Catholic Schools to Consolidate in Appleton
Two schools will be closing in 18 months. Video by nbc26.comvideo
APPLETON, WI -- Some big changes are in the works for Appleton Catholic Elementary schools. Two of four elementary schools will close in a consolidation effort. The new changes won't take place for 18 more months, but they have many parents asking questions.
All schools will be operating under one new name, St. Francis Xavier Elementary, to unite all parishes.
“I just found out about it last week, so I’m trying to put it into perspective,” said parent Keith VanLith
Parents are waiting for more answers.
“I was a little taken by surprise guess if costs are that tight,” said VanLith.
Deacon Ray DuBois, President of St. Francis Xavier Catholic School System, maintains costs are not the major factor in the decision to close two schools, St. Bernadette and Catholic Central starting in 2014.
“Finances isn't the primary reason behind this move, it certainly is a factor,” he said.
He said it's a matter of space and better situations for teachers and students.
“There will be a minimum of two sections for every class in every building,” said DuBois.
Some parents are concerned however about the size of classrooms, DuBois says the max will be about 24 students per class.
There are also concerns about teachers losing jobs.
“It's premature to say what we're going to end up with,” said DuBois.
Families will get to register for their preference of which of the two schools to attend, but there is no guarantee. Boundary districts will also be redrawn.
“It gives us the opportunity to measure twice and cut once,” said DuBois.
Still parents say they like their schools, and the system.
“She really gets along with the teachers. Ands we know the kids are parents in her classroom,” said VanLith, a parent.
There is a meeting for parents to talk with school leaders about the consolidation plan. That meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Grand Meridian.