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Diocese adds St. Edward to school consolidation plan

ROCKFORD — The Catholic Diocese of Rockford on Monday added St. Edward School to its upcoming 2019-20 school consolidation plan that includes a yet-to-be-named multi-parish school.

A fourth school, St. Edward School, 3020 11th St., is now  part of the collaborative effort that includes Cathedral of St. Peter, St. Bernadette and St. James Schools. Diocese spokesmen say the addition further enhances the potential of the future school.

Four additional parishes have also joined the effort including St. Anthony, St. Patrick, St. Stanislaus and SS. Peter & Paul. The addition of these parishes brings the total collaboration to eight parish communities, offering the new school a level of spiritual and financial support necessary to provide an unmatched educational experience for students.

St. James will be the location of the new school. That decision was based on a facility assessment conducted by the Joint Schools Committee, which includes representatives from all participating schools. While the four schools will continue to operate independently for another year, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs from Cathedral of St. Peter, St. Bernadette and St. James Schools will combine at St. James for the 2018-19 school year. Grades 1-8 will combine in fall 2019.

Families enrolling in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten from St. Edward School will have the option to stay at St. Edward or move to St. James for 2018-19.

“There is exciting momentum for Catholic education in the Rockford region,” Diocese Superintendent Michael Kagan said. “Now with four schools and a total of eight parishes combining their resources, we have even greater possibilities for shaping a new, modern and state-of-the-art Catholic faith-based educational experience for our students. We’re excited to bring together our youngest students next year and begin forming a new school family.”

With a location identified, the Joint Schools Committee will focus attention on the name, curriculum, finances, personnel, and other important factors relevant to the new school. The committee will continue to work with parents, administrators and the Diocese to create new collaborations and honor current ones  for the upcoming school year.

“We are thrilled with the addition of St. Edward School and the other four parish communities to our effort as well as having a location identified for 2019 – 2020,” said Ed Geeser, chair of the Joint Schools Committee. “Soon we’ll be able to share more details around our programs and start building a new and diverse school family and tradition.”

Established in 1908, the Diocese of Rockford is comprised of 105 parishes in Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, JoDaviess, Kane, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago Counties in Northern Illinois serving a Catholic population of more than 300,000. R.

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