Not that many years ago, if a Cape family wanted to send their children to a Catholic high school, one of the the nearest options was Sacred Heart High School in Kingston.
This week, after years of declining enrollment, the Sisters of Divine Providence announced their decision to close the high school at the end of the current academic year. Sacred Heart's preschool and K-8 school will remain open.
In a letter to the school community, Sister Michele Bisbey, provincial director of the Sisters of Divine Providence, and Sister Alice Marie Lyon, interim head of school announced the decision. The Sisters stated that the school had lost $2.2 million in the 2018-19 school year and they simply could not continue to sustain those losses.
Sacred Heart students now in grades 8 to 12 will need to make other arrangements for the next school year.
School compeitition has radically changed the Cape's educational landscape, even for private schools on or near the Cape.
Today, Cape Cod has the excellent St. John Paul II Catholic high school in Hyannis. It is fed from the middle school programs at St. Francis Xavier School in Hyannis and St. Pius X School in Yarmouth. Many of the students now attending St. John Paul II would most likely have traveled off-Cape to Sacred Heart in earlier times.
The Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis is also a competitive factor where private schools are concerned. Many parents who planned to send their children to St. John Paul or even Cape Cod Academy will choose Sturgis if their child wins the lottery for a "golden ticket" seat at Sturgis - where the kids receive an excellent IB education and which is a tuition-free public school.