Only 53 students attend St. Ambrose Elementary School in Schuylkill Haven.
You can count all the kids in sixth and seventh grade on one hand with two fingers to spare: 2 in sixth and 1 in seventh grade. There are 9 grade levels at St. Ambrose.
Now, that’s a student-to-teacher ratio!
But, at the end of the 2018-19 school term in June, the school closes its doors for the final time.
The school notified parents Friday last week via email.
St. Ambrose Elementary School in Schuylkill Haven Closing
According to a statement from the Diocese of Allentown, enrollment would have been lower next year.
“It is extremely sad that so many different convergent realities mean our parish elementary school can no longer be sustained,” Msgr. Edward Zemanik, pastor of St. Ambrose, says in the released statement. “I encourage all parents to prayerfully consider enrolling in one of our regional Catholic schools to continue the Catholic education for their children.”
Families with students in the school can get grant money if they attend another regional Catholic school next year. The Catholic Education Continuation Grants allow for $1,000 for the 2019-20 term and $500 the term after that.
On Thursday, from 4-7 p.m., Assumption BVM in Pottsville hosts an open house event for St. Ambrose students.
Financial Issues Close the School
The Allentown Diocese insists in its statement that this decision isn’t related to the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Fund recently created for victims of clergy abuse.
“No parish or school money will be used to fund that program,” the statement reads.
Instead, the diocese says the costs of running the elementary school in Schuylkill Haven was cutting into the costs to run St. Ambrose Parish.
The diocese statement reads, “The parish finance council determined that it would have to provide an excessive amount in parish money next year to operate the school. This money comes from weekly collections from parishioners.”
Photo: Coal Region Canary