Built in 1910, James John High School was named for the founder of the settlement and cost US$40,000 (US$1,012,429 adjusted for inflation). In the school's first year, men's and women's basketball team were formed. There were four students in the first graduating class in 1911. A meeting of the Multnomah County Teachers Institute took place at James John High School in 1911. The St. Johns Commercial Club formed and agreed to hold their meeting at James John High School on November 13, 1911. In 1915, the James John High School athletic teams joined the Portland Interscholastic League. The school was temporarily closed in 1920 after it was condemned as unsafe. Students were sent to Jefferson High School during the school's rebuilding. The Portland City Council began searching for a new location for an updated James John High School, since the old school was not adequate. The new school was planned to be named James John High School, but following in the theme of other Portland high schools built in the era it was named Roosevelt High School and opened in 1922. James John High School was closed the year prior.