Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What kind of curriculum do you have? Is it academic, developmental, mixed?
    We are known for our high-quality academic curriculum that is invested in real world applications of knowledge. Students are encouraged to build their critical thinking and creative skills in all areas of learning. In addition, SCL is moving towards a STEM- focused curriculum to cultivate early interest in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. As of right now, both students and teachers use technology daily and across subject-fields as part of an integrated curriculum. Practical skills, however, are also taught alongside the virtues of integrity, faith, and service so that students learn how to use their skills for the good.

  2. Is Saint Catherine’s using the Common Core Standards (CCSS) that emphasize critical thinking?
    To date, we have implemented and are using the standards for Language Arts and Math and will be introducing additional standards as they become available. The CCSS are important because they encourage project-based learning, critical thinking, and real world applications as opposed to forms of education that are more heavily based in memorization or theory.

  3. How does SCL assist students of varying academic ability?
    An Educational Psychologist visits SCL once a week and is able to make recommendations for learning disability assessments. If a student is diagnosed with a learning disability (ADD, ADHD, or autism), an educational plan that coordinates learning in all classes is put into place based on the student's needs. A student is never sent away because of a learning need.

    Advanced students are also supported in a myriad of ways. Summer school is not just for remedial learning, but is also a means whereby students can strengthen their academic skills. The Academic Decathlon is another important way to challenge an advanced student's intellect. On the Jr. High level, math is also taught in dual tracks, with an accelerated track available for students who are able to progress more rapidly through the curriculum.

  4. What kind of religious education do the students receive?
    In addition to formal catechetical studies, preparation for the sacraments, and prayers during the day, the teachers integrate God’s role in creation and the value of his commandments into the subject matter. Since the teachers are the role models for the students, we require that they live exemplary lives in accordance with Catholic Teachings.

  5. What kind of science instruction do the students receive?
    In addition to lectures, where they learn science theory and vocabulary, students in all grades incorporate hands-on experiments.

  6. How is science emphasized in the junior high school?
    The teacher incorporates project - based learning which helps students understand concepts.

  7. How many field trips do your students participate in each year?
    Our students participate in 1 to 4 field trips per year. Most classes usually go on 2. Field trips are planned by grade level teachers and incorporate appropriate grade level curriculum.

  8. How often are students required to take standardized tests?
    Our students take IOWA Tests early in the school year and ACRE Tests in January. The results are used to assess student progress through the fall semester. These tests aid the teachers in providing special emphasis to areas that are deficient.

  9. What kind of academic support do you have for children who are struggling?
    In addition to the teachers who are willing to offer assistance to students before and after school, tutoring is available on campus and at several local facilities.

  10. Do you have programs for gifted children?
    With our 1-to-1 iPads, we are able to address slower and average students, and the gifted are able to find challenge with little teacher guidance.

  11. How many are able to go on to the high school of their choice?
    All of our students who want to attend a Catholic high school are able to enroll into the school of their choice.

  12. What percentage of our students goes on to college?
    Twenty-six St. Catherine Alumni graduated from Serra and Bishop Montgomery High Schools this last year. Twenty one of them are university bound; three will be attending community colleges and one a fashion institute. Five were awarded merit scholarships, and 5 achieved cum laude or higher. The details are posted on this website, and can be accessed through links from the home page.

  13. Does St. Catherine’s offer summer school and day care for K-8 students?
    Yes, K-8 summer school and day care are offered. The summer school has been primarily remedial in nature, but is also a means whereby students can strengthen their academic skills. There are plans to expand summer school offerings in 2014. Summer day care for K-8 is divided into 2 sections, one for Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten, and one for students in higher grades. Both sections are open from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Drop-ins are welcome. Visit our Summer Programs  page.
Admission and Aid
  1. How much does it cost to attend St. Catherine's?
    Visit Tuition Rates and Fees page.
  2. How much can we expect tuition to rise during the course of enrollment at St. Catherine's?
    St. Catherine’s tuition has been following the growth of the cost of living and is expected to continue that growth of 2% to 3 % per year.
  3. Are there mandatory fundraisers?
    Yes, Visit "Other Support Requirements" under Tuition Rates and Fees.
  4. What percentages of families receive some sort of financial aid or assistance?
    7%-8% of our school families receive financial aid.
  5. How much do uniforms cost? And where do you buy them?
    Basic used uniforms are available at about $50; basic new uniforms cost three times that amount. They can be purchased from Norman’s Uniform Co. This company visits our campus prior to the start of school and periodically during the school year. Please refer to our Uniforms page for more information.

  1. Do you welcome children from other parishes?
    Yes, we have many students from other local parishes.
  2. Do you welcome children from other faith backgrounds?
    Yes, we respect children and families of other faiths.
  3. Is there a mix of ethnic/cultural groups in the school?
    Yes, our school is like a miniature UN; it has students who hail from five continents and speak more than 20 different languages including French, Spanish, Tagalog, Swahili, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.
In The Classroom
  1. What is the student: teacher ratio?
    The student teacher ratio is 19 ½ to 1.
  2. And what is the classroom size?
    The average class size is 24. Are there plans to limit class size? Yes, the maximum will be 30.
  3. What kind of training do your teachers have?
    Visit Faculty/Staff for more information.
  4. In comparison with the local public schools, how many school days are there and how long are they?
    Our students receive 190 days of instruction, and the school days are 7 hours and 20 minutes long.
Public schools usually have 180 days and their school days are 6 hours and 15 minutes long. Therefore, over an entire academic year, our students receive an additional 268 hours of instruction per year. If you enroll your child at SCL from Grade 1-8, he will receive TWO more years of instructional time than his public school peers--even more if you include TK and K since SCL offers full-day options for both grades.

(Consider this: If you had to hire a babysitter for $10/hour for those additional hours, you’d spend $2680 on  babysitting each year without any additional academic or spiritual enrichment. By enrolling your child in SCL you would avoid this expenditure and provide a top-notch, Catholic education for your child.)

Life At SCL
  1. What kind of enrichment programs do you offer?
    Art is part of our curriculum and taught by our staff or through the Adventures in Art docent led program. After school music and dance are offered through the Arts Alive Program by Kings and Clowns and the cost of this program ranges from $10 to $13 per week.
  2. To what degree do your students participate in academic competitions?
    Many competitions are held on our campus with subjects of religion, science, spelling and geography. Our Junior High Students compete against those from over 100 Archdiocese Schools in an Academic Decathlon event which covers the spectrum of the academic curriculum. (Despite competing for only 5 years, we have been performing in the top 25 to 30 schools.)
  3. What special activities are there for Junior High level students?
    Student Council and yearbook preparation
  4. What kind of sport programs are there?
    Our Catholic Youth Organization Sports include Boys and Girls Volleyball, Basketball, Boys Soccer, Girls Softball and a Boys/Girls Football (one team). Girls Volleyball B Team was undefeated this last season.
One Family Philosophy
  1. What do you do to ensure the safety of the children from each other (bullies), from parents or teachers (sexual abuse), from natural or manmade disasters (earthquakes, fire)?
    Early in the school year we hold Harassment and Bullying Training Sessions. Later in the semester, students on all grade levels go through Good Touch/Bad Touch Training. All adults who have regular contact with students, teachers, staff, and parent volunteers are required to take Virtus, a sexual abuse prevention training. No adults are allowed in student bathrooms, and all visitors on campus are required to check-in with the main office and wear a visitor’s name badge. Students are trained to report strangers on campus immediately.

    We have plans and resources in place to cover all types of disasters and emergencies, and have over a dozen randomized earthquake and fire drills spread out over the course of the academic year. We also have an automatic voice dialer which allows us to notify all parents by telephone of emergency situations, last-minute change of plans, and event reminders. Our campus has been assessed by the local police for outside threats.

  2. How are parents involved in the education of their children?
    Our advanced school-to-parent communication systems, SchoolSpeak, keeps parents in the loop, and our Parent teacher Organization (PTO) gives parents an active role in the education of their children. The teachers have a direct link to the parents and vice-versa so that they can keep up-to-date on assignments and performance. For further information, visit Parent Involvement.

  3. What kind of support do you have for working parents?
    We provide extended day care from 7 a.m. until the start of school, and from the end of school until 6 p.m. If a parent is late for picking up a child after school, the child is automatically placed in extended day care until the parent arrives. Children in TK-1 go to the SCL Preschool for before and after-school care and are provided with a complimentary nutritional snack in the afternoon.

  4. Do you require parent involvement?
    Yes, SCL operates on a one-family philosophy where the parents are the primary educators of their children, and the school works hand-in-hand with them in their formation. Each family is required to donate 25 hours of work on school projects with other school parents. This has resulted in a great sense of school spirit for the parents.
Early Childhood Education (Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten)
  1. How old does my child need to be in order to enroll?
    Preschoolers need to be age 3 by September 1st.  Please visit Preschool Admission for more information. Transitional Kindergarten- Age 5 by December 1st; Kindergarten-Age 5 by September 1st. Please visit the school Admission Process page for more information.
  2. How much do Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten cost?
    For Preschool visit Tuition and Fees in the Preschool section of this website. For tuition and fees for the Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten, visit Tuition Rates and Fees under Admissions.
  3. Do the children need to be potty trained?
    Yes, all students must be fully potty trained.
  4. Is there a nap?
    Yes, there is a preschool nap time. A mat is provided and the children bring a crib sheet and a small blanket. Sleep is not required, but they must rest quietly.
  5. What do you do to discipline children who are misbehaving?
    If children misbehave, they are given a warning, and if that behavior continues they move from green to yellow status. If the misbehavior continues, they are moved to red, and a note is sent to the parents.
  6. Are parents allowed to drop-in at any time?
    Yes they can, but we prefer prior notification so that they can participate.
  7. How does part-time enrollment in Preschool affect the ability of children to follow along with class activities?
    Art and academics are conducted on a daily basis, so part-time children lose some of the benefits of Preschool.
  8. Does St. Catherine’s offer summer day care for Preschool?
    Yes, the Preschool Summer Day Care Program is conducted like a day camp with an academic segment, fun centers, art, and a nap. It extends from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit Summer Programs.

Arts Alive Program
Through the Arts Alive after-school performing arts program, supplemental classes are open to grades 1-8 in Drums, Guitar, Polynesian Dance, Jazz Dance, and Keyboard. Several sessions are offered to students throughout the year with a final performance.
For more information visit









St. Catherine Labouré School
3846 Redondo Beach Blvd
Torrance, CA 90504
(310) 324-8732
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