History of the School
St. Joseph School had its humble beginnings when four Sisters of Charity of Ottawa arrived in Haverhill in August, 1888. In September of the same year four sisters greeted 400 boys who crowded the basement of St. Joseph Church. After sending 100 of them home, the Sisters were still left with large classes.
In 1894, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart accepted the call to teach the other boys and in 1903 the Marist Brothers came to staff the boys’ school until 1947. At that time, the school became co-educational.
St. Joseph School has developed in various stages and locations under the guidance of Marist priests. The history of the now existing school on Oak Terrace dates back to 1912 when it was built with eight classrooms and a first floor hall for parish activities. Since then four classrooms were built joining the school to an auditorium constructed in 1951 for parish functions.
The building was renovated in subsequent years and now has 16 classrooms, a computer lab, art room, Support Services room, a library, a cafeteria and kitchen facilities. The spacious auditorium as part of the school facilities is used for assemblies and as a gymnasium for regular physical education classes. The gym program was initiated in 1969.
In 1957, a tuition system was instituted for children attending St. Joseph School to offset the rising cost of operating the school. Before this time, children paid no tuition fees. Various parish organizations have contributed time, effort and talent toward the betterment of the school throughout its 125 years of existence.
In 1992, a Pre-Kindergarten was opened and school hours were also expanded to include before and after school programs to assist working parents.
In 1994, the Pre-Kindergarten was moved into the newly renovated convent and a Nursery program was also added the same year. In 1999, the second floor of the convent was renovated to house the Kindergarten. This renovation allowed the opening of two Kindergarten classrooms, assuring a feeder into the school. It also opened up another classroom to satisfy the growing enrollment. Also in June of 1999, the parishes of Saint George, Saint Rita, Saint Michael and Saint Joseph parishes merged to become All Saints Parish. It was decided not to change the name of the school at that time.
In 1997, the convent screen house was renovated to provide a play/gym area for the Early Childhood Center, i.e., the Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Statistics for the 2001-2002 indicate a total student body of 455 housed in two buildings. One building is for the Early
Childhood Center and the main building consist of 16 classrooms, a computer lab, a library, a Support Services room, a nurses’ room, a cafeteria and a gym/auditorium.
In 2010, it was decided to move the Kindergarten program back to the main school, due to decrease in enrollment and the nature of the current economy. It also provided more options for the Kindergarten children to have better use of the library, the computer lab, and the music, art, and physical education programs.
In the fall of 2011, the parking area and the upper and lower school yards were hot topped. New fences were put in around both school yards and along the sides of the school building.
In spring of 2012, a child friendly playground was provided by the fundraising efforts of the Parent Teacher Organization in memory of the former pastor, Father Dennis Nason. The play structure enhanced not only the school yard, but also the surrounding community.
In the summer of 2013, the land between the upper and lower playground will be landscaped.