A Catholic school on Long Island will permanently close this summer.
Citing declining enrollment and a lack of financial resources, the Diocese of Rockville Centre announced that Saint Christopher School in Baldwin will be closed at the conclusion of the current school year.
The announcement came following the word of the closures of the Saint Raymond School in East Rockaway and Saint Thomas the Apostle School in West Hempstead.
School officials said that there is a growing need for parish financial support, which it is unable to provide, forcing them to close the building, which has been staffed by the Sisters of Saint Joseph since its founding in 1925.
According to a spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, since 2015, Saint Christopher School has seen nursery through eighth-grade enrollment decline by more than 40 percent, to 179 students at the beginning of the 2020 school year.
Officials said that the school has made efforts to manage costs, and raise funds, though to continue operating, it would require more than $350,000 per year in subsidy support. They noted that the school’s troubles were only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which stretched resources even more thin.
“While financial pressures due to enrollment decline existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of the crisis on school families and the Saint Christopher parish community has placed a significant burden on already struggling schools,” officials said.
Beginning next academic year, students from Saint Christopher School will be welcomed into other Catholic elementary schools within the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
“Announcing this closing in addition to the announcements we made last week relating to the closing of Saint Thomas the Apostle and Saint Raymond's is very, very sad,” Sean Dolan, the Director of Communications for the Diocese, said. “The Diocese of Rockville Centre thanks the decimated and committed principal and teachers, both lay and religious, who have taught at Saint Christophers.”
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