Welcome Guest | Register | Login

Philadelphia Area Catholic School Closings Devastate Teachers, Parents, Students, and Communities


On Saturday, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput confirmed the closing of four high schools and more than forty grade schools throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Amid disappointment and sadness following the announcement of Philadelphia Catholic School Closings, without hope for appeal of the decision, are many questions and concerns within the Philadelphia community.  

Execution of how the schools will be restructured is a major concern.  Classroom sizes will increase in the next school year, and thousands of philadelphia catholic school closingsteachers will be laid-off come June.

But the biggest concern of many is the disbandment of the school communities.  The morale of the entire Philadelphia Catholic school community current students, alumni, parents and teachers have been crushed by the announcement.  

Rather than packing up and preparing for a three month summer reprieve, students will have to say goodbye to teachers with whom they’ve become accustomed for the final time, and prepare for the unknown as they’ll have to adjust to a new school.  For the five closing high schools, students were not assigned to a different school, but were given the option to go to an existing high school. For the combined elementary schools, students from a closing school were not given the option to choose a new school.

No words can express the impact of child development within the K-12 school years, and the vital importance of stability.  This recent restructuring will no doubt create a significant challenge for the children involved, as placement in another catholic school in the area is uncertain at this time.

Similarly, this means parents who’ve made the conscious decision to send their children to their local catholic school, will have to make the necessary arrangements to send their child to the merger schools (if it’s even an option), a charter school (if one exists in their area), or public school.  

st george catholic school studentsAnd teachers who’ve already made the decision to dedicate their talents to the catholic school community rather than a public school will be displaced.  Furthermore, in an unstable economy and consequently increasingly competitive job market, this means financial uncertainty for them and their families.

For alumni who look back fondly upon their memories at the closing catholic schools, and hope to send their children to their Alma Maters, this brings a heartbreaking end for many. For example:

Epiphany of Our Lord has been a pillar of the mostly Italian-American South Philadelphia community for more than a century and word it's elementary school is going to be closing its doors is like a death in the family that reverberates through many generations.

Lastly, this mass restructuring represents a concerning trend for all who’ve been a product of the Catholic school system, or hope to continue to send their children to Catholic school.  

According to the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), between 2000-2001 and 2010-2011, the total number of Catholic schools in the U.S. declined from 8,146 to 6,980 – a 14.3 percent decline. Over the same period of time, total enrollment in Catholic schools fell from about 2.65-million to 2.07-million, a nearly 22 percent drop.

As a product of the Catholic school tradition myself, I know firsthand the sacrifices of the parents who make a concerted effort to provide the best, most well-rounded education for their children, and the bonds fostered by smaller school communities.  Catholic schools not only tend to provide a higher level of education thanks to smaller classroom sizes and greater student-teacher attention, they also consciously seek to instill a specific standard of morals, faith, discipline, and tradition parents wish their children to actively learn in the education process.  

As the community continues to cope with this news, my heart goes out to them.

Photo of students from ydr.com

Photo of St. George students from abclocal.go.com

Thumbnail photo from philadelphia.cbslocal.com

Contact Alyssa Bonk at abonk08@gmail.com

Find Alyssa on Google Plus here

Register NOW with Philly2Philly!  

Follow us on Philly2Philly's Facebook page!  And, don't forget to "like" Philly2Philly

Follow us on Twitter 

Any ideas or submissions? Just send them to info@philly2philly.com

Check out more of Alyssa's work at Luckandhustle.blogspot.com and Smart Girl Politics

Luck and Hustle Blog


Smart Girl Politics Blog


4:06 AM
Fri Dec 28 2012
There's no skepticism of

There's no skepticism of which It is now via a great revolution in the past one hundred year and the wonderful are becoming increasingly more attracted in direction of the idea in the future.http://www.certsquare.com/braindumps/70-642.php

2:35 AM
Wed Jun 5 2013
Teacher gurus need learning

Teacher gurus need learning the actual public mechanics of the tough work. Helping the latest Teacher feel confident with his/her specialist like a class room manager is really a hard work. Helping the latest Teacher whom is just not still sure the best way to put together classes intended for hard classes is one more hard work,hi dude here click to get teacher quotes