Austintown Catholic Schools Merger sign now

This past January, the Diocese of Youngstown announced that St. Joseph's and Immaculate Heart of Mary Schools would merge into one for the 2009-2010 school year. In a letter to parents, teachers, and staff, the Diocese announced that a building committee would be formed from members of each Parish to decide which building would best be suited for the new school.

During this entire time, many questions from parents to the Diocese and Pastors of each Parishs were ignored. Parents became angry that they were being left out of such an important process. Tempers flared because the process was being handled so unprofessionally.

On March 11, 2009, the Diocese announced that Immaculate Heart of Mary School would house the new school. In the letter to parents and staff, the Pastors of the two Parishes stated the committee came to a 52-48\% decision in favor of one school building, which was not mentioned. The letter went on to say an architect decided which building was the most feasible financially. The architect chose Immaculate Heart of Mary. Never in the meetings and letters sent to parents in the prior weeks and months did it state that an outside architect would decide which building would house the school.

After months of meetings, the building committee that was chosen to decide which school building to use did not decide the outcome like the Diocese informed parents it would.

Members of the building committee made it known that they never decided on the Immaculate Heart of Mary Building; many were in favor of splitting the grade levels between the two school buildings for one additional year, to allow more time to make a wiser decision. As one parent stated, why should we rush into something that is so important for our children? Some members of the building committee believed that Pre-K through the Fourth Grade should be housed at St. Josephs, while grades Five through Eight should be housed at Immaculate Heart of Mary.

I urge those that have read this to sign this petition against the Diocese of Youngstown. In all the letters sent home from the Diocese, never did they state an outside architect would decide which building was more feasible to house the new school. I urge those to sign this petition in favor of splitting the two schools up for one additional year as mentioned above, giving the building committee the much needed additional time to make their decision. This petition is not against a merger, it is against merging the schools in such an unprofessional way as the Diocese has done.

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Kim WellsBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
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Diocese of Youngstown

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