Catholic K-8 School Set to Close Due to Low Enrollment

A Catholic school in San Francisco created to serve the Chinese immigrant community will suspend operations at the end of the school year, the Archdiocese of San Francisco announced today.

St. Mary’s School, located at 838 Kearny St. in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood, will close because of low enrollment and ongoing financial losses according to the Rev. Bart Landry, the school’s director and pastor of Old Saint Mary’s Cathedral and Chinese Mission.

Landry said the shutdown is only a suspension and not a closure for now. The K-8 school’s bilingual Montessori preschool will continue to operate and the parish will consider reopening the kindergarten and lower grades in a few years if there is sufficient demand.

“With strong support from the archdiocese over the past few years our community has put serious marketing effort into recruiting additional students into our school. Unhappily now, the numbers just aren’t there,” Landry said in a statement.

“We plan to make a comeback,” Landry said, describing the suspension as a “re-grouping, marketing and planning period.”

St. Mary’s School opened in 1921 to serve the Chinese immigrant communities, according to archdiocese officials. Landry said the school’s middle school program has sent 25 to 35 percent of its graduates to the city’s academically selective Lowell High School each year for the past decade, as well as other prestigious high schools.

The Department of Catholic Schools will help students and their families relocate to other Catholic schools or other schools of their choice.

A meeting will be held to announce the suspension at 6:30 p.m. today at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral, located at 660 California St.

Sara Gaiser, Bay City News

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