No school closings planned for 2012-13, but future consolidations likely

Archbishop Gregory Aymond said Sept. 16 that no archdiocesan schools will close either this year or for the 2012-13 academic year, but there likely will be future consolidations based on the results of the strategic plan now being developed by the Office of Catholic Schools.

“There are no schools closing for the 2011-12 year, and there are no schools closing for the 2012-13 school year,” Archbishop Aymond said. “I have no hidden agenda, and I’m waiting for the report. But let us be clear – we do have to look at some of the schools that are struggling in terms of enrollment, facilities and finances. We have to ask the question, ‘Are we being good stewards of the gifts that God has given to us?'”

The strategic plan is being facilitated by Dr. John Convey, an education professor at The Catholic University of America, and is scheduled for completion by May 2012.

The plan would be studied over the summer, the archbishop said, and then the results will be publicly released next September. The first school closings would take effect in the 2013-14 academic year.

Archbishop Aymond said he has begun the process of meeting individually with the principals and pastors of the schools that are experiencing low enrollment or large budget deficits.

“We’re going to meet individually with all those schools,” Archbishop Aymond said. “We will ask them for a plan to be able to grow. If that is impossible, then we’re going to ask them to meet with the parents of the community to let them know that there’s a problem – not that the school is closing, but we have to let people know that there’s a problem ahead of time so that if and when something happens, they’re not caught off guard.”

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