Informational meeting will discuss 'future of St. Gabriel School'

There will be an informational meeting about the future of St. Gabriel School at St. Gabriel Parish Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 6:30 p.m., according to a church bulletin.

One local parent, who did not want to be identified, fears officials are considering closing the K-8 school. He said discussions have been heated and they have focused on school financials. He added that so far it is only speculation that officials may consider closing the school, and he said parents are hoping for a good turnout at Tuesday's meeting to show support for the school.

“And truthfully we want to fight to keep the school open one more year so that we can work toward an independent status,” the parent said.

School officials have not confirmed that there have been any talks about closing the school. A church representative said there have been no such talks.

Saint Gabriel School is a private Catholic elementary school located in Milford, near the former Simon Lake Elementary School on the city’s west side. It serves students from preschool through grade 8, and was founded in 1965, according to the school’s website.

Although school officials would not comment on the nature of the meeting, Principal Dr. Gail Kingston did note, however, that information concerning Tuesday’s meeting could be found in the church bulletin. That announcement notes the date and time of the meeting, and says it is “about the future of St. Gabriel School.”

The Rev. Declan Creighton is the administrator of St. Gabriel. He took over for Rev. Maurice Maroney in July after Maroney retired. The Rev. Creighton was not available to comment, but a woman who answered the phone at the church said Tuesday’s meeting is simply informational and she said there has not been talk of closing the school.

Not long ago there were three Catholic K-8 schools in Milford: St. Gabriel School, St. Mary School and St. Ann School. St. Ann School closed about five years ago, after struggling with “internal strife and declining enrollment.” At that time sources said they believed St. Ann students would be absorbed by St. Gabriel School and St. Mary School.