St. Joseph Catholic School is dedicated to providing its pupils with the academic skills and Christian values that will prepare them to pursue secondary and post‑secondary education successfully. Its objective is to have each child reach his or her utmost level of achievement academically and spiritually so as to be able to function in society as a mature, thinking adult.
St. Joseph Catholic School tries to develop resourceful children, who are able to think critically about problems, to solve them creatively, and to use constructively the reading, writing, math and other skills, which they have been taught. Through the school, St. Joseph parish and school reach out to all young people who can profit from a Christian education of high quality.
Catholic education is an expression of the mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church He founded. Through Catholic education, the Church seeks to prepare its members to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action. Through Catholic education, the Church fulfills its commitment to upholding the dignity of the person and the building of community.
Because true education is concerned with the development of the entire human person, it is necessary that attention be given to the religious, moral, intellectual, emotional and physical development of youth. In all areas, children must be led toward excellence. Underachievers need to be encouraged and guided to their level of development: the gifted require challenges to develop all of their endowments. All children must be helped to acquire a mature sense of responsibility as they strive to form their own lives properly and their relationship with the entire human community.
The endowments of children can best be developed in an atmosphere of charity, freedom, understanding, and responsibility. Because it is essential for the creation and presence of this kind of atmosphere, respect is key in this school's philosophy of education. By respecting all students, teachers will help the children to respect themselves and develop a sense of dignity. The children will, in turn, respect one another, become aware of others' needs, and respond with care and service.
If all children are made aware of their responsibility to be their best selves and to help others achieve the same goal, they will be helped to develop as whole human personalities. With a sense of respect, awareness, and responsibility, they will be prepared to lead exemplary lives and to be a positive influence in the human community.
As a Catholic school, religious education forms the heart of the curriculum. The school attempts to promote the development of attitudes and their resultant behavior, based on the principles enunciated by Jesus Christ as interpreted by the Roman Catholic Church. The parent is bound inexorably with the school in this effort. The school cannot inculcate values that are compromised elsewhere. If the values the student sees when he or she is away from school are consonant with the efforts of the school, then they reinforce rather than fragment learning. Such reinforcement leads to a congruent environment in which the student can achieve his or her maximum personal growth. Within the school, opportunities for student‑teacher planned liturgical events are indispensable to such development.
The community of St. Joseph Catholic School's parents must share in the responsibility for the school. Ideally parents will contribute their time and effort toward the varied tasks necessary for St. Joseph to continue to grow and flourish.
After a period of consultation between the Josephite Fathers and the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, in September of 1944 four Dominican Sisters came from their Motherhouse in Wisconsin to explore the need for both social work and education in Tuskegee. The need for education was such that on September 18, a nursery school and kindergarten were opened in the basement of the church. Forty‑three children, ranging in age from three to five, were admitted. Building on a long tradition of Dominican educational leadership, the Sisters laid a firm foundation of quality education at St. Joseph's School in Tuskegee.
The educational endeavors expanded in 1945 when a school building was erected. This building contained four first level classrooms with an additional classroom on the second floor. At that time, 163 students were enrolled in grades kindergarten through 6th grade. In 1946, grades 7 and 8 were added. In 1956, another building with two additional classrooms was added, and in 1960, still an additional building housing the cafeteria, kitchen and two classrooms were built.
From 1955 to the present, lay teachers have participated in the educational program of the school. The student body has always been multi‑cultural and multi‑racial. In its composition, students of Protestant denominations, as well as non‑Christian students, have always been enrolled.
In the spring of 1973, the St. Joseph School Board was established. Since then, it has set policy for the school and has helped to maintain the school. Members of the School Board are both Catholic and non‑Catholic. They are elected by either St. Joseph Parish members or the school parents.
Today, the school serves children from pre‑ Kindergarten through 8th grade. The curriculum closely follows the Alabama Course of Study with additional requirements set by the Archdiocese of Mobile. Grades 6 through 8 are departmentalized.