Christ as Our Model

Education “is the art of helping young people to completeness. For the Christian, this means that education is helping a young person to be more like Christ, the model for all Christians.” ~Blessed Basil Moreau

At Saint Joseph Grade School, part of our mission of educating hearts is to present Jesus as the model for Christian living.

The foundation of this model is built upon the understanding that each person is created in the very image of God Himself. Each person has dignity before God. We seek to stress to our students the importance of recognizing this dignity of each and every human person. This lesson will not only enhance their spirituality and bring them into closer union with Christ, but it will also teach them valuable lessons about interacting with those around them.

Our Baptismal call to holiness is nurtured by allowing God’s life of grace to continually grow in us. Holiness is lived out in the classroom, in the hallways, on the playground, and beyond. Below are a few of our signature programs that assist in promoting the model of Christ to our students:

The St. Joe Way

The “St. Joe Way” reflects our mission and how we strive to function as models of Christ at school and beyond. Each month we introduce a new St. Joe Way ideal to practice, and we encourage our families to practice outside of school too. These ideals are usually simple ways that we can practice sharing God’s love with those around us. An example: when you see an adult in the building, greet them with a friendly greeting and make eye contact!

Star Students of the Week

Each week, faculty and staff nominate SJGS Star Students who have exhibited Christ-like behavior or outstanding effort. The Star Student sheet is published in school on Fridays and included in the weekly school newsletter, and students come to the office at the end of day for a small token of recognition!

God Lines

Our faith invites us to be rooted in God’s love in all that we do. God Lines integrates more explicitly the role our faith plays in growing and living as classroom communities. At the beginning of the year, each classroom discusses the importance of classroom and school rules and how they impact our daily lives as members of a Christian family. The class works together to create a set of God Lines. In junior high, they become junior high student responsibility (JHSR) guidelines.

To encourage all students, our teachers support, model, and showcase appropriate behavior by positively reinforcing good choices, cooperation, and friendship. The approach helps students understand that choices and behaviors can ultimately strengthen or weaken our relationship with God, and helps inspire each student to respect self, respect others, and respect the school environment.


The PeaceWorks program was developed by educators for the purpose of teaching children a sense of community at home, in school, and in our society. The PeaceWorks program teaches children how to care for one another, how to develop and maintain healthy friendships and other relationships, to value themselves and others, and the importance of sharing, listening, communication, and teamwork. Other valuable lessons presented in the PeaceWorks program are honesty, kindness, respect, cooperation, responsibility, fairness, the importance of following rules and laws, and how to set boundaries and limits and express feelings in a positive, constructive manner.

Each of the PeaceWorks values and social skills are taught through a set of rules called “I Care Rules.” As students advance to each grade, the rules and lessons become more in depth. The lessons are taught through a variety of methods such as worksheets, books, discussions, role-playing, videos, music, and occasional guest speakers.