St. Cecilia Elementary School in Detroit will not open for the 2010-11 school year due to insufficient enrollment. The school closing does not affect the popular Ceciliaville athletic center and youth programs. After years of the school operating in deficit, St. Cecilia pastor Fr. Theodore Parker disclosed to parents that, with fewer than 45 enrollees for the 2010-11 school year, the school would not have the means to open. St. Cecilia included grades preschool through eighth.
“It is with great sadness that we have come to the conclusion that St Cecilia School would have to close,” Fr. Parker said. “Unfortunately, for the upcoming school year, we were not able to get the students. It was Fr. Raymond Fleming and eight IHM Sisters who opened the doors of St. Cecilia School with 530 students in August 31, 1925. Now it has come to us to bring a close to that noble endeavor.”
St. Cecilia School’s enrollment has declined sharply over the last two years amid a weak local economy. Last school year, 83 students were enrolled --compared to 157 in 2008-09, 152 in 2007-08, and 157 in 2006-07.
The Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese of Detroit will be working with school parents to help find alternative sites for their children to continue Catholic schooling. Meanwhile, St. Cecilia Parish is making arrangements to financially assist the parents with children who were enrolled for the upcoming school year at St. Cecilia.
“We realize this is difficult for students, families, and the entire school community,” said Bernadette Sugrue, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit. “In response to this unfortunate development, the parish is taking steps, including short term financial assistance, for families who are currently enrolled for the 2010-11 school year and who wish to continue to provide a Catholic education for their children."
Following this closure, there are 73 elementary schools and 25 high schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Six of those grade schools are in Detroit: Christ the King, Gesu, Holy Redeemer, Most Holy Trinity, St. Bartholomew and St. Scholastica.