Story Update (Thursday 11:30 a.m.)

ELIZABETH, NJ - St. Mary of the Assumption High School in Elizabeth, a school that has served parts of NJ and NY since 1930, has announced it is about to close if they don’t get some help from the community, said School President Marie Chirico. Parents, teachers, and students rallied at the school on Wednesday to raise public awareness to help save their school.

Maria Margiotta, M.Sc. Director, Office of Communications and Public Relations of the Archdiocese of Newark has release comment as follows.

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“The difficult decision to close St. Mary of the Assumption High School was made after a thorough and systematic review of the school’s operational and financial circumstances. Due to a steady decline in school enrollment in past years and an escalating fiscal deficit nearing $1.5 million, in addition to the Archdiocese of Newark absorbing more than $2.1 million for operations and pensions, insurance and healthcare for staff, it was clear that the school’s financial stability would not be reached in the foreseeable future. The hope was that 2019-2020 student registration would improve to permit the school to continue operating. Regrettably, that expectation did not materialize.”

According to Chirico, the school was notified on Monday by the Archdiocese of Newark and St. Mary of the Assumption Church that the doors to the school are closing this year leaving parents and students not knowing what to do next. The school has suffered under four years of mismanagement and needs to raise $2 million by July 20, to ensure they can remain open for the 2019-2020 academic year and beyond, Chirico said. She also noted the school’s newly installed administration has already stabilized the school and implemented many changes and improvements. 

“There is a 3-5 year plan in place to introduce new programs, enhance enrollment, and set the school on a course for future success. Once this year’s financial challenges are stabilized, the school is on track to rebuild, prosper, and grow. Positive change has just arrived, and we are confident that if we can see this through St. Mary’s will emerge stronger than ever," said Chirico.

Chirico’s comments on the school's situation are in the video below.

Parents and students also discuss the matter.

Students got involved manning phones to call local media to help get the word out, while others took to the street with shaker cans trying to help saying, “Every dollar helps!” 

The school has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise the $2 million and say the funds raised will go towards keeping the school open. In just two days the school has raised $3,824.00. Kathleen Cirillo a  teacher at the school, donated $2.500.00 in support.

To help save the school you can visit their GoFundMe page by clicking here: https://www.gofundme.com/keep-st-mary-of-the-assumption-high-school-open.

The school asks that donations of $1000 or more should be made by check to "St. Mary of the Assumption High School", with Save St. Mary's in the memo to 237 S. Broad St, Elizbeth, NJ 07202.

School officials say all funds that are donated to this campaign will be refunded if they do not meet their goal, and all donations are tax deductible.

If you are interested in helping their campaign efforts, you can contact them at  SaveStMarys@stmaryhsnj.org

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