St. Blaise Elementary School won’t open this fall in Manayunk

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that St. Blaise Regional Elementary School in Manayunk will not open this fall due to insufficient enrollment.

Last week, the Archdiocese sent a letter to registered and prospective parents urging enrollment at the school, which would merge the student bodies of Holy Child School in Manayunk and St. Bridget School in East Falls, the latter of which closed its doors last week.

At the time, 155 students were registered, short of the 250 needed to meet payroll and the expenses of other scholastic programming. Interested parties were encouraged to enroll by Friday, June 15, to ensure that the school would open on schedule.

“Sadly, the final registration for Saint Blaise Regional School remains at 155 students,” said the announcement on St. Blaise’s website, signed by five priests from East Falls and Manayunk parishes.

“As noted in our letter of June 8, we cannot provide the quality Catholic education you expect and deserve for your children with a shortfall of 100 students,” it continued. “Therefore, it will not be possible for St. Blaise Regional School to open in September.”

Alternatives for St. Blaise students 

Expressing empathy for displaced students and parents, the announcement included a list of six local Catholic education alternatives.

Immaculate Heart of Mary in Roxborough, Our Mother of Consolation in Chestnut Hill, St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill, St. Genevieve in Flourtown, St. Margaret in Narberth and St. Francis Xavier in Philadelphia will give priority to those who previously registered and submitted a registration fee for St. Blaise Regional School.

Once all of the families that previously registered for St. Blaise are accommodated, the announcement said, all other registrations will be considered for the remaining open seats.

Fully Participating Parishioners – a distinction made for those who attend and give weekly to their home parish – will continue to receive scholarships form their home parishes.

All previously submitted registration fees will be returned to school families at their homes via mail.

A separate announcement from the Archdiocese outlined enrollment trends at the St. Bridget and Holy Child in recent years.

Saint Bridget Parish School’s enrollment for the current year is 198 students, down from 224 students in 2005-2006 school year. The current enrollment for Holy Child Regional School is 213 students, down from 419 students in 2005-2006. St. Blaise was originally predicted to have approximately 400 students.

“We hope that you will continue to support the great gift that Catholic education represents for our young people,” said the Northwest Philadelphia priests. “Please be assured that your family will be met with open arms and welcomed at any of the schools listed here.”

Stay tuned to NewsWorks for continuing coverage of St. Blaise Regional School.

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