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Catholic Elementary Schools Learn Their Fate

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Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The final word came down Friday on which Catholic elementary schools in the Philadelphia area will close at the end of this year. But, a decision on high schools has been delayed a week.

READ: Final Decisions Of Blue Ribbon Commission Appeals For Elementary Schools

After hearing appeals from at least half of the 49 schools on the closure list, Archbishop Charles Chaput issued his decision Friday. Pastors who appealed were notified of the Archbishop’s ruling Thursday.

Several schools, including Holy Trinity in Morrisville, St. Mark in Bristol, St. Gabriel’s in South Philly and St. Laurentius in Fishtown, put out word they had won their appeals and were staying open.

But a decision has been delayed a week on the four high schools on the closure list. St. Hubert High School for Girls, on its Facebook page, said, “The Archbishop received a new financial proposal for all of the affected high schools and needs time to study it.” Three of the high schools — St. Huberts, Conwell-Egan and Bonner-Prendergast — appealed. West Catholic did not.

In the meantime, St. Hubert’s principal Gina Craig says everyone at the school is on edge.

“We’re all very anxious. We’re looking forward to hearing, but it’s very nerve-wracking. We’re all on pins and needles.”

Craig says students and staff at St. Hubert’s are steeling themselves for whatever Archbishop Chaput decides.

“It’ll be very difficult. We’ve worked so hard, and I’m very, very proud of the students for all that they’ve done. So, it’ll be difficult either way.”

A Blue Ribbon panel last month recommended the closures as a way to stem declining enrollment and rising costs.

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