The Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools Office today announced St. Dominic Catholic School in Bolingbrook will close at the end of the current academic year on May 27.
Established in 1966, the Pre-K through eighth-grade school has seen regular declines in student enrollment in recent years. Annual student enrollment, which is tallied on the sixth day of classes at the start of each academic year, has dropped from 253 in 2016 to 175 in 2021 – a 31% decrease. The student population declined further through the current school year, and now stands at 165.
The school is financially supported through tuition and subsidies from St. Dominic Parish and St. Francis of Assisi Parish, both in Bolingbrook. The school had an enrollment goal of between 169 and 178 students for the 2022-2023 academic year, but has registered 140 students so far for the fall.
“Our hearts are heavy today, but leadership at both the diocese and the school have come to the same sad conclusion: The time has come to close St. Dominic Catholic School,” said Michael J. Boyle, Ph.D., superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Joliet.
Sister Marie Isaac, OP, who has served as principal of St. Dominic’s since 2014, credited the school community with providing a quality Catholic education partnered with a nurturing environment for students.
“I have a very dedicated, talented staff and a supportive parent community,” she said. “The people here love God, and He is present here with us.”
The Diocese of Joliet is committed to providing access to a Catholic education and will provide a $500 Closed School Grant to each current K-7 student who enrolls in a diocesan school for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, if the family’s tuition balance at St. Dominic Catholic School is paid in full. Parents and students are encouraged to explore nearby St. Scholastica Parish School in Woodridge and St. Andrew the Apostle School in Romeoville, as well as other diocesan schools.
St. Dominic Catholic School currently employs 14 full-time staff members, in addition to 10 part-time employees. Hiring at all Diocese of Joliet schools for the 2022-2023 academic year is underway, and the Catholic Schools Office will work with St. Dominic’s staff on placement opportunities.