Deacon Jim said the diocese made the difficult decision “due to a number of factors contributing to a serious shortfall in operating revenue, including rising costs and declining enrollment."
The diocese came to the decision after a “thorough review of demographic, enrollment, competition, and financial trends affecting the school," according to Deacon Armstrong.
Deacon Armstrong stated, "While there is a true sense of sadness at the closing of St. Thomas Aquinas School, a school that prepared students to be life-long learners and instilled in them the importance of striving for excellence, its continued operation became unsustainable due to a range of factors also affecting other area public and private school systems.”
St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary a diocesan-owned school that is no longer supported by a parish community.
The original school first opened its doors under the direction of the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1899 after St. Thomas Aquinas parish was founded in 1898.
St. Thomas Aquinas parish closed in 1993, and the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland then maintained the school’s operations.
The current school building that opened in 1929 is located on 9101 Superior Avenue near Catholic elementary schools St. Francis School and St. Aloysuis-St. Agatha School.
Deacon Armstrong said the diocese will be working with parents to ensure arrangements are made to assist them with placing their children into these or other nearby schools.
A meeting for school parents only will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas elementary after school at 3 p.m. on Monday.
How the diocese will assist the staff at St. Thomas Aquinas elementary and the number of jobs affected is is currently unknown.
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland operates 17 elementary schools in the City of Cleveland with approximately 4300 students enrolled.
At its highest enrollment, St. Thomas Aquinas elementary school served 1050 students.