Holy Family Elementary has a rich history of Catholic school education in Hays. Formerly known as St. Joseph Tri-Parish School and located at 210 W. 13th, the history of the building dates back to 1908.
Over the years, the building housed Hays Catholic College, Girl’s Catholic High, and finally, St. Joseph Elementary School. The three-story, native stone building, located directly across from St. Joseph Church, had the spirit and feel of the old country school used to educate many of our gifted leaders today. It was simple and basic, providing a great environment for stimulating the spiritual, social, and educational development of our Catholic youth.
In 1963, grades one and two began in the remodeled building. The following year another classroom was opened to accommodate the growing population.
In September 1964, grades three and four were added. Grades five and six were added in September 1966 but were dropped in September 1969. Kindergarten was added in 1973. Grade five was reinstated in 1978.
The former Lutheran Church located at the corner of 13th and Fort was purchased by St. Joseph Parish in 1966. In September 1981, Kindergarten moved into the building. It was remodeled in the summer of 1986 and turned into a multi-purpose extension of the school. The building housed the art room, kindergarten, library, music room, computer lab and multi-purpose room. In August, 1990, the computer lab and after-school care program were implemented at the school. The need to consolidate the expanding curriculum was just one of the many factors that led the February 1996 decision to relocate the school.
In August 1998, St. Joseph Tri-Parish School moved to its new location at 1800 Milner. The building formerly known as Jefferson School, had previously been leased by USD 489 from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish but was officially renamed Holy Family Elementary School. The increase in available space in the new building enabled the addition of a preschool and sixth grade.
Through the years, the Capuchin Friars and Sisters of St. Agnes provided for the spiritual and educational needs of the students. The school has since made the transition from a tuition-free program staffed by the religious to one staffed by Catholic lay persons which implemented a tuition fee providing for the continued operation of the school. The faculty provides a strong foundation for the students. Turnover among teachers is minimal, adding to the strength of the program. The school motto emphasizes the goals of our students: “Live, love, and learn.”
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