Based on recommendations from leaders at St. Michael’s Church and the diocesan school board, Bishop Matthew H. Clark has decided to close St. Michael School in Newark at the end of the current school year.
Enrollment at the school had been declining for several years, and St. Michael Parish could no longer afford to incur debt in order to keep the school open, according to a statement from the Diocese of Rochester. Earlier this year, school officials had launched an aggressive campaign to enroll at least 95 students and raise $130,000 by mid-May. When that goal was not met the diocesan school board recommended St. Michael be closed, and Bishop Clark accepted that recommendation, according to a May 26 letter to parents from Principal Pauline DeCann.
"This decision was not made lightly and comes after careful consideration and much prayer. It is based on an original recommendation from Father Felix (Dalimpuo, pastor) and the Finance Council at St. Michael Church," DeCann stated in the letter.
DeCann thanked parents as well as the wider community for their efforts to save the school, which had enrolled 93 students and raised $103,505.09 in donations and pledges by May 25, according to the school’s website.
"So many wonderful people have stepped forward to assist these efforts and they have my heartfelt gratitude," DeCann said in her letter. "I believe strongly in the virtues of a Catholic education and hope you will continue at one of the remaining diocesan Catholic schools."