It has been announced that Saint Pius X School in Flint is to close at the end of the academic year in June 2020 due to a declining number of both students and parishioners which have combined to make the much-loved elementary school financially unsustainable.
“This is the most heartbreaking day and the most heartbreaking decision of my 10 years as a priest,” said Father Anthony Strouse, the Pastor of Saint Pius X, February 14.
“Unfortunately, the sad and unavoidable facts of declining enrollment combined with declining Sunday Mass attendance have negatively impacted upon our finances such that we, as a parish, have been forced into making this very difficult, very sad decision.”
“Our key priority now is to ensure that the education of our students is not disrupted in any significant way; that we do all we can to ensure that our wonderful teachers continue to be employed within our Catholic school system; and that our hugely supportive and loyal parents are given both the pastoral support and practical advice they need as they plan the next step in their children’s schooling.”
Saint Pius X Catholic School was built in 1962. Over the past decade its number of students has declined by approximately 50% to its present total of 115. Meanwhile, over the same period, Sunday Mass attendance in the parish has declined even more drastically from nearly 1000-per-week to around 350-per-week today. Both these factors have dramatically impacted upon the present finances of both the parish and the school.
“The Catholic school community in Genesee County will make sure we rally around the parents, staff and students of Saint Pius X School in the coming days and weeks,” pledged Kasey Cronin, Executive Director of Genesee County Catholic Schools.
“Nearly all of the nearby Catholic schools in the county have already offered the Saint Pius X parents and students school places for next year at a much-reduced tuition rate – that’s a fantastically generous response.”
The school management at Saint Pius X now plan to meet with parents over coming days to answer any questions they may have regarding today’s announcement and to discuss the various educational options that are now on offer to them and their children.
“As somebody who has had four children experience a wonderful education at Saint Pius X School over the past few decades, it’s incredibly sad to hear today’s news,” said Saint Pius X parent Michael Rinoldo who presently has twins in the school’s 8th grade.
“Like many parents, though, I really appreciate all that is being done to cushion the blow for us, and for our kids, and all that is being done to give us both guidance and hope for the future.”