Our Lady of Grace will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 school year.

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Dear Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy Community

It’s with a heavy heart that I must inform you that Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 academic year. The Diocese will work with the Catholic school administrators in the Rock Island Vicariate to help families transition to nearby Catholic schools in Moline and Rock Island and assist teachers and staff in applying for any open positions in area schools.

As you know., Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy was scheduled to close at the conclusion of the 2021-2022 school year. In reversing that decision, the Diocese developed a timeline for the school to

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achieve several critical benchmarks to determine the school’s ongoing sustainability. Among the targets established at that time was reaching an enrollment of 135 students by the 2024-2025 school year.

However, this year’s enrollment is 102 students, and a recent survey conducted by the school administration projected that OLGCA would lose at least ten more students next year. Over the past four years, enrollment has fallen from 158 students to 102, a loss of 35 percent.

In addition to low and steadily declining enrollment, other factors that have led to the difficult decision to close the school include:

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  • The cost of maintaining the school’s four aging buildings
  • The frequent turnover of school administrators
  • The ongoing teacher shortage in the community and the difficulty in hiring and retaining teachers for less pay than the area’s public schools
  • The loss of the State of Illinois’ Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program

The decision to close Our Lady of Grace is a painful one for the students, families, and staff. When the benchmarks were established for OLGCA back in 2022, we were optimistic that the school would be able to reach them. Unfortunately, despite the heroic efforts of families and parishioners to save the school,

factors beyond anyone’s control have led to the difficult determination that the school is no longer viable.

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Because of this decision, many people will be angry, bitter, or sad. Some will blame themselves or others for the closure or regret that they did not do more to save the school.While we have every right to

experience these emotions, I hope that in the weeks to come, we can direct our thoughts and prayers upon the great gift that Our Lady of Grace and its predecessors, St. Anne School and St. Mary School, have been to the community. Over the years, the Catholic school community in East Moline has

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bestowed the gift of faith and knowledge on thousands of students, including two of my own children.

While the school may be closing, I am grateful that the outstanding Catholic education it has provided will live on in the hearts and minds of its graduates for decades to come!

I want to express my gratitude to the students, families, faculty & staff, and benefactors who have supported Our Lady of Grace. Your hard work and sacrifices in support of the school are much appreciated. 

Please know of my prayers for you.

In Christ,

Jerry Sanderson

Interim Superintendent of Schools

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