By Dr. Samuel Torres
Happy New Year!
The long days of summer slowly come to an end. That can only mean one thing! School is in session. Schools have used this summer break to deep clean and renovate the spaces to support and maximize learning potential.
New teachers have attended orientations at both the Diocesan Pastoral Center and at the respective schools in preparation for the new school year. All new principals have attended trainings and been assigned a mentor principal. While students break from the rigor of the academic schedule, administrators and teacher teams, plan and strategize for the upcoming school year.
The high schools of the Diocese of San Bernardino, Aquinas High School, Notre Dame High School, Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac High School and Xavier College Preparatory, all began their studies in the second week of August. Athletic programs and Advanced Placement classes create the necessity to begin early. Excited and eager students flood the campus with an energizing spirit that invigorates the restart of the academic communities. Congratulations to Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, Temecula, which is opening its first 11th grade class this year. They are now a pre-school through high school campus.
Our high schools continue to increase in enrollment while strengthening their competitive academic programs and college preparatory guidance. Our new partnership with the University of San Diego makes our high schools a wonderful value and secures a solid matriculation to university life.
The majority of our elementary schools began in mid to late August. Congratulations to Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Alta Loma, as it opens its first 8th grade class. The school will now provide education for pre-school through eighth grade. The increasing demand for Catholic education in our Diocese is being considered carefully and thoughtful decisions are being made to reach as many children who desire a Catholic educational learning community.
On August 23, at Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac, Temecula over 600 staff and educators attended the annual convocation which began with the celebration of the Mass. Bishop Barnes was joined by 18 priests who concelebrated the Opening Schools Mass with Deacon Andrew Orozco assisting. Additionally, five religious communities were represented by sisters in our diocese in support of our Catholic Schools mission. On that day I reiterated the three-fold mission of Catholic schools as revealed by the Bishops of the United States: proclaim the Gospel, build community, and serve our brothers and sisters.
Dr. Samuel Torres is Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Bernardino.