Updated with latest information
The Archdiocese of Boston’s Decision to Close St. Jerome School in North Weymouth is Unjust and Immoral.
Financially... St. Jerome School currently has $300,000 in the bank. St. Jerome School has been in the black with its budgets for the last 9 years. During this time, we have invested in 3 brand new Middle School classrooms, a new science and art laboratory, ipads, smartboards, a new boiler system, a new roof, replaced all the windows in the building, we accomplished all of this without ever going into debt. For the upcoming school year (2020-2021) – and because of our lack of debt and sound management, our Parish Council/Finance Council/Budget Committee have demonstrated that we are viable and sustainable with an enrollment of 125 (something the Archdiocese ignored in its closing decision). St. Jerome School contributes financially to St. Jerome Parish – NOT the other way around.
Academically, Spiritually, and in the Community…We are among the top 10 schools in the Archdiocese of Boston academically. We scored at the highest level in all categories – 15 of 15 standards – with the New England Association of Schools and College (NEASC) in 2017 for a 10-year accreditation. In the past two years, SJS eighth-graders have been offered more than $1 million in scholarships from high schools, and almost always are admitted to their first choice of high schools. SJS Lego Robotics team has reached the state tournament in 7 of the last 8 years. St. Jerome School students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community friends are constantly involved in service projects, philanthropic endeavors, and North Weymouth community support activities. Each year, SJS baptizes students as new members of the church during their sacramental preparation.
Here’s Why It’s Immoral: The Archdiocese’s Catholic School Office and Parish Leadership has used the Covid-19 pandemic to camouflage its lack of transparency and communications with parents, even as they were planning to close SJS and merge Weymouth’s two other Catholic Schools. Some examples are they would not permit a principal search that caused parents to either hesitate or not re-enroll; abolished Parent Council leadership; ignored the hundreds of hours parents and others put in to save the school, including building a viable budget). The decision to close SJS forces parents to scramble to enroll their children in a new school at the most inopportune time – when financial and emotional anxieties are at their highest during the pandemic. Also, looking ahead to the fall when small class sizes will be optimal for the health of students. The Archdiocese has ignored the needs of parents, teachers, and – especially – students in its divisive and autocratic decision to close a successful, vibrant, superior school, during a time when these constituencies are at their most vulnerable – a shocking decision at a time when the rest of the world is working to unite and heal together.