All Saints Catholic School in Elsmere will cease operations at the end of this school year in June, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic among the factors contributing to the school’s closing.
The school will not reopen in the fall “due to financial difficulties brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the economy,” according to a statement released by the school April 30. “Regional foundations redirecting financial support to urgent community needs, and a decline in assets of donors and supporting institutions, has made the school unable to create a viable financial plan to remain open.”
Mary Elizabeth Muir, the school’s principal, broke the news in an email to parents.
“Although we have made significant progress in strengthening the financial position of the
school over the last few years, we have grown to rely to a large extent on the charitable support of individuals, foundations, our parishes and the diocese,” Muir said in the email. “However, the confluence of factors presented by the COVID-19 crisis has jeopardized these sources of support.”
The regional Catholic elementary school has an enrollment of 210 and is governed by a board of community leaders and a board of trustees consisting of pastors of supporting parishes and diocesan leadership. The school was launched in 2011, adjacent to Corpus Christi Church in Elsmere, as a result of the merger of Corpus Christi, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Matthew, and Our Lady of Fatima schools.
“It is always sad when a Catholic school has to close its doors,” Bishop Malooly said in the statement. “Our hearts go out to the students, parents, teachers, and staff of All Saints. The school community, especially the boards, administration, pastors of the supporting parishes, and donors have worked diligently to create a wonderful school. They should be proud of all they have accomplished despite the disappointment brought about by circumstances beyond our control.”
All Saints is the third school in the diocese to announce its closing at the end of this school year. Immaculate Conception school in Elkton, Md., announced in January that it would not reopen after this year. St. Thomas More Academy in Magnolia announced in February that this would be the last year for the high school.
“Area Catholic schools will welcome All Saints students for the 2020-2021 academic year, while working with families to make the continuation of a quality Catholic education affordable,” said Lou De Angelo, superintendent of schools for the diocese. “We will also strive to place All Saints’ faculty in our schools.”