ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – January, 11, 2011 – Faced with declining enrollment and increased operating costs, Blessed Sacrament Elementary School in Valley Stream will close in June 2011.
Enrollment statistics indicate that in the current school year, Blessed Sacrament has 157 students in kindergarten through eighth-grade. In addition, there are 51 students in the nursery and pre-k programs.
The decline of school-aged children over the past five years on Long Island was detailed in the January 5th edition of Newsday and it is projected that this decline will double over the next five years. Confirming this trend, enrollment at Blessed Sacrament has declined by more than 110 students since 2005. In that same time period, because of the decline in enrollment and increase in operating costs, the cost per student went from approximately $3500 to over $6000. With the projected decline in students, the cost per student would continue to increase.
Sister Joanne Callahan, OSU, superintendent of schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre said schools in neighboring parishes will have seats to accommodate children from Blessed Sacrament who wish to continue to receive a Catholic education.
“It is always sad when a Catholic school has to close,” said Sr. Joanne. “But projected enrollment at Blessed Sacrament made it educationally and financially impossible for the school to continue. The parent information night the school will have will give parents an opportunity to meet with the principals of neighboring Catholic schools. Many of those parents will be enrolling their children in another Catholic school. We know the students will be most welcome and principals will make every effort to make the September transition for the children as seamless as possible.”
Sr. Joanne also expressed her gratitude for the many years of dedicated service by the administration, faculty and staff of Blessed Sacrament school.
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million). There are 134 parishes (1 campus parish) in 115 towns. In 2009, nearly 16,702 baptisms, 16,900 confirmations, 17,537 first communions and 3,402 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 19,261 students in Catholic elementary schools; 12,595 in Catholic high schools and 3,500 in higher institutions. There are 55 Catholic elementary schools (51 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan and 8 private) and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. In 2008, Catholic Charities assisted more than 55,485 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (12/10).
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