St. Joseph Catholic School in Santa Ana has implemented a program aimed at elevating reading levels for all students.

By Gabriella C. Dominic     2/25/2019

Located a mile away from Civic Center Plaza, St. Joseph Catholic School offers a variety of programs to equip and empower its students, including struggling readers. Dr. Brad Snyder, the school principal, spent the last few years researching about dyslexia. He put research into practice by having teachers in grades K-2 and 5 trained in Orton- Gillingham methodologies and strategies to help all students improve their reading level. St. Joseph School earned highly effective marks in instructional methodology to support high achievement of all students and in support for student spiritual, personal and academic growth on its WCEA WASC accreditation. 

To enhance and deepen the student learning experience, St. Joseph School uses Chromebooks in grades TK – 2 and a one-to-one technology program from grades 3-8. This is done so that each student can access the curriculum each day to meet their needs under direct instruction of the teacher.  

“Our diocesan schools truly have a commitment to academic excellence and faith formation,” said Dr. Erin Barisano, Diocese of Orange superintendent of Catholic schools. “Our students have been learning and succeeding academically while infusing everything with our Catholic identity,” she said. “Now we are at a point where we are continuing to build on that, as technology changes all the time,” Barisano said. “We want to utilize it as a tool for student learning and for evangelization.” 

Alexandra Lugo, ‘14 is one of St. Joseph School graduates who embody the values of St. Joseph School. She shared her educational journey at the 2019 Conference of Business and Ethics Bishop’s Reception in January. The Conference of Business in Ethics has become the premier event in Orange County, where a faith-based community of influential business, religious, academic, and philanthropic leaders can gather, knowing that they share a common commitment to ethical best practices in their daily lives. Award-winning actor Neal McDonough will be speaking at the conference and recording artist Matt Maher will be sharing his musical gifts with the audience.

In addition to reading and technology integration, one of the learning experiences available to St. Joseph students is CLASS ACT. CLASS ACT is a program that brings a musician from the Pacific Symphony Orchestra to teach lessons about music. The program culminates with grades 2-8 attending a concert at the Segerstrom Performing Arts Center. 

To schedule a private tour of St. Joseph School, please call the school office at 714-542-2704. To learn more about the Conference of Business and Ethics, please go to