Wednesday, October 29, 2014

St. Rene, St, Turibius Schools to Close in June; Nearby Schools Will Welcome

Just released to the news media by the Archdiocese at 3:30 p.m. today:

Plan Will Strengthen the Archdiocesan Mission to Provide Catholic
Education in Chicago and Suburban Cook and Lake Counties

Chicago, IL (October 29, 2014) - Francis Cardinal George, OMI,
Archbishop of Chicago, has approved the restructuring plan recommended
by the Archdiocesan School Board and the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic
Schools.  The reconfiguration, which will include school consolidations,
re-purposing and closings, are part of the ongoing 2013-2016 Strategic
Plan for Catholic Schools and will result in a strengthened mission of
Catholic education in the Archdiocese.  

“This restructuring is the result of our ongoing efforts to
strengthen and support sustainable Catholic schools over the long
term,” said Thomas McGrath, Chief Operating Officer for Catholic
Schools.  “Although difficult in the immediate term, we know taking
these steps will increase access for families and students to excellent
Catholic school education, now and in the future.”  

The following actions will take effect July 1, 2015:  
Reconfigured Schools

St. Dorothy School, at 7740 South Eberhart Avenue, and St. Columbanus
School, at 7120 South Calumet Avenue, are partnering to form a new
Catholic school on Chicago’s south-side to be named the Augustus
Tolton Catholic Academy, at 7120 South Calumet Avenue.  

In Lake County, Holy Cross School, at 720 Elder Lane in Deerfield, and
St. James School, at 140 North Avenue in Highwood, are partnering to
merge students and traditions from St. James to Holy Cross.  

In Des Plaines, Our Lady of Destiny School, 1880 Ash Street, is
partnering with St. Zachary School, 567 West Algonquin Road, to merge
students and traditions from Our Lady of Destiny to St. Zachary.

The Nativity Early Childhood Center, at 2740 West 68th Street in
Chicago, will continue to serve the Marquette Park neighborhood, with
the potential partnership of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of

Beginning in the fall of 2015, Saint Agatha Catholic Academy, at 3151
West Douglas Boulevard in Chicago, will become an Early Childhood Center
with a potential partnership with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese
of Chicago.  Additional programs that may be provided to the children
and community of North Lawndale will be released in the coming weeks.
Families with primary and upper grade students at Saint Agatha will be
actively welcomed at nearby Catholic schools that have the capacity to
accept new students in the 2015-2016 school year.

Closed facilities and transition of families to Welcoming Schools

School facilities that will close at the end of June 2015 are: St.
Peter, 8140 Niles Center Road, Skokie; St. Hyacinth, 3640 West Wolfram
Street, Chicago; St. Ladislaus, 3330 North Lockwood Avenue, Chicago; St.
Turibius, 4120 West 57th Street, Chicago; St. Rene Goupil, 6340 South
New England Avenue; and St. Lawrence O’Toole, 4101 St. Lawrence
Avenue, Matteson.

Nearby schools with open seats have been carefully identified for all
affected families. Transition plans that create clear pathways for
families to get to those Catholic schools are well underway.

The impact of the reconfiguration affects approximately 1,280
elementary students and nine elementary sites that will be closed.  The
number of affected teaching staff includes 107 full-time and 17
part-time teachers, 47 full and part-time aides and substitutes, as well
as 58 full and part-time administrative and operations staff.  

“Throughout Lake and Cook Counties, families, parishes and
neighborhoods are brought to life by the presence of Catholic
schools,” said Sr. Mary Paul McCaughey, OP, Superintendent of
Catholic Schools.  “The rigorous assessment behind these strategic
decisions is a reflection of a shared commitment to the students and
families of our schools and the desire to ensure that the school system
as a whole continues to be spiritually anchored, academically excellent,
financially sound and well managed.” 

The Archdiocese of Chicago Board of Catholic Schools created its
2013-2016 Strategic Plan for Catholic Schools to provide the best, most
sustainable Catholic education to families in Chicago and the suburbs.
Among other provisions, the plan specifies benchmark criteria to assess
a school’s sustainability and potential for reconfiguration that
include: total Archdiocesan aid of more than $300,000 annually; and/or
total enrollment lower than 225 students; and/or total Archdiocesan aid
per student greater than $1,000 annually.  

About the Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago

The Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools currently serve more than
82,000 students in 240 schools across the City of Chicago, and in Cook
and Lake Counties. It is the United States' largest private school
system and the recipient of the most U.S. Department of Education Blue
Ribbon Awards of any school system in the nation.

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