While Catholic education in Decatur dates back to 1858 with a one-room “school” in St. Mary’s Church, the actual first Catholic school dedicated as St. Joseph was established in 1881 under the direction of Rev. Theodore Wilkin and staffed by the Sisters of St. Agnes. This brick two-story, four room building was located on the corner of Fifth and Madison Streets. On July 19, 1923 ground was broken to construct a larger school. The cornerstone of our building was inscribed with “St. Joseph Catholic School – erected of God and Country”. Two years later in October of 1925, the building was complete. In the fall of 1919, Decatur Catholic High School was opened. In 1967, enrollment stood at 990 students in 12 grades. We had outgrown our school and were landlocked on expansion. Decatur Catholic High School, almost a half-century old, ceased to operate in June 1967.
St. Joseph School expanded with Kindergarten in 1982, Preschool Program in 1991, and the St. Joe Daycare Ministry in 1994.
Today, St. Joseph School has an enrollment of 368 students in grades PK-8 and is served by over 35 faculty and staff members.
For over a century and a half, many changes have taken place at St. Joseph School. However, its mission has remained the same.
St. Joseph School…
Nurturing the Mind, Body, and Spirit
St. Joseph School has served Adams County’s Catholic educational needs since 1881. Our facility is an accredited elementary and middle school that offers skills, competencies and opportunities for learning in all academic areas from Daycare to Preschool, Kindergarten through Grade 8.
"Nurturing the Mind, Body and Spirit."
St. Joseph Catholic School will strive for national recognition as a model program in faith formation and academic possibilities for students.
Students will live a Christ-centered life by following the model of Jesus, achieve academic growth to the best of their ability, and contribute to their community as a positive, productive citizen.
We offer our community a school that provides a nurturing environment, which promotes a spiritual, academic, and social education based on Catholic traditions and beliefs.
We believe the home, church, and school staff will work cooperatively in educating our children and promote life-long learning in a Catholic/Christian environment.
We believe that children must be given the opportunity to be responsible for themselves now and throughout their lives and that this behavior must be modeled by the adults in their lives.