MORNINGSIDE (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools Board has voted to shut down St. Raphael School in Morningside for the upcoming school year.

According to the president of the board, Father Kris Stubna, the school only had 39 confirmed registered students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

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“We realize how difficult this closure is for many of you who have such a deep love for Saint Raphael School,” Father Stubna said in a letter. “We understand that you are very concerned about where you can send your children for a Catholic education on such short notice. Be assured that nearby schools, especially Sacred Heart in your own grouping are eager to welcome them.”

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The School Advisory Board met in July with the Pittsburgh East Regional Catholic Elementary Schools Board and learned of 68 unconfirmed registrations and the board recommended that phone calls be made to confirm registrations. Those called confirmed 47 registrations, but it has since dropped to 39.

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On August 2, the board voted to recommend the closing of the school for the upcoming season.

Bishop Zubik conferred with the board and agreed to the recommendation.

Students that were enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year by August 2 are receiving a scholarship worth $1,000 for any other Catholic elementary schools they choose to enroll in. The scholarships are supported in part by remaining funds raised for the school through the School Advisory Council and the parish community.

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“I want to recognize in a special way the hard work and dedication of the faculty, staff, school families, and parishioners of Saint Raphael, together with your clergy,” said Father Stubna in his letter. “You will be in my prayers as you seek a school home for your children.”