Diocese to reorganize St. Anne & St. Jude School in the fall

St. Anne & St. Jude School students show the warm clothes they collected with the church women’s guild to help people in their community. (Provided)

Editor’s note: The original story published in The Miscellany on Feb. 13 contained an error. It stated that the eliminated staff positions in the middle and high school would receive severance pay and this is incorrect.

SUMTER—The Diocese of Charleston announced plans on Feb. 13 to restructure St. Anne & St. Jude School in an effort to better serve students.

Beginning in the fall, the school will cut the cost of its tuition, add K-4 to its curriculum, and change its focus to primary education. Additionally, it will change its name to Holy Angels Academy. 

Students in grades 7-12 will be given the opportunity to attend Cardinal Newman School in Columbia. 

“We want to give as many students as possible the opportunity to obtain a quality Catholic education at an affordable price while being able to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities. The changes we plan to implement will do just that,” said Kristi Doyle, principal of St. Anne & St. Jude. 

When Holy Angels Academy opens its doors in August, the school will provide K-4 education for eligible families and students through the First Steps program. While parents who have children in the elementary school will see a decrease in their tuition cost, the quality of the education will not diminish. Multiage classrooms will be utilized in grades K-5 through 6, which will allow teachers to more effectively identify student strengths and needs and deliver personalized and differentiated instruction. 

Starting in the fall, students in grades 7-12 will be offered spots in partnership with Cardinal Newman. Transportation will be provided from Sumter to the Cardinal Newman campus and back. School officials touted the move, saying the middle and high school students will be able to learn in a challenging, Catholic environment and have the opportunity to participate in dozens of extra-curricular activities that St. Anne & St. Jude cannot offer due to its small size. 

The reorganization will result in the elimination of those jobs that serve students in grades 7-12.

“I want to express my gratitude to these beloved teachers and staff members who have given so much of themselves to St. Anne & St. Jude, and its students and parents,” Doyle said.

The restructuring is projected to reduce the school’s operating deficit from the current year by 50% and provide a viable Catholic education option in the Sumter area. 

“Holy Angels Academy will offer an excellent education at an affordable cost,” said Sandra Leatherwood, superintendent of diocesan Catholic schools. “It will prepare students for higher education by providing a holistic approach to education rooted in Christian values.”