CHICAGO — St. Thecla Catholic School has opted out on Archdiocese's Northwest Side school merger plans, officials said.
In an email sent earlier this month, the Rev. Gene Dyer informed St. Thecla parents and parishioners that the pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school would not participate in the regional school consolidation.
Dyer acknowledged the decision to opt out was made clear by overwhelming support from alumni, students and parishioners.
"With our continued focus on our religious education, the highest academic standards, student enrichment and emotional well-being at the heart of all our decisions, I am confident we will continue to succeed," Dyer said.
"More than three years ago, we embarked on a plan of tighter financial controls and increased participation from our parish and school families," Dyer added. "The parish responded positively and we are now approaching our third year of surpluses and increased parish assets."
The Archdiocese had been informed about St. Thecla's decision to opt out of the merger, Dyer said in the email.
"In the past three years. we have always operated with the understanding that the parish would not borrow funds and we have no plans to do so, consistent with the new archdiocesan mandates," Dyer said.
In January, the Archdiocese invited six Northwest Side elementary and junior high schools to participate in the consolidation. Each school was given until Feb. 13 to make a decision on whether they would participate in the merger, which is set to start with the 2016-2017 school year.
On Friday, the Archdiocese of Chicago extended the deadline until Feb. 20, said Michelle Adamowski, an archdiocesan spokeswoman.
Adamowski did not disclose the reason behind the extension, or whether any of the other schools had declined the invitation to consolidate.
Calls to school officials from St. Constance, St. Cornelius, Our Lady of Victory, St. Pascal, and St. Tarcissus were not returned.
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