byMark Labbe Pilot Staff
ROCKLAND -- Holy Family School in Rockland, facing declining enrollment and financial strain, will close June 13 after nearly 80 years of providing students with a Catholic education.
"There is no one at fault in all of this," said Holy Family Parish pastor Father James Hickey in a May 24 letter to the school and parish community. "Hard work has made Holy Family a special place, above all a place of love."
The pre-K through 8th-grade parochial school had in recent times experienced "a steep decline in enrollment," Father Hickey noted.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary education, 175 students were enrolled in the school for the 2016-2017 school year. It was a notable drop from the prior year's enrollment of 218. During the 2010-2011 school year, the school had an enrollment of 401 students.
Father Hickey said the decline "brought us into a financial crisis," with a $152,831 deficit reported for the 2017-2018 school year, which would grow to an estimated deficit of over $346,000 the following year if the school was to remain open.
"Looking to the future, we will be working with the Catholic Schools Office and other Catholic schools in the area to find placements for our students and we shall support our teachers as they seek new positions," said Father Hickey.