A week to celebrate Catholic schoolsSt. Joseph School will mark Catholic Schools Week this week with events including a performance by a magician
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
Thomas Joseph has been at St. Joseph School for 25 years, and he can’t get enough.
“I love it,” the longtime principal said this week. “I think the strength here is the community. The parents are very supportive of the school. I think that’s one of the biggest selling points we have.... That makes a big difference.”
During Catholic Schools Week this week Joseph sees a lot of reason to celebrate what’s going on at his school. The nearly 60-year-old St. Joseph School is in its second year in a new building, enrollment continues to grow and students perform well academically. Last year 92 percent of St. Joseph students reached state proficiency levels on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment math test and 95 percent reached proficiency levels on the MCA reading test. Both results are well above averages in Independent School District 196 and in the state as a whole.
The school currently has 206 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. That’s up from 184 three years ago at a time when some private schools have struggled. Last year St. Joseph gave out about $125,000 in financial assistance to help students attend the school.
Joseph said part of the parish’s mission is to give all students an opportunity to get the education they want.
Most of the school’s students come from the church parish. A few others come from other parishes, and a small number are non-Catholic students.
Joseph said parents send their students to St. Joseph because they appreciate the school’s reinforcing of Catholic teachings.
“We try to be a partner with the homes,” Joseph said. “We try to reinforce what the home values are.”