The majority of students directly affected by the recently announced adjustments being made in the Holy Cross and Holy Redeemer School Systems have chosen to remain in Diocesan Catholic schools.
During an April 11 gathering of invited school representatives, including pastors, principals, teachers and parents, system board members, and members of the Diocesan Finance Council and Priests’ Council, Bishop Bambera announced that Gate of Heaven School (Dallas), St. Mary Assumption School (Pittston), Marian Catholic School (Scranton) and Sacred Heart School (Carbondale) would close a the end of the 2010/2011 school year and that the other Diocesan schools in the system would welcome all students being affected.
Transition meetings in each of the four affected schools were immediately held and open houses were arranged to give parents and their children the opportunity to tour facilities and meet with administrators and faculty.
Within six days of the Bishop’s announcement, 662 students out of the 750 in the four schools that will close had registered for enrollment into another Catholic school in the system, according to Kathleen Hanlon, Diocesan Secretary for Catholic Schools and Superintendent of Schools.
“We are overwhelmed to have already retained eighty eight percent of our students,” she noted. “We will ensure that every child is warmly welcomed into a neighboring Catholic school and hope to continue to increase the number of students who can benefit from a faith-based, quality education.”
Bishop Bambera expressed his gratitude to the many parents “who have demonstrated their faith in our Catholic schools. This is certainly a very encouraging sign.”
The Bishop again acknowledged that while a certain level of loss and grief still exists, the Diocese will continue to support Catholic schools with compassion for the school families in transition and with a desire to continue to provide a Catholic School System in the Diocese of Scranton.
He stressed that he remains committed to provide a stable, sustainable Catholic school system that is spiritually sound and academically excellent.
“I am heartened that people understand that the most important goal is not maintaining a particular building, but preserving our Catholic school system as we move forward,” he said.