January 29, 2020  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

This week, more than 73,000 students, from transitional kindergarten (TK) to 12th grade, in 266 schools across the tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties) are celebrating National Catholic Schools Week. 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. Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese now boast innovative programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), dual-language immersion, robotics and blended learning.

“Catholic education is not just about ‘information’ — it is about ‘transformation.’ It is not about training future workers for the job market. It is about forming personalities and communicating wisdom, bringing young people to know the God who made them and his purposes,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez. “At its heart, that is what Catholic education is all about — knowing and loving Jesus and learning to live in his truth, which is the truth about creation and the truth about our lives.”

Today, the Archdiocese Department of Catholic Schools is announcing the expansion of its STEM Network designed to equip and empower students to overcome barriers and embrace new opportunities in their education. The second cohort of STEM Network schools include San Gabriel Mission Elementary School in San Gabriel and Immaculate Conception School in Monrovia. The program launched at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year at Los Angeles-based elementary schools (K-8th grades): St. Turibius, Holy Spirit-St. Mary Magdalen and Divine Saviour. The new school-wide approach to STEM focuses on real-world problem solving through a Catholic social justice lens and features parent engagement, university and community partnerships, and flexible indoor and outdoor learning spaces and environments.

“Every day, Catholic Schools demonstrate why a true education is more than just matter of forming the mind, but is a matter of forming the soul.  Since 1851, the schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have delivered on the education of the whole child,” said Paul Escala, Superintendent of Schools.  “Today, Catholic Schools are among the most diverse, innovative and welcoming schools in Southern California.  We are excited about the future of our students as they seek to lead our world with Gospel values.”

The Department of Catholic Schools is also pleased to announce the expansion of its Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program with the addition of St. Bernard School in Glassell Park. The DLI program currently serves more than 1,500 students at eight campuses throughout the Archdiocese from North Hollywood to Pomona. DLI students learn daily academic content in English, Spanish and Mandarin including prayers, Masses and performances. The DLI approach to education is rooted in the belief that students need to develop skills so that they are bilingual, biliterate, bicultural and formed in Catholic values to be better prepared as the next generation of global leaders.  

The Department of Catholic Schools is also committed to the professional development on its principals by supporting them in exploring different education systems by partnering with the Loyola Marymount School of Education to visit Northern Ireland. The group of 15 Catholic elementary and high school principals, superintendents and university professors will focus on understanding how Catholic schools in Northern Ireland approach inclusion, Catholic identity, and share resources with the goal of making positive changes in Archdiocesan school environments.

“This is a way to further contribute to the great gift that Catholic schooling is to communities and individuals alike,” said Kris Brough, principal at Our Lady of Lourdes in Northridge and one of the participating principals. “Investigating new methods and means to meet student needs is vital to ensuring our schools remain vibrant and alive.”

In its 46th year, National Catholic Schools Week is a celebration of Catholic education in the United States recognizing the value that Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, communities and nation from January 26 to February 1, 2020. This week, Catholic schools in the Archdiocese and throughout the United States will host open houses highlighting unique programs and offerings, special events and Masses.

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 73,000 students. Statewide, Catholic schools save California more than $2 billion in educational funding each year. To learn more on Catholic Education visit and follow and

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The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest Archdiocese in the United States with approximately five million Catholics. For the latest news, events and to subscribe for media alerts visit Follow us on social media at LACatholics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Video archives and footage of Masses celebrated by Archbishop José H. Gomez are also available.