HARTFORD – With two weeks to go before the start of the school year, St. Mary School will close immediately.
The decision was made after a financial review by Father Shawn T. Daly, the new parish administrator, and in consultation with parish trustees, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Hartford. It was announced at a meeting Aug. 17 for teachers, administrators and families of students at the school, which is owned by the parish.
Father Daly said it was an extremely difficult decision to close the school two weeks before the start of the school year, but that the school would not have been able to sustain itself financially.
“St. Mary School would have run out of capital midway through the school year. In making this agonizing decision, the students and their families were always top of mind and in our prayers,” said Father Daly.
“I personally am a product of Catholic education; I believe in it and I am a strong advocate for it. I did not want children to start the school year in one school and have to transfer to another half-way through the year,” he added.
Officials are encouraging the 109 students who are enrolled at St. Mary School for the 2016-17 academic year to consider attending the newly created St. Brigid-St. Augustine Partnership School in West Hartford, which is located 2.9 miles from St. Mary’s. The partnership was announced last March.
Students at St. Brigid-St. Augustine are taught in single-grade classrooms rather than in the multi-age classrooms that were offered at St. Mary’s.
Any tuition assistance that was awarded to a student attending St. Mary School for the 2016-17 school year will follow that student to the Partnership School, according to the press release.
In addition to the Partnership School, other Catholic schools located within five miles of St. Mary's are Corpus Christi in Wethersfield, Sacred Heart in New Britain and St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hartford.
“We will do everything possible to make the transition for students and their families as seamless as possible,” said Father Daly.