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Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to close 2 schools |

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh to close 2 schools

Chris Togneri
| Monday, March 10, 2008 12:00 a.m

The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will close two schools, one each in Russellton and Elizabeth Borough, at the end of June and merge two others as officials deal with declining enrollment and rising costs.

The school closures and merger were announced Sunday at Masses in four parishes.

Transfiguration Catholic School in Russellton and St. Michael School in Elizabeth Borough will close, the diocese said.

Enrollment at Transfiguration has fallen from 92 students in 2004-05 to 57 students this year, the diocese said. During that time, tuition rose from $2,200 to $3,175, while costs per student rose from $4,166 to $6,142.

St. Michael’s enrollment has dropped from 70 students in 2004-05 to 49 this year with tuition rising from $2,650 to $3,050, the diocese said.

“The schools were unable to meet operating costs without additional support from the parish and diocese,” the diocese said in a statement.

Enrollment and rising costs also were cited in the school merger.

St. Germaine School in Bethel Park and Nativity School in South Park will combine staff and students to form St. Katharine Drexel School, the diocese said. The school will open in the fall and be at the St. Germaine facility.

St. Germaine’s enrollment dropped from 172 students in 2001-02 to 86 this year, while Nativity’s enrollment fell from 114 students to 48.

The diocese said the merged school will attract students from a wider area. Parents at both schools were sent surveys, and a “large majority” said they would send their children to the merged school, the diocese said.

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