A regional Catholic elementary school named for Pope John Paul II will open in August of 2011 on the campus of Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Lincoln Park. The school, which will serve children from pre-school through the eighth grade, is the result of a merger between three existing Catholic schools, each of which will cease individual operation next year: Christ the Good Shepherd School in Lincoln Park, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Wyandotte, and Wyandotte Catholic Consolidated. Four parishes will serve as sponsors to the school: Christ the Good Shepherd, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and St. Joseph and St. Patrick in Wyandotte.
"We commend the cooperation among the school and parish communities involved in the creation of John Paul II School, as it assures the availability of quality Catholic education in the area for the long-term," says Bernadette Sugrue, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Detroit. "By coming together as one, these communities are doing what no one of them could do separately - and it's something that took cooperation, sacrifice and a positive, charitable spirit to accomplish."
The merger, which had long been discussed, was precipitated by declining enrollment in the Catholic elementary schools over the past several years. Currently, the combined enrollment of the schools is 326 (135 at Christ the Good Shepherd, 103 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary, and 88 at Wyandotte Catholic Consolidated). That enrollment had fallen by 36 percent since 2005. All three schools, which are within a two-mile radius, have been operating at deficit, requiring subsidies from their sponsoring parish communities. The new, combined school is designed to offer competitive tuition rates while remaining financially viable. Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School is not affected by the merger.
Committees comprised of members of the four parishes currently are planning details for the new school, including staffing and transportation. Mariann Lupinacci, current principal of Christ the Good Shepherd School, has been chosen by the pastors involved to be John Paul II School's principal. She currently chairs the committees involved in establishing the new school.
PLEASE NOTE: Families interested in John Paul II School may attend a Premiere Opening tour of the school from 5:30-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16. Children are welcome. School representatives will be available to answer questions in regard to school programs, student activities and tuition. For more information, please visit www.jp2catholic.com, or call (313) 386-0663. The school is located at 1590 Riverbank Street in Lincoln Park.