St. Mary's High School plans to increase enrollment after grant - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

St. Mary's High School plans to increase enrollment after grant awarded to stay open

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)
WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Parents, students, and staff of St. Mary's High School felt relief and happiness on Thursday following an announcement that the school will be open for another year. 

The Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese offered a one time grant of $300,000 to keep the school open.

Now, the challenge the Catholic school faces is how to increase enrollment. 

The school has seen a sharp decline and financial problems over the last few years, but even with the news the school is staying open, there is still a long road ahead.
 
It's been a joyous start to the holiday weekend for many supporters of St. Mary's High School in Westfield.
 
"We need to have 20 students. We're at 17 so we have a little more recruitment to do this year and we have a huge work load ahead of us and planning for the future but we've been educating kids for 120 years, we know we can make this work," said St. Mary's School Board Member Erin Carrier.
 
A group of supporters will be getting advertisements out and meeting one-on-one with families across western Massachusetts to recruit students.
 
Carrier told Western Mass News she believes a Catholic education is unique compared to that offered by public schools.
 
"It's the whole child. We are having children really tap into their full potentials that they're able to become adults and impact the world. They are kids who grow up to make a difference and make things happen in their community," she added. 
 
The $300,000 grant only allows the high school to stay open for a year, but some may think this is just a band-aid fix to a bigger financial issue ahead.

That grant is in addition to any other funds the school normally gets from the Diocese for tuition assistance.

[READ MORE: $300K grant announced for St. Mary's High in Westfield]

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