Two Catholic high schools in the Miami area have announced that they will merge next year.
The Archdiocese of Miami says that at the beginning of the 2017-2018 scholastic year, Archbishop Curley/Notre Dame High School in Miami and Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens will be combined, and all students will attend the Pace campus beginning in August 2017.
A merger will enable the archdiocese to provide students "an enhanced education with additional extracurricular opportunities," the archdiocese says in a news release.
"With your child attending a larger school, he/she will experience signature academies, new technology, fine arts programs, seventy clubs and activities, and enjoy award-winning sports teams," Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski says in a letter to parents.
The Miami Herald reports that enrollment at Curley/Notre Dame has been steadily declining for years. Only 229 students in grades six through 12 are attending the school this year, an archdiocesan spokeswoman says.
Officials say that announcing the merger early gives families time to adjust to the changes.
“it is important to provide the students and families a timeline to ensure a smooth transition from being two separate schools, Archbishop Curly/Notre Dame and Monsignor Pace, to becoming one school community,” says Kim Pryzbylski, superintendent of Catholic schools. "Now there is an entire year to prepare for this transition and to insure that the educational process continues without interruption."
Monsignor Pace High School is about 10 miles north of Curley/Notre Dame.
For Curley/Notre Dame, this is the second time the school has gone through a merger. Curley and Notre Dame opened in 1953 as separate schools and were combined in 1981. Monsignor Pace High School opened in 1961 on a site adjacent to St. Thomas University.