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St. Thomas To Continue Parish School

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St. Thomas School will continue to operate in the future, according to a parish authority's statement today. Until now, financial problems had clouded prospects of the school opening next fall following completion of the present school year. The school operates grades I through 12. George K. Simon, past St. Thomas School Board president and now head of a newly established scholarship fund, said today in a statement: "St. Thomas Parish Council has accepted a long range plan submitted by the St. Thomas School Board which is pledged to the continuance of Catholic school education in this community. There is no guesswork in the proposed plan, which has been determined by a poll of the parish and is backed by concrete pledges from interested school parents, as well as the parish at large." Commenting that Msgr. Vincent Howard, pastor of St. Thomas, is "overjoyed" at the parish poll and decisión of the parish council, Simon added that the new scholarship fund "will benefit those who would like a Catholic education but cannot afford all or part of the tuition at St. Thomas Schools. tions to this fund, hopefully, will come from the community at large, inasmuch as the schools serve anyone who wishes to attend and is not restricted to Catholics alone. "People who have attended Catholic schools in the past and those who intend to send their children in the future should feel an obligation to help preserve the tradition of the Catholic schools. Contributions to the scholarship fund should be earmarked for the primary or secondary schools and sent to the school office at 525 N. State St. Checks should be made out to the St. Thomas Schools Scholarship Fund. "The scholarship program will be further bolstered by a special collection in the churches once a year and several social functions for the benefit of this fund. Application forms will be made available to any who wish to apply by mailing a request to the school office. "Along with the support for the school program, the St. Thomas Parish Council has pledged a larger share of parish revenue for an improved and expanded Christian Formation Program. Adult education and C.C.D. ( Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes for' public school children are among the many functions of the new expanded program, which is under the supervisión of a fulltime religious director. "The mission of St. Thomas parish is to recognize the needs of all parishioners and to support the right of choice refgarding the program selected by each parishioner. "St. Thomas schools have always been open to non-Catholic students and now have non-Catholic students attending both the elementary and the high schools. Anyone 'who wishes to apply is welcome, governed only by space limitations of the grades they wish to attend. Present enrollment in the high school is 283 students, the capacity is 400, depending on grade distribution and class sizes. Grade school enrollment, grades I through 8, is 386 with a capacity of approximately' 500, depending on grade distribution and class sizes. "The present enrollment is predicated on the pre-registration poll submitted by the School Board, and is about 15 per cent less than last year. ■ Many people have not committed themselves at this time, due to circumstances that may or may not affect their status as of September, 1971, which begins the new school year."