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June 18, 2012


The proposed Saint Blaise Regional School in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia will not be able to open in September 2012 as previously planned. Saint Blaise Regional School was formed out of the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations announced in January 2012 to merge Saint Bridget Parish School and Holy Child Regional School into one school serving the families of East Falls and Manayunk.

Enrollment as of Friday, June 15, 2012 was 155 students. The quality Catholic education that school families deserve could not be provided unless enrollment reached at least 250 students. The original deadline for registration was March 30, 2012 and had been extended until June 15, 2012. The parishes do not have the resources needed to cover the financial costs which would be incurred with an enrollment of less than 250 students. The sponsoring parishes would not have been able to afford teachers' salaries or to administer the school with the programs promised.

To encourage registration, pastors from the sending parishes communicated with families on several occasions through school reach messages, emails and letters. The pastors sent a letter on June 8, 2012 noting that the status of the merger was at a critical point and urging parents to register their children if they had not done so. Enrollment did not increase to the needed level. In a letter, which families were to receive today, the pastors conveyed their deep regret that the school could not open and assured parents who had previously registered their children that seats would be available in neighboring Catholic schools. Every possible effort is being made to assist those who would have been employed at the school next year.

School families will be welcomed and may register their child at the following parish schools in the surrounding area: Immaculate Heart of Mary in Roxborough; Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill; Saint Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County; Saint Genevieve in Flourtown, Montgomery County; Saint Margaret in Narberth, Montgomery County and Saint Francis Xavier in Philadelphia.

Saint Bridget Parish School's enrollment for the current year is 198 students down from 224 students in 2005-2006. The current enrollment for Holy Child Regional School is 213 students down from 419 students in the 2005-2006 school year. Holy Child Regional School was formed in 2005 out of the merger of Holy Family, Saint Lucy and Saint Mary the Assumption Parish Elementary Schools. Within one year Saint John the Baptist and Saint Josaphat Parish Schools had joined the regional school.


Kenneth A. Gavin
Associate Director of Communications

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