Mission & History
We strive to instill and promote the family ideals that God holds out before us of: love in pursuit of justice, communion rooted in equity and mutual respect, the full human development of each member of our diverse community, and generous service for a suffering world. SJND seeks to reflect the loving and welcoming community, which is the Holy Family of Nazareth, in all facets of school life.
Saint Joseph Notre Dame, a Catholic parish high school, provides a dynamic and rigorous college preparatory education. Our faith-filled, diverse, and welcoming community embraces the teachings of Jesus Christ. We develop confident, open-minded, and effective leaders who are ready to live joyful lives of faith, scholarship, and service.
Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School is a consolidation of Notre Dame, founded more than 100 years ago by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and St. Joseph’s, founded in 1935 by the St. Joseph parish and originally conducted by the Marianist Brothers.
In 1881, at the invitation of Father William Gleason, pastor of Brooklyn (East Oakland), five sisters of Notre Dame de Namur opened a school for girls in grades 1 to 12, four years before St. Joseph Parish was established. The Sisters purchased the present site in Alameda, erected a convent and opened a school.
Saint Joseph's became a parish four years later and opened an elementary school in 1922. When St. Joseph Grammar School was built, the original school buildings became the high school, Notre Dame Academy, a combined boarding and day school.
Saint Joseph High School, a school for boys operated by the Marianist Brothers, was established in 1935. Father Bernard J. Praught, then pastor of St. Joseph’s, opened the school in the fall of that year. The first faculty consisted of two Marianists, and the first student body contained 35 freshmen and 24 sophomores.
Early in 1958, the newly appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish, the Rev. Alvin P. Wagner, suggested constructing a new high school on the site of Notre Dame. Thus, a new parochial high school, Notre Dame High School, opened in 1960.
St. Joseph High School, a school for boys, was under the direction of the Marianist Brothers for 35 years until their departure in June 1970.
In 1983, the Congregation of the Sacred Heart was asked to staff the parish and consolidate the two high schools, Notre Dame High School and St. Joseph High School into a coeducational high school.
Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School began in September 1985.