Despite the best efforts of dozens of parents, two Catholic schools will close next month, in a decision announced late last night by school trustees in Windsor.
St. Gregory and St. Maria Goretti schools will both close their doors a month from now.
At a meeting Tuesday night, the Catholic school board announced its final decision, to shut down those elementary schools in Tecumseh and east Windsor.
The board heard from 18 delegations, mainly parents, before making the announcement.
Paul Picard, the Director of Education, said he understands the concerns of parents, but it was a fiscal decision.
"We are a system in decline, as are most school systems in the province of Ontario," he said. "We are down approximately 4,000 student spaces. You have to consolidate schools. It's significant but this went a long way to addressing many of those issues."
Bill Bolton has three children at St. Gregory school in Tecumseh.
"(It was) an overly complicated, very expensive process, being executed with one objective: we ended up at the exact same place as the original recommendation, in spite of the overwhelming evidence to solve the problem with other ways and means," said Bolton.
Mike Rohrer has three children at St. Gregory, and was just asking for the board to give that school one more year. He spearheaded a parent campaign to reverse the board's decision.
"I'm not asking you to abdicate your responsibility," he said. "I'm simply asking you to leave no stone unturned."
St. Gregory students will have to go to St. Pius X school.
The students who currently attend St. Maria Goretti school in Windsor's Riverside area will now attend either St. Rose or St. John Vianney schools come September.
St. Jules will close at the end of the 2014-2015 school year and Immaculate Conception will be monitored for enrolment.
The board also decided to continue with efforts to build a new Catholic Central High School at the site of the old Windsor Arena.
The Catholic School Board has cited cost-saving efforts as the reason for closing the school.