Parish and school leadership have spent the past several months evaluating the finances of our
parish and school. As you know, enrollment has been declining for decades. As recently as five years ago, we served 179 students. Next year, we are projecting a school enrollment of 32. The parish has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to make up the difference between tuition and the true cost of educating the students. Unfortunately, the parish no longer has the money to continue to fund the school as it operates now.
So we had to make some very difficult decisions quickly.
We have just completed a reduction in force at the school. These decisions were made in
consultation with the Parish Council and Finance Council. Following policy on significant change
to an existing Catholic school, we informed the Archdiocese of our intention to restructure the
school and find a new way to meet the needs of families. Seventeen positions were cut for the 2019-20 school year, which will eliminate grades K-8 in the school for next year. Our focus will now be growing our early childhood classes, which are showing excellent enrollment. All teachers and staff have been notified and, for those whose position was eliminated, they will receive severance.
We are thankful for the talents these employees have shared with the Church. Please pray for all
who have dedicated themselves in service of Christ through the Church, and in particular keep these good people in your prayers during this difficult time.
The quality of your children’s education remains a priority for us. We will be reaching out again next week with information on how we can work together to find the best fit for your child at another school (if they are kindergarten and older). For the parents of our preschoolers, we will be looking to you to think creatively as we continue to seek Christ in all that we do at St. Mark’s.
I am grateful for your dedication to Catholic education. Please feel free to contact me with any
questions or concerns you may have.
Please be assured of my prayers for you and your families.
Fr Humberto Palomino, PES