Stella Maris students hoping to continue their education at a Catholic high school in Queens may have found the answer to their prayers.
Christ the King Regional High School has announced plans to allow parents to immediately register their children for enrollment in the 2010 school year. They have also decided to honor all existing financial scholarship commitments of any Stella Maris student who decides to attend the Middle Village school.
“The Board of Trustees decided that this was the right thing to do,” said Peter Mannarino, principal of Christ the King. “It’s not the fault of the students that Stella Maris is closing.”
Last month, officials at Stella Maris announced that the 66-year-old academic institution will close in August of next year due to financial troubles caused by low enrollment. Only from donations by its sponsor, The Sisters of Saint Joseph, has the school been able to remain open for the past several years.
Mannarino said that parents have expressed interest in transferring their children from the all-girls school to Christ the King during open house meetings held over the past few weeks. And some parents have already begun the process.
“Since we announced this program last week, we’ve already had six or seven parents register their children for next year,” he said. “Some parents are worried that we’ll run out of space, but we’re telling them not to worry. We’ll have space.”
Mannarino couldn’t say how many Stella Maris students he expects to join his school, but he feels that once parents examine their options, they’ll choose Christ the King.
“I hope a good number will feel that Christ the King is the right school for them,” he said.
The principal said that parents initially registered their children in Catholic school for particular reasons, and he wants them to know that Christ the King will uphold those reasons and maybe even surpass their expectations.
“They chose Catholic school because they feel it’s a safer environment and there’s more discipline. Some because it’s nearby, some because they feel it’s a better overall education and some because of the religious aspects,” he said. “We want them to know that we offer all of those elements and that we are a very good educational program.”
Parents interested in registering their children at Christ the King can request a brochure by calling the school at 718-366-7400 or by visiting the web site at www.ctkrhs.org.