St. Joseph School, a TK-8 Catholic school in Santa Ana, is committed to making quality Catholic education available and affordable to the community of Santa Ana. Promoting dignity, excellence and social justice through a curriculum of outstanding academics focused on Catholic identity, St. Joseph School seeks to form students who are healthy, prayerful, just citizens, effective communicators and good stewards of the gifts they have been given.


St. Joseph School is accredited by the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  Areas assessed include: the school’s Catholic identity, defining the school’s purpose, organization for student learning to support high achievement of all students, data analysis and action, SLEs and standards-based curriculum, instructional methodology, support for student spiritual, personal, and academic growth, and resource management and development.

St. Joseph School has a six-year term of accreditation.


It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets,
some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
to prepare God’s people for works of service,
so that the body of Christ may be built up
until we all reach unity in the knowledge of the Son of God
and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  

Ephesians 4:11-13

St. Joseph School is a Catholic elementary school in central Santa Ana founded in 1913, which serves a diverse socio-economic community. The school is under the supervision of the Department of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Orange and is staffed by a qualified faculty.

Since its foundation, the purpose of the school has been to assist parents in the education of their children. Recognizing that parents are the primary educators, we strive to strengthen the position of the family through a partnership with parents. We believe that parents entrust their children to our care because their family goals and values are enhanced in our setting.

St. Joseph School is a Christian community in which each individual is encouraged to acquire knowledge, skills, and values in order to be happy and to serve God, family, and society responsibly. We believe that the mission of Catholic education is to nurture each student’s spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical powers, leading to a fuller life in Christ. We hold that the central task of the school is to foster each student’s self-image as a unique, talented creation of a loving God with abilities and gifts which must be developed, not only for one’s personal growth, but also for the common good, and the eventual transformation of the world.

We believe that our purpose as Christian educators must be to provide opportunities for each student to be reflective and creative, to stretch beyond the intellectual and technological limits of our times, and to embrace spiritual and moral truths. We prepare our students to assume their role in the creation of a just and peaceful world in a non-violent manner.

The environment at St. Joseph School is based on the teaching traditions and lived experiences of the Catholic Church. These traditions and experiences are deeply rooted in the framework of the parish family. We believe that a knowledge of our faith and frequent participation in the spiritual and sacramental life of the Church will foster Gospel values in each student.

As faculty and staff, we are committed to ongoing professional development that encourages academic excellence in the context of a Christian community.


Established in 1913, St. Joseph School is one of the oldest schools in Orange County.  The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange (CSJ) began their affiliation with the school in 1916 by assuming administration of the school at the request of the pastor of St. Joseph Church. 

The founding purpose of the CSJ congregation was to live and work to bring all people into union with God and with one another, serving their spiritual and corporal needs in all works of mercy within the power of the Sisters.  They went forth into various communities establishing the hospital and schools that eventually became the CSJ network. The charism of the school today remains reflective of the congregation’s charism through the practice of respect, effort, achievement, and love, distilling the totality of the Sister’s mission into our school acronym: R.E.A.L, which stands for Respect, Effort, Achievement, Love.  

The last surviving sister to be part of the full-time faculty was Sr. Michelle Tochtrop, who retired in 2012 and subsequently went home to the Lord in 2016. Sister Michelle was a former principal, and teacher of St. Joseph School and a member of the school board until her passing. She also served on several boards for St. Joseph Church. Sr. Susan Tresek continues to be present at the school providing support for the literacy program by visiting the classrooms and reading to students.  Our school’s current principal, Ms. Kelly Botto, currently serves on the CSJ Educational Network’s Advisory Board.  St. Joseph School continues to carry on the lasting traditions and charisma of the Sister of St. Joseph of Orange through its participation in the CSJ Educational Network and St. Joseph the Worker volunteer program.  

School Wide Learning Expectations

J ust Citizens
O ustanding Academics
S tewardship
E ffective Communicator
P rayerful
H ealthy

St. Joseph School is dedicated to offering a challenging curriculum that is standards-based and assessing student learning on an ongoing basis. We use data to inform our decisions on methodology, curriculum, and resources. Our SLE’s were designed to be educational outcomes and flexible enough to be measurable at each grade level. Upon graduating, faithful application of these SLE’s should lead our students to have the academic skills to compete in a global society and the spiritual maturity to help transform the world around them.

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