By Jeff Gallatin
Officials at St. Richard School and the North Olmsted City Schools are working on ways to give parents educational options for their children when St. Richard closes at the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
John Lasko, who heads the St. Richard Parish finance council, said he would expect the church to make information on other parochial and private schools available to parents in enough time to consider other schools before St. Richard’s scheduled closing in June.
In addition, Terry Krivak, the interim superintendent of North Olmsted City Schools, and Lasko, who is currently school board president for the public schools, said the city schools could be a viable alternative for some St. Richard students and their families. St. Richard officials Jan. 18 revealed plans to staff, students and their families to close the more than 50-year-old kindergarten through eighth grade school when the academic year ends in June.
“We’re looking at holding an education night or open house where other schools can come and present their information or have the information available for the families to look at and consider whether that school would be a good option for their children,” Lasko said Friday.
Lasko said he thinks there is a good possibility such a night could be set up in February. Another possibility for parents for getting information could be this week, during the various activities for National Catholic Schools Education Week, which began Sunday and runs through Feb. 2.
“There are different presentations and other information during the course of the week which could help the parents decide what would be the best alternative for their students,” he said. “There also are other alternatives, such as students and parents shadowing at other schools, where they actually go in the school and see what its activities are.”
Krivak said the public school district also would like the chance to bring in some of the St. Richard students.
“I’ve contacted officials at St. Richard about the possible open house and let them know that we would like to be a part of that as well,” Krivak said.
Lasko, who has served several terms on the public school district’s board of education, said the city schools could be a strong alternative for some parents and their children.
“It would depend upon what aspects of the education are more important to the parents and their children,” he said.
“The North Olmsted City Schools can certainly provide a strong educational experience, he noted.
“They have been ranked ‘Excellent’ for a number of years,” he said. “We have a National Blue Ribbon school in Butternut School, which has children from the same (grade) level attend it. And the public schools provide many strong options for the students.”
The Rev. Charles Stollenwerk, the pastor of St. Richard Parish, said St. Richard School officials are still considering how to proceed.
“We may not have the open house night,” he said. “We’ve found that a lot of students and their families are already doing the shadowing.”
Stollenwerk said St. Richard officials will continue to consider ways of getting information on educational alternatives to their students and their families.