Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  How do I schedule a tour of the school?

A.  To schedule time to visit our campus, click here.   You may also contact us at 210-497-0323 to speak to the Admissions Office or contact us via email at  

Q.  How many admission spaces are available each year?
A.  Due to the nature of our mixed-age classrooms, space is limited.  Please contact the school for availability.

Q.  Is financial aid available?
A. YES, Financial aid is available from Hope for the Future, which is affiliated with the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  Hope for the Future provides need-based tuition assistance for Catholic and non-Catholic students who meet eligibility requirements and enroll in one of the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of San Antonio.  Tuition assistance is prioritized by financial need and based on available funding. Tuition assistance is available for Kinder through 12th grade. You may apply at


Q.  What does St. Jose Sanchez look for in an applicant?
A.  We seek young people who are motivated and curious. We offer a nurturing environment that sets students on a path of excellence in learning, living and serving.  We strive to help our young people discover their God-given gifts in themselves and appreciate the gifts of others. 

Q.  Are there any non-Catholic students enrolled at your school?
A.  Yes. Young people of other faiths who are accepted to our school do so with the understanding that learning and participation in the Catholic faith is at the core of our curriculum for all students.

Q: How is education at St. Jose different?

A: St. Jose is fundamentally different from traditional schools. No bells ring, and there are no lectures. Students are in control of their own learning.

Students will have:

  • Student-driven, self-paced learning

  • Real-world projects and apprenticeships

  • Multi-age/grade classes

  • Student self-governance

  • Exploration and assessment of skill levels, learning styles, aptitudes, personality traits, and interests

  • Guides rather than teachers

  • Socratic discussions rather than lectures

  • Mastery learning and student portfolios of achievements rather than grades

  • No homework

  • No teaching to the test

Q: What does a typical day at St. Jose look like?

A: A typical school day includes prayer and goal setting to launch and close the day, independent core skills work (math, reading, writing, theology), Socratic discussions, real-world group projects (starting a business, publishing a book, building wind turbines), and enrichment classes.


Q: Is St. Jose a Montessori school?

A: The Primary Studio is an authentic Montessori environment. The Elementary and Middle School Studios combine Montessori tenets with project-based learning, the Socratic method, and the latest in educational software.

Q: What is your philosophy on the potential of each student?

A: At St. Jose, we encourage students to adopt a “growth mindset” rather than a “fixed mindset.” Those with a fixed mindset believe intelligence is an inborn trait. You’re either a “genius” or you’re not. In contrast, those with a growth mindset believe they can develop their intelligence over time. Children with a growth mindset view challenging work as an opportunity to grow and view failure as a an opportunity to learn.  Every child can overcome obstacles and solve problems to pursue his or her own path. 


Q: What do you mean by "every child can change the world"?

A: Every one of our students will find a calling, something they love and are good at. This may be becoming a teacher who sees the light in all children’s eyes and guides them to pursue their dreams, a parent who leads his or her children on a hero’s journey, a business person who is guided by compassion and integrity, or an artist or writer who brings beauty to people’s lives. We can’t tell you how your child will change the world. We can only help our students find their calling by listening to the Holy Spirit and set them on their journey to fulfill God's will for their lives.


Q: What is a "learner-driven community"?

A: First, we are self-directed, meaning that kids are in charge of their own learning. Second, we are a community of learners in which students are bound together by their pledge to hold themselves and each other to high standards.


Q: What is an independent learner?

A: An independent learner can follow instructions, research questions, solve problems, participate in discussions, and strive for mastery. Perhaps most importantly, an independent learner can figure out a solution to a roadblock without asking an adult for help.


Q: What is the Socratic method and why do we use it?

A: In the Socratic method, a teacher serves as a guide, setting up scenarios and asking questions to stimulate critical thinking and independent learning. St. Jose uses the Socratic method rather than lectures because through discussions and actively making arguments to support their beliefs, students gain a better understanding of a topic than by passively taking notes during a lecture.


Q: How will my child stay on task in a self-directed environment?

A: A student’s ability to set and track goals in order to evaluate progress is essential to success in a student-driven, individualized learning program. Students need a lot of practice setting specific, measurable goals that are challenging but realistic. Our students set weekly and daily goals, track progress and establish a rhythm of meeting with peers to hold each other accountable. In addition, students will develop an agreement with the guides to set boundaries for acceptable behavior and rules for engagement in the classroom.  We believe that learning to set goals and challenging yourself are critical skills for the real world.


Q: How much homework will there be?

A: We believe that children need time to play, relax, and be with family and friends. There will not be any homework assigned, although students may choose to work on skills independently at home.


Q: How does St. Jose track progress without grades?

A: St. Jose tracks progress through student portfolios, learning exhibitions, peer reviews, goal monitoring, online dashboards, learning badges, and utilizing the NWEA testing platform 3 times per year. 


Q: What is mastery learning?

A: The curriculum is not structured in terms of time, but in terms of target levels of comprehension and achievement. We use a mastery learning approach to core subjects such as math, reading, theology, and writing.


Inspiring each child to find a calling and change the world!

© 2020 St. Jose Sanchez del Rio Catholic School

St. Jose Sanchez del Rio Catholic School
                         21140 Gathering Oak, San Antonio, Texas 78260 
210-497-0323    Fax:  (210) 497-5792