CNA Staff, Apr 6, 2021 / 07:32 pm (CNA).- The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced this week that six Catholic elementary schools in the area will close and be consolidated with other schools, due to ongoing financial difficulties exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

“These six schools had been trying to overcome financial challenges long before the pandemic,” said Paul Escala, superintendent of Catholic Schools, according to NBC Los Angeles. Challenges facing the schools include low enrollment, financial difficulties, and a shift in demographics.

“After careful discernment with Archdiocesan and school leadership, the decision was reached to consolidate these schools with nearby schools to create a union that would strengthen the school communities in the area so that all students can continue to receive the quality Catholic education that our schools provide,” Escala said.

At the end of the 2020-21 school year, six elementary schools will close – Assumption, Blessed Sacrament, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Ferdinand, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Madeline.

These schools will all be consolidated with other local elementary schools.

The archdiocese noted that, during the current school year, students in Los Angeles Catholics schools outperformed their peers nationally in math and reading.

“Though there have been many challenges and some setbacks, our Catholic school communities have demonstrated resiliency throughout this crisis,”’ said Escala, according to NBC Los Angeles.

“As our Catholic schools welcomed students back, our students were able to celebrate the sacrament of their First Holy Communion something they missed early on in the pandemic,” he said. “Our Catholic schools continue to demonstrate academic performance growth in reading and math in both elementary and high schools. This among so many other accomplishments, is something we can all be proud of.”

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