A shared commitment to Catholic education for all children
November 11, 2014 -- Escuela de Guadalupe (Escuela) and Presentation of our Lady Parish (Presentation) today announced that Escuela will move its operation to Presentation’s campus in June 2015.
The cooperative effort is approved by the Archdiocese of Denver and expected to revitalize Catholic education at Presentation and support the expansion of Escuela de Guadalupe’s award-winning Catholic dual-language program.
“We’re excited to be working with Presentation of Our Lady Parish to continue these two proud traditions,” said Escuela president David Card. “I believe that together we can achieve something more extraordinary than either one of us could on our own.”
Escuela de Guadalupe, founded in north-Denver in 1999 as an independent Catholic school with an innovative dual-language program, will move its campus at the end of the school 2014-2015 year. Plans call for the expansion of its present K-5 format to include pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade by fall 2018.
The school will ultimately serve up to 240 students -- more than both schools presently serve combined.
According to Presentation Pastor Rev. Ed Poehlmann, the agreement begins a time of hope.
“Naturally there is some sadness for us as we wind down Presentation of Our Lady School, but this agreement is about the futures of some very deserving children,” said Rev. Poehlmann. “We have to acknowledge that we have given every possible effort to the success of Presentation School, but the economic and demographic realities of our community today call for a fresh new approach.”
Escuela de Guadalupe is governed by an independent board of trustees that monitors the school’s mission and programmatic efficacy. It also leads efforts to ensure that the school is financially accessible to modest and low-income families – a responsibility that will be counted upon in west Denver’s Villa Park and Barnum neighborhoods. The school serves a diverse student body from across the Denver-metropolitan area, and its students emerge with full academic literacy in both English and Spanish.
“Historically, the majority of our students have come from limited financial means, and half speak Spanish when they enroll,” said Jack Pottle, Chairman of Escuela’s Board of Trustees. “We’re particularly proud that the school has been nationally recognized as a model for diverse student populations, and we’ve every intention of maintaining our high standards going forward.”
1. Why is Escuela de Guadalupe moving?
Escuela de Guadalupe presently serves grades K-5 and is at capacity in its current facility. The vision for the future of the school is to serve grades Pre-K-8 which will require additional facility space. In addition, Escuela de Guadalupe desires to have a meaningful relationship with an active parish.
2. Why has the parish entered into this agreement with Escuela?
The last 13 years have been a fragile time for Presentation School. Enrollment has dropped to its lowest count with less than one hundred students. Consequently, Presentation of Our Lady Parish has provided substantial funding to school operations, an unsustainable situation for the Parish. Despite every effort to build enrollment, make tuition affordable, and raise funds, the recurring and on-going struggle to make the school viable has taken its toll. Today the parish has decided that the economic and demographic realities of call for a fresh new approach. Presentation school will cease operations at the end of the 2014-2015 school year and welcome Escuela de Guadalupe to its campus beginning in June 2015.
3. What will be the relationship between Presentation of Our Lady and Escuela de Guadalupe?
Escuela de Guadalupe will remain an independent Catholic school under the governance of its board of trustees and will lease Presentation’s school facility. Presentation parish will continue to utilize the school facility, primarily on Sundays, and be a helpful resource to Escuela de Guadalupe in its recruitment and pastoral programming. Both will remain separate entities with the common interest of enabling a diverse student population to access a high-quality Catholic education.
4. What will happen to Presentation School and its students?
Presentation School will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2014-2015 school year.
Escuela de Guadalupe expects that Presentation of Our Lady Parish will become a primary feeder of its re-located school, beginning in fall 2015. The ultimate objective for currently enrolled Presentation students is to ensure that every student who desires a Catholic education can access one, and to place these students in the best options for them – including Escuela de Guadalupe. Escuela will enroll as many students as it can relative to its capacity, language and other admissions requirements.
5. What will happen to Escuela de Guadalupe and its students?
The Escuela de Guadalupe community is overwhelmingly supportive of the school’s move to Presentation of Our Lady. The opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with an active parish and to add the middle school grades is attractive to parents.
6. How will this move impact tuition and student financial aid?
Escuela de Guadalupe expects its cost-per-student and resulting student tuition pricing to be similar to what it is today. The school has always been committed to being financially accessible to all families. Its present and historical enrollment is very diverse economically, and Escuela de Guadalupe has been able to meet the financial needs of admitted families.
7. Why do we think Escuela can be successful at Presentation?
Escuela de Guadalupe has developed a 15-year track record and has enjoyed a very stable and growing enrollment despite the emergence of several free, public school options in its current location.
The school’s high quality Catholic, dual-language program remains distinctive locally and nationally, and it continues to produce remarkable outcomes in both languages. In addition, with the guidance of its innovative Graduate Support Program, Escuela de Guadalupe’s graduates have experienced exceptional high school graduation rates – qualities that we believe will contribute to the school’s continued success.
8. What will happen to Escuela de Guadalupe’s current facility?
Escuela de Guadalupe has been leasing its current facility from the Archdiocese of Denver for the past 15 years, and will terminate that lease as it commences a new lease with Presentation of Our Lady Parish.