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Published: Wednesday, 10/7/2009

2 Catholic schools in West Toledo to merge


Two West Toledo Catholic schools are consolidating after discussions between the involved parishes.

St. Clement students will go to St. Catherine of Siena next school year for a combined prekindergarten through eighth grade building, said Jack Altenburger, superintendent of schools for the Toledo Catholic Diocese.

"They're very close, and they are in an area where demographics have changed and there are not as many families as there once was," he said. "Everyone realizes it's difficult to support two parishes and two parish schools at the same time.

"Instead of two schools that are really struggling in many ways, they can come together and join forces and become a stronger school."

St. Clement, at 3020 Tremainsville Rd., has 199 students and St. Catherine, at 1155 Corbin Rd., has 182 students, diocese spokesman Sally Oberski said.

The combined school will continue to be called St. Catherine of Siena, but both school advisory councils will be involved.

Increased competition and educational offerings coupled with decreased population in the city have shrunk the number of parish schools, Mr. Altenburger said.

The diocese has lost more than 8,000 students in the last 10 years.

"The fact that we have lower enrollment does not mean we have lower quality, it just means the people aren't there," he said.

Official notice of the consolidation of St. Clement and St. Catherine will be sent to families this week

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