Concern over Catholic school closing in Westfield - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM


Concern over Catholic school closing in Westfield

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

A local high school is closing at the end of the year after an announcement last night. And parents are saying they were blind sided. 

School is closed at St. Mary’s High School today because of the snow, but come the end of the year. It will be closed for good.

A meeting was held Monday night to break the news to families whose lives centered around this school.

[READ MORE: St. Mary's High School in Westfield to close by end of school year]

The announcement ... was devastating. Parents say they never saw it coming.

"We were brought into this meeting and we were told that our school was closing. We were never told a head of time. People stood up and asked the question, why didn't you come to us and tell us that we were in trouble?" parent Carol Lucardi told Western Mass News.

Carol has three children who have attended St. Mary’s Schools. Now, she doesn't know where her 16-year-old son, who has been so successful at St. Mary’s, will finish out his high school career.

"We have very few options as to where our kids are going to go. And to be honest with you I don’t know where my 16-year-old son is going to go to school next year," she explained to us.

Father Frank Lawlor, St. Mary's pastor, tells Western Mass News the schools overall enrollment in the last 10 years has dropped from 166 students to the current 83.

With only 9 students signed up for next year. They can't keep the high school open financially.

When the decision was announced, in a meeting closed to the media, kids and parents alike, broke down in tears. 

"There were tears, the kids were crying, parents were crying, there was so much emotion in that room. We were told flat out no, the decision has been made. We can't accept that. As a group we can't accept it, and we are going to fight for it," Lucardi says. 

Supporters of the school have created a Facebook group and have already met in person to try and come up with a plan to save their school. They are asking the Bishop to hear their prayers.

A GoFundMe has been set up in order to help raise money for St. Marys. Visit the link here if you would like to donate.

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