January 27, 2023  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

— Highlighting expansion of the Microschool initiative to build a sustainable small school model; Early College Program offers university courses to high school students—

Catholic elementary and high schools across the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, spanning Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties, will celebrate National Catholic Schools Week from January 29 – February 4, with special Masses, open houses, and activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members. Established in 1851, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are the largest provider of faith-based education in the nation with 254 schools serving more than 67,000 students in grades PK through 12. 

“Our schools have many significant successes to celebrate this Catholic Schools Week,” said Paul Escala, Senior Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “Our enrollment has increased 4.58% since June 2020, the largest jump in decades. What’s more, we launched two innovative school networks this year and have seen an increase in student academic performance. I’m very proud of our community of schools and am grateful to all who support it.”

Escala said the new Microschools Network empowers schools to become sustainable, multi-age learning communities that are small by design. Through blended learning methods and differentiated instruction, students benefit from personalized learning paths and participate in small, teacher-led learning stations. 

The program launched last fall at Precious Blood School (Rampart Village) and has expanded to include St. Teresa of Avila (Silver Lake), St. Athanasius (Long Beach). Through its partnerships with Inclusion Solutions, Inc. and the Greeley Center of Loyola University, Chicago, the Microschool Network ensures teachers have access to long-term coaching, modeling of best practices, inclusive teaching practices, and the latest research on effective, multi-age curriculum and instruction. 

In addition, the new Early College program gives high school students the opportunity to enroll in Arizona State University (ASU) college-level math and English courses while attending high school. Through concurrent enrollment, the program removes barriers to postsecondary success by supporting students facing socioeconomic challenges or who have been historically underrepresented in postsecondary education. Currently, 172 students are enrolled in the program; upon completion, they will be eligible for an Early College Hilton Scholarship of up to $6,000. 

This year, the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) granted more than 10,000 tuition awards with a $13.1 million budget to students with financial need attending 220 of the 240 archdiocesan schools. In addition, CEF has awarded an additional 3,900 newly enrolled students this school year with the New Enrollment Initiative (NEI 2.0) funded by an anonymous donor. 

The mission of the Catholic Education Foundation is to provide tuition assistance to the most financially deserving students attending Catholic elementary and high schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Since its inception in 1987, CEF has provided more than 215,000 tuition awards in excess of $242,000,000. 

Catholic Schools Week activities in the Archdiocese will commence on Sunday, January 29 at 9:30 a.m. with a Mass celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Los Angeles. 

Additional Catholic Schools Week events include:  

  • St. Finbar School (Burbank) is holding a collection of travel-size toiletries for B.A.R.E. Truth Inc., to “Help the Homeless” and students will honor Joseph Bradford III, CEO/Founder and teacher, during a special assembly on Monday, January 30th at 12:45 p.m.
  • Bishop Alemany High School (Mission Hills) students will participate in a day of praying for our Nation and have an opportunity to hear from the President of Friends of Kibanga Medical Center, which helps provide medical needs for the residents of Uganda.
  • St. Charles Borromeo School (North Hollywood) will have its ‘Favorite Sport Day’ with an 8th grade class vs. teachers volleyball game at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 2nd.
  • St. Eugene School (Los Angeles) will host a schoolwide picnic and teachers vs. students kickball game on Friday, February 3rd at 10 a.m.
  • Precious Blood School (Rampart Village) will be celebrating International Day with dance performances on Friday, February 3rd from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Now entering its 49th anniversary year, Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. To learn more on Catholic education in the Archdiocese, visit lacatholicschools.org and follow instagram.com/catholicedla and facebook.com/catholicedla. For information about 2023 Catholic Schools Week (January 29 – February 4) visit https://lacatholics.org/csw-2023/ and https://lacatholicschools.org/catholic-schools-week. Join the conversation, use the hashtag #CSW2023.