Has the Holy Family Catholic Schools board considered a fourth proposal? Choose to keep both schools open, offer a unique Catholic curriculum (classical education) to grow enrollment, and face the unspoken issue every school in the system is facing together: declining enrollment.

In 2011, St. Jerome’s in Hyattsville, Md., was facing a similar situation. The school was $117,469 in debt, enrollment dropped, and those in charge were considering closing the school.

Instead, the parish raised the money to pay off the debt and created a new curriculum based on classical education, and other schools have since followed their example.

St. Jerome’s now has a waiting list of families who want to attend.

Take time to review St. Jerome’s success story and take inspiration from it. Dubuque’s population has plateaued the past few years, and Holy Family’s enrollment numbers are on a steady decline. We cannot count on a percentage of the population choosing Catholic education solely based on religion. We need to offer something more than the public schools can offer.

Please face the issues at hand, a declining enrollment at all grade levels and the need to offer a unique Catholic curriculum.

Build on Holy Ghost’s dual success of building a student body that represents the growing diversity of the city of Dubuque and the inclusivity it has created. If you do not band together and confront the issues and offer something more, a future Holy Family will have only one grade school to offer its community.

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