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February 8, 2010

St. John Bosco Parish School to Close at End of School Year

Reverend Martin T. Cioppi, Pastor at St. John Bosco Parish in Hatboro announced at Masses this past weekend that the recommendation to close the parish's school has been accepted by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia. Fr. Cioppi informed faculty members on Thursday, February 4, 2010. School families were also informed this weekend that St. John Bosco Parish School will close at the end of the 2009-2010 school year.

In accepting the recommendation, Cardinal Rigali said, "I know that this is a very painful time for the St. John Bosco school community, however without action, the academic and spiritual vigor of this school and the financial health of the parish would suffer."

In April 2009, Fr. Cioppi sought permission to study the viability of the parish's school due to declining enrollment, increasing costs and a desire to provide families an affordable, quality Catholic education. The study, undertaken by a Steering Committee consisting of Fr. Cioppi, the school's principal and lay representatives, found that the enrollment at St. John Bosco decreased by more than 30% over a five year period -- from 222 in 2003-2004 to 152 in 2009-2010. Without action, the parish was projected to incur significant debt, as the financial resources it generates were insufficient to cover the school subsidies. After reviewing the study findings, the Steering Committee came to the unanimous decision to recommend the closing of St. John Bosco Parish School at the end of the school year in June 2010.

Neighboring parish schools, including Saint David in Willow Grove, Nativity of Our Lord in Warminster and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Southampton will be prepared to accept students from St. John Bosco beginning in the 2010-2011 school year.

"The Parish of Saint John Bosco is a vibrant community of faith and is saddened by the need to close our parish school," said Fr. Cioppi. "However, we know that our neighboring parish schools will be able to provide an affordable and quality Catholic education for our parishioners' children."


Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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