Declining enrollment forces Fall River Catholic high school to close after 57 years

FALL RIVER — After over half a century of educating children from southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Fall River’s Bishop Conolly High School is shuttering its doors.

The Diocese announced Wednesday the Catholic school will cease operations at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

An extended period of decline in enrollment and financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a massive strain on the school. The Diocese of Fall River spent over $1 million to keep the school running over the past five years, the church organization announced. A hardship the school can no longer bear.

“While we sincerely regret having to close Bishop Connolly, our ultimate goal is to strengthen Catholic education in the Diocese for the future,” said Daniel S. Roy, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Fall River.  “We are committed to helping families transition to other Diocesan Catholic high schools and to make the process as seamless as possible.”

“We continue to experience very challenging times that have put an even greater financial strain on many families,” stated Bishop Edgar da Cunha, S.D.V., of the Diocese of Fall River. “So many people have extraordinary needs amidst this economic uncertainty, and the Diocese needs to leverage its precious resources to an even greater extent.  We are confident that our Catholic school leadership will provide both pastoral support and educational guidance to all affected families so that their children can transition and be welcomed into a new Catholic school family.”

Parents will be able to participate in Zoom meetings with school leadership to discuss admission to other Diocesan high schools, tuition and financial aid, transportation or other concerns.

Bishop Connolly High School serves students from over 30 towns and cities across Massachusetts and Rhode Island, according to the school’s website.

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