Two months after St. Joseph Catholic school closed its doors for good, members of the Haverhill parish family are invited to share in a “Thanks for the Memories” open house.
Held Saturday, Aug. 19, the Open House is a joint effort by faculty, parents and student volunteers, organizer Judy Quintal tells WHAV.net. Quintal served as the school’s secretary for the last 26 of its 129 years of service.
“The school has long been associated with longtime traditions and a family community,” Quintal said. “Those that have attended, taught and worked at St. Joseph School truly have a special place in their hearts for their lessons learned and lifelong lasting friendships.”
At the event, members of the public will have the opportunity to tour the school one final time and mingle with former classmates. Attendees will also witness the opening of the school’s revered time capsule, which was sealed in June 1988 to mark St. Joseph School’s 100th anniversary.
Announced in early June, the school’s closing displaces 133 students ranging from nursery school to eighth grade.
“It is with profound sadness and regret that I announce that the school at 56 Oak Terrace is closing at the end of June,” Pastor Timothy Kearney said in an announcement letter to the school community. He explained that the school’s enrollment has dropped 51 percent since 2012 when the total number of students was 269. “Efforts to increase student enrollment and retention of students have met with limited success,” he added.
According to Kearney, the nursery and pre-kindergarten program will continue at the Early Childhood Center, 120 Bellevue Ave. Displaced teachers are being placed on a priority list for any vacancies at other Catholic schools.
To RSVP for the Aug. 19 “Thanks for the Memories” Open House, contact [email protected] or Judy Quintal at 978-835-3234.