History

Founded in 1868 by the Sisters of St. Joseph

A sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph, St. Joseph’s Academy is one of the largest all-girls high schools in the country and the oldest high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Founded in 1868 by the Sisters of St. Joseph, this premier Catholic secondary school is dedicated to providing an environment of excellence, where relationships are strengthened and young girls become women of faith, hope and love. The Academy has been a symbol for educational excellence in Louisiana’s capital city for 152 years.

SJA is guided by the spirit and charism of the Sisters of St. Joseph, providing opportunities that ensure balance among its mission statement’s three pillars: faith development, academic excellence and personal growth. 

In 1941, SJA moved from downtown Baton Rouge to its present location on 15 beautiful, residential acres. The campus lies in closeproximity to the downtown business and governmental district and is near Catholic High School, the Academy’s brother school. With arched walkways literally transitioning students between the Academy’s historic buildings and its new, state-of-the-art facilities, the school’s wireless campus demonstrates a strong commitment to innovation and tradition. In recognition of its time-honored presence in the community, St. Joseph’s Academy was designated by the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council as the city’s first local historic landmark.

Integral to the Academy tradition is a strong belief in the value of a single-gender education for girls. Research affirms that adolescent girls perform better academically, feel more positive about school, have greater educational aspirations and hold more favorable attitudes toward academic study in an all-girl environment. Students can question, challenge and take risks associated with learning while enhancing the supportive qualities of nurturing and caring. 

SJA has identified STEM as an area of focus. To address the reality that women have traditionally been underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, the Academy has a state-of-the-art STEM lab to provide cross-curricular, hands-on learning opportunities in a laboratory setting. 

Placing a premium on 21st-century learning, SJA's Innovation and Design Lab offers cutting-edge, project-based learning to equip young women for success in college and beyond. The Innovation and Design model helps students develop critical-thinking, collaboration, creating and problem-solving skills. They are able to design projects to solve real-world problems and impact their communities, taking learning far beyond the classroom.

 

Historical Timeline

Congregation of St. Joseph

On October 22, 1868, four Sisters arrived in Baton Rouge. They had been sent to take over an orphanage that cared for 11 little girls left parentless by the Civil War. Within two weeks, they opened St. Joseph’s Day School in a small, four-room house on what today is known as Seventh Street.


Today
152 years later, St. Joseph’s Academy is a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, where students are educated to be responsible and unifying members of the world community. Here, relationships are formed, bonds are strengthened and knowledge is shared. Faith and wisdom find a home in each young woman all the days of her life.