byMark Labbe Pilot Staff
FRAMINGHAM -- Marian High School in Framingham will be ceasing operations at the end of the current school year in June, after more than six decades of providing thousands of young men and women with a Catholic education.
In an April 3 letter sent to members of the school community, Marian High School president Joseph Ermilio and chair of the board of trustees Elizabeth Dill announced the impending closure, noting that the decision followed a unanimous vote made by the school's board.
Citing sustainability challenges since 2004, the letter points to decreased enrollment year over year, as well as a significant increase in demand for financial aid, as the primary reasons behind the closure.
"Despite our continued best efforts, enrollment has regrettably decreased in the past few years: from 304 in 2012 to 221 this academic year," the letter reads.
The projections for the 2018-2019 dropped further to approximately 185, with the would-be incoming freshman class currently standing at only 16.
"These challenges have placed an enormous strain on our ability to control costs without making dramatic cuts in personnel and increasing tuition beyond the means of most of our families," states the letter. "We have reached the unfortunate point where the continued operation of Marian is no longer sustainable."
In the wake of the closing, Marian High School will be collaborating with St. Joseph Preparatory High School in Brighton to create a "smooth transition" for Marian students, and is working on "admissions procedures, financial aid opportunities, and transportation" for families who wish to consider the Brighton school. Representatives from St. Joseph Prep will be visiting Marian to speak with interested students and parents, and a shadow day is being planned for current Marian students.
The letter notes that a transition to Framingham High School will also be "seamless" for Marian students.
Two assemblies, one for parents and one for students, were to be held April 4 to address questions and concerns.
Marian teachers and staff will have "priority opportunity" to be considered for positions at other Catholic schools with the Archdiocese of Boston. The archdiocese's Catholic Schools Office will work with Marian personnel "to assist them during this period," the school said.
Until the end of the current school year, Marian is expected to operate as usual, with programs and events proceeding as planned.