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St. Joseph Elementary

Grades PreK3-6



Leslie Harden

Founded in 1965 when the historic downtown St. Joseph Church moved to its Whitehaven campus, St. Joseph School proudly re-opened in 2001 as the fifth of the Jubilee Schools. True to the mission Bishop J. Terry Steib outlined for these schools, St. Joseph seeks to provide a high-quality Christ-centered academic experience to families in southwest Memphis regardless of their economic status or faith tradition.

St. Joseph school serves grades PreK3 through 6th grade.. As one of the Jubilee Schools, St. Joseph is able to offer need-based tuition scholarships. The school also cooperates with the Tennessee Department of Human Services childcare voucher program, enabling families who qualify to benefit from the 4K and after school care programs.

The school follows the curriculum guidelines for all other diocesan elementary schools. In addition, students have access to weekly instruction in diction and music. Thanks to a highly involved parent population, St. Joseph school has begun after school athletics and cheerleading programs for the students. Title 1 enrichment and remediation is available for children who qualify. A school nurse provides counseling and referral services. St. Joseph School also participates in the USDA Free and Reduced Cost Lunch Program. Students take part in annual Christmas and year-end programs, as well as a pageant that celebrates the achievements of all cultures.

St. Joseph School teaches children of many diverse backgrounds, with one goal in mind: to seek to open the pathways to achievement for all children, in an environment that Christ, Himself, created.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of St. Joseph School to provide quality education for all children, regardless of economic status, in a setting that emphasizes the values of the Christian Gospel and functions in accordance with the principles of the Catholic Church.

Vision Statement

St. Joseph School serves students in PreK3 through 6th grade. Our school will include state-of-art computer and science facilities with age-appropriate equipment.

Long-range plans include:

  • Complete refurbishing of the school’s gymnasium;
  • Addition of a stand-alone computer lab to replace the mini-labs in each classroom;
  • Addition of new equipment to the school playground;
  • Evening adult literacy classes (basic adult education and English as a second language) held in the school building.

Belief Statements

  1. We believe that the mission of the Jubilee Schools, of bringing high-quality Christ-centered education to the poor children of Memphis, is the driving force behind all education practices at St. Joseph School.
  2. We believe that St. Joseph School, as one of the Jubilee Schools of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, makes its outreach with a preferential service option to the poor of the greater Memphis area.
  3. We believe that our education experience should be available to all children, regardless of their family’s personal faith tradition, ethnic background, or family income level.
  4. We believe our faculty should always present and maintain high standards of academic qualification, licensure, and continuing professional education.
  5. We believe that the best education practice seeks to educate the "whole child," and regards as equally important the child’s mind, body, spirit, and social behaviors.
  6. We believe that the best education practice treats the child and the child’s parents with respect.
  7. We believe that schools work best in close cooperation with parents, who are the first teachers of their children.
  8. We believe that all children can learn, but that all children do not learn in the same way.
  9. We believe that low economic status of a family has no bearing on the ability of children to thrive academically.
  10. We believe that educating children is an important mission for any faith community.
  11. We believe that it is important to value the religious background of all staff members, while maintaining the school’s Catholic identity.

"I love the people here!" (Second Grader)

"I thank God for this school." (Parent)

"I would like to thank St. Joseph for helping me to read and for all their love." (First Grader)

"We are very thankful for the big role that St. Joseph plays in our son's life. We love St. Joseph and the staff here. Being a student at St. Joseph School has changed my son's life, now and in the future. Thank you all!" (Parents)


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