The Massillon Catholic School Planning Committee was formed in early 2012 to determine how the two Catholic grade schools, St. Barbara and St. Mary, could be better realigned to better serve the children of Massillon.
The Most Reverend Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of Youngstown, has accepted the recommendation of the Massillon Catholic School Planning Committee. The Committee proposed that the two Massillon Catholic Schools be reorganized into one PreK-8 school on two campuses, beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. Both St. Mary and St. Barbara campuses will maintain PreK-4 programs. The 5-8 middle school program will be housed at the St. Mary’s Campus.
Dr. Nicholas Wolsonovich, Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, stated, “The new model allows for the younger children to attend their parish school and provides them the opportunity for the preparation of the sacraments of First Communion and Reconciliation to be completed at school. This option keeps both buildings open and preserves the strong traditions of both schools.” The plan allows for the consolidation of resources in the middle school grades that will enhance the instructional programs and the learning opportunities for all students. Discussions are already in the works to make the new 5-8 grades a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) school. The larger number of students in the upper grades provides opportunities for enhanced drama and art programs.
The new Catholic elementary school will be named Bishop Massillon Catholic School with a St. Barbara’s Campus and a St. Mary’s Campus. The name Bishop Massillon Catholic School was chosen to commemorate the city’s namesake, Bishop Jean Baptiste Massillon.
Msgr. Lew Gaetano President of the Stark County Regional School System stated: “This initial collaborative effort of St. Mary’s and St. Barbara’s Catholic Schools, now Bishop Massillon Catholic, provides an opportunity to strengthen the ministry of Catholic education in western Stark County, creating an alternative-collaborative community. Our twelve schools within the new Stark County Regional Elementary Catholic School System are called to share a common philosophy, mission and vision, and profile of the Catholic school graduate. I believe that the continuing collaborative efforts of all our schools will be the catalyst for creating a new way of working and of reimagining Catholic education for the future. This model of collaboration becomes the forming influence for the emerging profile of the Catholic school graduate and for the Catholic identity of our alumni within our parishes.”