St. John the Baptist Parish School in Ottsville, Bucks County, has become the latest in the group of Regina Academies operating in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, it was announced Monday, June 2 during a press conference at the school.
In recent years the school had struggled to remain sustainable due to low enrollment, which dropped 58 percent from 179 students in 2008 to 76 in 2013. The school last year was operating at 30 percent of its 250-student capacity.
Effective July 1, St. John will transition from a parish school to a private Catholic school called the Regina Academy at St. John the Baptist.
It will mean a different style of education at the school and use the model of the other Regina Academies currently operating in the archdiocese as independent Catholic schools. They include Regina Angelorum Academy, Ardmore; Regina Coeli Academy, Abington and Regina Luminis Academy, Downingtown.
Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year in September, St. John’s will incorporate an educational philosophy based on grammar, classical writings, Latin and the Catholic catechism.
As with all Regina Academies, positioning the school within the setting of an active parish with the availability of a church for liturgy and prayer is integral to the fulfillment of its mission.
“Our numbers may be small, but our faculty and staff work very hard to provide your children with the quality Catholic education parents expect and deserve,” said Michael Patterson, principal of St. John’s. “This is an exciting time for the St. John the Baptist Parish community and especially for our school children. We are so grateful to our dedicated faculty and staff and to the Regina Academies for this wonderful opportunity.”
The partnership between the parish and the Regina Academies will not bring an increase in tuition next year, the school leaders said. All current tuition rates and discounts will remain in place. Additionally, the scholarship opportunities currently extended to school families through BLOCS and the Bravo Foundation will still be available. The school uniform will also remain unchanged.