COLUMBUS – St. Rose School, a Catholic elementary school located in New Lexington, Ohio, within the Diocese of Columbus, will be closing at the conclusion of the current school year.
“It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that St. Rose School will not be able to open for students in the 2021-22 school year,” Father Todd Lehigh, pastor of the Perry County Consortium of Catholic Parishes, said in a letter to school parents informing them of the decision. “Sadly, the projected enrollment and operating expenses are not sufficient enough to justify opening the doors this Fall.”
St. Rose School was founded in 1912; for the 2020-21 year, the school had 73 students enrolled from pre-kindergarten through grade 8, with enrollment for 2021-22 projected for about 54 students. The school will officially close on May 20.
The decision was made with the endorsement of Bishop Robert Brennan, guidance from the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, and in consultation with the St. Rose Education Commission.
The Office of Catholic Schools will be assisting current St. Rose School families regarding possible relocation to other area Catholic schools, including Holy Trinity, Somerset; Bishop Fenwick, Zanesville; St. John, Logan; and St. Mary and St. Bernadette, Lancaster.
“While I know this news is hard to comprehend, it is the most prudent decision for the parish and the Perry County Consortium,” Father Lehigh said. “Let us not mourn the end of this era in our parish, but instead may we join together and celebrate the history of our great school. We will work together as a parish community to chart the course for our future as we find new ways to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of Perry County.”
The Perry County Consortium consists of St. Rose of Lima Parish, New Lexington, St. Patrick of Ireland Parish, Junction City; St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, Corning; and Church of Atonement, Crooksville. St. Rose is responsible fiscally for the school, with subsidies paid to the school from the other parishes for participating students.