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History of Saint Joseph School

In 1939, the Sisters of Charity of Halifax came from the Academy of the Assumption in Wellesley Hills to supervise the religious education program of the youth of the St. Joseph Parish.  In 1954, Cardinal Cushing granted permission to begin construction of a school building and the sisters began teaching kindergarten and first grade.  For almost 70 years, Saint Joe's has been a pillar of Catholic education for Needham and its surrounding communities.  The school grew quickly from those early elementary school roots, adding a middle school, and later, a early childhood center.  While each school operated independently and was respected in its own right, both the parish and the schools of St. Joseph recognized the potential strength of a combined school community spanning preschool to grade eight, leveraging not only the millions of dollars of investment in the campus and facilities, but also the years of experience gained at Saint Joe's over the past seven decades.

Beginning in the 2020-2021 school year, in the midst of the pandemic and following a successful remote school period, Saint Joe's embarked on the bold task of integrating all three school communities -- combining the early childhood, elementary, and middle schools into one, unified school -- Saint Joseph School (preschool to grade eight). This integration was no small feat and would not have been possible without a strong leadership team and dedicated faculty.

In 2022 Saint Joseph School was pleased to announce the appointment of the first head of school, Mr. Ian Snyder.  With strong support from Father Bryan K. Parrish, the pastor, Saint Joseph School is being ushered into the next chapter and new beginning. Emerging from a global pandemic, a period of transition, and an institutional merger, Saint Joseph School has a new perspective and a fresh start -- respecting the lessons of yesterday but acknowledging the power in learning from mistakes. A new opportunity awaits us tomorrow. What a powerful message to share with the children of Saint Joseph School. Through the inspiration of St. Antony of Egypt, we will embrace the new beginning that each day presents and the opportunities that we have been afforded. "Always, we begin again . . ."

In August of this year, Saint Joseph School proudly announced the appointment of Kristen Fiumara as Interim Assistant Head of School for the 2023-2024 academic year. This significant decision marked the culmination of an extensive search process, where parents and faculty members played an active and collaborative role. After several months of close observation and reflection, the Search Advisory Committee, alongside valuable feedback from faculty, staff, students, and parents, enthusiastically recommended Mrs. Kristen Fiumara to assume the role of permanent Assistant Head of School. This decision underscores the outstanding qualities and lifelong dedication that Mrs. Fiumara brings to the Saint Joseph community. Mrs. Fiumara, with over two decades of professional experience at Saint Joseph School, primarily serving as a member of the 5th-grade team, has demonstrated her proficiency as a skilled communicator, an advisor to staff and leadership, and an advocate for our students. The Saint Joseph School community has utmost confidence in her ability to serve exceptionally well in her new capacity.

Saint Joseph Elementary School and Monsignor Haddad Middle School officially merged in the early months of 2020, just weeks before the onset of a global pandemic. Since this merger, various school leaders have been working gradually to integrate the two organizations. Upon reflection of our current operating procedures, we aim to introduce a new organizational structure that will better serve our students and facilitate intentional design across various grade levels. Effective for the 2024-2025 school year, the following organizational structure will be implemented: Early Childhood Program - 2.9 Program, Pre-School (3yo), and Pre-Kindergarten (4yo), Saint Joseph Lower School - Kindergarten - 4th Grade, Saint Joseph Upper School - 5th - 8th Grade. With this model in place, students will progress through three developmentally appropriate sections of our institution, each tailored to meet specific needs and learning requirements.

Saint Joseph School, nestled in the heart of Needham, Massachusetts, stands as a distinguished Traditional Roman Catholic educational institution for boys and girls from age 2.9 through Grade 8. With an unwavering commitment to the core values of Faith, Virtue, Intellect, and Stewardship, the school prides itself on fostering a comprehensive educational journey that nurtures every student towards academic, spiritual, and social excellence.

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