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Holy Redeemer and St. James schools combining to survive

Posted by on Dec 18th, 2009 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


Parents at Holy Redeemer and St. James the Less Catholic Church were surprised to find that their two schools would be merging.    St. James would accommodate kindergarten through fourth grade and Holy Redeemer would have students from fifth through eighth grade.

The reason given at a meeting Wednesday night with Father Ed Dover was financial. Due to tough economic times and declining enrollment the schools would have to go to this new system or one would have to be closed down. Dover is the priest for both St. James and Holy Redeemer Catholic churches.

“He just dropped [the change] on us at a meeting last week,” said Holy Redeemer parent Nigel Burns.  “It came as a complete shock. No one ever told us the schools were doing so badly.”

That sentiment carried through at Wednesday’s meeting where parents questioned why they weren’t told earlier that the schools were in trouble.

“We may have been able to do something,” Burns said.

He added he had approached Dover earlier with fundraising ideas but had not heard back from him. Burns is an active, involved parent at the school. He is a member of the PTO, the parent organization similar to public school’s PTA, a Cub Scout Master and the debate coach. He also volunteers at the school functions and organized the school’s traffic safety measures. Being so involved in the school he was surprised that neither he nor other parents were consulted about the change.

At the meeting Dover stated the enrollment at St. James was 150 and 170 at Holy Redeemer. By splitting enrollment, it would increase the number of students at both schools and keep them open.

“Teachers will be laid off,” Burns said. He added Holy Redeemer has a good reputation and is academically sound. He worried about the teachers that would be let go.

Burns was also told tuition would be increasing and that the traditional discounts for siblings enrolled at the school would also be discontinued. He added that if the school were in trouble he would like to have had a choice in the solution.

Father Jack Foley blesses the animals at Holy Redeemer Catholic School, just one of the many  events students share at the school.  Photo Mary O’KEEFE

Father Jack Foley blesses the animals at Holy Redeemer Catholic School, just one of the many events students share at the school. Photo Mary O’KEEFE

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20 Responses for “Holy Redeemer and St. James schools combining to survive”

  1. prospective parent says:

    I have been reading the posts for the last few weeks and I must say, if my son attends Holy Redeemer next year or even the year after, I hope I meet “Amazed Parent” and I hope my child is friends with his/her child. That is the kind of community I want to be in, one that realizes life is 10% what happens and 90% attitude. Obviously merging schools is nobody’s first choice, but hearing someone willing to adjust and make the best out of it is inspiring.

  2. Disappointed says:

    I too agree with Julie that all this name calling, ill will between schools and sending false emails need to stop, we need to all work together to make both schools survive, either on seperate campus’s or one campus. Yes change is inevitable and by no means do I harbor any ill will towards Fr. Ed, I know this is a trying time for him also. I just feel that this is a rash decision that should be throughly thought out and in the end if seperating to two campus’s is the best thing moving forward, my family will wish both schools success and move on to a school that better fits our families needs of a K-8 structure.

  3. Amazed Parent says:

    What a pleasant surprise to log in this morning and read Julie Reif’s post. No hurling of insults, no sarcasm . . . and I’m pretty sure it was the “real” Julie Reif! My family too, has been a part of Holy Redeemer for many years, about 48 of them. Absolutely everyone is entitled to their opinion – and mine is this: As difficult and painful and challenging as this change may be, I do believe that change is inevitable. If there is one constant in life, it is change. How we respond to that change is the true measure of ourselves. We can stomp our feet and yell, call names, and play the victim, (and believe me I’ve been there in my life) or we can take a deep breath, and decide how we can best be part of the solution. We cannot change the past – what has happened is done. We need to move forward. We may not like the way these decisions were made, but now we need to shape our future as best we can by working together. You bet I’ll be back next year – and the year after that, and the year after that . . . It would take a lot more than the restructuring of our schools to push me out! I try to put it all in perspective – I am able to send my children to a private, Catholic school of my choice. If I am not happy there, I am fortunate that there are several other private, Catholic schools all in our area. There are people in the world that can only dream of having our “problems”, (I might have to drive 2 miles down the street to another nice, private school) instead of their own (I don’t have enough food to feed my family) so I count my blessings. Life is messy – just when I think I have it all figured out – the rules change, and I have to adjust. This is just the latest adjustment. A year from now, when all the dust has settled, and we have made our decisions and all our adjustments . . . something else in our lives will change, and we will all have to adjust – again.

  4. Mark Rousseau says:

    Ok, this fake name thing is getting super confusing. The above post from a fake Mark Rousseau is not me, the real Mark Rousseau. I do not agree with anything Nigel or the “fake” Mark Rousseau have been saying. I although do agree with what Nigel wrote on Jan 14th. I think there was a lot of good points brought up by him on that day and I am sad of his recent change of heart. You CAN tell this is the real Mark Rousseau BECAUSE i like to put certain WORDS in all CAPS to make my points. I am also very interested in peoples names, I still do not believe Anne is a real name. and i urge the real nigel burns to put down his true christian name because nigel burns is obviously just a fake name he got from a english butler SOMEWHERE.

  5. Mark Rousseau says:

    Sadly, the person who wrote the false post above (Jan. 14, 9:17PM), which paints Nigel Burns as having a change of heart, has clearly illustrated the deception, dishonesty, and cowardice that has fueled this merger. The fake “Nigel” wrote, ” the whole lesson taught by Jesus was to treat everyone LIKE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED and welcome everyone with open arms.” I guess the fake Nigel figures this only applies to others, since he/she maliciously put Nigel Burns’ name on the post to push an agenda. The “Christian thing to do” would have been to use Christian concepts such as “honesty,” “integrity,” and “truth” to write a rebuttal to Nigel Burns post using your real “Christian” name.

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