School consolidations announcement set

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien is set to announce the consolidation of an unspecified number of schools March 4.

The process has been more than a year in the making. Archbishop O’Brien formed a schools planning office and a Blue Ribbon Committee to address numerous issues – including enrollment and finances – facing schools.

Monsignor Robert L. Hartnett, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Essex, has served as executive director for the schools planning office and the Blue Ribbon Committee. He is confident there will be a place for every student in receiving schools.

“I think this will be a positive step because it will strengthen all our schools,” Hartnett said. “It will help us consolidate some of our resources. We’re looking at initiating new academic programs that will be, I believe, responsive to some of the suggestions from some of the parents and teachers. I also think it will pull some of these communities together and strengthen relationships.”

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