An all-girls Catholic high school in Brooklyn will shut down permanently this summer after nearly six decades, according to administrators who cited factors such as declining enrollment for their “painful” decision.
Bishop Kearney High School, which opened in 1961 on 60th Street in Bensonhurst, will close on Aug. 31.
“For 58 years dedicated administrators, faculty and staff have proudly served with our sisters in this mission, but today we are faced with a very difficult reality. Over the last few years, declining enrollment, changing demographics, reduced income and increased expenses have required cuts to faculty and services,” Sister Helen Kearney, the president of the Sisters of St. Joseph congregation, wrote in a letter posted on the school’s website.
Over the last 15 years, there has been a 77 percent drop in enrollment, according to figures provided by a spokesperson for the school.
During the 2004-2005 school year there was an enrollment of 1,108 students versus the projected enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year as 227.
Bishop Kearney once had an enrollment as high as 1,400, the spokesperson said.
Once the school closes, the Diocese of Brooklyn will assume ownership of the building and the diocese “will determine its future use,” according to the school, whose tuition for the 2019-2020 year was $10,200.
A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Brooklyn told The Post there are “no immediate plans for the building.”
The school, named after the late Bishop Raymond Augustine Kearney, noted that a “transition team” will conduct outreach to other nearby Catholic schools in order to “coordinate transfer efforts” for undergrads.
Bishop Kearney’s class of 2019 will graduate on June 1 as planned.
Current and former students of the storied school — which has a renowned athletics program — were stunned by the announcement of the shutdown.
“Besides the fact that decades of alumni have had the opportunity to receive a superior education and preparation for life from Bishop Kearney, this is a loss for the young women of Brooklyn,” Anne Halloran Tortora of the class of 1974 told The Post Tuesday.
“Those of us who support Catholic education realize that there is a slippery slope on which our schools travel,” said Tortora, 63, a director of music and liturgy at Connecticut’s Fairfield University.
But, Tortora said, “That doesn’t diminish the shock and pain that I and the rest of my class of ’74 sisters are feeling at this news.”
Tortora added that she “will always cherish my four years at Kearney.”
Brooklyn resident Rosemarie Magliocco, 26, who graduated from the school in 2011, said that Bishop Kearney “wasn’t just an all-girls high school – it was home.”
“It was the best four years of my life, where I was able to meet my best friends. It was a place where girls became sisters,” said Magliocco, a kindergarten teacher at PS 10. “Hearing the news that they are closing their doors this coming August is heartbreaking and the memories will live in my heart forever.”
One student at Bishop Kearney said she’s “definitely upset” by the news.
“That’s my home,” said the student, who did not want to be identified. “No one wants to leave.”
Additional reporting by Anabel Sosa
Source: Read Full Article