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Five Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic Schools will Close at the End of 2017/18 School Year

St. Cyprian School (River Grove), Holy Cross School (Deerfield), Incarnation School (Palos Heights), St. Michael School (Chicago) and Our Lady of the Ridge School (Chicago Ridge) will close due to low enrollment, financial difficulties and other factors

Chicago, IL (January 17, 2018) – The Archdiocese of Chicago announced today that five Catholic schools will close at the end of this school year (2017/18). The schools – St. Cyprian School (River Grove), Holy Cross School (Deerfield), Incarnation School (Palos Heights), St. Michael School (Chicago) and Our Lady of the Ridge School (Chicago Ridge) will close due to low enrollment, financial difficulties, among other factors.

“We realize these closures have a difficult impact on families and are committed to working with them through this transition to find them the right next school for their children,” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “I commend the dedicated leaders, faculty and staff of St. Cyprian School, Holy Cross School, Incarnation School, St. Michael School and Our Lady of the Ridge School for their tireless work to foster academically rigorous and faith-filled communities. We are dedicated to working with them to secure future employment within the Archdiocesan school system.”

St. Cyprian School, located in River Grove with a current student enrollment of 138 students, has faced low enrollment in recent years, which has caused a strain on the school’s finances. The school is not able to cover its costs and has incurred an operating deficit. In fall 2017, the Archdiocese and St. Cyprian parish and school leadership decided that, by January 15, 2018, the school needed to secure 128 registered students for next school year (2018/19) and $500,000 cash to cover operating costs for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 school years. Despite their best efforts, they failed to meet enrollment and financial targets with 101 students registered for next school year and $85,000 raised. As part of the Renew My Church review and discernment process, the Archdiocese engaged with the Elmwood Park grouping, which includes St. Cyprian School, on the enrollment and financial struggles at the school. As a result of these discussions it was decided that St. Cyprian School will close at the end of this school year, effective June 30, 2018. This decision was shared with school families today.

Holy Cross School, located in Deerfield with a current student enrollment of 112 students, has faced declining enrollment in recent years, which has caused a strain on the school’s finances. The school is not able to cover its costs and has incurred an operating deficit. Despite their best efforts, finances and enrollment have not improved. Neither the parish nor the Archdiocese is able to pay for the school’s operating deficits. As a result, Holy Cross School will close at the end of this school year, effective June 30, 2018.  This decision was shared with school families today. Holy Cross school and parish leadership have been collaborating with St. Norbert School in Northbrook to encourage a transition for students to St. Norbert School and continue their efforts to create a new vision for Catholic education in their area in 2018/19.  

Incarnation School, located in Palos Heights with a current student enrollment of 142 students, has faced declining enrollment in recent years. In 2015, Archdiocesan representatives met with Incarnation parish and school leadership to identify opportunities for enrollment and financial improvement and to notify them that, if the enrollment trends continued, and Incarnation was unable to finance its own operations, the Archdiocese would not be able to support their operating deficit. In fall 2017, the Archdiocese and Incarnation parish and school leadership established that, by January 15, 2018, the school needed to secure 120 registered students for the 2018/19 school year and secure $600,000 cash to cover operating costs for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 school years. Despite their best efforts, the enrollment and financial targets were not met with 112 students registered for next school year and $153,000 raised. As a result, Incarnation School will close at the end of the school year, effective June 30, 2018. This decision was shared with school families today.

St. Michael School (South Shore Dr.), with a current enrollment of 80 students, has faced declining enrollment in recent years which has caused a strain on the school’s finances. Despite strong efforts to restore the school to viability, finances and enrollment have not improved. Neither the parish nor the Archdiocese is able to pay for the school’s operating deficits. As part of the Renew My Church review and discernment process, the Archdiocese engaged with the Exchange grouping, which includes St. Michael School, about the enrollment and financial struggles at the school. As a result of these community discussions, it was decided that St. Michael School will close at the end of this school year, effective June 30, 2018. This decision was shared with school families today.

Our Lady of the Ridge School, located in Chicago Ridge with a current enrollment of 133 students, has faced declining enrollment in recent years, which has caused a strain on the school’s finances. Last school year (2016/17), the Our Lady of the Ridge parish and school community came together to secure the registered enrollment needed (minimum of 114 students) and funds needed ($236,000) to stay open this year (2017/18). Unfortunately, the enrollment and financial challenges at the school persist, and the Our Lady of the Ridge community has been unable to reach similar goals set in fall 2017 to stay open for the next school year (2018/19). As a result, Our Lady of the Ridge School will close at the end of this school year, effective June 30, 2018. This decision was shared with school families today.

For more information on the Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic schools, visit schools.archchicago.org.

 

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