St. Agatha School, located at 736 40th St., Sunset Park, will close after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year.
The school serves children from pre-K to eighth grade. Father Vincentius Do, pastor of St. Agatha parish and Principal Maximo Catala made the announcement Jan. 10 during a meeting with parents.
Father Do and Mr. Catala told parents that the decision to close the school was extremely difficult, but one that was made after much consideration. They said the school cannot continue to operate under mounting financial challenges which includes a significant rise in per-student costs, compounded by a steady decrease in enrollment since 2010.
In a letter to parents, Do and Catala wrote, “To attempt to continue the school while further curtailing academic services and extra-curricular activities would be a serious disservice to your sons and daughters. Also, the necessary staff constrictions would contribute to the deterioration of the total educational program.”
While this school is closing, parents will have options for continuing their children’s Catholic education. The Diocesan Office of the Superintendent of Schools, in conjunction with the school administration, will assist in enrolling students in other Catholic schools. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy, also located in Sunset Park, has extended an invitation for enrollment due to its close proximity.
To help with the transitions, a fair was held Jan. 18 at St. Agatha School to provide parents with more information on neighboring schools. Additionally, in the coming months, the superintendent’s office will work with faculty and staff for possible placement in other Catholic academies.
The diocesan Superintendent of Schools Thomas Chadzutko said, “The staff of the office of the superintendent is here to assist the entire St. Agatha community and our prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
St. Agatha School opened in 1922 by the Sisters of Mercy, and currently serves 166 students.