SANTA CRUZ — Despite efforts by parents, teachers, and the Diocese of Monterey to keep Good Shepherd Catholic School open for another year, the decision was made in late June to permanently close the private school after the end of the school year 2021-2022.
“The school has struggled with a multi-year decline in enrollment resulting in a precarious and fragile financial situation,” said Diocese of Monterey Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Cheng. “The final decision received the approval of Bishop Garcia, but the decision-making process included input from leaders at the school administration, parish, and diocesan levels.”
Founded by Francis Markey, Good Shepherd Catholic School has served students from kindergarten through eighth grade on its campus nestled on Mattison Lane in Santa Cruz since 1963. Good Shepherd Catholic School was rooted in the teachings of the Church Roman Catholic and supported by the Resurrection Church in Aptos, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Santa Cruz and St. Joseph in Capitola.
Parents and students were shocked when news of the school’s possible closure came to them in May 2022. School officials advised parents and staff that if the school did not enroll a minimum of 90 students by June 30, they would close the school permanently. . Faculty and staff, many of whom were Good Shepherd alumni, worked alongside parents to keep the school open for the 2022-2023 school year by raising funds and trying to recruit new students, but that ultimately wasn’t enough to keep Good Shepherd open. at the deadline.
Now that the school is officially closed, Cheng said diocesan staff will meet individually with former Good Shepherd faculty and staff members next week to support them through their transition. The Diocese of Monterey also offers a $500 scholarship to families who wish to continue their Catholic education at another school.
“As a parent, I can understand how difficult this change is for our children, especially in the height of summer,” Cheng said. “Our prayers go out to the teachers and staff of our school, school board members, parish leaders, parents, students, alumni and the wider community of Good Shepherd Catholic School.”