Two schools will merge, 2 will close and 2 remaining open

Friday, March 01, 2019 - Updated: 12:09 pm

By Bob De Witt Correspondent

Announcements were made Feb. 23-24 about decisions that Bishop David Zubik has made regarding six schools in the diocese.

• St. Malachy School in Kennedy Township will merge with Holy Trinity School in Robinson Township. The new school will be named Archangel Gabriel School, with K-8 classes at the Holy Trinity site and the preschool at St. Malachy.

• St. John Bosco Academy in Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood and St. Agnes School in West Mifflin will close.

• Following considerable discussion, St. Raphael School in Pittsburgh’s Morningside neighborhood and St. Sylvester School in Brentwood will remain open for the 2019-20 academic year.

Dr. Michael Latusek, diocesan superintendent for Catholic schools, acknowledged the sadness that comes with any merger or closure, and praised the efforts of school leaders, parents and the community in supporting the schools. Parents in the closed schools are encouraged to enroll their daughters or sons in other Catholic schools.

“The diocese will facilitate meetings of parents with principals from nearby Catholic elementary schools and assure them of opportunities to continue a Catholic education for their child,” Bishop Zubik said.

The diocese also announced the continuation of a regionalization initiative to ensure families have access to Catholic schools that are academically excellent, spiritually vibrant and financially sustainable.

As part of an ongoing regionalization plan, the diocese is forming a south region that will be made up of 13 schools serving 21 parish groupings. This follows the establishment of a Pittsburgh-East region in 2019, where a governing board has been named. A region created in the North Hills two years ago has helped stabilize enrollment and school budgets.

In a regionalized system, Catholic elementary schools in a geographic area provide an education ministry for all parishes in that region, rather than the traditional model of parishes operating their own schools.

Regionalization is intended to reinforce Catholic schools’ identity and mission; reallocate resources to enhance academic excellence; stabilize enrollment; and enable greater collaboration in curriculum, technology, professional development, athletics and fundraising.

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