CHICAGO — The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Tuesday the names of six Northwest Side elementary schools and junior high schools that are under consideration to be consolidated into a regional school.
The following schools are invited to consolidate, but not until the 2016-2017 school year: St. Constance, 5841 W. Strong St.; St. Cornelius, 5252 N. Long Ave.; Our Lady of Victory, 4434 N. Laramie Ave.; St. Pascal, 6143 W. Irving Park Road; St. Tarcissus, 6040 W. Ardmore Ave.; and St. Thecla, 6323 N. Newcastle Ave.
In the coming weeks, pastors and principals from the aforementioned schools are invited to "decide how best to respond to the Archbishop's invitation to join in this regional effort," according to a news release.
Mina Bloom discusses the tentative merger list:
In November, DNAinfo Chicago learned that several schools would be merged, but the neither the identities of the schools, nor the details surrounding the consolidation were provided.
The regional school will be one "independent academic institution that is sustained by the students, faculties and staffs and finances of the parishes involved," Rev. Dan Fallon, pastor of St. Cornelius, told DNAinfo in November.
"There was broad support for the Archbishop's initiative, which has as its goal the continued presence and participation of all of the parishes involved in Catholic school education," according to a press release.
"Pastors, principals and the Office of Catholic Schools are very aware of the alternative school options open to parents. We are committed to offering students an education experience that reflects our distinctive Catholic values and is academically rigorous."
The archdiocese announced in October that it would shutter seven elementary schools and consolidate six others by the start of the 2015-2016 school year. The plan was designed to fill a deficit that reached $18 million this year.
Facing a budget crunch, parents and parishioners at Our Lady of Victory launched a campaign fundraiser to help keep the school open. As of Jan. 8, the school needed to raise more than $400,000 by Feb. 14.
The school's principal, Jennifer Hodge, told DNAinfo Chicago in November that she did not believe her school would be merged.
St. Cornelius launched a similar campaign in an effort to raise $250,000 to avoid closure.
The archdiocese educates more than 82,000 Chicago area children. It operates 240 elementary and high schools.
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