Catholic Diocese announces school consolidation

ROCKFORD — Three Rockford Catholic schools will consolidate beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, Diocese officials announced Monday.

As part of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford’s Faith Forward Strategic Plan, St. Peter, St. Bernadette and St. James schools will continue to operate independently for the 2018-2019 school year and combine into a newly named multi-parish school the following year. No final decisions about school location, programs or name have yet been made.

“We are committed to enhancing the educational program and expanding the extra-curricular opportunities for our students,” said Michael Kagan, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Rockford, said in a release. “Making the transition in the 2019-2020 school year gives us time to plan thoughtfully and involve our parishes, schools and families in this exciting process.”

Kagan said a committee comprised of representatives from the three schools will work for the next 18 to 20 months gathering data, developing plans and providing recommendations related to the factors relevant to new school. Location, curriculum, finances, governance, personnel will be analyzed. The committee is charged with making final recommendations to the Diocese.

The three schools will continue to share educational resources and strengthen existing collaborations in the 2018-2019 school year.

“Each of our three schools brings a unique history, individual strengths and dedicated families,” said Ed Geeser, chair of the Joint Schools Committee. “We’re working together to develop a new school that combines and expands our offerings to prepare students for success in the 21st century.” R.

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