New Plan Announced For Catholic School System

June 1, 2011 Updated Jun 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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June 1, 2011 Updated Jun 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM EDT

It is called "Faith in Tomorrow" and it is a strategic plan for Catholic Schools in Western New York to improve the entire system. Secretary of Catholic Education Carol Kostyniak said the strategy was two years in the making.

"We've done extensive research on the declining demographics and have tremendous data of out migration of our young people and women of child baring age which impacts the schools," Kostyniak said.

Officials have come up with a plan to change and improve areas of the system.

"We have identified some are in which were looking at which include Catholic identity, academic excellence and finances which is a critical piece," Kostyniak said.

They are also looking at one change that officials say may have parents on edge.

"We are looking to, as public schools are, at consolidating elementary schools because of the declining demographics," Kostyniak said.

But Principal of Our Lady of Black Rock Elementary School Martha Eadie said this doesn't mean schools will close anytime soon.

"We have to look at the big picture and I don't thing it's what can we close next I think it more like what are the needs and how can we fill them responsibly," Eadie said.

Officials said that sustainability is the main goal of this plan for change in the Catholic School System.

"What this does is look at ways to strengthen our school system while also sustaining it for future generations," Kostyniak said.

Officials said the bottom line is that all children currently enrolled in the system or students that will be coming into a catholic school in the future will see the benefits of this plan.

"I think overall students will have more resources and services," Eadie said.

"We know we have to make the Catholic schools accessible and affordable for everyone," Kostyniak said.