The Diocese of Buffalo announced a Catholic elementary school in Cheektowaga will be closing at the end of this school year. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Mary Queen of Angels School has experienced a steady decline in enrollment.
School parents gathered Wednesday evening night to learn about the closing. Catholic Schools Superintendent Sister Carol Cimino WBFO News the school families responded with respect to the decision.
“They were wonderful. They were sane. They were rational. They were intelligent. They had good questions and they understood. They got it the first time,” Cimino declared.
In 2014 the diocese there was a big outcry when it shut down ten-area catholic grade schools due to population and enrollment losses.
Cimino noted Wednesday night many parents inquired about sending children to other area catholic schools. Currently only 103-total students attend Mary Queen of Angles School on Rosewood Terrace in a Cheektowaga. It is an area bounded by George Urban Boulevards, Genesee Street and Harlem Road. Cimino said there has been a large demographic shift in that neighborhood.
Cimino said they are calling on other catholic schools to give Mary Queen of Angels students and teachers priority for placement student and potential teacher hiring.
“The majority of the questions were circled around –where can I send my child to another catholic school or will we be paying the same tuition? Will our Bison Scholarship be transferable? And the answer to that is yes. Bison even stepped up to the plate and has offered any parent who has a Bison Scholarship for his or her child to go to another school, the Bison is going to give a one-time, $300.00 stipend on top of that,” responded Cimino.
Currently the school classes average only 11-students per grade in Kindergartner through eighth grade.