Northeast Times

Schools appeal archdiocese’s recommendation for closings

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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.

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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 ••

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You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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