By Emily Drooby
St. Joseph Catholic High School has announced it will be closing after the upcoming school year. Students like Uriah Denham described their school as special.
“I’m defiantly going to miss, like, my teachers and the environment,” she said.
The Downtown Brooklyn institution is closing because of declining enrollment and rising costs, two problems hitting Catholic schools all over the United States.
St. Joseph High School opened in 1904. It was started by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood to serve both immigrants and working-class families.
A letter to students explained that although a lot of thought and effort was put into saving the school, it just wasn’t feasible.
The letter was co-signed by a representative for the school’s board of trustees and by Sister Helen Kearney, the president of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the order that runs the school.
“However, the painful reality is that long-term operation under the financial conditions would diminish our ability to deliver the type of innovative, inclusive education we have always strive to provide,” the letter read.
Students are heartbroken over the closure.
“It’s really difficult for us,” said Angelica Martinez, “it didn’t hit us until now.”
Nylah Rogers, a fellow student explained why:
“This school bettered me as a human being, as a young lady, it made me more humble and it made me feel as if I were home.”
“I will mainly miss the teachers because they helped me a lot to pass my class,” said Nalani Fry Dicaprio. “I will miss my guidance counselor for helping me and being on me about my grades. I’ll miss the whole school.”
It has been a tough year for students, they lost their beloved principal Caroline Latham suddenly back in February.
This is the second Catholic high school to announce its closure in the Diocese of Brooklyn this month. Bishop Kearney High School in Bensonhurst will close its doors August 31. Both schools are administered by the Sisters of St. Joseph.
An informational meeting for parents and students will be held at the school next week.