Difficult Decision Will Strengthen Schools, Safeguard Future of Catholic Education;

Online Distance Learning Continues Through End of School Year

NEWARK, NJ – In a press release this afternoon, the Archdiocese of Newark announced the consolidation and closure of 10 Catholic Schools in the region, including Our Lady of Peace Academy in New Providence.

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Opened in 1954, The Academy of Our Lady of Peace is a Catholic elementary school has served children in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 8th Grade. Students come from New Providence as well as surrounding communities and parishes of Berkeley Heights, Summit, Mountainside, Chatham and North Plainfield.

In an open letter about the decision, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the Archbishop of Newark wrote that while Catholic schools remain a priority, the current situation posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to some difficult decisions.

"Although Catholic elementary and high schools continue as a priority for the Archdiocese of Newark, this historical moment presents crucial challenges to the sustainability and ongoing success of our schools," Tobin writes in the letter. "The snowballing crisis that threatens both health and economic stability continues to expand and has exacerbated the dual threats of declining enrollment and swiftly increasing subsidies that have been necessary to sustain schools."

Along with The Academy of Our Lady of Peace, the following elementary schools will also be consolidated and closed:

  • Academy of St. Therese of Lisieux, Cresskill
  • St. Anne School, Fair Lawn
  • Trinity Academy, Caldwell
  • Good Shepherd Academy, Irvington 
  • Our Lady Help of Christians School, East Orange
  • St. James, Springfield
  • Holy Spirit School, Union
  • St. Genevieve School, Elizabeth

In his open letter, Archbishop Tobin said that while the loss of the schools are sad, he is inspired by what the student's administrators and teachers at the schools have accomplished.

We mourn the loss of these ten schools, but we hope to shape a better future," Tobin said. "There continues to be demand for Catholic education and many examples of thriving schools. We are proud of what our Archdiocesan schools, students, teachers, and staff members have accomplished over the past century.  We hope that the families affected by the closures will continue their children’s education at a nearby Catholic school."

All ten schools will remain active through the end of the school year, with lessons and assignments continuing to be administered via distance learning platforms in compliance with the statewide mandate.