Release Date: December 19, 2023
Closure of St. Martin of Tours Catholic School, Cincinnati
St. Martin of Tours Catholic School, operated by St. Martin of Tours Parish in Cheviot, will close following the completion of the 2023-2024 school year.
The pastor, pastoral council and finance council of St. Martin of Tours Parish — in consultation with the Catholic Schools Office of the archdiocese — recommended closure of St. Martin of Tours Catholic School, after the completion of the current school year. In accordance with archdiocesan procedures, the recommendation for closure was submitted to, and accepted by, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.
In October of this year, Saint Martin of Tours Parish began an evaluation process to examine the future viability of the school. As part of the announcement of the evaluation process, Fr. Matthew Robben, Pastor of St. Martin of Tours Parish reported the following:
“Over the last five years, St. Martin of Tours School has incurred a cumulative deficit of $1.9 million. This deficit is projected to grow to $2.3 million by the end of this school year. Despite parish cost-cutting measures that have reduced annual expenses by about $125,000, the parish net surplus over the past five years has totaled only $106,500 which is obviously not enough to cover the school deficit. This trend is not projected to improve. . . .
What has caused this rapid decline in revenue? There are two major factors: stewardship and enrollment/tuition. The parish and school continue to experience decline in donations and tithing. Total income in FY 2018-2019 was $1,182,786 but by FY 2022-2023 had declined by more than 36% to $756,335. Our projections for FY 2023-2024 anticipate another 3-5% decline. Secondly, our School continues to experience a decline in enrollment, which reduces tuition revenue. In the 2018-2019 academic year we enrolled 271 students. In the 2022-2023 academic year, that number dropped to 202. The current 2023-2024 academic year has seen another 20-student decline to 182 students. In addition, data from the most recent Census, projects that the number of eligible grade-school aged students in our area will decline over the next five years.”
Upon conclusion of the evaluation process, after an extensive review of the parish and school finances and giving trends, it was determined that the parish could no longer afford to subsidize the school at the current rate due to the depletion of its financial reserves.
“It is with great sadness that St. Martin of Tours Catholic School is closing for the 2024-2025 school year,” said Ms. Kathy Kane, Interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools. “St. Martin has provided spiritual development and academic excellence for more than 100 years on the west side of Cincinnati. The Catholic Schools Office remains committed to supporting the students, families, staff and community during the upcoming transition.”
St. Martin of Tours Parish is part of The Family of the Most Holy Eucharist Family of Parishes. In addition to St. Martin School the Family has four additional schools: Our Lady of Lourdes School, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga School, Saint Antoninus School, and Saint Catharine of Siena School. The four other Catholic schools within The Family of the Most Holy Eucharist have been asked to give priority acceptance to St. Martin of Tours Catholic School students.
St. Martin of Tours Catholic School was founded in 1912, in conjunction with the establishment of St. Martin of Tours Parish. The school’s present enrollment is 182 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school employs 22 paid teachers and staff.
Fr. Matthew Robben has informed the staff, school and parish families of the upcoming closure. “The decision to close St. Martin School naturally comes with many emotions such as anger, sadness, fear and anxiety . . . As we move through this difficult transition, please pray for our school families, faculty, and staff as we begin this journey. May Saint Martin of Tours lead us, guide us, and pray for us!”
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 51st largest Catholic diocese in the country, with around 435,000 Catholics, and has the fifth largest Catholic school system in terms of enrollment with nearly 40,000 students. The 19-county territory includes 208 canonical parishes organized into 57 Families of Parishes, and 110 Catholic primary and secondary schools.
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