By Samuel Torres
During Catholic Schools Week, each school celebrates and expresses the image of Christ’ love among us in a unique way. Currently, our 30 schools of the Diocese of San Bernardino cultivate meaning and create activities that animate our core values of faith sharing, collaboration, hospitality and reconciliation.
While blending faith and academic excellence they seek to develop communities of God-centered citizens enlivened by the Gospels. These Catholic communities are energized and living out their faith together, while utilizing the abilities that make each school special.
Our faculties are primarily lay teachers and administrators, and they dedicate themselves to effectively addressing a safe and welcoming environment with a holistic approach. Students are guided toward meeting their potential through rigorous academic programs in nurturing and supportive classrooms. Our campuses offer a safe and welcoming environment for all.
San Bernardino Diocesan high schools maintain a 100% high school graduation rate. Our graduates complete the California university system A through G requirements required by any four-year university. Additionally, it is common for many of our graduates to transfer college credits earned in high school, while others may receive academic scholarships for the college journey ahead. Our high schools have adopted an attitude that all students can learn and will succeed. This high standard of expectation, paired with support and diligence, continues to serve as the bedrock for a partnership with parents who desire a college education for their children.
Personal care and attention for each student with consideration for his/her development requires ongoing dialogue, reflection, and planning. Our high schools receive students from our Catholic elementary schools and surrounding schools. Transitioning students from our Catholic elementary schools to high schools involves ongoing evaluation and planning that takes into account all expectations and readiness for the rigor of college entrance. Our schools also accept transfers from public schools and offer a variety of resources to support transitioning students towards successful outcomes.
Just as college expectations impact our high schools, our high school expectations impact our elementary programs. When Catholic school elementary students enroll at the Catholic high schools, they often bring with them the confidence of their developed values, enriching the new environment with faith and Christian joy. Our schools become the final stop before embarking on the more independent and adult commitment of college life. Ultimately, our goal for all graduating seniors would be to express their learned talents with their new academic environment while continuing to develop their God-given talents as college students. These goals are realized every year. They are important to our growing church, require a quality staff, leadership and a supportive community.
Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Bernardino maintain environments that emphasize moral development, self-discipline, integration of faith, culture and life, service to others, and cultivate students on the path to becoming productive citizens and future leaders. It is my honor to let you know that the support received by the people of our Diocese is appreciated. I thank you on behalf of our children, the future of our Church.
Samuel Torres is Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Bernardino.