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Mission Statement

The mission of St. Anthony Catholic Parish School is to inspire our students to follow Christ’s example.


St. Anthony Catholic Elementary School opened its doors in 1953 under the leadership of the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from Chigwell, England. Throughout the years, the school continued to grow from one wing of classrooms to two, library and offices and a parish hall. In 1978, kindergarten was added.

The closure of Castle Air Force Base in 1995 severely impacted St. Anthony's enrollment, and ethnic and economic make-up, as well as that of the community of Atwater.

The last of the teaching sisters retired in 1996 and returned to England, ending an era of the religious community serving St. Anthony School.

In 1996, St. Anthony Preschool opened to fulfill a need of the community and to provide a feeder into the elementary school. St. Anthony Preschool has continued to grow and expand.

St. Anthony Elementary School, in its smaller family atmosphere, has survived and continues to provide a quality, Catholic education at an affordable price.


The St. Anthony School community adopts a philosophy rooted in Catholic faith, love, and respect. We acknowledge that our students vary in academic ability, needs and backgrounds, and are uniquely gifted. We believe that the parents are the primary educators of their children, and that the teachers facilitate the learning process for all students.

The administration, teachers, and staff at St. Anthony School are committed to helping parents in the holistic development of each student, and strive to instill responsibility for words and actions.

In the spirit of the Gospel, St. Anthony School serves culturally diverse children from surrounding communities. We reach out to the wider community of the world, trusting in Christ who is our inspiration, teacher, and reason for being.


"Throughout my years at St. Anthony School, I had always felt like it was my second home. The environment welcomes learning, and not just academics. There I learned not only my ABC's, but values and morals that will stay with me until I'm old. I will never forget my time there, it's a school that will prepare you for life outside Atwater."-- Lexie Emilu Ponce

WCEA/WASC Accredited