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St. Joan of Arc saved, will be independent Catholic school

March 6, 2019 GMT

SKOKIE, Ill. (AP) — A loyal community has saved St. Joan of Arc School in Skokie and will operate it independently of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reports Cardinal Blase Cupich (blayz SOO’-pich) approved the plan for the Academy at St. Joan of Arc.

The archdiocese had informed parents that declining enrollment at the suburban Chicago school might force closure. That spurred parents to action.

Sister Dale McDonald of the National Catholic Education Association says the change shows one way Catholic schools are evolving.

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Traditional parish schools are difficult to maintain. The Chicago Archdiocese has 181 Catholic elementary schools, down from 429 in 1965.

Evanston resident Steve King was among those who developed the plan. He says archdiocesan officials were receptive because they realize innovation is necessary to keep Catholic education viable.

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Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com