The primary reason for closing the two schools is the sharp decline in enrollment – 31 percent at St. Joseph and 27 percent at All Saints Regional over the past five years. These declines reflect and are related to significant population changes in these communities. Reduced enrollment has in turn obliged parishes and the Diocese of Rockville Centre to devote a disproportionate amount of resources to filling the schools’ revenue gaps. Rigorous review of the impact of declining enrollment on each school’s financial health by parish and diocesan leadership, has made it clear that it is not feasible to maintain them financially.
From September 2013 to September 2018, St. Joseph School has seen enrollment drop 31 percent to 121 students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade and 24 percent to 185 students in Nursery through Eighth Grade. As enrollment has declined, the income from tuition and fundraising has also decreased, and the amount of parish and diocesan operating support has increased.
From 2013-14 through the 2017-18 school year, the parish has provided a total of $1.5 million in operating support and the diocese has provided an additional $455,000 in core contribution. Despite this support, the school has had a cumulative deficit of $1.2 million during this same five-year period. In the current school year, the parish is anticipated to provide approximately $500,000 in additional operating support, an amount equal to approximately 44 percent of total parish collections. This level of financial dependence on the parish is not sustainable.
From September 2013 to September 2018, All Saints Regional School, which is supported by five area parishes (St. Boniface Martyr, Sea Cliff; St. Hyacinth, Glen Head; St. Mary, Roslyn; St. Patrick, Glen Cove and St. Rocco, Glen Cove) has seen enrollment decline 27 percent to 132 students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade and 35 percent to 143 students in Nursery through 8th Grade. As enrollment has declined, the income from tuition and fundraising has also decreased, and the amount of parish and diocesan operating support has increased.
From 2013-14 through the 2017-18 school year, the five regional supporting parishes have provided a total of $1.88 million in operating support and the Diocese of Rockville Centre has provided an additional $1.46 million in core contribution. In the current school year, the parishes are anticipated to provide approximately $370,000 in operating support and the diocese is expected to provide approximately $450,000 in core contribution. This level of financial dependence on the parishes and diocese is not sustainable.
“This was a difficult decision – one that was made after much thought and prayer,” said Kathleen Walsh, Ed. D, Superintendent of Schools, Department of Education, Diocese of Rockville Centre. “My department will assist parents and students in the process of selecting and transferring to any Catholic elementary school within our diocese.”
To help provide information to parents on school choice options, open houses will be scheduled. The Department of Education is staffing a telephone information line to offer and direct parents to the answers they are seeking. A special website (www.drvcschools.com) has also been created for up-to-date information about the school closings.