Catholic News Agency

Fall River diocese to close two schools due to coronavirus financial crisis

CNA Staff, Apr 16, 2020 / 03:28 pm (CNA).- The Diocese of Fall River announced Wednesday that two of its schools will be closing after this academic year due to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Both of the schools which will close “were relying on the Diocese to cover budget shortfalls, but the pandemic has made that unsustainable,” the diocese announced April 15.

Coyle and Cassidy Middle School and High School in Taunton and St. Margaret Primary School in Buzzards Bay will both close at the end of the academic year.

“Catholic schools are not only about the buildings but about a community that advances the Church’s mission” Bishop Edgar da Cunha of Fall River said, explaining the decision.

“By consolidating our resources and bringing students together in these schools we can continue to provide high quality Christ-centered education for all of our students.”

The 100 high school students who attended Coyle and Cassidy will be able to attend Bishop Connolly in Fall River, about 17 miles south, and will be provided with free transportation.

Coyle and Cassidy’s middle school students will transfer to Our Lady of Lourdes School in Taunton.

Students who attended St. Margaret’s will be able to transfer to St. Pius X in Yarmouth, St. Joseph in Fairhaven, or St. Francis Xavier in Acushnet, which are between 20 and 28 miles from Buzzards Bay.

“While we sincerely regret having to close any of our Catholic schools, the ultimate goal is to strengthen all remaining schools to ensure Catholic education is available for many years to come,” Superintendent Stephen Perla said.

Perla noted that Coyle and Cassidy’s “STEM programming and facilities” will be transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes.

He added that “We are committed to helping our families transition to another Catholic school that best suits their needs.”

According to the Fall River diocese, some 5,700 students are currently enrolled in its 22 primary and secondary schools.

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