Two North Jersey Parish Schools to Close

HNP Communications In the Headlines

NEW YORK —  Two schools affiliated with Province parishes in New Jersey were notified this month that they will be closed this summer. The administrations of Our Lady of the Assumption School in Wood-Ridge and St. Joseph School in nearby East Rutherford were told by the Archdiocese of Newark that the schools will close June 30 due to low enrollment.

Hundreds of parents, students and teachers participated in rallies protesting the closing of the schools; they gathered March 25 at Assumption and on March 29 at St. Joseph’s School.

Despite recommendations to the archdiocese to keep the Assumption school open, based on hopes of enrolling 60 new students from St. Joseph School, Brian Cullinane, OFM, pastor, was forced to announce on March 31 that the decision is definite. “Our discussion is over,” he told parents and staff in a letter.

“This is one of the most difficult things we will ever have to do,” said St. Joseph Kevin Daly, OFM, and Frances Alberta, principal, in a letter announcing the news on the Web site of the East Rutherford school. “Thank you for all you have done to maintain St. Joseph School as an educational leader in the community. We ask your continued support to make the ending of this year productive and beneficial to the students and all.”

Several factors are considered when deciding whether to close a school, according to Jim Goodness of the Archdiocese of Newark in an article in the South Bergenite newspaper. “Enrollment and other factors like financial stability determine whether you can offer a program that’s comprehensive and provides an full education.”

The above photo appeared in the March 26 issue of The Leader, accompanying the article “Hundreds Protest Closing of Assumption School.”