BUFFALO, N.Y. ( release ) Aggressive efforts to increase enrollment at St. Margaret’s School in North Buffalo have not resulted in enough new registrations, so the decision has been made to close the Hertel Ave. school this June. The school has seen a significant decline in its student population over the last several years, and the parish is no longer able to continue providing a substantial subsidy to keep the school operating.
Following a series of meetings, forums and a call to action, the St. Margaret’s School community mounted a spirited marketing campaign to enroll 150 students for the next school year by March 12, but that goal fell short of the mark, with 60 students registered. The school enrollment now stands at 109 (PreK-8). Five years ago, the school had 147 students and 10 years ago, the student body numbered 186. St. Margaret’s School opened in 1917 and reached a peak enrollment of 647 in 1965.
All area Catholic elementary schools are prepared to welcome St. Margaret’s School students and their families. Current PreK(4)-7 St. Margaret’s students will receive a one-time, $500 tuition credit that can be applied to any Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Buffalo for the 2012-13 school year.
A Parent Information Night has been scheduled for Mar. 22, at 7 p.m., at St. Margaret’s School, to provide parents with information on transitioning their children to other Catholic elementary schools in the city of Buffalo. Our Lady of Black Rock, Catholic Academy of West Buffalo, St. Mark’s and St. Joseph-University schools will be represented.
A second session is scheduled for Mar. 27, with all other Catholic elementary schools invited to make presentations to St. Margaret’s School families.
St. Margaret’s School has 20 full and part-time employees. The diocesan departments of Catholic Schools and Human Resources will work with St. Margaret’s faculty members to assist them with possible placement in other Catholic schools.
“St. Margaret’s School has provided a strong tradition of spiritual formation and academic excellence to its families in North Buffalo. For some time, the school has faced serious fiscal and enrollment issues,” said Dr. Rosemary Henry, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Buffalo. “We are now focused on helping St. Margaret’s School families enroll in other Catholic elementary schools, as well as assisting faculty and staff.”