NEWARK, NJ --(June 7, 2020)--Ten Catholic schools - nine elementary and one high school around northern New Jersey - will close at the end of the academic year, the Archdiocese of Newark has announced.
NJ.com reports that the 10 schools will continue online learning through the end of the year, in line with Gov. Phil Murphy’s order aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic in the state,
The schools closing:
Academy of St. Therese of Lisieux in Cresskill, St. Anne School in Fair Lawn, Trinity Academy in Caldwell, Good Shepherd Academy in Irvington, Our Lady Help of Christians School in East Orange, St. James the Apostle School in Springfield, The Academy of Our Lady of Peace in New Providence, Holy Spirit School in Union, St. Genevieve School in Elizabeth and Cristo Rey Newark High School.
“We recognize that this is an incredibly sad time for our school communities, especially during this pandemic crisis,” says Barbara Dolan, acting superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Newark. “Every effort will be made to find a Catholic school for those families interested in continuing to provide a Catholic education for their children in the next academic year.”
Archdiocesan officials cited “unsustainable levels of subsidy” brought on by sharp enrollment declines as factors that threaten the operations of schools.
Factors in assessing the viability of schools included declining enrollment numbers and increasing and unsustainable dependence on archdiocesan funding.
Other dioceses have also announced school closures. Last month, officials announced five South Jersey Catholic schools would be shuttered, citing financial troubles worsened by the pandemic and sinking enrollment.
The archdiocese says the decision to close the 10 schools was not “directly linked” to the effects of the virus outbreak, but the pandemic has further weakened the financial position of the institutions
It was not immediately clear how many employees and students were impacted by the closures.
“I want to acknowledge the pain experienced by the students and their families, teachers, staff, administrators, pastors, and parishioners, and all who are affected by these difficult decisions,” says Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of Newark. “We are committed to placing these students into nearby archdiocesan schools.”