After extensive research and thoughtful discussion, Independence Mission Schools has made the decision to consolidate St. Gabriel Catholic School students into St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
This decision has been made in the best interest of our students and families. Independence Mission Schools constantly reviews and analyzes the opportunities and challenges facing all schools in the network to ensure students are receiving a high-quality education. While St. Gabriel offers a quality educational product, the school is operating well below full building capacity. Fewer students means less funding, and in recent years, expenses to occupy and maintain the school building have increased. St. Thomas Aquinas, located in close proximity to St. Gabriel, serves students from the same neighborhoods and can accommodate additional students within its current building.
Given these circumstances, we are confident that the consolidation of St. Gabriel students into St. Thomas Aquinas is the best way forward.
Our Commitment to Students and Families
We are committed to doing everything we can to assist students and families through this time of transition. Located approximately one mile from St. Gabriel, St. Thomas Aquinas offers a strong academic program with a curriculum rooted in faith and diversity. St. Thomas Aquinas and other schools in the IMS network can accommodate all students from St. Gabriel who wish to attend in the next academic year. Without the financial pressures that come with operating two large school buildings in the same area, we can invest in improvements to the facilities and programming at St. Thomas Aquinas to enhance the educational experience for new and current students. Plans are in place to paint classrooms and update lighting and flooring to brighten learning environments, and we are working to provide after school care services next year.
Should you wish to explore options outside of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gabriel students have access to our network of Catholic grade schools, which span many neighborhoods and diverse sections of Philadelphia. We will work with families to apply for an appropriate placement for their student(s) next school year.
No matter which school in our system our students choose to attend, we will provide families with support and resources to make the transition as seamless as possible. The well being of our students and their future education remains our highest priority.
Our staff is committed to assisting families on an individual basis, and we’re excited to offer virtual school tours and student and teacher meet-and-greets so St. Gabriel families have access to all available information to make the best choice for your child(ren). Principals from both schools will be working together on these opportunities and more.
Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
We will be updating this page on an ongoing basis as more information becomes available. Please continue to check back for answers to commonly asked questions. To submit questions for discussion, please click here.