Aurora Catholic Academy Consolidates Campuses
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
April 6, 2023
AURORA—Two campuses will become one at Pope St. John Paul II Catholic Academy for the 2023-24 school year according to an announcement made March 30. 
A letter sent from the executive pastor Father Timothy Mulcahey, assistant executive pastor Father Matthew McMorrow, principal Dr. Marisa Christoffel and assistant principal Mr. David Bielat  explained the decision to bring the North and South campuses of the academy together at one location.
 The move, they said, will help strengthen the program begun when the academy opened in 2018.
“Our goal has been to provide a solid Catholic academic program. Currently, we have 105 students registered at the North Campus and 36 at the South Campus. Keeping in mind that we want to continue to provide an excellent education for our students, we have decided to bring students from the South Campus into the North Campus building starting this fall,” the letter stated. 
“This decision will make a significant improvement academically, socially, and financially. Multi-level classrooms will no longer be necessary, allowing our students to have broader interactions with more students. The latest educational research indicates that students also learn from their peers. Therefore, bringing students together onto one campus provides a richer learning environment that fosters continued academic growth. Using one building will also help strengthen our school and programs financially,” the letter explained.
Pope St. John Paul II Catholic Academy is the Catholic school for the parishes of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Sacred Heart, St. Joseph, St. Mary, St. Nicholas, St. Peter and St. Therese of Jesus all located in Aurora. The parishes who once supported their own schools came together to form a new school as part of the diocesan Faith Forward strategic plan to strengthen Catholic schools. 
Before the consolidation, the individual schools and parishes were fighting continued decline in enrollments and the resulting increasing parish debt.  The move in Aurora to form a new school supported spiritually and financially by multiple parishes became a model for efforts in Rockford and Elgin. 
Teachers were informed of the consolidation and how it would effect staffing. All teachers are invited to apply for positions at the single campus and those who choose to apply but are not hired will be assisted by the Diocese of Rockford in finding new placements with diocesan schools. 
The letter sent to all parents encouraged them to register their students for the coming school year and to meet with the administrative team with questions or concerns.
The public is also invited to consider a Catholic education at St. John Paul II Catholic Academy and can contact the school at 630-851-4400.
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