LA Archdiocese begins school year by expanding innovative educational programs to more Catholic schools
Angelus Staff Aug 23, 2017
Nearly 80,000 students, from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade, in 266 schools across the tri-county Archdiocese (Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties) have headed back to school with several schools launching new language and technology programs and breaking ground on school expansion projects. Established more than 100 years ago, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese provide faith-based education where students receive tools for success in college and in their future careers focused on a commitment to service to their local and global communities.
“Our vision for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese is growth – a belief that every student who attends a Catholic school is educated and inspired to grow to their full God-given potential,” said Dr. Kevin Baxter, senior director and superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We know the value that Catholic schools bring to families and communities – a rigorous academic experienced that is centered on our faith which ensures the whole-child – head, heart and soul – is educated to the fullest degree.”
This school year, St. Alphonsus in East Los Angeles and St. Paul in Mid City join the growing number of established dual language immersion (DLI) schools in the Archdiocese. DLI is an additive response to the needs of diverse, multilingual communities from across the Archdiocese, where 224 languages and dialects are spoken. All Souls in Alhambra, St. Sebastian in West Los Angeles and St. Matthias in Huntington Park have established Spanish/English DLI programs. All Souls is the only Catholic school in the Country offering two language tracts, in Mandarin and Spanish.
Earlier this month hundreds of principals and teachers attended the C3: IGNITE Training Day. C3: IGNITE is a school grant program, in partnership with Sprint, that provides Catholic schools in the Archdiocese with Sprint connected tablets, educational content resources, and training and support for principals and teachers.
St. Anthony School in San Gabriel is joining the roster of Catholic schools that incorporate blended learning into its curriculum – making it the first school in the San Gabriel Valley to offer this personalized approach to learning. Blended learning integrates online learning and traditional face-to-face instruction in order to provide students with access to new technologies, personalized instruction, small-group teacher-led instruction and digital learning experiences.
“We are extremely excited that the Archdiocese is leading the way nationally with dual language immersion in Catholic schools. Our belief that we must consistently innovate and improve allows schools to be creative and forward thinking in the educational programs they develop, said Dr. Baxter. “Our blended learning schools are examples of such innovation in practice. We are so grateful to the tremendous partnership we have with the Catholic Education Foundation, which assists thousands of students in accessing a quality, faith-filled education in a Catholic school.”
To make Catholic education a possibility for all families, the Archdiocese established the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF), which provides tuition assistance to the most financially deserving students. Last year alone, CEF provided $13.3 million to help fund the Catholic educations of more than 10,000 elementary and high school students from families living at or below the poverty line. Students receiving CEF assistance have a graduation rate of 98 percent and a college attendance rate of 98 percent.
A few Catholic schools are kicking off the school year by breaking ground on expansion projects including St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy in Downey and Dolores Mission School in Boyle Heights.
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese are communities of faith in which the Christian message — with its fellowship, worship, and life of service — is integrated into a comprehensive experience for students, their parents and the members of the school staff. The system began in 1903 with 19 parochial schools, five academies, and a total enrollment of 2,895. Currently, nearly 80,000 students, from transitional kindergarten to 12th grade, are enrolled at 266 schools across the tri-county Archdiocese (Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara) – making it the largest Catholic school system in the country.
For more information about Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, visit lacatholicschools.org.