Schools that were affected by the recommendations of an Archdiocese of Philadelphia blue ribbon commission have until Feb. 1 to appeal, and two local elementary schools already have appeared in front of a review committee.
Grace McGuirl, principal of Our Lady of Ransom, met with a committee of commission members and archdiocesan administrators on Jan. 12, the first day meetings were scheduled.
The 218 students at Our Lady of Ransom, located on Roosevelt Boulevard in Castor Gardens, are scheduled to join Resurrection of Our Lord students at the Resurrection school building on Shelmire Avenue in Rhawnhurst for the 2012-13 academic year.
Under such partnerships, current staff and administrators will have to reapply for jobs, and a committee will pick a school name and uniform colors.
St. Matthew, located on Cottman Avenue in West Mayfair, was scheduled to have its appeal meeting on Tuesday, after the Times went to press. The school has 825 students, and its building is scheduled to welcome some 175 students from Our Lady of Consolation, which is based on Princeton Avenue in Tacony.
That partnership was a surprise, and St. Matt’s was expected to argue that its finances and enrollment are good enough to prevent a change to the school name and uniform.
Our Lady of Consolation has not indicated whether it will appeal.
St. William, located on Rising Sun Avenue in Lawndale, will not appeal. Its students will head to St. Cecilia, on Rhawn Street in Fox Chase. The two administrations have already Met, and St. Cecilia is expected to appeal.
A St. William parents’ meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 18. Sister Catherine Clark, the principal, said it’s a difficult balance trying to set a tuition price that also enables parents to make mortgage payments, pay bills and put food on the table.
“We’re back to business as usual,” she said. “The teachers are very focused with the kids on their school work. We’re trying to be very positive.”
In all, eight local elementary schools were affected by the Jan. 6 announcement.
St. Timothy, on Levick Street in Lower Mayfair, will host students from Pope John Paul II in Bridesburg.
St. Martin of Tours, on Roosevelt Boulevard in Oxford Circle, has been deemed a “mission” school. The school could receive additional assistance from Catholic universities, religious orders, the archdiocese and Business Leaders Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS).
The final decision on appeals will be made by the Rev. Charles J. Chaput, archbishop of Philadelphia. The process should be completed by mid-February.
Children whose current school buildings will close in June will be able to make their reconciliation, Holy Communion and confirmation at their home church.
An undetermined number of secondary and high school teachers are expected to lose their jobs with the closings and consolidations of schools.
Neumann University, located in Aston, Delaware County, will offer free career counseling and three master’s programs at 50 percent of its usual tuition to all teachers who lose their jobs.
Teachers can learn more by calling 610-361-5208 or visiting www.neumann.edu/admissions ••EndFragment