Our School

St. James Catholic School exterior

At St. James Catholic School, we are called to celebrate and nurture the God-given talents of each student as we serve with excellence in the light of Christ. We recognize our call to love and serve from our Master teacher Jesus Christ, and we are committed to creating a Catholic learning community under the protection of Mother Mary.

The Catholic Graduate Expectations are our foundation as we strive for academic excellence and the acknowledgement of those who achieve it. We recognize God as the source of all life and actively work to focus on social issues within our local and global communities.

We celebrate the diversity within our community with a collaborative approach to learning, in cooperation with parents, the Catholic faith community, and other organizations that recognize the value of our mission. Within the context of Catholic teaching and Sacramental living, our school community strives to demonstrate respect and reverence for all life, thus nurturing a safe, Christian environment for the entire school community.

2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar

Our Board's 2017 - 2018 School Year Calendar is now available. Please subscribe to our school calendar webpage to receive the latest updates and emails on upcoming events and activities happening at school. 

Child Care services

We are pleased to partner with PRYDE and the Boys and Girls Club of Durham to provide before and after school care and recreational programming at St. James Catholic School. Call PRYDE at 905-424-5575 and the Boys and Girls Club of Durham at 289-927-0360 to learn more about our services.

Fast facts

Some facts about our school are:

School hours

Our school hours are as follows:

8:45 a.m. - School begins
10:10 - 10:25 a.m. - Morning recess
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:55 - 2:10 p.m. - Afternoon recess
3:15 p.m. - Dismissal


When St. Bernadette Catholic School, one of the only Catholic schools in the Ajax area, became overcrowded, the School Board decided that another Catholic school would be needed in the growing community of south Ajax.

The St. James Catholic School site was purchased on March 30, 1973. At that time, the Superintendent of Business, Grant Andrews, was the principal of St. Bernadette Catholic School. He felt strongly that the community would be better served by expanding St. Bernadette Catholic School on its own site.

It was not until November 1982 that the Board of Trustees formally requested a capital allocation for the site to be developed. Two subsequent requests were made in November 1983 and October 1984. Finally, the allocation was announced in April 1985 and construction began in the fall of 1985. St. James Catholic School formally opened in September 1986.

On November 14, 1986, Bishop Clune heralded new beginnings for St. James Catholic School staff and students and the south Ajax community. The new school in St. Bernadette Parish opened with an enrolment of 574 students and 32 staff to serve the area bounded by Findley Avenue, Pickering Beach Road and Dreyer Drive. The opening of the new school eliminated 12 portables at St. Bernadette Catholic School.

The official opening took place on Friday, November 14, 1986. Bishop Robert Clune was assisted by Father O'Leary, pastor of St. Bernadette Catholic Church, and Father Cahill, his associate pastor. Bishop Clune spoke to all those present on that day and extended greetings to Sally Longo, Chair of the Board; Susan Morrison, the representative from the Ministry of Education; George Ash, the MPP for the Ajax area; Mr. McLean, mayor of the Town of Ajax; Dr. Earl Legroix, Director of Education; and Gerry Noonan, the principal of St. James Catholic School. Also present was Michael Moher, Superintendent of Education for the Ajax schools.

At the opening ceremony, the school keys were presented to Mr. Legroix and Mr. Noonan by the builder, Mr. R. Aquino, and the architect, Bruno Appollonio.

St. James Catholic School is located near Lake Ontario at the corner of Harwood Avenue and Clover Ridge Drive. The school has a modern design featuring 18 classrooms, a gymnasium with a stage, a skylight library and a spacious foyer known to us as the Peace Garden. Having designed the school to be a "happy place" for children and teachers, Bruno Apollonio was granted an Ontario Clay Masonry Design Award of Merit.

On June 27, 1988, the school was honoured by a visit from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, Lincoln Alexander.

St. James Catholic School sponsored the 944th metre of the 1997 Special Olympic Torch Run. We continue to be extensively involved with the Ajax community. Our school also sponsors and raises money for many charities, such as ShareLife and the St. Vincent de Paul food drive. Many activities within our school allow our students the opportunity to give back.

We have also planted trees in our schoolyard for our Eco club and also by the Lakeside path. Every year at Christmas, the students have the opportunity to choose an angel from our school Christmas tree to donate a gift to a boy or girl who is less fortunate.

Student Council elections have brought great leadership to our school. Our Student Council leads the school in many activities and helps many charities. Our principals play an important role in leading our school to great accomplishments, such as being recognized in 2011 as a School of Distinction for Academic Excellence in the province.

There are many great stories from our school. One of our proudest moments was when our school was awarded and certified as an Eco Gold school. We have maintained this certification for five years. We see struggles as an opportunity to learn and celebrate our great accomplishments. St. James is a place that everyone wants to come back to. We celebrated our 25th anniversary on November 14, 2011. We are 25 years old and still going strong!

Patron Saint

Our patron saint is St. James the Less, the author of the first Catholic Epistle, who was the son of Alphaeus of Cleophas. His mother Mary was either a sister or a close relative of the Blessed Virgin, and for that reason, according to Jewish custom, he was sometimes called the brother of the Lord. The Apostle held a distinguished position in the early Christian community of Jerusalem. St. Paul tells us he was a witness of the Resurrection of Christ; he is also a "pillar" of the Church, whom St. Paul consulted about the Gospel.

According to tradition, he was the first Bishop of Jerusalem, and was at the Council of Jerusalem about the year 50. The historians Eusebius and Hegesippus relayed that St. James was martyred for the Faith by the Jews in the Spring of the year 62, although they greatly esteemed his person and had given him the surname of "James the Just."

Tradition has always recognized him as the author of the Epistle that bears his name. Internal evidence based on the language, style, and teaching of the Epistle reveals its author as a Jew familiar with the Old Testament, and a Christian thoroughly grounded in the teachings of the Gospel. External evidence from the early Fathers and Councils of the Church confirmed its authenticity and canonicity.

School prayer

St. James,
help our school to be a more loving Community
To show friendship as Jesus did.
Help us to live the way of the Lord;
To understand the power of God;
To be kind to others in a peaceful way;
And help us to be better Christians in our world.
Pray that those who are challenged
Receive courage and strength;
And others the insight to recognize that challenge.
St. James,
We ask also for your prayers for our parish,
Our family, our friends, our homes,
Our school and our staff.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.

St. James, pray for us.


Past and present principals of our school include:

  • Gerry Noonan (1986-1990)
  • Wilf Clavette (1990-1991)
  • Larry Corrigan (1991-1996)
  • Dave Hodkinson (1996-2000)
  • Liz Spratt (2000-2003)
  • Brian Miettinen (2003-2005)
  • Donna Modeste (2005-2009)
  • Paul Podesta (2009-2013)
  • James Tremblay (2013-present)


As Catholic educators, we live according to our Father's code and to lead our students, by example, to live the basic truths of the gospel message. This is an awesome, yet inspiring challenge which we share with the parents of our young men and women.

Children learn what they live. Each day we have the opportunity to teach our students:

  • to love by the way we love;
  • to be generous by our generosity;
  • to be passionate by our compassion; and
  • to be forgiving by the way we forgive.

However, a person cannot give what he or she does not have. Unless we are living the Gospel message, we cannot lead our students to do so.

There are many hallmarks of a Catholic educator, including:

  • Prayer - The challenges of our vocation, and indeed life in general, are great. To meet them we need to follow Christ's advice that we "ask the father in My name". Each Catholic educator has a duty to expose students to his or her particular style of prayer in order to assist students to recognize the value of prayer in daily life.
  • Eucharist - Parish, school, and staff liturgies provide opportunities to celebrate our faith. Our example can testify to the Eucharist as a joyful source of strength and community building.
  • Social Justice - This is the heart of the Christian message, that we "love one another as I have loved you". As our brother's and sister's keepers, we must be concerned about the aged, the poor, the oppressed, and any other marginalized group - both at home and abroad.


Below are links to resources to help you achieve success while at St. James Catholic School.

Contact us

We welcome your questions, comments and concerns.

Principal: James Tremblay
Vice-Principal: Penny Delaney
10 Clover Ridge Dr.,
Ajax, Ont.,
Phone: 905-427-3327
Fax: 905-427-0723

Twitter: @StJamesCS_Ajax

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