PHILADELPHIA - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Wednesday that John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School and Bishop McDevitt High School are slated to close at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.
During the summer, Faith in the Future initiated a sustainability study that recommended to senior leadership that the two schools should close after examining current and projected enrollments, student retention rates, regional demographic trends, capacity figures, and financial solvency.
Officials say they made the decision after the study on both schools showed a drop in enrollment. They say that drop would have increased the remaining students' tuition to cover costs that would have jeopardized their ability to provide a rich and diverse academic experience.
“Today is one of great sadness,” said Archbishop Nelson Pérez. “Catholic education is a precious gift that bears lifelong fruit to all those who receive it. The closure of any Catholic school is deeply painful, most especially for the students, teachers, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters so intimately connected to them. I know that today’s announcement will weigh heavily on every member of the Hallahan and McDevitt school communities. I share in that grief. Understanding that this moment is one of extreme difficulty, I pledge that we will provide every possible assistance during this transition and that the rich legacy of these schools will be upheld. I have an obligation to ensure that each of our students is being provided with the best educational experience possible and that their teachers and coaches are provided with the resources to fulfill that mission. Given circumstances, those resources were depleting rapidly and could not be restored. My prayers are with all of you and my heartfelt gratitude goes out to our school families for choosing the gift of Catholic education as well as the faculty, administrators, and staff working each day to provide it.”
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Faith in the Future say they will work diligently to ensure the transition of students to other high schools within the system. The remainder of the 2020-2021 school year will proceed as normal at both schools.
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