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Mission Statement

Serving Alameda and neighboring cities since 1881, St. Joseph Elementary School embraces the principles of learning, loving and living God's word as Jesus taught us while caring for God’s creation. We are dedicated to educating and nurturing the whole child by offering a time-honored and rigorous Catholic education. Inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church and driven by the spirit of effective collaboration, we join together as a diverse community to know Jesus and to make Him known.


We believe that the children of St. Joseph Elementary School are the future of the community of St. Joseph, the city of Alameda, and the Catholic Church. Our school is dedicated to the education of each student in a Catholic environment rich in the love and teachings of Jesus Christ. We believe that each child is created in the image of God and want each one to thrive in an environment where the Gospel message is taught and lived.

Through our educational approach of balancing the spiritual, academic, physical, and social development of our students, we believe that they become well-rounded and caring individuals. We challenge our students to develop a love of learning by utilizing a variety of teaching methods. We believe that this can be accomplished through a curriculum that fosters creativity, curiosity, and an understanding of their world. We motivate our students to realize their potential.

We are a Catholic school that builds our students’ commitment to social justice and service to others through our outreach programs. We believe our dedication to community service helps students develop an active awareness of our local and global community.

We believe that the parents and guardians of our students bear the primary responsibility for providing the moral and religious development of their children. The school and the parish community enter into this active partnership to send forth responsible individuals who exemplify those values as well as the self-confidence and academic excellence necessary to attain personal success in their lives.



The St. Joseph Elementary School is a ministry of the St. Joseph Basilica Catholic Church. The school is one of thirty-eight elementary schools in the Diocese of Oakland. The school began as Notre Dame Academy in 1881, a primary and secondary all-girls school staffed by the Sisters of Notre Dame. In that same year in support of the academy, the St. Joseph Mission Church moved to its present location at San Antonio Avenue and Chestnut Street. The church would later become St. Joseph Basilica.

Fr. J. Bernard Praught, the pastor of St. Joseph Church, became the first principal of this new school.

With the support of dedicated parents, along with the guidance of the pastor and the commitment of the principal, teachers, and staff, the school combines a rich history of tradition with a future that promises success for its students.