Official OK granted to keep QPHS open

NORTH ARLINGTON

Queen of Peace High School, which had been slated to close at the end of June because of declining enrollment and sagging finances in recent years, will now open for the 2016-2017 academic year, the Most Rev. John J. Myers, archbishop of Newark, announced Thursday, July 21.

The Rev. Michael Donovan, pastor of Queen of Peace Parish, which operates the High School, received the good news on the phone from the Archdiocese.

While the school announced several weeks ago it would reopen, the news did not become official until Myers gave his approval.

“I spoke with Archbishop Myers yesterday to bring him up to date on our efforts,” Donovan said. “His Grace expressed his happiness over what we have accomplished.  He also said that he has great hopes for our plan to be more financially stable and to grow enrollment over the next few years.”

News of the announcement is being communicated to parents and interested stakeholders today (?) by the school’s administration.

After the high school and Queen of Peace Parish communities were informed in May that QP was slated to close at the end of this most recent academic year, students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and friends undertook an extensive fundraising effort in a very short time frame to ensure there would be sufficient funds to keep the school open for the coming year.

Under the leadership of Donovan, a group of staff and volunteers, including prominent alumni, also began developing a series of long-term plans for tuition management, general financial support and management, enrollment and daily operations.

To date, the school has raised some $1.02 million to support the operation of the school for the coming year, and some 225 students are expected to enter the classrooms and begin the new school year this coming September.

As a result of the significant improvements to its fiscal management, recruitment efforts and development strategies, Myers believes Queen of Peace High School can have a viable future.

“I am extremely grateful to Father Donovan, the staff, volunteers, students and families of Queen of Peace High School, and the staff of the Archdiocesan Schools and Finance Offices for assuring that Queen of Peace High School can continue to be a vital part of Catholic secondary education,” he said.  “The entire QP family has worked diligently to create a roadmap for a solid financial foundation and student enrollment. I believe that everyone involved in the school’s life now is committed fully to ensuring that this foundation of student growth and development of adequate finance resources becomes a long-term reality.

“While there still are hurdles to overcome in the months ahead — including how the parish will seek to resolve the outstanding debt that the high school’s circumstances had created — I am confident that parish and school leadership will work with our staff here in the chancery to find a solution that benefits all.”

Myers added: “In heraldry, QP’s mascot, the Griffin, symbolizes someone with the qualities of strength, courage, intelligence and leadership. The results that the QP family has produced, and the new start they have created for this great school, clearly show that the Griffin has inspired them. I pray that they will continue to be inspired as they work to ensure the brightest of futures for Queen of Peace High School.”

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