St. Margaret's School, a fixture in North Buffalo for 95 years, will close in June, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced Tuesday night.
The Hertel Avenue school has seen a significant decline in enrollment over the last several years, and the parish is no longer able to continue providing the kind of subsidy needed to keep it operating, the diocese said. Aggressive efforts to increase enrollment were not successful.
The school community held a series of meetings and mounted a spirited marketing campaign to enroll 150 students for the next school year by this week but fell far short of that goal, registering only 60 students. The school currently has an enrollment of 109 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade.
Five years ago, the school had 147 students, and 10 years ago, the student body numbered 186.
St. Margaret's School opened in 1917 and reached a peak enrollment of 647 in 1965. The diocese said current St. Margaret's students will be welcomed at any Catholic elementary school.
Current students will receive a one-time $500 tuition credit that can be used at any Catholic elementary school in the diocese for the 2012-13 school year.
A parent information night has been scheduled for 7 p.m. March 22 at the school to explain how parents can transfer their children to other Catholic elementary schools in the city. Our Lady of Black Rock, Catholic Academy of West Buffalo, St. Mark's and St. Joseph-University schools will be represented.
A second session is scheduled March 27.
St. Margaret's School has 20 full- and part-time employees. The diocesan departments of Catholic Schools and Human Resources will work with the faculty members to assist them with possible placement in other Catholic schools.
"St. Margaret's School has provided a strong tradition of spiritual formation and academic excellence to its families in North Buffalo. For some time, the school has faced serious fiscal and enrollment issues," said Dr. Rosemary Henry, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Buffalo.
"We are now focused on helping St. Margaret's School families enroll in other Catholic elementary schools, as well as assisting faculty and staff."