trinity catholic stlou

St. Louis area Catholic high school will close later this year

Feb. 25, 2021
Trinity Catholic High School in north St. Louis County has seen significant enrollment drops and increasing maintenance costs.

Trinity Catholic High School in north St. Louis County, Mo., will close at the end of the 2020-21 school year because of low enrollment.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the school has seen a "steady and dramatic" enrollment decline this year to 284 students,  77 of whom are seniors, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis says. Only 37 students were projected to enter next fall as freshmen. 

A financial analysis also showed that ongoing maintenance expenses were prohibitive for the school, which was built in 1959.

Trinity Catholic traces its roots to Mercy High School in 1948. Mercy merged with St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florissant in 1985. St. Thomas Aquinas-Mercy then merged with Rosary High School in Spanish Lake in 2003 and was renamed Trinity Catholic.

Trinity is the only Catholic high school in north St. Louis County. Its tuition, about $11,000 per year, was among the lowest for private high schools in the region. The school's football team won the Class 3 state football championship in 2018. Its boys' and girls' track and field teams won state titles in 2019.

Peter Frangie, a spokesman for the Archdiocese, says assistance will be provided to families for transferring their students, and to staff members for job placement services.

Many of the other Catholic high schools in St. Louis County already offer transportation for students in the area.

Catholic high school enrollment in the St. Louis region has declined 22% over the last decade, mirroring a national trend. Nearly 1,000 schools have closed nationwide since 2009, according to the National Catholic Educational Association.

Two of Trinity's top feeder elementary schools, Christ Light of the Nations in Spanish Lake and Most Holy Trinity in north St. Louis, closed permanently last spring because of financial losses from the pandemic.

Another two feeder schools have closed in the last five years — Academy of St. Sabina and St. Angela Merici in Florissant.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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