J.E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School is a ministry of St. Ambrose Parish. The school is so named because it was built through the generosity of the Cosgriff-Sturdevant families in memory of James Edward Cosgriff, husband of the late Mrs. Mildred Cosgriff. Mrs. J. E. Cosgriff and Mr. Walter E. Cosgriff, son of Mr. J.E. Cosgriff, were living at the time the gift was made and were numbered among the donors.
The first school session began on September 3, 1957 with classes from kindergarten to sixth grade. The Daughters of Charity staffed the school initially and continued with the school until 1991. Through the years, the school has expanded to include toddlers through eighth grade. The school library was added in 1982. The Extended Day Program was added in 1995. This important before and after school care program is located in the Vaughan Center, named for a former pastor, Msgr. William Vaughan. The McCarthey Center was dedicated on May 12, 2002. This addition was built where the convent and chapel previously stood. It was named after the late Thomas Kearns and Jane Finn-McCarthey because of their generous donation toward the building. They were longtime members of St. Ambrose Parish.
The McCarthey Center now houses middle school classrooms, an art/science room, offices for our counselor and Learning Resource Center, the toddler, preschool and prekindergarten programs and one of our two kindergarten classes. This space allows the first and second grade classes to be split and for one classroom to be dedicated as the Reading Room.
The Reading Room and the Reading Team support leveled literacy instruction, small group work and other curriculum support. With dynamic leadership and our generous community, continuous improvement and program development has been possible.
Renovations and upgrades to the school kitchen, computer lab, classroom technology, the playground and creation of a Peace Garden, as well as the addition of Latin and violin instruction for the middle grades are examples of such efforts. Most recently, substantial projects have focused on the infrastructure to support effective schoolwide technology use and the health and safety of students and faculty.