Jasper catholic schools considering merger

The catholic schools in Jasper say they want to merge and create a new parochial school system.

The details of the merger between Jasper's Catholic Schools have not yet been worked out, but Father Gary Kaiser says Holy Family Elementary, Precious Blood Elementary, and St. Mary's Preschool will eventually all merger under one new catholic school system.

"The idea is not a new one," Father Kaiser says.

Father Kaiser says Jasper's Catholic Parishes have been searching for a way to make the schools more efficient, ever since middle-schoolers moved from Precious Blood to Holy Family in 1991. Kaiser, as well as other school officials, believe this merger will do that.

"At this point in time, we really don't have a definite answer, other than we're trying to move towards how we can best minister and serve all the students, the staff, the parents, and out supporters," Father Kaiser says.

Over the next year, Kaiser says church and school officials will be working with all local catholic school stake-holders to figure out the best way to execute the merger.

"We feel that coming together will better use our resources, provide even a stronger educational opportunity for our students, and a wonderfully faith-filled environment," says Sally Sternberg, the principal of Holy Family.

This letter was sent home to parents last week, informing them of the merger process. The letter points out the merger has been inspired by the Evansville Diocese's recent restructuring, but that isn't the cause.

"We're looking to build the most sustainable future for our kids. We're going be always thinking about what will be in their best interest, today and in the future," Precious Blood Principle, Michelle Brandle says.

Some are wondering if a new catholic high school might be built in Jasper, as a result of this merger.

Father Kaiser says there are no plans in place for that right now, but he also isn't ruling out the possibility that a new high school could be built in the future.

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