January 22, 2017
Dear Parents, Parishioners, Faculty and Staff of Holy Family School,
I want to express my sincere thanks to you for the countless hours of service you have given to our school, especially during the past year. You have given witness to your belief in Catholic Education during a time when it can be difficult to believe. I also want to express my heartfelt thanks to all the parishioners, alumni and other donors who provided generous, and much needed, financial support. With your help, we made significant changes at the School, which I believe were big improvements, with the expectation that we would at minimum retain our current enrollment levels, and with the hope that we would be able to attract new students. However, despite your valiant efforts, our enrollment levels have declined. This may be the result of demographic changes, changes in the economic situation of many of our local families, or the fact that there are many viable options for both Catholic and public education in our area.
As a result, it is with great sadness in my heart, and practicality of mind, that I deliver this message. Beginning in the fall of 2017, Holy Family School will suspend elementary instruction for grades 3 through 8.
This very difficult decision was not made in haste. It was made with prayer, careful review, and great consideration. The most important factor in this decision is the continued low enrollment in those grades. As of today there are 27 students enrolled in grades 3 through 8. Our recent survey results indicate that for next year, only 18 students plan to enroll in those grades. Those grades are not viable at that enrollment level, and there appears to be no realistic opportunity to significantly increase enrollment. This will result in continued financial challenges, and I cannot, in good faith, ask the parish community to continue to provide such a high level of financial support to the school.
In addition, and more importantly, I believe that such a low enrollment level will negatively impact our ability to provide the social and educational environment that our children deserve.
Now for the good news. Unlike the trend with a number of Catholic Schools, which are completely closing their doors, Holy Family School will continue to provide programs for Tiny Tots, Pre-K3, Pre-K4, Kindergarten, and grades 1 and 2. We are also working on the development of a daycare program which will allow parents to pursue their educational goals and professional careers.
It is my hope that, if justified by sufficient enrollment levels, we can add back one grade at a time in future years. This, of course, will depend upon the commitment of the parents and students in the grades coming up.
I know that this decision is not easy to accept, but in order to meet the needs of our future generations, this change is absolutely necessary.
As the transition to any new school - be it public, private or Catholic - can be challenging, I want you to know that our Principal, and myself, are available to discuss your child’s move to their new school. If there is a way that we can make that transition go more smoothly, please let us know. I will continue to pray for you, your children and our school.
May God Bless us all!