Four Catholic schools come together in Bucks Co.

LEVITTOWN, Pa. - September 9, 2010

The four parishes are now part of the Holy Family Regional Catholic School in Levittown, Bucks County.

The first day of school meant a new building and plenty of new faces for these Catholic school students.

"I'm most excited because I'm making new friends," said 2nd grader Giovanna Cucarese, just one of many new students at Holy Family Regional Catholic School.

She used to attend St. Joseph the Worker in Fallsington but, because of dwindling attendance, it was one of four area schools that had to merge.

"The alternative would've been probably, one by one, they would have had to close. Then the students would have sought other schools in the area," said Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Mary Rochford.

Rochford says dwindling attendance and the cost to run the schools was making it tougher to have even the bare minimum.

"Some programs we wanted to make sure in school was also in danger of not being in there, art teacher, music teacher," Rochford said.

Holy Family was able to retain most of the students from the four schools but had to make the tough decision of letting go of half the teachers.

"In some cases some folks have been able to get a job and other cases they're still looking for employment," said Principal John Mundy.

Parents say, although the economy and the changing times have drastically affected the decisions, this is one they are grateful for.

"They didn't have to do this, so it's great they did this and gave us the option to send our kids here," said parent Karen Jesionowski.

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