School of the Month: St. Barbara Catholic School in Santa Ana

Established in 1963, St. Barbara Catholic School provides a comprehensive education enabling the intellectual, spiritual and moral development of students. The original parishioners built a school and church where tomato fields once stood. St. Barbara Catholic School has served as the academic anchor in the surrounding communities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach. St. Barbara Catholic Church serves over 4,000 families and a school of more than 500 students. The school has a staff of principal, 15 lay teachers and four office staff.

During the 1990s, St. Barbara Catholic Church was blessed with Catholic Vietnamese immigrants. The school addressed the expansion of religious education programs to accommodate the growth of increased student enrollment. The school was blessed with a $2.1 million facility improvements included a parking lot and school playground redesign along with a new school building housing two kindergartens, a multimedia center, a fine arts classroom, a teacher workroom and a physical education and athletics room. In addition, the school implemented a 1:1 technology program to increase student achievement and engagement by having students in grades 1 to 3 use iPads in the classroom and students in grades 4 to 8 use Chromebooks.

Faith formation and community service is highly important to the community of learners at St. Barbara School. The school community prays together, celebrate Mass regularly, receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion and participate in daily religion instruction. In addition, students participate in service projects allowing us to support a number of organizations in our local communities by raising funds for Pennies from Heaven, Operation Rice Bowl and hold drives for pajamas and canned foods.

On October 10, from 6 p.m. -8 p.m., St. Barbara School and Mater Dei High School are co-hosting an evening program for the Vietnamese community at St. Barbara School Gym. Theresa Nguyen, Executive VP of Quoc Viet Foods Foods and parishioner at St. Barbara Church, Fr. Kiet Ta, Rector / Chaplain of Mater Dei, and Mater Dei’s Principal, Ms. Frances Clare will be sharing stories about Catholic education in their lives. The event will be conducted in English and Vietnamese. To learn more about St. Barbara School or the event, please call the school office at (714) 775-9477.

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