Catholic High Schools Will Stay Open

A plan to raise $100 million in five years will keep all four Catholic high schools open

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Thousands of Philadelphia-area Catholic High School students, parents and alumni are celebrating after a decision was made to keep their schools open. Now they can finally begin to plan for the future. (Published Saturday, Feb 25, 2012)

    All four Catholic high schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese will remain open, according to the Archdiocese.

    School Saved, Prendie Celebrates

    [PHI] School Saved, Prendie Celebrates
    Students at Archbishop Prendergast celebrate. Their school is among four Catholic high schools saved from the chopping block. (Published Friday, Feb 24, 2012)

    Archbishop Charles Chaput made the announcement on Friday afternoon, saying the community support was substantial. He also pressed state lawmakers to do more -- much more -- to help.

    In his message to lawmakers, Archbishop Chaput said, "we need expanded EITC (education-incentive tax credits) funds and opportunity scholarships to help our schools survive."  The Archbishop said that without that support, the fate of the schools would be right back to where they were a few weeks ago, when they were slated for closure.

    Bonner-Prendie Students Celebrate School Staying Open

    [PHI] Bonner-Prendie Students Celebrate School Staying Open
    Students at Bonner and Prendergast celebrate the news that their Catholic High School will no longer close. The high schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese that were all slated to close due to dwindling enrollment will now all remain open. The reversal of fortune came with a quick infusion of cash and pledges and a plan to raise a total of $100 million over the next five years. (Published Friday, Feb 24, 2012)

    "If our people, our elected officials and our wider donor-communities, help us, I believe these high schools can survive and thrive," the Archbishop said.

    The cash pledges and donations to keep the schools open is at about $12 million right now and expected to be at $15 million by May. The plan to keep the high schools afloat includes establishing an independent foundation, called Faith in the Future: The Fund for Educating Tomorrow's Leaders. The foundation will oversee long-term funding with the goal of collecting an additional $85 million in the next five years.

    Conwell-Egan Rings the Bell After Their School is Spared

    [PHI] Conwell-Egan Rings the Bell After Their School is Spared
    They rang the bell in celebration at Conwell-Egan Catholic High School in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, Pennsylvania on Friday afternoon. Students, staff and alumni had all gathered for the announcement on whether the school would stay open or closed. A plan to raise $100 million in pledges and donations over the next five years was enough to rescue Conwell-Egan and the other high schools that had been recommended for closure by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, due to dwindling enrollment.
    St. Hubert's Girls Celebrate School Being Spared
    Reversal of Fortune: Catholic High Schools Stay Open
    Conwell-Egan Rings the Bell After Their School is Spared (Published Friday, Feb 24, 2012)

    In early January, the Archdiocese announced that it would close or merge four of its high schools and 44 elementary school, which was a shock to the community. That recommendation came from the Blue Ribbon Commission, which determined that with a 35-percent drop in enrollment in the last decade, it was the only viable solution.

    Schools that wanted to appeal their fate were allowed present a plan to stay open. Those plans were reviewed by the BRC and the Archbishop, who had the final say in the matter. Last week, Many did. Last week, 18 Catholic schools won their appeals, but the Archdiocese took an additional week to figure out the fate of the high schools -- Bonner and Prendergast, St. Huberts, Conwell-Egan and West Philadelphia Catholic.

    Reversal of Fortune: Catholic High Schools Stay Open

    [PHI] Reversal of Fortune: Catholic High Schools Stay Open
    Students at Archbishop Prendergast High School celebrate the news that their school, along with all the other high schools originally slated for closure will now remain open. The schools were rescued by a combination of community and private donations and a plan to raise a total of $100 million over the next five years. In January, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced a plan to close or merge four high schools and 44 elementary schools because of decreased enrollment. (Published Friday, Feb 24, 2012)