Inside Stories

Ste Jeanne D’Arc School to Close Its Doors in June

A long-time educational institution in the Mill City has decided to ring the school bell for the last time at the close of the academic year.

Ste Jeanne D’Arc School in Pawtucketville, which opened in 1910, made the announcement to parents earlier today in a letter signed by Board of Trustees Chair Monique Letendre and Principal Mollie Williams.

In the letter, Letendre and Williams cite “a shrinking student population over the years has seriously affected our ability to meet our financial obligations and to ensure a long-term fiscal viability.” They add “the difficult decision was made after months of prayerful and thoughtful consideration and careful review of the school’s declining enrollment and the diminishing resources due to reduced tuition revenue.”

They vowed to make the final months “as educationally meaningful as always” and to assist parents in transferring their children to other schools. The Catholic Schools Foundation will also work with school leaders to transfer current SJA scholarships and make additional funds available for transitions to other Lowell Catholic schools.

SJA enrolls students pre-K3 through 8th grade. It’s original location was on Fourth Avenue, before the Moody Street Public School was purchased in 1921. The current Dracut Street location was built in 1952.

When the Ste. Jeanne D’Arc Parrish closed in 2004, the school established an association with St. Rita Parrish.

25 responses to “Ste Jeanne D’Arc School to Close Its Doors in June”

  1. Sharon Dupont says:

    I live Fourth Ave,Lowell For 45 years. Such a shame this school is closing. They should have never closed the Ste. Jeanne Darc church.

    • Bob Lajoie says:

      Same thing happened yrs ago when they closed St Louis Church on West Sixth St. They kept the school open and merged it with St Theresa in Dracut to form St Marguerite Parish. Last yr the school closed after nearly 100 yrs. Maybe if they had kept the parish open, the school might still be open today. Now the buildings have been vacant and in the process of being sold. All that’s left now is a small Ste Marguerite church. The archdiocese seems to have made too many bad decisions when it has come to closing churches. It seems that keeping the respective churches open would have probably helped in keeping these schools open

    • brian o'loughlin says:

      my beloved school…class of 1958

  2. Lucille McNally says:

    So sad! Was a great school and provided a wonderful education.

    Class of 1967!

    • Denise Finn says:

      Class of 1966. Very sad day. My family and extended family all went to Ste. Jeanne d’Arc school. Such a shame.

  3. Robert Fitch says:

    Not happy closing a school for good education, hope fine funds some how?

    • Fr. Jack, omi says:

      I am saddened by this news. Yet I understand. To the Sisters and staff, merci bien. This was not a job, but a vocation fot y’all. A gift from your hearts for each and every child, for the church, the city of Lowell and for the generations to come.
      The memory of SJA will live on in the alumni. Thank you all for your faithful support of the students and staff of SJA over theses many years. Blessings

  4. Richard Trudel says:

    Class of 1960. Best educational experience when it was all nuns. The discipline and subjects taught prepared us all for a productive adult life no matter what our chosen professions were. It is sad to see especially for those parents and children who are invested in an excellent catholic education.

  5. Bill Tibbetts says:

    Sorry to hear this news. I have fond memories of my time there. I received a good education and played on the basketball team. Class of 81’

  6. Theodora Paras says:

    That is devastating news for our community!

  7. Joanne Miller says:

    I was in class of 1958. Great school and education. So sad it has to close. I lived next street over and walked to school .

  8. Mary says:

    That’s cause my niece Bernadette was the glue.

  9. Karen says:

    My four children graduated from Ste Jeanne d’arc. They all received a great education and have had success in life. This is a shame. The school was full back then. What happened?

  10. Dot Richards says:

    Very sad news! Sending our boys to SJA was one of the best decisions my husband and I made for them. The education they received prepared them well for high school and beyond.

  11. Dan Rivard says:

    Very sad news. I really loved my nine years there– K through 8, Class of ’76.

  12. Doug Denis says:

    So sad, great school. I was in the 1975 graduating class. Went there K-8, many good memories and great classmates. Are they providing an opportunity for alumni’s to walk through before they close?

  13. Marcel Jussaume says:

    Very sad news indeed! I attended K through 8th grade graduated in 1976. Superb education, dedicated and caring staff, many life lessons and skills learned there. One of the best grammar school educations of any school I am aware of. I would have never imagined this school closing, there was always very high demand to go there, wondering what happened that caused a diminished enrollment?

  14. Michael Lagasse says:

    My Dad – Was a student of Ste. Jeanne D’Arc School, when it was located on Avon St. Off of 4th. Ave. My Sisters and brothers and I all went to Ste. Jeanne D’Arc School. Our family ( The Lagasse Family ) were very well known with the school & teachers and school Committee. This decision to close a great school, with top notch education, that had incredible financial resources, not to mention our church and parish clubs, and events that we all participate in, is a huge mistake and will be regretted.

    Michael R. Lagasse – Class of 1986

  15. Desrochers says:

    Good riddance!

    – Desrochers, class of ’06

  16. Shirley says:

    My daughters received the highest quality education and made life long friends at SJA. The rigorous curriculum and organizational skills they learned set them apart in high school and college. We were truly lucky to have had a school that put education first and we are so thankful to Sr. Prescille and all her staff! They are always proud to say they went to SJA and It will be missed!

  17. Fred Marion '78 says:

    Years ago I was at the starting area for the Hynes Road Race. Before starting the race I opted to use the men’s room at the Roger’s School. As I entered I quickly realized that IF I wanted to write graffiti on its walls I would have to do so with a white marker because there was so much pre-existing graffiti.

    This made me recall an SJA story that occurred when I was in 7th grade. Recall that the Dracut Street School was built in 1956. Well in 1977 someone wrote in black marker in one of the girls’ stalls. It was THE ONLY GRAFFITTI I ever heard of within SJA’s walls. You may remember that particular day; it was the day the earth stopped revolving. The School was put on lock down. No one was allowed to leave the school until the vandal was found. The vandal (A.D.) was quickly discovered and the earth resumed its rotation.

    This story is just a striking counter-balance to my one day at the Rogers School. Take from it what you will.

  18. Brian says:

    The church, now the school…a result of catholics turning away from God!!!

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