TAUNTON — To strengthen Catholic school education in Taunton, the Diocese of Fall River’s Catholic School leaders are taking a number of short- and long-term steps.

In the short-term, St. Mary Primary School in Taunton is being closed at the end of this school year. St. Mary Primary School families are being encouraged to enroll their children in Our Lady of Lourdes School, Taunton, to form one Pre-K – Grade 4 School in the city. Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle School will add Grade 5 starting July 1, 2018, and continue to serve Catholic school students in grades 6-12.

“The decision to close St. Mary Primary School, although extraordinarily difficult, we believe will result in a stronger Catholic school educational program for all of the elementary school students in Taunton,” stated Diocese of Fall River Superintendent of Schools Steve Perla. “Through these steps we are developing a seamless Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12 system (to be housed at 2 campuses), which will greatly benefit all of Taunton Catholic school students.”

During the past 5 years, the Taunton Catholic schools have experienced a significant decline in enrollment resulting in considerable financial challenges. Also, serious building issues at St. Mary Primary School have necessitated that these immediate short-term steps be taken to ensure a viable and sustainable future.

The Leadership Teams of both St. Mary Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes School have been working to ensure a smooth transition for all students. Activities and events are being planned for this spring to unite the two school communities into one new school community. Current Our Lady of Lourdes School’s tuition rates will apply for all families who enroll from St. Mary Primary School to Our Lady of Lourdes School.

Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle School is also working intentionally with students transitioning to Grade 5 to help them adjust to the change. Grade 5 will remain a self-contained classroom. First priority will be granted to those students from St. Mary Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes School who wish to enroll in Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle School’s Grade 5 program. For those students, the Grade 5 tuition at Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle School will be equivalent to the tuition of Our Lady of Lourdes School.

In the long-term, a Visioning Committee will be established to work with diocesan Catholic school leaders to develop a roadmap for the future of Catholic school education in Taunton. The Committee will be comprised of 15 key stakeholders representing leadership, faculty, parents, students, and key philanthropists. The Committee will be convened in May 2018.

Parents have been invited to a meeting with the Catholic Schools Office Leadership Team on Thursday, March 22, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in Coyle and Cassidy High School and Middle School’s auditorium.

Diocese of Fall River
Catholic Schools Alliance
423 Highland Avenue
Fall River, MA 02720

Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Fall River
Office of Communications