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

Admissions & Enrollment

Welcome and thank you for your interest in Saint Joseph Grade School, the educational ministry of Saint Joseph Parish. Saint Joseph Grade School enrolls over 450 students in grades K-8, and a great deal of planning goes into the admissions 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 in late January. Interested families are encouraged to attend the Open House to visit classrooms, speak with teachers and staff, and learn more about the school. 

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


The Application/Re-registration Period takes place from November through February each year (see below for specific deadlines). Application/Re-registration allows families to apply for reserved placement at Saint Joseph Grade School prior to the Online Enrollment Period, which takes place in April. A confirmed placement means that Saint Joseph Grade School will hold a spot for your child. Kindergarten placements are made contingent on results of Kindergarten-readiness screenings. All other grade level placements for students who will be new to Saint Joseph are contingent on being in good standing at the current school and results of admission placement testing. Once the Application/Re-registration Period has ended, applications will continue to be accepted and admissions decisions will be made on a rolling basis. 

Kindergarten Early Application is available to current school families as well as active 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 Application will receive advance notice of a placement decision. Please note that some placement decisions may be deferred to the General Application period.

Kindergarten General Application is available to all families.

To apply or re-register for grades K through 8, families must complete the following two steps:

  1. Complete and submit the SJGS Online Application/Re-registration Form (available in mid-November).
  2. Submit a non-refundable application/re-registration deposit of $260 per family (payable by check to Saint Joseph Grade School) to the school office postmarked by the application/re-registration deadline listed below.

Please note:

  • For current school families, the non-refundable re-registration deposit of $260 per family will be billed via FACTS at the end of December (Kindergarten) or February (Grades 1-8).
  • All deposits will be credited towards the enrollment/book fee ($260 per child) charged after the Online Enrollment Period in April. 
  • If a child is denied placement by Saint Joseph Grade School, the application/re-registration deposit is refundable. The deposit is not refundable should a family choose not to enroll once placement has been reserved.
  • Placement decisions will not be considered for families that fail to complete the online application/re-registration form and submit the deposit (as outlined in steps 1 and 2 above).

2017-18 School Year Application/Registration Deadlines

  • Kindergarten Early Application Deadline - December 15, 2016
    (notification of placement on or before January 13, 2017)
  • Kindergarten General Application Deadline - January 23, 2017
    (notification of placement on or before January 31, 2017)
  • Grades 1-8 Application/Re-registration Deadline - February 16, 2017
    (notification of placement on or before March 3, 2017)


Other Important Dates

  • SJGS Open House - January 29, 2017 (11am-1:30pm)
  • Kindergarten Parent Information Session (optional) - February 6, 2017
  • Kindergarten Readiness Screenings - February 22-23, 2017
  • Kindergarten Visit Day - February 24, 2017
  • Admissions Placement Screenings (Round 1) - March 21-23
  • Online Enrollment Period - April 24-May 1, 2017
  • Kindergarten Parent Orientation Night - April 25, 2017 (6:30pm)
  • Financial Aid Applications Due - May 1, 2017

Waiting Lists

Waiting Lists will be created for any classes that are full. Families must complete the online application and submit a deposit in order to be placed on a waiting list. Families should inform the school in writing if they wish to be removed from a waiting list.

Online Enrollment Period

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


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 readiness screenings 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.

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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