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St. Francis de Sales High School is located in the East Side of Chicago at 101st and Ewing. The school has served high school students from the East Side and beyond for almost 80 years; it has been located in its current building since 1958. Since 1962, the school has been sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Big Shoulders Fund, which has been a significant funding partner to the school since 1995, has taken a larger funding and consulting role with the school since 2013.


St. Francis de Sales High School (SFDS) historically served a large working class, immigrant neighborhood. As the factories and mills left, the neighborhood faced economic and environmental decline and left many families with economic hardship. SFDS has stayed as a presence in the community and has continued to educate young people providing access and opportunity regardless of a family’s ability to pay full tuition. The school and neighborhood are incredibly vibrant and ethnically diverse. The school is now approximately half African American and half LatinX.

St. Francis de Sales has been supported by Big Shoulders Fund (BSF) for many years, but starting in 2013-2014, BSF became the major partner and funder of our school and remains so today. BSF provide financial support, academic support, marketing and planning support and much more. Big Shoulders Fund partners with us to make sure that we deliver the best education to our students and has helped us work to develop a sustainable financial model to ensure we are here for many years to come.

In 2020 the school welcomed alumna, educator and community activist, Roni Facen as Principal and CEO. Ms. Facen believes that her St. Francis de Sales education opened doors for her. Teachers and staff believed in her and her potential. She wants those opportunities for today’s pioneers. She knows how important St. Francis de Sales is the South East Side of Chicago and to the new generation of pioneers