A few miles east of the Los Angeles International Airport and situated on a slight rise of Imperial Highway stands Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini School, Los Angeles. The parish was established in 1946 and five years later a parish school was begun. Guiding the school in its first year was Father Paul M. Konoske, pastor, and Sister Florita Seidle, O.P. founding principal. The annals of the school record the opening day, September 14, 1951:
Saint Frances X. Cabrini School opened its “school” doors in the parish hall at 9:00am this morning. The following teachers taught in the various parts of the hall: Grade 1, Sister Siena, O.P.; Grade 2, Mrs. Mae Kosek; and Grade 3 and 4, Sister Florita, Principal. Enrollment was 139 children and school was in session during the morning period only.
Within the following month the building was finally completed and the first day of classes was held on October 1, 1951. Each year a grade was added and by 1953, the school offered full K-8 programs to date. By September 1961, the enrollment reached 791, and double grades were offered for all classes.
Initially, most of the families in the school were of Irish and German descent; most were upper middle class and held professional positions. In the summer of 1965 the Watts areas of Los Angeles became the site of racial rioting which spread to other areas of South Central Los Angeles. This generated a change in the ethnicity composition of its student body. St. Frances X. Cabrini currently serves the African-American and Hispanic communities of the area.
St. Frances X. Cabrini is one of the affiliate schools of The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. The school honors the Charism of the Dominican Values of Integrity and Truth; Catholic Identity (God’s message), focus on Community Service, Academic Excellence, Compassion and Justice.
Catholic Education Foundation, The Doheny Foundation, The Vision of Hope are but a few of the benefactors of the school to upheld its mission to the community. Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WCEA) and Western Catholic Educational Association (WASC) accredit St. Frances X. Cabrini School.