Big Changes Due For Local Catholic School Families

Archbishop Charles Chaput during Friday's school closings press conference

PHILADELPHIA PA – The good news, for families whose children attend St. Aloysius School in Pottstown, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Education Center in Limerick, and Pope John Paul II High School in Royersford, is that their facilities were left untouched in Friday’s (Jan. 6, 2012) announcement by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that it planned to close or merge four high schools and 44 elementary schools across the region.

The sad news, for families within Sacred Heart School in Royersford and St. Philip Neri School in East Greenville, is that their student populations will be joined with those of St. Eleanor’s School in Collegeville and St. Isadore School in Quakertown, respectively, and their current facilities shuttered.

The announcement brought with it a day filled with tears and angst among affected students, parents and teachers. See these stories:

  • Sacred Heart’s Jan. 4 Letter To Families (Sacred Heart School)
    The Royersford school held only a half-day session Friday so faculty members could meet and hear about the Commission’s report.
  • St. Philip Neri’s Newsletter Commission Insert (St. Philip Neri School)
    The East Greenville school reminded its families of the Commission’s report, and where information on it would be available.
  • Early Dismissal At Pope John Paul II (Pope John Paul II)
    Like 16 other Catholic high schools in the archdiocese, students at Royersford’s Pope John Paul II High were dismissed Friday at 1 p.m. The faculty there learned of the commission’s findings immediately before students were let go.
  • Philadelphia Archdiocese Announces Major School Closings (National Catholic Reporter)
    The archdiocese said it will close four high schools, and 44 elementary schools will either close or merge with other schools. Montgomery County and South Philadelphia were most affected by the closings.
  • The School Closing Commission’s Entire Report (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
    An archbishop-appointed Blue Ribbon commission produced its recommendations for Philadelphia’s Catholic schools after a year-long study of the education system in archdiocese.
  • A Complete List Of Merging And Closing Schools (Philadelphia Inquirer)
    Schools that will merge rather than close are being paired with a nearby school. In order to avoid one school’s identity continuing over another, schools partnering will form a new regional school, with a new name.
  • Parishoners at Sacred Heart, St. Philip Neri react to school closings (The Mercury)
    The Rev. Peter J. DiMaria emphasized in his homily at Sacred Heart that everyone should keep their tempers cool in what is sure to be an emotional time.

Also, watch a video (above) – from Fox 29 News in Philadelphia – of Archbishop Charles Chaput’s 3-minute statement on the restructuring of the archdiocesan school system as he introduced commission officials to talk about their findings.