Five Felician Sisters arrive from Poland

1907 – Felicians accept the challenge to build an orphanage, St. Joseph Orphan Asylum on 18th Street, between Euclid and Ohio streets. Ground broken April 15, 1907.

1908 – First orphans arrive in May. Many of the 85 orphans (46 boys, 39 girls) had physical handicaps. A 50-bed infirmary was built to accommodate their needs.

1954 – Cornerstone laid for St. Francis Hospital (254 beds) in December.

1967 – Sisters receive a license to operate a child care facility, South Day Care Center of St. Joseph. (St. Joseph Hospital on the north side had early child care)

1967 – 1973 – St. Joseph Home provides residential treatment to children ages 9-18 (Wards of the State).

1968 – The final year orphans are cared for by the Sisters.

1999 – Name changed to Child Development Center of St. Joseph. Opened at current location, 1600 W. Oklahoma Ave in Milwaukee (formerly St. Gerard Parish).

2003 –NAEYC (National Association for Education of Young Children) accreditation.

2004 – Child Development Center receives NAEYC accreditation.

2009 – K4 school started. Became part of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

2015 – Building expansion of additional classrooms, gymnasium, and health office.

2015-2016 –WRISA (Wisconsin Religious Independent Schools Association) accreditation.

2019 – First 8th grade commencement ceremony.

2012 – 2022 – Accreditation through AdvanceEd.




Sponsored by The Felician Sisters
St. Joseph Academy’s sponsoring organization, the Felician Sisters, has been a champion of compassionate care in the Milwaukee Community since 1907. The Sisters began serving Milwaukee by raising $100,000 to build the St. Joseph Orphan Asylum. In 1908, the orphanage opened up and began serving the children of Milwaukee. The Felician Sisters received a license to operate as a child day care facility for children 3 to 12 years old in 1967, which was called the South Day Care Center of St. Joseph. In 1999, the Center moved to our current location, 16th St. and Oklahoma Ave and began accepting infants and toddlers and changed the name to Child Development Center of St. Joseph (CDCSJ).

Over 100 years later, St. Joseph Academy is still sponsored by the Felician Sisters, and our services and facilities have grown immensely to meet the changing needs of our families. Since 2009, when the CDCSJ added a K4 classroom, we have grown into a full elementary and middle school, while still serving as a childcare facility.

Today, we provide care and education for children from the age of six weeks through middle school, and will complete our fully staffed K-8th middle school in the 2018-2019 school year. Now, as always, we are in tune with and responsive to the needs of our community, and we are honored to be your community partner in providing compassionate and exceptional care for your children.

Elementary School (K4-8th) is accredited by the Cognia Accreditation, one of the country’s leading accreditation bodies as well as WRISA (Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Accreditation). SJA is proud to be authorized as a Milwaukee Parental Choice school (elementary school program) and Wisconsin Parental Choice school through the Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin.

Early Childhood Education Center

• Rated through the State of Wisconsin’s YoungStar program
• Accredited through the National Accreditation Commission (NAC) for Early Childhood Education.


Contact St. Joseph Academy

We'd be happy to answer your questions about our school and Early Childhood Education Center. Please use the form below or email us at info@sjamilwaukee.org to get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you!

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1600 W Oklahoma Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53215

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