St. Ambrose School, in Park Heights, is closing

Archdiocese cites dropping enrollment, financial problems

March 14, 2012|By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

St. Ambrose Catholic School in Park Heights is closing at the end of the school year, the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced Wednesday.

"Due to the low enrollment, St. Ambrose has been unable to meet financial obligations, including payroll and health benefits for employees, without assistance from the Archdiocese," a statement from the Archdiocese said.

About 120 pupils in kindergarten through eighth grade are enrolled at the school, and only 65 were registered to attend next year, the statement said.

Five years ago, the school enrolled 225 pupils. The number of households in Park Heights with school-age children has dropped by more than 30 percent for the past two decades.

"Over the past three years the school continued a decline of 20-30 students per year," the Rev. Paul Zaborowski wrote in a letter distributed this week to parents, faculty and staff. "For the school to be financially sound, we need an enrollment of 150 children or more."

The Archdiocese is encouraging students from St. Ambrose to attend Holy Angels Catholic School, which opened in 2010, in southwest Baltimore's Wilhelm Park neighborhood. Tuition at Holy Angels is less than St. Ambrose's tuition, according to the Archdiocese, and bus transportation will be available to students who transfer.

St. Ambrose opened in 1926.

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