Catholic Schools in Niagara Falls to Merge

February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Catholic Schools in Niagara Falls to Merge

February 1, 2012 Updated Feb 1, 2012 at 12:36 PM EDT

Niagara Falls, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- A deliberate effort to strengthen Catholic schools in Niagara Falls through increased enrollment and stronger academic programming has prompted the decision to re-configure the structure of Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls. 

Commencing with the 2012-13 academic year, the academy’s 7th and 8th grades, currently housed at the St. Dominic Savio Middle School site adjacent to Niagara Catholic High School on 66th Street, will transfer to Niagara Catholic, creating a new Junior-Senior high school.  The 6th Grade will be transferred to the Academy’s elementary school campus at 1055 Military Road, creating a Pre K – 6 program.

The decision was made by the Board of Trustees of Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls and unanimously endorsed by the Board of Trustees of Niagara Catholic High School following ongoing discussions with school parents, school leadership, diocesan Catholic education leadership and Catholic community supporters regarding enrollment trends and financial analysis. 

It was wholeheartedly endorsed by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, who described the decision as “a very well thought out and forward-thinking plan which addresses challenges and opportunities, and one which will strengthen Catholic schools in Niagara Falls.”  

Dr. Rosemary Henry, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Buffalo, who provided on-going counsel to the board during their deliberations, added her endorsement. 

“This new configuration has tremendous potential for students and families who attend Catholic schools in Niagara Falls,” she said in a news release.  “This is an example of innovative leadership that will attract more families to Catholic Academy and Niagara Catholic.”

Specific details related to the new Junior-Senior high school configuration will be finalized over the next few months.  In making the announcement, Judi Nolan Powell, vice-chairman of the Catholic Academy board and chairman of the Niagara Catholic Board of Trustees, commended the membership of the two schools and cited their collaborative approach to decision-making as the key to this successful outcome. 

“We made every effort to seek the input of all of our constituent members:  faculty, administration, and most importantly our customers – the parents who sacrifice to provide a Catholic education for their children – during our deliberations,” Nolan Powell said.  “We received tremendous support and some great ideas for future programming from them, and we will continue to engage our entire Catholic community in developing our new Junior-Senior high school model.  It is particularly gratifying to us that we can make this announcement during Catholic Schools Week.”

Special Open Houses are scheduled at both schools to provide parents the opportunity to tour the facilities and talk to faculty and administration about academic programming and financial aid packages available.  The BISON Scholarship Fund support will continue to provide tuition assistance for Kindergarten through 8th Grade students, and a new fund to support incoming high school students with proven leadership skills has been established by the Niagara Catholic Board of Trustees.