Another Catholic School To Close Before New School Year

FORT GREENE –  The Diocese of Brooklyn announced on Monday that the K-8 parochial school, St. Francis Xavier—Queen of All Saints Catholic Academy, will shutter before the upcoming school year.

St. Francis Xavier—Queen of All Saints Catholic Academy, 300 Vanderbilt Avenue, via Google Maps

Board Members and the Board of Directors of the school, at 300 Vanderbilt Avenue, voted to close the school effective August 31. The abrupt decision was due to a 30% decline in enrollment since the end of the last school year, according to a release announcing the school’s closure.

“This decision was not an easy one to make and took much discussion on the part of the Members of the Academy,” Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Brooklyn and Chairperson of the Board of Members, said in the release. “It comes after many efforts on the part of the diocesan support staff to maintain a financially viable and high-quality educational program in this section of Brooklyn. We regret that factors beyond our control led to this decision so close to the start of the school year.”

The decline in student enrollment significantly impacted the school financially, making it “unsustainable” to continue operating the educational facility. Tuition for the upcoming school year at St. Francis Xavier—Queen of All Saints was $4,650 per student, with annual costs totaling $13,825 per student, according to the release.

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St. Francis Xavier merged with Queen of All Saints Catholic Academy in June 2018. St. Francis Xavier saw enrollment drop from 213 students in the 2013-2014 school year to 122 students in 2017-2018. “The demographic change in Park Slope/Fort Greene and Clinton Hill has been the primary factor impacting Catholic education in the area,” the release notes.

Yesterday’s announcement follows news in May that Bishop Kearney High School, the all-girls Catholic school in Bensonhurst, would permanently close on August 31. As Bklyner reported in June, the Diocese of Brooklyn has closed approximately 45 schools since the mid-2000s, including recently Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Academy in Bensonhurst, Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Academy in Mill Basin, and the merging of St Brigid and St. Frances Cabrini in Bushwick. Learn more here.

At 6:30pm on Tuesday, August 20, St. Francis Xavier—Queen of All Saints Catholic Academy will host a parent information meeting to help families enroll children in other Catholic schools in Brooklyn, with representatives from Queen of the Rosary, St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Joseph the Worker, and St. Saviour on hand to assist with registration. Go to dioceseofbrooklyn.org for a list of schools.

“We are most appreciative of the leadership and efforts of the administration, faculty, and staff for all that they have tried to do to sustain St. Francis Xavier—Queen of All Saints Catholic Academy,” added Chadzutko. “We also recognize the efforts and support of the parents. We understand the impact this decision will have on the students and their families and will assist them in the transition.”

 

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Pamela Wong

Pam is a staff reporter at Bklyner, covering North-Western parts of Brooklyn. You can reach her at Pamela@bklyner.com. Tips are always welcome. She also writes about art at arthag.typepad.com.

Comments

  1. Somehow we must find a way to end the closing of Catholic Schools. They are such an important asset in education of our children. When will it be realized how necessary they are, and the answer is definitely not public schools. I was educated in Catholic Schools, my daughter was educated in Catholic schools and I can honestly say that the education received and the discipline taught in a parochial school always surpasses that of the public education. I know that because I was in the public school classrooms for many years and have watched the decline of public education, discipline and the lack of caring. The diocese must find a way to save our catholic education and in doing so, save our children.

  2. This is a disgrace! You let parents and staff know 2 weeks before the start of the school year that you are closing! These people have sacrificed their lives to send their children to Catholic school and staff has sacrificed to serve, because that’s what that “salary” is, and this is how you treat them? Tell me, you didn’t realize inJune that you would need to close the school? If that’s the case, Superintendent Chadzutko, you have No business maintaining your position! Closing Catholic schools is disheartening but this is disgraceful!!! Shame on you!!

  3. I am not surprised that this has happened. The cost of living in NYC is outrageous, and the quality of life is just not great. Also, all you have to do is to ride the NYC subways to see that the demographics have changed drastically in the last 20 years. Forget about statistics, the reality can be seen on the streets of NYC. Many who can afford Catholic education have left NYC to other points in the country where jobs are plentiful and well-paying, the quality of life is great, and cost-of-living is sane. Whereas the Sunday mass attendance has dropped in NYC, Sunday mass attendance in other parts of the country is exploding. Guess what? The Catholic schools in those other parts of the country are thriving too. Why live a mediocre life when you can live like a king/queen?

  4. Face the music the school is being closed to raise money to pay off the victims of child sex abuse. the building will be a high end housing site before long.

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