On February 5, the School Board of St. Gregory Episcopal School, 2130 South Central Park Avenue, overwhelmingly voted to unite with the Holy Family Lutheran School, Homan Avenue & Arthington Street. This follows the unanimous decision made by the Holy Family Board one week earlier to accept the unification of the schools. Starting in the fall of 2010, St. Gregory students will enroll at the newly-named Holy Family School, which has grown substantially in the past several years, since moving into its newly-constructed, state-of-the-art building in Homan Square.
Both schools have a long tradition of serving the North Lawndale/West Garfield communities through quality, low-cost, faith-based elementary education. As one, Holy Family and St. Gregory will continue to serve the North Lawndale and surrounding communities so that area youth will flourish academically, as well as in life, according to a joint communiqué issued by the two schools.
Father Ken Erickson, St. Gregory’s Principal, states of the partnership: “We seek to have a lasting impact on the lives of the children of North Lawndale and the surrounding neighborhoods. What we care about most is the mission that we share – that respecting the dignity of every child begins with providing an excellent education.”
Holy Family President Susan Work also affirms the partnership, saying: “It is a win-win opportunity, and a 2010 perspective to both schools. The winners are the children.”
The winning plays out in a variety of ways for West Side children. Through joint resources, students have access to Holy Family’s state-of-the-art facility. This fully-equipped facility delivers a complete learning experience: a playground, gym (which dually functions as an auditorium and cafeteria), library, art room, music room, science lab, computer lab, and generous learning space.
Additionally, Holy Family’s vision is to use its building in service of the community, offering before- and after-school childcare, after-school programming focusing on the arts and sports, and an 8-week summer camp.
With the addition of St. Gregory students, enrollment could potentially increase 30%. Higher enrollment means smaller class sizes with the addition of more paid staff, increased funds for special programming, more scholarship assistance, and additional volunteers.
Drawing on St. Gregory’s focus on educating at-risk boys, Holy Family and St. Gregory boards are joining together to consider special programming addressing the special education issues facing at-risk boys, as well as the reinstatement of the St. Gregory’s Boy’s Choir.
According to Work, “St. Gregory students will be immersed in the life of Holy Family – and we will be one big Holy Family!”
For information on Holy Family curriculum, programs, financial assistance, and enrollment, call 773/265-0550.