The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced Saturday that its Catholic schools throughout Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties will open the 2020-21 school year with distance learning due to the new state requirements for resuming in-person instruction.
"Though our return to our beloved campuses will be delayed for now, we will return," Paul Escala, senior director and superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese, wrote in a letter to school families, educators and pastors. "Until then, our schools will open at a distance and our community will once again rise to the occasion."
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all school campuses to remain closed when the academic year begins in counties on the state's monitoring list due to spiking coronavirus cases -- including Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Riverside counties.
Escala said teachers and staff at all 265 Catholic schools in the Archdiocese had made extraordinary efforts in hopes of welcoming back students this fall.
"We are so proud of their incredible efforts in planning for both in- person and distance, while simultaneously focusing on making campuses safe for students and staff," he said. "Though the circumstances may not afford us the opportunity to start the school year in-person, our preparation efforts will pay-off when we are able to safely return to campuses."
Criteria for the return to in-person instruction are based on the state's local health jurisdiction monitoring list. Once the jurisdiction has been removed from the list for 14 days, in-person instruction will be allowed to resume.