CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OPEN THE SCHOOL YEAR WITH NEW AND EXPANDED PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS
Catholic Schools Play an Important Role in the Education of Students in California Saving the State More Than $2 Billion Annually
Many Catholic students in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles began the new 2018-19 school year at their Catholic schools attending new or expanded programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics(STEM), blended learning and dual language immersion (DLI). While some Catholic schools across the nation are closing their doors, the Department of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese (DCS) is focused on keeping the doors open by re-thinking, re-defining and re-activating programs and curriculum to continue the long-standing tradition of educational excellence provided by Catholic schools.
“Our vision of growth remains the driving focus for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” said Dr. Kevin Baxter, Senior Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “Our focus on leadership development and innovation create schools of tremendous value to students and families. We recognize that future leaders are sitting in our classrooms today and our sacred obligation is to ensure they have both the skills and the integrity to make a positive change in the world.”
Five schools this year are offering highly qualified technology and robotic programs including: Resurrection Catholic School in Boyle Heights, St. Euphrasia in Granada Hills, St. John the Baptist in Costa Mesa, St. Michael’s, St. Aloysius and St. Francis of Assisi in the Los Angeles area. These schools will be a part of a network of STEM and DLI schools throughout the three counties of the Archdiocese (Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara). The new St. John Paul II STEM Academy at Bellarmine-Jefferson in Burbank will join the network of schools in 2019-20.
In addition to the schools offering STEM programs, Catholic schools are planning to offer the following:
- Expanding the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program into more schools. As of today, there are a total of eight schools with this program, with St. Patrick School in North Hollywood and St. Joseph School in Pomona joining the roster this school year.
- Expanding the Blended Learning Program, with a total of nine schools with this program as of today.
- Developing a High School vocational track.
- On-site research of Finland’s school system, to study feasibility of the implementation of their successful model in the Archdiocese’s schools.
As part of the ongoing efforts to ensure that Catholic schools are addressing the needs of the communities served, over the summer DCS surveyed 8,000 parents and guardians of children enrolled in schools on the perception on Catholic Schools in Southern California. The survey showed a high satisfaction rate with Catholic schools, but the cost of tuition remained a concern for some parents. To make Catholic education a possibility for all families, the Archdiocese established the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) in 1987 to provide tuition assistance to financially underserved students. Last year alone, CEF provided $13.3 million to help fund Catholic education 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 and a college attendance rate of 98 percent.
“Catholic schools strive to make tuition affordable – on average the cost of tuition in our elementary schools is $20 per day and high schools is $50 per day,” explained Dr. Baxter. “We understand that tuition can still be a concern for families, in addition to CEF Catholic schools have variety of financial assistance programs to make Catholic education accessible to all families.”
Overall, the survey found that parents with children enrolled in Catholic schools see Catholic education as an investment in their children’s education. Results showed that the top three qualities parents look for in a school are: to build good character and virtue, a good academic curriculum, and to have a professional teaching and administrative staff, something that Catholic schools strive for every day.
“Parents are our partners in ensuring that our Catholic schools continue to empower students to be the leaders of tomorrow,” added Dr. Baxter. “This survey allowed us to hear directly from parents on what we are doing right and how we can continue to improve. It is this unique partnership with our parents that has allowed us to meet the changing educational needs of our communities and will help us to ensure that Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will continue our more than 100 years of excellence in education for future generations to come.”
Established more than 100 years ago, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are the largest provider of faith-based education in the nation serving over 78,000 students. Statewide, Catholic schools save California over $2 billion in educational funding each year. To learn more on Catholic Education visit https://lacatholicschools.org/. For more information on the survey visit https://catholiced.com/report/.
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