The proposed St. Blaise Regional School in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia will not open in September 2012 as previously planned, according to a statement from the Archdiocese June 18.
The school was formed out of the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations announced in January 2012 to merge St. Bridget Parish School and Holy Child Regional School into one school serving the families of East Falls and Manayunk.
Enrollment as of Friday, June 15, was 155 students and needed to be at least 250, the statement read.
The original deadline for registration was March 30 and had been extended until June 15.
Parishes of the area do not have the resources needed to cover the financial costs that would be incurred with an enrollment of less than 250 students, according to the statement. The sponsoring parishes would not have been able to afford teachers’ salaries or to administer the school with the programs promised.
To encourage registration, pastors from the sending parishes communicated with families on several occasions through school outreach messages, emails and letters.
The pastors sent a letter on June 8 noting that the status of the merger was at a critical point and urging parents to register their children if they had not done so. Enrollment did not increase to the necessary minimum level.
In a letter, which families were to receive today, the pastors conveyed their deep regret that the school could not open and assured parents who had previously registered their children that seats would be available in neighboring Catholic schools.
School families may register their children at the following parish schools in the surrounding area: Immaculate Heart of Mary in Roxborough; Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill; St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill; St. Genevieve in Flourtown; St. Margaret in Narberth and St. Francis Xavier in Philadelphia.
St. Bridget Parish School’s enrollment for the current year is 198 students, down from 224 students in 2005-2006. The current enrollment for Holy Child Regional School is 213 students, down from 419 students in the 2005-2006 school year.
Holy Child Regional School was formed in 2005 out of the merger of Holy Family, St. Lucy and St. Mary the Assumption schools. Within one year St. John the Baptist and St. Josaphat schools had joined the regional school.