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Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart to close at the end of the school year

Citing financial challenges, the leaders of the Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, a private school for boys in grades K-8, announced Tuesday that the school will close at the end of the academic year.

Princeton Academy was incorporated as a Sacred Heart school in 1998 and opened in 1999. The school bought the Our Lady of Princeton property on the Great Road, formerly the home of the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross, in 2000.

In a letter Tuesday, the head of the board of trustees and the head of the school informed the Princeton Academy community about the decision to close the school, which will continue to operate fully until the end of the school year.

“For the last 25 years, we have proudly provided an education that celebrates the uniqueness of each Princeton Academy boy, from their first day, to graduation day, and beyond. We are proud of them. We are proud of every educator. And we are proud of the mission and vision that inspired this wonderful school.  At the same time, Princeton Academy continues to face financial challenges brought on by changing demographics and rising costs,” reads the letter from Olen Kalkus and Alfred Dugan.

“As reported in February, the Board has been pursuing numerous options to help the school remain viable, including asset sales, outreach for increased enrollment, potential mergers with other institutions, and additional support from generous donors. These measures have been helpful,” reads the letter. “However, despite our best efforts to find workable solutions, and after careful consideration, reflection, and discernment, the Board of Trustees has unanimously made the most difficult decision to close operations of Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart at the end of the current school year.”

The board of trustees is looking at the possibility of forming a new school. The trustees are discussing a potential agreement with the Aldenham Education Group, one of the oldest schools in England. Aldenham operates two co-ed schools, a girls’ school for ages 3-11, and a nursery school in London, and a co-ed school for ages 3-11 in Dubai.

“Our conversations with Aldenham could potentially allow for a new school, under a new banner, to begin operations in the fall of 2024,” reads the letter from Kalkus and Dugan. “We expect more detailed information about this potential opportunity to be available over the next two months. Our hope and intention is for this campus and these spaces, our home away from home, to remain a school.”

The head of Stuart Country Day School sent a letter to the Stuart community on Tuesday offering prayers to the Princeton Academy community and pointing out that the two schools operate independently. The closure of Princeton Academy has no impact on Stuart’s operations.

“While our relationship has been grounded in a shared Sacred Heart mission, Stuart and Princeton Academy have always operated independently, which includes all programmatic, financial, and governance structures and responsibilities,” Head of School Julia Wall wrote. “Princeton Academy’s decision has no impact on the daily operations and strong institutional health at Stuart. We stand firmly committed to our mission as a Sacred Heart school for girls, which has empowered our students for the past sixty years.  In service to Princeton Academy’s current students and our commitment as educators of the Sacred Heart, our school’s relationship with Princeton Academy will remain unchanged through the end of this school year, and its alums will always have a home within the broader Sacred Heart community of schools.”

3 Comments

  1. It would make a great campus for a new Princeton High School. The current high school could then become a middle school and the current middle school could be used to address the need for additional elementary school space.

    1. Or more apartments. Avalon at the Convent? Just kidding. On a serious note, IF the property is available, why do you think this would be a good location for a HS? Far from Cranbury. Neighbors blocked a turf field/lights. Tons of trucks hauling stone on the Great Road. And, I was told PPS couldn’t afford it. (I had a similar idea. ????)

  2. As an educator at this school for 9 years, I am saddened to hear the news of its closing. Working with the students, fellow teachers, staff, and the entire community has been a blessing in my life. May our memories of the positivity of this community, created by many caring people, live on. Michael Cox

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