Northeast Times

Archdiocese announces school closings

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A com­mis­sion’s study of the fates of schools with­in the five-county Arch­diocese of Phil­adelphia didn’t spare schools loc­ated with­in the North­east Times or the Star news­pa­pers’ cov­er­age areas.

St. Hubert High School for Girls, a ven­er­able in­sti­tu­tion in Holmes­burg since 1941, will close forever in June, and sev­en north­east ele­ment­ary schools will either close or be con­sol­id­ated with oth­ers as part of the re­com­mend­a­tions. Six ele­ment­ary schools in the Star cov­er­age area will also un­der­go changes. 

St. Hubert, at 7320 Tor­res­dale Ave., is one of four high schools pegged for clos­ure. The oth­ers are the city’s West Cath­ol­ic High School, Con­well Egan High School in Fair­less Hills, and Monsignor Bon­ner-Arch­bish­op Pren­der­gast in Drexel Hill.

Dur­ing a Fri­day af­ter­noon news con­fer­ence to de­tail the plans, of­fi­cials cited de­clin­ing en­roll­ments, chan­ging demo­graph­ics and the neg­at­ive im­pact of high­er tu­itions as reas­ons for the sig­ni­fic­ant cuts to pre­serve the arch­dioces­an sys­tem of edu­ca­tion.

Ele­ment­ary schools in the areas covered by the North­east Times and Star news­pa­pers that fig­ure in the changes are:

• St. Wil­li­am School, 6238 Rising Sun Ave., which will be merged with St. Cecil­ia School at 525 Rhawn St. Stu­dents will at­tend St. Cecil­ia in Fox Chase.

• St. Timothy School, 3033 Levick St., will be con­sol­id­ated with the Pope John Paul II Re­gion­al School in Brides­burg. Stu­dents will at­tend St. Timothy.

• Our Lady of Con­sol­a­tion School, 4816 Prin­ceton Ave. in Ta­cony, will merge with St. Mat­thew School, 3000 Cottman Ave. Stu­dents will at­tend St. Mat­thew.

• Our Lady of Ransom, 6740 Roosevelt Blvd. in May­fair, will merge with Re­sur­rec­tion of Our Lord School, 2000 Shelmire Ave. in Rhawn­hurst. Stu­dents will at­tend Re­sur­rec­tion.

• St. George Ele­ment­ary School at 2700 E. Ven­ango Street in Port Rich­mond will merge with Our Lady of Port Rich­mond, 3233 E. Thompson Street. Stu­dents will at­tend Our Lady of Port Rich­mond. 

• St. Lauren­ti­us School at 1612 E. Berks Street, in Fishtown, will merge with St. Peter the Apostle School, at 1009 N. 5th Street in Kens­ing­ton. Stu­dents will at­tend St. Peter.

• Vis­it­a­tion BVM at 300 E. Le­high Av­en­ue, in Kens­ing­ton, will merge with St. Malachy, at 1429 N. 11th Street, in Kens­ing­ton. Stu­dents will at­tend Vis­it­a­tion BVM.

Dur­ing Fri­day’s news con­fer­ence, of­fi­cials said the arch­dioces­an school sys­tem has 68,000 stu­dents — the same num­ber that ex­is­ted in 1911 and far be­low a high of 250,000 stu­dents in the early 1960s.

The en­roll­ment drop has been com­poun­ded by fam­il­ies hav­ing few­er chil­dren, as well as fam­il­ies trans­fer­ring young­sters out of arch­dioces­an schools be­cause of tu­ition in­creases.

Read next week’s North­east Times and Star news­pa­pers for com­plete cov­er­age of the planned clos­ures, the im­pact, and re­ac­tions from the school com­munit­ies. ••

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