BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Buffalo Catholic Diocese is announcing two schools will be closing: one in Jamestown and the other in LeRoy.
Declining enrollment and financial challenges are being blamed for the move to close Holy Family School in LeRoy and Catholic Academy of the Holy Family in Jamestown.
Below is a release from the diocese on the decision to close the schools:
Despite valiant efforts in both communities, the schools were not able to meet benchmarks that were set to keep both operating.
In LeRoy, Holy Family School needed to register 120 K-8 students and raise $125,000 by the June 1 deadline. 100 students are registered and $110,000 was raised. Last December, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec agreed to give the community time to rally around the school in an effort to keep it open. The benchmarks were agreed on by the Holy Family School Board of Trustees, local leadership and the diocese.
Holy Family School in LeRoy has a K-8 enrollment of 100 students. This marks a decline of 39 percent, or 63 students, in total enrollment since 2003.
In Jamestown, a March 9 resolution signed by the entire Catholic Academy of the Holy Family Board of Trustees stated that if K-8 enrollment for the 2012-13 school year was less than 100 as of May 15, and if sufficient funding for continued operation of the school was not in place, the school would not open this September. Only 63 students are registered for the coming school year.
Catholic Academy of the Holy Family students will continue their faith formation and religious education studies in their home parishes in and around Jamestown. Current K-8 enrollment in the school, which dates back to the 1870s, is 54 students. There are four students in fifth grade, one seventh-grader and just two students will graduate from the school this month. Ten years ago, total enrollment at the school was 167, 68 percent, or 113 students, more than the current enrollment.
Both schools are currently operating with significant subsidies from the diocese.
"These communities worked very hard to keep the schools open, viable and sustainable," said Dr. Rosemary Henry, superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, "but very low enrollment and financial challenges may not only compromise the socialization and educational environment for students but may also impact the ability to meet payroll and other important expenses. We are all grateful for the energy, dedication and effort by the Jamestown and LeRoy communities."
Current PreK (4)-7 students enrolled at both schools will receive a one-time $500 tuition credit from the diocese that can be applied to any Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Buffalo for the 2012-13 school year. In addition, funds have been set aside to operate a bus from LeRoy to St. Joseph School in Batavia, which will welcome Holy Family students.
Holy Family School has 14 full- and part-time employees. Catholic Academy of the Holy Family School has 15 full- and part-time employees. The diocesan departments of Catholic Schools and Human Resources will work with faculty members at both schools to assist them with possible placement in other Catholic schools.
Police say they had the wrong man, and that Jerome Thagard, who spent four years in prison, didn't murder Steven Northrup in 2009. But the victim's family says otherwise.
A Good Samaritan died Wednesday while trying to assist the driver of a tractor trailer who got stuck in the snow.
A 26-year-old male employee of Ying's Wings and Things told police that Haibo Jiang, also known as Jimmy Ying, choked him until he passed out.
It was so treacherous in North Collins, the mayor had to issue a travel ban, and village snow plows were pulled off the roadways to keep drivers from trying to plow in zero visibility.
The Buffalo School Board unanimously approved plans to transform Burgard High School into a Manufacturing Magnet School on Wednesday,
Investigators are making progress in the case of a Chihuahua thrown in a ditch while zipped up in a Coors Light thermal bag.