St. Ignatius School in Fort Washington to Close Following Parish Recommendation

February 20, 2008

St. Ignatius School, a small, 120-student school at 2317 Brinkley Road, Fort Washington, Maryland, will close at the end of this academic year, following a request from the parish. Students in grades PreK-7 will continue their Catholic education in one of six nearby Catholic schools next fall.

The decision came after lengthy consultations with the Parish Pastoral Council, Parish Finance Council and leadership of the Home School Association that was initiated by the pastor, Rev. Robert A. Finamore. The pastor held additional meetings with parents and staff before requesting permission to close the school.

Enrollment at the school, which has a tuition of $3,800 in-parish and $5,180 out of parish, had declined by 40 percent, from 203 students to 120, in five years. This resulted in the need for substantial financial subsidies by the parish that totaled $205,000 in the 2006-07 fiscal year and are projected to reach $237,000 this year. Just six students in the school are members of the parish.

To ensure a smooth transition, the Archdiocesan Catholic Schools Office will meet with the faculty, staff and parents later this month to assist faculty and staff with applying to other Catholic schools and parents with enrolling their children in neighboring schools that have space. These include Holy Family, Hillcrest Heights; St. John the Evangelist, Clinton; St. Philip the Apostle, Camp Springs; Mt. Calvary, Forestville; St. Mary of Piscataway, Clinton; and St. Thomas More in Washington, DC.

The Archdiocese of Washington includes 580,000 Catholics, 140 parishes and nearly 31,000 students attending 106 early learning, elementary and secondary schools in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s. Prince George’s County is served by 25 Catholic schools, including 19 elementary schools.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]