Parents whose children attend two Catholic elementary schools in Delaware County were told Tuesday night that the schools would close because of declining enrollment.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Our Lady of Charity parish school in Brookhaven and St. Philomena parish school in Lansdowne would be shuttered at the end of the academic year.
At Our Lady of Charity, which has 176 students, just 89 students had registered for the fall. Only 88 students had signed up for St. Philomena, which now has 141.
With such low numbers, the average class would have had 10 or fewer students, officials said. Our Lady of Charity's sixth grade would have had three students.
"This was an extremely difficult decision to make because of the impact on students, families, and teachers," Mary E. Rochford, superintendent of archdiocesan schools, said in a statement. "We waited as long as possible in the hope that reregistration numbers would increase and that our schools could remain open next year."
Administrators from the Office of Catholic Education told parents that officials would work to find spots for displaced students at nearby parish schools.
Our Lady of Charity will partner with St. Joseph in Aston. St. Philomena students will be encouraged to enroll at St. Andrew in Drexel Hill or St. Laurence in Upper Darby.
In recent years, the archdiocese has announced the closings and mergers of several parish schools throughout the region because of declining enrollment caused by population shifts and rising costs.