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2020 & 2014

U.S. Department of Education

National Blue Ribbon School

St. Joseph Catholic School

Named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School

First two-time winner among all Arkansas nonpublic schools



On September 24, 2020 the U.S. Department of Education named St. Joseph Catholic School in Fayetteville a 2020 National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing School. St. Joseph is the first nonpublic school in the state of Arkansas to be a repeat winner of this award.


The National Blue Ribbon award was established in 1982 to recognize public and nonpublic elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ academic achievement. The National Blue Ribbon award is considered the highest honor an American school can achieve.


In 2014 St. Joseph Catholic School was the first nonpublic school in Northwest Arkansas to ever receive this recognition. Now, St. Joseph is the first Arkansas nonpublic school to become a repeat winner of the National Blue Ribbon. Of the approximately 1,200 schools in the state of Arkansas, only 54 public schools and four nonpublic schools have received the award in the thirty-eight year history of Blue Ribbon.


St. Joseph Catholic School’s high standardized test scores qualified the school to submit a lengthy application to the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) highlighting the school’s operations in areas such as assessments and utilization of assessment data, curricula, professional development, leadership, and community and family involvement. Once reviewed and approved, CAPE recommended St. Joseph to the U.S. Department of Education as one of only 50 nonpublic schools to be considered for the award. St. Joseph was chosen based on the criteria of schools whose students score in the top 15% nationally in both reading and mathematics on nationally-normed tests.


St. Joseph Catholic School has been serving the city of Fayetteville since 1948. Currently, 340 students are enrolled at St. Joseph from 200 families in three-year-old pre-kindergarten through 8th grades. The average class size is 17 students. Fifty-five students from 31 families receive tuition assistance, and 42 students receive free or reduced lunches. The student body also includes 115 students from six minority groups. St. Joseph serves both Catholic and non-Catholic students.


Faculty and students continually focus on academic excellence, respect for life, and community service. The school has active community partnerships with Cooperative Emergency Outreach Food Pantry, City of Fayetteville Adopt-a-Street, Ozark Natural Science Center, Fayetteville Boys & Girls Club, and others.

We would love for you to come tour our school, and experience our Blue Ribbon School for yourself!

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