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June 10, 2011


Parents at Saint Kevin Parish Elementary were informed at a meeting on Thursday evening, June 9, 2011, that their parish school will be unable to re-open in September 2011 due to extremely low re-registration. 93 children are re-registered for the school next year. Seven grades would have had fewer that ten students.

With such low enrollment the school would have needed minimally to cut art, physical, education and library services in order to remain fiscally viable. The Standards for Quality Catholic Schools* call for all schools to provide Religion, Mathematics, Honors Math, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, Physical Education and Technology and for the integration of Technology throughout all content areas.

"Because of the impact on students, families and teachers, this decision was just as difficult as the other recent closure announcements. We had hoped that re-registration numbers would increase and that the school could remain open next year," said Superintendent of Schools Mary E. Rochford. "We recognize that our parish schools are an integral part of the fabric of the community and that their closure is a painful situation for all those involved. However, we owe it to our families to provide a rigorous and challenging academic program that is no different than what students at our other schools receive. It would not have been possible for Saint Kevin School to provide that type of program next year."
Administrators from the Office of Catholic Education attended the meeting on Thursday evening. They detailed for parents the re-registration numbers, the impact on the academic program and the costs per pupil. They also explained that the parish school is being asked to partner with Saint Francis of Assisi Parish School, also in Springfield.

If the school building remained open next year, tuition would have needed to increase by thousands of dollars per student. Experience has proven that following that route would only lead to further enrollment erosion and even higher costs. The current re-registration figures would have led to costs per pupil of between $6,000 and $10,000. The parish subsidizes the school but does not have the resources to assume costs of this magnitude.

Superintendent Rochford said, "We want Catholic education to be accessible and tuition to be affordable for families. We know many families are already struggling to pay tuition during these difficult economic times and lower enrollments make that even more challenging."

The Office of Catholic Education will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition for students and school families and work with the faculty to try to find other teaching positions within the Archdiocese. Open houses will be scheduled at the partner school in the coming weeks.


Saint Kevin Parish School
Presentation by Office of Catholic Education
Enrollment in 2005: 198
Current enrollment: 158
Re-registration: 93
Average class size in 2011-2012 would have been 10 students (4th grade would have had 3 students, 6 other grades would have had fewer than 10 students)

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Editor's Note: * Standards of Quality Catholic Schools for Parish and Regional Elementary School in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: (Updated 2003) The Standards also call for serious consideration to be given to the inclusion of a world language as well as the addition of a Resource Room to provide support to students struggling most especially in the area of English Language Arts.

Kenneth A. Gavin
Associate Director of Communications

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