St. Monica Academy – A Uniquely Different Catholic School

Catholic schools are not a rare sight. In fact, it’s a little too common, given that Catholicism is the most popular religion in the world. However, every once in awhile a Catholic school takes root and establishes itself as something different, offering what only a few Catholic schools can.

“Unlike most Catholic schools, certainly unlike all Parish schools and most other schools, we’re one of the few, if not the only, 1st through 12th grade school that’s Catholic,” says Len Golbranson, school board member.

Other parish schools typically offer up to K-8, while Catholic high schools usually have grades nine to twelve, says Golbranson, “So we are unique in being a Catholic school that is 1 through 12.”

As a Catholic school, “We very much follow the catechism and the magisterium of the Catholic Church,” explains Golbranson. “We are very focused on formation, our Catholic faith, and our motto would be faith, reason and virtue.”

Aside from the Catholic-centric focus, St. Monica’s curriculum also aims to instill a life-long love of learning to its students. Additionally, as a school that’s also focused on history, “We’re also one of the few schools who actually require Latin so our kids are proficient in Latin by the time they graduate in high school and we got huge number of awards in that regard, the Latin testing,” says Golbranson.

The school also has a healthy extra-curricular program. In sports, “We’re particularly good in girls volleyball and in boys baseball,” says Golbranson. “And we offer others: cross country volleyball, basketball for both sexes, baseball, softball and then we also with the younger kids compete in the Catholic Youth Association.”

The school also has a very intensive music program, especially for students who have an aptitude for music. “We have a lot of programs for them. We have multiple plays that we put on for years. So the theater is important to quite a number of our kids, that’s kind of mostly a high school endeavor, but that’s something that we do very well and take a lot of pride in,” says Golbranson.
St. Monica Academy is also one of only three high schools in all of California that has received the “Cardinal Newman Award for the High School Honor Roll. We’re among the top 50 Catholic schools in the country,” says Golbranson.

The school has also received awards from the PSAT and the SAT, the Commended Scholar Awards, the National Latin Awards, “and some other awards that our students get on academic basis,” says Golbranson.

These awards reflect the high standard of education at St. Monica, which can be viewed at the school’s website. Golbranson adds, “You’ll also find the listing of the colleges that our kids have been accepted to and it’s an impressive list.”

In addition, St. Monica Academy offers students a classical education. Golbranson says, “you’re talking about the great books, you’re focused on Math, you’re focused on History and you’re focused on reading and you’re also getting a full dose of Latin in your curriculum and you’re getting a very solid Catholic formation that follows the teachings of the church.”

The school is the kind of school where you get what’s advertised. Students generally have improved academic performance, which results in happier kids.

Golbranson says, “there’s just an intangible quality to St. Monica that is very difficult to explain to people but people of experience understand it completely.”

To learn more about St. Monica Academy and discover what makes it uniquely special, visit or call (626) 229-0351 for more information.

St. Monica Academy is located at 301 N. Orange Grove Boulevard.

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