The Allentown Diocese has announced plans to close an elementary school in Bethlehem.
Seton Academy on 6th Avenue will close at the end of the school year, said officials, citing declining enrollment and financial challenges.
The parishes that sponsor the school formed a committee in November with the hope it could find a way to save the school.
"Despite the efforts of the committee to find workable solutions, efforts for which we are deeply grateful, the proposals did not offer a solution that sufficiently addressed the enrollment and financial challenges at the school," said the four pastors of the parishes that sponsor the school in a letter sent home with students Friday.
Seton Academy opened in 2006 as a result of a merger of SS. Simon and Jude School in Bethlehem; SS. Cyril and Methodius School in Bethlehem; and Holy Child School in Fountain Hill, Lehigh Co. Since then, enrollment has declined 66 percent, said officials, adding that 88 students now attend Seton Academy.
The students will be eligible for $1,500 grants to defray tuition at other Catholic schools in the diocese.
“We will remain committed to Catholic education and will continue to subsidize any registered parishioner of Incarnation of Our Lord Parish, SS. Simon and Jude Parish, Holy Ghost Parish and St. Ursula Parish that is enrolled in a Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Allentown,” the pastors said.
Seton Academy teachers will be considered for open positions at other schools in the Allentown Diocese.
The Aquinas Program for children with learning disabilities will be relocated from Seton Academy to St. John Vianney Regional School in Allentown in September, officials said.