Burbank, CA – Bellarmine-Jefferson High School is set to pause operations at the end of the 2017-2018 academic year, with plans to re-open for the 2019-2020 school year. The closure is part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ plan to undergo an analysis and restructuring process for the struggling high school. The school has faced declining enrollment over the past 10 years. The school currently has 98 students, down from a recent high of 295.
“Bell-Jeff has a longstanding tradition of academic excellence and a successful high school sports program, all of which is a testimony to the hard work of the school’s administration, teachers and staff,” said Dr. Kevin Baxter, Senior Director and Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
“The Archdiocese and the school have worked with school families to try to increase enrollment, but with growing operational costs, the school faced a continued uphill struggle that would have negatively impacted the school’s ability to continue to offer a quality education to students.”
“The school will be undergoing a complete analysis and restructuring process to build on the strong academic foundation of Bell-Jeff and provide the infrastructure needed to become a successful and viable school,” added Dr. Baxter. “Our hope is to complete the restructure initiative for the 2019-2020 school year and offer an innovative Catholic education program that best meets the needs of the community we serve,” emphasized Dr. Baxter.
School administrators will be working closely with families to place current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in other available archdiocesan Catholic high schools, as well as finding new positions for the faculty and staff. There are many archdiocesan Catholic high schools in the area, which provide excellent academic curriculums, facilities and have space to accommodate transfers from Bell-Jeff.
“We have excellent teachers and students at Bell-Jeff, and our utmost priority is to assist them in finding other local Catholic high schools in the area in which to teach and learn. Students will be given priority status in enrolling at archdiocesan Catholic high schools, as well as transitional tuition assistance and reimbursement for new uniforms,” explained Dr. Baxter.
“The Department of Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is committed to providing a quality faith based education to equip our students to succeed academically and become future leaders of our society,” said Dr. Baxter.
Bellarmine-Jefferson High School was founded in 1944 by Monsignor Martin Cody Keating and administered by the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary until 1975. It became an archdiocesan administered school in 1980 serving as a four-year college preparatory high school.