Partners in the mission to educate, the Jesuits and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary organized the first parish school in 1907, enrolling fourteen boys and sixteen girls in the small classrooms located in the basement of the church.
The school grew to forty-three students by 1910. The nuns and priests created a legacy of high academic standards for the children while encouraging involvement in music, theatre and athletics.
By 1917, overcrowding in the small classrooms contributed to the decision to shift the girls to Holy Names Academy. This arrangement continued for more than forty years until the last all -male class graduated from St. Joseph School in 1963.
The decade from 1920 to 1930 saw rapid growth in population and housing in Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The close proximity of fine schools to the parish neighborhood created an enduring bond and identity that sustained generations of Capitol Hill families. At one time, Capitol Hill was referred to as “Catholic Hill.”
The Jesuits, Holy Names Sisters and school leadership seized the opportunity to begin a remarkable series of construction projects that would define the block between Aloha and Roy Streets for the next one hundred years. These capital campaigns were launched to expand the campus, including the expansion of the campus (now known as the middle school) in 1960, the Wyckoff Gymnasium, the new Parish Center, landscaping and pedestrian walkways in 1999, the installation of a bell and stained glass windows in the Church in 2004, and the further expansion of the campus including a Learning Resource Center in 2014.
For a full and rich history of the St. Joseph School read the decade story boards below.
In 1904 , the Jesuits had already built the Immaculate Conception Parish, and its pastor, Adrian Sweere, SJ, arranged to purchase the block bordered by 18th and 19th Avenues, Aloha and Roy Streets.
St. Joseph School (Beezer Brothers Architects) occupied by 182 students on November 13, 1923.