Why Our School?

Why St. Charles?

We see our students’ gifts as given by God and therefore take responsibility for returning them to God fully developed. Because the intellectual growth of our students is a spiritual imperative, St. Charles implements best practices in teaching and learning that result in significant gains for students.

St. Charles provides a Catholic education of the highest quality within a safe and nurturing environment

Our school provides a challenging, faith-filled, educational experience that serves as the foundation for a life lived in service to Jesus, the Church, and Community. St. Charles Apache Mission School is a member of the American Indian Catholic Schools Network in a partnership with the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education.

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Our Heritage


St. Charles Apache Mission School, located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, was opened in September 1965.  The first generation Catholics who attended St. John's Indian Boarding School requested that a Catholic school be built on the San Carlos Apache Reservation so that their children and subsequent generations would have the opportunity to learn about the Catholic faith without leaving the reservation and losing the Apache identity.

Since then, St. Charles has offered a high-quality Catholic education rooted in Apache identity for children living on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation. Students explore their faith through weekly Masses, prayer services, sacramental preparation, and religion classes. They also have the opportunity to live out their faith through service: reaching out to the community through canned food drives, picking up trash in the area, and participating in other forms of service. Students engage in Apache culture throughApache language classes which preserve a quickly disappearing language that is vital to the survival of Apache culture. St. Charles also hosts dances and other Apache cultural events. Students are also challenged academically, participating in science fairs, going field trips relating to their work in the classroom, and learning from enthusiastic, supportive teachers.

Going forward from St. Charles Apache Mission School, students have the opportunity to continue to build on the lessons they have learned both in and out of the classroom. Many students from St. Charles go on to college and successful careers, both on and off of the reservation. St. Charles prepares students to be leaders in their communities, strongly rooted in their Apache identity and Catholic spirituality.

Catholic Identity


But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14

Throughout the year students are invited to grow in their personal relationship with God, serve others, learn about the Catholic faith, receive the sacraments and worship together. They participate in weekly Masses, prayer services, sacramental preparation, Advent, Lent and other celebrations of the Church Year. Students put their faith in action through Campus Ministry where they collaborate with teachers and priests to lead and participate in community outreach, service projects and retreats that unite and strengthen their class communities and provide creative opportunities to explore their spiritual relationship with God.

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Our Teachers


We employ a team of dedicated, enthusiastic, learned, kind, and moral educators. From Early Childhood to the sixth grade, the faculty is devoted to the well-being and success of every student. All members of the faculty are working towards degrees, and a few hold Master’s Degrees. All faculty have the experience to implement the best practices in the classroom.

Mrs. Ina Salter,  Principal
Mrs. Carol Aritola, Assistant Principal 

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Support Us


St. Charles employs tried-and-true methods to not only increase enrollment, but strengthen our relationship with parents and the community to foster a sustainable environment for our families. This includes providing access to scholarships, proper management of public relations, and exceptional staff management. It is essential that we nurture and grow our school to better serve the Church and the world.

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  • The Bottom Line:
  • The Bottom Line:

    St. Charles Apache Mission School provides a challenging, faith-filled, and educational experience that serves as the foundation for a life lived in service to Jesus, the Church, and Community.

    Apply Now!

Not convinced? Check out what's going on around St. Charles Apache Mission School or contact us with any further questions.


"Every child is made in the image and likeness of God."


Moving from the Bottom Third to the Top Third in the Nation

Moving from the Bottom Third to the Top Third in the Nation

Notre Dame ACE Academies are closing the achievement gap. The median national percentile ranking (NPR) of our students increased from fall to spring every year, indicating students gained more than 1 year of growth. From fall 2011 to spring 2015, on average, our students improved from the bottom third to the top third in the nation in math. Reading scores are just as impressive with students moving from the 29th to the 53rd percentile.
Closing the Gap Quickly

Closing the Gap Quickly

New students typically enter Notre Dame ACE Academies several grade levels behind (navy bars). Our culture of high expectations for academic growth and character formation quickly catch them up. Even students who have only been in the ACE Academies for 1 year show dramatic academic gains, which they continue to demonstrate in subsequent years (green & gold bars). Math scores show similar results with students entering in the 33rd percentile and quickly moving up to the 42nd after just one year.
We are Always Learning

We are Always Learning

Notre Dame ACE Academies leaders and teachers are committed to continuous professional and spiritual growth.
  • Teacher Leader Formation: Notre Dame faculty annually provide 50+ hours of responsive professional formation to each teacher.
  • Collegial Visits: Dozens of teachers and leaders across the network participate in field trips to learn from each other and other high-performing schools throughout the year.
  • Faith Formation: Annual retreats for teachers and leaders reignite zeal for our shared purpose of making God known, loved, and served.