Saint Joseph Catholic School was founded in 1963, with an initial enrollment of forty pupils to serve the needs of the people in South Brevard County. The old parish hall on Miller Street, Palm Bay, was converted into three classrooms for grades one through six, and was staffed by four Sisters of Mercy from Ireland. By 1965, the school’s enrollment reached 120 pupils. To meet the rising need, a new school, with eight classrooms and one office was built on Babcock Street, and opened in January 1967. By 1974, the school had gained accreditation. The school is situated on 15 acres and is housed in separate buildings, along with the church, the parish center, and the parish office building. The parish center is used by the school as a cafeteria and as an auditorium for musical and dramatic presentations to the community.
Saint Joseph Catholic School will celebrate 50 years of academic excellence in 2013. The school continues to thrive with the support of the parish and home communities working together to create a Christian environment, where students are encouraged to reach their full academic, social and spiritual potential. The faculty and administration are progressive in their approach to instructional methods, teaching philosophy, curriculum development and meeting individual student needs. The school community is constantly growing and changing to meet the demands of students without sacrificing the fundamentals we have found to be successful.
All teachers are degreed and either certified, or in process of certification. All specialty teachers are degreed and certified in their areas of expertise. The early child department has a student/teacher ratio of 20 to 1 teacher and 1 assistant. The elementary grades 2 through 4 maintain a student/teacher/aide ratio of less than 30 to 1 teacher and 1 part-time assistant. The middle and junior high school grades usually have an average ratio of 25 students to 1 teacher. Students are held to high academic and social standards. We believe students will produce no less than what is realistically expected of them. Traditionally, Saint Joseph students consistently meet and exceed all expectations. They demonstrate competency by scoring well on standardized tests and reports cards. They excel in extracurricular activities and community service projects. Often, students are recognized publicly by local organizations and the news media for contributions benefiting the community.
The school community has been active participants in the national Make A Difference Day projects since 1998. In 2002, the school received a national award in Washington D.C. for our make A Difference Day project. Recently, these projects have supported causes such as Ronald McDonald House and ALS; both of which have touched the lives of members of our community, therefore we worked to support these causes. In 1994, Saint Joseph Catholic School was proud to be recognized as a National School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. In 2006, the award, whose name has been changed to A Nationally Recognized Blue Ribbon School, was again awarded to Saint Joseph School.
Saint Joseph School has 18 modern air-conditioned classrooms equipped with cable, closed circuit TV with DVD/VCRs, and over 180 desktop and laptop computers. Ten of the classrooms are equipped with SMART Board interactive white board technology (including SMART Boards, dedicated notebook computers, doc cameras, and wireless slates). The school is equipped with wireless internet access, guarded by CIPAFilter, to safeguard the children from inappropriate websites. The campus houses state of the art facilities including a science lab, a wireless laptop cart equipped with 28 laptop computers, two additional wireless carts housing 25 additional laptops, and a library/media center. Other rooms on campus include an art room, a music room, a student services resource room, a faculty workroom & lounge, a clinic, and administrative offices.
Brevard County is known as Florida’s Space Coast and Palm Bay is the largest city in the county. This highly residential community is greatly influenced by the proximity of Kennedy Space Center, Patrick Air Force Base, and several high-tech and space-support industries such as Harris Corporation, Intersil, Grumman, and McDonnell Douglas. Palm Bay is a moderately transient area with a diverse and rapidly growing middle class population. The Space Coast has seen recent economic struggles due to the recent closing of the NASA manned Space Program.
True to the pioneer spirit of Palm Bay’s early Catholic community, the school has always labored diligently with limited resources to achieve excellence in education. It is through this spirit that the School continues to be the hub of educational activity, with lifelong learning programs continuing to meet the needs of the individual and family.