Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School in Riverhead will close in June at the end of the 2017-18 school year because of declining enrollments, the Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre announced Monday.
Two other schools, Our Lady of Mercy Regional School in Cutchogue and St. Isidore School in Riverhead, will be consolidated into one school as part of the same slate of changes, the Diocese said in a release.
Enrollment at the three schools has fallen 37 percent since 2011 and McGann-Mercy required $16.3 million in subsidies from the Diocese since the 2007-2008 school year, making the schools “no longer viable,” according to the release.
The Diocese said transportation, counseling and tuition grants will be provided to students who continue attending a Long Island Catholic school. Automatic admission to St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, the next closest high school, has been granted to McGann-Mercy students.
“We recognize the pain and disruption that this decision causes for our beloved school families,” Bishop John O. Barres said in a statement. “It is a decision that is heartbreaking to our students, their parents and families, our dedicated faculty, administrators and staff, and of course our parishes that are impacted. We will be supporting our students and families, and our employees, throughout this transition with spiritual and pastoral care, as well as the practical and timely information that is needed through consistent and ongoing communication.”
The Diocese said McGann-Mercy High School has 312 students in grades 9 through 12 right now. It is set to graduate 91 students in June but only has 55 students coming in as freshmen next year. Of the 53 children attending Our Lady of Mercy in kindergarten through sixth grade, the first grade has just three students.
“Our goal is that these measures will strengthen Catholic schools on Long Island,” Bishop Barres said. “The sad truth is that it has become increasingly unfeasible to maintain these schools financially. As is often the case in these situations, the only real course of action is to combine our resources in new and creative ways so that we can provide a more robust and compelling educational experience across the entire system, in keeping with our mission to serve the people of Long Island.”