John F. Kennedy High School to Close

By Brian Feldman, KMOX News

John F. Kennedy High School is closing its doors after this current 2016-2017 academic year. The rising cost of education coupled with low enrollment are the reasons cited by the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Archbishop Robert Carlos sent a letter home to parents dated September 16 explaining the decision and what it means for current parents of students enrolled at John F. Kennedy:

Dear Parents,

In consultation with the Archdiocesan Board of Catholic Education and the leadership of the
school, I accept the recommendation to close John F. Kennedy Catholic High School at the end
of the 2016 – 2017 school year. Following deliberations with the Archdiocesan Board of
Catholic Education and the School Oversight Committee, and in spite of the efforts of many to
improve enrollment and reduce the increases in the cost of education, this will be the final
academic year for the school.

I have asked Dr. Kurt Nelson, Superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St.
Louis, to contact the presidents of the other 26 Catholic high schools in the archdiocese. He will
ask them to be prepared to consider and welcome students from Kennedy Catholic. I have asked
Fr. Richard Wosman, president of Kennedy Catholic High School, and the Archdiocesan
Catholic Education Office to ensure the following:

• All existing scholarship grants and tuition arrangements will be honored at any of the
schools owned and operated by the Archdiocese of St. Louis (Bishop DuBourg, Cardinal
Ritter, Duchesne, Rosati–Kain, St. Dominic, St. Francis Borgia, St. Mary’s, St. Pius X
and Trinity).

• Every Kennedy student seeking a Catholic education will receive a special $500
transition credit to cover student fees at the archdiocesan-owned Catholic high school to
which he or she has been accepted.

• Kennedy High School will host an evening for our families to meet with representatives
of all of the Catholic high schools in the archdiocese this fall to assist with placement for
each student.

• Each student will have a personal advocate and advisor while seeking enrollment in a
new school.

In the days ahead, there will be informational meetings at the school where you may learn more
about the closing and our next steps. Throughout this school year, the many friends, alumni and
benefactors of Kennedy Catholic will be recognized and honored along with the faculty and staff
as we celebrate nearly 50 years of Kennedy Catholic High School.

In recent years, there has been a diminishing number of Catholic families in this area of the
archdiocese seeking a Catholic high school education for their children. Kennedy High School’s
freshman enrollment has dropped by 50% in two years. Total enrollment is down 43% since
2013. I am hopeful that the generosity of so many people to our campaign for Catholic education
will be part of the answer to our prayers for vibrant, growing and financially healthy schools.
There are more than 6,000 Kennedy Catholic alumni who influence our community every day
with their diverse talents and Christian witness. I am sure you know some of them. Join me on
this journey, sad though it is, thanking God for His blessings on the Kennedy Catholic
community over the past five decades.

In the coming days, Fr. Richard Wosman will be meeting with students and parents. If you have
specific questions, you may contact Fr. Wosman directly at rwosman@kennedycatholic.net or
call 636-628-1932.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop of St. Louis

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