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Saint Joseph Grade School
216 North Hill Street
South Bend, Indiana 46617
(574) 234-0451

Registration & Enrollment

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Saint Joseph Grade School, the educational ministry of Saint Joseph Parish. Saint Joseph enrolls over 450 students in grades K-8, and a great deal of planning goes into the registration and enrollment process each year. The procedures below have been created to provide families with clear expectations about the process and their child's status. For information on preschool and pre-K programs, please visit the Saint Joseph Preschool website. Should you have any questions about the information below, please contact the school at 574-234-0451.

Open House & Tours

Saint Joseph Grade School holds its Open House each year during Catholic Schools Week. Families that have registered or are interested in registering are encouraged to attend the Open House to visit classrooms, speak with teachers and staff, and learn more about the school. The next Open House is scheduled for January 31, 2016, from 11:00am to 1:30pm.

Tours are available upon request. Please contact the school to arrange a visit.

Registration Period (December - February)

The Registration Period takes place from December through February each year (see below for specific registration deadlines). Registration allows families to apply for reserved placement at Saint Joseph Grade School prior to the Online Enrollment Period, which takes place in April. Once the Registration Period has ended, children are admitted on a rolling basis as space is available.

Early Registration is available to current school families as well as parishioners officially registered at Saint Joseph Parish prior to September 1 of the current academic year. Those families that qualify for and participate in Early Registration are eligible for priority placement and will receive advance notice of a placement decision. 

General Registration is available to all families, and placement decisions will be made following Early Registration as space permits. 

A confirmed placement means that Saint Joseph Grade School will hold a spot for your child (please note: Kindergarten placements are made contingent on results of Kindergarten-readiness screening).

To participate in Early Registration or General Registration, families must:

  1. Complete and submit the SJGS Online Registration Form (for Kindergarten and/or for Grades 1-8), on or before the corresponding deadline below. Forms are made available at least 21 days prior to the deadline.
  2. Submit a non-refundable registration deposit of $260 per family. For current school families, the non-refundable registration deposit of $260 per family will be billed via FACTS after a registration form has been submitted and the deadline has passed. All other families must submit the $260 per family deposit, payable by check to Saint Joseph Grade School, to the school or parish office postmarked by the registration deadline. All registration deposits will be credited towards the enrollment/book fee ($260 per child) charged during the Online Enrollment Period in April. If a child does not meet the criteria for Kindergarten placement or is denied placement by Saint Joseph Grade School, the registration deposit is refundable. The registration deposit is not refundable should a family choose not to complete enrollment once placement has been reserved.

Placement at Saint Joseph Grade School is not guaranteed for families that fail to complete the online registration form and submit the registration fee (as outlined in steps 1 and 2 above) by the deadlines listed below.

2016-17 School Year Registration Deadlines & Registration Form Links

  • Kindergarten Early Registration - December 15, 2015
    (notification of placement on or before January 15, 2016)
  • Kindergarten General Registration - February 1, 2016
    (notification of placement on or before February 15, 2016)
  • Grades 1-8 Early Registration - February 1, 2016
    (notification of placement on or before February 15, 2016)
  • Grades 1-8 General Registration - February 16, 2016
    (notification of placement on or before February 29, 2016)

Other Important Dates

  • SJGS Open House - January 31, 2016 (11am-1:30pm)
  • New Kindergarten Parent Night - February 29, 2016
  • Kindergarten-Readiness Screenings - March 17-22, 2016
  • New Kindergarten Visit Day - March 23, 2016
  • Online Enrollment Period - April 11-22, 2016
  • Financial Aid Applications Due - April 29, 2016

Waiting Lists

Waiting Lists will be created for any classes that are full after Early Registration or General Registration. Families must inform the school in writing if they wish to be placed on a waiting list.

Online Enrollment Period (April)

During the Online Enrollment Period, families finalize enrollment by completing a detailed online enrollment form and submitting a non-refundable enrollment/book fee (currently $260 per child). Families that have registered and are granted placement will receive an email in April with additional information and a link to the Online Enrollment Form. 

Please note: registered families that do not complete Online Enrollment by the deadline risk losing their reserved placement and will be charged a $50 late enrollment fee. Following the Online Enrollment Period, Saint Joseph Grade School reserves the right to admit students from waiting lists.

Tuition & Fees

After the Online Enrollment Period has ended, new families will be required to setup an account with FACTS, the school's online billing system for tuition, fees, and incidental charges (e.g. hot lunch, after school care, extracurriculars). A wide range of payment plans are available through FACTS for paying tuition. For information on current tuition rates and fees, please see the Tuition page.

Admissions Policies

I. School Admissions Policy
Diocesan schools shall comply with state laws and regulations regarding school enrollment and attendance to the extent possible, as consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church and diocesan policy.

II. Nondiscrimination Policy
Diocesan schools shall follow and promote an open enrollment policy, accepting students without regard to color, race, gender, or national origin, and reasonably accommodate the disabled in its educational programs.

III. School Entrance Requirements
A child can be enrolled only by a person having the legal custody of the child. A certified copy of the student’s birth certificate and a baptismal certificate shall be required for original entrance at all grade levels. Proof of legal custody may also be required in cases where a child does not reside with both natural parents. If these required documents are not provided to the school within thirty days of the student’s enrollment or appear to be inaccurate or fraudulent, the school shall notify the Indiana Clearing House for Information on Missing Children and will cooperate with local authorities if the child has been reported missing. The custodial parent or legal guardian shall provide the name and address of the school the student last attended, if any. The school shall request the records from the last school the student attended within fourteen days of enrollment. Written proof that the child meets state and county health requirements (immunization record) for enrollment shall also be required.

IV. Kindergarten Age Requirement
Schools shall follow state law in enrollment of Kindergarten students. In order to enroll in Kindergarten, a child must be at least five years of age on August 1 of the year the child will be attending. The school may choose to administer the Gesell Assessment of Developmental Readiness or other readiness test for determining proper placement in kindergarten.

NOTE: A child coming into a diocesan school from an out-of-state kindergarten program or an in-state kindergarten program and who does not meet the Indiana state age eligibility requirement, should be admitted to a kindergarten program, unless it can be determined that enrollment in such a program was intended to circumvent Indiana law.

Kindergarten Registration

Registration for Kindergarten is held during December and January. Parents of registered children are invited to a special “Kindergarten Parent Night” where they will be presented with more detailed information about the Kindergarten program. There will be an opportunity to visit the classroom and ask questions of the Kindergarten teachers as well as the principal of the school. Those parents who have children of kindergarten age must follow the age guidelines set by the Diocese and Saint Joseph Grade School in accordance with state guidelines.

V. First Grade Entrance Requirements
Indiana compulsory education begins when a child is officially enrolled in school or the school year of the child’s 7th birthday, whichever is earlier. Students enrolling in a diocesan school after successfully attending kindergarten in another accredited school that has different age requirements shall be allowed to continue in school without interruption because of chronological age.

VI. Children with Exceptional Educational Needs
Children with exceptional educational needs requiring special class placement are accepted if their needs can be reasonably accommodated in the school. Initial enrollment should be on a tentative basis with the understanding that in the event the exceptional needs of the child cannot be reasonably accommodated by the school, the custodial parents or guardians will agree to enroll their child in another school system which can accommodate the special needs of exceptional children.

Ordinarily when a diocesan school cannot reasonably accommodate the exceptional needs of a child, a recommendation for special class placement should be made to the custodial parent or guardian by the principal, after consultation with the child’s teacher(s). This recommendation will be either for special class placement within the Catholic school or referral to a public school for evaluation or placement. If the custodial parent or guardian does not accept the school’s recommendation, it is expected that he/she will place the decision in writing. In some instances the custodial parent or guardian will be required to withdraw the child if the child’s continued presence, in the opinion of school personnel, would pose an undue hardship on the operation of the school, or poses a threat of harm to the student, other students or school personnel.

VII. Student Transfers
Students transferring from another school, public or private, must make arrangements with the other school to forward records to Saint Joseph Grade School. State law dictates that parents must sign a release form for a student’s records at the school from which the student is transferring. When registering from another public or private school, a copy of the latest report card is required before application is accepted in this school. Any student transferring from another Catholic school in this Diocese must have fulfilled all financial duties owed to that school and/or parish before the transfer can be completed. Families owing tuition at another Catholic school will be refused admission to Saint Joseph Grade School until those obligations are met.

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