PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The kids are back in school, settling into their routine.

So too, are Pittsburgh’s Catholic schools.

“We are very proud of our Catholic schools, and we are gratified by the recognition of the larger community for our values-based, faith-filled and academically excellent educational program,” said Superintendent Michael Latusek.

Falling enrollment at the parochial schools has been an issue for years — resulting in the closure and consolidation of many neighborhood Catholic schools — and the evaluation of viability continues.

“Within each of the four vicariates with parishes with schools and parishes without schools, all aimed at the reorganization of Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Pittsburgh that will ensure their long-term viability,” Latusek said.

The official enrollment numbers for the system have not been released, but are estimated at 20,000 for pre-school through grade 12. That’s a loss of about 1,000 students — or nearly 5 percent.

One place they expect to change the trend is via the growing interest in the new Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School in Cranberry Township.

The expectation is that over the first several years, enrollment will grow to 1,000 students in grades 9-12.

Construction is well underway on the 71-acre parcel located on route 228, with completion expected in the Spring of 2014.

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