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Students, parents react to news of Rome Catholic High Closing
ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Students and parents leaving Rome Catholic School on Thursday afternoon, all had the same look of sadness to them as they exited the campus.
Many said it is like a grieving process after hearing that the high school portion of the school will be closing at the end of this academic year.
Beginning in the fall, Rome Catholic School will be an elementary school, and the high school portion of the school will be no more.
The Syracuse Diocese says that students in grades 7 through 12 will go to Notre Dame Junior Senior High School in Utica as part of a reconfiguration plan.
Officials with the Diocese said the eastern region of the Diocese will now have three elementary schools - Rome Catholic, Notre Dame Elementary and St. Patrick's School in Oneida - with just one 7-12 program at Notre Dame High School.
The news was upsetting for many Rome Catholic Students who are used to everyone being together.
"I know some of the high schoolers and they know me, and they live really close to me," said Matthew DeCarolis, a fifth grader at Rome Catholic. "It's like, I'm friends with them, they're friends with me."
Matt's sister, Samatha ,also goes to Rome Catholic, and is headed into 8th Grade in the Fall. That now means she will have to choose to go to either Rome Free Academy, the area's public school, or continue in the Catholic School System at Notre Dame in Utica.
When asked if she had wanted to finish at Rome Catholic after starting there as a kindergartener, Samantha DeCarolis said, "I did yes, but change, it's a good change."
"We are a family and it's for the best and we will all be in touch," the seventh grade Samantha DeCarolis added.
Rome Catholic Schools has not released any information on how the change will affect teachers.
The Syracuse Diocese says students in grades 6-11 will be offered incentives to continue their Catholic education, including a $1,000 transition scholarship, provided to any student in grades 6-11 at Rome Catholic who transition to Notre Dame.
Transportation will be provided to Notre Dame and a series of opportunities will be offered to students in the next several months to visit Notre Dame.