St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School in Cleveland spared from shut down thanks to generous donors

St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School in Cleveland spared from shut down thanks to generous donors
Catholic Diocese of Cleveland closing St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School after this academic year (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - When the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland announced the decision to shut down St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School after 121 years, generous donors stepped up to keep it open.

Deacon Jim Armstrong said the diocese had to initially make the difficult decision “due to a number of factors contributing to a serious shortfall in operating revenue, including rising costs and declining enrollment" after a “thorough review of demographic, enrollment, competition, and financial trends affecting the school."

Less than two weeks later, the diocese said business and philanthropic leaders moved by the love of and the passionate support for the students of St. Thomas Aquinas School stepped forward with financial support to prevent the school from closing at the end of the semester.

St. Thomas Aquinas is now accepting enrollment for the 2020-21 school year.

“The new life afforded St. Thomas Aquinas School offers an opportunity to grow the school and build upon the strong foundation of Catholic education within the city” said Frank O’Linn, Ed. D., Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. “It is my hope that the school can emerge even stronger with a future that benefits students and their families resulting from the passionate support the community has shown.”

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.

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.

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland closing St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School after this academic year
Catholic Diocese of Cleveland closing St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School after this academic year (Source: WOIO)

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