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Handbook Blog

Oct 09
Changes to Chapter 7 Facilities

​The Facilities chapter has been reviewed and updated.

Apr 02
Major Changes to Chapter 10, Section 3 - the Archdiocesan AUP

​Section 10-3, containing the Acceptable Use and Responsibility Policy for Electronic Communications (“Archdiocesan AUP”) has been refactored and expanded. It is no longer a single page. Further changes are planned as the FAQ section is reviewed.

Jun 25
Changes to Chapter 7 - Facilities
Jun 16
Change to Chapter 6 - Finance, Chapter 7 - Facilities, and Chapter 9 - Safe Environment
May 10
Changes to Chapter 12 - Cocurricular and Enrichment Programs


​​​12.3.2 - Transportation for Parishes and Schools​​

​​​​​​​Transportation may include personal motor vehicles, on-demand transportation services, vans, buses, boats, or airplanes.

Personal Motor Vehicles

Although this is discouraged, employees and volunteers (including teachers, religious education instructors, and coaches) may use their personal motor vehicle to drive two or more minors to and from athletic, youth, and other trips or events. Employees and volunteers may not be alone in a vehicle with a single minor who is not their own child.

School staff, parish staff, parents/guardians, and volunteers who drive students in their own vehicles must be at least 25 years old, have a clean driving record for the past three years, possess a valid Class C driver license, and have current and valid California automobile insurance. The school must keep on file a copy of that driver license and proof of current insurance. 

On-Demand Transportation Services

Parents/guardians who wish to use an on-demand transportation service to transport their child(ren) are solely responsible for determining if the service allows its drivers to transport unaccompanied minors. Note that, for example, currently neither Uber nor Lyft permits drivers to pick up children under the age of 18 unless accompanied by an adult account holder.

If the location restricts the release of minors from its custody only to certain authorized individuals, parents/guardians must sign the Minor Pickup Permission Form and Release for Parishes and Schools, giving permission for their child(ren) to be picked up by a transportation service and absolving the location and the archdiocese of any liability. These forms must be kept on file by the location. Licensed day care centers and preschools are required to maintain these documents by state regulation. 

Parents/guardians who have submitted a signed permission form must call the location each day of pickup and inform the location that the transportation service is picking up the child(ren). If possible, the parents/guardians must give the name of the driver who will be picking up the child(ren).

At time of release, the transportation service driver must identify himself or herself to the person in charge, showing a valid driver license and proof of his or her relationship to the transportation service. The driver must sign the child(ren) out. Drivers must be instructed by the parents/guardians that transportation service drivers may not pick up students in the car line of the location.

The child(ren) are then released to the driver.

Schools and parishes may transport students in vans or other vehicles designed for 10 passengers or fewer, including the driver. Vehicles designed for more than 10 passengers may not be reconfigured to seat only 10 passengers, including the driver. 

A driver of a vehicle designed for 10 passengers or fewer does not need a commercial driver license. 

Youth Buses

Schools and parishes may use vehicles designed for 15 persons or fewer to transport students within 25 miles of the school or parish. Individuals who drive these vehicles must have a commercial driver license with a youth bus certificate. Every youth bus must have on the front and rear a plainly visible sign with the words "YOUTH BUS" in letters at least eight inches high. 

A school may not use a youth bus without the consent of the Department of Catholic Schools.
School Pupil Activities Bus

A school pupil activities bus (SPAB) is any motor vehicle other than a school bus that is operated by a common carrier for the purpose of transporting K12 pupils to or from a school activity. SPAB drivers are subject to the school bus regulations promulgated by the Calif​ornia Highway Patrol, except that SPAB drivers do not have to take first aid courses and are not allowed to drive school buses.
Commercial or School Buses

Locations may only hire buses, vans, or other passenger carriers from transportation companies that have valid permits, licenses, or charters approved by the State of California and that maintain current insurance on their vehicles. Locations must verify this information through the California Public Utilit​​ies Commission and its list of passenger carriers.

​Locations should further make sure that drivers of commercial or school buses that are transporting K12 students inside the State of California have the appropriate driving certificate, which must be an SPAB driver’s certificate or a school ​bus driver’s certificate issued by the California Highway Patrol.

Prior to signing any contracts with bus companies or other transportation vendors, locations must submit the contracts to the archdiocesan Office of the Legal Counsel​ for review.


​​​12.3.2 Transportation for Parishes and Schools​​
Minor Pickup Permission Form and Release for Parishes and Schools

Mar 21
Change to Chapter 5 - Personnel


​​​5.11.16 Orientation and Training​​​​

​​​​​​A formal orientation period should be scheduled for each new staff member on the first day of employment. At the beginning of each school year, the principal is responsible for conducting​ a thorough orientation for ​all new and returning teachers and staff, which includes school policies and practices, safety, legal responsibilities, personnel practices, wa​ge and benefit information, and all pertinent handbooks. See also the Orientation Checklist.

All outgoing principals must complete the Principal’s Transition Inventory and share​ and discuss it with the incoming principal, providing all documentation that is needed to effect a smooth transition in leadership.​

During the orientations, the principal should strive to create team spirit, establish the Catholic school culture, emphasize professional ethics for school staff, stress respect for confidentiality regarding staff and students, instill respect for the reputation of the school, and be prepared to respond to questions.​​

Mar 20
Changes to Chapter 3 - School Governance


​3.2.2 Principal​
​ Expectations for Candidates and Principals

Principals and candidates for principal ​must demonstrate the capacity and openness to growth in order to effectively lead a Catholic elementary school in the areas that follow.


Principals and candidates for principal will know and be able to:

  • Initiate implementing and updating the catechetical materials and religious instruction resources used in the school; promote the ongoing formation of staff through systematic planning of spiritual growth opportunities​ throughout the year

  • Contemplate meaningful and varied forms of prayer throughout the year; create opportunities for daily prayer and at special times throughout the year; lead and model prayer for members of the school community

  • Model Christian values and promote them throughout the school community; emphasize Christian service learning that is carefully planned, age appropriate, and woven through the curriculum

  • Promote the success of all students by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner consistent with Catholic social teaching

  • Ensure that the Catholic culture permeates all aspects of school life

  • Develop and maintain a collaborative culture with the pastor and parish to foster a comprehensive learning environment


Principals and candidates for principal will know and be able to:

  • Develop and maintain a collaborative staff culture to ensure excellence for all

  • Direct a clearly articulated, rigorous curriculum aligned with relevant standards, 21st-century skills, and Gospel values, implemented through effective, data-driven instruction that incorporates research-based methodologies

  • Ensure the implementation of schoolwide assessment methods and practices to communicate student progress and direct the continuous review of curriculum and improvement of instructional practices

  • Provide and direct programs and services aligned with the mission to enrich the academic program and support the holistic development of student and family life

  • Lead the development and implementation of a shared vision for comprehensive integration of technology to promote excellence and support transformation throughout the school


Principals and candidates for principal ​will know and be able to:

  • Understand and manage school finances, including budget development, ongoing oversight and projections, and tuition and fund-raising management

  • Hi​re​, train, and supervise faculty and staff in accordance with archdiocesan guidelines, including the Principal's Transition Inventory​

  • Optimize and maintain student enrollment in order to ensure school sustainability

  • Ensure a safe, secure, and welcoming learning environment

  • Communicate effectively with stakeholders

3.3.2 Administrative Structure of Archdiocesan and Parish High Schools​​​​​
​​ High School Principals 

In an archdiocesan high school, the superintendent of high schools approves the employment and/or confirmation of the principal, following a recommendation by the search committee after a formal interview process. The superintendent of high schools also may make a direct appointment in consultation with the chancellor. In a parish high school, the principal is employed by the pastor in consultation with the staff of the Department of Catholic Schools and the employment is confirmed by the superintendent of high schools.​ 

When a high school changes principals, the outgoing principal is required to complete the Principal’s Transition Inventory and to share and discuss it with the incoming principal, providing all documentation that is needed to effect a smooth transition in leadership.
In an archdiocesan high school, if a principal position needs to be filled on a temporary basis, the Department of Catholic Schools shall appoint an interim principal with the necessary professional, academic, and administrative qualifications and experience. In a parish high school, the pastor, in consultation with the Department of Catholic Schools, shall appoint the interim principal.

See "High School Principal"​ in the High School Job Descriptions and see Installation of a Principal within Mass.​


​3.2.2 Principal​​
​ Expectations for Candidates and Principals
Principal’s Transition Inventory

3.3.2 Administrative Structure of Archdiocesan and Parish High Schools​​​​​
​​ High School Principals 

Principal’s Transition Inventory

Mar 15
Changes to Chapter 13 - Students and Families
Feb 21
Changes to Chapter 1 - Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Chapter 12 - Cocurricular and Enrichment Programs, and Chapter 15 - Licensed Preschool Programs


​​1.2.1 - Canonical and Civil Organization​​

​ - Civil Overview

Civil Law Entities​​


15.1 - Description of Licensed Preschool Programs​​​

Civil Law Entities​​​​​​

​​​12.3.1 - Field Trips, Excursions, and Activities

​​ - Policies Applicable to All Field Trips, Excursions, and Activities

​​Archdiocese of Los Angeles Adult Consent and Release Form​​​​​​​

Feb 21
Changes to Chapter 6 - Finance, Chapter 7 - Facilities, and Chapter 9 - Safe Environment
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