Our Lady of the Lake Town Hall Meeting Focuses on School News
Our Lady of the Lake held a town hall meeting on January 22 to answer questions from parishioners and school families about recent school closings in the community. A sizeable crowd of parents and community members came seeking information about the future of St John of the Cross School, and how its closing might affect other area schools. What began as a conversation focused on deep community concerns ended with a positive note as attendees got a clear message of Our Lady of the Lake’s strong position.
Father Joe Fortuna shared a chronology of events leading up to the announced closing of St John of the Cross, and expressed his commitment to maintaining a strong school in Our Lady of the Lake parish both now and in the future. While rumors had apparently circulated that St John of the Cross school was merging with Ss. Robert and Williams school, and Our Lady of the Lake was in some risk of closing, both rumors were soundly refuted. A parishioner with students at St John of the Cross emphasized that, while that school has formed a partnership with Ss. Robert and William that addresses issues such as tuition, families there are free to send their students to any school of their choosing. Our Lady of the Lake is similarly offering in-parish tuition rates to St John of the Cross families.
Further, Finance Council Chair Frank Dempsey strongly rebutted any suggestion that Our Lady of the Lake School is at risk. In fact, he reported, finances are stronger, the reserve for school support has exceeded funds required, and the parish has the resources and commitment to both sustain and invest in the school going forward. Statements by both Father Fortuna and Principal Rita Kingsbury clearly demonstrated that the school is not only stable, but growing, with new investments in technology, enrichment and academic programs, and additional innovative curriculum offerings already in process.
Principal Kingsbury ended the evening with a slide show of Our Lady of the Lake students and staff that brought applause from attendees. As one participant said after listening to the updates and watching the show: “our school is on the right track and our families are so awesome.”