St. Joseph Catholic School in Chatham will close at the end of June, as the St. Clair Catholic District School Board begins to move forward. All students and staff will be relocated to St. Ursula Catholic School, effective September 2019.
In 2017, the Board approved the consolidation of St. Joseph, St. Ursula and Georges P. Vanier Catholic schools in a new state-of-the-art school building to be located in south Chatham. “Since that time, we have encountered some challenges in our search for suitable property for our new south Chatham school, which has delayed the project,” says Deb Crawford, Director of Education. “And in the meantime, enrolment at St. Joseph continues to decline to a level that would mean two triple grade classes next September.
It is our goal to provide excellent Catholic education for all of our students.” St. Ursula is large enough to easily accommodate all of the students from St. Joseph Catholic School. Families will be contacted early in June regarding transportation.
The change does not impact Georges P. Vanier Catholic School.
“Our goal for south Chatham has not changed,” says Mrs. Crawford. “We continue our search for property and hope to move forward with the second phase of school consolidation, when all of the south Chatham elementary schools finally come together in one brand new state-of-the art school building.”
The staff of St. Ursula and St. Joseph will begin over the next several weeks to plan for ways to begin to bring the two school communities together in ways that will ensure St. Joseph students arrive at their new school in September feeling welcomed and ‘at home’ among new friends.
The Board will also begin planning for ways to celebrate the many contributions of St. Joseph Catholic School to the community throughout its long and important history.
Construction of the new north Chatham Catholic elementary school, also announced in 2017, is currently underway on McNaughton Avenue, West. When opened, it will result in the consolidation of the Our Lady of Fatima, St. Vincent and St. Agnes Catholic school communities.