Nearly 80 years after the school opened, Junipero Serra School at Carmel Mission Basilica will close its doors after the current 2019-2020 academic year.
In a press release sent out Friday evening, the Catholic Diocese of Monterey said the school has struggled with a multi-year decline in enrollment resulting in a precarious and fragile financial situation.
“Generous parish support, along with diocesan support, has been invested in the school for many years,” said Father Paul Murphy, pastor of the parish and Carmel Mission Basilica, in a prepared statement. “A multi-year plan to financial viability had been set in motion under the leadership of our Parish Finance Council along with recommendations received from a professional Catholic school consulting company. The economic and financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on school, parish, and diocesan finances.”
Dozen of parents and students showed up at the school on Saturday to protest its closure. Others went to the school’s Facebook page to express their disappointment.
“As a parent of current students, I can attest that no red flag was given to parents or teachers,” wrote Kris Spencer. “My two cents is that this action was probably in the works and coronavirus was used as a convenient excuse.”
Full story at Monterey Herald.
Bishop Daniel E. Garcia’s statement here.
There will probably be a tsunami of Catholic school closures over the next two years.
Coronavirus was not a “convenient excuse” as the parent alleges angrily and irrationally. Coronavirus is wrecking the economy, if you haven’t noticed. Catholic schools and parishes are extremely vulnerable.
Coronavirus did not wreck the economy. It’s the government’s response to it. Unfortunately, President Trump was beguiled by “experts” who are turning out not to know as much as we think they do. Fauci has given contradictory information too many times to take him seriously.
Oh please, Anonymous, not another “It’s Trump’s fault.” Nobody has a solid understanding of this virus. It’s an ongoing learning process, and we’re still groping in the dark in many ways. But Trump??!!?? Give us all a break. TDS has infected more than Covid 19, at least in this country.
I hope that you are wrong, “…tsunami of Catholic school closures over the next two years.” Would there be any interest in establishing a free to low costs medical clinic at Junipero Serra School (maybe elsewhere) to enhance the continued work of the Carmel Mission?
For better or not, schools need to be economically viable. The collective Church has many other well deserving demands on its resources.
Where’s God? He made Lazarus rise from the dead and healed scores of blind, lame and leprous people, but he can’t or won’t help his own church fulfill the mission he gave it himself? The church is looking really impotent right now. Helpless.
It would be interesting to see how Catholic school parents rate the quality of the remote learning their children have received these past months. I have a family member whose two children attend a Catholic school and are receiving minimal online instruction. If the teachers and principals are not meeting educational standards but are still being paid, then what recourse do the parents have other than withholding tuition payments?
S.O., I am an online teacher, though not at a Catholic school. I can tell you I am working harder than ever before to deliver clear instruction through Conferzoom, and I think all of us teachers who are now forced to use Zoom are ourselves in a learning process. I keep to very high standards (mathematics at a community college) but it is incumbent upon the students to put out an equally diligent effort. It is not a good situation, but I and my colleagues at the college are working hard to make the best of it. If minimalist instruction is all a school, Catholic or otherwise, has to offer, then they are not rising to the challenge, and wasting time and money. I hope all teachers and students struggle and work wisely to keep high standards.
@ Dan – it’s good to know that you endeavor to provide exceptional online instruction. I would be interested in a parental rating scale, once we can return to “normal”, of their children’s online educational experiences, including evaluations of teachers’ performances throughout the isolation period. Business corporations whose employees are also telecommuting already have those standards in place, and those employees are being monitored and evaluated throughout. The same must hold true for all educators. I think that parents of Catholic school children have an additional concern because they are also paying tuition, with many now struggling to make ends meet.
Hope the property fetches a pretty penny! $$$
It won’t be sold. It’s part of the Carmel Mission. It’s a historical landmark.
More victims of this perpetual lockdown will be added. People and our church leaders need to speak up! If Bishops are going to talk only when they begin to feel the finances dry up. By then it will be too late.