Smart Start - Catholic Education Foundation
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Smart Start

Smart Start

CEF is proud to welcome back the students of our Catholic schools to a new academic year full of wonder and hope! Another year of growth, spiritual renewal and loads of new adaptability and time management skills. There is no shortage of responsibilities when our students set out to attend a full-load of classes virtually.

From kitchen tables, to the edges of mattresses…no one could have expected nor can begin to imagine what it really takes to assume the role of going to school in a pandemic. With that said, we are very proud of the Catholic school administration and teachers across all three counties of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, who are still hard at work and are strategizing what the future of education will look like.

We had a few of our CEF supported schools write in to share their personal and professional testimonies on how their current workloads look and what they are grappling with to ensure they uphold the values and traditions their communities expect from them.

Thomas Ambriz, Principal of Our Lady of Grace Elementary school writes:

Our Lady of Grace School, Encino, is planning a robust start to the school year. This start with distance learning will build on the very best that we learned from the spring of 2020. Leveraging all of our human resources and talent, each homeroom teacher will focus on whole and small group learning in core content areas for morning sessions. A small set of independent work will be provided and younger grades will see smaller remote sessions with support staff to provide more individualized learning and help with this independent work as well. In the afternoons for the 1 – 3pm window, we will host our special programming. Students will enjoy distance classes in PE, Art, Spanish, STEM, and Library, to continue their engagement. Although distance learning is not the same as in-class learning, which we hope to return to soon enough, this program is the next best thing, and keeps faithful to our tradition of academic excellence! 

Alex Chacon, President at Bishop Mora Salesian High School writes:

Over the summer, Salesian faculty and staff gathered remotely to plan out the various instructional options depending on best and worst case scenarios with regard to COVID-19 directives issued by the state and county.  Extensive professional development and a thorough reflection on our spring semester remote learning successes and areas for growth led us to be ready to tackle whatever challenges that remote learning or a hybrid learning model might bring in a new school year.  While we are certainly ready to provide a strong, remote academic experience that is synchronous and well-structured to start the school year, we have also planned various activities to ensure that the care and love we have for all of our students and families in a typical year at Salesian is not lost in this new structure.  Beyond academics, our entire community of supporters, which includes our staff, families, alumni, and friends of Salesian, have come together in this tough time to surround our young men and their families with spiritual, emotional and financial support.  For this, we are most grateful.

We very much look forward to the day this school year when we are allowed to welcome all of our students back onto campus together.  However,  we also know that we need to take advantage of this opportunity we have been given to connect with our community in a different way and continue to emphasize the “Home, School, Church, and Playground” that Salesian High School strives to be.

Please prayerfully consider making the contribution that you and your family feel you can make this year and let’s help our school families experience another year full of smiles and outstanding achievements!

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