Why St. Joseph?

The core of our work is to cultivate excellence in each one of our students!

We help young people in their search for meaning and purpose, which is ultimately found in God! We are a place where your entire family can experience a higher power of learning through Faith-based teaching, 21st Century instruction, and community involvement! We provide students many extra-curricular, co-curricular, and artistic activities while striving to meet the spiritual, intellectual, physical, and social-emotional needs of all learners.


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st-joseph-boys classroom
Fall-2018 girls classroom
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What are the top 10 reasons to choose St. Joseph Catholic STEM School?

1. Our Mission

Our mission is to help your family get to Heaven! We inspire and empower all learners to become the person God intends by integrating Catholic virtues, prayers, and service with 21st Century Learning. Our tagline: Take a closer step to Heaven, and don't go alone!

2. Our Smart Lab - Recognized as a Leading C-STEM School in Archdiocese

We have a STEM lab that we call our Smart Lab, which is the only one of its kind in the state of Minnesota. Our students have at least 2 days per week in this classroom which is taught by a dedicated STEM Curriculum Specialist.

3. Our Nurturing Environment

We acknowledge the uniqueness of each child by addressing their spiritual, academic, social/emotional, and physical needs. We model the teaching of Christ to create life-long learning with Christ being our foundation.

4. Our Believe and Read Program

St. Joseph Catholic STEM School was selected in 2019 as a partner school for the Groves Academy Instructional Model through a grant provided by the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence. All of our K-3 learners gain additional literacy resources and our teaching staff receives personalized instruction on the literacy framework.

5. Our Small Class Sizes

Our classes have an average of 16 students which gives students quality, one-on-one interactions with their teachers!

6. Our Growing Community!

Enrollment has increased by 10% over the last two years and we project an enrollment increase for upcoming school years!

7. Our Award-Winning School and Programs

We offer Middle School Math League, Robotics, and athletics curricular activities for students grades K-8.

  • Carver County Readers' Choice Awards - Best School 8 years in a row (2014-2021)
  • Voted Best Principal 4 years in a row (2016-2020)
  • Voted Best Teacher - Mrs. Kristi Klawitter (2018)
  • Voted Best Tutoring Program - Mr. Eric Ehalt (2020 - 2021)
  • Math League - Placed 2nd in Division and had three students finish in the 10 ten (2019)
  • Robotics Club - Competed in State competitions  (2019 - 2020)
  • Sports & Athletics
  • Pope John Paul II (JP2) Virtue Program
  • 4 Star Parent Aware Rated and NAEYC Accredited - Preschool
  • 2018 - SJ Alum graduated as Valedictorian at Holy Family Catholic High School
  • 2018 - Five SJ Alum recognized with National Honor Society awards at Waconia High School
  • 2020 - Two SJ Alum recognized as National Merit Scholars at Waconia High School

8. Our "Other People" Mindset

Each day the first 15 minutes are spent learning about the #otherpeoplematter mindset with the Positivity Project. Our teachers work to empower our students to build positive relationships. Learn more about the Positivity Project here!

9. We Work with All Our Families to Make Catholic Education a Reality!

We do not want cost to be the deciding factor for our families so we work to ensure your tuition is affordable, create a payment plan, and help you make Catholic education a reality! 40% of our families receive tuition aid! Learn more about our tuition rate and scholarship options here: https://school.stjosephwaconia.org/tuition/.

10. Our Before & After School Care programs

Serving our families doesn't end when the bell rings! We offer before and after school care for our school-aged students. Grades 4+ are able to attend the "Homework Club" after school. We have a well sought-after summer childcare program that includes STEM activities and excellent learning all summer long.

Spring 2019 Standardized Assessment Testing Results

St. Joseph students have outperformed other area schools in standardized assessment testing. At St. Joseph, we analyze our math and reading results carefully. We are proud of their efforts and the work of our teachers and parents to support their academics.

“While this is only one measure of student success, we know the results are important for our families and staff as we continue to advance our tradition of excellence!” - Principal Bruce Richards

Cumulative Grades K-8 - % exceeding the national average 86% 83% 85% 87%
8th Grade Graduates % exceeding the national average 100% 94% 94% 94%

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