Mission & History

Our Mission

The Mission of Independence Mission Schools is to provide a transformative Catholic education that develops students intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually and that provides children of all faiths across the City of Philadelphia with the opportunity to learn in an academically rigorous environment and to grow in a culture of love, setting them on the path to a promising future.

Our Vision

Our Vision is that IMS students will leave our school community emotionally and spiritually formed by our Catholic example, performing at or above grade level, and enrolled in an academically rigorous high school program ready to achieve their dreams. We strive to become a top-tier academic destination for all children in Philadelphia.

Holy Cross Catholic School is living out the IMS mission by providing all students with access to an education that is rigorous, with high expectations and skillful instruction.

We open doors to dreams, making all things possible through faith, knowledge, academic excellence, and Catholic values. We empower students with the opportunities they deserve. We do this work with a sense of urgency, knowing that our time with our students is not endless, and the impact is lifelong. When students leave, they walk on a solid foundation for high school, college, and career success.

Holy Cross offers accelerated and advanced learning opportunities in addition to highly rated, research-based curricula. We help students develop into readers, writers, thinkers, problem solvers, and communicators who are well prepared for continued success in their future choices.

Holy Cross is committed to student success, supporting students to achieve competitive scores on high school placement tests for scholarships and advanced placement. Each year, many Holy Cross students are accepted into prestigious high schools; typically, most students are accepted into their first choice of high school.

Our Beliefs


The cornerstone of a Catholic education is a culture of love that values and embraces the unique gifts of every child and that treats all people with dignity.

High Expectations for All

We assume the best of our students; holding them to high expectations for academic achievement, behavior, and personal growth and guiding their development into respectful, confident adults.

Diversity & Inclusion

It is possible to build unity in diversity, for differences neither restrain nor divide us, but allow us to look more deeply at  ourselves and at our world.

God-given Potential

Our students come to us full of promise and we are charged with
helping them achieve their potential, so that they leave IMS having choices in the pursuit of college and career, based on confidence in their own intellectual, emotional, and spiritual

Strength in Community

Community is at the heart of our work. Our existence makes our
communities stronger, the community makes our schools stronger, and we are preparing students to be contributing members of their communities.

Our History

  • Holy Cross Catholic School opened its doors in 1911 under the direction of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
  • In 2013, Holy Cross became part of IMS, an independent, nonprofit network of Catholic schools.
  • Today, Holy Cross Catholic School celebrates more than 110 years of educating students in the Mount Airy community.