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Several Parishes with Catholic Schools Announce Plans for the 2018-2019 Academic School Year

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Zone
Director of Communications
Archdiocese of Hartford
(860)-541-6491 – Office
(860) 335-0836 – cell

HARTFORD, Conn. (Jan. 25, 2018) – Pastors from several parish-owned schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford have made recent announcements regarding the future of their schools. These announcements have included the following:

  • St. Mary School in Branford and Our Lady of Mercy School in Madison
  • Our Lady of Victory School in West Haven
  • St. Timothy and St. Thomas the Apostle Schools in West Hartford
  • Catholic Academy of Waterbury


The announced changes followed an assessment of each school in areas that, depending on the school circumstances, included enrollment, financial viability, geographic sustainability of Catholic education, and school leadership. Final decisions were made after consultation with respective pastors and parish lay leaders at each school, and the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis (OEEC).

St. Mary School, 62 Cedar St., Branford and Our Lady of Mercy School, 149 Neck Rd., Madison

School pastors from St. Mary School (SMS) and Our Lady of Mercy School (OLMS) have decided to form an advanced STREAM school called, East Shoreline Catholic Academy (ESCA). The academy will open in the 2018–2019 academic school year, and will be located in the building which currently houses St. Mary School.

The decision came after Fr. Daniel Keefe of St. John Bosco Parish in Branford, Fr. Daniel McLearen of St. Margaret Parish in Madison, and Fr. Stephen Sledesky of St. George Parish in Guilford, in consult with the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis (OEEC) addressed ways to make Catholic education stronger and more viable on the East Shoreline. St. Margaret and St. George Parishes operate OLM School, while St. John Bosco Parish assumes the same responsibility at SMS.

The Academy will employ the STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) instructional framework endorsed by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).  This approach to education is an interdisciplinary design that connects learning in all content areas to a real world application.  Learning is enhanced through the use of integrated technology, personalizing the learning experiences for all students.

The formation of ESCA is not considered a merger, because the school entities of OLMS and SMS will cease to exist and a new corporation, East Shoreline Catholic Academy (ESCA), will be formed. ESCA, however, will continue to be jointly sponsored by the same three parishes.

Our Lady of Victory School, 620 Jones Hill Rd., West Haven

After a financial review by the pastor and parish trustees, it was determined that Our Lady of Victory (OLV) School will close at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. Our Lady of Victory Parish, which operates the school, can no longer sustain it, and there are no financial reserves.

In a parish-owned school, tuition income is a significant factor impacting financial stability, and currently there are only 94 students in grades pre-k through grade eight, down 50 percent from 186 students five years ago.

“It is with a heavy heart that I made this difficult decision. Our Lady of Victory School is blessed with dedicated students, teachers and administrators, but sadly the school’s financial reserves have been depleted over the years due to declining enrollment, escalating costs of operation, and diminishment of parish subsidies. The bottom line is that the school can no longer sustain itself,” said Fr. Kevin Dillon, school pastor of Our Lady of Victory School.

St. Timothy, 225 King Philip Dr., West Hartford and St. Thomas the Apostle, 25 Dover Rd., West Hartford

Beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year, each school will remain as its own parish school, with its own board, however, school pastors Fr. Alvin LeBlanc and Fr. Edward Moran have agreed to implement a new administrative model whereby Principal Colleen DiSanto, currently at St. Thomas the Apostle, will lead both schools. This administrative model was developed in consultation with the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis (OEEC) as a way of promoting collaboration and cohesion between the two schools. This model will enable students to maximize the benefits of the Archdiocesan curriculum and also facilitate their academic and spiritual growth.

In addition to Mrs. DiSanto, an associate principal will be named at each school. Each will also assume teaching responsibilities.

Catholic Academy of Waterbury, 386 Robinwood Road, Waterbury

In December, it was announced that Catholic Academy of Waterbury: A STREAM Model & Heritage School of St. Mary & Blessed Sacrament Schools will open in September 2018.

The Academy will employ the STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Math) instructional framework endorsed by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).  This approach to education is designed to enhance teaching of subject areas such as mathematics and science by incorporating technology and engineering into the traditional curriculum and creating an interdisciplinary experience for students.

The Academy will be located at the current site of Blessed Sacrament School at 386 Robinwood Road.



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