Saginaw Area Catholic Schools to consolidate - WNEM TV 5

Saginaw Area Catholic Schools to consolidate

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Bishop Joseph Cistone has accepted and approved the Saginaw Area Catholic School's recommendation regarding the futures of St. Stephen and St. Thomas Aquinas elementary schools.

Under the approved plan, St. Stephen will close and all pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students will attend St. Thomas Aquinas starting next fall.

Some parents, like Darrell Cho, say the move has them worried about their kid's future in the district.

"I think enrollment is going to go down and I think ultimately Nouvel High School is going to be in trouble," said Cho.

In a letter to parents Cistone stated:

"It is apparent that most people do not understand the complexity of either the diocesan budget or school budget. The school board, the diocese, and the parents all share responsibility for this lack of communication and understanding."

Parents say they're frustrated by some of the words and the tone of the letter that the bishop used to announce his decision to consolidate schools.

"The tone of the letter was very critical of the families in the community. It didn't give us parents enough credit, it was very demoralizing and troubling," said Cho.

The school district says it considered input from surveys and a parent meeting before making a recommendation to the bishop. However, some parents still say they should have been more involved in the decision-making process.

"The bishop and the diocese have basically stonewalled us, they have not responded to our questions, yet they go ahead and make these kind of decisions," said Cho.

Under the consolidation plan, the district also expects to lay off nearly 17 teachers.

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