St. James School enrollment remains steady, pastor says
Despite a growing number of Catholic school closings regionally, enrollment at St. James School in Sewickley remains steady, a pastor at the church said.
Classes at St. James began last Thursday where about 155 students are enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grades and about 25 preschoolers are in the 3- and 4-year-old programs, the Rev. Thomas Burke said.
“There's an increase in the 4-year-old program, which is a nice problem to have,” he said.
The eighth grade class this year is the smallest, with only eight students. Last year, the school had 22 eighth-graders, Burke said.
According to the National Catholic Education Association, 1,856 Catholic schools — or 23.2 percent — were closed or consolidated between the 2004 and 2014 school years, with elementary schools being the most seriously impacted.
“When you go below 100 students, they put you on the watch list, so to speak,” Burke said. “But we're at 165. We're still above water. I think we'll be OK. “
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh closed several nearby schools over the last few years, including St. Joseph School in Coraopolis in 2011 and Mount Gallitzen in Baden in 2009.
In June, the diocese announced St. John the Baptist Elementary School in Monaca and Holy Child School in Bridgeville would not reopen for a new school year.
Students come to St. James not only from Quaker Valley, but Avonworth, Ambridge, Cornell, Central Valley, Hopewell and Moon Area school districts, Burke said.
Because of the school's central location near Broad Street and Route 65, Burke said St. James is easily accessible. Bus transportation is paid for by the local school districts.
Tria DeNinno of Moon said she sends her two children — a third-grader and a kindergarten student — to St. James because of the quality of education and teachers, good learning environment and values.
“You know your child is going to be brought up with good values extended into school from what you're working on at home,” said DeNinno, who also attends St. James Church.
Burke said the parish has a lot of families from the Moon Area and thinks there could be additional interest in St. James if the district's Hyde Elementary School does ultimately close after this school year.
Larissa Dudkiewicz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Quaker Valley weighs policy on private-vehicle transportation
- Sewickley-area nonprofits rethink ways to raise necessary funds
- Sewickley resident fights tall-grass rule, pushes council to update ordinances
- Quaker Valley names new high school principal
- Koch: Even a tropical paradise is painted with black and gold
- Sewickley Heights couple named Good Samaritans
- Luncheons serve more than patrons at Sewickley’s Christy House
- Sewickley Academy student, family work with leprosy patients
- Lane: Confessions of a professional organizer
- Cherry: JFK History lesson comes full circle