Northeast Times

Merged schools must decide on new name, uniform

Start­Frag­ment

The Arch­diocese of Phil­adelphia will of­fi­cially an­nounce on Fri­day which ele­ment­ary and high schools will close.

An ap­peals pro­cess has been on­go­ing for the last month since clos­ing re­com­mend­a­tions were made.

Mean­while, it ap­pears that one loc­al school has settled on a new name.

The arch­diocese blue rib­bon com­mis­sion re­com­men­ded on Jan. 6 that 45 ele­ment­ary schools and five high schools close.

The build­ing that houses Pope John Paul II in Brides­burg will close, with stu­dents at­tend­ing classes at St. Timothy in Lower May­fair. Neither school ap­pealed.

Like oth­er schools form­ing such a part­ner­ship, a com­mit­tee will de­term­ine a new school name, uni­forms and staff.

The Rev. Steve Leva, pas­tor at St. Timothy, wrote a let­ter to pa­rish­ion­ers ex­plain­ing that the two par­ishes have sub­mit­ted the name “Blessed Trin­ity Re­gion­al Cath­ol­ic School” to the arch­diocese’s Of­fice of Cath­ol­ic Edu­ca­tion.

The name rep­res­ents the three par­ishes (St. Timothy, St. John Can­ti­us and All Saints) that will be send­ing stu­dents to the re­gion­al school.

School fam­il­ies from St. Timothy and Pope John Paul II offered sug­ges­tions for a new name. The name will have to be ap­proved.

Sev­en oth­er loc­al ele­ment­ary schools were af­fected by the blue rib­bon com­mis­sion re­com­mend­a­tions.

The Our Lady of Con­sol­a­tion build­ing in Ta­cony will close, and stu­dents will move to St. Mat­thew, in May­fair. Our Lady of Con­sol­a­tion did not ap­peal, but St. Mat­thew did. It ap­pears Our Lady of Con­sol­a­tion will meekly al­low St. Mat­thew to keep its name.

The St. Wil­li­am build­ing in Lawndale will close, and stu­dents will head to St. Cecil­ia, in Fox Chase. St. Wil­li­am did not ap­peal, but St. Cecil­ia has.

A small group of St. Wil­li­am par­ents and stu­dents gathered Sat­urday in the middle school park­ing lot dur­ing the 5 p.m. Mass. Par­ents pos­ted fli­ers that read, in part, “The pas­tor of St. Wil­li­am, Fath­er Joe Wat­son, is not do­ing any­thing to stop St. Cecil­ia’s ap­peal.”

In re­sponse, Sis­ter Cath­er­ine Clarke and Sis­ter Jane Mc­Fad­den, the prin­cip­al and vice prin­cip­al, sent let­ters home with stu­dents on Fri­day. The let­ters ex­plained that the ad­min­is­tra­tion and staff were not sanc­tion­ing the rally, adding that the gath­er­ing could turn in­to a “me­dia cir­cus.”

Wheth­er it was the let­ter or the bad weath­er, few­er than 20 people at­ten­ded the rally.

The par­ents want the vet­er­an St. Wil­li­am teach­ers to re­main on staff. They also want the op­tion of send­ing their chil­dren to an­oth­er school. While they rule out Ben­jamin Frank­lin Ele­ment­ary School, they’d fa­vor Present­a­tion BVM.

Some in the St. Wil­li­am com­munity were dis­mayed at a re­cent St. Cecil­ia rally, where par­ents and stu­dents in­sisted that their school name re­main.

“That’s what got us riled up,” said Mary Nu­gent, whose son Dean is in sev­enth grade.

The St. Wil­li­am par­ents wouldn’t mind a name such as St. Cecil­ia/St. Wil­li­am.

“We want to keep a Cath­ol­ic name, not Our Lady of Fox Chase,” Nu­gent said.

Wat­son, at­tend­ing a par­ish fund-rais­ing com­edy night, had no com­ment.

Our Lady of Ransom, in Castor Gar­dens, has ap­pealed its clos­ing. The stu­dents are sched­uled to move to Re­sur­rec­tion of Our Lord in Rhawn­hurst. Re­sur­rec­tion has not ap­pealed.

St. Mar­tin of Tours in Ox­ford Circle will be­come a “mis­sion” school and did not ap­peal. It could be the be­ne­fi­ciary of ad­di­tion­al aid.

Mean­while, St. Hubert High School con­tin­ues to raise money to win its ap­peal. The school, at Tor­res­dale and Cottman av­en­ues, has raised $801,666.

The blue rib­bon com­mis­sion cited a de­fi­cit of $624,480 as one reas­on that the school should close in June.

Last week, the school re­leased the doc­u­ment it used in its ap­peal hear­ing. In it, the op­er­at­ing de­fi­cit is lis­ted as $387,841.

In ad­di­tion, St. Hubert of­fers more ad­vanced-place­ment and world lan­guage courses than Little Flower and John W. Hal­la­han, fel­low all-girls schools that are re­main­ing open. Ten­nis and in­door track are also avail­able at the Tor­res­dale Av­en­ue school.

Point­ing to pos­sible fu­ture en­roll­ment gains, the doc­u­ment notes that 18 per­cent of May­fair res­id­ents are chil­dren un­der age 12.

As for cur­rent en­roll­ment, Pennsylvania In­ter­schol­ast­ic Ath­let­ic As­so­ci­ation fig­ures for cur­rent ninth- through 11th-graders show that St. Hubert has more girls than Hal­la­han, Neu­mann-Gor­etti, Bish­op McDe­vitt, Lans­dale Cath­ol­ic, Arch­bish­op Wood, Arch­bish­op Car­roll, Bish­op Sha­na­han and Pope John Paul II in Roy­ersford. All of those schools are re­main­ing open.

One way the St. Hubert Alum­nae As­so­ci­ation con­tin­ues to raise money is in a part­ner­ship with the Phil­adelphia Soul Arena Foot­ball League team, which is of­fer­ing up to $100,000, based on the num­ber of tick­ets sold to stu­dents, par­ents, alum­nae, ad­vis­ory board mem­bers and sup­port­ers.

The Soul or­gan­iz­a­tion has loc­al ties. Among the own­ers are busi­ness­men Marty Judge, Pete Ciar­roc­chi and Cosmo DeN­ic­ola. Lou Tilley is the broad­caster. All are North­east nat­ives.

Ciar­roc­chi, own­er of Chick­ie’s & Pete’s, held a fund-raiser on Sunday.

“St. Hubert’s is part of the fab­ric of North­east Phil­adelphia,” he said. ••

End­Frag­ment

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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