Award Year: 2019

Saint Joseph Grade School

216 N Hill Street
South Bend, IN, 46617-2720

(574) 234-0451

Mr. George Azar, Principal at time of Nomination

Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend School District

School Website

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The mission of St. Joseph Grade School is educating the hearts and minds in the Holy Cross tradition, making God known, loved, and served.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 89%
  • Hispanic: 5%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Two or more races: 3%
Educating hearts and minds, making God known, loved, and served.

Educating hearts and minds, making God known, loved, and served.

Saint Joseph Grade School (SJGS) is a family committed to academic excellence and Catholic formation in the tradition of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Founded in 1854, its vision of education, inspired by the teachings of Holy Cross founder Blessed Basil Moreau, focuses on educating not only the minds of students, but also their hearts, so that they might make God known, loved, and served.

At SJGS, educating the mind begins with a unique literature-based, rather than textbook-based, curriculum as well as a common language of instruction for reading and writing across grades K-8. The school has mastered the craft of teaching by finding the best materials and resources, and implementing cross-curricular subject integration wherever possible. Supplemented by effective instructional strategies and personalized assessment experiences using routine growth data, this dynamic curriculum has been fundamental to academic success at SJGS.

Educating hearts and growing together as a family are mission elements lived out each day within the SJGS community. The school embraces Christian community as the context for lifelong formation, and the cultivation of mind and heart enkindles in students the virtue of "zeal" - a burning desire to use what is learned to serve others. Grade-level service-learning programs culminate with the Summons Project, a capstone program for eighth graders that facilitates discernment of individual gifts and prepares them to continue in service beyond graduation.

SJGS is proud to have earned recognition as an Indiana 4-Star School each year from 2011 to 2018, and to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for the second time in 2019. These honors are a testament to the dedication of its teachers and the support of its school and parish community.