School History

In the late summer of 1913, two hearty pioneer Sisters of St. Joseph traveled by train from their convent in Bayonne to establish St. Joseph the Carpenter School. Here they began classes with 127 children. In 1914, the Moore house was purchased and remodeled by the parish as the sisters’ residence and the first school. We are told that this was the first house in the country lighted by electricity. By 1915, there were five sisters living and teaching in the Moore House on Fourth Avenue, located next to the present Bethany Hall. The school and parish were growing by leaps and bounds with families migrating from New York City, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne. This influx necessitated the construction of a new three-story red brick building which was completed in 1916. It opened as a regular kindergarten through eighth grade school and a commercial school for girls. An addition to the school was completed by 1964 with an enrollment of 1300 students.

Standing on the shoulders of outstanding educators and spiritual leaders of the past, our mission continues today.   We serve nearly 300 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The leadership of the school is under the direction of Patrick Mullen, whose experience spans many years as an elementary school teacher and vice-principal.  All teachers, including eight former students, are New Jersey State certified with over 30% of the faculty holding advanced degrees. The school boasts a state of the art science lab supported by LabLearner ©, the first in New Jersey, and a gifted and talented program, as well as music, art, library science, and computer classes for all students. Other programs include an Orten-Gillingham certified reading specialist, compensatory education, English as a Second Language instruction, and a full time focus room. 

From its beginning, our school has launched thousands of students toward their future goals as responsible leaders of tomorrow. In the past eight years our graduates have received over $500,000 in scholarships from area high schools, including Roselle Catholic High School, Union Catholic High School, Seton Hall Preparatory School, St. Benedict Preparatory, Mother Seton Regional High School and Benedictine Academy, as well as acceptance to the Union County Magnet High School. Thus has been created a legacy of alumni who look back in gratitude and pride at the foundation that was given to them.

St. Joseph School is proudly anticipating its 100 th anniversary.   We continue to strive to inspire our students to model Jesus’ example of servant hood by contributing to their communities as responsible citizens who profess and live their Christian values.

(Excerpts taken from Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Chronicle of The Church of St. Joseph the Carpenter, prepared for St. Joseph Parish March 1964.)