top of page
SFS original school house 1852.jpg

The first Catholic Church in Vista began in 1852 in what is now Rancho Guajome, which housed a small chapel. It was in this chapel that Franciscan priests from the Mission San Luis Rey first celebrated bi-monthly masses for the Catholic community of Vista. In 1938, the property at the current location of St. Francis Church was purchased, and a second Church was built in 1947. 


Now, with a rich history in the area, the existing school was built in 1961 becoming a cornerstone of the Vista community. The original building of 1938, which had been the county schoolhouse, is now used by current faculty and students as an Extended Day Care Center and a meeting room for various ministries.

For more than 60 years, St. Francis School has provided a nurturing environment where students grow spiritually, intellectually, socially, psychologically and physically. Today, St. Francis School is a fully accredited school serving more than 300 students from all over San Diego County, from preschool to 8th grade. 

​Today, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic school identifies faith, stewardship, scholastic achievement and teaching life skills as the educational foundation upon which a partnership of home and school is built.


We provide a nurturing environment where students can grow spiritually, intellectually, socially, physically, and psychologically. Recognizing parents as primary educators, and teachers as facilitators for learning, our students develop within an educational program rooted in Catholic faith that imparts knowledge, values and life skills according to the individual needs and abilities of each child.


Education is a process that transcends the immediate future, and with a shared vision we strive to instill in our students a lifelong commitment and societal responsibility to the Christian ideals of peace, justice, equality and respect for all life.

It takes a whole community to help our students reach these expectations.


Our school is not just a building; it extends to our community, parents and alumni. Each provides an avenue of growth and connection that stays with students far beyond their years at St. Francis. We are proud of our legacy!

Clergy, community leaders, parents, grandparents, benefactors, lay leaders and so many more work tirelessly to make St. Francis School the extraordinary learning institution it is. We have experienced tremendous growth in the last few years and we continue to set the bar high for our school Capital Campaign.  

If you are moved to sponsor a child's tuition, or contribute to the future growth of our school, please consider donating to our Capital Campaign. You can contact us directly at

SFS Historical photo class of 1964.jpg

Learn More about Catholic Schools in San Diego


This is such a welcoming community, which is important for a military family. It was so easy for our five children to fit in here. The school and parish are so diverse; many cultures are represented in a positive way.

bottom of page