls taught at the Sparhawk House next to the convent, formerly the health center

1927                 Added a third year to two-year girls’ program. Girls could then attend Mt. St. Joseph for a final year and earn a high school diploma

1932                 New high school building completed and the first co-ed high school class began their freshman year

1934 & 1935   First graduating classes from the new high school (all girls)

1936                   First co-ed class graduated from the high school

1953                 Two-story Parish Institute Hall located on Market and Arlington Streets was converted into 6 classrooms

1955                 Third floor added with 9 classrooms and named St. Columbkille Junior High School