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Bishop Fisher Education Features

Immaculate Conception School of Allegany County to cease operation for 2023-2024 school year


Bishop Michael W. Fisher has accepted the recommendation of the Immaculate Conception School of Allegany County board of trustees to cease operations at the pre-K through sixth grade school located in Wellsville.

The school, begun more than 125 years ago under the direction of Wellsville’s Immaculate Conception Parish, became a diocesan regional school under the auspices of the Diocese of Buffalo in 2007. In the 2022-2023 academic year that just ended, the school had 46 students in its pre-K through sixth grade program.

School enrollment had seen a steady decline in recent years and confirmed student registration for this upcoming school year was fewer than 20 students. As a result of the low projected enrollment, and a recent history of operating at a budget deficit, the difficult recommendation was made by the board of trustees to cease operations.

“One of the most challenging decisions to make as a bishop is to close a Catholic school,” explained Bishop Fisher. “This community has tried valiantly to sustain this longstanding school and the harsh recent economics, and the realities of the upcoming lack of enrollment, force us to make this unfortunate decision.”

“We would like to commend the great support of canonical administrator Father Jim Hartwell and Principal Caitilin Dewey, and also thank the Sisters of Mercy for their long history of involvement with the school,” Bishop Fisher concluded.