Dear St. Mary’s Parishioners,
After careful consideration and consultation with the Superintendent of Schools and Chief Financial Officer of the Archdiocese, this message is to inform you of a painful but necessary decision that we have had to make regarding the future of St. Mary’s School. Due to declining enrollment and the financial hardships created by the current pandemic, we will reorganize St. Mary’s School for the 2020-2021 school year. This reorganization consists of closing the elementary grades one through five and operating as a Catholic preschool which will begin this fall. I want to stress that St. Mary’s School is not closing but reorganizing in order to meet the current demands of our community.
We have given this much thought and consultation. Even before the beginning of this pandemic, we were already facing a deficit, but remained open to continued efforts that might lead to solutions for another year. We worked to create a marketing plan, began to develop a strategic plan and created a minimized budget with a deficit, but one that we felt that we could temporarily absorb. Once the pandemic become a reality for all of us, our enrollment and financial picture took a sharp turn for the worse. The decline in our school enrollment is now insurmountable. Additionally, the economic reality resulting from this global crisis will create an even greater decline in enrollment. Currently financial obligations are in jeopardy and some families are not able to pay tuition due to loss of income. Unfortunately, we now realize that we could not possibly sustain the loss that we would incur by continuing to operate the school as it is.
In response to what is a growing need in the community, St. Mary’s will become a Catholic Early Learning Center. We will accommodate children from Pre-K 3 through Kindergarten. We will no longer offer elementary education in grades one through five. We hope to open in September if it is safe to do so.
We understand this decision will add to the stress of this unprecedented time for all of us who love St. Mary’s, many who have a long history with the school, either as a student, alumnae, parent or parish supporter. We will work with each school family on a transition plan and are prepared to assist and support them until all students are placed into a new school.
We continue offering our prayers for all of you. Please remember that God does not close a door without opening a window. We will work together to find those windows.
With sincere wishes for your continued health and safety,
May 2, 2020