New online academy

As the Diocese of Orange waits for waiver approval for its 29 schools who applied to the Orange County Health Agency to return to in-person class on Sept. 8, Diocese of Orange Catholic Schools’ administrators still wanted to provide a dedicated virtual option for families seeking an online Catholic education. Therefore, today the Diocese of Orange announced open enrollment for St. Polycarp School Online Catholic Academy, a full-time K-8 virtual learning school for families both locally and nationwide who desire a quality Catholic school education for their children from home. 

“With parents and students across the country facing educational uncertainty due to the global coronavirus pandemic, we must find new ways to keep learning on track for everyone at every level,” said Dr. Erin C.O. Barisano, superintendent of 41 Catholic schools for the Diocese of Orange. “The spread of COVID-19 may necessitate changes in the way we teach and learn, but it does not change our desire, commitment or dedication to continue learning or the importance of doing so.” 

St. Polycarp School Online Catholic Academy, which replaces the brick-and-mortar Orange County, California based St. Polycarp Catholic School, will function as a designated home-based K-8 learning program five days a week. Students and teachers will participate in classes remotely and come prepared for online interaction during the scheduled start time of each class. Students will use school-provided devices from home to participate in live classes, and teachers will broadcast lectures from classrooms on St. Polycarp’s physical campus.  

Mary Flock, principal of St. Polycarp School Online Catholic Academy, said, “Built on key lessons from the Diocese’s distance learning partnership with Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education earlier this year, this established framework gives us the confidence that we are providing a high-quality, world-class Catholic education to all students and allows us to welcome more families into our faith community.” 

“Making our online programs more affordable is another way for us to provide flexible options and quality instruction at a time of financial uncertainty for so many families,” Flock continued. 

Enrollment is now open for the 2020-21 school year and parents of all faiths are encouraged to apply at 

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