Archbishop Approves Structure Change

Archbishop Lipscomb recently approved the Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School Board’s recommendation for the financial and administrative merger of the St. Bede, Middle School, and High School campuses. In addition, the Archbishop has approved Our Lady Queen of Mercy’s request to be removed from Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School and function as an independent Kindergarten through Sixth grade school once again. Both changes go into effect on July 1, 2006.

Currently, all campuses of Montgomery Catholic, including St. Bede, Our Lady Queen of Mercy, and the Middle and High Schools, are run as separate financial institutions and are led by separate school councils, each of which has the authority to pass policies for its campus. With the bishop’s decision, St. Bede, Middle, and High School will share a central business office, under the authority of a single school board.

MCPS School Board President Karen Heymann explains what the Board believes will be the result of the administrative and financial changes: “The benefits to our families in combining several years ago are already becoming evident. The larger school has not only created an improved image of stability and educational standards, but has demonstrated a tangible ability to generate media attention for our school. As a direct result, enrollment is up 14% from two years ago. A single financial office will continue this progress, helping us combine resources, weather temporary financial setbacks, maintain standards, create professional appeals and treat everyone equitably. Next year, we will standardize fees, tuition rates, admission policies, employee benefits, and payment schedules, thus eliminating the confusion caused by separate finance offices. In addition, there will be a noticeable financial benefit: those families with more than one child at MCPS will receive a multi-child discount of $1,000 for each additional child, regardless of which campus or campuses they attend.”

Regarding Our Lady Queen of Mercy leaving Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School, School President Faustin Weber explains: “Father Dean and Our Lady Queen of Mercy asked the bishop to remove Queen of Mercy from MCPS because they believe the best chance for the long term health of OLQM is as a parochial school. The parish’s successful tuition-free program is premised on the loyalty and pride of the parish for their school and they believe that centralizing finances as a regional school would detract from this intimate parish-school connection. Ultimately, the School Board believes what is best for OLQM is best for all of us, so they seconded the request to the bishop. We wish our sister school well and look forward to their continuing strong presence in our 7-12 program.”

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