History of St. Joseph's
St. Joseph's began serving the Wenatchee Valley and surrounding areas in 1955. In the beginning, four sisters of St. Joseph of Peace instructed a total of 230 students in grades one through four. We have instructed over 8,500 children since we began serving the valley. St. Joseph's presently has a student body of about 170 students. St. Joseph's offers an excellent preschool program for three and four year old students and a complete curriculum for kindergarten through grade five.
St. Joseph's School offers a complete curriculum that meets all Washington State Essential Learning Standards and Grade Level Expectations. We also offer enrichment including Accelerated Reading, Accelerated Math, Spanish, Computers, Math is Cool, Music, Honor Choir, Physical Education, Jumping Joes, Drama, and Art Smart.
St. Joseph's graduates continue to excel in the local public system. Nearly all families contacted in graduate surveys report their children are maintaining honor role status. Middle school teachers routinely report they can tell St. Joseph school students by their behavior, discipline and academic performance.
Our school is one of eight in the Diocese of Yakima recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the form of a monetary grant. This grant, the first of its kind to be given to a private school district in Washington State, cites our school's remarkably high levels of achievement despite limited finances, as well as the school's success in helping diverse groups of students achieve at high levels with high expectation, dedicated faculty and staff members, committed and involved parents, a shared value system and strong local administration. We are proud of our school!
Our students are taught religion from the perspective of their current developmental learning stage. Religious instruction integrates the child's experience of the world and their developing relationship with Jesus Christ. Each grade has a specific theme that is taught to match that developmental level. For example, the kindergarten theme is "Jesus Loves You", first grade focus on "God the Creator", while the fifth graders focus on the Sacraments.
Along with religious instruction, students participate in weekly school Masses and religious celebrations during the year. We provide the children with opportunities for Christian fellowship through social functions such as school retreats, sledding parties, ice-skating or picnics.
Empty Bowls - The empty bowls is a year long service project. In the fall the children will put together soup jar kits. The kits are sold during the winter time. In Spring each child paints a soup bowls and volunteer parents help set up and bake each bowl. The children also complete a empty bowls lessons, presented by a volunteer parent. The children learn why our community needs a Food Bank. When the bowls are ready, our school children put on an Empty Bowls Soup Dinner. Each class participates in a different way. Some children help with decorations, while other children serve at the dinner. With the help of local donors, the school raises money to give to the St. Joseph Food Bank. At the end of the year, the children and volunteers present a check to the Sisters that run and operate the Food Bank.
Rosary Making - Throughout each year, volunteer parents come in to the classrooms and help each child, first through fifth grade, make a rosary. In first grade, after the children make their rosaries they are blessed during a school mass, and taken home to keep. In grades 2-5 make rosaries as a service project. The rosaries are blessed and given to others.
Parental involvement is the strength of the school and an essential element of the success of St. Joseph's School. By helping the staff and administration maintain the school, parents and families develop a sense of ownership and care for the school. Each family is required to assist with fund raisers, classroom activities, school cleanup and a variety of other activities.
Many community wide programs are available to St. Joseph's students including Christian Spelling Bee, All-City Track Meet, Christian Schools Track Meet, the Apple Blossom Youth Parade and the Food Bank, to name a few.